But as professional footballers start voting for their player of the season and divisional teams of the year, there must be a serious risk that the liver bird will be frozen.
Only once in the past 10 years, when Leicester and Tottenham’s 5000-1 title shots dominated the vote in 2015-16, has this happened.
Around the same time last year, as Liverpool looked to win the title, it looked like Jurgen Klopp had built a dynasty to rule English football for the foreseeable future.
Still, when I sat down to build my own squad for the season, there was no room for any of Klopp’s teams this time around.
I don’t know if it made me feel sad, guilty, or just baffled by Liverpool’s form falling off a cliff – mainly at Anfield, where they’ve been unbeatable for almost two years.
But here are my selections, with the 2020-21 Premier League squad in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
If you don’t agree, please don’t resort to social media abuse: that’s just my opinion, which is no more valuable than yours.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON
- RUBEN DIAS: The colossus at the heart of Manchester City’s candidacy for an astonishing Quadruple. At £ 61.2million he was entitled to make a big impact on City’s defense – but he was part of 22 clean sheets and just 18 goals conceded, in 38 games for them, and John Stones has seemed revitalized since the arrival of the Portuguese central defender. at the Etihad. Dias arguably had a bigger influence on City’s defense than Virgil van Dijk’s on Liverpool… and that really says something.
- ILKAY GUNDOGAN: He has scored more open play goals than any midfielder in Europe this season. When City played without a recognized No.9, Gundogan was often the man to measure up. And having fought back after two serious injuries, he deserves his success.
- BRUNO FERNANDES: He’s been involved in 36 goals, scoring or assisting, and he’s arguably had a bigger impact at Manchester United than any signing since Eric Cantona. Now he needs trophies and major performances in big games to go with it.
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- PHIL FODEN: He’s got the lot – 11 goals, nine assists and his performance in Manchester City’s 4-1 win at Liverpool was out of this world. I’d pay top dollar just to watch Foden play – he’s so good.
- MONTAGE MASON: Don’t fall into the wicked and jealous trap of beyond Stamford Bridge that he is the professor’s pet. Mount is a gloriously talented footballer, with six goals and five assists to prove it.
- BUKAYO SAKA: It says something for Saka’s maturity that a 19-year-old has been Arsenal’s heartbeat of the season. Like Mount, he’s scored six goals and assisted five – the Gunners have unearthed a gem.
PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM OF THE YEAR
EDERSON: Just ahead of Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa, who was also exceptional. But Ederson has the cast of an American football quarterback.
TO CANCEL : A revelation at the right-back or in the midfield. Another 60 million pounds well spent by City.
RUBEN DIAS: Another Portuguese diamond in Pep Guardiola’s treasure chest at the Etihad.
JOHN STONES: So happy to see him in top form again. At 26, he was too good to wither on the vine.
LUKE SHAW: He created more left-back chances than anyone else in the country. Like Stones, back at his best.
ILKAY GUNDOGAN: No center forward? No problem – 16 goals in 34 games from the midfielder will do just fine.
YOURI TIELEMANS: He was Brendan Rodgers’ first signing at Leicester – and he’s the one who rocked them.
PHIL FODEN: You can play it anywhere, but my preference is the right side of three forwards behind a lone striker.
BRUNO FERNANDES: When the chemistry is right at Manchester United, he’s center stage.
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JACK GREALISH: For the impact of a single player on a team, Grealish has no equal. I wonder how long Aston Villa can hold on to him.
HARRY KANE: Some people thought he would struggle to score goals in a Jose Mourinho side. Well, 27 goals and 16 assists in all competitions – more than any other Premier League player – this year says they were wrong.
Honorable mentions to Raphina, Ezri Konsa, Michael Keane, Lewis Dunk, Ollie Watkins and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who have all made a strong impression this season. And, just to show that I don’t rule Liverpool in all the math, Mo Salah gets one too – he’s, after all, the Premier League’s joint top scorer!