Klopp’s Reds: Built to last
Why Liverpool should not be too despondent this season, if they get near, yet so far to the title once again.
After Manchester City’s demolition job over a spineless Chelsea side last weekend, former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness declared that the Reds would have to win each and every one of their remaining games, if they were to beat City to the title this season. The fiery Scot may not be too wide of the mark.
City roared to victory, playing their brilliant best football and their tails will well and truly be up now. They have the quality and strength in depth to go and win their remaining 13 games to heap the pressure on Jurgen Klopp’s men during the run in.
We will have a right all feel a bit aggrieved if, for the third time in ten years, come May our beloved Reds have amassed a title winning points tally, only to be outdone by another club.
Yet we needn’t despair over our misfortune to be up against such a strong side this season. We have no control over what other clubs do and don’t do against City. What we must bare in mind, is that unlike those previous campaigns in 08/09 and 13/14, the success that Klopp has built up is sat firmly on stronger foundations. If we are to miss out this season, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are here to stay.
Pillars of Sand
Both 08/09 and 13/14 were brilliant, memorable seasons. Liverpool fans were treated to a Red winning machine. Final points amassed of 86 and 84 respectively, have more often than not, been good enough to take the title home.
However in each season it wasn’t to be and the memories became somewhat bitter sweet. A closer look at the Reds in those campaigns though reveals that the club simply didn’t have the capacity to build on those strong seasons.
The success proved to be a flash in the pan, built on pillars of sand. What’s more, the so near, yet so far nature of our title races in those seasons, seemed to send the club into a shock depression. Both runner’s up spots felt like big, almost final opportunities that we had let slide through our fingers.
Either by crippling, weak finances or poor management and recruitment, Liverpool’s 2nd place finish in each season was followed by a nose dive. 7th and 6th place finishes in the respective, following league campaigns highlighted the flimsy nature of the club’s success. This time though it’s an entirely different scenario.
You only need to glance around the stadium these days to see how Liverpool has started to resemble the behemoth football club that it truly is. While the enormous Main Stand looms large of the city skyline, the club’s finances continue to swell off the field. Commercial revenue rose to £154 million as Liverpool recency recorded a world record net profit of £106 million. The commercial performance of the club is yet more evidence of the clever financing and strong revenue streams being built to flow in to the coffers.
This kind of wealth framed around the current crop of title challenging Reds bodes well for the club’s ability to continue to punch hard in the transfer window. Too often in Liverpool’s title drought seasons, our ability to compete for the top talent has been hamstrung by poor finances and the feared “net spend” figures. While that net spend remains modest, you cannot help but feel the caliber of recruitment has been totally transformed by some top class work in recent transfer windows.
This new found fiscal confidence and the ever impressive work done my Michael Edwards and his team, leaves the club perfectly capable of furnishing Klopp with the appropriate level of new arrivals.
While question marks remain over some areas the squad in terms of numbers and injuries, there can be little debate that this current group of players is by and far and away the best we’ve had in the Premier League era. In previous times, Liverpool were overdependent on Gerrard masterclass or the magic Luis Suarez to paper over the feebleness of our ranks.
We have been truly blessed with some great players in the years that have passed since the last title, but we have never been as strong as we are now in all areas.
In the summer of 2009, Alonso’s departure to Real Madrid sucked the life out of our midfield and left us easy to contain. While in 2014, the club seemed to visibly deflate with Suarez to lead the line and inspire us. Yes it’s true that we don’t want to lose any of the front three, there is now no over-dependency on any one player. With the club’s new found swagger and Jurgen Klopp at the helm, attracting top talent is no issue at all, we are in a much stronger position to absorb any loss of top talent, than we have even been since 1990.
We are all desperate to see the title this May and it remains firmly within our capacity and capabilities to win it. However if fortune does conspire against us, there is no doubt that this Liverpool side is made of more than any of it’s predecessors in the past three decades. No matter what happens this season, this is just the start of things under Klopp and a Liverpool Football Club reborn at the top of the game once more.