Liverpool have been very impressive this season and deservedly lead the pack going into the November international break. Stellar performances from Philipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané intertwined with performances from industrious players such as Jordan Henderson and the ever reliant James Milner have given Liverpool both great excitement and balance within their squad. Despite pundits and ex-players galore singing the praises of Klopp’s men, this is why Liverpool will not win the Premier League this season.
1) Goalkeeper Frailties
Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius are decent keepers in their own right, however, are they title winning goalkeepers? Probably not. Mignolet has been here before with Liverpool and although you can’t attribute their eventual downfall to Mignolet, they did concede 50 goals that season and you can’t win the Premier League with goalkeeping frailties like that. Also, Mignolet has been noted to be rather error prone and probably can’t be relied upon by Jurgen Klopp to make the crucial saves and to keep the crucial clean sheets needed to win Liverpool vital points this season. Karius may be good and whilst Liverpool are winning there isn’t a great problem, however, once the three points begin to ebb away, can he drag the team to the title? Probably not.
2) Defensive Problems
Liverpool are unplayable gong forward. There I said it. The link up play of Mané, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino or any combination is simply breathless at times, however as mentioned before, you cannot win the league by purely outscoring the opposition. Liverpool tried it in 2013/14. Failed. Newcastle’s “entertainers” tried it in 1995/96. Failed. It just doesn’t happen in the Premier League. A strong defence is needed as Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson showed for many years. Clyne, Lovren, Matip and Milner are good players but having already shipped 14 goals this season, more than any of the top seven teams, a more solid back-line is needed for Liverpool to come out on top after the 38 games have concluded.
3) No Striker like Suarez
This may cause debate, but, Liverpool don’t have the clinical 20+ goals a season striker. Their attacking play may be great at times, but it’s hard to see where the majority of their goals are going to come from. Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana and Mané have proved to be excellent signings and have provided goals and assists galore this season, however, when this purple patch fades, which is likely, who have they got to score the goals? Suarez has moved to pastures new whilst Daniel Sturridge struggles to stay fit and Divock Origi is yet to prove himself fully as a Premier League striker. The killer instinct Liverpool showed in 2013/14 simply isn’t available to Klopp which could be a big hindrance to them in the business end of the season when games become hugely competitive.
4) Huge Competition
Manchester City, United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all shown their title credentials this season which promises to be an unbelievably tight title race. Not only are superstars such as Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic now playing for Liverpool’s rivals, but title-winning managers: Conte, Mourinho and Guardiola have all laid down their marker on their respective sides. Klopp has his work cut out to not only stand toe-to-toe with these managers, but to beat them over a 38 game season. Chelsea have looked unbeatable recently with the rejuvenation of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa and Arsenal have been steady and consistent since the visit of Liverpool in August. Lots of teams, lots of world-class talents, lots of trophies between the coaches, lots of points up for grabs until the end of the season, lots of work for Liverpool to do.
Once again, Liverpool have been outstanding so far this season and it’s no fluke why they are top of the league. But their flaws as a defensive unit, lack of attacking options and great competition they will face this season ensures they won’t win the Premier League this year.
Feature image credit: Anfield Justice