So Liverpool’s pre-season tour ended as it started – with an emphatic win.
Okay, I know it’s only pre-season. And the quality of the opposition might not have been that high. But a win is a win. And four wins is the club’s best pre-season record for quite a while.
The team played four games. They won four games.
They kept four clean sheets.
They scored eleven goals.
There were five different goal scorers.
Coutinho got three.
Ibe scored one.
Sterling bagged two.
Aspas scored three.
And Gerrard added another two.
That’s eleven goals without our current two most senior strikers scoring. (Suarez only featured for short periods in two of the games because of his Confederation Cup exertions of course, while Sturridge was missing through injury).
This all bodes well for the season ahead. Recent years have seen the club draw too many games because only a couple of players have contributed to the goal tally. Prior to Liverpool signing Coutinho and Sturridge, when Gerrard, Suarez and Torres before him were missing, you struggled to see where the goals were going to come from. Now there are four or five players who can chip in, which should result in the team turning possession into goals and subsequently winning more games.
Whilst I’m not going to make rash predictions, I am really looking forward to this season and I’m keen to see how the squad develops, especially with the potential arrival of more quality signings.
It’s fair to say that there were very few, if any, negatives to take from the tour. As well as looking solid on the pitch, it was great to confirm how popular the club is around the world with such high attendances. This is surely a message to any players wishing to join so-called bigger clubs and it also sends a statement to players who Liverpool are keen to sign.
With just under three weeks to go until the season starts proper, it’s vital that the momentum continues. The Suarez situation needs resolving, with the player either staying and knuckling down or being sold abroad for the right price and a quality replacement being added. Then there is the addition of the two or three other players who Rodgers has said would complete the jigsaw. And of course there are games against Olympiacos, Valerenga and Celtic still to play. Three more wins would see the squad prevail unbeaten from pre-season and boost the confidence of the players and fans alike. A 100% record would provide the perfect platform for the club to try and get back into the top four. And without the extra fixtures that European football brings, this season could even see the club challenge for a trophy.
One thing is for sure, quality performances, the signing of some exciting new players, along with possible addition of another centre back, left back, creative midfielder and a striker are getting Liverpool supporters excited.