Liverpool not the greatest Premier League team but give them time

By July 20, 2020

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will lift the Premier League trophy after their final home match against Chelsea on Wednesday. It will confirm Liverpool as the winner of the Premier League for the very first time. They will be champions of England in 30 years, a lifetime.

Invariably, the conversations have already begun about whether this team will be considered among the great teams and whether they can defend the title, they have waited three decades to win.

Liverpool last won the division title in 1990, the same year I began working at the Gleaner and two years before the formation of the Premier League. Since that time, I got married twice and divorced once. I worked at the Gleaner for 14 years before leaving.

I migrated, ran a newspaper in St Maarten and then returned to Jamaica more than a decade ago.  Throw in four years at Sportsmax and you have an idea of how long I have waited to see Liverpool win the Premier League.

I literally shed tears when they fell short by two points in 2014 but by last year when they finished second by a point, I was jaded.

97 points! Those would have won the title in any other year except 2018 and last year. I was honestly beginning to wonder if Liverpool would ever win the league.

Thankfully, this season has been spectacular. Liverpool has scored 93 points with two games to go. Three losses this season, two of them coming after the protracted break caused by the pandemic and one coming after the title was won and there was nothing left to play for.

If Liverpool beat Chelsea and Newcastle, the team will close the season on 99 points, one shy of the remarkable record of 100 set by Manchester City two seasons ago and still, people question the team’s greatness.

Will Liverpool be ranked alongside the Manchester United teams from about 2005 to 2009? No, not yet. I think they will have to win at least one more league title and perhaps an FA Cup before we can have that conversation. Hey, I wouldn’t mind them winning the Champions League for a seventh time, four more than our nearest rivals, Manchester United. Then it would not be a conversation anymore.

Will they be considered as great at the Chelsea champions under Jose Mourinho? One more title and they are right there.

Notwithstanding all that, it is clear that this Liverpool team is already a great team in its own right. This season they became the first English team to hold the Champions League trophy, the FIFA Club World Cup and the Premier League trophy simultaneously.

The team has heart, grit, the stuff of which champions are made.

This is a team that suffered a heart-breaking 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in Champions League final of 2018, only to rebound and to win it in 2019. This after, coming back from 3-0 down in a tie against Barcelona in the semi-final. The 4-0 demolition of Barcelona at Anfield in the return leg is already the stuff of legend.

Also in 2019, they lost the league by a single point having amassed an incredible 97 points but again bounced back to win the league and will possibly do so by scoring more points than they did the previous season.

All this while leading last season’s champions, Manchester City, a team many consider to be the greatest Premier League side, by more than 20 points most of the way.

They are one of two teams to score 90-plus points in consecutive seasons. Only Manchester City can boast to have won more points – 100 and 98 in consecutive seasons.

This Liverpool team might not be the greatest Premier League team in history, yet, but give it time.  

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Solskjaer says Pogba's happy again as Man Utd boss hails Cavani Solskjaer says Pogba's happy again as Man Utd boss hails Cavani

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Paul Pogba is "happy" again after hailing the star midfielder following his match-winning display against Fulham.

    Pogba scored the winning goal as United returned to the top of the Premier League table with a 2-1 victory at Fulham on Wednesday.

    Edinson Cavani cancelled out Ademola Lookman's fifth-minute opener with a poacher's finish 16 minutes later in London, where Pogba stepped up for United.

    Pogba fired a stunning left-foot effort past Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola in the 65th minute as United extended their unbeaten streak away from home to 17 games in the Premier League – matching the club's longest ever run set back in 1999.

    The future of Pogba has dominated headlines since his outspoken agent Mino Raiola claimed the France World Cup winner was not happy in Manchester amid links with former club Juventus, LaLiga champions Real Madrid and Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain.

    But when asked if Pogba is happy again at Old Trafford, Solskjaer told reporters: "I would like to say so yeah, he's enjoying his football, he's happy, he is mentally very happy, physically in very good shape. And we know all about his talents. Today, we decided to play him in midfield, and it was worth it."

