Will Liverpool become invincible? That is the question being asked by a lot of the media world right now.
Can Jurgen Klopp’s side not just win their first league title since 1990 but can they repeat a feat only achieved by Preston North End in 1889 and Arsenal in 2004?
Having already made the best start to a league season after twenty-one games of any club from one of the big five leagues, it’s natural that the “Invincibles” discussion will begin.
Liverpool have bettered the starts of PSG in 18/19, Man City in 17/18, Bayern Munich in 13/14 and Juventus in 18/19 all amassing 95 points in the process and then going on to lift the league title in their respective divisions.
Of course, history is now on Liverpool’s side. They have a lead of fourteen points over Man City with a game in hand, and no team has ever not won the Premier League when holding such a lead.
Liverpool’s only point dropped was at Old Trafford back in October thanks to Adam Lallana’s late equaliser, but this Reds team has been near perfect with only Napoli in the Champions League and Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarter final inflicting defeat on Liverpool, although Liverpool were forced to field their youngest team in their history against Dean Smith’s side due to the clubs commitments in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.
The fact that Liverpool are currently in this position is a testament to the job, not just Jurgen Klopp is doing, but the recruitment side of the club too. Michael Edwards, Liverpool’s Director of Technical Performance, Dave Fallows, Head of Recruitment and Barry Hunter, Chief Scout have all managed to achieve recruitment miracles during Jurgen Klopp’s tenure as manager.
Headline signings like Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keita, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Fabinho have all had their success whilst at Anfield, but it’s the signings of Gini Wijnaldum, Andy Robertson and Xherdan Shaqiri are the more impressive as they were all relegated from the Premier League before being acquired, nurtured and turned into European and World Champions.
Following on from Liverpool’s Champions League success, the Reds have followed up their triumph over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid with success in the European Super Cup were Adrian was the hero saving the decisive penalty from Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham in their penalty shootout and in Doha, Roberto Firmino’s extra-time winner against Brazilian champions Flamengo secured the club their first ever world championships.
Liverpool are rightly regarded as the best team in the world right now and the most feared team in the Champions League knockout stages, and favourite to lift the trophy yet again.
But when a team is so dominant domestically, winning the Champions League has proved to be all the more difficult to secure. The reason being that Liverpool are expected to be crowned champions as early as April, provided there are no serious hiccups during the clubs run in, and this is the stage that the Champions League enters the quarter-final stages of the competition.
Of the clubs mentioned earlier who held the previous record for the best start to a league season from the big five leagues, none of those clubs managed to win the Champions League despite their dominance domestically.
Winning the league early allows for the players to lower their performance level, as they have reached their goal as champions with many games to spare, and it has proven to be tough for these clubs to raise their game again when it come to the Champions League elite.
Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola managed to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League at the end of the 2013/14 season despite winning the Bundesliga by nineteen points and with seven games to spare.
In 2017/18, Pep Guardiola again, this time at Man City secured the Premier League title with five games to spare, but their dominance domestically couldn’t be replicated in Europe’s premier club competition where they came unstuck at the quarter-final stage against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Thomas Tuchel’s PSG side could only reach the last 16 in the Champions League despite winning Ligue 1 by an impressive sixteen points at the end of the 2018/19 season.
And finally, Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus with Cristiano Ronaldo added to the ranks managed to win Serie A by a healthy eleven points but winning the league early had a detrimental effect on their Champions League form where the Old Lady was eliminated at the quarter final stage.
As favourites to be crowned champions of Europe again, the challenge to achieve this goal is a huge one. History is not on Liverpool’s side, but this team has defied logic time and time again under Jurgen Klopp and who would bet against this Liverpool team lifting the Champions League for a seventh time?
Jurgen Klopp is on top of the world right now, and he is proving that he is the best around. He performed miracles at Mainz 04, and awoke the sleeping giant in Borussia Dortmund and guided BVB to the pinnacle in Germany knocking the juggernaut that is Bayern Munich off their perch, and now Klopp is going one step further on Merseyside.
Before the prospect of European glory, there is the small matter of finishing the job in the Premier League and becoming league champions for the first time in thirty years.
There are generations of Liverpool supporters who have never seen Liverpool lift the league championship and have been brought up hearing story after story about the teams of the seventies and the eighties.
It’s time for a new chapter, new stories to be told and this could be the year to start telling them.
Will Liverpool become invincible in the process? Quite frankly, who cares!
Whether Liverpool win by twenty points and remain undefeated all season, or by one solitary goal, who cares!
Getting hold of the clubs nineteenth league title is what matters and if that means suffering defeat along the way, so be it.
Invincibility is a nice tag to have but winning the Premier League will give this team immortality and allow this Liverpool team to stand should to shoulder with the greats of the seventies and the eighties.
But let’s win it first!!