Ever since Jeurgen Klopp arrived, we sensed that a wave of change was coming to Merseyside.
He wanted to be called the “Normal one”, he wanted “gegenpressing” from his players, etcetera, etcetera.
Sadly, so far, the word “change” in this context has meant “style of play” and not “trophies”.
Since Klopp arrived Liverpool on the 8 th of October, 2015 (almost three years already?!), Liverpool have played in a number of finals.
Klopp (and Liverpool) lost the Europa League final against Sevilla played in St. Jakob-Park by three goals to one, they also lost a Carling (Carabao) Cup final to Manchester City in 2016 and most recently, some months ago, they lost to Real Madrid, their number one goalkeeper, Loris Karius, having the worst performance that I have seen from a goalkeeper in my entire life, gifting two goals in the final of the biggest club competition. Second place going to Wojciech Szczesny for Arsenal against Birmingham in the 2011 Carling Cup Final.
This year alone, Liverpool (and Klopp) have signed the most expensive defender in history in Virjil Van Dijk for £75m from Southampton, the most expensive goalkeeper in history in Alisson Becker (what a name for a Brazilian!) for £65m.
They have also added Fabinho from Monaco (£43.7m), Naby keita from RB Leipzig (£62m) and Xhedran Shaqiri from Stoke (£15m). Also, based on recent reports, it seems that Christian Pulisic may be on his way to Merseyside as well.
Admittedly, Liverpool has lost some key players over the last six months; Phillipe Coutinho and Emre Can come to mind, but these departures have been adequately covered with the signings that they have made.
Now, all of a sudden, Liverpool looks like the team that is most equipped to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League this coming season. Chelsea, with the change of a number of coaching personnel and just the one notable signing in Jorginho from Napoli for £50m may find it hard to be serious competitors for the League this season.
Manchester United, also with one notable signing in Fred and Mourinho already starting to sulk and indirectly playing down his team’s chances of winning it may have to really step their game up this season.
Tottenham Hotspur has also not made any splash so far in this window. We acknowledge that they are a very competitive side but have shown overtime that they do not always have the legs to see it through till the final day.
Arsenal being Arsenal. We know the story so far. Old Manager left, new Manager in, new system, some new faces, notably Bernd Leno, a goalkeeper, Jack Wilshere is gone, Ramsey has not signed a new contract, Bellerin wears the number 2 now, to mention but a few.
They probably will not be under as much pressure as the earlier mentioned teams. So, we do not necessarily expect too much from them.
Liverpool, with their energetic Manager and some very high quality (and highly expensive) players have to really come with their A-game from the start in order to be taken very seriously as title contenders.
By Abiodun Motunrayo