Liverpool: The Season That Was – How Was It For You? #7 - The Anfield Wrap

WITH the footie season now over, transfer rumours in full swing and the countdown to Euro 2016 ticking away, we thought the time was right to ask Anfield Wrap contributors and friends what they made of the Liverpool season just gone. With two managers, two cup finals, a new stand and a mass walk-out, it certainly hasn’t been dull, but has it been good? And what can we expect from the Reds next season? All the questions asked, and answered, here in the seventh of our Q&As. Part one is here, you can find part two here, part three is here, part four here, part five here and part six here.

PAUL SALT

@Paulsaltysalt

Rewinding back to the start of the season, did you think then that keeping Brendan Rodgers in position was the right decision?

No I didn’t. After watching some of the performances at the back end of the 2014-15 season, I thought the best thing would have been to relieve him of his duties. I just couldn’t see any way back for him after the Stoke game, but I think the rot set in much earlier than that. The Villa semi-final was woeful and I think that was the beginning of the end for him. There were other performances too – Palace at home and Hull away – that made me think there was no way back for him.

What were your expectations for Liverpool’s season then?

I still thought top four was a realistic proposition but I thought we were an outside bet. I was quite excited about the new signings, but after the experience of previous close seasons, it made me wonder how quickly the new players would bed in. I thought if they’d hit the ground running then we’d have a chance. Unfortunately, the opening fixtures didn’t help much, it was tough run of games Stoke, Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton away would be difficult for any team and my big concern was if we picked up poor results in those games we would be playing catch up.

Eleven games into the season, Rodgers was sacked. Forget that Jürgen Klopp replaced him for a moment (we’ll come to that), what then did you think was a realistic ambition for the squad in terms of league finish, cups and so on?

When Brendan was sacked we were 10th in the league and the players that had been brought in were lacking in confidence and form. Whoever replaced him had a bit of a job on his hands because he was inheriting players who hadn’t looked up to it. A period of transition was inevitable, so I think realistically a top-six finish from that position would have been a decent season from then on in.

Klopp then, surprised by his appointment?

Yes. I think the owners deserve credit for getting him because when he was linked with the job I thought he may have been out of reach. He’d not long started his sabbatical and I thought it may come too early for him. A big concern was that the Bayern Munich job would have been available this summer. But it shows the pulling power of Liverpool that we got him.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, October 9, 2015: Liverpool's Managing Director Ian Ayre [L] and co-owner and NESV Chairman Tom Werner [R] announce German Jürgen Klopp as the new manager during a press conference at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

How do you think he has done so far?

If I’m being honest, I would have hoped to have finished higher in the league. However, the huge caveat to that is the performances in the cups. Getting to two cup finals has been brilliant and exceeded all expectations. Obviously, as a result of that the league form has suffered, so that has to be taken into account in the final reckoning. Without a doubt, where he’s done well is improving players that many of us had written off. Dejan Lovren has looked like a different player under him, so much more confident in his own ability. The same goes for many others as well including Divock Origi and Emre Can. He’s making them better players. I also think where he’s done really well is uniting the crowd and the players. There was definitely a disconnect in the latter days of Brendan. That’s gone now, just look at the scenes after Dortmund and Villareal. You look forward to going to Anfield again.

Eighth in the league, beaten in two cup finals – how does that performance rank against what you think this squad could/should be capable of?

This squad, with the right additions is capable of better than that. We’ve seen glimpses of it with some fine performances against Manchester City, Chelsea and Southampton away in the League Cup. The problem has been consistency. I think a lack of a leader in the side has let them down on occasions, someone to take control when things are going wrong, as has happened on a few occasions this season.

Who are your top three Liverpool players this season and why?

1: Coutinho – The one who always looks the most likely to pull something of the bag. Our big game player.

2: Clyne – I can’t remember him having many bad games.

3: Lovren – I never thought I’d be saying that at the start of the season, but the transformation has been remarkable.

I think Milner and Can deserve a mention too but that makes five!

