After seeing Leicester defy all odds in the 15/16 season surely all fans were hopeful of their team producing a miracle, Liverpool were no different. Could it finally be our year?
A 4-0 demolition of Barcelona under the Wembley arches in pre-season may have set our standards fractionally too high to say the least but enjoyable nonetheless.
The summer is always tough for football fans but this was eased slightly with the Euros taking place in France and as always the cash was well and truly being splashed in the transfer window, notably Paul Pogba to Man United broke the transfer record for a huge £90million.
If I was to rate Liverpool’s transfer dealings it would be a distinctly average 6 and I can’t imagine shirt sales soared with the names of our new signings on.
Notable signings included the Premier League proven Sadio Mane but for a questionable fee. Joel Matip was a shrewd acquisition with minimal risk due to him being a free transfer from Schalke. Loris Karius arrived for a small fee on the back of a breakout season between the sticks in the Bundesliga and could finally be the answer to our goalkeeping woes. Finally, Ragnar Klavan raised a few eyebrows as to be honest no one had a clue who he was, although he had won numerous “Estonian Player of the Year” awards which surely means something right?
So the wait was over. The stage was set. Everything looked so promising, no European football to worry about and the new stand was finally completed and there was fresh hope of Anfield returning to the fortress it once was.
Opening day fixtures don’t get much tougher than an away trip to the Emirates, and as always with an Arsenal-Liverpool fixture, it was a classic. The score line 4-3 didn’t reflect Liverpool’s dominance and it was only defensive frailties that prevented this from this being utter domination from The Reds.
In true Liverpool fashion, the very next fixture against Burnley was an absolute Defensive travesty as we suffered a 2-0 defeat on the road at Turf Moor. There is a defensive pattern emerging here. Frustrating.
The games rolled on and Liverpool were becoming some what of a force in the Autumnal months with defining games such as 6-1 thrashing of a weak Hull side, 4-2 thriller against our famous bogey side Crystal Palace and the plucky 1-0 win against Man City at Anfield.
We were top of the tree at Christmas. The likes of Mane and Lallana already early contenders for player of the season, there was pace and energy in our game that hadn’t been seen for a long time.
“All good things must come to an end.”
Mane was away at the African cup of Nations and the energy had been seemingly zapped from the side. The Gegenpress was nonexistent, and we were struggling to get results against the likes of Plymouth and Sunderland. What happened?
January and February were a disaster. Out of all the cup competitions and the Title was slipping away faster than Gerra-
At this point in the season the only solace we could take was our impressive record against the top 6 sides, but what does that achieve when we can’t beat the so called “lesser” teams.
The final straight. Our squad had been plagued by injury and lack of form. Our sole target now was champions league football but there were only two spaces up for grabs and four teams contesting for them.
Liverpool needed to pull out some wins from somewhere, and in true fashion we left it to the final day to secure our place amongst Europes elite.
In conclusion I would not consider a season where we had the title within our sights to be a success, but I assume that Champions League qualification was the main aim and we have achieved just that.
Player of the season – Sadio Mane
Goal of the season – Emre Can vs Watford
Game of the season – 4-3 vs Arsenal (A)