Money talks, so top four is over-achieving
The next six or seven weeks could be pivotal in Liverpool’s season. Jurgen Klopp’s side have made a steady enough start and were it not for the blistering pace being set by runaway leaders Manchester City, a title challenge would still be a possibility.
With City seemingly close to unbeatable right now, it’s already looking like yet another season without a title for the Merseysiders, who were last crowned Kings of England 27 years ago. As disappointing as that is, it is also somewhat predictable. Given City’s resources, they should be at the top of the club and if they aren’t it is because they are doing something wrong.
When you see which football teams are part of the 5 most valuable sports teams in the world, it shows just how difficult it is for the Reds to compete domestically. Both Manchester clubs are in the top five while Chelsea and Arsenal both rank higher than Liverpool.
In Germany, Klopp had to overcome the financial might of Bayern. At Liverpool, he effectively has four Bayern Munich’s to overcome. One of them might have a bad year, maybe even two or three could. But all four? Unlikely.
It can happen of course, but the last time it did Liverpool were not in a position to take advantage and had to watch as Leicester shocked the word and became Premier League champions.
Liverpool’s best hope of finally ending their league title drought is to be ready and in position to capitalise should those teams have another season of under-performing. It won’t be this year unless City have an unforeseen collapse, but that doesn’t mean that the Reds cannot have a good season. It can’t be ‘title or bust’ as this isn’t the 70s or 80s unfortunately.
Even finishing above one of those sides represents a degree of success, but expecting to outperform all four is asking an awful lot. In Germany you can win a title if Bayern have a down year, but at Liverpool you’re relying on four wealthier teams to underperform, while also hoping Spurs don’t get it right.
It’s not something that fans like to hear or want to accept, but unless the financial landscape changes, Liverpool finishing in the top four would be punching above their weight, while a title win would arguably be the club’s greatest ever achievement in the current climate.