Top three Liverpool games of the season?

1: Liverpool 4-3 Dortmund – For obvious reasons, right up there in the greatest of Anfield nights!

2: Man City 1-4 Liverpool – After watching that you thought ‘wow’. It maybe made us get a bit carried away, but it showed us what can be achieved by the players and the manager.

3: Norwich 4-5 Liverpool – For the sheer madness of it all and Klopp’s celebration.

Best Liverpool goal?

Benteke at Old Trafford – awful game, but I love an overhead kick.Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford

What should be the major concerns for Liverpool FC right now?

A new goalkeeper and a new left-back. I think they’re the two big problem areas. I think if you add it up, these two positions have cost us a lot in games this season.

Is not being in Europe next season a help or a hindrance to Liverpool?

It could be a hindrance if it puts players off from signing, but Klopp doesn’t appear to be worried about it. He only wants players who want to play for the club and I think he will have a lot of sway in getting players to join regardless of Europe. If you look at the 2013-14 season, not being Europe did wonders for our league form so I’m hoping for similar results!

Three Liverpool players you expect to leave the club this summer?
Skrtel has looked like this he has been here one season too many, if not more. It’s a shame because he’s been a good servant to the club.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 15, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Martin Skrtel after the 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion during the final Premier League match of the season at the Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Benteke will be on his way because he’s never looked like a Klopp player. He’s been frustrating at times but his goalscoring record is decent so he can perhaps feel a little hard done to.

Kolo Toure – mainly because of his age. It would be harsh because he’s been excellent.

Three positions Liverpool need to improve in?

Goalkeeper, left-back and a commanding central midfielder.

Any (realistic-ish) players you think Liverpool should buy?

Mario Gotze is the one who really excites me. You could say we’ve already got several players like him, but I believe he will be a fantastic statement signing. At the end of the day, he’s a World Cup winner and I don’t think you can afford to turn down the opportunity to sign players like that. He would certainly make others sit up and take notice. As I’m writing this, there are reports that he has committed his future to Bayern Munich, but I’m not sure you can take that as gospel. His relationship with Klopp could be another key factor in getting him to Anfield

What can Liverpool achieve next season?

Liverpool can win the league next season. I’m sure I’m going to be accused of being overly optimistic but there’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t be setting off sights on the title. A top-four finish, I think, would be a decent achievement in Klopp’s first full season in charge, but we may as well aim for the very best!

CRAIG RIMMER

@Craig_Rimmer

Rewinding back to the start of the season, did you think then that keeping Brendan Rodgers in position was the right decision?

It’s easy to say ‘no’ in hindsight, but at the time, myself and many others felt Rodgers had earned himself another season off the back of what we had very nearly achieved in the 2013-14 campaign. The situation could no doubt have been handled much better, though. The club hierarchy seemed stuck between two stools – Rodgers’ preferred successor perhaps not available in the summer, they opted to give the incumbent a stay of execution, while still allowing him money to spend, before swiftly acting at the first sign things were beginning to spiral out of control. In reality, taking the tough decision at the end of the previous season would have benefited us in the long term. The early weeks of the season were fairly miserable and turgid, with the manger basically fighting for his life week in, week out. There seemed to be a solemn cloud hanging over the whole club, which would only be lifted with Rodgers’ ultimate dismissal.

What were your expectations for Liverpool’s season then?

Come the start of the season I had probably convinced myself that the previous year had just been a blip and we’d pick up where we left off in 13-14, with Christian Benteke carrying us all to glory on those broad shoulders – such is the tendency to be drunk on optimism in those early moments of any new season. Coutinho’s late winner at Stoke probably helped and felt like a genuine moment. Looking around the league there didn’t seem too much to be scared of, and I was waiting to be convinced that the new signings would bed in well and carry toward a top-four place at least.Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Newcastle United FC

Eleven games into the season, Rodgers was sacked. Forget that Jürgen Klopp replaced him for a moment (we’ll come to that), what then did you think was a realistic ambition for the squad in terms of league finish, cups and so on?

