Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been bullish when asked in the past about the Reds chances of claiming their first league title of the Premier League era, but with his side currently sitting eight points adrift of leaders Arsenal, the Northern Irishman has finally given up the ghost.
“I think for us, as a team, it’s too early for that,” conceded the Anfield boss when asked if his side are ready to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League. “I was at the Manchester City-Chelsea game the other night and I look at the squads they have, which they have built up over the last few years. And it’s very difficult for us, even though we have competed right the way through the season.”
A disappointing transfer window and a thin squad have conspired to derail the Merseysiders at points this season and the lack in quality – or fit – personnel has taken its toll. Despite sitting on the Premier League summit at Christmas, back to back losses to the Citizens and the Blues sent Liverpool tumbling down the table, though they go into this weekend’s meeting with league leaders Arsenal in fourth place with an impressive 47 points – though still too far off the pace from the top three for Rodgers to back a realistic race for the top-spot.
“So, I wouldn’t say for us this year, no. We wouldn’t be challengers for it” continued the Northern Irishman. With the Reds set to host both Manchester City and Chelsea before May rolls around, Liverpool could certainly have a say in who takes the top honours this year. “Will we play a part in it?” asked Rodgers. “Yes, we will, because we are professional and we want to fight to finish as high as we possibly can.” We also want to seal up a top-four finish and get back in the Champions League next season – -we might not be racing for the title, but every single point still counts.