The BIG Question: Are Liverpool Serious Title Contenders This Time Around?

Chris Wright

22nd, July 2011


By Chris Wright

Sit back and watch the best of the 2011/2012 Premier League season live with Sky Sports HD.

I awoke from my slumber this morning with an uneasy feeling way down in my gut. At first I thought it may have just been the loaded egg mayo preparing for round two, but no – it ran far deeper than that.

My internal barometer was going haywire because somewhere on the far side of the Atlantic Ocean, someone had torn a hole through the very fabric of time and the sky was caving in upon itself.

Overnight, Wayne Rooney – fierce ogre guardian of Manchester United and Everton, a man with the number ’19’ shaved into his matted chest hair – had tipped Liverpool as genuine Premier League title contenders.

The seventh seal was open, the angelic heralds were gathering and an apocalyptic lightning storm was skewing the horizon – but it was also 5:45am, so I had a leak and went back to sleep.

Ridiculously overblown intros aside, Paul Konchesky has been banished forever and Liverpool are basking in a new-found glow of rude health going into 2011/12.

Indeed, we’ve already stuck our necks out and tipped them to nab Arsenal’s spot in the top four next season, but Monsieur Rooney’s appraisal is just one of the many cries of ‘title dark horsery’ we’ve overheard of late – and we’re not just talking about your average Sisyphean Scouser’s ‘this is our year’ tourettes, we’re talking about actual, cognitive people with their brain stems fully connected to the rest of their nervous systems.

Liverpool’s season gets underway with an opener against Sunderland at Anfield, though their next few games will include early trips to fellow business-end botherers Arsenal (20th Aug) and Tottenham (18 Sep), before all form and finesse goes out the window when October literally opens with a Merseyside derby at Goodison ahead of the first clash against the reigning champs Man Utd on home turf on Saturday 15th – all good, relatively early litmus tests for any side that are harbouring title aspirations.

I guess we’ll have a good indication of just how ‘ready to challenge’ Kenny’s men will be by sometime around World Arthritis Day – though Man City and Chelsea both lie in wait in late November.

Crucially, barring a penultimate home tie against Chelsea, Liverpool’s run looks like a potential cake-walk – with perfectly winnable games against Sunderland, QPR, Wigan, Newcastle, Villa, Blackburn, Fulham, West Brom, Norwich and Swansea awaiting them from the turn of March onwards.

All we’ll say is, that looks très kind to us.

As any Scally worth his salt will (repeatedly) tell you, Liverpool hoovered up 34 points from 18 games after Dalglish took over the reigns last time out…and if you take the club’s post-Woy results in isolation, they would have finished second in the Premier League pile…and that if that points-to-games ratio had been produced from the beginning of the season they would have finished with the same points haul as second-placed Chelsea and so on and so forth.

Add to that a crotch-warming flush of rejuvenated morale, a decent (if over-priced) bout of summer squad bolstering and the prospect of a full season for the effervescent Luis Suarez to get his teeth sunk into Premier League life and things are definitely looking rosy.

However, we’d be prepared to wager that, considering the juggernaut strength, sense of entitlement and pedigree of their closest competitors for the top spot, a title shot is still just out of Liverpool’s reach as things stand – though the possibility of a domestic cup isn’t altogether too far fetched, now is it?

Anyway, there’s always 2012/13.

This season, Sky Sports will be showing 115 live Premier League fixtures, with every match available in HD and selected matches in 3D.

Every single Barclays Premier League team shown live in the first set of Sky Sports HD fixtures, and all three newly-promoted clubs shown live at least three times by the end of November.

Sky Sports will be covering all the big head-to-heads, including Manchester United’s heavyweight clashes with Arsenal (Aug 28th) and Chelsea (Sep 18th), as well as screening seven major derbies in HD including Everton v Liverpool (Oct 1st), Tottenham vs Arsenal (Oct 2nd) and the Manchester derby followed by QPR vs Chelsea (both on Oct 23rd).

Please note however, that all fixture are liable to change – we wouldn’t want you to miss out!

Sign up with Sky Sports Football and feast your peepers on the 2011/2012 Premier League season in glorious HD.

Posted in Featured, Liverpool, Opinion

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  1. StevenJ says:

    Liverpool aren’t in the Europa League this year. If we don’t have too many injuries we’ll still be in the mix at the end of the season. We have one of the strongest, adaptable and functional squads in the league and that will show through with Kennys style.

  2. thisISben says:

    You sure get a lot of facts wrong for a football website. Liverpool aren’t in the Europa League.

  3. Chris says:

    @Steven and Ben: Apologies, I meant to delete that before I published the article and promptly forgot – hence the crap grammar.

  4. spark says:

    this article could have been written with 1 word: No.

    They should, however, win the “Club With Most Overrated English Players Award”.

  5. They’ll finish midtable. Same place their signings came from.

  6. Jim says:

    Not a chance.

    Next big question?

  7. Lady B says:

    Top 4, definitely :) The Reds are on the rise…

  8. Joe says:

    “Perfectly winnable” games were the ones that troubled Liverpool most last year-West Ham, Blackpool etc… Although the introduction of route 1 possibilities through Carroll and Downing would perhaps make games against Allardycean teams easier

  9. Jimbo says:

    The answer is no.

  10. Red4Life says:

    “Indeed, we’ve already stuck our necks out and tipped them to nab Arsenal’s spot in the top four next season, but Monsieur Rooney’s appraisal is just one of the many cries of ‘dark horsery’ we’ve overheard of late – and we’re not just talking about your average Sisyphean Scouser’s ‘this is our year’ tourettes, we’re talking about actual, cognitive people with their brain stems fully connected to the rest of their nervous systems”
    *confused* I thought you were talking about Shre….er….Rooney?

