Dave Davis discusses in his column today about how difficult it will be to achieve a top four finish this season.
Jürgen Klopp made it clear that he’s not set Liverpool a target. He doesn’t need telling that every Red has his own whether it be a top 4 finish, a cup or even just development and progression to be ready for the next season. The majority do believe this squad is capable of a Champions League spot, even with its current left-back issues. With that in mind you have to ask – what will be needed for a top 4 finish?
The standard required for qualification shows a rapid decline in the last few years. If you look at the 2013/14 season when we finished 2nd, you’d have needed an immense 80 points to be in the top 4. That would have got you second in 2014/15 so no qualifier required and last season you’d have missed out on the title by a solitary point.
In the 2014/15 season you’d have needed 71 points and last season just 67 would have done it. The Premier League has rightly been criticised in recent years for a drop in standards for both players and managers and letting the best players ply their trade in La Liga. Teams have been blown away in Europe and it’s only ourselves that have made a European final in recent years from these shores.
It will be tougher this year though. Our rivals, aside from what we think of them, have spent money on better players and we have the greatest collection of coaches in the Premier League we’ve ever seen. Fortunately we have one of the best in the game and there’s high hopes for the likes of Mane, Wijnaldum and co, which only rose after the opening weekend. How many genuinely believe that 67 points will get the job done this time around though?
At the risk of getting pillared by the ‘one game at a time’ and ‘focus solely on Burnley crew’, I agree with those sentiments for the team but if you’ve said you think we’ll get top four, surely you have to answer what that will take? The stats men will tell you it takes an average of 73 points to make it and don’t be surprised when the curve goes the other way this year. Consistency is a key word and for every destruction of City and Chelsea last year there was a Watford or Newcastle shambles.
If you’ve said we’ll get top four, better start thinking.