Jürgen Klopp’s mighty reds find themselves sitting comfortably at the top of the Premier League table after the first half of the season came to a close on Wednesday. The Kopites enjoyed a routine victory over Anfield legend, Rafa Benitez, and his Newcastle United side, with Dejan Lovren’s emphatic half-volley paving the way for a 4-0 mauling of the Magpies on Boxing Day.
The result saw Liverpool go seven points clear of title rivals, Manchester City, who subsequently fell to defeat against a spirited Leicester City side, whilst Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-0 demolition of Bournemouth brought the London club massively into the fold, as they leapfrogged the Citizens in the table into second place to go six points behind the Merseyside club.
With all to play for in a seemingly triple-pronged title race, the intense festive period and the January transfer window being just around the corner could both prove key in deciding the outcome of where the Premier League trophy will be heading come the month of May.
A Christmas curse?
During the last 10 seasons, on only two occasions has a club who topped the table at Christmas not gone on to win the Premier League title. Yep, you guessed it. Both times it was Liverpool who failed to make the most of their great starts to their league campaigns.
Back in 2008/09, under a certain Rafa Benitez himself, The Reds squandered their seven-point lead over bitter rivals Manchester United, to finish four points off the top in second place at the end of the season. Liverpool suffered defeat only once after Christmas but dropped 10 points in the form of five draws.
In 2013/14, Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side failed to convert their Christmas advantage into the club’s first Premier League title, despite winning 15 of their remaining fixtures. A crucial defeat to Chelsea and that famous 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace ended all hopes of Steven Gerrard’s dreams of a league title.
Call the reinforcements!
In both these seasons, The Reds decided against adding to their first team squad during the January transfer window. Would a marquee signing, or some added squad depth have added the necessary impetus to see Liverpool end the years of waiting for Premier League glory in those respective seasons? Well, that’s impossible to say. However, what is clear is that the club did not invest, and the club did not win the league.
What did Manchester City do during the 2017/18 season when they were already 15 points clear in January? They spent upwards of £50m on Aymeric Laporte to come in to help their back line. That is the mentality of a club who want to win a league title.
Now, I understand that Liverpool are currently on course to have one of their greatest seasons in the history of the Premier League, but they are only six points clear at the top. If one of the starting forwards from Thursday’s win gets a serious injury, there is no real strong replacement within the squad. If Dejan Lovren gets ruled out for eight weeks, then there will be no fit centre-half to partner Virgil van Dijk at the back.
We all know that Jürgen Klopp won’t be rushed into signing anyone. However, I just can’t help feeling that a Christian Pulisic or a Nabil Fekir would really show our commitment to the Premier League title this season.
He probably knows what he’s doing
Whilst I am only 21-years-old, Liverpool haven’t had a squad perform this well in my lifetime. I would hate for this squad’s incredulous start to the season to be undone by a lack of depth in quality come the end of a gruelling campaign. The title is Liverpool’s to lose. Let’s make it a bit easier for ourselves and go and buy that £60m quality squad option that Manchester City seem to have a plethora of.
Who am I to tell Jürgen Klopp what a squad that has 16 wins and three draws from 19 fixtures needs? I guess I’m just a fan who wants to break the curse of previous Christmas advantages failing to result in the one thing that the whole Liverpool fanbase wants so dearly. Over to you Jürgen, I trust you either way.
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