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Mignolet: This title challenge is different to five years ago

Five years isn't what you would describe as a awfully long length of time in general terms, but it can feel like a lifetime ago in a football sense.
 

The 2013/4 season was the last time the Reds made a concerted title push.

Many of the key figures from that squad have either retired from the game or moved on to other clubs.

There are in fact only three players in Jurgen Klopp's current squad that remain from that time, that being club captain Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge and Simon Mignolet.

With the signing of Allisson in the summer, Mignolet has largely been a spectactor in this campaign only playing 180 minutes for the first team in the League and FA Cups.

Watching on from the sidelines has given Mignolet time to assess where this side is placed compared to the Steven Gerrard led squad that went heartbreakingly close to ending the long league title drought.

The Mirror reported the Belgian as saying:

"So much has changed over the past five years here.

"It's only Hendo, Studge and myself still here from the last time we really fought for the title.

"Back then a lot of it was about Luis Suarez and Studge, whereas now the goals are shared about more. 

"We had a really good team in 2013/14 but the moment we got one or two injuries it became difficult.

Squad depth is a vital aspect in keeping up the momentum during a long season and Mignolet says that Klopp has compiled the perfect blend of overall talent to do just that.

"We've got a broad squad now which means we can cope with injuries and that is probably the biggest difference with last time.

"If a game is deadlocked there is always someone ready on the bench who is capable of opening a game up. In that sense we're in a much better position than we were then.

"The general quality of this squad is the best I've ever known. 

"When we play 11 v 11 in training it's like being involved in a top match in the Premier League.

" It's not 11 first-teamers against 11 reserves, it's two Premier League sides facing each other in training, its high quality.

 

Simon-Mignolet-774174.jpg



During that 2013/4 season, The Reds played some of the best football seen at Anfield in a few decades, regularly putting four and five goals past the opposition.

However, their achilles heal was most certainly the defence where the team leaked 50 goals for the season which was the most conceded by the top five clubs by a fair margin (Arsenal were next highest with 41).

 

While Liverpool are still no strangers from turning on the style on occasions, they are simply a much solid all-round unit which translates to being a better team.

Mignolet was a key figure of that leaky defence five years ago and said there is one player who has made an awful lot of difference to this current Liverpool side.

“I think a big part of that is Virgil van Dijk. Ever since he's come in he's made a huge difference

"It's not only his playing ability but the character and the leadership he sends out from the back. It's especially important when you play teams like Brighton and Crystal Palace recently.

"It's the pressure he eases with his clearing headers. 

He always makes it look so easy. 

"Something that's very difficult for anyone else, just looks like a walk in the park for Virgil. He's made us a lot more solid than before.”

Mignolet makes some valid observations here, and while he is largely a non-playing member of the squad, the insight he can pass on to the less experienced members of the squad regarding the pressures ahead in the next few months could prove invaluable.


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Van Dijk has certainly made a monumental difference, but I don’t think we can entirely overlook having a goalkeeper with hands made of flesh and bone instead of smoke.

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Alisson’s good and all that but he’s never bothered to do a promo vid on the official site in which he baked cookies that were “really delicious and heeelthy” using the club’s official coconut water partner’s product as one of the key ingredients. Mignolet has. Just putting it out there. 

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57 minutes ago, scudger99 said:

Jesus.  Why do you even bother ?

Christ, the reality of the outcome at the end of this season is going to hit you like a freight train.

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2 minutes ago, lifetime fan said:

He’s just gone full Lovren. 

 

Never go full Lovren.  

 

Fortunately he won't be playing and if he has too,  the title challenge is over anyway 

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12 hours ago, Creator Supreme said:

Christ, the reality of the outcome at the end of this season is going to hit you like a freight train.

What reality is that ?  That we've improved massively as a team ?  That we've got a top class manager and a quality defence to build on ?

You keep up with the doom, gloom and self flagellation lad.  I'll see things as they are thanks.

 

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19 hours ago, tlw content said:


The Mirror reported the Belgian as saying:

"So much has changed over the past five years here.

"It's only Hendo, Studge and myself still here from the last time we really fought for the title.

"Back then a lot of it was about Luis Suarez and Studge, whereas now the goals are shared about more. 

"We had a really good team in 2013/14 but the moment we got one or two injuries it became difficult.

 

 

 

 

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