Liverpool’s progression to the Europa League quarter-finals has symbolised something of a renaissance for the club, which seemed destined for a season of failure under the tired and undermined regime of Brendan Rogers. With new manager Jurgen Klopp having stamped his own identity on the club enthused the playing squad with energy, positivity and boundless aggression. While the club may be unlikely to earn a place in the Champions’ League this time around, there is genuine hope that the Reds may be about to enjoy a period of sustained success.
5 Lessons that the Reds will take into 2016/17
So if 2015/16 has been something of a learning curve for the Reds, what exactly will the club take into the following season?
- The importance of strategy and identity
As anyone who has ever played craps can testify, success often comes down to strategy, philosophy and a clearly defined identity. You can easily learn how to play craps here, but it is far harder for football managers to instil a desired philosophy with a closely-knit team or group. Klopp has managed to achieve this in just six months, however, and the Reds’ new found identity will serve them well in the next season.
- Christian Benteke does not fit into Klopp’s plans
This may be a harsh assessment, but it is one with merit given Klopp’s energetic and mobile style of play. The Reds swarmed all over a slow and cumbersome Manchester United during their recent Europa League tie, with diminutive forwards such as Roberto Firmino and the outstanding Philippe Coutinho leading the way. Unfortunately, this style does not suit fellow-striker Christian Benteke, who lacks mobility and is likely to move away this summer.
- A team must be built around Philippe Coutinho
On a similar topic, Coutinho seems to get better with every single game and appears to be thriving under Klopp’s leadership. This world class talent is sure to have caught the eye of Europe’s other leading clubs, however, so Klopp must secure Coutinho’s services and build an entire team around the diminutive Brazilian.
- Dejan Lovren may finally be establishing himself in the heart of the defence
In many ways, centre back Dejan Lovren symbolised the failures of Brendan Rodger’s reign after the Reds’ failed title attempt in 2014. He has also prospered under the positive and reassuring stewardship of Klopp, however, establishing himself in the absence of Martin Skrtl and forging an excellent partnership with Mamadou Sakho. If his form continues, he may finally justify the £20 million investment that the Reds made way back in the summer of 2014.
- Liverpool can be great again
This is a no-brainer, especially with the club gaining momentum and poised for a monumental spending spree in the upcoming summer. With an intense and exciting style of play, money to spend and the lure of Klopp set to attract a number of stellar players in the summer, there is no doubt that Liverpool can become great once again and enjoy a renewed period of success!