The Most Significant Summer

This is our biggest summer in a long time. Jurgen has gone. Contracts for many of our superstars are running down. We have a new leadership structure and a new head coach. I remember when Kenny Dalglish left and Graeme Souness took over. We all assumed it would be business as usual and that we would keep on winning. How wrong we were. Souness tried to revolutionize the club and team and tried too much too soon. It laid the foundation for our time in the wilderness.

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Many will say that one of the key differences this time around is that a young energetic foundation has been left. And while Redknapp, McManaman, and Fowler had all been brought into the youth levels by Dalglish, it was Souness who ultimately gave them their chance. This time around many of our young players have already been introduced and had that first taste of action, and most shone brightly enough to suggest that they will play a long-term future in the club. As a result, it could be argued that Slot like Souness had some great talent coming through. Souness has argued over the years that he had an aging team. Yet he would be the one to let Staunton and Houghton go, while players like Barnes, Rush, and Whelan would continue playing after Souness left. The key to the future for Slot should be evolution and not revolution.

The Summer Of Slot

I have heard many people suggest that a successful season for Slot would be finishing in the top four. Liverpool should never be aiming for the top four, with the title being the only target. The reality is that we were at the top of the race until we lost complete belief following two results at Old Trafford. The loss of belief is what lost the title. I firmly believe that if we had won the FA Cup game, we would have kicked on. Tweaking the squad could make all of the difference. The reality though is that Liverpool as a club will rarely go and spend big on a large number of players. However, a new head coach and a new structure may relax the purse strings for Arne Slot’s first summer.

On paper, we have five amazing attacking players. Yet their consistency can often be questioned, as well as their injury record. Could we target another attacking option who will continue to score, even when not playing well?

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Last summer saw significant work undertaken on the midfield. However, while Endo was amazing during the middle of the season, he struggled at the beginning and the end. Could we do with a defensive midfielder with a bit of steel and nastiness?

The defense leaked so many goals last season, and it is hard to argue against the statistics. However, a couple of points need to be made. Last summer the midfield was replaced and our overall results did improve. The midfield defensive unit improved beyond all significance, and the results for the team improved overall. The previous season the lack of legs in midfield often exposed the defense. Last season it improved, but we still lacked the steel in the middle. Adding the defensive midfielder may help solve the defensive woes.

However, it should also be noted that it is now five years since winning the title and the back four has largely remained the same, despite the search for a permanent partner for Virgil van Dijk. Maybe age is creeping in and staleness compared to previous years. As a result, a new defensive addition would be welcomed.

Setting Proper Expectations

Can we win the title next season? Yes, we can. We need to believe. Three signings could be the key (plus two backup goalkeepers!).

In years gone by we struggled for money. There was always something going on. We now have our stadium built. Covid is behind us and we are back in Europe. Now is the time to make a statement.

No one knows what to make of Arne Slot at this stage. We will be hoping that his transition is similar to the foundation laid by Shankly for the evolution of Paisley, as opposed to when Souness tried to make too many changes too soon. Let’s hope the headlines as the season progresses turn us from contenders to the “Slot Machine” of champions.

Floppy disks to entering in code on a Spectrum 48K… Clearly not a lot going on in the transfer market for Liverpool at the moment
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