Red Letter: Title talk realistic for Liverpool as goals fly in

Date published: Thursday 3rd December 2015 1:05

Daniel Sturridge: Time to give up on him?

Daniel Sturridge: Time to give up on him?

In his weekly Liverpool blog, lifelong Reds fan Dave Tindall discusses the possibility of a Premier League title challenge as Jurgen Klopp continues to work his magic.

“And that’s Origi’s hat-trick. Liverpool lead 6-1 at Southampton.”

Two months ago, those words would have taken first prize in a ‘biggest flight of fancy’ competition. Now they are a fact and it’s all gone a bit Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.

Being a Liverpool fan right now is wonderfully and marvellously surreal.

When I persuaded the good people at TEAMtalk to let me pen a weekly Liverpool column, I was excited by the opportunity but imagined I’ve have to dip frequently into nostalgia (I’ve got plenty of Beatles references up my sleeve if you haven’t already noticed) to distract me from the rather average fodder being served up on the pitch.

This was in September when Brendan Rodgers’ Reds were churning out 1-1s against the likes of Norwich, Carlisle and Sion.

Then, before the opening column, a bolt of electricity crackled through Anfield as the fanciful talk of Jurgen Klopp taking over became a sudden and exciting reality. Great news for me on several levels.

Like everyone, I was caught up in it all, concluding the first Red Letter by saying: ‘We have some good, perhaps excellent, component parts to work with and, like the majority of Liverpool fans, I can’t wait to see him piece it together, strap us in and take us for a wild ride.’

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After starting with three draws, a slight reality check was needed and it was a question of highlighting the positives, urging patience and hoping that the ‘Klopp effect’ might kick in after Christmas.

And then came the 3-1 win at Chelsea.

And then came the 4-1 win at Man City.

And now a 6-1 win at Southampton.

This is getting ridiculous. Klopp DOES have a magic wand. These aren’t just wins; these are demolition jobs at the grounds of top sides. Three tough, tough road trips and we’ve won them by an aggregate of 13-3. Unbelievable.

Klopp is creating something very special and, honestly, there’s no team I’d rather be a fan of right now. You might not get them to admit it, but your mates who support other clubs are massively jealous!

Liverpool in the title race

So, what next? To be literal, an away game at Newcastle (stop salivating/laughing) but, of course, I’m thinking further into the future.

Following the 3-1 win at Chelsea, a poll in the subsequent Red Letter article asked ‘How will Liverpool do under Klopp this season?’

The options were Top Four, Top Six, Seventh, Eighth, Top 10 or Bottom-Half. The majority (53%) didn’t even think a top-four finish was possible.

Third, Second and First weren’t even listed as options, but after the thrilling 4-1 win at The Etihad and 1-0 victory over Swansea, several folk (be it media types or optimistic Reds) started to look at the table a little closer. Not only was the gap to fourth place relatively small at four points, it was only another two more to leaders Manchester City.

And so the whispers started. Six points off top spot with 24 games to play….could Liverpool actually be in the title race?!

After watching Sturridge, Origi and co brush off the concession of an early goal to hammer Southampton 6-1 at St Mary’s, for many that has become a ‘yes’.

Liverpool celebration

Part of the optimism is being fuelled by all the goings on around us. Man City and Arsenal still look vulnerable, Leicester surely can’t keep this going, Spurs are just Spurs and Man Utd’s players will surely die of boredom around February.

While others’ engines stutter, maybe this is Liverpool’s chance to accelerate past them all and win this wackiest of title races.

For now, the recipe is thrilling wins on the road and huff-and-puff jobs at Anfield. The fixture list has suited us in that respect as we’ve now played all the tough away games and cashed in on our current strengths by bagging wins at City and Chelsea and holding Arsenal and Spurs.

If Klopp can work out the right formula at Anfield, then by the time we play all those reverse fixtures, the Reds might be a force at home too. For the record, the key dates are: Arsenal (Jan 13), Man Utd (Jan 17), Man City (Mar 1), Chelsea (Mar 12), Spurs (Apr 2).

If you’re dreaming big, look at our last six fixtures: Stoke (H), Bournemouth (A), Newcastle (H), Swansea (A), Watford (H), West Brom (A). They’re all winnable. Just sayin’.

To be honest, I think the bookies have it about right. Liverpool range between 10/1 and 12/1 and are fourth favourites. It’s a price that shows there is much to do but also one that suggests it isn’t impossible.

What will it take? Some might say a miracle but, taking a more down to earth view, Anfield becoming a fortress again, a guarantee that Sturridge will play the majority (let’s say 18) of the final 24 games and a bit of incompetence from City, United and Arsenal. Each is possible but for all those elements to combine is asking an awful lot.

