“Champions league nights are coming back to Anfield” was the cry from Liverpool fans after a 3-2 win away over Norwich. The Reds had almost forgotten what their original target was due to the monumental success they have enjoyed in this campaign. The objective Brendan Rodgers set for his men was to qualify for the champions league, and that mission was completed. Now with the season coming to a close I shall be looking at what fortunes could be in store for Liverpool next season, starting with the Champions League.
Five years since the worlds top teams have set foot in Liverpool, five years too long. Many thought that it would be longer, myself included. Not many expected this title challenge either, but anything can happen in football. The thought of the Premier League crown being Liverpool’s is a thought that excites many fans and puts a look of disdain on the big spenders of English football. Make us dream is the tune but it is all too real.
How has Liverpool’s fortunes changed so drastically? Liverpool fans will say that Brendan Rodgers has them playing great football and the group is united. That is all true but one truth that I do not like to hear is this: On top of everything else Liverpool are only in the Champions League next year because they did not have Champions League this year. You could say that is the ugly truth.
I say this as Liverpool’s squad is thin, very thin. Who would of thought that the potential champions of England will have players like Victor Moses and Luis Alberto on the bench. This is ultimately why playing in Europe as well as maintaining top four will be a struggle for the club, as it stands. The importance of strengthening the squad will be vital, hopefully they will backed by the board, money from European qualification and (hopefully) the money you acquire from winning the Barclays Premier league. This will need to be put into squad depth and not starting 11 players except for left back and midfield. In my opinion that is where Liverpool need to strengthen the most and with those two positions covered the Reds will have a great starting 11.
Next season’s events will be decided on the players that come in not the ones that are already here, will these new players provide good options and will some of them even be challenging for a starting berth.
Now we come onto the draw. This could be Liverpool’s downfall and where all the years without Champions League comes back to haunt them. Pots are decided on how often you take part in the champions league, Liverpool used to be in pot one with all the strong teams but the lack of top four finishes in recent years have seen the club drop to pot three out of four. There is talk of if Athletic Bilbao qualify in Spain (which is very likely) then Liverpool could be moved to pot two but it seems doubtful that, that event will occur. This could be fatal for Liverpool as they could draw a team like Barcelona or Bayern and then again draw another challenging team, such as Napoli.
This draw will have Liverpool fans as nervous as any match could as it will have years of tension built up from waiting and that will all come out in ten minutes.
Yes, the Champions League could hinder league hopes but I believe it will not. Rodger is smart and money will be spent. I predict that Liverpool will qualify for Europe once again and the Champions League I do not know. What I can tell you is that whatever happens it will be a great moment when Liverpool welcome European giants from around the world into the cauldron that is Anfield. Then, anything is possible.
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