In all honesty, the league felt wide open at that stage, and probably did until around the turn of the year. I mean, no one came to terms with the fact Leicester might actually win it until about April! That said, the squad looked deficient and well devoid of confidence. Hopes were realistically limited to rebuilding lost belief and focus, and hoping the momentum took us higher up the table. The cups are always more unpredictable and often a case of who hits form at the right time. Although, considering the manner we’d approached the early Europa League group games, there was little hope we’d be competing in the latter stages of that competition back in October.

Klopp then, surprised by his appointment?

The swiftness of the appointment, yes – considering the kind of hesitancy and general dithering we’ve seen from the club in the past. Klopp always looked an ideal fit for the club, but the fact that those in charge acted decisively to get their man should not be overlooked. He was one of the most sought after men in Europe, plus probably the best we could possibly have got in the circumstances, so getting the deal done was a genuine coup.

How do you think he has done so far?

Put simply, he has re-energised the club, and is slowly but surely uniting everyone behind a common goal. Sounds basic, but it’s hugely important and is something the club and the fan base has struggled with for too long. On the pitch, results have been inconsistent, although there has been far more positive than negative. The first months of his time in charge were always going to be transitional to some degree, but two cup finals and some truly memorable days and nights are a decent bonus, and hopefully an indication of what might be to come.

Eighth in the league, beaten in two cup finals – how does that performance rank against what you think this squad could/should be capable of?

Probably more or less par for the course. The league position is possibly two or three short of what would have been expected as a minimum, although two cup finals evens that out to some degree. Ultimately, recruitment has not been good enough over a number of years, not least the signing of too many mid-ranking, mid-table footballers.

Who are your top three Liverpool players this season and why?

Emre Can – He has improved beyond recognition under Klopp. Always had bags of ability but appeared to be lacking direction previously. He had some huge performances in big games and was sorely missed when injured. He should only get better as well

Daniel Sturridge – If Origi’s season had not been cruelly curtailed just as he was getting into his stride, he may well have got my vote, but goals are the most important thing in football and Sturridge scores them. He finished top scorer, despite missing more than half of the season and looking half fit when he did play.

Kolo Toure – Big performances in important games and an important influence in the dressing room. His best season in a Liverpool shirt and our Man of the Match in the Europa League final. He deserved a better ending in what was probably his last game at the top level.

Top three Liverpool games of the season?

Dortmund (H) – Unforgettable and barely believable. Failing to win the cup took the shine off slightly, but this game will stand alone and stand the test of time. A reference point for the future as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TGOdQ0wpvg

Villarreal (H) – Not quite a comeback of Dortmund proportions, but just as significant. I was actually nervous going into this one, but the players drew off the incredible atmosphere and completely blew the Spaniards away.

Man United (H) – Some great moments in the league shouldn’t be overlooked, but it was the UEFA Cup run that defined the season. The performance at home in the first leg was exceptional, but the manner in which we got the goal and killed the game off at Old Trafford when United threatened to get back into it was impressive.

Best Liverpool goal?

Daniel Sturridge against Sevilla – a goal to win any cup final. Shame it wasn’t to be

What should be the major concerns for Liverpool FC right now?

Doing all we can to make sure everyone is united behind the same goal – winning the league title within the next few years. Next season could be another big opportunity in that regard.

Is not being in Europe next season a help or a hindrance to Liverpool?

After the 13-14 season and the example of Leicester this year, it is easy to say that it should help. Having said that, European football is built into the fabric of Liverpool Football Club – just look at how it helped to transform the outlook of this season. The extra training time will definitely benefit the manager and his preferred style of play. But if things go awry in the league, we won’t have Europe to fall back on this time.

Three Liverpool players you expect to leave the club this summer?

Kolo Toure – Great servant, great career, but his time at the top level is probably up and it would be nice to see him move on without playing a season too long at Anfield.

