Okay, so Liverpool haven’t spent the most money this summer. But there is still good reason to believe that they can have a good season.
Why? Well, not only has Roy Hodgson managed to convince Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay, but he also acquired the services of Joe Cole (a very talented player with a point to prove) on a free transfer.
Moves such as these have certainly gone down well with the locals, and have given cause for optimism that 2010-11 might not turn out as bad as they first feared when Rafa Benitez left in June.
Back then there was huge unrest as fans demonstrated around Anfield after news of the Spaniard’s departure was confirmed. It was the culmination for some who believed that the owners didn’t give the under-fire manager significant transfer funds in order to compete for the title last season.
However, with takeover talk and a new manager in charge the slate, it seems, has been wiped clean and the club as a whole is ready to start all over again this Sunday when Arsenal are the first visitors of the new season.
While it is unlikely that Liverpool will finally end their 21 year wait for a league title, there is enough to suggest that they can break back into the top four.
On paper, the spine of this side is as good as any other on its day, yet the squad overall is an entirely different matter, hence why the league title is a bridge too far at this moment in time.
Looking at Liverpool’s rivals it is hard to suggest who the clear favourites are for the Premier League this season. As many as six teams could have a say and looking at the likes of Chelsea, United, Arsenal and Tottenham it’s hard to see where they have greatly improved in their squads.
United may have signed the promising Javier Hernandez, but the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Edwin Van der Sar are another year older and they surely can’t rely on Wayne Rooney as much as they did last season?
As for the champions, they’ve only signed Yossi Benayoun so far with many Chelsea fans unhappy at Carlo Ancelotti for swapping Joe Cole for the Israel captain. Plus, they’ve lost Ricardo Carvalho to Real Madrid and look weaker at the back as a result with John Terry not getting any younger.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have a shrewd signing in Marouane Chamakh and keeping Cesc Fabregas should be a bonus. But their frailties lie at the back and with their goalkeeper in particular, suggesting that they will struggle to challenge once again.
Across north London, Tottenham haven’t improved their squad from last season and it will be interesting to see if their Champions League campaign distracts them from domestic duties.
Finally, we arrive at Manchester City. Yet again they have flexed their financial muscle by spending over £100 million on players including Yaya Toure and David Silva.
The big problem for Roberto Mancini will be keeping his large squad happy and with the 25 man squad deadline looming, has some tough decisions to make.
All this evidence points to a potentially promising campaign for everyone connected with Liverpool. As long as they stay clear of the injury problems that plagued them last season, then surely better results will follow.
*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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