Liverpool: Make The Right Signings And Next Season Will Be Even Better
What’s going right?
We just very nearly won the league after finishing seventh last season, so that’s quite good, isn’t it? We’ve been spectacular this season, outpunching our financial power by some distance through astute tactics and a world-class mentality.
Defence remains an obvious issue - we’re missing an organiser at the back, there’s nobody talking the defence through a game in the way that Jamie Carragher did for so long. Next season we need to add a bit of steel to our creativity.
Got the right manager?
100%. Rodgers’ growth this last year has been unbelievable; he’s now showing a tactical flexibility that nobody expected. There are those that will argue he needed to be more defensive in the Chelsea and Palace games, but his attacking philosophy brought us to where we are so, although Rodgers will learn from these games, you wouldn’t want too much change.
Luis Suarez, obviously. The team has been remade to suit his game - he now trusts all of his team-mates, and is playing with freedom and joy. That freedom and joy spread very quickly to the rest of the team - people were willing to express themselves.
Who would you like to sell in the summer?
It’s not so much who I want to sell as who I expect to depart. Glen Johnson has one year left on his contract and his form – apart from a few brief glimpses - hasn’t been sufficient to justify an offer matching his current salary, so you’d imagine that the club will try to cash in on him. Lucas Leiva doesn’t appear to be a comfortable fit in any of the systems that Rodgers has used this year; he’s been a fine servant but I’d be surprised if this isn’t the summer that he moves on. It’d be nice to get some money for Iago Aspas, but that might be a stretch
Aly Cissokho will return to his parent club. As for Victor Moses? I’ll drive him back to Chelsea myself. God knows where he’ll end up, you can’t see Mourinho keeping him.
Who do you want to sign?
Adam Lallana is exactly the profile of player that we should be challenging for – creative and adaptable, with the blend of technique, attitude, and tactical awareness that Brendan looks for. I’d love to see us go in for Luke Shaw as well, even if only to annoy Man United. Rumours continue to circulate that the Konoplyanka deal is already done, and the links to Montoya and Tello are rising once more. Caulker could be a good signing as a organiser at the back.
Best chant so far?
Nothing sparkling or witty but “Brendan (Brendan) Rodgers (Rodgers), Brendan Rodgers Liverpool, we’re on our way to glory, build a team like Shankly did and the kids’ll have a story,” was the moment that belief in the manager and the team became rampant. It’s been emblematic of the season.
Best opposition player/team you’ve seen?
Man City during the second half at Anfield. David Silva was unbelievable, he transformed the game single-handedly.
Biggest wanker of the season?
Mourinho. Mourinho. Mourinho. No longer ‘special’, just charmless, graceless and trophyless. His approach to the game is a disgrace, and his hypocrisy in relation to Sam Allardyce’s tactics when he’s more than happy to play the same way himself is an embarrassment. His sarcastic praise of referees was laughable, and his attempt to claim it was serious was pitiful. He’s playing the football that got him sacked by Roman last time out; hopefully there will be the same result this time.
Funniest Moment of the season?
David Moyes’ entire Old Trafford career. It’s just a shame that it’s over, I could have watched that forever.
Other than that - Suarez’ reaction to his third goal against Norwich at Anfield; he puts the ball around Leroy Fer then slots home with ridiculous technique. He runs off laughing, even he can’t believe what he’s just done.
Next season's prediction?
First. It’s not even a question. We’re ahead of where we thought we would be, we’ll strengthen, we’ll improve, we’re still a young team, we’ve been brilliant, and we will get better. Next season we win number 19.
Follow Ian on Twitter, @fish2310