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Last Updated: 28/06/20 2:04pm
Liverpool’s title-winning side have already proven themselves to be one of the best in the club’s history, David Maddock told Sunday Supplement.
The Reds lifted the First Division trophy four times in the 1970s and a further six in the 1980s while also racking up four European Cup trophies in that time – but in addition to securing their first Premier League trophy this season, are on course to register the competition’s biggest points tally since its inception in 1992.
Jurgen Klopp’s commanding side have won 28 of their 31 games so far in the campaign, and are the first team in history to win the competition with seven games to go. That level of intensity left Daily Mirror northern football correspondent Maddock convinced that even without having built the sort of dynasty the team enjoyed in previous decades, they were already proving themselves as equals with those famous sides.
“The combination of players is one of the best teams in Liverpool’s history,” he told the Supplement. “I’m almost hesitant to say it because of the incredible teams they’ve had down the years but this one, you go through the whole side and the stats match up.
“It’s an incredible combination of things. Klopp himself is clearly one of the managers of his generation, he combines that passion, that every fan sees, that emotion, how relatable he is, the ability to inspire them. In a sense he’s an old-fashioned manager in that way, but incredibly modern. He combines all the modern techniques, the coaching techniques, but also the analytics as well.
“They’re remarkable, they score goals, they don’t concede goals. That’s when you win titles. Klopp’s ability to combine all those personalities and take all those ingredients as a manager and produce what he has, is remarkable.”
The Premier League trophy is the fourth piece of silverware Liverpool will have lifted during Klopp’s five-year spell in charge – following on from last year’s Champions League victory, and the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup this season.
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Klopp’s approach to that Champions League win set the tone for Liverpool’s relentless consistency ahead of this campaign, the Daily Telegraph’s northern football correspondent James Ducker told the show, showing his players they could not rest on their laurels despite such an impressive season in 2018/19.
“One of the big things Klopp did was after the European Cup win after the end of last season, he didn’t make too much of it. There wasn’t a huge focus on it,” he said.
“He didn’t plaster Melwood in European Cup paraphernalia, it was just another trophy, and it sent a message to his players that that’s down, now the focus is on the Premier League. Not wanting to look back, there’s been too much of that in the past, they’ve got to look forward.
“Every single person, players most obviously but all the staff up to the owners have bought into that mindset and really moved forward. During the lockdown there was an interesting quote from Patrice Evra, trying to explore what makes a serial winner, and he said Didier Deschamps told me that winning was important, but Sir Alex Ferguson told me that winning is normal. I think Klopp is doing that at Liverpool too.”
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However, with a potentially resurgent Manchester City on their tails next season, and Chelsea flouting their financial muscle in the transfer window already, Ducker said the challenge Liverpool will face to retain their crown next season should not be underestimated.
He said: “I think it will be very difficult for a team to go and win multiple title. Guardiola’s were the first to win back-to-back titles for a decade, and you only have to look at the history of the Premier League to see how things can change. Liverpool finished 25 points behind Manchester City two seasons ago, who everyone thought no one would catch. City are now 23 behind Liverpool.
“I’m certain that’s a message Klopp will be projecting to his players, that we’re just scratching the surface here, if you want to achieve more you’re going to have to go again, rise to the challenge and accept there’ll be teams like City, Chelsea and United who have been hurt and want to put that right.”
Sky Sports are broadcasting 64 live Premier League games for the 2019/20 season resumption. In addition to the 39 matches already scheduled to be broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports before the coronavirus interruption, 25 more matches are being broadcast on both Sky Sports Premier League and Sky’s free-to-air Pick channel, allowing the whole nation to be part of the return of live sport.
To celebrate the return of the Premier League, Sky Sports have also launched a host of innovative new features and updates to give fans an even more immersive experience and share the moments live with family and friends on virtual platforms.