By James Giblin (@jaygiblin)
With 12 games left of the season left to play this season, talk of what Liverpool must improve on next season may sound premature. Liverpool are on fire at the moment, thrashing Swansea and Zenit at home and doing so quite comfortably. How comfortable Liverpool were against Zenit is absolutely meaningless now; it was a fruitless endeavor. We were knocked out.
There is nothing to be ashamed of. The manner in which we played football was beautiful; I was particularly pleased with Jose Enrique’s stunner against Swansea (and people are talking about Gareth Bale’s West Ham goal for goal of the season!). We must look forward to the future with eager anticipation and leave behind the cobwebs of this season. Although Champions League qualification is still mathematically possible, it is unlikely.
With all this in mind, I have written up 4 top targets for Liverpool, if they are to obtain Champions League status once again:
Consistency is a word that I haven’t associated with Liverpool for quite some time. They are a far cry from the Liverpool team of 1987-88, when they conceded just 24 goals all season (0.6 per game). Last season Agger and Skrtel were monumental at the back. They need to recapture that form.
2. Better goal scoring tally
Needless to say, Liverpool have let themselves down in this department this season. A frightening statistic is that Liverpool have had the most shot attempts out of any team in the top 5 European Football Leagues. With shooting accuracy lower than QPR’s, something needs to be done. If it wasn’t for the superb displays from one South American genius, Liverpool would be far worse off. Which leads nicely to my next point.
3. Keep hold of Luis Suarez
This is an absolute MUST. Luis Suarez is one of the the two remaining world class players Liverpool have. He scores goals, creates chances and is just amazing to watch. With Pep Guardiola apparently eyeing him up, Liverpool need to try hard to keep hold of this talismanic striker.
4. Make Anfield a fortress
This is something that Liverpool have failed to do for about four years. Since Liverpool came runners up in the 2009 season, Anfield has become less and less frightening. If Liverpool are to progress, they need to perform well at home.