Liverpool are exactly what the Premier League needed
Welcome to Tuesday Team Talk. Every week, the H+K Sports team will give a unique perspective on the week’s football action and the stories making the headlines across the beautiful game
There may be four teams locked within a point at the top of the Premier League table, but there's one that has consistently thrilled the most so far this season. Liverpool have played breathless football, scoring plenty of goals (joint most in the league) and looking like they're having a lot of fun. But still Jurgen Klopp has been spending most of his time trying to convince us all that they can defend a bit as well as attack. Obviously, you only have to watch them to know that they can't defend at all but really - who cares?
While the Premier League is constantly fascinating, the same can't always be said for the football played in it. There has been a recent tradition of successful teams built to win above all else. Substance over style. Think of Chelsea in Mourinho's pomp. And fair enough, winning games is sort of the point. But it's not necessarily that entertaining. Leicester's win last season was of course hugely exciting, but it came in a year when no one would argue that there were any great teams, and a lot of their success was built on hitting teams on the counter attack.
Liverpool may well not win the league because their defence gets in the way, but if the first part of the season is anything to go by; they'll be fun to watch whatever they do. Scoring goals, playing at pace, and probably most importantly looking like they are having fun while they do it. With the game having become so high profile and so pressured, most players appear to play the game constantly terrified of what could happen if things go wrong. But so far Klopp seems to have given Liverpool the freedom to play without that fear. Scoring goals for fun, who cares if you concede a couple, if you score four. As Klopp said ‘the best kind of defending is keeping the ball’. Not only is it still a win, it lights up the league, and makes the whole way more interesting.
As football has become more and more dissected and analysed, it's leads to every slip up for a team being pulled out and blown out of proportion. That creates a bias for teams that play it safe, try and avoid mistakes, and look to sneak 1-0 wins. But Liverpool are flying in the face of this, and more power to them. They may not win the title, but they'll make it way more exciting, and that itself deserves plenty of credit.