Last season was a roller coaster ride of sorts form Liverpool with Reds going 13 games unbeaten at one point and then ending the season in sixth with 6-1 defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. Such a harrowing experience will need to be addressed in order to ensure that the upcoming season will not be affected. The 2015/2016 season kicks off, ironically, away to Stoke and offers opportunity to get the campaign off to a winning start and to avenge themselves.
Brendan Rodgers was very somber following the massacre at the hands of the Potters. He said at a press conference when press by journalists about his future at the club, “If the owners want me to go, I will go.” I will admit that I was amongst those keen for a replacement with Brendan Rodgers with Borussia Dortmund’s charismatic Jurgen Klopp heavily linked. The Ulsterman stayed and remained silent until pre-season began.
Ian Ayre and his team of magicians conducted their business in virtual stealth. Well, as stealthily as you can at a club like Liverpool. Each deal, with the exception of Christian Benteke, was struck without fuss. In two weeks six players had been signed those being: James Milner, Danny Ings, Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne and the first marquee signing of Roberto Firmino.
Oh, how glad am I that we are rid of Raheem Sterling. Sure, he’s a great player with boundless potential but at club like Liverpool he has no place with such an attitude. £49 million for to be rid of him is some of the best business Ian Ayre has ever done.
The most pleasing thing to come out of pre-season for me is the amount of competition that there is in the squad. Take Joe Gomez, for instance. Nobody expected him to nick Alberto Moreno’s spot and yet it is highly expected that on Sunday he will start in his first Premier League game and competitive debut for Liverpool as a 19 year old.
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Picture from Zimbio
Philippe Coutinho is very much a fan favourite after two and a half years at Anfield. His transfer from Interazionale has proved to be an absolute steal. The Brazilian was signed for £8.5 million in the January transfer window of 2013, along with Daniel Sturridge.
Coutinho’s performance’s and knack for an important goal earned him a call-up to the squad for Brazil’s side for the Copa America. His first goal for Selecao Brasileria came soon.The 2015/2016 season is a campaign in which Liverpool need to secure qualification for the following season’s Champion’s League and on the fight fight for this Coutinho will be absolutely vital.
The Dreaded Europa League
Liverpool will need to balance the various competitions in which they will compete in order to make sure that any hopes of a top four finish are to be fostered. As before, manager Brendan Rodgers will need to beware of the Europa League and the detrimental effect that it has proved to have on the teams participating. Take a look at Tottenham: their partaking in the esteemed second tier continental competition usually lead to them losing on the immediate Sunday.
If Liverpool are to achieve a fourth place finish then new acquisitions Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino need to come out firing on all cylinders. Should the final pre-season game against be of any significance and an indication of what is to come then Liverpool fans can get excited about the two attackers.
Predicted finish: fourth place
Player of the Season: Philippe Coutinho
Top Goalscorer: Christian Benteke
Young Player of the Season: Jordon Ibe