Euro 2016 and the Copa America may have provided Liverpool fans with enough action on the pitch to satisfy their thirst for football, but with the new Premier League season just around the corner, it is time to look forward to what we hope is a strong campaign for Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp has certainly made a difference since he arrived at Anfield last October, with fans instantly warming to the charismatic German and the way he has got the team to play. His positivity and encouragement should be enough to make fans believe that Liverpool will perform well this season, and although there is no European football to look forward to, Klopp alluded to the fact that he will have the whole summer to work with the team on the training ground.
This can only stand Liverpool in good stead as the players buy into his philosophy and style of play even further, and although the latest football odds with Coral do not suggest that the Reds are among the favourites to dethrone reigning champions Leicester, we can still believe there is plenty to be achieved throughout the 2016/2017 campaign.
There was an underlying feeing that Liverpool needed to make significant improvements in defence, with the team irking the wrath of Klopp by leaking too many soft goals for his liking. Bringing in highly-rated goalkeeper Loris Karius and centre-back Joel Matip is certainly a step in the right direction, with Sadio Mane also likely to inject more pace and quality in the final third to compliment what Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge bring to the table.
Klopp may look to bring more defenders in before he feels confident that his team can remain solid at the back, especially when you consider there is likely to be a further increase in quality across the board. The Premier League has always been hugely competitive, but the calibre of managers and players that have arrived in England this summer speaks volumes about it; Liverpool are highly unlikely to find the going any easier this season, so they will need to be at their very best if the team are to surpass Betway’s odds and break into the top four.
Consistency eluded Liverpool at key moments last season, with momentum lost through losses in concentration and below-par performances. Fantastic victories at Chelsea and Manchester City are proof, if needed, of what the team are capable of when firing on all cylinders, but those performances proved to be rare occasions and were often followed up by a sub-standard showing.
Klopp certainly deserves credit for the immediate change in emphasis on the pitch, but he will know that his preferred ‘gegenpress’ system requires considerable time on the training ground to perfect and get the players aware of where they need to be. We cannot expect Liverpool to be on song in every game, but Leicester showed the sort of mental strength and focus that is needed to sustain a strong run of results. His time with Borussia Dortmund proved that Klopp can mould a team that has the quality and mentality to compete for major honours, with his first full season in charge likely to see improvements in way Liverpool play.
Challenging for the league title may prove to be a step too far for Liverpool, but there is no reason why the club cannot target the domestic cups as a great opportunity to pick up silverware. Liverpool fans will certainly feel like their team deserved to lift the Capital One Cup after a strong performance against Manchester City at Wembley, although the Europa League Final was disappointing after Sturridge put the Reds in front against Sevilla. Reaching two finals is testament to the change in fortunes at the club under Klopp, with fans welcoming a repeat in the domestic cups as the German looks to bring back a winning mentality at Liverpool.