    Since his return to the club in 2016, no United player has scored more league goals from outside the box than Pogba (six).

    "I'm very happy with his performance. You know, sometimes impressed is a strong word, but I know what he can do. And it was all about getting Paul fit, running fit, match fit. And today, he's played in the centre midfield role. He made some good runs into the box as well, he made challenges," said Solskjaer, whose United are two points clear atop the table, though neighbours Manchester City have a game in hand.

    "He got an early yellow card, which always is dangerous, but he kept his discipline really well, and he won tackles for us. And he does everything, we know Paul can do more or less everything that's asked of a midfielder. Now he's putting all the elements together the same performances, which is great to see."

    Solskjaer also hailed veteran forward Cavani after PSG's all-time leading scorer – who arrived on a free transfer at the start of the season – became the first United player whose first four Premier League goals for the club were all scored away from home.

    "He's a centre forward you want in the box, his movement is incredible. It's for everyone to learn from you know. It's almost like I get frustrated at times when he goes wide to put the crosses in because he's the one that you want in there. And sometimes I have to ask him to do less running," Solskjaer added.

    "Even in the second half, the header, the great save by Areola. A couple of other times and his movement is spot on. So, he's a type of centre forward we've been looking for and he complements Marcus [Rashford] and Mason [Greenwood] and Anthony [Martial] really well."

  • Klopp unsure over Van Dijk return despite 'very promising' rehabilitation Klopp unsure over Van Dijk return despite 'very promising' rehabilitation

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp provided a promising update on Virgil van Dijk, but he remains unsure when the star defender will return for the Premier League champions.

    Van Dijk underwent surgery on his knee in October after suffering a serious injury in the Merseyside derby against Everton.

    The Netherlands international has been missed by Liverpool, who are fourth and six points adrift of rivals Manchester United ahead of hosting Burnley on Thursday.

    Klopp was upbeat about Van Dijk's rehabilitation, but he is unsure when the 29-year-old might return.

    "He looks really good," Klopp told a news conference.

    "I spoke this morning to him on the phone, he is in a really good mood so it's all very promising but I don't know when he will be back.

    "There are for sure a lot of stages still to go over or to pass, whatever, that's clear. I had this injury myself.

    "For the time we are in and for how long he is out now, how long the rehabilitation is going on, he looks really, really promising."

    Since Van Dijk's Premier League debut for Liverpool in January 2018, Klopp's men have won 72 of 95 games with him in their side.

    That win percentage of 75.8 drops to 50 in the 14 league games in which Van Dijk has been absent.

    Liverpool have also averaged more goals for (2.3 to 1.9) with Van Dijk, and also conceded more with him (0.8 to 0.6) than without him.

    Klopp's side, however, have struggled for consistency so far this season and head into their clash against Burnley on a four-game winless run in the league.

  • Pirlo's Supercoppa joy 'more beautiful' than as a player Pirlo's Supercoppa joy 'more beautiful' than as a player

    Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo felt lifting his first silverware as a boss was "more beautiful" than his numerous playing successes.

    Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata either side of a missed Lorenzo Insigne penalty gave Juve a 2-0 win over Napoli in Reggio Emilia on Wednesday.

    Pirlo won the Champions League and World Cup in a decorated playing career but said the feeling of leading a team to a trophy is something different.

    "It's a great joy," Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri at the start of the season, told Rai Sport. "Lifting the first trophy as a coach is something different, more beautiful than as a player.

    "I'm at the helm of an important team, of a historic club."

    That burden looked to be weighing heavily last weekend after a 2-0 defeat at rivals Inter left Serie A champions Juventus 10 points off the pace in the Scudetto race.

    "The important thing was to win after the other night's knockout," Pirlo said.

    "We wanted to show that we weren't the ones from San Siro. We needed a game of sacrifice."

    Pirlo shared a warm embrace with his great friend and Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso before kick-off, remarking this was no time to reprise their infamous history of play fighting and practical jokes.

    "Tonight just hugs because we were too focused," he added.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.