I am not a Liverpool fan, I strongly support Man U, but I believe 2019 is Liverpool’s year. Liverpool wisely invested in key areas within their team, which makes them the favourite to win the Premier League this year. The only challenge I see is from Manchester City, but I feel they are better prepared than last season to tackle those issues.
I will start with their defence. Liverpool realised they had issues with their defence and that they couldn’t solely rely on Lovren as the centre of their defence. What did they do? They went in search of a well-established central defender in the Premier League and found Virgil van Dijk. That was so smart of them. They did not go outside the league to look for a defender who would take months and years to accustom to life in the Premier League. A good example of a player who has just started to understand and adjust to English football is Man U’s Victor Lindelof. For the first few months, Lindelof had no confidence in playing the ball forward, always playing the ball back to De Gea, and when he can’t find anyone, he will make gestures that he can’t find anyone to pass to. Thank God, things have changed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Bringing Virgil to Liverpool from Southampton FC, was a tug of war. But did Liverpool give in to Southampton’s pressure? NO, they knew what they wanted, and they relentlessly pushed for him. Now, look how confidently they play from the back, I am sure Lovren must have been a happy man to see Virgil arrive at Liverpool.
Let’s move to their mid-field. Without any thought, before Liverpool’s reinforcement arrived, Man City had the best mid-field in the Premier League. But now, Liverpool can match-up with Man City in that area. How did they reinforce their mid-field? Before they brought in Naby Keita and Fabinho as their mid-field reinforcements, their mid-field was not bad, but they felt it needed to be better. No wonder Mourinho is still expressing his frustration around the media houses, that Liverpool offered more money to Jurgen Klopp. I am sure even before the League started, he knew Man U was in trouble. If for any reason, Jordan Henderson, James Milner or Wijnaldum get injured, they have a more than able replacement ready. Let’s compare this to Man U. If today, Ander Herrera or Nemanja Matic get injured, we are in BIG trouble, because I can’t see a strong replacement.
Looking at their forwards, Mane, Firmino, and Salah, are as strong as any team in the Spanish or Italian League and any team should expect goals from any one of them. They are the envy of lots of teams, and I see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is slowly fine-tuning the forwards of Man U in the same style.
To sum it up, Liverpool set a clear target to position themselves as a contender for the 2018 -19 EPL season and took pragmatic bold steps to achieve it.
Written by Jacob Mike