10 Reasons Why Liverpool Winning the Premier League Would Be Good for Football
Their defeat to Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday means Liverpool no longer have the Premier League title in their own hands, but they do remain top of the league, ahead of rivals Chelsea and Manchester City.
However, Brendan Rodgers' side could find themselves down to third by the time they kick off against Crystal Palace on Monday night, should both Chelsea and City win their fixtures this weekend against Norwich and Everton respectively.
Ultimately, if Liverpool win their final two fixtures—at Palace and at home to Newcastle on the final day—and City win their three remaining games—at Everton and at home to Aston Villa and West Ham—the two sides would be level on 86 points.
City currently have a superior goal difference of eight goals, therefore making them favourites to lift the title on May 11th.
The Reds' full-back Glen Johnson claimed back in March that Liverpool were the neutral's favourites, saying: “Nobody wants the same teams to be winning it over and over again. I guess the neutrals will be packing a punch for us. We must be good to watch," as per ESPN.
It's a debatable claim, but clearly Liverpool winning the league, after 24 years without doing so, would be good for football in England as a whole. Here's 10 reasons why.
Hope for the Rest of the League
Liverpool winning the title would provide proof to other teams around the Premier League that you can make big steps through prudent spending, building a philosophy, appointing a progressive coach and working hard to achieve your goals.
The Premier League has only ever seen Manchester United and Arsenal's dominance broken by teams who have spent huge sums to do so; Blackburn Rovers in 1995, Chelsea following Roman Abramovich's takeover and Manchester City following Sheikh Mansour's purchase of the club.
Liverpool, however, have proven this season that spending vast amounts isn't the only way to reach the top.
Clubs such as Tottenham, Everton, Newcastle, Aston Villa can learn from what Liverpool have achieved. They are all big clubs in their own right; appoint the right manager, allow them time to implement their playing style and your club can go the right place—without spending a billion.
Success Without Spending Big
As the fallout from the Chelsea match continues, and with Jose Mourinho's "weakened" side having been the subject of much debate, there have been counter claims from Chelsea, and for some bizarre reason Arsenal, fans that Liverpool have spent £300 million in the last four years:
Brendan Rodgers talking like Liverpool haven't spent 300m+ in the last 4 years!— Röhan (@Rohirrim_AFC94) April 27, 2014
Even if a true statistic, it's a completely skewed and irrelevant one.
First off, four years ago Liverpool had a different ownership and are onto a third manager since then. Such a period of transition always results in overspending.
Secondly, owners FSG have made mistakes which they have learnt from and have since rectified. The exorbitant amounts of cash spent on Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, Sebastian Coates and Charlie Adam are long in the past—thankfully. They were signed under a former regime, director of football Damien Comolli left the club two years ago and manager Kenny Dalglish almost two years ago too.
In the two years since, with the appointment of Rodgers and the formation of the transfer committee, Liverpool's spending has been far more prudent.
Indeed, that "£300m spend" statistic is largely irrelevant too due to the fact that most of those signed and included in that figure, have since left the club for large fees too.
The net figure is far more relevant and telling:
Sick of people saying Liverpool have spent 300m in 5 years to defend their own clubs (Chelsea,City) nahh, we haven't pic.twitter.com/Ql7qhdNMZ6— Rebecca (@MrsMartinKelly) April 27, 2014
Indeed, according to transfer figures from LFCHistory.Net, Rodgers' figures are as follows:
Rodgers inherited a side that had just finished eighth, after two seasons, the least they can finish this campaign is third.
So just over £50 million net spend to take a club from eighth to the top three—and possibly more. How is that not successful spending?
To go from seventh place to first in the Premier League era would be unprecedented. No side has ever done it.
Indeed, no team has ever won the league without being in European football.
Much like how Atletico Madrid could lift the La Liga title this season despite the riches and dominance of their competitors, Real Madrid and Barcelona, Liverpool winning the league would be a fairy-tale story, and who doesn't love a fairy tale?
Andrew Lawrence of This Is Anfield recently looked at the odds on Liverpool and Atletico's respective unexpected title challenges to see which would be the biggest upset, concluding that:
According to the bookmakers that honour goes to Atletico. Atletico have had a more difficult schedule, with a combination of league, cup and Champions League matches to think about.
Liverpool on the other hand plays in a more competitive league and have come from further back in their league’s pecking order. They have captured the imagination of the English public with an attractive style of football and intriguing story in the context of the retirement of old whisky nose.
Liverpool and Atletico both winning their respective leagues would be brilliant for football.
In his two seasons at Anfield, Brendan Rodgers has handed debuts to nine players from Liverpool's academy.
At a time when managers are reluctant to put their faith in youth due to the results-based nature of modern football, Rodgers has bucked the trend and proven that youngsters can take you places.
Last season Rodgers handed Andre Wisdom, Suso, Adam Morgan, Samed Yesil, Conor Coady, Jerome Sinclair and Jordon Ibe their debuts. This season he's added Brad Smith and Joao Carlos-Teixeira to that list.
Futhermore, Lloyd Jones, Danny Ward, Jordan Rossiter and Cameron Brannagan have been included in matchday squads and named as substitutes.
Rodgers has also got the best out of Raheem Sterling and Jon Flanagan—rejuvenating the latter's career at the club after it looked to have been heading in the opposite direction.
Improvements by Coaching
Name a Liverpool player who has featured regularly this season who isn't a better footballer than a year ago.
It's impossible to do so. Every single player is performing at a far higher level than a year ago.
Martin Skrtel and Jordan Henderson are both players whose careers at Anfield looked to be on the way out and were linked with moves away last season; this campaign they've been key figures, each have missed just two Premier League games all season—Henderson only due to suspension recently.
Steven Gerrard is a better player in his new role, Rodgers has got the best out of his ageing skipper.
Luis Suarez has improved under Rodgers to become one of the most clinical forwards in Europe and hit 30 goals this season, collecting the PFA Player of the Year award in the process.
Indeed, Liverpool's most used XI this season features no outfield players who were signed this season. They've all been at the club over 12 months and Rodgers has coached them to make them better players.
Games at Stoke and Fulham might usually be drab affairs in recent years. Not with this season's Liverpool.
The 5-3 win at Stoke and 3-2 victory at Fulham were both roller-coaster football matches that epitomised Liverpool in 2013/14.
Rodgers has produced a side that is attacking, entertaining and creative. The brave decision to pair star strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up front together has been rewarded, with defences unable to stop the pair.
Goals, Goals, Goals
Ninety-six of them so far—more than anyone else in the Premier League this season and a club record for Liverpool.
Strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have 50 league goals between them—the first time Liverpool have had two players each hit over 20 league goals in a single campaign since the '60s.
The Reds have broken record after record and hit teams for four, five and six on regular occasions.
Arsenal at Anfield were humbled 5-1, Spurs and Everton both went away on the receiving end of 4-0 defeats. Man United were left ruing a 3-0 thrashing at Old Trafford, while Spurs went down 5-0 at White Hart Lane.
Then there were five at Stoke, six at Cardiff, four at home to West Brom, five against Norwich, while Fulham and West Brom too conceded four at Anfield.
You only have to watch the Liverpool team following any goal lately to see the team spirit that Rodgers has instilled at the club.
Positivity runs throughout the squad. The players are happy and enjoying their football. It shows on the pitch and off the pitch in their manner and attitude.
In an era where footballers are in the headlines for the wrong reasons, it's nice to see a club so together as one, unified and determined.
Stevie G has won the lot; every domestic and European club honour, PFA Player of the Year, Football Writer's Player of the Year, UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, man of the match in a FA Cup Final and Champions League final. He even has a MBE.
The one thing that Gerrard hasn't won—yet—is a Premier League title.
The skipper has rolled back the years, rejuvenated since Christmas in his new deep lying playmaker role, to inspire the team towards a title chase.
We've witnessed how much it clearly means to him and nobody would be more deserving of a winner's medal having dragged the club through some dark times in the last 15 years.
With the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster recently and the new inquests into the tragedy now taking place to finally get Justice For The 96, Liverpool winning the Premier League would be a fitting tribute to those who innocently lost their lives watching the team they loved.