The Premier League title race was one of the best ever, but don’t feel too sorry for Liverpool, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
There’s one saying that annoys me more than it should… ‘they deserved it’. I don’t buy into that for a second. I’m struggling to find examples of things in life that are deserved and not earned.
In football, there’s no such thing. And that’s why I won’t be feeling too sorry for Liverpool despite having their best-ever Premier League season. They have acquired some phenomenal numbers and statistics, but that’s where it ends as they end the 38-game slugfest against Manchester City in second.
This season proved how good Pep Guardiola’s recruitment was. And of course, with the structures in place. No matter how plastic and contrived the oil-money revolution has proven to be. That they could still beat a team who lost just once on the way to the trophy is remarkable. It is they who deserve the adoration, adulation and the praise… they deserve the title after earning it.
14 straight wins, including their Manchester derby delight was some way to romp to a title defence. There were nerves at times, some 1-0 wins along the way, but the team played out Pep’s plan to perfection.
Sunday at Brighton was just the culmination. It was almost fitting when they went one behind… it gave Liverpool fans hope. But then came the spark, the touch of genius and the goals. At the end, there are few who can argue about City as the best in the league. They did, after all, accumulate the most points.
City are, as it now stands, a collection of stars, but none bigger than the others. No-one of this time will challenge for the Ballon d’Or as Mo Salah, or even Sadio Mane for his last six months could. City showed heart and desire. They played as a team, always to Pep’s call, without a thought of abandoning their style.
They played their way to the title. They won’t call about Liverpool playing their way into the hearts of the neutrals.
Now, Pep and his Premier League winners go in search of the double, while Liverpool turn their attention to the Champions League.
Arguments whether Liverpool deserve that trophy should be put on ice. No awards are given to those who ‘deserve’ them. Instead, they land in the cabinets of the team that earned them. The Reds have 90 minutes, or more, to go out and earn it.
Few would begrudge them as winners. They’ve earned their place in the final. Now can they marry the notion of a club deserving with a club earning?
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