The journey of the doubters turning into believers - Congratulations, Liverpool
When Jurgen Klopp was made the Liverpool boss in 2015, he predicted that the Reds would have the title at least once in four years. They have it now after four full years as promised. People must have thought that Klopp may not be the right man for a club of such stature but slowly and steadily, Klopp has proved everyone wrong.
Since his arrival, Liverpool have only seen an upward graph but the fans still complained about the lack of trophies. When Klopp took over the Reds, succeeding Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool were tenth in the Premier League, thumped 3-0 by West Ham United. Cut to last year, when the Reds won their sixth European Cup in Madrid last summer. A lot of things happened on the way.
Recalling his words from the club’s unveiling press conference, Klopp promised something that is now technically delivered. He said,
“When I left Dortmund, my last sentence maybe was ‘it’s not so important what people think when you come in, it’s much more important what people think when you leave'.”
He also claimed that if there is a failure in achieving what he promised the fans in four years, he would move to Switzerland for work.
However, he asked only one thing from the people of Anfield and said, “We have to change from doubters to believers, now.” Well, the rest is history! Let’s see the moments that played a vital part in Liverpool’s title-winning run.
The first dent or a plus for Liverpool arrived when Norwich beat Manchester City, 3-2 on September 14. Although Pep’s side had dropped points against Spurs, it seemed that the defending champions will eventually match Liverpool’s stride. But this upset came as a shockwave through the entire division in match week five.
The second positive came on September 28 against Sheffield United. The Blades had a sharp beginning in the Premier League and it barely took time for everyone to realize it. Liverpool dropped points at Old Trafford for the first time in October eventually, but their winning run continued despite a strong test against Chris Wilder’s side.
It was a very unusual mistake from the goalkeeper Dean Henderson, on loan from rivals Manchester United to gift Georginio Wijnaldum a precious but hard-earned 70th-minute winner.
The next moment was the one that made the fans believe that “This was actually their year,” as Liverpool defeated Aston Villa in Birmingham.
The win against the Blades was a classic example of the saying that the best teams win even when they do not play well. However, more drama was on the way when the Reds arrived at Villa Park. Liverpool were on the verge of a defeat until the 87th minute. It was Andy Robertson, who then stole in a late equalizer followed by Sadio Mane clinching a victory in the fourth minute of the stoppage time.
The month of November was a very challenging one for the Reds as they clinched victories against Spurs and Leicester City, both games where they managed to come from behind. However, this fixture could’ve made a difference, Liverpool vs Manchester City at Anfield on November 10.
Liverpool had a lead of five points going into this fixture but the Reds bagged three goals and conceded only one, increasing their lead to eight points and pushing City a further point back on fourth.
Liverpool had failed to beat Pep’s side, home and away in the 18-19 season and no one could comprehend the mistake better than the Reds themselves. Not to forget that the game was filled with controversies too that led Pep Guardiola fuming, who sarcastically applauded Michael Oliver after the match.
After almost removing City out of the picture, it was Leicester City’s turn to face demolition. Led by ex-Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers, the Foxes were closely chasing Liverpool and the world thought, considering Liverpool’s history of “slipping” or failing at crucial moments, Rodger’s team could do some magic.
The Boxing Day could not have been more exciting as the solid and looking strong this season Leicester City were blown away on their own pitch. A ruthless eight-minute second-half spell and City’s loss against Wolves the following day, in a way, showed that the trophy was going only one way. The gap became certain as it was City’s second loss in December, the previous one being a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.
As time passed, the gap built enough pressure on the Cityzens, who then lost their path and ended up losing to Spurs led by the newly appointed Jose by two goals, a game that made Bernardo Silva feel that his team “gave up a bit too soon.” City went on to lose against their neighbors again and their hopes went on to diminish completely.
Liverpool were so dominant in the league that their first defeat against Watford was celebrated as one of the biggest in the league’s history.
Finally, it was a 2-1 loss for the Citizens at Stamford Bridge that helped Liverpool clinch the championship, their first since 1990. Klopp’s men were adamant, reluctant and stubborn when it came to losing control over the peak of the table and never relinquished their grasp on the first place.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil Van Dijk, Jordan Henderson, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were some of the top performers in the team who rarely failed but it is Jurgen Norbert Klopp who deserves the trophy the most.
featured image credits- Sky Sports