You solely had to take a look at the reactions of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold within the quick aftermath of Liverpool’s 1-1 draw in opposition to Burnley at Anfield final weekend to get a way of simply how a lot these gamers wish to win each single match they play, no matter having the Premier League title sewn up practically three weeks in the past now.
Each full-backs could not include their fury with the match officers, who utterly missed two very credible penalty claims within the second-half, and have been visibly raging on the reality they’d dropped factors at house for the primary time all season in a recreation they actually must have received comfortably on the stability of play.
It is that relentless, interior drive and refusal to simply accept something however victory which has fuelled Liverpool’s title cost all alongside, and so even with nothing however factors file to play for, there is a clearly a robust collective need to uphold these requirements of excellence.
But the very fact is, within the 4 video games to this point since turning into champions, Liverpool have received solely twice, drawing one and being thrashed within the different. It is properly under the degrees they have been going at for the previous couple of seasons, and throughout these 4 video games, they have not produced a really convincing all-round efficiency throughout the total 90 minutes.
They will wish to put that proper between now and the top of the season, then, not least to offer themselves the very best probability of matching – or, ideally, beating – Manchester Metropolis’s 100-point file, but in addition to complete the marketing campaign on a excessive be aware fairly than trudging throughout the ending line with a way of remorse they missed a really actual alternative to do one thing which could by no means be matched once more.
On the absolute minimal, they will certainly be determined to surpass final season’s 97-point tally, not a lot to show some extent to the remainder of the league – as a result of they’ve completed that emphatically over the course of the marketing campaign to this point – however extra to really feel as if they did all they presumably may proper the way in which till the top.
After all, it will be absurd to border it as underwhelming to solely win the league and never break the factors file, as a result of this Liverpool staff has already proven why it’s going to go down as one of many best within the historical past of prime flight English soccer, not simply this season, however for the reason that begin of 2018/19. The legendary standing of Jürgen Klopp and this group of gamers is already properly secured.
There’s additionally an argument to say that by having the title wrapped up sooner than any staff in historical past, Liverpool really made it tougher for themselves to interrupt the file, as a result of they’d such a protracted stretch of video games nonetheless to play with their foremost supply of motivation now not a part of the equation (to not point out a pandemic-induced three month break in play, which provides a complete totally different dimension to this unusual 2019/20 half two mini-season).
Looking forward to 2020/21, although, it is in Liverpool’s pursuits to complete this season strongly given the anticipated brief turnaround, with 12 September mooted because the potential goal begin date for subsequent season. The idea of momentum in soccer is tough to definitively show, and is probably typically overstated, however nonetheless it certainly advantages Liverpool’s future title defence if they’ll conclude 2019/20 with a flourish from a confidence and morale perspective.
It was essential final season, for example, that Liverpool completed on 97 factors and pushed Metropolis all the way in which, as a result of although they fell agonisingly brief in the long run, it created this real sense of perception and optimism heading into the Champions League remaining, and offered a psychological platform of kinds for the beginning of this season.
There can be no higher strategy to transition into 2020/21 than by ending 2019/20 with three straight wins in opposition to Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle United. Clearly, the temper must be jubilant anyway due to what Liverpool have already completed, however it will be a disgrace nonetheless in the event that they do stutter in direction of a barely unsatisfying conclusion given the extraordinary prospects they’d opened up for themselves.
You’d again them to reset and prime themselves for his or her title defence regardless, however nonetheless, it feels proper that this Liverpool staff ought to finish this explicit chapter in probably the most superb means – and in doing so, write the prelude to the subsequent one. It begins tonight.
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