Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte says Liverpool’s struggles this season show just how tough the Premier League is.
The Reds currently sit in sixth place in the league table – six points behind Spurs, who occupy the last Champions League spot. With less than a third of the season to go, both teams are hoping to secure the coveted fourth place.
Asked about the race to play Champions League football next season, Conte indicated that the toughness of the league means that it won’t be easy.
“Don’t forget that Liverpool last season until the end of the season they were in a fantastic run to win everything. They lost in the Champions League final and finished second one point behind City. They won the FA Cup and Carabao Cup. We are talking about a big team. Then it shows that in one season you can struggle,” said the Italian via Football London
“Chelsea won their last Premier League with me. It can happen. This type of situation, Liverpool situation, underlines the difficulty of the Premier League. It’s the most difficult league. Guardiola said he knows that every game you have to battle. Football is going to become like the NBA and we have to be ready for it.”
Premier League standards stay on the rise
Conte is certainly right here – the standard of the Premier League is remarkably high right now. With teams like Brentford, Brighton and Newcastle kicking on, it’s arguably never been higher.
This has made life difficult for the country’s traditional ‘big six’ this season. But in theory the standard has raised for everyone else, too.
Either way, it’s no excuse for Liverpool’s poor form this campaign. The standard of the league has been rising year-on-year for a while. Up until now, the Reds have matched that growth with improvement of their own.
Now that they have seemingly gone into reverse, the rest of the teams have not slowed down with them. It’s up to Liverpool to put that right.
On paper, they’re still a better side than nearly all of their Premier League rivals. That includes Spurs, United and probably even still Arsenal, who are all above them.
As Conte says, these kinds of season can happen. But they haven’t been happening to Liverpool. Not under Jurgen Klopp. Things have to be put right for next season because the teams around them will only get better again.
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