Liverpool are running away with the Premier League title so far this campaign.
After 14 games, the Reds lead the way by a huge eight points from Leicester City. Perhaps more importantly, though, the current back-to-back champions Manchester City are a further three behind, and have already lost three matches this term. For context, they lost just four out of 38 last season.
Whilst the Citizens have not been at their best, they have been hit by a number of injuries. Aymeric Laporte, Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane have all been missing at various points of the campaign for Pep Guardiola.
Paul Merson clearly thinks this is the main reason why City are unable to keep up with the Reds. In his column for Sky Sports, he said: “I would like to see Liverpool with Van Dijk injured for three months like Laporte and then take out a Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah for a while. But Liverpool have been quite fortunate as a lot of their players play a lot of football and they play the same team.”
Clearly, this did not go down well with the fans, and the former Arsenal man may have damaged his reputation amongst them.
I’d like Paul Merson to be replaced by sky but that’s not going to happen
— Matthew King (@Mattking9000) December 3, 2019
Man I can’t stand that guy Merson anymore. What he talking about. Injuries are part of the game.
— Domen Zagar (@Domen128) December 3, 2019
Of course, City are not the only side to have suffered with injuries. Jurgen Klopp’s team have been without Alisson and Joel Matip for part of the season, for example, whilst Fabinho recently picked up an issue as well.
The fans were quick to point this out during their reaction to the quotes.
Lost our keeper and matip for a lot of games this season. Stop talking rubbish .
— glen parsons (@parso1980) December 3, 2019
just want you to look at this latest column from Merson? The guy wants to see our top players injured. And we are fortunate with injuries. Alisson, Matip, Fabinho, Salah, Shaqiri..how can he wrote stuff like this? pic.twitter.com/a12lDFxL2m
— iNdY (@kuzmitchov) December 3, 2019
It seems Merson has a short memory. Even with those lay-offs, the Reds have won 13 of their first 14 matches. City should be able to cope without them.
A number fans have made references to their title rival’s spending power, and have insinuated that they can’t really complain considering the amount of money they have spent and can part with in the future.
— Alan 🏳️🌈 (@Kop_boy) December 3, 2019
These clowns have spent more than us and complaining
— Lee🇰🇷 (@KoreaLFC) December 3, 2019
So what the heck for city have assembled a billion pound squad,with the likes of multiple Silva’s mahrez cancel stones otamendi are their just to warm the bench ?
— Pranav jha⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (@pranavmainacc) December 3, 2019
Indeed, City have put together the most-expensively assembled squad in the world, and they have spent over £1 billion since 2008. Surely they should have enough cover for injuries with that kind of outlay?
Either way, it remains to be seen whether Guardiola and Co can recover from apparently being hard-done by.
Meanwhile, Stephen Warnock thinks Liverpool could miss out on one world star because of his Ballon d’Or aspirations.