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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Liverpool look like champions

I’ve been very impressed with this season’s Liverpool squad, so much so that I’d have to say I think they are going to beat out Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea for this seasons Premiership crown.

Yes, I know it’s very early going but Liverpool have shown they can win, win ugly and win big -something that you saw Manchester United do last season and Chelsea the season before. For all the boredom that their match against Sunderland, they won ugly; against Chelsea they lost a bad penalty decision in a match that should have saw them take the 3 points, and against Derby County they won big. Despite being up 2 and then 3 and then 4-0, they kept sniffing for goals. Something Tottenham, up 3-1 against Fulham didn’t do.

The new depth in the Liverpool lineup is paying serious dividends and so is the pairing up front. Rafael Benitez, that awful beard aside, had made exactly the right decision to play Dutchman Dirk Kuyt alongside Fernando Torres. They play well together, attack the box and offer lots of different threats. When you are defending against strikers, it’s much easier when they are not multi-faceted, but with Liverpool now, you have 4 strikers that can all bring different things to the game and a pair of starters with pace and a great nose for goal. So far, Fernando Torres has been the best signing of the season so far.

The biggest difference I see in the top 4 teams so far this season is how efficient Liverpool are in front of goal. Arsenal are traditionally wasteful, Manchester United are squandering chances and great build up play and winning 1-0 when they do, and Chelsea are uncharacteristically squandering opportunities as well.

While the new look Chelsea are definitely more open and exciting to watch, as Roman Abramovich has requested, they are more vulnerable. I know Jose Mourinho thinks this is a mistake, as I do, but it looks like the meddling owner will have to learn the hard way. Chelsea are built on compactness and relentless pressure turning into opportunities. With this new open style they are exposed regularly as they were against Aston Villa and aren’t really creating great chances. Villa won because Chelsea were all over the place. It was a great game to watch but not the way a Champion plays.

In fact, it seems like Liverpool look like the Chelsea of 2 seasons ago and Chelsea are trying to be Manchester United of last season. You decide which is working.

As for Manchester United, they have a great squad. Owen Hargreaves looks top class and the buildup play is excellent. Nani looks worth every penny, and Ronaldo should be even more deadly this season than last. Unfortunately, losing Wayne Rooney for so many weeks will dent their chances, and they seem to have a lot to integrate into their side.

As for Arsenal, no team is more fluid in midfield and confident on the ball. They also have an excellent defense. But again, and again, the same complaint: they should be winning 3 and 4 to nil and too often scrape by. Robin van Persie is definitely top drawer but Emmanuel Adebayor is a lost cause. He’s causing more problems on the pitch than he is solving and should be dropped. He’s out of sync and should be in sync by now. Arsenal made a mistake not getting a top notch striker and it will cost a very talented team their chance.

For these reasons, Liverpool seen to have put it together just at the moment that their main contenders are all under shifting sands. For my money, Liverpool are good value for their first place and will raise the crown for the first time in a very long time.

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20 Comments:

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Blogger Sue said...

Are you havin a larf - only 4 games have been played. Start writing this sort of story after Christmas at least!

9/04/2007 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all respect to Derby, you can't count that result as proof that Liverpool can win big - any of the top 10 are capable of inflicting that type of defeat on them. As Sue says, let's wait until Xmas once the league is taking shape & see from there. Some good points made but far too early to make any predictions :-)

9/04/2007 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So far Liverpool have beaten 2 of the 3 promoted clubs, and Villa with a last minute slightly dodgy free kick decision.

According to my mates who have season tickets at Ajax, Babel is the most frustrating player on earth. He has had a good start at Liverpool but he is not the world class player that he is being hyped as.

9/04/2007 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i DON'T KNOW WHO GIVES PEOPLE LIKE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO WRITE SUCH USELESS ARTICLES.. WHAT? AFTER FOUR GAMES , THEY BEAT ASTON VILLA BY THE FREE KICK WHICH SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN, DREW WITH CHELSEA WHICH HAS BEEN THE CASE EVEN LAST SEASON, BEAT DERBY BY 6 WHO GOT BEAT 4 BY TOTTENHAM AS WELL ... MATE PLS WAIT TILL CHRISTMAS BEFORE MAKING SUCH USELESS ARTICLES

9/04/2007 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

look at all these sensitives... its just an opinion... he thinks liverpopl will win the premie and so do i

9/04/2007 3:12 PM  
Blogger SI said...