Martin Skrtel – This one looks inevitable. It shouldn’t get lost that he has served that club well for many years and was even voted player of the year in the past, but his shortcomings began to grate. We’ve all seen enough and the player probably needs a fresh start too.

Joe Allen – Not one I want to see happen personally, but I think the club will be willing to listen to offers. And if the player sees his first-team opportunities even more limited next time, he will probably go.

Three positions Liverpool need to improve in?

Central midfield – I feel we need to add more control in the middle of the pitch. Sevilla kind of exposed this in the final but it was not the only occasion.

Left-back – I expect Moreno to stay but we need an upgrade, someone we can rely on more often.

Goalkeeper – This one might be sorted already. Although, the fact we’ve signed a relatively young ‘keeper suggests Mignolet may not be disposed of just yet.

Any (realistic-ish) players you think Liverpool should buy?

I would be more than happy with Mario Gotze. We are being linked with a number of functional signings, aimed at fixing problems that need fixing – all that makes sense. But I think the club also needs a statement signing or two. Gotze falls into that category, and there are not many others who are realistically attainable for LFC right now. I would also much prefer we look at Saido Mane, rather than Shane Long if we’re going down the Southampton route once again – I think he is a player Klopp could work with.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 20, 2016: Southampton's Sadio Mane in action against Liverpool during the FA Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

What can Liverpool achieve next season?

Let’s aim high and see where it leads us. Next season could be another opportunity and I expect it to be an open one with new manager’s finding their feet at a number of top clubs. Solving a few problems in the transfer window and a strong pre-season should provide a good foundation. Ultimately, we would have headed into next season with an air of optimism had we not reached Basel – let’s not allow a lost final to sway that belief, as agonising as it was.

DAVE SEGAR

@whichdave

Rewinding back to the start of the season, did you think then that keeping Brendan Rodgers in position was the right decision?

No, not at all. The 6-1 loss at Stoke should have been an automatic sacking. I had a lot of time for Rodgers, but the situation looked well beyond salvageable at that point. Given the fact that waiting until October meant we could get Klopp it all worked out in the end, but I still can’t get my head around the money and backroom changes Rodgers was allowed when he should at very least have been on a final warning.

What were your expectations for Liverpool’s season then?

Not high. I assumed Rodgers would be gone by the season’s end, but feared that things would get worse before they got better. I was hopeful for a top-six finish, but didn’t anticipate doing anything in the cups.

Eleven games into the season, Rodgers was sacked. Forget that Jürgen Klopp replaced him for a moment (we’ll come to that), what then did you think was a realistic ambition for the squad in terms of league finish, cups and so on?

By that point my opinion hadn’t changed much. Some of the results had actually been better than I thought they would have been, so I still thought top six was possible, but it was largely dependent on who came in.

Klopp then, surprised by his appointment?

He was the main name I had on my wanted list since he announced he was leaving Dortmund. The only other name being bandied about that I was very tempted by was Carlo Ancelotti, and it was somewhat of a surprise that both were apparently willing to come here (imagine that, a club like us who people keep telling me are now smaller than Southampton and West Ham). I was slightly surprised that the club had the balls to approach him and get him signed on relatively quickly after Rodgers left. We’re not usually allowed nice things.

Football - UEFA Super Cup - Real Madrid CF v Sevilla FC

How do you think he has done so far?

There’s been obvious ups and downs, but overall I’d say very well. When he arrived I thought he’d need at least a couple of transfer windows to get his own players in before we started to see a noticeable difference. He managed to turn someone else’s squad into one that was able to beat the one he actually put together himself. The number of big wins and the efforts in the cups were far beyond what I thought this squad was capable of, and with an inordinate amount of injuries to key players to contend with as well.

Eighth in the league, beaten in two cup finals – how does that performance rank against what you think this squad could/should be capable of?

As I said (Brendan-ism), I didn’t think this squad was capable of getting to a final, let alone two, and having to beat some excellent teams along the way, rather than relying on getting a series of incredibly favourable draws like them fellas who lifted the FA Cup. The league place could certainly have been better, but that has a massive asterisk next to it as games at the start were managed by Rodgers, while games at the end featured second and third-string sides.

