Walk on, Walk On, With Hope in Your Heart, And You’ll Never Walk Alone, You’ll Never Walk Alone
Liverpool defeated Tottenham by 2 goals to 1 and despite what Jose Mourinho thinks, his side was bettered by the raining champions of England. Liverpool took the lead through a shot from Mohamed Salah which took a wicked deflection off Toby Alderweireld before looping into the net. Tottenham struck 7 minutes later through in-form man Heung-Min Son before Bobby Firmino scored a dying minute goal to close the win. “Give him the ball and he’ll score every time, Si Senor” the Kop end sang. Since their 7-2 humiliation at Villa Park, Liverpool has not lost a Premier League game despite some shabby draws. They are sitting pretty at the top of the table and the reds deserve praise for how they have handled their season.
A Patchy Beginning? Injury Issues? Adapt and Bring in the Kids
Liverpool’s start to the season was not the best and pundits started throwing around some awful projections after only a few games. Their first game of the season was against Leeds United and it was sketchy. Leeds matched them for aggression but Liverpool saw out the game 4-3. They defeated Chelsea and Arsenal before the disaster against Aston Villa. Since then they have stabilized their ship with Jurgen Klopp as their sailor. Klopp’s rant after the Brighton game was epic and hilarious and a lot of people ignored the point he was trying to make. The man lost Virgil Van Dijk Virgil Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, and others. Frustration was creeping in but Klopp has spent the last 4 years building a well-oiled machine, one that functions properly. Klopp would bring in Rhys-Williams (19), Neco Williams (19), Caoimhin Kelleher (22), and Curtis Jones (19) to solve their injury problems.
The youngsters have plugged the gaps in the team. Rhys Williams partnered Fabinho in the center of defense against the London side while Curtis Jones put in a man-of-the-match performance in midfield. Neco Williams has been serviceable in the right-back position in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold while Kelleher has been impressive when called upon. The Irish keeper kept a clean sheet against Ajax in the UEFA Champions League and Wolves in the English Premier League. Despite the injuries to key players, Klopp has steadied his ship. His use of the youngsters and the way he has managed the squad deserves praise.
Jurgen & The Machines
Liverpool’s front 3 are an exhilarating and electrifying trio but what is special is how they manage to cover for each other. Sadio Mane has not scored in the league since his goal in the Merseyside derby which ended in a draw but you would not notice. They have had major help from newcomer Diogo Jota but the core 3 remain ever important. Salah has been scoring the goals (11 in the EPL), taking the burden off his other two partners.
Against Tottenham, Firmino scored just his 3rd goal of the season when it looked like the game was heading for a stalemate. Even when they are not in top form, they cover for each other. Firmino may not be scoring like the 2017/2018 season when he bagged 15 in the league but his colleagues have been filling in for him and when they needed him, he stepped up with a goal.
In midfield, Klopp’s hounding boys are relentless with their pressure. Gini Wijnaldum put in a world-class performance in the middle for the reds against Tottenham. The Dutchman is a Swiss army knife whose impact on the offensive and defensive side of the game is unquantifiable. His press resistance, his ball-carrying, and his relentless pressuring make him a key cog in the Liverpool midfield. Captain fantastic Jordan Henderson also gave an assured performance, hounding players, passing the ball, screaming at his teammates, and controlling the play. Then there is the fabulous Fabinho who is a defensive midfielder on his day but has played as a center back for much of the season. He has been a very good one too. The Brazilian was fantastic against a very potent duo in Harry Kane and Son, not to forget the ever willing Steven Bergwijn. Fabinho has been rock solid at the back.
“Who Put This Shit Together, I’m The Glue”
It will be crazy not to mention the man whose vision of football shapes this side, Jurgen Klopp. When he is not blaming the wind, the referee, the snow, FIFA, or the TV companies, Klopp is the best coach in the world. He has built a machine that continues to locomote even when a few parts fall off. His side is gritty, solid, and they refuse to bow to any opponent. Jurgen has lost only 4 times at home since he took over the reds. Twice to Crystal Palace, once to Manchester United and Swansea. The defeat to Swansea was the last and it came in January 2017.
After their record-breaking win last year and their start to the season, a few questioned whether Klopp would be able to repeat his feats of last season. His side continues to answer that question game by game. They are beginning to pull away at the top of the table and even though it might not be as straightforward and as emphatic as last season, they look like they will be the eventual champions. Massive credit to the work Klopp is doing. He has built an impressive machine that is flooring every other bot. Massive credit to the master of the gengenpress.