Liverpool look the best team around at the moment. Say what you like about a dodgy peno at Villa. To me it was obstruction by a horrible little player. Would have been a crime to lose points there. 2 points lost against Chelsea who Liverpool outplayed for 70mins. Liverpool have let in two goals. Both from penalties. Teams don't look like scoring against them. Chelsea are poor at the moment. Arsenal got lucky against a poor Portsmouth defence the other day and Man Utd will no doubt come roaring back. My opinion is that Liverpool and Man U will fight it out this year. The others will be left behind after christmas. If not before.

9/04/2007 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pmsl. I agree with the article Liverpool will be crowned kings. The added thing is that Benitez will further strengthen the squad over next summer so they will be an unbreakable force next year. The fact is, the most successful club in England is finally back to where they belong, AT THE TOP!!

ps, yes I am a Liverpool fan.
and Babel will fit in he's already showing how amazing he is as well as Torres (who only wanted to come to us) It's a bitter pill to swallow I know. I'll even go to bet that we will do the quadrouple and we wont lose a game this season either.

9/04/2007 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got to laugh at all those who say Liverpool got a lucky free kick against Villa but dont mention how they would have comprehensively beaten Chelsea if it were not for that ridiculous penalty

As for the comments about the promoted sides, well utd didn't do that great against Sunderland did they but Liverpool easily beat them, all without Gerrard and Carragher

Think Arsenal will still fail against the physical approach this season.
However I do think Utd will come good but for Chelsea, well Mourinho's exposing himself for what he is, a dull defensive coach with no plan B, hope some of his previous nasty barbed comments come back to bite him

9/04/2007 3:33 PM  
Blogger Trojan said...

if they think we can do it, they will get it...

9/04/2007 3:41 PM  
Blogger Sagar said...

interesting article.

I'll have to agree with the last poster that liverpool and Man united (withstanding injuries) will fight it out for the title.

About their best buy I'll have to disagree that torres was their best buy.
I feel voronin is their best buy mainly because they got him for free. He wasn't well know before he came to liverpool and he's been brilliant so far.

It was a given that torres is good but voronin seems to be proving his doubters wrong.

9/04/2007 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Babel is the most frustrating player on earth"

Ffs, he's only 20. Henry wasn't much kop in Italy and only when he was 23 did he start getting good

Sounds like a bitter gooner upset at not getting him to my mind

9/04/2007 4:14 PM  
Blogger James said...

Five games gone, 33 to go. Enough said.

9/04/2007 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pride comes before a .........?

9/04/2007 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Scouser????

9/04/2007 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arsenal hit Liverpool for 6 with a youth team last year - suddenly Liverpool are favourites to win the championship? It's a nice idea, that's all it is, all logic, facts and statistics suggest otherwise.

Liverpool in recent times have a poor record against the top three, and it will take some massive improvement to over-turn that. Any team that includes Jermaine Pennant is never going to have the required quality.

9/04/2007 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you even watch that game and see the starting line ups? Those were reserves and unknowns playing that game. Only a couple on the pitch that day even play for Liverpool regularly. Pepe Reina didnt play those games.

So far with overall quality in matches I have to say Liverpool are out in front of others. They shut down Chelsea defensively. Drogba did nothing in that game. The depth is very evident now. So many quality signings.

I am tired of hearing how Liverpool is going to get the title after 5 games though. Teams go on streaks, but one thing Liverpool have improved on is their away form which is what caused the gap in points between Man U.

9/04/2007 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Arsenal hit Liverpool for 6 with a youth team last year" - and what kind of team did LFC put out?

"With all respect to Derby, you can't count that result as proof that Liverpool can win big " - of course you can, cos that's exactly what they did

I don't think anyone can deny that arsenal and lfc have started the season playing the best football and now sit at the top deservedly.

It also can't be denied that that chelsea and MU have looked stodgy and are conceding goals

That's all the article is basically saying, so don't get all angry about it CFC and MU fans, eh?

9/04/2007 6:34 PM  
Blogger Georgina Best said...

I share you optimism about Liverpool.I know it is early in the season but its enough to get an early feel to how teams are playing.

9/04/2007 7:36 PM  
Blogger imafidon said...

What was the last team that won the league by signing new players? Liverpool's new players have come out of the blocks but would eventually fade away. Torres and Babel are very talented but they are not as good as they currently look. Liverpool should be judged on their title credentials after they face Everton at Goodison and Arsenal at Anfield.

9/04/2007 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have put a tenner on LFC even though am United fan. Two fold bet alongside another ten on United winning champions league

9/04/2007 8:38 PM  

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