While it is difficult to draw out positives following a night of humbling disappointment, Liverpool’s defeat at Arsenal could prove a significant result next season.
It’s better that Liverpool’s aura of invincibility is questioned now rather than next season when the team begin their title defence.
Jurgen Klopp and his team were able to consistently make the unsustainable seem ordinary before Project Restart. The reality of a drop-off in results and performances shouldn’t be too surprising considering the club’s main objectives were met much earlier than expected.
Liverpool are renowned for doing things the hard way and yet the team were able to win a 19th league title in quicker time than any other opponent in the history of English football.
Mistakes should be expected and the players cannot be blamed for already looking ahead at the next objective. Expecting players to be motivated to beat points records and other statistical accolades just isn’t enough to keep this team hungry – Klopp and his team crave silverware, not records.
Despite this, Liverpool’s next fixture against Chelsea has suddenly become far more important than originally envisaged. The team will be desperate to ensure their Anfield trophy parade takes place after a home win before Jordan Henderson lifts the Premier League trophy to the heavens.
Liverpool have made Anfield a fortress over the course of three seasons, so for Chelsea to think they can turn up to Merseyside and steamroll the champions is something that just cannot be comprehended.
Results will come
While the performances haven’t been too discouraging despite the lack of results since the Premier League resumed last month, results aren’t as important in the grand scheme when looking to next season.
Klopp is using this time to experiment and make decisions that are going to aid us in our title defence next season rather than push for a place in the history books with this and that record.
It’s important that Liverpool’s shortcomings and mistakes are coming from themselves rather than the quality of the opposition. It is much easier to address your own problems rather than look at how to combat the strength of rivals.
Klopp said last night that his team are their own biggest critics, they will be hurting but they won’t be wounded.
While in the grand scheme there may seem little to play for, this Liverpool team have showcased time and time again that complacency just isn’t a long-term aspect of their DNA.
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