WHAT LIVERPOOL CAN LEARN FROM THE NEAR MISSES IN THE 2021/22 SEASON
Liverpool had some hard lines in the just ended season. They were a five minute blitz and a monstrous Courtois performance away from completing an unprecedented quadruple. As it turned out, they had to ‘make do’ with ‘just’ a domestic double.
Missing out on the Premier League and Champions League was painful but as we’ve seen in the past, this side learns from devastating defeat to come back stronger. Here’s what Jürgen Klopp’s side can learn from the bitter disappointment faced in the last week of a long season.
It’s quite simple really; the whole club has now learnt there’s another level to reach, another height to scale if you must. When we lost the Champions League in Kiev, we levelled up the next season and elevated from challengers to winners.
In the same breath; when we lost out on the league title by a single point back in 2018/19, we levelled up to blow everyone out of the water the following season. That was a clear transition from plucky challengers to bonafide winners.
This winning habit was further cultivated with UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup success. As it stands, another gauntlet has been thrown down for this squad. They have to now step up to the next level by transitioning from winners to serial winners.
The two teams they lost out to this season have showcased the next level this squad can aspire to reach. Manchester City’s five minute blitz against Aston Villa on the final day, saw them finish a point ahead of the Reds to secure their fourth league title in five years.
That’s the next step for this Liverpool side. To become serial winners, to win back to back titles, to dominate the league. It’s all well and good winning it once and finishing second a couple of times. The challenge now is to become serial league winners.
Real Madrid meanwhile held firm in the face of a tidal wave of pressure, with Thibaut Courtois making a whopping nine saves to see the Spanish champions over the line for their fifth Champions League title in nine years.
That again is the next level this Liverpool side must aspire to. To become serial winners, to win back to back Champions League titles. To dominate the European landscape and become serial champions of Europe.
It’s all well and good lifting one Champions League trophy and finishing runners-up a couple of times. With the manager we have and the squad of players we possess, it would be amiss to not squeeze the most out of this era.
This is the best Liverpool side in a generation but there’s still room to improve. There’s still rungs to climb on the ladder of success. Real Madrid and Manchester City have proved that.
We are not a million miles from that level of consistent success, but that gap can be bridged with some ruthless decisions in the transfer market this summer. The manager has to be backed.
We’re aware we won’t be spending eye watering sums, but this is a chance to reach new heights. With strong rumours of an imminent Sadio Mané departure, this is a chance to refresh the attack and the squad in general.
There’s no need for an overhaul, this side already has most of the qualities required. Just a handful of prudent and carefully scouted signings will go a long way. A midfielder or two, as well as replacement for the outgoing Mané.
Julian Ward has a big summer ahead. Hand Jürgen Klopp the tools he needs and you wouldn’t bet against him making this side serial winners.