Peter Stevenson ponders over whether or not the current Liverpool team is the best ever in the club’s well-decorated history.
As we’re not yet half-way through the season, it’s quite premature to be asking that question. But such has been the run since the start of the season and bearing in mind the strength of the opposition, it’s a valid question to ask.
Top of the table, undefeated, fewest goals conceded at this stage and most points gained and yet we’re “only” seven points above Man City and six above Spurs. Maybe we’ll have an answer to that question if this team goes on and wins the league, and of course, depending on the manner with which the team goes on to do it.
I just about managed to witness the glory of the late eighties, being born in 1979, and those were definitely some amazing teams – especially the 1988 team that brushed all aside, with John Barnes running the show and John Aldridge banging them in for fun. Teams after that which didn’t quite win the league can’t possibly be considered, but they were certainly entertaining.
None less than Brendan Rodgers’ team that almost won the league in 2014. But that team was deeply flawed, although they were probably the most exciting Liverpool team to watch since we last won the league. The passing, the movement, the goals, the ability of Luis Suarez were all such a joy to behold and deserved to win the league that year but what many people felt let us down was our defence.
A similar issue plaguing Jurgen Klopp. An entertaining team but too porous at the back.
Enter Virgil van Dijk.
What a colossus of a player. It almost looks too easy for him at times, goading attackers to try and knock it past him.
And in Alisson Liverpool seem to have found a keeper that will win you more points than he will lose you. Sure he’ll make the odd mistake here and there but so far none have cost us any points.
Conceding only 7 goals since the start of the season is remarkable considering how poor we were at the back last year. That extra solidity and assurance at the back means we don’t need to go hell for leather at the front. That has afforded the team the ability to play a more controlled game and be more patient, while also being able to call on top quality players from the bench if things aren’t quite going our way.
The midfield has also improved a lot with the new additions providing a new dimension and depth to the middle of the park. Fabinho has been a revelation and although he’s had his ups and downs his quality is there for all to see. Keita has struggled somewhat and I don’t think we’ll see the best of him till next season, so that should be quite a frightening prospect for the other teams in the league.
The last piece of the puzzle any team needs is that slice of luck. Moments like Jordan Pickford trying catch the ball instead of letting it go out in the last minute of a Merseyside Derby stuck at 0-0, or two goals through the aid of deflections against our fiercest rivals, certainly point to Lady Luck fancying the Reds.
Of cours,e we don’t need to be reminded that in the last 10 seasons the only team that hasn’t won the league, twice too, while sitting at number one at Christmas was Liverpool. So no-one is quite celebrating yet but this team looks like it is meant for greater things than second place.