  11. Montesquieu says:

    I’d be very surprised if they break into the top four. Manchester City still has Tevez and many other good players, Chelsea won’t lose their place in the top three, United will obviously be there. The only team that can be dislodged from the fourth place is Arsenal and they’re leagues ahead of Liverpool, not to mention that Tottenham is still a good contender for 5/6th spot.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I cant wait to see the smile wiped off of the faces of Arsenal and Tottenham ‘supporters’ this season.

  13. Anon says:


  14. Mizman says:

    In a word… NO

    In 4 words… NOT A FUCKING CHANCE

  15. Andrew says:

    @Montesquieu Arsenal are leagues ahead of Liverpool? How so? What if Nasri and Fabregas both leave, surely that team wouldn’t make the top 4?

  16. Michael says:

    It was only two seasons ago Liverpool thought they were genuine title challengers and that Arsenal were gonna get knocked out of the top four.

    Two years later things have changed. Liverpool have gotten worse. Arsenal have gotten better. Spurs too, have gotten better.

    And yet, a Liverpool fan still think they will see “the smile wiped off the faces of Arsenal and Tottenham”?

    Please. Arsenal, Tottenham and Man City are all quality sides and personally, I think their players man to man outmatch all of yours still, despite your signings.

    A title challenge? No way. Top four? Possible, but Liverpool are in no way guaranteed to such a position.

  17. Dave says:

    Ha Ha…..No chance.

  18. Leonard Nimoy says:

    Dave, Anon, Jimbo, Jim et al. What well-constructed, detailed responses to this fine article. I’d rather Scouse Tourettes than your monosyllabic nuggets of poo.

    Anyway, the best analysis I gan offer at this stage is that my beloved Reds will be there or thereabouts. The criticisms (often useful excuses for us) that have been levelled at Liverpool in recent years have been debatable management, ownership issues and lack of squad depth = reliance on the Torres-Gerrard axis. Despite these maladies (which would have crippled lesser clubs btw) we have still been pretty bothersome to the Utd-Chelsea empire, though I accept not real title contenders. All 3 major ills have been cured and though I accept that we’re probably a decent buy or 3 away from a 19th title, to write us off completely for a challenge a la Brave Dave of the “Haha…..No chance” razor-sharp retort, is laughable.

  19. syndex says:

    ignore the king kenny hubris they are not title contenders, Man utd are improving and man city are starting to look cohesive this year, the third spot is up for grabs though as chelsea and arsenal slip.

  20. Mr. Angry says:

    @ chris wright

    “a title shot is still just out of Liverpool’s reach as thigs stand”


  21. Mr. Angry says:


  22. Mr. Angry says:

    i wonder how many of these idiots slaggin off liverpool are actually english and if they actually know anything about liverpool’s history?

    i bet most of them are turban wearing glory hunting idiots who lick manure arse!!!

  23. Mark says:

    As a reds fan, I doubt it. We’ve had much stronger squads in the past 5 years and haven’t faired better. I hope you are right but I think we’ll finish 5th

  24. S-League Player says:

    @Mark: True,we’ve had stronger sides before and still failed. But this season we have someone we never had before and that’s King Kenny.

    I was a sceptic when he first returned in January but even I have to admit his presence has done wonders for the club: just witness how those same players flailing about under Woy were suddenly transformed under KK. It’s not just his aura, it’s his pedigree and perhap most of all, his personality that is the real differential factor this time round. We used to have hope before every season, now, we have the King. Long Live the King and You’ll Never Walk Alone!

  25. Dan says:

    I can’t see us winning the title, id love it but i don’t think the signings are title winning players even if we do have the magic tough of Dalglish and even without the distraction of the Europa League. Kenny came in last year and just had to lift the players, this year he has to get them started, going, and keep them going until May. I hope he can do it i really do, but a top 4 finish will be an achievement in itself. Champions League is worth about £50m, so if we could get that we’d be half way to paying off Mr Henry and Mr Werner. Nevertheless im looking forward to the new season.

  26. Tom Jones says:

    The answer is:

    No Nay Never! No Nay Never No More!!!

  27. Mr. Angry says:


  28. Jim says:

    To elaborate.

    Their Summer transfers have been awful, and the standard new manager “bounce” will wear off.

    Maybe if they had a manager like Ferguson, they’d sit comfortably in the top four, but even then they wouldn’t challenge for the title.

  29. Suarez says:

    You will see what liverpool can do under King kenny… I am sure he is gonna bring happiness to the Liverpool family. King kenny is our king, Liverpool our country, and we the proud citizen of liverpool…

  30. Leo says:

    LOL@ Downing, Adam, Henderson, Carroll…give me a break.

  31. Leo says:

    Henderson’s fee= combined fees of Nuri Sahin + Mesut Ozil…british players are a joke

  32. Xani Alves says:

    @Leo, your example is interesting to consider. Had British teams been in pursuit of Ozil or Sahin their fees would certainly have doubled, especially given they were both coming off excellent seasons. Why do British teams ending up paying so much?

  33. newcassel says:

    Suarez 22M = bargain compared to Henderson and Downing

  34. maaazeeeyyy says:

    I think liverpool will end up similar too the way man city did. In the 2009-2010 season man city had a good squad but the players didnt gel. They also did not manage to secure a champions league place and ended up in 5th. I think this season Liverpool will end up at least 5th with a bit of luck maby 4th, but I think the 2012-13 season will be the one were Liverpool will contend for the title and secure a champions league spot

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