Football

Seven reasons why Liverpool are title contenders

There's one thing missing from Gerrard's trophy cabinet. (©GettyImages)
There's one thing missing from Gerrard's trophy cabinet. (©GettyImages).

At the start of every football season there's a question on the lips of fans and pundits across the country - who will win the Premier League?

Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have been the names thrown around in recent years, but this season there could be a spanner in the works, and it's not who you may think.

Tottenham have spent big in an effort to replace the world's most expensive player and Arsenal proved that they do in fact have a formidable transfer kitty when they surprised us all with the signing of Mesut Ozil, but if you want to find the fourth realistic title challengers you've got to go a little further north.

So who could we be talking about as potential league winners? Liverpool, yes you read that right, Liverpool, and here's why.

Goals Galore

No other team in the Premier League have found the back of the net more than Liverpool in 2013. The Reds have scored 45 times since the turn of the year, three more than their closest rivals Manchester United.

The January signing of Daniel Sturridge has proven a stroke of genius as he's netted 17 times in just 21 appearances, including a goal in all four league games this term, and finally looks like making use of his considerable talents.

With Luis Suarez set to return from suspension soon and the exciting pair of Philippe Coutinho and Victor Moses looking likely to trouble the score-sheet this season you can expect even more goals to come, and you know what they say; goals win games.

Consistency

Liverpool are currently on an impressive run of just one defeat in their last 18 competitive games, and if they can continue this kind of consistency throughout the season they'll be a shoe-in for silverware come May.

Performances this season have been solid if unspectacular and produced three consecutive 1-0 wins before the 2-2 draw with Swansea on Monday night. As cliche as it may be, winning games without playing at your best is the sign of champions, and that's what Liverpool will be aiming for.

In recent seasons the Anfield club have regularly picked up points against the big clubs in the division but have failed to take that form into games against teams at the other end of the table but Brendan Rodgers looks to have addressed that issue, meaning Liverpool can consider themselves contenders this year.

Managerial merry-go-round

All three of the other title contenders this year have started the season with a new man in charge, and although Brendan Rodgers may have only been in the Liverpool hot-seat for one year, it's a year more than David Moyes, Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini.

Yes, Mourinho is in his second spell at Stamford Bridge and Moyes has been managing in the Premier League for over a decade, but they'll still take time to adjust to new surroundings, and their players will take time to get used to them.

Liverpool don't have this problem. The majority of their squad have been with Rodgers for a year now and know exactly how he works and what they expect of him. This stability has seen them steal an early march on their rivals as they sit on top of the pile after four games.

Brendan Rodgers

While on the subject of managers it's important to note the impact Brendan Rodgers will have on his team.

Rodgers came through the managerial ranks at Chelsea, looking after their academy and reserve teams between 2004 and 2008 but had to drop down to the Championship to take charge of a team of his own.

Spells at Watford, Reading and Swansea ensued with the Northern Irishman guiding the South Wales club to the Premier League for the first time in his history. Success in Wales earned Rodgers a move to Liverpool where he's continued to impress.

Rodgers has shown himself to be extremely organised and tactically astute while playing some wonderful possession football at the same time. These attributes, combined with a years experience in the top job at Anfield, mean he's ready to get his hands on some serious silverware.

Defensively Solid

Rodgers' keen attention to detail and organisation have made this Liverpool team a hard one to break down, and that can only be a good thing in the hunt for the title.

Eyebrows were raised when Pepe Reina was allowed to join Napoli on a season-long loan, but the signing of Simon Mignolet has suggested the Spaniard won't be missed. Mignolet has put in a string of fine performances since his arrival, including a penalty save against Stoke on his debut.

As good as Mignolet is, all keepers want a solid back four in front of them, and Rodgers has delivered that. Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel were impressive at the heart of the defence last season and will have to be on top of their game following the arrival of Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho. Jose Enrique is probably one of the best left-backs in the world yet to earn international recognition, while Glen Johnson is slowly cutting out the defensive errors that plagued him in his youth.

Such impressive defensive options mean Liverpool will be just as adept at keeping out goals this season as they have been at scoring them, and that's a recipe for success if ever we've seen one.

European Football

Yes, we're aware Liverpool aren't competing in Europe this season, and that can only help them this season.

This season United, City and Chelsea will travel as far as Ukraine, Russia and Romania in their quest for European glory, and while that's good for air miles, it adds to an already busy schedule for the players.

If one of those three were to progress to the Champions League final it would add thirteen games to their season, games Liverpool won't have.

Although European glory can boost confidence and success breeds success, those extra games will inevitably increase the risk of injuries, as well as distracting players intent on making an impact on Europe's biggest stage.

So while their title contenders are travelling across Europe, you can expect the Liverpool players to have their feet up at home with their mind focused on another weekend of gruelling Premier League action.

Hunger

When a club with the history and tradition of Liverpool go over two decades without a league title it can only fuel the desire for success.

It's impossible to play for Liverpool without finding out about the success of the 1970's and 1980's. Whether it be the famous Shankly gates, the iconic 'This is Anfield' plaque greeting you at the end of the tunnel, or just the constant talk of the locals, the history of this famous club is ingrained into the players.

There's surely not a player in England more desperate to get their hands on a league winners medal than Steven Gerrard, and with him marshalling Brendan Rodgers' young side this could be the year the name of Liverpool Football Club is finally engraved on the Premier League Trophy.

It was 1990 when the Anfield trophy cabinet last opened it's doors to a league title and it's about time that changed, and that might just happen in May 2014.

Topics:
Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge
Football
Luis Suarez
Steven Gerrard
Premier League

Article Comments

Trending

Read more