Liverpool and Tottenham are waiting for their first Premier League title and Jürgen Klopp has warned they might still be doing the same next season, because he can only see Manchester City becoming even stronger.
“City are really good, there’s no shadow of a doubt that they are where they deserve to be,” the Liverpool manager said. “Unfortunately they can be even better next season. I have to say that. Everyone will be better next season, the quality of all the teams will not drop, but City are so far ahead because they have good moments even when they are not playing like a dream.
“They have had their share of luck along the way and that might not happen every year, but as well as quality they have the right mentality, they are constantly greedy and that’s why they won some of their games with late goals. No team in the top five has had a long run of wins like City. All the rest of us can do is keep trying.”
No one knows better than Klopp that Liverpool are a club built on repeated title success, or that Bill Shankly used to insist that second is nowhere, though with the greatest respect to one of his illustrious predecessors the German would argue that times have changed.
“He was a fantastic manager at an outstanding club in a football crazy city, but we cannot compare those times with these times,” Klopp said. “People ask me would I regard finishing in the top four as a successful season. I have to ask how could that not be the case? In a league like this, to finish in the top four you need 70-something points.
“That is unbelievable because you have to win everywhere. You can only lose maybe four games all season. In any other league in the world, with just four defeats, you finish first or second. In England you could be fifth.”
Klopp regrets never having met the manager who brought Liverpool out of the Second Division and turned them into a force in the land, but he believes Shankly would have adapted his philosophy to the Champions League era. “If you could bring Bill back to the club he might not be happy with fourth either, but because he was a fantastic manager he would have seen this is the only way we can go.
“We want to be in a position to win something one day, but just wanting it more desperately than other clubs doesn’t make it more likely to happen. That’s how it is.”
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