Why Liverpool won’t win the Premier League this season

In 2016, I submitted an article to a peer reviewed journal and the editor called me immediately after he’d read it. He spoke in glowing terms about the balance of academic support and real life test cases.

It was titled – “Dangers of caffeine misuse in elite sport.” I was thrilled. He said it would catch fire with media given the subject matter and test cases. He then told me that to publish it in the first quarter of 2017 it would cost me $2,500, plus $500 in editor fees. It’ll now be published in the first quarter of 2021. And on this basis, I’ll explain why Liverpool won’t win the Premier League this year.

Prediction time

In October 2018 and again in October 2019 on Capital Sports FM radio in Moscow we predicted the winners of the English Premier League. We told people to bet their houses on Manchester City in 2018 and then on Liverpool to win in 2019. This year, I’d do the same – but to bet everything that Liverpool won’t win the Premier League. Simple reasons why:

  • Only one club has retained their crown since 2008/09
  • COVID-19 has messed up any rhythm Liverpool might have had

And, most importantly of all:

  • They will be cycling off

Manchester City were the last to retain their crown and that was in the face of a behind the scenes meltdown where best friend and number two to the manager Zeljko Buvac objected in going “full nuclear” to capture the league title. He was sent on gardening leave and a couple of months later the man who would become deputy returned after a spell in Holland with a lot of new know-how for a two season cycle.

In 2018 Liverpool were 19 points off Manchester City and a year later they were one point from the holy grail. And last year they got their hands on the grail after 30 years of waiting. But at what price?

Liverpool in recovery

This is where I dip into the academic research undertaken for the article mentioned in the opening paragraph, Liverpool cycling off. Just as Leicester City went hell for leather under the watchful eye of Mapei graduate Andrea Azzalin, Azzalin followed Claudio Ranieri around like a sweet scent and was last at AS Roma before Ranieri rocked up in Sampdoria.

Azzalin learned from the best in cycling and like fellow Mapei alumni found his knowledge transferable to football. This knowledge of how to push players above and beyond their limits using caffeine and other substances was ridden out on a rail from Chelsea but found a welcome home for a time in Juventus.

We can remember the mad stories of Jamie Vardy souping up on Red Bull and port, greeted with giggles from the lapdog English sports media. All fun and games – until his heart packs in. Jamie, they repeated without bullshit filter, shuns gym work “so as not to bulk up and hinder his explosive pace.” Yes. This was puked out into the public sphere with no comment. Remember, too, how Leicester City players were visiting Dr. Mark Bonar.

Remember the heretical line Azzalin was part of, back to the Sassis. Andrea is an expert in the effects of caffeine and had a willing subject in Jamie, as shown here from his betting sponsored Sun column. Three Red Bulls, an omelette and a double espresso.

The English Premier League is played at a pace only matched by sugar-crazed toddlers. The fittest teams who have the best benches and best injury prevention invariably win. However there is the extra part as explained to me by one source working with an Premier League club,

“It’s impossible to keep this up season after season. The new stuff, added with caffeine, puts so much pressure on the cardio (vascular) system. Now you put into that painkillers or even anti-biotics (if they’re ill), it’s a minefield.”

Putting hearts under such pressure season after season, at the pace of the Premier League, is a tragedy waiting to happen. Privately players and coaches I’ve interviewed say that it’s not just muscle or bone injuries that have been increasing. Getting someone to go fully on the record is almost impossible as the omerta around football is as bad as that as in cycling or tennis.

Whataboutery

Bayern Munich and their “Healing Hans”, Juventus and their “system”, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, Barcelona, Real Madrid and on and on. Yes, they’re also as clean as Peppa Pig’s boots after a day of muddy puddle jumping. Leipzig have an East German doping criminal in charge of their sports medicine. But don’t worry, he’s also worked with US athletes who have never tested positive.

Staying in Germany, Hans Muller Wohlfahrt and his injections have helped everyone from Bono (yes, U2’s Bono), Usain Bolt, Paula Radcliffe and a number of other dodgy characters across a range of sports. He was only recently binned for the second time from Bayern Munich, but his legacy lives on. He’d been kicked out before by Pep Guardiola who brought in his own gurus.

Juventus have a Sassi and no touch control from Italian Anti-Doping. Cristiano Ronaldo still cannot explain his change in physique which began in Spain and has been maintained admirably in Italy. But what these clubs have in common, generally moreso than England, is less competitive leagues, a slower style of play and longstanding doping cultures.

The UK has the longstanding doping culture but a more competitive and fast paced tournament. Jan Molby, Matt Le Tissier and other skilled players strolling around the field have no place in England anymore, however equally skilled, but well muscled and high-stamina players do. Whataboutery is a fair comment, however it’s comparing different beasts.

