Liverpool’s Premier League domination: How did it get to this point?
The 2019/2020 Premier League season has undoubtedly been dominated by Liverpool, they have a remarkable record of 24 wins, 1 draw and 0 losses with 25 games played this season – which has given them a lead of 22 points at the top of the premier league table, with Manchester City trailing with 51 points. So, how did Liverpool get to this point? I am going to discuss three main points as to why Liverpool have become so dominant this season.
Jurgen Klopp agreed to join Liverpool on the 8th of October 2015, after Liverpool sacked Brendan Rodgers due to a 3-0 defeat away to Arsenal. Klopp had previously managed in the Bundesliga, after getting Mainz promoted from Bundesliga 2. He then moved on to Borussia Dortmund, who he took to Bundesliga glory against a very dominant Bayern Munich side and to the Champions League final, which he lost, to Bayern Munich. Klopp’s Dortmund were very impressive – with their ‘gegen’ pressing style, which made him the number one target for Liverpool – which they of course got in 2015. Klopp’s first game in charge of Liverpool was a 0-0 draw away at Tottenham, a game where many Liverpool fans saw major improvements in the side’s performance, despite the players being mediocre for the most part. Fast forward 4 years, Liverpool made a real push for the title during the 2018/19 season, only to finish second with 97 points, whilst City won the league with 98. Despite not winning the league, Klopp took Liverpool to their second champions league final in successive seasons – this time, winning the cup against Tottenham Hotspur, 2-0. This was a great season for Liverpool overall, and a lot of it can be put down to Jurgen Klopp’s man management. A great example of this came in the Champions League Semi Final against Barcelona.
Liverpool went into the second leg at Anfield 3-0 down after the first game at the Nou Camp – only to turn it round with a 4-0 win at home thanks to a double from Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum. Klopp impressively managed to keep Liverpool focused on this game even though many said that they should give up and focus on the league to try and top City, which paid dividends to Liverpool as they completely dominated the game and showed the resilience that this Liverpool team has come to be known for during Jurgen Klopp’s reign. This resilience is being reinforced this season with Liverpool remaining undefeated in February – which means that at this rate, they will match Arsenal’s ‘Invincible’ season of 03/04.
Virgil Van Dijk
Virgil Van Dijk has transformed Liverpool in a way in which nobody expected. He was signed for a world record fee of £75million Pounds from Southampton in the January transfer window of the 2017/2018 season. Prior to the signing of Van Dijk, Liverpool looked as good as they do now going forward, however, the defence was still the problem, with Klavan and Lovren struggling at the back. As soon as Van Dijk came in, he made an impact. Scoring the winner on his debut against Everton in the Merseyside Derby – he was almost already worth the £75million which people sneered at when first announced. Now, he’s unquestionably the best defender in the world and worth a lot more than what Liverpool paid for him in the first place. Liverpool this season have had the best defence by a mile, with only 15 goals conceded in 25 games, the second best being 24 goals conceded, by 6th placed Sheffield United. By signing Van Dijk, it seems that Liverpool had found the missing piece in the defence, as the likes of Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson at fullback were improving each week and Joe Gomez was still a young centre back signed from Charlton, who is now improving massively with Van Dijk next to him to guide him through games.
Michael Edwards is the Director of Football Liverpool. This means that he is the head of the entire football department at Liverpool, in control of transfers and negotiating contracts. Edwards was promoted to this role in November 2016 and got straight to work with very clever signings which quickly came to fruition. One of Michael Edwards’ first signings was Mohamed Salah, In the 2017, which is arguably one of his best signings. Salah started firing immediately – with a record-breaking season for goals in a 38-game season – ahead of ex-Liverpool striker Luis Suarez by netting 32 goals in the season. This is unquestionably an amazing signing, as Mo Salah has 68 goals in 96 Liverpool appearances. Another one of Michael Edwards’ successful signings comes with Andrew Robertson for a mere fee of £10 million from Hull City, who was relegated from the Premier League just the season before.
This is evidence of elite scouting and bravery to take a leap on a player who wouldn’t usually be linked with a move to such a big club. Now, he’s genuinely world class. Andrew Robertson is known for his insane pace, accurate crossing and relentless pressing as he consistently performs for Liverpool, racking up tons of assists every season. Finally, Michael Edwards also approved of the signing of Allison, for a world-record fee for a goalkeeper, costing £67 million, before Kepa Arrizabalga topped this fee with his move to Chelsea. The main reason behind why this was such a needed signing was because, similar to the defence, Liverpool were struggling. Loris Karius, another one of Edwards’ signings, had not worked out like it should have. Karius made numerous clangers in the Champions League Final in 2018 against Real Madrid, which led to Liverpool losing 3-1. Since signing Allison, Liverpool have never looked better – the defence has shored up so much and they truly look unbeatable.