Seems Livepool have finally come of age, their years of near misses ended in an emphatic fashion last season after they won their 19th league title and their very first of the Premier League era.
It cannot be stated the many times the Reds came close but could not shout uhuru, no thanks to Arshavin’s quadruple at a time, Gerrard’s slip at another but with the coming of Klopp, they came closer and eventually clinched it last season in a rampant fashion, winning 32, drawing and losing 3 games. Great run you would say but could it have been better, definitely!
With the way Liverpool were rolling over teams, many thought yet another invincibles were about to be born until their visit to Vicarage road where they were beaten by the Hornets, 3-0.
With the opportunity of an unbeaten season going up in flames, the chance of a treble presented itself but the Reds fluffed it, losing the FA fifth round to Chelsea and bundled out of the Champions league at the round of 16 by Athletico Madrid.
There were still records to be chased and history to be made. Liverpool could have beaten the record of 100 points which is the highest number of points in a Premier League season set by Pep Guardiola’s men but they fluffed it no thanks to a draw against Burnley and loss to Arsenal.
They were in a vintage position to break Manchesty City’s record but at the end, they could not even match it. The home draw against Burnley at Anfield also meant they could not match the age long record of being a team to win all home league games in a season.
Many Liverpool fans would say they wanted to the Premier League title and getting it was all that mattered but I would rather say, why settle for less when you could have much more?
Liverpool would look back at the season and say to themselves, “we could have done better”. Can Liverpool have such a “great” season again where they went into every game as clear favorites? Where their main rivals were ravaged with injuries and inconsistent with results?
Going into the new season, can Liverpool say they are favorites? Manchester City have reinforced especially in the defensive department, Chelsea have improved their team with an all new looking attacking line up, even Arsenal have shored up their defense and attacking options. For Liverpool, the transfer scene has been quiet and their team could be decimated with some bigger teams looking to prey.
Reports have it that Barcelona are keen on signing Georgino Wijnaldum, seeing it’s a Dutchman, Ronaldo Koeman in charge at Nou Camp, a move for the midfield marshal would not be a surprise. How about Virgil Van Dijk, he could be target for the Catalans and a move for Sadio Mane might not be totally ruled out in the wake of the uncertainty surrounding Messi’s future. If I were Barca management, I would be preparing for post-Messi era and that should start now and that is regardless of his decision to stay which is a temporal reprieve.
How well would Liverpool fare in the new season without Wijnaldum let alone Mane? Liverpool need to do better in the transfer market, they have been linked with a move for Thiago Alcantara but the Merseysiders are acting pennywise by wanting to dig in their heels to sign the Spaniard for free next summer rather than splash out 30m Pounds to sign him now. Would Bayern wait for Thiago to run down his contract and leave for free or cash in now by selling to any club that is ready to do business now. Loosing Wijnaldum and failing to land Thiago in the summer will weaken Liverpool.
Going into the new season, Liverpool are not just the defending champions but also the team to beat and there are many teams jostling not only for their crown but also to beat them.