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Unless There is a Calamity, Liverpool are Going to be League Champions: Barnes

Liverpool (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Liverpool (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Former Liverpool captain John Barnes said it was important for Liverpool to not only win the Premier League title this season but stay successful over a sustained period of time.

  • News18 Sports New Delhi
  • Last Updated: May 28, 2020, 5:07 PM IST
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Former England footballer and ex-Liverpool captain was all praise for the Premier League season the Reds have had and was confident that they will go on to lift the prestigious trophy.

Liverpool are looking to end a 30-year wait for the first division title but Barnes believes the club will have to be at the top of the game for a sustained period of time to be really called successful.

"As for Liverpool, I think unless there is a calamity, they are going to crowned champions.

"I think it's not just about this season, the team cannot take their foot off the gas and rest on their laurels if they do manage to win the premier league. A true marker of success is being able to win trophies for a sustained period of time.

"Juergen Klopp will hopefully drive the players to maintain such levels of performance in the years to come. I hope this is the start of another great era in the history of the club, when the reds can challenge for the domestic league title and Champions League title every season, as they did in the past. The league triumph will no doubt be fantastic for the club, but the success must not stop there," Barnes said in an interview with Wion.

HOW LIVERPOOL LEFT BEHIND MANCHESTER CITY

Barnes said that there is nothing about Liverpool's level of performance that has changed from last season but it is the drop in Manchester City's level, which has enabled Liverpool to be on top.

"Liverpool only lost one Premier League match in the 2018-19 season as well, so it is not as if they are performing considerably better than last year. In fact I think Liverpool were playing better football last season, but Manchester City were just unstoppable. This season, there has been a dip in city's performances, largely because of they have lost key defensive players to injury. Whereas Liverpool have continued to be consistent, so I think nothing has changed from last season," he said.

Barnes further opined that the reason Liverpool and Manchester City have been successful in the last couple of years is because the manager is the one in control at the two clubs.

"It comes as no surprise to me that Liverpool and Manchester City have been the two most successful clubs in England over the last two years, because the manager in both those clubs is truly the man in charge, the power doesn't lie with the owners or the players."

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He explained his point by saying that if Mohamed Salah was dropped to the bench by Klopp, the club won't be pressurising him.

"At other clubs, when the team loses, the blame is put on the manager rather than the players, which makes the footballers feel more empowered and in a way makes them less accountable. At Liverpool and Manchester City, players will be criticised for poor performances and not just the managers. The most important thing is that the players should know that the manager is the man in charge.

"Player power is now a big issue all over the world, where players are seen as more important than the managers. The clubs in which the players have been calling the shots, have been inconsistent. A manager's role is undermined when the players are made to seem more important," he explained.

RESUMPTION OF PREMIER LEAGUE

Barnes believes that the league should start only if it is safe to do so. He said in the current times of coronavirus, nobody can guarantee full safety but life will have to find a way to get normal again.

He said instead of the footballers, there are other people who everyone should be worried about more.

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"Why are we feeling more sorry for footballers as opposed to factory workers? It's not just important for footballers to get back to action, it is important for all of us to get back to our lives. Players in the lower divisions are struggling , but Premier League footballers can probably financially sustain themselves for the next year without getting back to work. Whereas most people in the world, who do not have such high-paying jobs cannot afford to do that."

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