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Liverpool: Five ways to secure Champions League football

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Unfortunately for Brendan Rodgers he was unable to guide Liverpool to Champions League football with an incomplete squad.

But now that he's had a year to settle into one of the most high-profile jobs in England there are definite signs of improvement - and whenever a critic throws a stat at them - like not beating the top six - within two games they went and beat Spurs.

Or when they were called a one-man team and that their season would collapse after the infamous Luis Suarez bite, the next game against Liverpool proved that they were far from a one-man team - smashing Newcastle with an emphatic 6-0 with at St. James' Park

But these were signs of improvement as there is a huge difference between doing that for the last four weeks of the season and doing it for nine months solid.

Let’s not forget: during the last few weeks those disappointing draws to both the Southampton and West Ham. It's things like that which are denying Liverpool top four, dropping points that they should be getting.

1. Sign one 'squad' striker and one top quality striker (two if Suarez leaves)

This may seem obvious but it's harder than it first seems. The Liverpool board are treading awfully carefully this summer after the Andy Carroll fiasco and overspending on Fabio Borini and Joe Allen.

So getting somebody who is prolific as say a Wilfried Bony or a Mario Gomez on a cut-price would be superb business. If Suarez leaves, Liverpool with have £130,000 for wages and £50m for somebody of say Gonzalo Higuain's standard, which could happen.

2. Sign two more defenders in addition to Kolo Toure

As all keen followers of Anfield will know that Martin Skrtel has not had his best season in red. It just seems Rodgers' new playing-the-ball-out-of-defence doesn't work for the rugged Slovakian.

Toure is clearly replacing the experience that Jamie Carragher brought to the side, but I didn't think Liverpool had enough cover even with Carragher. So assuming that Skrtel will be sold - his agent has been fuelling a switch to Lazio - Liverpool need two defenders one to replace Skrtel and another one to rotate. In my opinion Toby Alderweireld and Kyriakos Papadopoulos would be a great match.

3. Hit the ground running

Anyone who follows the red side of Merseyside will have been shocked by the poor start to Liverpool's campaign. Their first win coming against Norwich and only taking five points from their opening six fixtures is what you'd expect from a side fighting for survival not eyeing the top four.

If Liverpool had replicated their end to the season they'd have finished in third place. If they'd have replicated the start at the end, they would have maybe finished eighth or ninth place. This shows the huge difference and also shows the improvement that Rodgers has made but if Liverpool start badly again the Reds will have to endure the taunts of Everton fans for another year.

4. Convert chances

The biggest problem with Liverpool this year was probably their inability to take convert shots into goals. Need proof? Liverpool had the most shots of any team in the top six leagues in Europe (England, Spain, Italy, Holland, German and Portugal). And for them to finish seventh is unreal.

Even with a striker of Suarez's quality they need to be much more careful with their chances and take care to makes sure they get the goals needed to win matches.

5. Win the winnable matches more often

Again a problem last season for Liverpool was throwing away points to teams like West Brom or Southampton or West Ham... I could go on.

If Liverpool throw away points like they did this season they've got no chance of top four; teams like Arsenal win almost all the matches that they're expected to and that's what gets them top four every year.

They often lose to the other teams in the top four but they win their 'winnable' matches and finish with Champions League football every year.

If Liverpool can do these five things that sound easy but actually very difficult, they will almost be guaranteed.

 

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Topics:
Football
Liverpool
Premier League

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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