However, to even be part of a title conversation after just two months of Klopp’s reign is incredible and the rejuvenation process has been staggering.

Improvement in Liverpool players

Name a Liverpool player who hasn’t upped his performance significantly since the German bounded into Anfield like Rik Mayall’s Lord Flashheart in Blackadder.

The much-maligned Dejan Lovren is starting to transform into a strong and imposing central defender, Joe Allen is looking industrious and creative again (what a ball for Sturridge’s opener), Jordan Ibe is making Raheem Sterling’s departure look more and more like we were right to swap a bad apple for lots of cash, Lucas has new-found energy and zip, Roberto Firmino and Emre Can (and you thought Allen’s through ball was good) are dropping hints that we could have two potential superstars on our hands….

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool celebration

I could go on. In fact, I will go on. Philippe Coutinho has added goals to his ball wizardry, Jordan Henderson is fit again, Daniel Sturridge (back in action thanks to some mental cajoling from Klopp) is quite simply the best finisher in English football and Divock Origi is a player after all.

And I haven’t even mentioned Nathaniel Clyne, Christian Benteke, Adam Lallana, Alberto Moreno and Mamadou Sakho, who have all done much to impress at various times.

James Milner? Like Steven Gerrard in the 2013/14 season, his experience and ability to convert crucial penalties could prove vital down the crunch closing stretch.

Okay, a couple of marquee signings in the January transfer window wouldn’t go amiss, but forget all that talk of this LFC squad requiring serious surgery. To be handing out beatings on this level shows the talent is there already.

As those who watched the Beatles in their thrilling early days at the Cavern might have said, “this lot could be massive!”

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Home Forums Red Letter: Title talk realistic for Liverpool as goals fly in

This topic contains 24 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by redrob redrob 1 year ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 25 total)
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  • #721273
    Mark Holmes
    Mark Holmes
    Keymaster

    Dave Tindall discusses the possibility of a Premier League title challenge for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp continues to work his magic.

    [See the full post at: Red Letter: Title talk realistic for Liverpool as goals fly in]

    #721291
    taxidriverlfc
    taxidriverlfc
    Participant

    Understandably Fans are going to go a bit overboard with what’s going on at the moment, But I think until We sort out our Home form out then and only then We can maybe suggest a Title challenge, Our away performances under Klopp have been nothing short of extraordinary dishing out Hammerings to Chelsea, City and now Southampton, We do however have to also guard against complacency which at times under Rodgers raised it’s head IMO on the run in back in 2013-14 and We ended up losing a 5 point lead at the top of the table, All in all things are looking very good from a Liverpool fan’s Point of View but let’s not get too carried away with it all.

    #721301

    Sean the sailor
    Participant

    Any realistic Liverpool will dismiss title talk straight away. I only thought we were in the title race the last time when we beat Sunderland at the end if March.

    So many times people get carried away and then we lose the next game. We need to get into the top 4 1st. let’s see were we are in ten games. Football can change very quickly. Few losses now and the feel good factor will be gone and the media won’t be so nice to klopp.

    No doubt he has improved us and every player is playing well. As a Liverpool fan it was about enjoying watching us play again. That is happening now thanks to klopp. I still think we will have some slip ups along the way. If we get top 4 it will be a hugely successful season. I’ve seen so many false Dawns that I won’t get carried away with a good run. Great to see us scoring goals again but I really think it be next season before we really click. No doubt we have the right man in charge but we need to be patient and not go silly if we hit a bad run. Everyone is expecting is to win on Sunday and it’s a game we have slipped up in so many times in the past. Plenty to be positive about but title talk is silly

    #721306

    gingerlfc
    Participant

    Let’s wait to see where we are come Jan 1st.

    #721321

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    Liverpool fans understandably given what happened in 2013/14 don’t want to talk about being title contenders but being just 6 points behind City means that like it or not Liverpool currently are credible title contenders.

    Whether Liverpool have enough in their locker to make those 6 points up on City once City get back to full strength is open to conjecture and United and Arsenal are in the mix too.

    Only time will tell, currently under Klopp they are on a roll but it’s a long way until the end of the season and there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way.

    A CL place would be an achievement whilst a title win would be a dream come true.

    #721326
    Mark Holmes
    Mark Holmes
    Keymaster

    I’m just waiting for someone to complain this headline is too positive 😉

    Seriously, though, I’m glad Dave didn’t discuss the Capital One Cup – we’ve both agreed that Liverpool have no chance after drawing my Stoke City in the semis. You may have thrashed Southampton, but what are the chances of there ever being a 6-1 between Stoke and Liverpool?!!!

