Football

Liverpool: Five ways to get back into Europe

Liverpool must make some key signings this summer (©GettyImages)
Liverpool must make some key signings this summer (©GettyImages).

It’s where they want to be. It’s where they believe they belong. Playing in European football is synonymous with Liverpool Football Club.

At the moment, though, they are far away from competing in the Champions League with several managerial and boardroom changes disrupting the team on the pitch.

Hopefully now The Fenway Sports Group have taken over and hiring in Brendon Rogers to build up the club as a long-term project. Here are my suggestions for what Liverpool have to do to gain a European position this coming season.

Buy a new centre-back

For any team to succeed, they must build from the back. No club has ever won anything with a poor defence, especially in the centre. With stalwart Jamie Carragher retired and Daniel Agger being coveted by clubs who can offer Champions League football, the Reds are only left with Martin Skrtel in the middle.

Liverpool still have Uruguayan Sebastian Coates, but he hasn't developed into the player they hoped and homegrown defenders Andre Wisdom and Martin Kelly both have been used more at full-back or wing-back under Kenny Dalglish.

Not to say that either of those could revert back to centre-backs. Nonetheless, the quality centre-half is badly needed. It would be rather lazy to suggest Ashley Williams due to working well under Rodgers at Swansea. But he would fit into the new system at Liverpool, and offers both strength and composure, with is often a rare to find both so abundant in a defender.

In terms of possibilities from abroad, I'd like to see them go in for someone like Adil Rami from Valencia or Andrea Ranocchia from Inter Milan.

Buy a right winger

With Daniel Sturridge preferring to play through the middle, Liverpool lack a strong presence of the flank. They have Stewart Downing, who hasn't lived up to his price tag, and wonderland Raheem Sterling, Brendan Rodgers seems cautious about over-playing him in fear of burnout.

Who they should get is dependent on the current Liverpool players. If Coutinho is playing on the opposite flank, but drifting inside, it makes sense to have a right winger who likes to hug the touchline much more and open up the pitch to supply crosses.

However, if they want to get the best out of Glen Johnson's marauding runs, they may be more inclined for an inverted winger to leave space for Johnson. In terms if possible signing for that position, former youth player Tom Ince has been linked to a move back to the club.

Rodgers might might tempted to make a move for former Swansea player Scott Sinclair who despite his quality, is struggling to make an impact at Eastlands. They could do a lot less than snapping up Callum McManaman from relegated Wigan.

A left-back

As I said earlier, all good teams are based on a solid back-four. This position has been a bit of a void for Liverpool since John Arne Riise left. Jose Enrique has struggled to have the same influence he had on the left at Newcastle.

If Coutinho continues to be deployed as an inverted winger, they need a left-back who can open up the pitch. If the club are still committed to signing young British players, Southampton's Luke Shaw would be a good signing. He's broken into the first team for the Hampshire side in the past two seasons, playing with maturity well beyond his years.

A slightly more viable option might be pushing Jack Robinson from the reserves into the first season. I saw him play a few times this season when he was on loan at Wolves last term. Despite their woeful form. He was a calming at the back with his strong tackling and composure on the ball.

Be more clinical

As mercurial as he can be, Luis Suarez has a very poor shots-per-goal ratio. And with Steven Gerrard dropping deeper to shore up the centre of the park, not offering the goal-threat he showed during the Benitez era, Liverpool can often be hit and miss in front of goal.

Sturridge has already proven he can provide a killer touch in front of goal, but after injuring his ankle, he's likely to miss pre-season which means he might struggle this season.

If that's the case, and with Suarez banned for the first few games and possibly leaving, the rest of the forward line need to contribute which is what happened when Fernando Torres was injured in 2011.

Keep the core of the team together

One of the reasons why Benitez's team of the late 2000s declined was because let integral cog in the machine Xabi Alonso leave.

Along with injuries to Gerrard and Torres, the side's soft underbelly was left exposed opposition to get their teeth into (insert Luis Saurez joke here).

Liverpool could probably cope if the aforementioned Uruguayan left, but they need to make sure Reina, Agger, Gerrard, Allen, Coutinho and Sturridge all stay for the next few seasons, building a solid centre for wide players to play off.

Liverpool, unlike any side outside the top four, can attract players with just their name. Due to the history of the club, they can often compete against teams with more financial backing.

I do believe that they are not far off qualifying for at least the Europa League. With five of the six teams above them having a new manager, all's to play for at the top. 

 

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://bit.ly/12evFlH

DISCLAIMER: 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.

Topics:
Premier League
Liverpool
Football
Steven Gerrard

Article Comments

Trending

Read more

;