Friday, March 31, 2023

3 Reasons Why Liverpool Can Finish In The Top 4 Next Season

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Pranjal Bhawal
Pranjal is the co-owner of The 4th Official. While he completed law from Department of Law, University of Calcutta, his passion always remained in football and that is where he finally ended up at.

If you are a Liverpool fan, you are surely having mixed feelings about the next season under Jürgen Klopp. The manager lifted the team to two Cup finals having taken over someone else’s squad and has established a small image of what he is capable of doing at the club in seasons to come. However, the fans would have expected the manager to make a number of top class signings this summer and with Sadio Mane from Southampton by far the most exciting prospect added to the squad this summer yet, many of the Anfield faithful are left disappointed.

Though the transfer window is still open and Liverpool can add some more quality, there is no denying the fact that the squad is already considerably stronger than in the previous season and that Klopp has a chance of competing with the best next season. But can he lift the club into Europe? Can Klopp climb 4 or more positions in his first full season in charge of the club? Here are 3 reasons why he can do so.

Klopp’s style of play

The German manager came into the Premier League after having great success at Borussia Dortmund with his ‘geggenpressing’ tactics. He loves his team to suffocate the opponents in possession of the ball and wants his team to move the ball quickly when in possession. He wants his team to play a high-octane game that will not allow opponents to settle down and the effects of such a style were evident in the victories over Chelsea, Manchester City, and Everton last season.

WIGAN, ENGLAND - JULY 17:  Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Wigan Athletic and Liverpool at JJB Stadium on July 17, 2016 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
WIGAN, ENGLAND – JULY 17: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Wigan Athletic and Liverpool at JJB Stadium on July 17, 2016 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Though the Liverpool squad were at times mediocre last season, when they played to their strengths, they looked a team that were hard to even compete with. So next season, Klopp will concentrate on getting the squad to play such football almost every game and a full pre-season will also help his team get used to it. Surely, Klopp’s style of play will blow few teams away and can trouble even the best in the league helping them to a European spot next season.

Absence of European football

A curse as well as a gift, European football has its own impact on a club. Playing in the Champions League gives football clubs monetary benefits and also helps them to attract top class talent from all over Europe. However, the extra games that the clubs have to deal with has often in the past hampered their progress in the domestic competitions. The managers of clubs playing in Europe need to prioritize between the European competitions and the domestic ones and this is a decision that is hard to make.

Klopp at Liverpool made the wrong one last season as his side were defeated in the Europa League final and were left with no place in Europe this season. But this can now be a huge advantage for Klopp who can have a full week of preparation for most games and can use a strong side for every game. It is easy to underestimate the value of a full week’s preparation and if Klopp can have a good go at it next season, his team will not be too far away from a Champions League spot.

Changes at other top clubs

Liverpool and Arsenal are the only two of the top clubs (excluding Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur) that are currently entering a season with the same manager as in the previous one. Jose Mourinho at Manchester United is expected to help the side with his expertise in the league before but the likes of Antonio Conte at Chelsea and Pep Guardiola at Manchester City are in their debut season in the league and there is no guarantee that their stature will buy them a place in the top-4 next season. All clubs will be fighting for four important spots along with the clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and it will be a scramble come the end of the season.

Klopp at Liverpool has the advantage of having understood the league in the previous season and having no Europe as already mentioned only makes it better for the club in this instance. With the number of changes the clubs around Liverpool are going through, the stability at Anfield, albeit from just a year, can go a long way in helping them to a top-4 finish next season. That is a realistic target for the Reds.

This article is written by Aakarsh Bommakanti.

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