Connect with us


Liverpool has transfer a great player, klopp’s said you are not needed …



Liverpool has transfer a great player, klopp’s said you are not needed …

Goodbye and good riddance to you, 2022-23.

The overwhelming emotion for Liverpool staff, players and supporters when the final whistle sounded at St Mary’s on Sunday was one of relief. A largely joyless 10-month slog punctuated by sporadic triumphs is finally over.

From the dizzy heights of completing a domestic cup double, pushing Manchester City all the way in the Premier League title race and reaching the Champions League final last May to a trophyless season and the chastening reality of life outside the top four. That’s some fall from grace.

“There were moments in the season when it felt four years long,” admitted Jurgen Klopp. “Thank God for the last 11 games. That helped massively, gave us a real boost, a perspective, a basis for what we have to do.

“We are very disappointed we didn’t make it to the top four, but there are moments when you have to admit that there were four teams better than us. That’s the truth.

“We played a bad season and came fifth. That’s a message as well. Imagine we were more our normal selves, which we absolutely will be next season. We will be a contender again. The last 11 games helped us to realise that.”

A fan pays tribute to Milner (Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)

Klopp certainly struck a more bullish tone than Mohamed Salah, who reacted to Manchester United nailing down the final Champions League spot last week by declaring that he was “totally devastated” by Liverpool’s failure to achieve “the bare minimum” and that there were “no excuses” for falling short and letting the fans down. It was a scathing assessment.

Salah is clearly less enamoured about the prospect of playing in the Europa League but his brutal honesty was refreshing. That’s the kind of mentality required in the dressing room to help ensure Liverpool come back strong in August.

This should cut deep. They should be hurting. This should lead to introspection at all levels of the club. Lessons must be learned to ensure this season is simply a one-off rather than a sign of things to come.

Salah is a winner and one of the few in Klopp’s squad who can truly hold his head high. The Egyptian attacker contributed 30 goals and 16 assists in all competitions.

Liverpool finished the season with 25 points less than in 2021-22, they scored 19 fewer goals and conceded 21 more. A morale-boosting return of 25 points out of the last 33 on offer restored some semblance of positivity but it was too little, too late.

Final days of the season during the Klopp era have been laced with drama with glory on the line. This one involved a chaotic fightback from 4-2 down to salvage a point against a team preparing for life in the Championship. It seemed fitting given what had gone before it.

Yes, it was a much-changed Liverpool line-up but the problems were painfully familiar. Defensive frailties and gaping holes in midfield that even a team as limited as Southampton were able to repeatedly exploit.

It served to ram home the importance of this summer’s window. Some major surgery is required. There’s no papering over the cracks.

The travelling Kop serenaded Roberto Firmino and James Milner for the final time as the legendary duo waved goodbye. Firmino signed off in style, putting two defenders on their backsides before nutmegging Alex McCarthy for his 13th goal of the season.

‘Milner 7 Legend’ read the banner in the away end and the vice-captain once again showcased how much he will be missed, filling in at left-back after putting in a shift in midfield. New leaders now need to emerge to fill the void.

The outgoing Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t even make the bench, while Arthur Melo’s hopes of belatedly making his Premier League bow were dashed. The Brazilian returns to Juventus following the end of his loan spell having played a grand total of 13 minutes – in the defeat away to Napoli in the Champions League in September.

Firmino signed off with a goal (Photo: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

A lack of transfer business last summer ultimately cost Liverpool. They were guilty of overestimating the depth of talent at their disposal. They underestimated how much of a toll that gruelling 63-game campaign had taken.

They were crying out for another elite midfielder and ended up panic-signing Arthur on deadline day. That error was compounded by the glut of injury setbacks and slumps in form that followed.

Now they need to buy a minimum of two, arguably three, senior midfielders with Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister top of the club’s list. Sunday also underlined how crucial it is that they buy another mobile, dynamic centre-back.

The owners need to dig deep. If they’re serious about Liverpool getting back to competing for trophies they need to back Klopp with hard cash. The blow of missing out on Champions League riches won’t pass as an excuse for not addressing the squad’s weaknesses.

There are reasons to be optimistic. Cody Gakpo, who scored Liverpool’s third goal at St Mary’s, grew in stature following his arrival from PSV Eindhoven in the January window and certainly looks the part.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s late-season resurgence provided another lift. If only that tactical switch that energised him in a new hybrid role had happened sooner. Curtis Jones, Stefan Bajcetic and Harvey Elliott can also be proud of their efforts after kicking on impressively.

If only Ibrahima Konate, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota hadn’t been sidelined for so much of the campaign. Having not scored for an injury-plagued year, Jota finished the season with seven goals in the last nine games.

It was a campaign when Liverpool swiftly made the leap from the sublime to the ridiculous – putting seven past Manchester United and then losing to Bournemouth six days later.

They suffered just one league defeat at Anfield but that was to relegated Leeds United. For far too long they were a soft touch on their travels, embarrassed away at Nottingham Forest, Brentford, Brighton and Wolves.

There was a period when Klopp was struggling to come up with the answers as damaging setbacks kept on coming. As other clubs swung the axe, Klopp talked about “the elephant in the room” being why he was still at the helm.

He had far too much credit in the bank for his position to ever be a topic of serious debate but he will know he won’t be afforded the same level of patience and understanding if history repeats itself next season. The bar must be raised.

“If you’d have asked me 11 games ago if I wanted to have a break, then I’d have thought about it, to be honest. But I’m absolutely fine, full of energy,” Klopp added.

“I’ll have a break — I don’t have training, those kind of things — but a pretty busy period hopefully starts now as well in a different area of the game and I’m more than happy to do that. I will find time to re-energise and then we start again in July.”

(Photo: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *