Liverpool’s dominance has been a sight to behold in the current Premier League season. However, as they continue to flourish, the rest of the league seems to be falling behind. This, then, begs the question – is Liverpool too good or is the rest of the league not good enough?
Recently, Tottenham Hotspur played against Liverpool. It’s a big game since it’s big teams who are facing each other. Spurs. Liverpool. On the same day that match took place, a mid-table club under new management faced a team that was 28 points ahead of them on the league table. Also, the second-mentioned team hasn’t lost a league game in over a year and is on course to win this year’s Premier League title.
Sounds like two great matches, right? Wrong. Because it wasn’t two matches – it was just one – and it wasn’t at all a great match. People turned up and tuned in expecting the match to be an eventful one. As it turns out, it wasn’t. After the match, Jose Mourinho was criticised for his approach to the game. This was all second-nature for him but not for the club who looked like they were going to catch a cold whenever the ball was in their possession.
The criticism against Mourinho was uncalled for. He got the job because the last man at the helm couldn’t steer the Spurs into a winning form (let alone a title). Harry Kane is done for the season and Christian Eriksen’s mind might be in the game but his body certainly isn’t. If in a year from now, they’re still playing the same way they are now, then it’s not unlikely that Mourinho will also get sacked.
And then there’s Liverpool. It almost makes you want to scratch your head and wonder, ‘How can a team win a little too well?’ Well, they are and that’s all that matters. Their load, now at 14 points, is so large that it’s distorting the rest of the competition. This kind of performance has two consequences. First, if they keep winning at the same rate they are now, they’ll end the season nearly 30 points ahead of Manchester City. There may even come a time when their lead is too big that it stops being about Liverpool.
A few years down the line and a kid and his father may talk about past Premier League seasons. The conversation then moves to the 2019/20 season and both see a 30-point gap between the league winner and the closest competition. They’ll have two trains of thought: ‘Well, they must have been really good to win by that much’ and ‘What the hell was everyone else up to?’.
The more immediate effect is that the big games – the derbies, if you will, are having their ‘big’ nature being drained from them. Manchester United go to Liverpool next weekend, hoping to make a dent into a 27-point gap. Manchester City host Liverpool on April 4th, and the title race could be over by then. Actually over, that is; not just obviously over, as it is now.
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