Seven weeks is all it’s taken Richard Keys to drastically reassess his verdict on Liverpool’s Premier League title credentials.
In the days leading up to the start of the campaign, the former Sky Sports presenter wrote on his eponymous blog that he didn’t think the Reds had ‘a challenge in them’ and would sorely ‘miss’ Jordan Henderson and James Milner.
While those two were tremendous servants at Anfield, their replacements Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have both hit the ground running and breathed new life into LFC’s midfield, fuelling an excellent opening few weeks in which we’ve claimed 16 points from a possible 18.
In his latest blog, Keys has since changed his tune on Liverpool, and he even compared them favourably to the troubled start that Manchester United have had to their season.
The 66-year-old wrote: “Liverpool look like the real deal again. Klopp’s rebuild has been a resounding success and from a position where last season’s table told us they were way behind United, they’re now back on their perch – way ahead of them, proving that you don’t always need time – you simply need to know what you’re doing.”
When looking at the first six games of the season prior to the campaign getting underway, it would’ve taken the more optimistic of Liverpool fans to predict that we’d have only dropped two points by this stage, having beaten three of last term’s top seven.
Most of those results haven’t come the easy way, with the Reds frequently needing to come from behind to emerge victorious, but it speaks to the renewed confidence and belief of the team that they’re recovering from losing positions.
The additions of Mac Allister and Szoboszlai in particular have galvanised the entire squad, while the previously much-maligned Curtis Jones and Darwin Nunez have both been magnificent in the early weeks of the season, not to mention the ever-reliable brilliance of Mo Salah.
Liverpool have a set of tricky fixtures on the horizon, travelling to two of the current top four in Tottenham and Brighton over the next fortnight. If we can emerge from those games still within touching distance of Manchester City at the summit, talk of a prolonged title challenge could certainly gather legs.
It’s still too early to declare that the Reds will definitely be in the running by the business end of the campaign, but it’s indicative of how well they’ve started that they’re already causing some pundits to reassess their initial predictions from only a few short weeks ago.