Jamie Carragher: 'I am cautious about Jurgen Klopp's chances'
Jamie Carragher wrote a column for Irish Independent analysing what obstacles will Klopp meet on his way to the top and how to overcome them
"Liverpool have waited 28 years. Not just for the league title, but for a pre-season where so many pundits and supporters believe they can win it. Not since Kenny Dalglish's first reign as manager has there been so much summer optimism at Anfield, or heaped expectation on the club from the outside. I am cautious about Jurgen Klopp's chances. There is still a formidable obstacle in the way … Manchester City.
"I believe City will retain their crown. Pep Guardiola could be on the threshold of an era of dominance, winning successive titles in a manner that has eluded clubs since Alex Ferguson's retirement. For those chasing, not only must their own performances massively improve, they need City to significantly decline. Guardiola's side can't keep repeating the freakishly brilliant performance of last season, but such is the standard set, anyone with aspirations of catching them must secure at least 90 points.
Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher had a bet live on TV that whoever missed a penalty would have to wear the other persons team's shirt— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) August 7, 2018
Enjoy wearing a Liverpool shirt Gary ? pic.twitter.com/7tYFiOp4dd
"If City cannot replicate their form, Liverpool must take advantage before everyone else sorts themselves out. The club has had no better chance to reach this points tally in 28 years, regardless of whether it will be enough to finish top. Usually, when naming possible winners, there are three clubs ahead of the rest - Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. The next three - Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham - tend to fight for a Champions League place.
"Although they finished fourth last season, I believe Liverpool can replace Chelsea in the top trio this season. That is a sign of significant progress; the club finding itself in a situation it has not been often enough. There have been occasions when the club promised more than was ultimately delivered. There have been a couple of unexpected title bids in 2009 and 2014 which defied, rather than met, expectations. Then circumstances conspired to halt momentum.
"I remember the summer of 2009 under Rafa Benitez when, having finished runners-up to Manchester United, we felt we could go close again. Instead Xabi Alonso was sold, there was boardroom chaos under Tom Hicks and George Gillett (which we were aware about as players but underestimated how serious it would get), and we did not finish in the top six in 2010. Brendan Rodgers' challenge four years later was a one-off, the subsequent sale of Luis Suarez ensuring Liverpool finished outside the top four a year later."