With the Premier League title race nearing its climax it's virtually impossible to call it with Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and now outsiders Arsenal, all in with a shout of winning it. There seems to be a general consensus among the neutral supporter though - they want Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool to bring home the bacon. Why is this?
Perhaps the fact the title has been handed around Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United in recent years means your average English football follower would like to see a new, original champion. That makes sense, but I'm not sure if say Stoke, a team that aren't loved by many (that's a whole different post in itself!), were in Liverpool's position, many would want them to win the Premier League. Perhaps they would though as they are an underdog, but for me there's more to this whole 'Liverpool for the title' talk than just the fact they'd be a different winner.
With an excellent style of football under Rodgers and a strong core of British talent, Liverpool must've attracted some admirers in recent years. The vast array of foreign players arriving in England's top flight over the last few years has undoubtedly hindered young British stars and their development, but not at Liverpool, who on Sunday against Spurs fielded six British players in their starting XI. That's quite remarkable when you think about it. Compare that to other title contenders on the weekend and you'll find Chelsea started with three English players, Arsenal with one and Manchester City also with just the one.
This is a Liverpool side also that wasn't assembled for a ridiculous amount of money. Yes, kitty has been spent, there's no denying that, but not anywhere near to the extent of the Chelsea's and Man City's of this world. Brendan Rodgers has signed very wisely with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Joe Allen, Coutinho, Jordan Henderson and Simon Mignolet, amongst others, all coming in at, in today's market anyway, reasonable prices. Adding to that, youngsters like Kelly, Flanagan and Wisdom have all played their part this season and shown that Rodgers is planning for the future and isn't reliant on foreign superstars. He's sees potential in young British players and isn't afraid to give them a chance. How refreshing.
We all know the passion of the Kop and your average Liverpool fan too. They're desperate for their beloved Reds to reign supreme and win a title they've been craving, as a club, for years. Of course the other contenders and their supporters deserve the prize too, but it's hard to argue that the likes of Chelsea or Manchester City have the same amount of hunger as a massive underdog like Liverpool and a small city that'll be constantly harping on about a potential Premier League title. Liverpool crave a trophy. Any trophy. The fact that trophy could mean they're the best side in the country must mean their desire is absolutely massive. This is a level they've been desperate to reach again for years. Pain, frustration and anger have been surrounding the club for a while now, but come the end of the season, they're in with every chance of making a real statement. Of course with this brings huge pressure though, and many sides have crumbled under similar circumstances before.
The Premier League has been slated in the past for being predictable and lacking in quality, and understandably so, but with a number of candidates vying for the title it's definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, back to its best. The emergence of Liverpool and the decline of Manchester United has made for an alternative title race. Football fans like variety and this, coupled with the top sides looking much stronger, has meant for an enthralling and topsy turvy campaign.
Who's going to win the Premier League? It's very tough to call. Are Liverpool in with a strong shout? Absolutely. Who would many like to see win it? Liverpool.
By Kevin Gall - Huddersfield fan