Who are your top three Liverpool players this season and why?

1: Big Phil Coutinho – Won numerous tight games for us in key moments and generally helped the side tick. Form dipped a bit towards the end of the campaign but still Player of the Year for me.

2: Roberto Firmino – Our top scorer in his first season at the club and having to play a number of games out of position. Can improve further, which should scare others.

3: Kolo Toure – As well as his incredible showing in Basel, has been as reliable as anyone this season. Made 20 starts and 6 sub appearances, and I can’t remember one single bad game from him. Also has a terrific impact off the field. Need to keep him around in some capacity.

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - Wednesday, May 18, 2016: Liverpool's Kolo Toure lines-up before the UEFA Europa League Final against Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Top three Liverpool games of the season?

1: Man City 1-4 Liverpool – Early signs of what Klopp could do.

2: Liverpool 2-0 Man Utd – Comprehensively beat them lot after several years of deserving to but never managing it.

3: Liverpool 4-3 Dortmund – Because, well, what a fucking thing to happen it was.

Best Liverpool goal?

Firmino v City at the Etihad. From Can’s backheel to Coutinho’s unselfish assist. The sort of goal that would have had even Barcelona fans clenching their legs together and making strange noises.

What should be the major concerns for Liverpool FC right now?

The transfer market. As great as Klopp is at the coaching thing, the final in Basel showed the limitations of this current squad. With all the money pouring into the Premier League this summer, everyone will spend big on players they normally couldn’t acquire. It’ll now be a case of whoever gets their number one targets getting a huge advantage, and that’s not something we’ve been great at in recent years. The club need to do all they can to secure as many of Klopp’s no.1 targets as possible. The man needs 100 per cent unconditional support to do what he can do.

Is not being in Europe next season a help or a hindrance to Liverpool?

I love Klopp’s sentiment that anyone who is questioning signing for Liverpool because of a lack of Europe can do one, but there is still a real chance it could stop us from attracting the quality we need to advance. I’m sure there’s loads of players willing to come here just to be able to be part of the project, but are they good enough at football? However, in terms of games, it should be a massive help. Klopp gets his stuff done on the training field, and with far more time to do so next season, I would be astonished if we don’t see significant improvements in Liverpool’s consistency and intensity in each game. 38 finals.

Three Liverpool players you expect to leave the club this summer?

Martin Skrtel – Fans have finally lost faith in him and it looks like Klopp has too. Rumours of Besiktas calling him. I hope Turkish referees don’t mind a bit of casual wrestling.

Christian Benteke – It was never going to work. Not a dreadful player, but fit Liverpool like a blouse on a bulldog. Still got some crucial goals to his credit, but he can go do it somewhere else next season.

Mario Balotelli – Not exactly a leap this, but getting his wages off the bill would be smashing. Could just put him in a box outside the San Siro, ring the doorbell and run away.

Three positions Liverpool need to improve in?

Goalkeeper – Have needed a better ‘keeper since roughly the time Mignolet arrived at the club. Someone the backline can have some confidence in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbiHnUc8UO4

Centre midfield – I’m concerned with how little control we have in the middle of the pitch. We have some very good midfielders but no-one who can calm a game down and dictate play. It also might persuade Milner that he categorically cannot play there in a two anymore.

Wide forward – Or wide midfield, or wing, or whatever you want to call it. Basically we need at least one premium version of what Ibe and Ojo do. We can be so one-paced at times that it’d be nice to have a Coutinho or Lallana on one side and a quick fireball on the other to give the opposition something to think about – someone who can get in behind defences and chip in with some goals.

Any (realistic-ish) players you think Liverpool should buy?
The current rumours of Chilwell and Gotze are all fine by me, but in terms of people we haven’t been linked with (as far as I’ve seen):

Johannes Geis – The Schalke 04 midfielder only arrived in Gelsenkirchen last summer from Mainz 05, but has been exceptional in the middle of midfield as either a defensive midfielder or more of an orthodox central midfielder. Has a wide range of passing, covers a lot of ground and is a dead-ball specialist, something Liverpool are sorely lacking since Suarez and Gerrard left.