Why Liverpool will not win the league this season

Jurgen Klopp is no dummy. He knows that after the exertions of two seasons chasing the holy grail, lockdown included, this season will be one for cups aspirations. Pep Lijnders did enough to prove his methods and be brought back to the Liverpool fold.

But even with Dutch know-how, he has learned from cycling expertise that they now need to cycle off. Push more and you risk healthy young men suffering from cardiac arrest. I’ve gone into this before and nothing has changed.

Would Liverpool fans have called a halt to super-dosing on caffeine and other substances if it meant their beloved club didn’t end 30 years of chasing the dragon? Would they hell! The response each time I asked a fan was – well, they know what they’re doing or that it was the player’s choice. Like the vast majority of football journalists, they don’t particularly care.

Liverpool cannot win this season because physically, scientifically and morally they cannot. They cannot overdose again on caffeine because of the side-effects. They cannot keep up the pace with other substances and painkillers because the amounts needed to win the league would cause a slew of injuries. And as much as the American owners would like to win the title once again, players are valuable assets to them and they don’t need Mo, Roberto and company to break down and lose their resale value.

According to a source close to the club, of 35 players 22 are asthmatic – 63% of the squad, over five times higher than the 12% UK average. With so many sickly players and COVID-19 threatening these at risk players, it’s already dangerous. To keep the players at the max for an entire season, on numerous fronts, substances to enhance and support performance are needed.

The players have been flat out for two seasons and their bodies cannot take much more. When the joke shop of US Anti-Doping can explain how dangerous overuse of PEDs (legal) can be for the meatiest of heads, Jurgen, Pep and the wiseguys in Anfield know when to lift their foot off the pedal.

In concluding the academic article, I pointed out that no Liverpool players have failed tests. I am not alleging any wrongdoing on their part. Nor am I intimating that they’re all on the juice. I’ve simply studied the support systems, those involved and what’s needed to achieve what they have achieved.

It’s impossible to do three seasons in a row without players collapsing from cardiovascular issues or physical or mental collapse. So now is a good time to back them not winning the Premier League this season.

Author Details

Alan Moore

A Russia-based Sports Journalist and Consultant, worked with major sports clubs including:- Spartak Moscow, Hajduk Split, Eintracht Frankfurt. Boxed Internationally, played semi-pro football and worked full-time in sports management/consultancy from 2003-13. First published professionally on football in 1990, first Russian league match in 1991, Host of Capital Sports on Capital FM, Moscow, #ChampTalks2020 and write the odd article. Former Director of the Centre of International Relations at the Russian State Social University in Moscow. And to make things more fun, he produced and hosted #ChampTalks2018 for UNESCO, Moscow's Tolerance Centre and Capital FM.

65 thoughts on “Why Liverpool won’t win the Premier League this season

  1. You may have drunk too much caffeine yourself to concoct a fantasy based on your belief that caffeine was one of the sources of Liverpool’s success.

  2. Maintaining that high level of intensity for 2 seasons was literally a massive achievement for the Reds.

    However, it was evident that post February 2020, they have not been able to match that intensity that has brought them all the success. It was also clear in the Community Shield contest vs Arsenal.

    I dont think that they can be ruled out completely but without reinforcing the squad, retaining PL seems difficult. Still favorites for the Champions League

  3. This article presupposes that liverpool’s victory is largely attributable to caffeinism. What role does strategy, diet, coaching, skill etc play in a team’s continuous performance?

  4. Yeah Liverpool only won the league on caffeine, and Elvis is still alive and sells match day programs at Anfield. I’d be embarrassed writing an article like that. I personally can’t see anyone other than Liverpool and City challenging for the premier league title this season.

  5. you should probably give up on the weird “flourishes” like the following sentence:

    “Yes, they’re also as clean as Peppa Pig’s boots after a day of muddy puddle jumping.”

    you’re not a good enough writer to make these bits actually fit into the article without seeming horribly clunky. the text is already a big mess and it’s super difficult to follow your basic train of thought – just as an example, the opening paragraph appears not to mean anything at all. the pay to publish thing is literally never referenced again, nor logically connects to anything else. i’m sure you could get better if you tried, but it’s best to start relatively simple and discard the attempts at a signature style until you can pull off basic, comprehensible prose.

  6. Alan, notice all the replies are from very worried reds in denial. Ignore them.

    I’ve had my suspicions for the last few years. Noone has those levels for that long, and it’s not just PŁ, it’s been consistent cup comps as well, playing through to 3 consecutive European finals, and the added World and Super cups that accompany them, combined with a mix of international tournaments (2 of their star players made the AFCON finals too), and their squad is relatively small too. They blow other teams away for energy and aggression every 3 days.

