After another incredible attacking Liverpool performance, pundits are now weighing up whether this Liverpool side are good enough to go on and challenge for the Premier League title this season. The consensus is that, despite Liverpool being unbelievable going forward – they cannot defend and this will cost them. It’s a narrative that Twitter hipsters everywhere have latched onto and used as a stick to beat Liverpool’s title credentials with. Unfairly in my opinion.
It’s important to stress that this isn’t a piece that is going to say that our defence is the best around and no one can get past us, as that isn’t true. A look in the Goals Against column has Liverpool’s defence as the ninth best defence in the league – distinctly average. However, I believe you have to look at it in context, like anything in life.
The main reason I think our defence isn’t as dreadful as the media and fans alike are portraying it as is simple that of late, it hasn’t been. For example, since Joël Matip has come into the side, we have conceded 8 goals in the 11 games he has played in all competitions. That would, if my maths serves me right, end up with about 27 goals conceded over 38 games, which would be remarkable from the Reds. Often it is forgotten that we conceded five goals in the first two games, with a Moreno horror show at Arsenal followed by a Liverpool FC complete horror show at Burnley. I’m not suggesting that we will end up with a goals against column like that, but it shows that since Matip’s arrival, the Reds have been nowhere near as leaky at the back as portrayed.
The other main reason I feel the need to stick up for the boys at the back is that teams aren’t getting many chances against us at all. The Watford game was the first time Loris Karius has really been tested, in his eighth appearance. Apart from set pieces and gifts (Lovren at Crystal Palace), teams are finding it very difficult to break down Liverpool. It’s been stated by Jürgen Klopp himself that Atcherburg is working hard with Karius to toughen him up, meaning hopefully the former will become less and less of a problem.
In summary, you can jump on the naysayer’s bandwagon, or jump on the Joël Matip Reds bandwagon and believe it’s our year. I know which one I’ll do!
Written by @JackMitchell_5