Can Liverpool Finish 5th This Season?
As disappointing as Liverpool’s exit from the Europa League against Sporting Braga last week was, Reds fans can console themselves with the fact that for the first time in a couple of years now, there are plenty of reasons to be positive. Since the arrival of Kenny Dalglish, the fortunes of a club – who unthinkably considered the possibility of relegation just a few short months ago – have been transformed and there is cause for optimism once again at Anfield.
Just two seasons ago, Liverpool were part of the “Big Four”, a group of clubs at the top of the Premiership so dominant that we were told it couldn’t be broken into. Not only are Liverpool not in the top four anymore, they aren’t even in the top five! It is certainly possible Liverpool can regain their Champions League place by finishing in the top four next season, but to do that, they are going to have to secure European football next season.
As he struggles to find form at Chelsea, Fernando Torres is already a forgotten man at Anfield as the Kop worship a new season. Luis Suarez shirts have been flying off the shelves ever since the Uruguyan hitman arrived at the club and wowed fans with his exciting range of skills and finishing prowess. His classy finish against Sunderland on Sunday underlined his quality and the potential he offers Liverpool.
Liverpool are still in need of more quality additions to their squad to supplement the undoubted quality of the likes of Steven Gerrard, Raul Merieles, Suarez and Andy Carroll. With new owners who have pledged to invest in the team and the feelgood factor returning to the team with Dalglish, the summer certainly looks like being an exciting one for Liverpool supporters. But key to attracting players to the club is the lure of European football.
As things stand, not many would fancy Liverpool to catch Tottenham for fifth spot, with Harry Redknapp’s men sitting four points clear with a game in hand. However, the obvious distraction of Spurs Champions League quarter final with Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid could be the source that lets Liverpool creep in for an unlikely comeback.
Liverpool fans are certainly starting to believe. Sales of Liverpool football shirts have significantly increased since the arrival of Dalglish and victories over Chelsea, Manchester United and Sunderland have added to the confidence levels at Anfield. That setbacks will occur is undoubted, as the squad is still not deep or strong enough to show the level of consistency boss Dalglish would like.
But with Suarez in the form he is in and £35m striker Andy Carroll still to be fully integrated into the team, the signs are positive for Liverpool. It will be a tough ask to overhaul Spurs but with 24 points still to play for it is certainly a possibility.
Written by Eddie Smith, a sports writer who blogs about cheap football shirts.