The peculiar story of Liverpool
Liverpool is currently topping the Premier League table. And tonight at 08:30, December 17th, they will host Manchester United in a match where public opinion has predicted it will be an overwhelming “thrashing” that Manchester United will have to endure. However, be wary of predictions like that because the history of Manchester United vs Liverpool clashes is sometimes highlighted by the weaker team winning in direct encounters.
Nevertheless, what’s odd when talking about Liverpool right now is that they are at the top of the league table and… almost no one cares, even in the English media. At this time last year we heard a lot about Arsenal’s chance to dethrone Man City, two months ago we were still excited about Tottenham’s surprise leading position. But Liverpool being on top is not interesting at all.
It’s odd in that if there is one team and manager who could compete with and even defeat Pep Guardiola’s Man City in a long race, only Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool has proven capable of that. And now they are at the top of the table with a good chance to overthrow Man City but public opinion seems rather indifferent.
What has created this apathy? It seems partly because Liverpool did not have a particularly dazzling start to the season and their preparation was not really spectacular either. Arsenal bought Declan Rice and Kai Havertz so the press hoped the “Gunners” would pose a second, more successful title challenge compared to 2022/23. Meanwhile, Tottenham and Aston Villa created curiosity from the public as surprises (Villa has not even topped the table yet, only hovering around)
On the other hand, Liverpool mainly bought a series of midfielders to replace veterans who had declined, they did not strengthen defense or attack. Additionally, the news of Liverpool’s failed pursuits of Caicedo and Lavia added some noise to the summer transfer window. But the story of missing out on those two players has suddenly become unimportant at this point.
On the other hand, Liverpool have come from behind to win quite a few times this season. That has made them a very interesting team to follow. But that appeal is certainly always judged as unsustainable. When “The Kop” won the 2019/20 title they played extremely dominantly instead of having to turn the game around every match. Last season in 2022/23, Arsenal also had many exciting come-from-behind wins, but then there was no “chosen one” either.
And one important thing: We’ve seen this script before. “Liverpool challenges Man City” is no longer a new story, or in other words, Liverpool is still an interesting team to follow, but the intrigue of the story with this team is not interesting enough for newspaper front pages. After Tottenham’s decline, now public opinion is curious about and hoping that Aston Villa will create a Leicester City-esque earth-shattering shock.