Sunday, August 14, 2022

Assessing The First 10 Games; Is This The Season Liverpool Finally Wins The Premier League?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

After their thumping 4-2 win away at Crystal Palace in the weekend, Liverpool have joined Arsenal and Manchester City at the top of the Premier league table level at 23 points. It is one of those seasons, when the Reds have started in full throttle swiping away almost every opponent on their way in the first 10 games, which has once again brought to the fore the question, is this really Liverpool’s year?

The current Liverpool form is not something very alien to the fans as they are more than acquainted to see their highly celebrated club coming right the brink of winning the Premier League trophy and then ‘slip’, allowing other close competitors to snatch it away from their fist.

With 7 wins from the opening 10 games and Jurgen Klopp’s ‘Gegenpressing’ tactics being quite successful at the club, it is undoubtedly safe to assume that if the run continues Liverpool might finally be able to break the voodoo and win the Premier League this season. But, there are two things to take into consideration. One is the disadvantage of the pressing tactics and second is the weak defence line of the Reds.

Advantages/Disadvantages Of GegenPressing And Other Tactics

Although Gegenpressing is a brilliant attacking option to deploy that could run opponents out of ideas and prevention tactics, it is also a strategy that needs fully fit players at all time, incessant running throughout the game and covering the maximum ground. Failing to execute the above key components would make the tactics ineffective. And it is no doubt that with the Premier League moving into the second half, most teams find some first team players out through injuries or rested for the number of midweek cup clashes other than the league.

Apart from keeping the players 100 percent fit throughout the season, another major flaw in Klopp’s Liverpool is a lack of secondary tactics. Jose Mourinho kept the gegenpressing at bay by parking the bus and Liverpool had no other key to unlock the defence. This could be a major block in Liverpool’s progress this season.

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League

So Can Liverpool Really Win The League?

The other chink in the armour is their defence. Liverpool have already conceded 13 goals this season and if you look at the Liverpool back line of Clyne, Matip, Lovren and Milner, it is hard to find a seasoned Premier League defender, who could hold a solid defence week in and week out. Liverpool have been highly susceptible to aerial duels,  protecting the lead or stopping individually skilled players. They count more on increasing the lead than sitting back and protecting it.

We have seen glimpses of it in many league matches against West Bromwich, Arsenal and even against Crystal palace, where Liverpool conceded goals from nowhere and spend the dying minutes defending frantically.

An opponent with a really stringent back line, not only has chances of stopping the Liverpool attack but also score on the counter. Hence, no matter how fancy the thought of Liverpool scoring their way to the title seems, there are quite a many inhibitions on the way.

Our Verdict of Liverpool winning the Premier League: Possible but not probable

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