Even with the few changes happening at Anfield, the most optimistic Liverpool fan doesn’t fancy the club’s chances of winning the title next season that much. Popular opinion by most EPL aficionados is that the title is to be fought for by the two Manchester sides.
While a decent percentage have pitched their tents with the 2 north London sides, some believe Conte has got the magic wand to turn Chelsea into overnight winners despite last season’s heavy setback.
Nobody talks of the Merseysiders – whether it be the blue or red outfit. Koeman doesn’t look like a title threat yet even after leading Southampton, a club playing Championship football some few seasons ago to consecutive 6th-place spots in his 2 terms at the Saint Mary’s.
Klopp or Liverpool aren’t considered title-worthy by many yet. Why? Probably because they haven’t spent £100 million on a player or even on a set of players this offseason. The Gegenpressing system of play the funny-face-making manager employs isn’t suitable to last through the stretch of 38 weeks in the topflight. So, the best they can likely muster is a top 6 finish.
The reasons why Liverpool won’t have the EPL trophy at Anfield next May are endless.
But maybe the statement they made at the Wembley yesterday will make the Thomases have a rethink. Anyone having any iota of doubt concerning the Reds title chances this season definitely didn’t watch Wes Morgan lift the Premier League trophy in May.
Messi, Suarez, Pique, Mascherano, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Bravo, Ter Stegen. The core of the Barcelona team featured against Klopp’s boys, but they could only watch as 4 goals went into their own net. That they couldn’t find the strength to reply to any of the strikes made matters worse.
Yes, it was a friendly, but Arsene Wenger is definitely not seeing 3 points in the bag when the Reds SWAT team comes storming through the Emirates’ door next Sunday.
Barcelona are always the team to beat, whether it be in a friendly or in a competitive game. But doing so emphatically via a 4-0 margin is more than euphoric if you’re on the winning side. The team has gotten the much needed boost to launch deep into the 2016/17 season as one of the most fiercest sides in England.
The game has given them the blueprint to follow for the rest of the season. They have always shown glimpses in a few games last year, like the Dortmund comeback for example, but it was taken to its peak against the Spanish giants.
Put pressure on the opponents, win the ball back every time and convert the few chances that come your way. It was perfectly executed.
Guardiola will be worried by this seemingly better-than-tiki-taka style of play. Even Mourinho’s park-the bus and Conte’s catenaccio won’t be able to rival Liverpool’s aggressive win-the-ball-back system.
Ranieri’s squad can sure cherrypick a lesson or two as to how proper counters are supposed to be executed from yesterday’s game. The Barcelona shellacking to an extent counted for little, as results of friendlies have their ways of deception and giving false insight as to what could have happened in a real match, but discarding Liverpool’s new-found strength would be almost suicidal for any of their EPL rivals.
Possession football without results in the final third amounts to nothing. We saw that at the Euros and again yesterday. If Klopp can get this Liverpool to show up in some of the more crucial games, the Anfield faithful might be in for a special treat.