    Didn’t know about the Asthmatic percentage though. Great find, which only heightens the improbability of the super fitness levels.

    Great article.

  7. This article is very badly written, a selection of thoughts not at all focused and containing juvenile language more likely to be seen under a YouTube video! Your exculpatory final paragraph feels like a legal manoeuvre having damned Liverpool from upon high.

    About 75-80% of top level athletes have symptoms which are asthmatic in nature though whether they are medically asthmatic is a matter of debate.

    As for winning the league Liverpool did so playing a very controlled style, keeping the gegenpress of old to a minimum and playing percentages to the max. There are three Chelsea players in the top distance run chart for last season until lockdown, no Liverpool players appear. They did make the greatest number of short sprints.

  8. Wonder if the high percentage of asthmatics is a convenient way of getting a Therapeutic Use Exemption for corticosteroids, in the same way as Bradley Wiggins?
    https://www.bicycling.com/racing/a20049280/bradley-wiggins-team-sky-asthma-medication/
    “The report came after Russian hackers revealed in 2016 that Wiggins, the first British cyclist to win the Tour, had applied for therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to have injections of the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone before three of his biggest races. Those included the 2012 Tour”

  9. Nice to see all the Bluemoon paedos are viewing this load of old shit. @Prestwichblue, you need your hard drive impounding, you old wrongun.

    Just concentrate on not signing Messi, you council stadium dwelling cheats.

  10. Conspiracy theorist drivel aimed at the bitter rival fans who’ll lap this fucking bollocks up like a starving cat to a bowl of milk.

    Your source on 63% of our players being asthmatic? Yeah, thought so….

  11. I love how this clown reiterates that he wrote an “academic article”. What a bitter, twisted take on what the best team in the world achieved last season. Man up, Alan.
    I don’t read this site normally. Came across this article as it was doing the rounds on Twitter. Hope ye get the numbers so ye can earn some sponsorship deals from this but know that it is very, very poor content.

  12. Was puzzled by this article until I read the bit in your bio that says you ‘Boxed internationally’…..then the meandering, unfocused, delusion and paranoia made sense. I’d suggest an immediate MRI scan before your condition worsens and hopefully it can be stabilized. Best of luck.
    Dr Karl Kennedy DScPT

  13. The thing is, Liverpool were NOT going full pelt last season – they have learned how to manage their energy in games. A lot of our wins were down to sheer determination to win, a great defence and brilliant goalKeepers.

  14. City are a nonce club

    Fostered abuse for years, paying Bennell to play with kids.

    Now they’re owned by Saudi nonces.

  15. The thing is, I dont think Liverpool played that well last season, honestly they have been better. Still won the league by a mile. Liverpool are so good that the rest have to play at 100% to win and Liverpool have to be on -100% just to try and lose. But really , Liverpool is actually a better team then there performance of last year suggest. That’s the scary part and why a lot if not all experts are predicting they will win it again this season.

  16. I thought Pep Fraudiola losing more league games than Ole Gunnar Solskjær was the biggest factor in Liverpool easily winning the title….not how much caffine was in their cereal.

  17. Academic article? Are you on the juice?
    Academic articles publish their references to support their claims. Where is your evidence of asthma medication usage?

  18. Contact the Saudi legal team, Bluemoon clowns, if they can sportswash murdering journalists then I’m sure they’ll spend millions tracing me because I called you all weirdos.

  19. What a load of dribble this guy talks of. Liverpool won’t win the premier 2 seasons in a row because of the covid19 pandemic? Go back to old trashford you idiotic fool. Liverpool dont play in the same way others teams do so they’re most likely to do back to back more than any other team.

  20. No evidence presented. Alan, for all your talk of academic journals and research, this wouldn’t pass the most cursory peer review. It’s written like a secret whispers piece for a tabloid. Hilariously weak writing.

    As for claiming some authority for predicting the outcome of two Premier League title pushes? Picking Man City and Liverpool? You really put your neck on the line there.

    Hanging your arse in the wind for a libel/defamation case too. Hope your pockets are deeper than your analysis here.

  21. “BuryBlue1977
    40 minutes ago
    #23,815
    After all that’s happened it turns out that the winner is…………….. no one!!!!!!
    Important to remember though, we have not been snubbed. Leo contacted us. He wanted us. He still wants us. Imagine 15 years ago when baconface was thinking he was king dick. The worlds greatest player wants to join us over every club in the world. If nothing else ever comes of this, that in itself should make you sleep easy tonight”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    State of City fans :-D

  22. “It’s as if we’ve become spoilt by our success and modern day circumstances. We mock others fans forums but when the shit hits the fan on here I bet they read some of our fanny wipe posts and piss themselves laughing.”

