Congratulations to Liverpool. Worthy Premier League Champions after a fantastic, record-breaking season. Well done to Jurgen Klopp and his team for absolutely destroying the opposition in this memorable 2019-20 season.
It’s a season which will go down in history, perhaps not for the right reasons with the coronavirus pandemic. However, Liverpool were - and are - outstanding.
But does their achievement give them the right to be called the greatest Premier League team in history?
The answer is no - well not yet. I still have Sir Alex’s treble-winning Man Utd team in front of Klopp’s Reds.
The funny thing is Liverpool could now be celebrating back-to-back titles. That head-to-head with Man City last season was just unbelievable - both teams barely dropped any points and went toe-to-toe. It could easily have gone Liverpool’s way.
But City just edged them out, only to be steamrollered this year. Pep might privately admit his team are concentrating on the Champions League this year, but even so they’ve been well beat - as have the rest of the league. Liverpool have been in a different world.
Are they the best ever, though?
Time will tell, but I’d still have them behind Manchester United’s 1998/99/00 side, Jose’s Chelsea team of 2004/05/06 and, probably, Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ team (2003/04) - although I tease my Gooner friends about the number of draws!
United won the treble in 1999 with Becks, Scholes, Butt, Giggs, Keane, Neville, Schmeichel, Stam - and that famous four up front of Cole, Yorke, Sheringham and Solskjaer. But you’d say they were even better the next year when they walked the league.
My career was just coming to an end. I’d left Wimbledon after my second spell there and was now fighting relegation with QPR in the first division. Ray Harford was the manager then and wanted some steel on the pitch - he signed both myself and ‘Razor’ Ruddock.
Job done. QPR survived, but my life was beginning to change.
I was moving from football into TV and then films, but my love of the game stayed. I went back to the Bridge and saw Chelsea a few times during their dominant period - that team of Jose’s was a real game-changer for the Premier League.
To be fair they’d pushed Arsenal hard the previous season, but now with the big-money backing of Roman and the breath of fresh air that was Jose Mourinho they were different gear. Jose mixed Galaticos with the best of British - and what a mix that was.
Chelsea had brought in Robben, Duff, Drogba, Gallas, Carvalho and Makelele with the best of British in John Terry, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Glen Johnson. Boom. They won back-to-back titles, the FA Cup and League Cup.
Liverpool have added the Champions League during their own fantastic period and that gives them the edge - but only IF they win back-to-back Premier League titles. That has to be the target for Klopp and his merry men - and they are favourites in my book.
Like Jose back in his golden period, Klopp is a winner and had a chance to be Liverpool’s greatest ever manager ahead of Paisley, Shankly and King Kenny.
Some group that, but I know in one area where Klopp beats his predecessors - on the dance floor! He busted some serious moves as the team celebrated through the night after Chelsea beat Man City in midweek. That was some party - and Klopp led the way. Brilliant.
There’s no Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-finals and well done to Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City for making it through. They’re playing at an empty Wembley in the semis (July 18/19) before the final on August 1 - I fancy City will lift the Cup.
Before then it’s all about the Premier League matches this week and another round of matches - they’re coming thick and fast. I know empty stadiums make for a strange atmosphere, but football fans must be loving this non-stop action.
I’m actually liking the ‘time outs’ during the games when they have drinks breaks. Might they continue with it? The managers get a chance to talk to the players, and it gives the fans a breather - when they’re allowed back in, of course.
So on to this week’s matches and the highlight is Man City v Liverpool on Thursday. I tell you, that computer which does these Premier League fixtures is a f*****g genius!
Liverpool wrap up the league and their next match is against their great rivals - superb. City will form a Guard of Honour for the new Premier League Champions. He’ll be a gentleman about it, but Pep will hate passing the baton to Klopp. Love it.
Before I sign off and get back to the golf course, well done Leeds for getting back on track in the Championship. They went into lockdown on a roll of five wins and no goals conceded - but came back with a defeat at Cardiff. I was getting worried.
Thankfully it was business as normal at the weekend as Bielsa’s men beat Fulham a shade comfortably. With West Brom slipping, they’re very close now. There’s seven games left and I’m confident Leeds will be crowned champions. They deserve it.
Brighton v Manchester United – Manchester Utd to win
Arsenal v Norwich - Arsenal to win
Bournemouth v Newcastle - Draw
Everton v Leicester – Everton to win
West Ham v Chelsea – Chelsea to win
Sheffield United v Tottenham Hotspur - Spurs to win
Man City v Liverpool - Liverpool to win
Norwich v Brighton – Norwich to win
Leicester v Crystal Palace – Leicester to win
Liverpool v Aston Villa – Liverpool to win
Manchester United v Bournemouth – Manchester Utd to win
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal – Wolves to win
Chelsea v Watford – Chelsea to win
Burnley v Sheffield United – Sheff Utd to win
Newcastle v West Ham - Draw
Southampton v Man City – Man City to win
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton - Draw
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