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Former Liverpool defender Neil Ruddock sat down with WhichBookie and said that he’s confident Mohamed Salah will sign a new contract at Anfield, while he’s shocked by how much weaker Newcastle are now compared to the sides he played against during his career.
Mohamed Salah is world class and although it seems a bit strange he hasn’t signed a new deal at the club, I’m sure it will get done sooner rather than later. Where would you go that allows you the freedom to play the way he plays? He’s the first name on every Liverpool teamsheet and the fans love him, so I don’t see why he’d want to leave. The way Klopp sets up suits Salah perfectly and why would you put the chance of winning everything in jeopardy? I certainly wouldn’t move on if I was him.
Maybe Real Madrid could be an option, but he wouldn’t be loved there like he is at Anfield and as a Liverpool fan, you’ve got to trust Klopp. The people behind the scenes are always working hard on these sorts of things and I’m sure plans are already in place to make sure Liverpool are a force for years to come.
It’s not ideal that Salah and Sadio Mane are off to the African Cup of Nations, but I’m sure Liverpool will be just fine without them. They’ve got a host of young players at the club and it’s a big opportunity for them to show Klopp what they are about. It might even turn out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise as he might find out that he’s got some real talent further down the squad he didn’t know about.
From my perspective, if there is a time for them to leave January is a good time. You’d much rather them head off mid-season than at the beginning because in the Premier League you need to hit the ground running and can’t afford to be playing catch-up with how good the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea are.
I don’t think there’s a lot of difference between this season’s Liverpool and the title-winning side of a couple of years ago, although I do think more people know how Jurgen Klopp is trying to play now. You could argue this side are actually doing better because other teams are more prepared and therefore can set themselves accordingly. They’ve shown on numerous occasions that however well an opposition sets up, if they are on their game, you can’t stop them. That makes them a very dangerous proposition, not just in the Premier League, but in Europe as well.
I do think they miss more chances now but that’s probably because they are creating so many. So, to be where they are in the league shows just how well Klopp has got them playing and the belief this team has. You just look at the Aston Villa game last weekend and they ground out a 1-0 win – a trait that all Premier League winners have. Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson were so good at winning these tight matches and over the course of a season, it really makes a difference.
There are clearly three very good teams in the league at the moment, but I do have my doubts about Manchester City. I think they are easier to play against than Liverpool and I just wonder when the going gets tough will they really be able to sustain things? City pass the ball better than anyone, no doubt, but teams can stick all their players behind the ball and sometimes it’s very hard to break down. Whoever you are, if you have pace in your side, you are a danger and Liverpool have that in bundles and I just think that might be the difference.
For me, City will give up a few too many draws along the way and I think it’s between Chelsea and Liverpool. Being a Liverpool fan, I hope it comes back to Anfield, but whatever way you look at it, the title race is going to be a real thriller.
The current title race odds from the top UK bookies can be found below. (odds correct as of 14/12/2021).
|Premier League Title Odds|
It was a special game to play in and when Stan [Collymore] scored that goal in injury time it was a moment you’ll never forget. There are a few times during your career when the manager doesn’t have to say anything after a match and that was one. Normally after you’ve played, he sits everyone down and tells the lads what they’ve done well and where they need to improve, but that day it was such pure joy and emotion. We were all dancing around the dressing room and smiling from ear to ear, so Roy [Evans] just left us to it!
When I played Newcastle there were times they were ahead of us in the league. We were both title rivals and the matches between the sides were always viewed as having a serious bearing on where the league trophy would end up. It’s amazing to think how much it’s changed with Newcastle really struggling now, and if you had told me back in the day that they’d be in the position they are in now I would never have believed you.
St James’s Park is one of the great stadiums in the world to go and play in. When those Geordie fans get behind them it’s a very, very hard place to go as an away side, so it’s pretty staggering that they find themselves in serious relegation trouble. It just shows how quickly things can change and you just have to look at the likes of Nottingham Forest, Charlton and Ipswich to see that.