To rule Europe, Liverpool must be like Tian Tian Chicken Rice
Take hawker food for example. Hawkers do not become famous simply because they sell delicious food. They make a name for themselves because they consistently deliver delicious food.
Case in point: Tian Tian Chicken Rice.
I’m not going to say this is the best chicken rice in Singapore because taste is highly subjective. I will however say it is one of the most consistent.
Foodies can be an unforgiving bunch. Mess up one meal and they might give your stall a second chance. Mess up another and you start losing customers. This is why a certain soy sauce chicken rice store lost its Michelin star. This is why Tian Tian is constantly regarded as among the best.
Consistency is also paramount in the chase for glory on multiple fronts in football.
Liverpool has been able to reach not one but three cup finals and force the race for the English league title to the final day of the season because of this.
WATCH: Liverpool celebrate with fans at trophy parade
Yes, the current squad is loaded with talent and hardworking players who can manifest Jurgen Klopp’s heavy metal football philosophy, but it is in fact the ability to do so consistently that has gifted them two trophies this season.
Of course, to perform consistently would also require squad depth, something that the club has masterfully achieved through clever transfers. Depth is important because one does not win multiple titles with one A team. There needs to be quality on the bench as well.
About seven years ago when Jurgen Klopp took over the reins at Liverpool, the there was just one A team, in which some players might not even qualify to be on Manchester City’s B team.
Today, the German has the luxury of benching quality players like Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Ibrahima Konate. What this means is that Liverpool can consistently compete at full strength in any competition.
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However, it can be argued that Liverpool’s failure to win the title is because they just haven’t been as consistent as Man City. While the Reds finished just one point adrift of eventual champions, the situation during the earlier part of the season was a very different story – they were trailing City by 14 points in mid-January.
I’d argue that much of this inconsistency stems from Liverpool’s defence.
I honestly do not understand all this hype about Trent Alexander-Arnold. Don’t get me wrong – the lad is a supremely talented right back, but he often gives the ball away cheaply. He also has the penchant of getting caught out of position and losing the person he’s supposed to mark.
I honestly believe that Real Madrid would not have scored if Alexander-Arnold had Vinicius Junior covered at the back post.
Looking ahead, Liverpool faces a similar predicament to Tian Tian Chicken Rice. Both must get their succession planning right to improve its consistency.
In the case of Tian Tian, it is about finding the right chicken to field in the face of the temporary halt of Malaysian chicken exports to Singapore.
In the case of Liverpool, it about finding the right players to succeed current ones.
The futures of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane are up in the air. The former has reiterated his desire to stay, but it looks increasingly unlikely that the club will accede to his wage demands. Mane, on the other hand, looks bound for Bayern Munich.
Luis Diaz has proved to be a bargain of a transfer signing that can seamlessly take over the mantle of Mane. But there’s still the need for at least one more top player that can play the center forward role comfortably.
WATCH: Klopp on Luis Diaz's massive impact at Liverpool
Yes, Diogo Jota fits this role, but the Portuguese is still a work in progress. His performance this season has been inconsistent at best. The same can be said for Firmino. Both have their fair share of goals but, alas, lack consistency.
I’d expect the club to sign another top-class forward in the upcoming transfer window. Perhaps not a polished product, but another Jota-esque player who would further improve squad depth.
The midfield would need padding up, too. Jordan Henderson doesn’t look like he has too many seasons left in him. Ribena-loving James Milner just isn’t the kind of player you’d expect to create the magic needed to break down stubborn defenses. It is also clear that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain no longer has a future at the club, and Naby Keita’s stop-start performances just don’t quite cut it.
Liverpool needs another creative spark the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, who has been consistently influential in the middle of the park for City.
This, to me, is what sets City apart from Liverpool.
Yes, the Reds have Thiago Alcantara. But until he can consistently deliver the kind of performances De Bruyne does, Liverpool will likely find themselves playing second fiddle to Pep Guardiola’s band of superstars, which will next season include the likes of Erling Haaland.
WATCH: Haaland's last goal for Borussia Dortmund
Nevertheless, this has been a good season for Liverpool. It could have been a spectacular treble-winning season, but ending up with two trophies certainly isn’t shabby at all.
Final Rating: A
Most tok kong team
Manchester City. The way they play football is just breathtaking. Liverpool play attractive high octane football but it just doesn’t quite compared to the flow and incisiveness of Pep Guardiola’s team.
Most CMI team
Everton. I’m not saying this because I’m a Liverpool fan. I’m saying this because it’s disappointing what this club has managed to achieve (or not achieve) despite spending nearly half a billion pounds since 2016. And just look at the way they were playing during the latest Merseyside derby. It was utterly disgraceful.
Manager I want to be when I grow up
Jurgen Klopp. Build the man a statue outside Anfield already. What he has managed to achieve at Liverpool in just seven years makes him the best signing in club history.
Manager who should rethink his life choices
Ralf Rangnick. Seriously, stop coaching. Good luck, Austria.
Player I want to have babies with
Son Heung-min. Oppa, come to Liverpool, please.
Player I want to throw darts at
Richarlison. Please, go consider a career in acting. I thought Neymar was the OG diver in football. This guy takes the cake.