‘Tis the week before the season begins, and all ‘round the web the pundits are chattering. Literally all of them. You might remember some familiar faces from the drama of last season, when Liverpool won the Champions League and almost-but-not-quite won the Premier League. Their visions of the future are usually wrong, but indulging them in this week before the actual football begins is one of the few remaining pleasures in life.
A loss to Manchester City in the Community Shield was probably not a great omen, but former Red and current pundit, Danny Murphy, still thinks the Reds can edge City out for the Premier League.
“I’m sure they won’t quite repeat their unbelievable results but it will still be a two-horse race for the title,” Murphy wrote in his Sunday column at the Daily Mail. “The gap is too big for their rivals to make up in one go.”
And while there haven’t been too many changes in either squad (with Murphy favouring City with a fully fit Kevin de Bruyne), the former Red believes that City’s focus on the Champions League will help Liverpool edge out their rivals for the Premier League.
“Partly it’s because City could subconsciously prioritise the Champions League, having won the Premier League twice in a row,” Murphy added. “The main reason, however, is the departure of Vincent Kompany, their leader for so long. Kompany can be replaced on the pitch but in the dressing room and training ground it will be impossible to find someone with his experience, credibility and gravitas.”
Kompany, of course, scored the League winning goal against Leicester City last season. He left City at the end of last season after 11 years with the club.
Whether or not City are able to fill Kompany’s shoes, the Reds’ season (and the impending rain of silverware to fill Anfield) is about to begin. Here’s to one as incredible as the last.