The culmination of another decade has brought about a whole host of retrospective content looking back at 10 years of drama, heartbreak and often spine-tingling entertainment in the footballing world.
And Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has got in on the act by choosing his Liverpool team of the decade.
Everyone’s doing them and everyone’s got one by now. Choosing a team of the decade may be hard for many clubs but at Anfield the task seems rather simple.
Such is the brilliance of Jurgen Klopp’s current set of players, it’s difficult to look beyond the German manager’s reign.
That much is true of Carragher at least as the Liverpool legend opted to select nine of the current crop in his team of the decade. The only players to make it into the side who aren’t currently plying their trade on Merseyside are Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard.
The team in itself underlines how far the club have come under Klopp, but so does an intriguing admission from Carragher in regard to his choice at centre-back, per Sky Sports.
“Next to Van Dijk it was a toss-up between Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip.
“Lovren has played really well in spells but he has had down times, whereas Matip hasn’t had any bad times in a Liverpool shirt. Towards the end of last season and certainly in the Champions League final, he was even outshining Van Dijk, which takes some doing.”
That Lovren – a player who has consistently been criticised during his time at the club – was even under consideration for selection is a sign of the progress Liverpool have made under Klopp.
The Croatia international has divided opinion during his time at Anfield. Following the World Cup in 2018 he declared himself as one of the world’s best defenders and claimed the criticism he received served as motivation to improve, per The Guardian.
Since then he has seemingly managed to shift a few opinions but he is far from impervious to stark criticism.
Signs pointing towards Liverpool’s perpetual improvement since Klopp’s arrival stare us in the face every time we watch his heavy metal brand of football in full flow, but the fact Lovren almost slotted into Carragher’s team of the decade provides us with another glaring piece of evidence.
We can only assume he was up for consideration by virtue of the length of time he’s spent at the club and the lack of alternatives from the pre-Klopp era.
That in itself attests to the squad development in recent years, with a player some may now consider fourth choice centre-back still deemed superior to the players that occupied his position prior to his 2014 arrival.