Written by Daniel
Ok Fellow Liverpudlians ! Let’s Discuss Liverpool ! Let’s Talk Some Reds !
CHINK IN THE ARMOR
The Premier League season is coming to an end. Liverpool’s reign as the champions of England is soon over. The title defense was nothing short of a disaster. It has been a season to forget. The injury nightmare was too much to cope with for the reigning champions of England. The out-of-form front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane need to shoulder some of the blame. As are the midfield trio who had to cope with the loss of their captain Jordan Henderson. However, as the season is coming to a close, Liverpool can and must finish strong to earn a Champions League spot for next season.
Champions League exit
The 2019 Champions League winners were bookies’ favorites against a depleted Madrid side who were missing their first choice center back pairing of Ramos and Varane, with Zinedine Zidane having to call upon Nacho and Militao as part of a makeshift defence. However, Liverpool got a slap in the face against Real Madrid. The Madrid midfield trio of Kroos, Modric, and Casemiro looked a class apart from their Liverpool counterparts. Liverpool’s front three were left starved for any kind of service or support. On the other side, the raw pace of Vinicius Jr and lethal movement of the veteran Benzema caused huge problems over both legs. Courtois made some crucial saves while Alisson was left to ponder his error at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium in the first leg, which put Madrid in a commendable position for the return at Anfield.
Thiago Alcantara Struggles
The much heralded transfer saga of previous summer was the acquisition of Thiago Alcantara. He was brought in to bolster the Liverpool midfield options. Thiago, Fabinho, and Henderson had the makings of an irresistible midfield trio. Thiago’s introduction was supposed to transform the hard running style midfield into a more calm and composed one, capable of taking control of games. Although the talent is obvious, Thiago has massively struggled to adapt to his Premier League surroundings in his first season in England. His reluctance to drive forward or press aggressively has been very disappointing, to say the least. Hence, Klopp has been forced to chop and change in hopes to find the perfect balance in the middle of the park. The start might have been underwhelming, but fans expect Thiago to eventually come good in the wake of next season.
Race for the top 4
Liverpool are right in the mix for Champions League hunt. The current Premier League campaign has served as a fitting finale, with the race for top 4 heating up as we approach towards the end of the season. Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester, and West Ham are all essentially fighting for the last two spots. Liverpool possess the talent to put together a winning run of 5 games and make the Champions League for next season. However, the problem has been inconsistency as there is little margin left for error. On the bright side, Chelsea have a game against West Ham while Leicester City have Spurs, Chelsea, Man City and Man United to contend with. This puts Liverpool in the driver’s seat to land a place in the top 4 position as they only have Man United as part of their remaining fixture list.
Critical SUMMER WINDOW
The current mediocre campaign has definitely produced more questions than answers. Most of the Liverpool players were either out of form or in a hangover of last season. However, there are gaps to be filled when it comes to the starting eleven. First, the attack needs sharpness in finishing and a striker to serve that purpose is well due. Firmino is not the answer if the question is about goals and scoring instincts. Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe would be the dream solution for any club, but Liverpool should focus on more realistic targets such as Memphis Depay or Donyell Malen. Secondly, the future of Mo Salah in Liverpool is another headache to resolve. He’s been publicly flirting with Real Madrid and Barcelona for some time, and now PSG are seemingly after his signature. If he leaves, a statement signing will become a necessity for the attack. Finally, there is the small matter of replacing Wijnaldum as there continues to be a stalemate over his contract negotiations.