Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1
I do not love the international break. It is a period of white noise waiting for the next step in the journey. I am filled with relief that Premier League football is back. And Liverpool remains perfect. Newcastle gave us a great game, but Anfield is a fortress. Liverpool in beating Newcastle became the first premier League team to win 14 games in a row scoring more than 2 goals in each game. A nice little record. If they win a mere 5 more, they will beat the record for the longest ever winning streak in Premier League history.
Highlights of game
To top it off, Man City fell to Norwich. Liverpool could have warned them. Norwich was a formidable opponent when they came to Anfield. This puts Liverpool 5 points on the top of the table, the largest margin after 5 games of any team in the Premier League era. This is a big deal but it is early days.
I am still cautious in predicting trophies and triumphs. Anything can happen in football. That said, this is such a special Liverpool team.
The front three remain a force of nature with Roberto Firmino being able to call the wind, Sadio Mane directing lightening, and Mohamed Salah causing thunder. These three are the weapons wielded by the rest of the team.
Virgil Van Dijk commands a tireless defense, with Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold whipping up a gale that makes opponents tremble. Both Joel Matip and Joe Gomez make great compliments to big Virgil.
Dejan Lovren can come in a pinch. The team is getting deeper and deeper. We still have Nathaniel Clyne back from his loan to Bournemouth.
We have the Golden Glove winning goalkeeper, Alisson Becker. He got injured in the first game. So Adrian, who I imagine did not expect to play a second when he came into the squad, came in. He has done an admirable job filling those big gloves. Already, he has made a trophy-winning save against Chelsea. Sitting in the background is new signing, Andy Lonergan, who has great experience and will aid in the training of our young keepers as well as come in should both Adrian and Alisson be unavailable.
There is not a weak link in this team. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back from injury, and is primed to contribute in bigger and bigger ways going forward. Fabinho has really found his stride in the midfield. Naby Keita will be back from injury, and by the end of last season, this young man was starting to show real quality. Xherdan Shaqiri stayed back from the International Break to improve his play. We will not soon forget his contribution against Manchester United last season. This is an exciting player to watch.
And do not forget the veterans, James Milner has mastered rallying the troops, and captain Jordan Henderson may take his back out for all the trophies he may have to lift this season. We can dream. Adam Llalana is excellent although injuries have underscored his quality. When healthy, this is a brilliant player that is often under-estimated much to the chagrin of Liverpool’s opponents.
We have a great stable of young players as well in all positions, all with potential to turn into world-class players under the tutelage of this great manager and the players he nurtures into small forces of nature. Be on the look out for Rhian Brewster, Curtis Jones, Harvey Eliot, Ki-Jana Hoever, Yassar Larouci, Sepp Van Den Berg, and Caoimhin Kelleher.
Regardless of what does happen this season, this is the best Liverpool team I have ever seen in my lifetime, even better than the team that first introduced me to the Reds in the mid-80’s. There will never be another team like this in my life time. If you are a Liverpool fan, wake up and take it in. This is a rare thing, a rare combination of players, manager, and atmosphere. This Liverpool is a true team, comrades and allies, great talent made world-class by their football mates. At this pace, these mentality giants may get Jurgen Klopp a statue next to Bill Shankly.. Enjoy the ride.