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Reasons For Liverpool Fans To Be Hopeful Next Season

After Thursday’s nights’ evisceration of Villarreal in the UEFA Cup, the Kop caught a glimpse of what Liverpool could really achieve next year.

A short while ago, I wrote about Liverpool’s struggle to find consistency. The Anfield men had been entertaining under new manager Jurgen Klopp, but had struggled to put a run of wins together under the German coach.  For every 3-0 win over Manchester City, there had been a 3-1 loss to Swansea City.

Recent results show once again how quickly things change in football. After Thursday’s nights’ evisceration of Villarreal in the UEFA Cup, the Kop caught a glimpse of what Liverpool could really achieve next year.

It was a stunning performance. From the first minute, they harried their Spanish opponents, who looked all at sea against a merciless, insistent red wave. Liverpool’s passing was crisp and precise, their lean players zipping the ball around with an urgency and confidence reminiscent of Klopp’s Dortmund team at their glorious best.

In the middle of the park, Emre Can looks like starting to fulfil his potential, dominating the centre of the field in an energetic display. Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, meanwhile, look potent accompaniments to the swaggering Daniel Sturridge, who has still managed to reach double figures despite an injury-ravaged campaign.  His angst-ridden goal celebration was at odds with the persona of the player we’ve all grown to know over the years.  The normally laid-back striker looked a man possessed when his shot went in off the post for Liverpool’s second, the whites of his eyes bulging during the virile embraces with his teammates.  One of those teammates is James Milner, the Anfield Stealth Bomber, who always flies under the radar but always delivers the goods.  His assists have reached double figures in what has been one of his best campaigns in recent years.

It seems, at last, that Klopp’s message is finally getting through to his players. Whilst the concepts of gegenpressing and ‘heavy-metal’ football have been talked to death over the past few years, they both have their origins in how the former Dortmund coach motivates his players.  It worked at Dortmund and at Mainz, and now it seems to be working on Merseyside.

The UEFA Cup final against Seville could prove crucial in determining how Liverpool fare next season. A spot in the Champions League would put the club back where they belong, with the 5-times winners being able to attract higher quality players  in the summer. Reports linking them with the likes of Andre Schurrle and Mario Gotze will be encouraging for fans.  After an indifferent spell with Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola, Gotze in particular would surely jump at the chance to reunite with the coach that kickstarted his career.

In summary then, the future looks bright at Anfield.  In a week where the City finally got the justice it deserves, it can now look for the glory it craves.  These are, indeed, good times to be a Liverpool fan, and the party could start in Basel in just a few weeks’ time.

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