It’s fair to say that this season hasn’t gone quite how Liverpool would have liked. It was only a few short months ago that they were on the cusp of an unprecedented four trophies, and now they’re finding it difficult to win two games in a row. The mental, physical, and emotional hangover from that journey must have played a factor. Plus, other teams are on the rise. So what should Klopp and his players be aiming for this season? Let’s take a look.
A Champions League Position
You should never say never, but in all likelihood, Liverpool will know that they have little chance of winning the Premier League this season. Manchester City and Arsenal are already way ahead in the league, and it’s not as if Liverpool is showing title-worthy form. Instead, they’ll hope to get into a Champions League position. It’s not realistic to think that you’ll be a title contender every season (unless you’re Manchester City), and there’s no shame in finishing in the top four of England’s top division. In fact, the way the season has started, it’ll be something of a success.
A Champions League Run
Liverpool is unlikely to win the Premier League, but what about the Champions League? In truth, this will be almost as difficult as winning the Premier League, especially given how Liverpool is playing right now. Still, Liverpool does have a special history with this competition, so there’ll likely be more than a fair few people using a betting offer to back them for glory. Even if that doesn’t happen, Klopp will be hoping that, at least, they go on a decent run that takes them to the quarter or semi-finals — it’ll be a good reminder that Liverpool still belongs at the top flight.
Working With Nunez
It’s been clear to everyone that Liverpool has felt the loss of Sadio Mane, who departed for Bayern Munich in the summer. His replacement, Darwen Nunez, has not yet proven that he’ll be a suitable replacement for the Senegalese striker. But then again, given extremely high standards of Mane, that was unlikely to happen straight away anyway.
Nunez is only 22 and still finding his feet in the Premier League. There is hope that he’ll be a great striker, but that’ll happen next year or the year after. This is the time to work closely with him, and hope that he can build on his early glimpses of brilliance.
Salah’s Return to Form
You could make a reasonable case that Liverpool would have suffered less if it was Salah who left, not Mane. Of course, the striker is still world-class, as he’s shown at various points this season, most notably with his winning goal against Manchester City. But if Liverpool is going to truly bounce back, then they’ll need the Egyptian to play well more frequently. Salah won’t be going to the World Cup this year, which will provide him with the break he needs. Though he’s had a slow start, there’s a small chance that he’ll still finish as the league’s top scorer.
Remembering Who They Are
It’s not just the defeats that have come Liverpool’s way this year. It’s how they happened that is concerning. Something seems to have broken with the team, who are having a hard time remembering their usual standards. This season, there have been one or two games where Liverpool has looked like “the team of old,” but mostly, it has been flat. This season could well be judged successful if Klopp’s players remember what shirt they’re wearing and go out onto the pitch with confidence that they’ll win.
This year will be a season of transition for Liverpool; there’s no doubt about it. But the side has had bad years in recent memory (the season after they won the league, for instance), so it would be foolish to write them off. After all, with Liverpool, you just never know what they might do.