It’s been a turbulent season for all Premier League teams, few more so than Liverpool. The Reds began the season targeting the coveted Champions League spots, but by October they were making a surprise title charge. That soon dropped off come January, when a depleted squad went almost two months without a league win. With Champions League qualification secured somewhat by the skin of their teeth, does that make season an automatic success?
At the start of 2016/17 season, all Liverpool fans were excited as ever for what this year could hold and with Liverpool fans having the stereotype of saying “it is going to be our season” every year, we all truly believed it could be after our first game of the season against Arsenal.
That game showed everything we had lacked in previous league campaigns. We showed we could score goals against the big sides away from home, we showed we could come back from behind and we showed we could hold onto a lead when put under pressure. All these things have stopped us in the past from being up there come May time.
The Red men carried this attitude into the big games against the top six, as we finished top in the mini leader board between these sides. This for a Liverpool fan was very pleasing as it showed we would compete with the top teams who have spent unlimited amount of money, when we ended up making a profit in the summer. This aspect of the club last year was a huge reason for us getting our end goal for the season.
However, something that has happened to the different Liverpool squads over the past few years that ultimately always puts to an end our hope at the start of the season, that we are going to win everything is our defending.
Defending has cost us tremendously in the past few seasons and for a club of Liverpool’s stature, players like Klavan and Moreno are not, and have never been good enough to play for Liverpool. With us not having a complete squad for many years we’ve had to rely on the likes of these players and they haven’t stepped up to the mark.
This was shown in many of the games this season against the lower opposition in the league and also the cup competitions where we struggled to break teams down, which lead to more players committing themselves forward leaving our defenders exposed and then getting countered, losing games that we should never have lost. This was the most frustrating thing for a Liverpool fan to watch last season and ultimately led to the end of our chances of winning the Premier League.
Nonetheless, do I believe this season has been a successful one for Liverpool? For the simple reason we got Champions League football, I do. Once again Reds fans can look forward to the glorious floodlit nights in Europe being back at Anfield (if we get through the qualifier). On the other hand, if you were to ask me if compared to the top six have Liverpool had a good season I would have to say no, due to the lack of silverware Liverpool have obtained. The longer Liverpool don’t win a trophy, the more the pressure builds on the players shoulders. It happened with Arsenal, and we do not want it to happen to Liverpool.
This summer is going to be huge for Liverpool Football Club, with Klopp having money to spend to build an squad with strength in depth. There can be no complaints next season if we don’t win a trophy.
Featured image curtesy of Kieth Jones via Flickr.