Liverpool have hit some impressive form in recent weeks, scoring 14 goals in their last four games, and that begs the question, could next season finally be their year?
The comeback versus Borussia Dortmund seems to have been a season-defining moment, providing momentum to finish the season strongly. A top four place is maybe just too far out of reach now, but they are just three good performances away from another European trophy and a seat back at the big table of the Champions League.
Liverpool fans are forever teased with the phrase "next year is going to be their year", an epitaph to the once most dominant force in English and European football, and a stick with which more recently successful clubs fans use to beat them with.
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But could next year actually be their year - the year that Liverpool fans can no longer be accused of hiding behind their history and with the help of some heavy metal football, come headbanging their way into the present?
Liverpool have the majority of the necessary ingredients to be successful; a good squad, a world-class manager, patient/realistic ownership, an increased capacity stadium, passionate fan base, and funds to improve the squad when needed.
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The one ingredient missing that could prove pivotal to success next season is consistent qualification for the Champions League.
The benefits of regular participation in the Champions League are obvious; increased revenues, increased exposure, increased chances of world-class recruitment.
One season out of the top competition can damage cash flow and cause your best players to leave without the ability to replace them with players of the same level of ability. Liverpool's record of one qualification in five years has put the club in a never ending spiral of regression.
Finish outside top four, sell their best player, cannot replace with the same ability, repeat.
Comparing Jurgen Klopp's record when he took over at Dortmund, it is worth noting that it took the German three seasons to achieve a return to the Champions League in 2011. However, Dortmund did so as champions and retained their title in 2012.
By 2013, he took them to a Champions League final after stating he would focus on the competition. In five years, Klopp had taken a team that finished 13th in the Bundesliga, to the final of the biggest game of club football.
If a Liverpool fan was to be given the choice of a comparative result in five seasons, it's safe to say the majority would bite your hand off.
Also, if Klopp was to win the Europa League with Liverpool, he would fast-track a return to the Champions League by a full two seasons compared to his record at Dortmund, potentially allowing him to fast track a return of the league title to Anfield.
Is next year Liverpool's year? It all hinges on this year it seems, but with the Anfield roar still ringing in the ears of those who watched the comeback versus Dortmund, who would say that Liverpool could not match recent results in the competition and change the trajectory of the club's immediate future.
Can Liverpool win the Premier League next season? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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