It is a long time since Liverpool last won the English First Division which is now English Premier League after making some alterations to its structure. 1989-1990 was the last season Kops celebrated becoming English champions. Even the fans do not expect them to win the League nowadays as getting top 4 to get Champions League qualification is now a hard task for the 5 time European champions.
So, can the Reds get back to Champions League this season?
Teams like Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United have much stronger squad compared to them and its difficult for the fallen giants to finish top four but not impossible.
Brendan Rodgers has to play a big role with his management skills-
It is the fourth season of the 42 year old Northen Irishman in charge at Anfield and the manager’s management skills will be a defining factor for the 18 time English champions this season. It has been a rollercoaster ride for the former Swansea boss at Merseyside so far with finishing seventh, second and sixth in the threes seasons of his charge. Liverpool came close to the silverware in 2013-14 season but dramitically slipped the title.
Rodgers has been criticised by many Liverpool fans and pundits for his management style. He has a very bad reputation of not being able to use his players properly. Even his own signings like Assaidi, Luis Alberto, Aspas, Lambert, Tiago Ilori, Lazar Markovic have seen themselves getting out of favour for being wrongly used or even unused.
Rotation in the squad-
Another big concern about Rodgers is he cannot rotate his squad well. He fields the same squad again and again despite having consecutive fixtures. Liverpool are in Europa League this season and this will give them matches every 3-4 days. Liverpool have a deep squad and the manager has to rotate his players depending on the opponents. Otherwise,players will burn out and the team will suffer as well the players will be demoralised.
Fixing the defensive woes-
But the biggest flaw of the manager is he does not focus on defense. In the first two matches, we saw a midfield duo of Henderson and Milner which reflects the manager’s ultra attacking style. Liverpool could not clinch the title in his second season due to defensive woes. Despite a very good goalscoring campaign which saw them fire 101 goals in 38 games, they were the only side in the history of Premier League not to clinch the title with 100+ goals. But the gaffer has clearly not learnt from his mistakes and is still playing a team without a defensive midfielder.
Rodgers must understand the importance of a regista in his team and play Emre Can or Lucas Leiva protecting his miserable defensive line.
To win any competition, you need to have a team effort. But you also need one or two players who can win you a game despite a bad team display. Every team needs that firepower. With Steven Gerrard gone, someone has to step up to show moments of brilliances.
Philippe Coutinho scored a stunner against Stoke City to win the game for his side in the opening day of the season while the team was not playing well. With the Brazilian getting world class day by day and the newly assigned captain Jordan Henderson defining the word “Improvement”, Liverpool has to rely on the duo for such instances.
Liverpool have lost their 12 year serving captain in the summer as the icon moved to American side LA Galaxy. Liverpool will definitely miss his leadership on and off the pitch. This is an opportunity for newly assigned captain Jordan Henderson to show his captaincy skills. Experienced players like Skrtel, Lucas and Milner will also have to support the English international to lead the young squad. Adam Lallana who skippered Southampton during their reestablishment in the top tier of English football from the third division, will also have to motivate his teammates.
It is difficult for Liverpool to get top four but not at all impossible. Fans can certainly hope for a better season and “walk on with hope” in your heart.