Whilst Chelsea limp to their title defence, Jose Mourinho complains that the bus he so frequently parks isn’t expensive enough, and Arsenal continue to stagnate, things are looking a lot more positive at Anfield, and not just because of the recent record-breaking capture of Virgil van Dijk.
Sir Alex Ferguson was a firm believer in youth and investing in academy talent. His all-conquering Manchester United team of the 1990s was based on this, but towards the end of his reign, his focus seemed to change and he let players slip through the net.
Paul Pogba has been the most high-profile example of this, but United’s recent pursuits of their academy graduate and Burnley centre-back Michael Keane, show that he was not the only one.
With Pogba back at Old Trafford, Keane supposedly being courted too, and with Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford breaking into the first team, have United now learnt their lesson? And if so, at what cost?
If Leicester City’s irresistible charge towards the title tells us anything, it is that 4-4-2 is back.
Despite Claudio Ranieri downplaying the chances of his team ending the season as champions, they are certainly in the driving seat now. A win against Arsenal will only further enhance their credentials, and would surely see them become favourites.
Playing a brand of football that the Premier League has rarely seen in the last decade, Ranieri and co have been propelled to the top of the table, a position even more extraordinary considering that just 12-months before they were battling relegation.
At the start of this season I wrote a brief preview of what I thought would lie ahead for Liverpool. Now that the final ball has been kicked, and Anfield has fallen silent, it is time to evaluate my predictions.
There are two things that drive me to write about Liverpool, the first is optimism, and the second is frustration. As you can imagine, after limping out of the FA Cup this is a piece very firmly inspired by the latter.
Perhaps I am being a little harsh on Aston Villa by saying that we limped out, because the truth of the matter is that we were never in it to begin with. Even after taking the (undeserved) lead – a lead which lasted just six minutes – we looked a team that was lacking in confidence, imagination, and ability.