Paul Stewart column: Liverpool are in pole position to Kop the title

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
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As we look ahead to the New Year, I don’t think anyone apart from Jurgen Klopp thought that Liverpool would be seven points clear of Manchester City and that Spurs would be second as City look like they are losing their grip on the Premier League.

After back-to-back defeats, is it that City are going through a bad run of form, or have teams found a way of beating Pep Guardiola’s usually well oiled machine?

Seven points may be too much of a gap for City to catch Liverpool despite the forthcoming New Year fixture at the Etihad and my old team Spurs are still holding onto Liverpool’s shirt tails and look like they may hold a serious threat.

Personally, I don’t feel Spurs will sustain a real challenge unless Daniel Levy allows Mauricio Pochettino to add to his free-scoring squad.

Liverpool have yet to hit top form, and like years gone by, they have found a way to win, which is a quality needed when you are looking for silverware.

The players bought in the summer have played their part in Liverpool’s revival – Virgil van Dijk and Alisson are the names that are drawing all the plaudits – but James Milner and Andrew Robertson are my standout players,

Milner is the ultimate professional and, in full-back Robertson, I think he is easily the best in the league.

I did say in an earlier article that City are my favourites to win the Premier League with Liverpool coming a close second, but this may have been a little hasty on my behalf and it looks like Anfield and the faithful followers will be celebrating silverware by the end of the season.

I can’t end the year without talking about Manchester United; after Jose Mourinho’s departure and the return of one of United’s prodigal sons – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – they are always a talking point, and I am sure everyone has an opinion on the reaction of the players in the last two games.

Having played the game one can’t ignore the fact that, after two wins, Mourinho’s departure has been brought about due to his so-called big stars’ lack of wanting to play for him,

I do believe it was the right decision to sack the manager but that said, some of the players need to take a long look in the mirror; the last two results have highlighted how player power can influence a football club,

I’m sure the fans have recognised this and the players responsible for not pulling their weight will be surplus to requirements come the end of the 
season.

Finally all that remains for me to say is have a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

And let’s hope that something changes at our hometown club, so we are able to support our hometown team!