Former Liverpool and current Manchester City player Raheem Sterling has spoken on the difference in pressure when chasing the title at the two clubs.
Sterling is the one player who has seen first-hand the difference. No one else has completed a title-chasing season at both Anfield and the Etihad.
The England man was an integral part of Brendan Rodgers’ team in 13/14 that fell just short of ending a 25-year wait for the title to City. He’d then move to the club in a controversial deal in 2015.
Sterling missed out on that title with Liverpool by just two points. They were well on course to lift the trophy before infamously dropping five points to Chelsea and Crystal Palace in the final weeks of the season.
He did get his hands on the trophy with City, however, playing a key role as they romped to it last year.
This season is proving very different, though, as they trail his former team by a single point.
But where is the most pressure? Is it at Liverpool, with their near-30-year wait or at City, as a £49 million player?
According to Sterling, the answer is clear.
Sterling on chasing the title with Liverpool & City
“When I was there [at Liverpool] I did feel a lot more pressure than when I’m here, with matchdays and the fans,” Sterling told Sky Sports. “I think that they get to us a little bit. We were in control and we had the opportunity to see it through but we didn’t do that.
“Here [at City] we’re completely focused on each game and trying to win each game as it comes. It’s a complete different scenario from last year – last year we were a bit more comfortable towards this point of the season.
“They’ve been playing some good football at times but we’re confident in ourselves and we’ve got the belief.”
The answer comes as little surprise but it’s interesting to hear. With City, Sterling and co can focus on themselves as a team and players. At Liverpool, however, there’s a lot more going on.
The pressure at Liverpool is still tough. Three good sides under Gerard Houllier, Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers all eventually cracked under it, after all.
If Jurgen Klopp is to make history, he’s going to have to find a way to manage it. And that’s no easy task.