Football

Liverpool must banish top four hoodoo this season

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There can be no argument that Liverpool history doesn't read as one of the finest English football has seen.

With 23 domestic leagues, 31 domestic cups and 11 European cups, the Reds certainly used to be a force to be reckoned with. What has changed and why do they constantly keep falling short of glory?

With billionaires coming to the Premier League and investing millions after millions into clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City, instigating almost instant success, Liverpool have slowly but surely been squeezed out of the top four of the table.

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Big spenders

However, it's not as if they haven't been spending enough themselves. Perhaps here is where the first problem may lie.

Liverpool have not exactly been shy in the transfer market in the last few seasons, with spending coming to a total of £599m in the last 10 years.

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In fact, they've spent more than clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal, with £117m of that coming last season, prior to a campaign that they finished in 6th position.

So close and yet so far

In the 2013/14 Liverpool finished 2nd in the Premier League and just missed out on the title due to a few bad performances in the last few games of the season.

Luis Suarez was a big factor of their dramatic jump up the table chipping in with 31 goals for the Reds. Fellow striker Daniel Sturridge also played his part, notching 21 himself.

Having finally climbed up the table after years of finishing outside the top four, Liverpool fans began to regain their hopes for glory in the upcoming term. Unfortunately, the 2014 transfer market is a prime example of how Liverpool have sold big players for record breaking prices, but not replaced well enough to become big contenders in the next season.

Poor business?

Suarez was sold to Barcelona for £75m and in came Mario Balotelli for £16m as a replacement. As well as Balotelli, Liverpool went on to spend a further £111m, doing deals for Dejan Lovren (£20m) and Adam Lallana (£25m) along the way.

These signings, on paper at least, looked promising, but did Liverpool really expect them to be enough to compete with the likes of Chelsea, United and City?

Here, in my opinion, lies Liverpool's biggest mistake in recent years. They are happy to spend big money, but the players they bring in seem to be those who will help them maintain normality in the table instead of pushing for the top prize.

It's as if they are aiming for 4th position, and therefore sign players who will help them achieve that 4th place; in the end they fall short of their target. Aiming for the number one spot would mean bringing in the big names, which they just don't seem to like doing.

Changes to the system

Having said that, this year Liverpool have targeted some of the bigger names that have been floating around the transfer market. They've purchased the likes of Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne, pushing their summer spending to £77.5m.

Losing their talisman and captain Steven Gerrard to LA Galaxy may be a blow for them, but if Liverpool can secure one or two more big names before the market closes they may not only just be serious competitors this season, but also for a few seasons to come.

Liverpool fans, do you think this year is your year? Let us know where you expect to finish in the comments box below.

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Topics:
Football
Nathanial Clyne
Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool
Christian Benteke

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