Liverpool fans are pretty excited for next season already.
Jurgen Klopp is starting to put his own stamp on his team after arriving at Anfield in October and Kopites are keen to see the German in his first full campaign.
The Reds have already produced some brilliant performances under their boss – 3-1 away to Chelsea, 4-1 away to Manchester City and 4-3 at home to Borussia Dortmund, to name just three – but have lacked consistency at times. Defeats against Crystal Palace at home and away losses to Watford and Newcastle have prevented the club from competing for a top-four finish this season.
However, although Champions League qualification through a league position looks increasingly unlikely, they may still be playing in Europe’s elite competition.
Klopp has led his side into the semi-finals of the Europa League and winning the trophy would see them back amongst Europe’s elite next campaign. The lure of Champions League football – not to mention the attraction of playing under Klopp could see them sign world-class talent in the summer.
While Liverpool fans will just be satisfied to be back competing for a top-four spot next season, Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry thinks they could be a force to be reckoned with.
“Next season they will challenge for the title I think under Klopp,” he told Sky Sports, per The Mirror.
Klopp’s side aren’t mathematically ruled out a top-four finish but, although they have a game in hand, they sit in seventh – seven points behind Manchester City in fourth.
And Arsenal legend Henry has highlighted one match that has prevented Liverpool from having a chance of finishing fourth.
SOUTHAMPTON COST LIVERPOOL
“I think Liverpool, if they didn’t lose against Southampton, they would’ve been there challenging for the top four,” he said.
Klopp’s side had led the Saints 2-0 at half-time but a second-half collapse saw Southampton win 3-2.
Although, it’s taken a little while for Klopp to implement his philosophy at the club, Henry thinks that a full pre-season will see the Liverpool players understand exactly what their manager wants from them.
“Jurgen Klopp likes to play a certain way and ‘intensity’ is the word that I will use for him,” he said.
“Putting on pressure from the front and that is why Divock Origi is a starter and not Sturridge or Benteke, because he [Origi] will run for you.
“Coutinho is there, we all know what he can do but it’s not easy to arrive in a team half-way through the season and make sure that they understand what you want. Changing their way of training because you play in a different way.
“And for a little while now they’ve been playing the Klopp way and people are seeing and understanding what’s happening,” he concluded.