Liverpool certainly had a 2019 to remember – here are five lessons the Reds learned over the course of the year.
The fine margin for error at the top
We’ll start with the beginning of the year where Liverpool learned that there’s little separating the very best. Liverpool lost 2-1 at Manchester City last January after John Stones cleared a shot off the line. The ball was literally millimetres from a goal.
And as it happened, that clearance won the title. Both teams were in sublime form from there on out but City won the title by a single point. If Stones had been slightly slower, Liverpool would have been champions.
In short, there’s no room for error at the top.
Never giving up
Well, it’s very cliche but it’s true. If any team ever learned to keep on going, it’s this Liverpool side. Be it reversing a 3-0 deficit against Barcelona or scoring yet another decisive late goal, Liverpool know full well that they can turn things around.
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We’ve seen two examples in just the last week. A stoppage-time winner won the Club World Cup semi-final and then an extra-time winner brought home the trophy. Mentality monsters indeed.
Quality shines through
One of the more miraculous things about Liverpool’s season so far is that they’ve rarely played that well. Trent Alexander-Arnold admitted as much, saying on Dec. 4th that the Reds hadn’t actually been happy with a performance yet.
You can take the Club World Cup as an example, again. Liverpool were poor in both of their games but won each of them through moments of class.
It’s a wonderful trait to have. The team now knows full well that they can always make something happen and their moment will come.
The importance of a well-gelled squad
Most people would capitalise on a Champions League win by improving the squad. You’re at the top, after all, and can attract better players.
Liverpool took the opposite route, signing absolutely no first-teamers in the summer whatsoever and opting for stability instead. And this season has proven then completely right.
The Reds continued their wonderful form from last season with a squad made up entirely of Champions League winners. Whereas everyone else at the top has stumbled, Liverpool have won two trophies and had the most remarkable start to a league season in their history.
Sometimes, less is more.
They are winners
There is no doubt whatsoever that the most important thing Liverpool learned in 2019 is that they are winners. After years of being runners-up, they finally won a major trophy. And that’s huge – they ended their own doubts that, arguably, held them back.
In fact, Liverpool had finished as runners-up in every single competition they’d played in since their last trophy. It would have been very easy, therefore, for the players to doubt their ability to win.
But the Champions League victory ended any – and we’re seeing that this season. Now they believe they can beat anyone in any circumstances. More importantly, they know they can win the biggest trophies.
And few will doubt they’ll prove it again this year.