Football

Watch: Carragher & Neville On Key Developments Of Liverpool From Last Season

Watch: Carragher & Neville On Key Developments Of Liverpool From Last Season

Monday Night Football just continues to produce. Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have brought some incredibly insightful analysis to our tv screens over the last few years, and tonight was no different.

While they opened the evening with some well-articulated thoughts on the Raheem Sterling situation, the conversation soon turned to Liverpool's title challenge.

Jamie Carragher was incredibly impressed with Liverpool's development this season. He felt that Jurgen Klopp's side were too open in seasons gone by, and while would lead to exciting matches, it was not a winning formula.

The way Liverpool are playing, they may just be different. I'm pleased to see it, because I think on this show last season Liverpool played away at Leicester and won 3-2 early in the season.

I come on and said 'I'm sick of Liverpool being everyone's second team, everyone wants to watch Liverpool, they're exciting and you don't know what's going to happen.'

At the moment we know what's going to happen, Liverpool are going to win games. It's not going to be end-to-end basketball games, and as a Liverpool supporter I'm glad of that.

Another big change for the team this term is the positioning of Mo Salah. While the Egyptian was used almost exclusively as right winger last season, he has been utilised in a much more central role at times this year.

That has allowed him to pick up more threatening positions, while also reducing his defensive duties.

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The most noticeable improvement in Liverpool this season has been their defence. The team have conceded an incredible six goals in 16 league matches so far this season, a record in the English top flight.

While Virgil van Dijk has taken many of the plaudits, Gary Neville feels most of the improvement has come after the signing of goalkeeper Alisson over the summer. The Brazilian has made a number of key saves already, and has acted as a major upgrade over Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.

Last season, Liverpool goalkeepers saved only 64% of the shots they faced, which ranked 19th amongst Premier League teams. This year the number has risen to 86% and 1st place. Gary Neville explained the difference having a world-class goalkeeper can make:

I have probably been the harshest critic of Liverpool's goalkeepers over the last couple of years... you saw goals going into the back of Liverpool's net and commentators would say 'the goalkeeper couldn't have done anything about that.'

You think yes he could, because the greatest goalkeepers in the world save them.

Great goalkeepers win you point, after point, after point, after point. And you don't even notice it. You ask is van Dijk the biggest impact on the team? No he's not.

Ultimately, Jurgen Klopp has crafted a much more dominant and controlled Liverpool side. They no longer play in a style which leaves them exposed at the back, they strangle opponents into submission. While some may feel it is less pleasing to the eye, it is far more effective.

Gary Neville believes this is a title-winning style, and Liverpool have every chance of going the distance.

They are playing like a championship-winning team. This is a rounded, very good side...

They can (win the title), and I've thought that for a few months. However, they have got one big problem, and that is the team up at the top of that list. They are up against an outstanding team.

You look at the sort of points clear that Manchester City were clear last season with that sort of record, you look at all the teams on that chart and how many points clear they are, Liverpool are only one clear.

So for all their efforts, all their quality, for all the performances, they're in a dog fight still. But they should relish it, because they are performing at a title-winning level. They now have to maintain it over the next 22 games.

SEE ALSO: Gary Neville: Raheem Sterling Came To Me Over Media Treatment

Gary Connaughton

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