Sir Alex Ferguson’s self-appointed task when he joined Manchester United back in 1986 was ‘to knock Liverpool off their perch’ at the top of English football. At the time, the Anfield club were just coming to the end of an era that had seen them secure the league title nine times in fourteen years, along with a few FA Cup and League Cup victories and a couple of European Cups as well. It was a dominance that seemed every bit as absolute as that enjoyed by Manchester United in the Ferguson years, until Ferguson breezed in and changed the landscape of English football. As the saying goes, nothing is forever though, and now it seems that Liverpool might just be about to climb back onto that perch.
The weekend’s results saw Liverpool atop the Premier League, on the back of a string of eight consecutive victories. If they can add another half-dozen to that list, they will be champions. That however, may not be as simple as it sounds. Manager Brendan Rodgers has built a young team bursting with vitality and energy that has consistently swept opponents away this season, but in the run-in to the season’s end they face games against both Manchester City and Chelsea.
The London club’s own aspirations have dwindled somewhat of late after disappointing defeats away to both Aston Villa and Crystal Palace, but remain a difficult team to overcome I any top clash. City probably still remain slight favourites for the title as, although they still have to visit Anfield, they also have the games in hand to ensure that if they also wing their games to the end of the season, they will be crowned as champions.
When Sir Alex Ferguson retired last year, handing over the baton to David Moyes at Old Trafford he probably wouldn’t have foreseen the squad he left as champions falling away so disastrously in the first season of his absence. That it has probably says much of the motivational powers of the old manager that the new man in charge has not been able to replicate.
Whatever the reason behind the slump at United, Liverpool fans will have little care if their team should land the title last won 24 years ago. A team containing the burgeoning talent of Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling would be worthy successors to Anfield teams of the past, and if they end the season as champions they could just be putting Liverpool back ion their perch again.
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