By Daniel Kalter @dkalter18
As Liverpool fans, we get a little more than our fair share of banter for being so optimistic. “Next year is our year” has ran through the minds of Reds worldwide and unfortunately that glimmer of hope to the return of what was has faded as the season has gone on for the last few years. No doubt, with our form in the second half of last season many fans will think that next year might actually be our year.
But is this optimism warranted? In short, yes. It is absolutely warranted. There is finally some stability at Melwood over the summer, something that we have not had for a while. The only thing that could bring our optimism down is the ongoing Luis Suarez transfer saga. I’ve read countless quotes and articles about this situation and all signs seem to point to him leaving us. For some reason, I believe he will be wearing that atrocious new Liverpool kit when his suspension is up. Maybe my optimism in this regard is stupid, but I trust our management to do what is right for the club. If selling Suarez is what they see as right, then so be it. But I don’t believe it will happen.
Keep in mind that we did have arguably our best performance of the season away to Newcastle without our beloved number seven. Coutinho and Sturridge have proven to be more than capable of creating and finishing chances. I’m in no way saying that we will be a better side without Luis, but I think that we will be able to cope without him.
Add in our new signings, and the optimism continues to grow. Yes, we lost out on Mkhitaryan, but I believe that the additions of Alberto, Aspas, and Mignolet will have positive effects on the squad. Alberto had a phenomenal season last year with Barcelona B. Yes that was in the second division, but double digits in both assists and goals is nothing to scoff at. I don’t think he will start immediately, but he will be a valuable squad player and will grow into a high quality player. Aspas also had a great season scoring twelve goals for a team that narrowly escaped relegation. I think that he will have an immediate impact on the side with his finishing ability an instinct. I think he will fit in well on the wing. Mignolet, as we all have seen, is a talented keeper. Whether Pepe goes or stays, I am confident that we will have a talented keeper starting for us when the transfer window shuts.
Brendan Rodgers has assembled a very good team and his mentality about the game and his strategy have proven to be good enough to get us closer to the top of the table. With the signings that we’ve had so far in this transfer window, along with the signings that will most likely come in later on, he has added to a squad with an already talented core. Gerrard had one of his best ever seasons last year because he was able to stay fit for so long. He dominated games and when he was on, so was the rest of the team. Johnson and Enrique both provide excellent attacking power going forward and are both good defenders. Agger has shown his quality when fit. I’ve already addressed Coutinho and Sturridge, but seriously… what a shrewd piece of business it was to get them at the prices we did. They are world-class players and they both add so much quality to the side. If we can bring in another center back to provide some competition for Skrtel (or replace him), our back line will be stronger than it was last season.To close, as Reds fans we should expect excellence from our players every single game. That is what wearing the red jersey is all about. With our illustrious history, we should want, and expect, to be playing in the Champion’s League every season. Now I’m by no means saying that we should be expecting to win the Premier League just yet, but I think that as a club Liverpool is well on their way. So be optimistic. Say that next year will be our year because what’s the point of being a true football fan if you don’t expect your team to do well? There’s no fun in expecting to lose every game. I believe that a year from today, Liverpool will be worrying about getting as far as possible in the Champion’s League, not about why we didn’t qualify. So should you.