Season 2012/13 – 7th. Played: 38, Points: 61, Goal Difference: +28
Season 2013/14 – 1st. Played: 32, Points: 71, Goal Difference: +49
After one look at the two Premier League standings from this year and last, you can tell that something is different this year at Liverpool. With six games still to play, the reds find themselves ten points better off than last year with more wins (22 to 16) and more goals scored (88 to 71). Although keeping Suarez was the main priority last summer, no significantly influential signings were made, with Mignolet being the only regular starter out of the eight new players brought into the club. So what’s been different this year? Why is it that this season, Liverpool find themselves six places higher than last and fighting for the title again?
The importance of having two world class strikers this season both scoring goals week-in, week-out can not be understated. Suarez and Sturridge, or the SAS as they have come to be known as, have arguably been the best strike force in Europe this year scoring 49 Premier League goals in the 32 games. Even in games where Liverpool have not been at their best, moments of individual brilliance from the deadly pair have been enough to get a result, and attacking chances created by the likes of Gerrard, Henderson and Coutinho have been put away much more frequently this season. In support of the strikers, youngster Raheem Sterling has recently gone from strength-to-strength and is now a lot more confident on the ball, adding more assists and even goals to his game.
Behind these three, the fluidity of Coutinho and Henderson’s passing and movement along with Gerrard’s ability to control a game from deep have proved to be great assets to the squad. This season, there has been a better intensity to Liverpool’s attacking play yet more patience and composure in possession, which explains the average passing accuracy of 84%. At Anfield in particular, Liverpool have dominated teams, managing to knock three or four goals past them, cutting out the frustrating draws (13 in total) and poor chance conversion rate (11.7%) that they experienced last year. Liverpool have now scored four or more goals in a game eleven times this season – a premier league record. The squad clearly doesn’t have the depth of Chelsea’s or Man City’s at present and the defence has perhaps conceded too many goals this season (39), but results have shown that Liverpool are now one of the tops teams in the country and have been playing like champions of late.
In his second season at the club, the Brendan Rogers style of football appears to be coming across on the pitch and fans are starting to believe that after a 24 year wait, the title may be coming back to Liverpool this year. Regardless of their final position, this season has seen great change amongst the club and Liverpool are now playing with the confidence that they can get a result against any team, home or away. Let’s hope Liverpool can finish strongly this year and soon become one of the top teams in Europe once again.