Alex Rogers explains why the Premier League is like a Swiss girl and what this means for Liverpool.
We have all heard the saying “the best form of defence is attack”, and for many years, this has been very true in Liverpool’s case. Despite a killer attack, with some of the best attackers in the Premier League, a lacking defence has been the club’s downfall many a time.
A perfect example of this was the 2013/14 season. To this day, it hurts to think of that season, of what could’ve been. Even writing this, I have a deep ache in my chest. Our downfall for that season was 100% our defence, no doubt about it. We dropped so many points unnecessarily, be it through a sloppy Kolo Toure pass at the back, a Martin Skrtel own goal or Mignolet making a right mess at a cross.
The only thing that allowed us to challenge for the title, let’s be honest, was mostly due to Suarez. I know Sturridge, Sterling, Coutinho and many other players played a big part in almost winning the title, but Suarez was just unbelievable, almost unworldly.
There’s a great quote by Sir Alex Ferguson, “Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles”, and he is completely right! There’s a reason he’s considered the best manager to have been, so if he says defence is what wins silverware, then who am I to disagree?
Now with Liverpool being title contenders this season, I’m ready to believe again, but I’m equally ready for my heart to be broken again, but this season has something we haven’t had for many seasons, and that’s an alright defence.
I say an alright defence, because that’s what it is. Alright. Matip and Lovren have both been very consistently solid, especially Matip who seems an absolute steal for being a free transfer from Schalke in the summer, Milner has been fantastic at left back considering it’s a new position to him, but he seems like he’s been playing left back for many seasons already and Clyne is Clyne, of course he’s going to be good.
But bear this in mind. We’ve had one clean sheet all season in the league. ONE!? How?! We’ve got such good players in defence, yet we still leak goals. I can’t put my finger on it, but, like Sir Alex said, defence wins titles, and if we continue to leak preventable goals then I’m worried that it could be a disappointing end to the season.
The Premier League is like a beautiful blonde Swiss girl. Everybody wants her, and many guys will try to win her over with their tenacious quick wit and charm, but what she’s really after is stability and a guy with motivation to do well as the Swiss are well known for their no-nonsense attitude.
But seriously, every team that wins the league always have a good defence, even Leicester last season. The likes of Huth, Fuchs and Morgan were defensive behemoths, hardly putting a foot wrong all season. Pair that with Vardy and Mahrez up front and it was a recipe for shock title winners.
This season, though, dare I say it could be our year! We certainly have the ability in attack and defence. As much as people may say that our defence is lacking, I’m not too worried about it. The players we have in defence are all very capable and it’s also a new defence, with Matip, Milner and Karius in goal all new to the Liverpool defence.
As the season progresses, I fee like our defence will become a lot more comfortable and solid and maybe we will get our fairy tale happy ending that evaded us in the 2013/14 season.