Updated: Mar 1
Jurgen Klopp has dismissed claims Liverpool are running away with the weakest Premier League in years – and warned they still have huge room for improvement.
Liverpool are on course to become the earliest champions in the modern era and will attempt to move within nine points of their prime target by beating Watford
at Vicarage Road; they have had an almost perfect season, with their only dropped points coming at Old Trafford on October 20.
It has led critics to say Liverpool’s position has been distorted by the fact Manchester City have had troubles, while Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United are also in differing stages of transition and that has prevented them being credible challengers.
Klopp, though, is not paying attention to the assessments and believes City’s performance against Real Madrid indicates the level Pep Guardiola’s men are capable of achieving.
‘I couldn't care less (what people say),’ said Klopp. ‘Look, it is completely normal. I don't think that we should have any concern for things like this. If other people think like that – if they think City are not as good as they were – they ARE!
‘They have scored a little less goals than us, conceded a few more, and if you look why it is clear they have been missing some players. The other teams are really strong too. Yes, Bayern beat Tottenham and Chelsea [in the Champions League] but they are really strong over a season.
‘Yes, they (Spurs and Chelsea) have had some problems, that's all true. But in the moment that you play them you don't feel that they have these problems. The points they have, we have no influence on that apart from the games when we play them.
‘So it says nothing about the quality of the Premier League, especially when you look at City v Real Madrid. I know that people look at these things and you saw that one of the best teams in the world maybe in the moment and City were clearly better so that shows as well how strong the League is.’
Friday marked the fourth anniversary of Klopp’s first big match at Liverpool, when they lost the Carabao Cup final to City on penalties.
The German said that night “there will be light at the end of the tunnel if we work hard” but he doesn’t believe winning the title will be the end of their progress.
‘There is still a lot of work to do and a lot of space for improvement,’ said Klopp. ‘You see our games and result wise it looks okay but performance-wise there is a lot of space for improvement. That is what we work on and try constantly through the week.
‘Result consistency is maybe difficult to improve because that is close to perfection, obviously, but it is possible to improve the performances in all departments. There are so many things you can improve that that will never end.'