Jurgen Klopp has transformed Liverpool into title contenders in his year in charge – and the Premier League’s great entertainers have won plenty of new admirers in the process.
Seven games into the season and it’s fair to say that the Premier League is starting to take a little shape.
It’s also probably fair to say that, from an intrigue point of view at least, two teams have stood out from the crowd: Manchester City and Liverpool.
Tottenham have been good, very good in fact, but it’s a typically kind of good, just what we expect really. The same can be said of Arsenal and Manchester United. They deserve credit, of course, and certainly inclusion in any discussion about title contenders, but they haven’t really given us anything fresh that we weren’t expecting.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have certainly brought something new to the party this season. Pep Guardiola’s philosophy and tactics have been a very welcome addition to a league that has become a little tactically mundane with most teams not daring the venture too far away from the now-practically uniform 4-2-3-1 system.
However, while City have, I think, been the best team in the Premier League so far this year despite the humbling at White Hart Lane last week, I’d make the case that Liverpool have been by far and away the most entertaining one.
And that belief is based upon one word: personality. In short, Liverpool are one of the few teams the Premier League has who actually play with one.
It’s a hugely attractive personality, too. Jurgen Klopp appears to have been successful in infusing this troops with his own infectious energy, and whenever the Reds have taken to the field this season there has been a stirring vibrancy about them.
They play with pace, conviction, and enthusiasm, moving the ball quickly among themselves in an almost swarm-like unison. They have become one of those teams who look like they have more players on the pitch than the opposition simply because they are moving at such a faster rate.
Man City ‘mechanical and soulless’
That’s not to downplay Manchester City in any way, either, by the way. It’s impossible to not be impressed by their metronomic, mesmeric passing and possession, and it speaks incredibly highly of a Guardiola’s coaching ability. He’s someone who came to England carrying a little criticism form elsewhere, but he’s certainly showing we should believe the hype.
I suppose it just comes down to personal taste really. For me, Guardiola’s football is a little too mechanical and soulless. It’s very formulaic, which is great from some perspectives I’m sure but does little for me, a neutral.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are bright, unpredictable, and exciting to watch. Where City have worn down defences this season, Liverpool have blown past them, often leaving just a red blur in their wake.
It may not be enough, with this years Premier League looking harder than ever to win, but It’s fresh and exciting to watch and I know who I’ll be rooting for if Klopp can get his side in a title race come March.