Champions or not, this Liverpool team is here to stay

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Jurgen Klopp has had nearly four years to build a team good enough to properly challenge for the title and this season has seen the fruition of those efforts.

Whatever the outcome at the end of the season, one thing is for certain, this Liverpool team the German has built is a team on the rise and will only get stronger in the next couple of years.

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In the run up to the Chelsea game a lot had been mentioned about Liverpool’s last real crack at winning the title during 2013/14 season along with Steven Gerrard’s now infamous slip.

The comparisons between the two teams though are few and far between other than the fact they both had or have a great chance to win the league.

Brendan Rodgers side was not expected to do so well and it was Luis Suarez’s 31 goals that propelled Liverpool to challenging Manchester City so closely in the end.

Liverpool’s squad was not a squad on the up or one that was full of young players.

That’s why the Gerrard slip and the result that day was so devastating to the players and the fans – they knew that this team would not get another chance that good to win the league.

They were a one hit wonder that never hit the top of the charts when it mattered most.

The same cannot be said for the current crop of Liverpool players though.

This is not a squad that relies on one man’s goals like Luis Suarez’s or another man’s ability to drive the team on when everyone around him is failing like Steven Gerrard did.

This is a team that has been carefully constructed as not to rely on one single individual.

When Mohamed Salah is having an off day, there is enough quality in the squad to carry the load such as Sadio Mane has this season.

When Klopp lost Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, it was not the same devastating blow as when Suarez left the club in 2014.

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Over the last few seasons, Klopp has patiently been putting together the pieces of the his team with a view to being more than a one hit wonder.

Patience is something that football fans and clubs seem to lack in the modern game, with both wanting success near instantly.

Liverpool has always been a club that has given its managers time though and their fans can be a lot more patient and understanding of the time it takes to try to build a team than others.

It’s this time that has been given to Klopp that has allowed him to mould a squad that is only realising it’s true potential this season, albeit with still room to improve.

He has shown patience when it comes to signing the right type of player’s that he thinks will help his cause the best.

When the club seemingly made a hash of signing Virgil van Dijk the first time around, Klopp was accused of not wanting to sign a centre back for the team even though they desperately needed one.

Instead, he was patient and eventually got his man, in what looks like one of the best signings the club has made in the last twenty years.

A similar situation occurred with Naby Keita, signing him a full season before he would eventually join up with the squad.
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The profile of the team that Klopp has put together is one that is built to challenge for years to come.

It has a balance of youth and experience with some world-class players thrown in for good measure.

All of whom seem to be happy at Anfield for the foreseeable future.

If they do lose a player or two , Klopp and the Liverpool board seem to have enough knowledge that they can be replaced successfully like when Coutinho left.

There is a real sense that this team has the capability to not just repeat their exploits of this season, but to improve upon them next year.

While it would be disappointing for Liverpool to come away with nothing to show for their brilliant League campaign, that disappointment would soon pass and be replaced with a fresh sense of optimism for next season.

This is after all this sides first real attempt at winning the league under the German manager. Klopp said it himself when he stated:

This is our first chance to win it, not our last. With the first chance, you jump in and then see if it works out.

Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not. This will not be our last, one hundred percent not.

For this team it is only the first of many attempts at winning the title and with the uncertainty surrounding clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United, both of whom need considerable rebuilding jobs this summer, it is easy to see that Liverpool will once again be Manchester City’s main rivals for the Premier League crown next year.

The Author

Philip Flanagan

A West of Ireland based football writer/blogger. You can find me daily over at The Bottomless pit of football.

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