    Yep

  23. “Mazzarelli’s Swiss Cheese
    Thursday at 5:23 PM
    #16
    Still, at least we’re not murdering other fans or commercialising tragedy yet.”

    You’re an embarrassment mate. Were you even born when Heysel happened, you fucking little coward.
    As for “commercialising tragedy”, you horrible twats want to be careful how you gleefully mock the dead. I hope you remember shit like this as you hold the hand of a dying family member, you fucking ghoul.

    Please stop infecting your poor kid with your dickheadedness.

  24. Manchester City, one of the clubs most seriously implicated in the Barry Bennell sexual abuse scandal, have been accused of putting hundreds of boys in danger after it emerged they were warned by one of their own coaches in the late-1970s it was “general knowledge” he was a risk to children.

    Bennell, who is facing complaints from another 86 former footballers, continued scouting and coaching for City’s junior teams, raping and molesting countless boys in seven years connected to the club, even though high-ranking officials had been warned to keep away from a man who now faces the rest of his life in prison and has been described as having “almost an insatiable appetite” for young boys.

    The revelations leave City facing a number of questions now Bennell has been convicted of 50 counts of sexual abuse against 12 victims. Bennell, 64, will be sentenced on Monday after admitting seven of the charges, with the jury returning guilty verdicts for the other 43 offences.

  25. “I love it! Like I said, with cults, it’s them against the imagined enemy. See bullet point 3, Persecution complex.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    The lack of self-awareness is genuinely brilliant. :-D

    When is your ‘hacking scandal’ evidence coming to light then, blagger? Is it cued up behind the fifty other “cartel” conspiracies. Starting to think you might be some invented comedy character.

    Seriously, seek medical help, you have serious issues.

    In the meantime, I’ll just park my persecution complex right behind our League trophy. You park your oddball theories behind your energy drink cup.

    Take care x

    CAMPIONE

  26. @LongsightM13

    There’s nothing more Tory than monetising a free stadium with Saudi oil billions.

    As for that fake Saville picture, that sums up the lunacy of Bluemoon.

    Barry Bennell though… 8 years at your club. Disgusting.

  27. I stepped in a dog shit this morning that had more substance than this article. Reads like something on Blue Loon (Cheatchester City’s) fan forum.

  28. “Mazzarelli’s Swiss Cheese
    Yesterday at 11:58 PM
    #503
    Of course it’s all about them – how could it not be? If he ever comes to city they’ll probably blame him for opening the gates in Sheffield. Wankers.”

    Bluemoon nonces again.

    I hope you have a massive fucking stroke, you absolute heap of cowardly shit.

  29. Paedophile harbourers for 8 years

    Joey Barton

    Adam Johnson

    Financial cheats

    Human rights abusers

    Swales

    Lee

    Shinawatra

    Eddie Large

    Horses on the pitch v Spurs

    https://www.101greatgoals.com/news/tottenham-fans-share-reports-of-abuse-violence-from-man-city-supporters/

    Rioting at Wigan

    Rioting at Boro

    Fighting all over your own town with United fans

    Fighting with Sevilla fans

    Little Benny

    The Young Guvnors

    Quite a lot there for a major city’s junior club. The paedophile stuff though, what a fucking embarrassment. And fuck all done to apologise for it.

    Slime.

  30. “Prestwich_Blue
    Today at 9:45 PM
    #423

    Hear, hear. Can’t say more at the moment but some of that lot are a bunch of utter shitstains and you will find out just how bad they are in time.
    I looked up who was on their national committee. It includes:
    Kelly Cates
    Jonathan Liew
    Alyson Rudd
    Jacqui Oatley
    Sam Cunningham
    Darren Lewis
    With a fine, upstanding bunch like that at the helm, I’m sure the FWA is in good hands”

    You are fucking mental, Colin.

    Seek serious psychological help, you live in a fucking fantasy land, you daft ‘Walter Mitty’ cunt.

  31. All the reds desperately fuming, just increases my sense that there is something to this, and they know it.

    My money would be on the asthma drug being abused, probably within an inch of the existing rules, but it’ll bring about a rule tightening soon enough.

    They’ll call it clever. We’ll all think it’s morally bankrupt. And they wont care because they got their PL, and being responsible for nothing and offended by everything is in their DNA. Vile Club.

  32. If anyone from BlueMoon is reading this, tell Dave Ewing’s Back ‘eader that we hope he has pancreatic cancer and suffers immeasurable pain before death… And as his loved ones hold his dying hand, all his jokes about Hillsborough come flooding into his fucked up head.

  33. Bill the Blue, you fucking coward. Spouting all kinds of shite on the internet because out there in the real world, you’re a bad little fart.

    Imagine how fucking warped your brain is, you fucking weird cunt.

    Fuck your shit mum, Billy.

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