Former England striker and Newcastle United great Alan Shearer feels Liverpool cannot be termed as the best ever English Premier League team just yet as they need to consistently be at the top and win trophies over a period of time.
Runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool matched Manchester City’s EPL record of 18 consecutive victories, set in 2017, on Monday as they beat West Ham 3-2 at Anfield to extend their unbeaten run.
Liverpool, on 79 points from 27 matches, have not dropped a point since drawing 1-1 with Manchester United in October last year.
“If they go on and win several titles like Man Utd did, like Man City have then you can say they are the best Premier League team,” Shearer said here on Wednesday.
“But at the minute, they are gonna win it this season, its only a matter of time and they have played some phenomenal football. But I don’t think you can say they are the best Premier League team ever because they are about to win their first one.
“If they go on to win 3-4, then you can have that discussion,” said Newcastle’s and the Premier League’s record goalscorer.
Shearer also spoke about former players like Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Ole Gunnar Solskjær (Manchester United) and Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) returning to their clubs as head coaches and how the experience is like.
Shearer was Newcastle’s manager for a brief period in the last eight games of their 2008-09 season, in an unsuccessful attempt to save them from relegation.
“The eight games that I was in charge, you have to make so many decisions. The more right decisions you make, more chance you have to succeed. But you’re only as good as your players. Pressure is huge. Completely different to when you’re playing. You take it home lot more with you when you’re a manager than when you are a player. But it’s probably more enjoyable when you win a game as a manager than a player,” said the 49-year-old who is also the Premier League’s ambassador.
The Premier League has seen a lot of young players shine this season. Outside of the country too, England’s fast rising forward Jadon Sancho has done exceedingly well for Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund in Germany. Shearer said many young players who do not get first team football in England can follow Sancho’s path seeing his success.
“Because he has chosen to do it that way and been very successful that way, I am sure that over the coming months and years, other players would also do that if they are not getting an opportunity in their particular first team. We all want to be regulars and play every single week. With him doing that, I am sure other players would look to do that as well if they are not playing on a regular basis.”
He also hailed budding English players making a mark this season in the Premier League.
“This is in line with programmes that were put in place years ago to give the youngsters more opportunity. But there are lot of youngsters coming through and heading towards the England team. Young managers like Frank (Lampard), Ole (Gunaar Solsjkaer), (Mikel) Arteta …Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool defender) has been a revelation. So its great for our league.”
On the Next Generation Mumbai Cup where the Chelsea, Manchester United and Southampton youth teams are playing FC Goa, Bengaluru FC and Reliance Foundation Young Champs, he said: “Every time I get here, there seems to be more excitement. Football is on the up.
“With tournaments like Next Generation Mumbai Cup, involvement of Premier League coming in and the ISL, its only going to get bigger and better.
“There is a difference in ability but that’s only natural. Given time, that will get less and less. PLaying teams like Man Utd, Chelsea, Southampton will only help.”
Shearer also hoped England do well in Euro 2020.
“I would hope England have a really good opportunity because they got three group games at Wembley. If they get through those, then there is a semi-final and final at Wembley. Having played in Wembley in Euro 96, I know that if the crowd gets behind you, you never know. At the minute, we don’t have Harry Kane or Marcus Rashford fit. If we are going to be successful we will need Harry fit. If not England, then France.”