    #721336

    Mikus
    Participant

    I agree 999, given the season of 2013/14, nobody could have predicted that, so title talk, as absurd and uncomfortable as it may seem to us, isn’t inconceivable, particularly with no run away leader. There is certainly something of the Fergie in Klopp in terms of his “he who dares, wins” mentality he put into his sides. There are still cracks there however, and players staying fit will be crucial, particularly Sturridge, whose brace last night undoubtedly helped turn the game. I don’t think we can win the league because as effective as Klopp has this team playing (and that can’t be understated), it still lacks, on paper anyway, the special players you need to sometimes turn a game and there are still defensive concerns.

    Either way, as expected, Klopp has galvanized this team and squad something rotten.

    #721351

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    Mikus, keeping Sturridge fit is probably crucial to Liverpool’s season.

    #721370
    spuddybuddy
    spuddybuddy
    Participant

    Haha. I see what you did there Holmesie.

    #721464

    Paxman
    Participant

    Nice bit of baiting Homzy, I am sure we are too to worried, I think they will have to leave their deckchairs at home this time.

    #721465

    Paxman
    Participant

    Taxi – The only times I have seen Liverpool fans mention the title is to play down all of the talk from the media. I am sure other teams fans will say next year that we were all saying ‘this is our season’ as they seem to make it up every other season.

    #721475
    SensibleS7
    SensibleS7
    Participant

    No title talk from me (for now!)

    I don’t why, but still quite surprised and overwhelmed with our ‘shock win’ yesterday. Saints are no pushover in general, and conceding so early on upset my mood a bit although we were relatively quick to reply and thereafter were emphatic.

    Apparently, a lot of bets have been put on in Liverpool to win the league, but I for one wouldn’t do that.

    I’m still a bit reserved as I do think the home games are a bit of a knuckledragger in trying to freely find the net, and we do need to be considering playing 2 bonafide strikers and genuine wingers.

    We also need to be beating the Chelsea’s City’s and the Man U’s.

    Everytime we get ourselves wired up for the title, we’re let down, so with that in mind, for now, I’m just taking it game by game.

    I am trying to enjoy them too.

    #721476
    SensibleS7
    SensibleS7
    Participant

    Pax, that’s the others putting words in our mouths. Any decent realistic fan even with the greatest of levels in optimism will know when to keep it real!

    #721500
    taxidriverlfc
    taxidriverlfc
    Participant

    True Pax but there were fans although not on forums getting a bit ahead of themselves.

    #721502
    Narthraal
    Narthraal
    Participant

    Its Kloppocalypse time!

    #721504

    liverfife
    Participant

    If not now when, we can win it, need everything to go our way especially injuries. Need to move past this in two more years mentality, it is there for the taking.

    Chelsea are stuffed
    City looking a bit stale
    United have LVG

    Spurs real threat
    Arsenal get stage fright

    #721580

    Paxman
    Participant

    Sensible – Saying every time we get wired up for the title we get let down is a bit much. What three times in 25 years, because that is about how many time we have had a sniff of a title.

    #721760
    Number8wasgr8
    Number8wasgr8
    Participant

    Well said Sean & nil, let’s not get to carried away. Top 4 finish this season would be a massive achievement but even if we don’t reach top 4 we are on the right track under Klopp & will only get better, esp if he can get a couple of his buys.
    Let’s enjoy our good run but not get carried away.

    #721790
    Sanj1
    Sanj1
    Participant

    Title talk this early in the season is ridiculous for any club that is outside of the top four. We’ve had some good results recently so we have something to build upon, but we shouldn’t get carried away. Leicester are having a great season in the league & drew with the mancs last game with Vardy breaking Van Nostrils prem record, but no one is talking them up to be title contenders but look where they are in the table. Lets see where we are come January before any talk of titles. Who needs the hype? In December Capital One Cup contenders we are & in the league we are contenders for the top 4. YNWA 🙂

    #721904
    suarezsteeth
    suarezsteeth
    Participant

    I posted earlier in another thread that I don’t see anything wrong in showing a bit of optimism, and I don’t see why fans from other clubs should knock us for that. For me, things are looking very promising. Our injured players are coming back, we’re scoring a lot of goals, we’ve got the difficult away games out of the way (Arsenal, United, City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton), and, let’s be honest, January is going to be interesting, as Klopp will surely be trying to get some signings in to improve the squad further. I’m really excited about what we could possibly achieve this season. At the moment, I agree that talk of a title challenge may be a bit far fetched, but we can still realistically win it, so we shouldn’t be discounted. You have Leicester doing well, Tottenham on a great run, Crystal Palace going along nicely under Pardew, Everton have hit a bit of form. It’s good for the league, and obviously we’re playing our part as well. This season is one of the most competitive for a while. We’re definitely in the mix. For me,top 4 is and should be the aim for this season, but, if we’re still in with a chance of the title in March or April, talk should then turn to a title challenge

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