Now the transfer window has closed and both Everton and Liverpool have had the chance to undergo a full transfer window with new managers, it seems an appropriate time to analyse who is in the best position to finish higher this season.
Three games have already been played, And Everton find themselves three points ahead of the Merseyside rivals. But Liverpool have already played two big teams in Arsenal and Tottenham, both away trips where they impressively picked up four points. Playing against the big teams has never been a problem under Klopp though, whose tactics seem to thrive against the better sides. It was the two nil loss to Burnley that will really worry the fans as it seems that the same mistakes are being made this season. The manager and the players seem to be underestimating lowly opposition. To finish in the Champions League positions, which is ultimately where Liverpool should be finishing the season, they need to be able to focus every weekend, no matter who the opposition is. It’ll come down to whether or not Liverpool can be consistent because if they can be, then there’s no reason they cannot be up there with the very best sides – but that loss against Burnley needs to be a wake-up call.
Under Koeman Everton have started well, seven points from three games, unbeaten and playing better football with the Dutchman in charge. But ultimately they’ve had an easier start than Liverpool, and just three games in it would be silly to draw any conclusions. I think Koeman will have to do really work to get the best out of Romelu Lukaku if Everton play to their potential – that may be his biggest task as manager. Lukaku had been linked with a £60million move away this summer, but he has not been playing like a £60million striker in all honesty, it will be interesting to see if Koeman can turn him into one
Everton made a few shrewd additions like Ashley Williams, but also a few questionable ones. The £25million paid for Yannick Bolasie certainly raises question marks. Before we can judge that the signing too harshly though, we must give him the opportunity to see what he can do at a bigger club. There was similar criticism when Liverpool spent £30 million on Sadio Mane earlier in the summer – but his fast start under Klopp has silenced the doubters and it would only be right to give Bolasie equal opportunity to do so. In all honesty I think both clubs struggled in the market this summer, and both managers will have wanted to bring in a better calibre of player. Klopp’s failed pursuit of former midfielder Mario Gotze certainly hurt him, as the German was perhaps the most talented player that could realistically join the club this summer. I find it amazing that Liverpool actually made a profit in the transfer window this summer. This was Klopp’s chance to bring in players that really suited historically and maximise the potential club. But it’s clear that the German is not the biggest fan of the transfer window, He prefers to mould the players at his disposal into the style he wishes to play with. In a modern football environments dominated by money, Klopp’s attitude is admirable but ultimately I think Liverpool will struggle to compete with the best because of Klopp’s reluctance to invest (see what I did there).
Honestly I think both teams will struggle to fulfil their ambition of breaking into the top four this season. The faultless starts from Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United show that the Premier League is likely to be completely different this time around. If either side were to break into the top four, last season was a brilliant opportunity. Now, as an Arsenal fan and looking up already at those three clubs I find it hard to see either Liverpool or Everton seriously challenging this season. Both clubs are still in the early stages with their new managers and I don’t feel either has made a significant enough addition to the squad this summer to compete with other clubs. I can however see both Everton and Liverpool being in the chasing pack and ultimately finishing fifth and sixth. I think Arsenal will be just ahead and the likes of Leicester and West Ham who will be further behind. Whose fifth and whose sixth? It’s going to be close, perhaps the closest battle yet between the two arch rivals – but for me Liverpool just have that extra bit quality in the squad to edge Everton again. Players like Daniel Sturridge have the potential to be world class and Klopp needs to ensure he doesn’t simply cast the Englishman aside, otherwise he should have sold him and re-invested in a more suited player of a similar calibre. I do feel that Klopp has a better understanding of his squad having been in charge for longer than his Everton counterpart and that could prove the difference this season.
Liverpool and Everton fans and, I’d love to hear your. honest opinions about where you feel you will finish this season. Please leave your comments below