The things we learnt in 2020 and what to look out for in the new year

As the dust settles and we sweep up the confetti that marked the end of 2020, we decided to take a look at some of the interesting highlights in a truly memorable year.


Ending the three-decade-long wait, what a team...


Liverpool celebrating the league title
Image Source: Liverpool FC

It was a special year for Liverpool, for obvious reasons. Having finished agonizingly close to a near-perfect Manchester City side in the 2018/2019 season, the Reds utterly dominated the Premier League and lifted their 19th league title in emphatic fashion.


Records after records were smashed as Jurgen Klopp masterminded his team to the ultimate success in an unprecedented year for football, ending a three-decade-long wait for the title. An incredible club-record of 99 points was also amassed in the process, with Liverpool finishing 18 points ahead of City.


Liverpool fans are clearly a patient bunch, having had to wait a long, long time — especially after having been so close on numerous occasions — for this day, but Klopp and his team were determined on their conquest this time, and ultimately delivered the Holy Grail.



Salah - deadly as ever, but fans still expect more


Mo Salah for Liverpool
Image Source: Sky Sports

The 19/20 season saw Salah finished once again as the team's top goal-scorer, having plundered an amazing 23 goals in all competitions. It is not exactly record-breaking numbers, but it is the consistency that the Egyptian King been operating on that is truly remarkable.


Salah has topped the goal-scoring charts for three consecutive seasons (44, 27 and 23) since his arrival, cementing himself as one of Liverpool's greatest ever players. This season is no different as he burst out of the blocks, netting an impressive 16 goals and leading the race for the Premier League Golden Boot.


So why does Salah still somehow divide opinion in the fanbase?


As lethal as the Egpytian captain is, he can be equally frustrating when the chips are down. Salah offers lesser in terms of linking up the play and creating opportunities for the team when compared to the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, making him less effective especially against teams who set up to park the bus.


Salah, at times, is accused of lacking the guile and footballing flair that can break down these teams who set up low blocks, often finding himself running fruitlessly down the channel. His first touch is not world-class, either, making him prone to losing possession when compared to his counterparts.


The forward's selfishness often serves as a double-edged sword too — his goal-scoring numbers obviously speak for themselves, but his over-eagerness to score often leads to exasperation in the team (ahem Mane, ahem).


That said, the Egyptian King still remains one of the most pivotal figures in the team. While we doubt he will be any less frustrating this year as more teams set up to defend, his goals — and lots of it — will ensure that his name will be one of the first few to be sung when the Kop returns to Anfield.


Read also: In Numbers: A closer look at 10 of our FAVOURITE STRIKERS in recent times


Is it the end of the road for Naby lad?


Image Source: Liverpool Echo

Naby Keita arrived in 2018 from RB Salzburg when Liverpool triggered his release clause after the midfielder impressed for the Bundesliga outfit. The Guinean international came to Anfield with high expectations and was handed the number 8 shirt by Steven Gerrard.


It is fair to say he did not fulfil any of the early promises as fast forward to the present day, how many notable moments can you actually name since his arrival?


Keita's debut was impressive, a 4-0 victory over West Ham saw him play a part in Salah's opening goal. The midfielder began to settle in his new environment and as things were looking promising, he then picked up a groin injury which saw him miss a significant part of the campaign — including the Champions League final triumph against Tottenham Hotspur.


Unfortunately, things did not pick up from there as Keita found himself as a fringe player in the following season; a spate of injuries saw him kept out of the team for prolonged spells. That did not stop him from picking up titles though, as he won the Club World Cup and Premier League title.


This campaign saw Keita carried on in the same vein — his inability to remain fit a growing frustration among the fans as his future at Anfield remains a serious doubt.


A player that arrived with huge promise, it is a shame how things panned out... and the clock is definitely ticking for the 26-year-old.



TAA: Just 22, but time to cement his status as a truly world-class player


Klopp giving instructions to trent alexander arnold
Image Source: Liverpool FC

Named in the FIFA FIFPRO Men's World 11 for the first time at just 22, it is incredible how much Trent Alexander-Arnold has achieved in his budding career. On top of that individual accolade, the right-back has won the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup, playing a vital role in all of them.


Trent (alongside his counterpart Andy Robertson) has redefined the modern-day fullback position, constantly occupying attacking spaces on the pitch and creating goalscoring opportunities for this teammates.


His impressive passing range remains his strongest asset — an attribute developed by his younger days as a midfielder — and he remains one of Liverpool's main attacking threat. Dangerous at set-pieces too, his craft and intelligence were perhaps best encapsulated in that Champions League moment against Barcelona.


That said, there are obviously still some aspects for the young defender to improve on. His one-on-one defending is improving but still has some work to do, while his lack of raw pace and physicality leaves him vulnerable to the world's best wingers.


It remains a mystery if Trent will finish his career at right-back, but one thing we do know for sure: at just 22, the sky is the limit for the Scouser and he is well on his way to cement his status as one of the best ever players to have ever graced the game.


Jordan Henderson to be in the legion of Liverpool greats


Jordan Henderson lifting the champions league
Image Source: Liverpool FC

A man that is no stranger to criticism; it has truly been a remarkable journey for the Liverpool captain. Henderson is the epitome of the imperious self-belief and true grit that Klopp has painstakingly drilled into the team, as he led Liverpool to their long-awaited title.


Henderson was almost shown the Anfield door earlier in his career; failing to nail down a starting spot after his arrival from Sunderland. Fans were questioning the England midfielder's attributes and what he brings to the game, and was deemed an expensive flop by large sections of the fanbase.


Nine years later, Henderson has led the team to some of the biggest trophies in club football. But perhaps, the biggest compliment is that his presence and absence on the pitch is obvious as night and day, despite playing in a team filled with world-class talents.


Ex-boss Roy Hodgson once commented that the BBC Sports Personality of the Year runner-up deserves a statue outside Anfield one day, and we are finding it hard to disagree.


Read also: Liverpool's Most Underrated XI


Anfield the fortress


Salah taking a corner kick at Anfield
Image Source: This is Anfield

2020 also saw the incredible unbeaten run at Anfield stretch to a whopping 67 games; a record that means the champions have yet to taste defeat at Anfield since April 2017. To put things in perspective, the likes of Lucas Leiva and Nathaniel Clyne were still turning up in the red kit in the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.


It is a long, long time and Anfield is now truly an impenetrable fortress; the sight now quickly shifting to try and beat Chelsea's run of 86 matches unbeaten. There are some incredible highs that the team witnessed at the magical ground in 2020, and we will definitely be hoping for more in the brand new year, with or without fans.


 

Shop Liverpool Boleh now for the latest merchandise! Also, remember to subscribe to the blog (it's free!) to stand a chance to win a Euro 2020 jersey!