Gary Neville’s prediction within the wake of Liverpool’s first Premier League title may very well be proven accurate again. The Sky Sports pundit’s previous warning over the Reds’ ‘superhuman’ standards applies over again following one other impressive campaign.
Liverpool lifted their first top-flight title in three many years in 2020, with Jurgen Klopp ushering in a recent era of success at Anfield. The Reds have made it to 3 Champions League finals within the last five years, and have won each trophy possible under the previous Borussia Dortmund boss.
Klopp’s side got here agonisingly near achieving an unprecedented quadruple last season. Liverpool were pipped to the title by a single point by Manchester City, while they again got here unstuck against Real Madrid in Europe with a narrow defeat within the Paris final.
Klopp’s side shrugged off a difficult 2020/21 campaign affected by injuries to return to their best last season. The Reds edged Chelsea out on penalties within the finals of each the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, but were unable to stop City lifting their fourth title in five seasons.
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Neville told the Guardian: “To get to a Champions League final, win it the next season, after which to go again to win the Premier League title is a big emotional drain on that group of Liverpool players for 3 years.To ask them to go again and achieve that very same standard can be a superhuman effort.
“It wouldn’t be ridiculous to suggest there shall be a slight drop-off, in the event that they don’t in some way stimulate that squad by doing something to present them that lift again. Thiago can be the large one. He’s world class and would give them a world-class presence in an area of the sphere where they don’t have one.”
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It’s a scenario which once more presents itself to Klopp and his Liverpool side. Having come so near winning all 4 trophies, the Reds now face the virtually unimaginable challenge of replicating the standards which took them to the brink of history.
Liverpool dropped just six points following the turn of the yr, but even this sustained excellence was not enough to overhaul City on the summit. Further disappointment followed within the Champions League final, although the Reds could count themselves somewhat unlucky to have lost on the night.
Klopp has hurried to bring Darwin Nunez in as Sadio Mane’s substitute, with Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay providing the squad with an injection of youth. Nonetheless, the demands of one other ‘superhuman’ season could prove Neville correct over again with a ‘drop-off’ almost unimaginable to avoid.
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