The Best There’s Ever Been

After a weekend like the one we’ve all just enjoyed, the title ‘The Best There’s Even Been’ could be referring to all sorts of thing. It goes without saying that that is the best result Liverpool have ever achieved at Old Trafford, excluding a 7-1 win against Newton Heath in a different century. It is almost certainly the best night an away crowd has had in the Premier League, even accounting for the numerous times that we’ve embarrassed Everton at Goodison Park. It will go close to the top of the list for performances against a rival team, even though the likes of Divock Origi’s goal and the time Sadio Mané scored in the 94th minute, both against our Blue brethren, will long in the memory. In terms of weekends of Premier League football, it was marred only by Manchester City and Chelsea both winning their games, though neither victory came as a surprise to anyone. For Liverpool supporters, to be 4-0 up at half-time at Old Trafford is what dreams are made of.

It was possible thanks to the fact that this is probably the best Liverpool side we’ve ever seen, spearheaded by the best forward that has ever played for the club. You don’t go 4-0 up at Old Trafford before the referee has even blown for the half-time whistle. You don’t beat the Red Devils 5-0 on their own patch, toying with them for the second-half in a manner that suggested we could have scored double-figures if we’d wanted to. These things simply don’t happen in modern day football. Indeed, the last time that Manchester United lost by five clear goals at home in the league without getting on the scoresheet themselves was in 1955, with Matt Busby the man on the receiving end of the shellacking. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is not Matt Busby. Liverpool, for want of a better phrase, absolutely embarrassed them. They pulled United’s pants down in their own stadium and had fans streaming for the exits before an hour was on the clock. The absolute very best.

The Best Liverpool Side Ever?

Though I was born in 1982, it would be a lie to say that I watched the Liverpool teams of the 1980s. By the time I was starting to properly get into football, the Liverpool of old was a distant memory. The side that I grew up watching was managed by Roy Evans, full of attacking flair but never quite living up to the teams of old. The first trophies I can actively remember seeing us win were won in 2001 by Gérard Houllier’s treble-winning side. There’s no doubt that that team was filled with brilliant players and its achievement should not be played down but, just as with Rafael Benitez’s European Cup win in 2005, it was as much about luck as judgement. Nobody that watched us play Arsenal in the FA Cup in 2001 could say with a straight fact that we deserved to win, even if top-level football is all about taking your chances. I’ve seen Liverpool sides achieve remarkable things, but I’d never seen them look truly dominant in the manner that Jürgen Klopp’s side do.

Let’s be clear and honest about this: Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool would have won at least two Premier League titles and probably more if we weren’t playing at a time when Manchester City were being used as a sports-washing project by a country, spending billions to buy their success. Even now, with that being the background, we’ve still won a top-flight league and a European Cup, having made it to another Champions League final under the German. This side might not have dominated in terms of trophies in the same way that the Liverpool of the 1980s did, but that’s only because it’s not operating on a level playing field. In my opinion, what we’re witnessing at the moment is the best manager in the world operating at the peak of his powers. Chelsea’s underlying numbers suggest that they won’t keep going all season, but Liverpool and City will because they’re the best teams there have ever been and only one of them is operating without financial doping.

Mo Salah – The Best In The World

The match at Old Trafford was the perfect demonstration of yesterday’s man up against the best player in the world on current form. As Manchester United toiled and struggled, all Cristiano Ronaldo could do was lash out and kick Curtis Jones in a manner that would have been a red card offence if the man in charge hadn’t been born under the shadow of the stadium itself. Mohamed Salah, meanwhile, decided to demonstrate exactly why he is the best player in the world on current form. There are plenty of economic arguments around wage structures and needing to sign other players as to why the club haven’t agreed a new deal with the Egyptian, but my take on the matter is simple: you pay the best player in the world what the best player in the world deserves to be paid. Ronaldo is rumoured to be on £500,000 a week after tax at Manchester United, which is a ludicrous amount of money for someone that very evidently does not deserve that much.

Salah, if the rumours are to be believed, doesn’t even want that much. The question that Fenway Sports Group need to ask themselves is how much it would cost to replace what Salah brings to this team. How much would it cost us if he were to go to a rival, helping a club such as Real Madrid win the Champions League at our expense? I’m sure some older readers of this piece will correct me, but I can’t remember a time in which Liverpool have ever had the best player on the planet lining up for them. Perhaps Michael Owen before he left for pastures new? There have been brilliant players, such as Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres, but I’m not sure either of them were considered the best in the world at the time that they played for us. Mo Salah is certainly in that conversation, with his goals and assist at Old Trafford proof, were it needed, that he is operating at a different level to everyone else right now. He’s the best and he’s ours, which we should ensure remains that way.

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