Liverpool: One step forward, two steps back
Liverpool opinion: Expectations at Anfield will increase over the summer & a top four finish is a must next season
Liverpool’s season has not been the greatest in their history and nobody can deny that. They have fallen short of the standards set for such a famous and high-profile club. Next season expectations will increase from both within the club and from onlookers. Brendan Rodgers and his players have been given time but they will not be allowed to be so erratic with their form next season.
This season has seen some impressive displays, not least the recent 6-0 thrashing of Newcastle, but there have also been some indifferent performances and results which have often attracted more headlines.
Liverpool have clearly stood by Rodgers when a lot of clubs would have panicked and quickly looked elsewhere for an instant upturn in results. However, Rodgers has brought his own philosophy of football to the club and has needed time to try and impose this on the players at his disposal and those he has brought in. This season has been a case of two steps forward and one step back at times but there will be a greater demand for consistency next season.
Rodgers must look at developing the squad he has because at present they are nowhere near strong enough to challenge the top clubs for silverware. He must hang on to his best players, such as Luis Suarez, whilst at the same time continue the development of some of the young talented players, such as Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge.
More importantly, Rodgers must buy wisely in the transfer market. All too often in the last few years Liverpool have spent big money on players who have been overpriced and have under-performed.
This summer may see a number of expensive players depart Anfield. Players such as Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson have not justified the huge transfer fees paid for them and Rodgers may feel time has run out.
There is no doubt that Rodgers can carve out a great career in management and Liverpool have recognised this with the faith they have put in him. Now is the time for Rodgers and his players to repay the faith of the powers that be at Liverpool.
It will be hugely important for Liverpool that they are seriously challenging for trophies next season. I don’t see them competing with the likes of Chelsea or both Manchester clubs for the Premier League title but they must be in contention for a top four finish and a Champions League spot at the very least.
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