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Liverpool

(Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Liverpool are the new kings of England, and they’re not slowing down anytime soon

Liverpool
(Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

I don’t know how many of you keep up with soccer on a daily basis, or just check in even every once in a while, but what I can tell you is that Liverpool is on top of the football world and it’s not even close. The English Premier League would be doing everyone a favor by just handing the Reds the trophy right now and going along on their merry way.

Liverpool sits clear at the top of the league table with 64 points, winning 21 of their 22 matches so far this season, the next closest team being Manchester City with 48 points, with 15 more league matches to play. However with the way Liverpool is running off in this title race it’s becoming more and more clear every match that nobody is going to stop this dominant football club. 

Also, if I casually forgot to mention, they’re riding a 39 game winning streak that extends back to last season, with a chance to make it 40 against the Wolverhampton Wanderers a.k.a Wolves. The Wolves have won two of their last five league matches, do with that information what you must. Don’t get me wrong, the Wolves earned Liverpool’s respect when the Reds walked away with a 1-0 win back in December, but after a huge win against Manchester United, Liverpool’s confidence is through the roof and I don’t think the Wolves have what it takes to slow that confidence down. 

Now back to that win against Manchester United, if anything solidified Liverpool’s status as true title contenders, it was this game without a doubt. If we counted all of the potential chances that were either missed, or called off due to the officiating, this game should’ve easily been something of a 7-2 blowout for Liverpool. This kind of win against a top-tier opponent will mean the world to the Reds moving forward, while I personally don’t think Manchester United is an elite club anymore, thanks to an inadequate manager, they receive respect from their opponents every week. However, while Liverpool paid Manchester United their respect in the way they played, they also let them know that they’re the better club between the two, and clearly the best club in the league. 

World class defender Virgil Van Dijk used all 6 feet and 4 inches of his frame to catch the right end of a header in the 13th minute to put the Reds up on Manchester United, and get the party started.

The rest of the game consisted of Liverpool coming up with fantastic chances, but not quite being able to convert on them, giving Manchester United hope to hang on and at least end the match with a draw. However, that hope was shot point-blank by forward Mohamed Salah when he broke free behind the defense and put the game away with a left-footed shot while holding off midfielder Daniel James, an incredible display of strength and focus.

The 2019 Ballon d’Or runner Van Dijk up has been a force in the back four all season, and has been a big reason why Liverpool leads the league in clean sheets with nine. However, he’s also been liable to get the ball into the back of the net with four goals this season. Right back Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been playing fantastic with two goals and nine assists with a team high 22 tackles, for as young as he is he’s proven that he’s a force to be reckoned with and all wingers, attackers and midfielders should approach him with the proper respect.

The midfield has been fantastic over the course of the season maintaining defensive discipline while also creating great passing opportunities for their attackers. Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson have been two catalysts for solid midfield play from the Reds and while they’re not putting the ball in the back of the net every match, they’re importance is invaluable and they are both key cogs to maintaining the winning culture that the Reds have constructed. 

Finally, the trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have been outstanding, I mean how lucky can you be to have two forwards on your squad who won the Golden Boot award together last season? While neither Mane or Salah are in the lead for another Golden Boot award this season, the trio of all three attackers have combined for 29 goals and 15 assists this season. These three players are the king component of the Reds offense, and probably second to the former trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr, this has been one of the most exciting group of attackers I’ve had the privilege of watching in the sport of soccer.

I’ve seen managerial greats such as Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pelligrini experience the pinnacles of success with Chelsea and Manchester City respectively, only to falter miserably and find themselves cast out of their roles and in bad favor with the fans. That hasn’t been the case with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, and I have a feeling he won’t be. Klopp is a special leader, and commands the respect of everyone in his organization while still maintaining his authentic excitement, boastful energy and poise. He’s been able to get players to buy into his tactics, such as the world renowned gegenpressing, and knows how to maximize the player’s strengths and allow them to play with enough freedom while still maintaining an organized structure on the pitch.

While I’m not personally a fan of Liverpool, I’m a big fan of Klopp and expect to see him continue to take the Reds to unimaginable heights, he already secured them their first Champions League victory since 2005 last season, and now he’s looking to bring this fanbase their first league title in 30 years. If this squad continues to maintain their level of focus and execution, the Reds will not only be able to run away with the league title by as early as April, but begin to establish themselves as the new face of the English Premier League, and that my friends is a very scary but very realistic thought. 

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