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Return of the Reds – Are Liverpool back for good?

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If Liverpool win the Premier League this season then it is arguably one of the finest triumphs in English football. It will be simply because they have burst out of nowhere, annihilating teams and conjuring up a ruthless 11 wins on the bounce. It is only recently they have slipped up, the home defeat to Chelsea, but the fact that Chelsea had to sit back the entire game just shows how far Liverpool have come this season.

Can Liverpool prove they are back for good? Can players like Sterling and Sturridge continue their fine form next season? Will they remain in the top four while juggling Champions League football? These are some of the challenges that Liverpool face next season.

br2 Return of the Reds   Are Liverpool back for good?

Can Rodgers take Liverpool further next season?

From 2005-2009 Liverpool finished in the top four, coming close to the title in the 08/09 season where they finished second. Since then, in the last four seasons, they have failed to finish in the top four, respectively finishing 7th, 6th, 8th, and last year 7th. The emergence of Man City has added extreme competition, along with the improvement of Tottenham and Everton, Liverpool struggled to compete and as a consequence fell to these lower positions.

Quite obviously this season has been completely different, not only have Liverpool competed with these top teams, they are sitting above all of them. No one expected them to win the league, as their manager stated at the start of the campaign, the target was fourth, this in itself was going to be a difficult task, but now Champions League football is guaranteed and they will avoid the qualification process that finishing fourth brings.

If they do win the title then the fans will celebrate exuberantly, rightly so, and it will be one of those seasons were no one will begrudge the team for doing so. It will good for English football, fantastic to see another British manager win the title, a British manager who is so tactically aware, and most notably it will finally be a title for Steven Gerrard. Everyone agrees that if any career deserves a Premier League medal than its the Liverpool captain’s.

Liverpool can’t live off the ecstasy of just winning the Premier League once though, if they do win it they must ensure next season to remain in the top four. This will be a difficult task, juggling domestic games with European nights, but it is, as they say, a “good problem” for a manager to have.

This is the challenge for Liverpool, a challenge of showing the world that they are back for good. Now that they have had such a brilliant season, all of their fans have a taste for what it is like being the best team in England again. A taste that even the finest food in the world couldn’t compete with. With this expectancy and hunger for success, Liverpool will be playing under much more pressure next season.

It is clear that not being in the Europe has benefited the side this campaign, sneaking under the radar with no expectation on their shoulders, provided a perfect scenario for Liverpool to rack up 11 straight wins. Without taking anything away from this superb run of form, it is clear that focusing only on the domestic league was a huge factor in doing so. Next season Brendan Rodgers won’t have such an advantage, being in Europe is likely to cause Liverpool’s domestic form drop.

Rodgers transfer policy will also be different next season and he will be under pressure to go for big name signings. Liverpool have recently spoken of giving him the money he needs to buy players so he has the backing of the board to make these big signings. Champions League football will also help to bring in the calibre of player Liverpool need to continue their progression as a club.

No longer does Rodgers have the leeway for signings and the excuse for building a squad though. He could take gambles on signings and look for the gems in the market, gems like Coutinho for just over 8 million. There wasn’t a big expectation on the player to deliver when he arrived, but he has proved to be a value for money in the highest order. Sturridge, at the time, was also seen as a bit of a gamble and no one expected him to be as good as he has been this season. Now Rodgers has to sign players with bigger price tags, players that are expected to hit the ground running.

But how will these signings effect the squad? It seems at the moment that Liverpool are benefiting from having a reasonably consistent starting 11. The players now are enjoying playing every game and are thriving because of this. It remains to be seen how they will react to big players coming in and taking their position. Sturridge certainly seems like a player who wants to play every game.

However, playing in Europe requires a bigger squad so Rodgers will be able to rotate players. Rotation though, is a challenge in itself, at the moment he has benefited from constantly playing more or less the same side, so this will be an area that is new to him. Having a bigger squad will also allow Liverpool to challenge for all competitions. Liverpool will hope to make it through the group stages of the Champions League next season, because if they don’t Rodgers will have difficulty in keeping a bigger squad happy, a squad that has more ego’s thanks to the big player signings they are likely to make.

So in conclusion, Liverpool have been immense this season and deserve to win the Premier League. If they just miss out they will be bitterly disappointed, but they can still be proud of their achievements and look forward to a new era under Rodgers, an era that hopefully sees Liverpool become a successful team again.

Next season will be the real challenge to see if they can sustain such a level of performance.  Many will be interested in Liverpool next season, much more expectation and attention will be centred towards them and this brings pressure. Can Liverpool cement themselves down as a top four side for years to come that is challenging for the title?

This season has been the most exciting for a very long time, next season could be even more entertaining.

Comments (5)

  1. IMO Brendan Rodgers single handedly lost the Premier League title against Chelsea due to his tactical errors. All Liverpool needed was a draw and he should have set out a more defensive minded team rather than go all-out trying to break down a very tactically organised Chelsea. I would have played for a 0-0 draw, at the very least it could have forced Chelsea to try and push forward creating opportunities.

    • Well said Joshuel time for Gerarrd to leave too you forgot that also

    • Your an idiot. Liverpool are not a defensive side, that is apparent by the amount of goals we have conceded, if we had tried to play Chelsea at their own game and invited their pressure into our defence they would probably have scored 3 or 4. By us doing the attacking we were not only preventing Chelsea from attacking but also making them cautious in a counter attack as they were worried about us countering them. We were totally comfortable and didn’t look like conceding or losing up until the slip. That was just a complete mishap and could have happened in any game at anytime, unfortunately that dictated the game for the second half and forced us to push up even further to chase the game. Without the slip it would have finished 0-0 anyway but at least we would have given it a go to beat a team who clearly didn’t want to win the match. U play to your strengths not your weaknesses and our strengths are certainly not defending. Our best form of defence is attack. It was total luck that cost us that game and no blame from me will be put on Rodgers, especially not after he has single handedly pulled us out of the gutter

  2. its not that BR did nt plan 4 draw.we played normal game and its almost pay us if nt d mistake SG made at d crucial time,d game would ve ended goaless.2nd half we needed 2 equalise dts y we went in.if nt 4 Aspas who suppose 2 volley ball in2 d box chelsea ll nt score 2nd goal.LFC LL COPE WT NEXT SEASON PRESURE

  3. It’s either Joshuel Grech isnt an LFC fan or probably one of those pesimistic-infant-LFC fan that only succeed in whinge-ing after jst a bad result.. Oh!!! had we lost to Citeh @ home & probly drawn Norwich, things could have bin more awry than this, C’mon theres no error in playing a method that has gazumped us to d league summit & that d method failed for 1-match dosnt make Rodgers any less tactical, Lfc went 16-games unbeaten more than any team, won 11-straight games (more dan City’s 8) & are still d most lethal attackin team wit 96-gols & sitting atop d table.., pls since when have the true LFC fans been afforded such a luxury?? I think dos dat cant tolerate LFC shuld rada quit dan continually complain… City havnt got a better time to be nervous dan now.. Title hope was only dented, not totally gone… How many pessimist can understand that ??