3 reasons why the current Liverpool side should be considered among the greatest teams in the Premier League era
- Highlighting three reasons why this Liverpool side should be considered among the best in Premier League history.
Barring any drastic measures taken to cancel the current Premier League season, Liverpool are guaranteed to end their three-decade wait for a league title and are just two victories away from being confirmed as champions.
Although the league has been temporarily suspended to contain the coronavirus menace, it remains to be seen what impact this would have on the overall campaign and what the final classifications would look like in the event of an inconclusive season.
However, working with what we've got, Liverpool are champions-elect and conversations can turn to where they rank among the greatest sides in Premier League history.
Since its inception in 1992, the Premier League has grown to become the most followed and lucrative football league in history, with some of the most legendary players of all time plying their trade across England.
There has been no shortage of great teams who have held sway over the years, with the treble-winning Manchester United team of 1999, the Arsenal Invincibles of 2004, Jose Mourinho's all-conquering Chelsea of 2005-2006, the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Manchester United of 2007-2009 and the record-breaking Manchester City of the last few years all having legitimate claims to being considered the greatest Premier League side in history.
Regardless of the outcome of this season, the current Liverpool team are also worthy of throwing their hat into the discussion and here, we shall be highlighting three reasons why the Reds should be considered among the greatest teams of the Premier League era.
#3 Their remarkable consistency is almost unmatched throughout history
After losing the Premier League title in dramatic circumstances last season, Liverpool upped the ante and raised the bar a notch higher in a bid to wrest the crown from Manchester City.
The two sides had engaged in a thrilling battle that went down to the wire and this seemingly catapulted the Merseysiders to new heights, with the result being that they performed at levels previous undreamed of.
After a late Leroy Sane goal condemned them to a 2-1 defeat in January 2019, the Reds did not lose another Premier League game for another 422 days, playing 44 matches before a surprise 3-0 loss to Watford in March 2020 halted their momentum.
Even more impressive was the fact that Liverpool won 40 of those matches while failing to score on just two occasions. This is the second-longest unbeaten streak in Premier League history, just five short of the 49 mark set by Arsenal between May 2003 and October 2004.
The Gunners won 36 of their 49 matches and drew the other 13 and their point total of 121 points from their unbeaten run is still less than the 124 Liverpool managed in five games fewer.
Furthermore, Jurgen Klopp's side picked up a whopping 79 points from their first 27 matches of the season and this tally is unmatched in the history of the top five leagues, while they equalled the mark for most consecutive victories achieved by Manchester City but failed at the final hurdle to make the record theirs.
In terms of consistency, only Manchester City can rub shoulders with Liverpool, with their joint-record of 18 consecutive victories a mark that is set to remain for a while.
For context, Manchester United's treble-winners in 1999 never managed more than five victories at a stretch, while Chelsea managed 10 in 2006, Manchester United 11 in 2009, and Arsenal 9 in their Invincible campaign. Even Antonio Conte's 13 consecutive victories in 2017 pales in comparison.
Their ongoing run of winning 20 consecutive Premier League matches at home is also a record, in addition to several other records that the Reds are on course to break.
Liverpool have shown a consistency that only a few teams throughout history can match and with consistency being a major yardstick in determining the greatness of teams, it cannot be argued that the Reds deserve a place in the pantheons of great Premier League sides.
#2 They are on course to shatter the most points total in a season
When Manchester City reached the 100-point mark in 2018, they navigated uncharted waters and made history as the first Premier League side to reach a three-figure point total, with this record seemingly set to remain for a while.
However, just two years on and it is looking likely that this feat is not as everlasting as first thought, with Liverpool on course to not only reach this mark but obliterate it.
With 82 points from 29 matches, the Merseysiders have garnered points at a rate of 2.8 points per game and if they are to maintain this ratio, it means they would end the season on 107 points, seven more than the total achieved by Manchester City two years ago.
This is already enough to guarantee their iconic status but incredibly, despite having nine matches to go, Liverpool's total of 82 points would have been enough to win the league on six occasions since 38-game seasons were introduced in 1996 including as recently as 2016.
#1 They have made a very great team look ordinary
Liverpool's breathtaking start to the campaign meant that they were pace-setters in the league and were already clear favorites for the title as early as December.
After 25 matches, the Reds had posted a 25-point gap ahead of Manchester City and it goes without saying that this was the widest gap between first and second at this point in Premier League history.
Even more impressive is that this is a City side that have obliterated all before them over the last two seasons and accrued an unbelievable total of 198 points en route their title-winning campaigns in the last two years, while also completing an unprecedented clean sweep of all domestic trophies on offer last season.
For all the stick Pep Guardiola's side has received this season, they have not been nearly as poor as they are being made to look and they are very much victims of their own high standards, while Liverpool's near-perfection has made them look ordinary.
However, the defending champions have been far from abysmal and even though they have not hit the heights of previous years, they only look so bad due to the performance of the Reds.
With 57 points from 28 league matches, the Cityzens would have been hot on the tails of Barcelona in LaLiga despite the presence of Lionel Messi, while they would also have an outside chance of pipping Bayern Munich at the summit of the Bundesliga.
Manchester City have already triumphed in the League Cup and are also still in the running for the FA Cup, while their away victory over Real Madrid was a statement of intent on the continent and indicative that they can still compete on the grandest stages.
The fact that Liverpool have been able to make one of the greatest teams in Premier League history look so ordinary and surrender their title without a fight is indicative of the Merseysiders' greatness and their right to hold bragging rights in the discussions of great Premier League teams.
Published 13 Mar 2020, 21:44 IST