The narrative during this season, even if we do eventually find our feet, is that Liverpool need a rebuild.
And it’s true. We do. Our best players are in their thirties and have looked on multiple occasions this season like they’ve given simply all they have to give – mentally and physically. You can’t always go again. You can’t always brush off the disappointment of getting within inches of football’s biggest glories.
Preferably starting this January, but without question next summer, this legendary, iconic team will need to be dismantled, or at the very least, severely bolstered.
Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, Thiago, James Milner and Fabinho will be past their physical peak by next season, and in all honesty, some of that list of names look they might already be.
Andy Robertson hasn’t been at his best for a while, with Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain set to leave on free transfers in 2023. Sadio Mane and Gini Wijnaldum are already gone. It’s the start of the end for the Jurgen Klopp team that won it all.
And while it’s fair to speculate on where we can improve and what exciting new players might come in and provide the injection of energy and concentration that’s missing right now, we should pay homage to this iteration of Liverpool before more of them have left for pastures now.
Because they might just be the best Liverpool side you’ll ever see in your lifetime.
In 2019/20, Liverpool picked up 79 out of the first available 81 points. They equalled the Premier League record of 18 consecutive league victories. They finished on over 99, 97 and 92 points, more than Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United teams ever achieved. This team reached three Champions League Finals, winning one. It won all three domestic cups. It won the Club World Cup. It won it all.
So as we plot and plan for the future – and grimace about the upcoming Anfield clash with Manchester City – take a minute to appreciate how good it’s been.
Yes, we didn’t win enough PL titles. But this was more to do with City and their financial advantages. We all know this. It doesn’t take away from what Liverpool did with much less money and much more pressure.
They’ve messed up by not recruiting enough in the past few years, and it’s going to make the next steps harder.
Sadly, it does look like this current side have run out of gas. It’s not nice to admit it but we crawled over the line last term and this one just looks a step too far. Injuries are piling up and the relentless fixture list isn’t doing us any favours. The fanbase seems jaded from our near misses, so imagine how the players feel?
Football never stops, of course. So we’ll never get to give them a send-off. A proper thank you. A real show of appreciation for what they’ve given for our entertainment. But the best we can do is remember the levels they hit before while analysing them now. To accept they might not be able to be the best side on the planet anymore, through no fault of their own or any bad intentions.
Support them and remember how good it’s been first, then analyse how we can move forward, then ask questions as to why it wasn’t done previously – in that order.