After looking at many predictions from pundits and increased odds that Liverpool have been given by the bookies, it appears that many people genuinely believe that the Reds have made significant improvement from last season.
From the title it is quite obvious that this article will argue otherwise, as Liverpool do not look stronger from the beginning of the previous season. Of course, the transfer window is still open and many players can join or leave.
Nonetheless, after the departure of winger Stewart Downing to West Ham United, the Reds will probably go into the market for a replacement. If they do replace Downing, then they have simply replaced a player with a supposedly better one - because if they don’t, subsequently they have less depth in their squad.
Either way (unless they get a real world-class player and not one that simply has a lot hype around them), they would not have made any substantial improvement to the current squad.
This situation can be described as taking two steps forward then taking two back, at the end of the day no progress has been made and a club staying static is actually falling behind slowly as others improve.
First and foremost the obvious question of the Luis Suarez saga where the player has publicly declared his desire to leave Anfield, but owner John Henry has insisted that he’ll stay for “footballing reasons”.
With Suarez suspended for the first six games of the new season, he could not feature for Liverpool even if he was on amicable terms with the club, which means that he’ll not play until after the transfer window has closed (should he remain in the Premier League).
Should the Uruguayan leave, it will be hard for Liverpool to replace the quality as they don’t have any European football to attract many suitors - and if he stays, it’s hard to imagine that he could replicate last season’s 30 goals.
This summer, Liverpool have lost four first-team players, which include Jamie Carragher (to retirement, centre-back), Jonjo Shelvey (attacking midfielder), Pepe Reina (keeper) and Stewart Downing (left winger).
Other players like Andy Carroll (striker) were also sold but he left on loan to West Ham since January, Jay Spearing (midfielder) was never really part of the squad and rest of the players that left are mainly youngsters, therefore they have not really contributed much to the squad depth in the first place.
This means that all of Liverpool signings have been similar to players who have departed: Simon Mignolet (keeper), Kolo Toure (centre back), Luis Alberto (winger/ attacking midfielder) and Iago Aspas (striker).
Comparatively, Liverpool have signed players of similar mould to those who have departed - and by simply analysing their stats from last season, they do not look like the best improvements in the world (nevertheless this statement does not intend to limit them to it, as they may prove to be much better).
When a team buys players to add to their current crop, it is always a clear sign of improvement but when they sell players who played a handful of league games then replace them with players of comparable standards only indicates that they have compensated the squad to retain its previous standards.
Loss of big personalities
With the retirement of Carragher and the transfer of Reina to Napoli, Liverpool have lost a lot of leadership behind the dressing room. The contribution of experienced players cannot be underestimated as Manchester United have proved over the past couple of years.
In Liverpool’s case this is more significant as they have a large number of young players coming into the team.
When older players like Gerrard and most likely Toure are the only people available for guidance, it is hard to imagine where the team would draw inspiration during difficult times.
It has to be remembered that all the best teams in the world all have a very good balance of youth and experience, which is fundamental to the success of each manager.
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