Sofiane Boufal – Has been a sensation in Ligue 1 this year, scoring 11 in 29 from wide left for Lille. Pace, skill, trickery and an eye for goal, and still only 22. He did pick up 10 yellows and 2 reds, so discipline is an issue, but we’re missing a bit of gnarliness so it’d be welcome for me.

Domenico Berardi – I’d like to sign another striker assuming Benteke is going and with Sturridge’s injury record. Not sure we can attract a big name like Gonzalo Higuain or Alex Lacazette without European football, but someone like Berardi might be just the thing. Also young (21), an incredible work rate and can play anywhere across the front line. There is a complication in that Juventus have first dibs on him, but certainly someone I’d like us to look at.

What can Liverpool achieve next season?

They can win the league.Football - FA Premier League - Leicester City FC v Norwich City FC

PHIL BLUNDELL

@PhilBlundell

Rewinding back to the start of the season, did you think then that keeping Brendan Rodgers in position was the right decision?

I was on the fence really. I thought that there were numerous mitigating factors for the 2014-15 season as a whole and he deserved the chance to put it right. But 6-1. You struggle to turn that round. I did think he’d lost his way badly but he’d probably earned a little bit longer. He’d lost his entire strike force from 2013-14 so it wasn’t a surprise we regressed.

What were your expectations for Liverpool’s season then?

To be up and around the top four. We’d been in the mix with a few games to go the previous season and we’d theoretically improved the squad so I thought we’d be there or thereabouts.

Eleven games into the season, Rodgers was sacked. Forget that Jürgen Klopp replaced him for a moment (we’ll come to that), what then did you think was a realistic ambition for the squad in terms of league finish, cups and so on?

I don’t think you can ever really have any expectations in the cups because of how they work. You play badly for 10 minutes and you’re out. Whatever you get, you get. I thought we could have got top four. We were close in October and we’d got a huge amount of difficult away games out of the way, so I was positive of us getting top four.

Klopp then, surprised by his appointment?

Not really. What realistic options did he have? He was out of work. He’d had his break. And he was going back to work. I almost think Rodgers had basically been a caretaker for his own job. Everything about appointing him made sense.

How do you think he has done so far?

Well. He’s improved players, got us to two cup finals and given us real positivity for the future. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but you’d have taken this season when he took over all things considered, despite what I said earlier.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, May 5, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates his side's 3-0 victory over Villarreal, reaching the final 3-1 on aggregate, during the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Eighth in the league, beaten in two cup finals – how does that performance rank against what you think this squad could/should be capable of?

The league position doesn’t really look accurate to me. We basically tanked the last month or so. After we drew with Newcastle, top four had gone and the focus went on to the Europa League. The squad is clearly better than eighth but I also think we could have come higher if we’d properly tried. Avoiding the early qualifying stages of the Europa League was vital for next season. You only need to look at this season to see how it really does affect your league form whether people want to admit it or not. If we’d missed Europe I think we’d actually have got top four.

Who are your top three Liverpool players this season and why?

1: Emre Can – Really grown as a footballer and just looks like we could build a team around him for years to come.

2: Phillipe Coutinho – Most creative outlet. Looked like making things happen all the time.

3: Dejan Lovren. He’s looked the type of centre back you could build a defence with.

Top three Liverpool games of the season?

1: Dortmund home.

2: United away (Europa League)

3: Norwich away

Best Liverpool goal?

Benteke at United. It’s very easily forgotten but it was absolutely outrageous.

What should be the major concerns for Liverpool FC right now?

Building a side to win the league. Anything else is waste of time. Get a game-dominating midfielder, a centre back to compliment Lovren and hope this Karius is our ‘keeper for 16 years. I don’t think we’re too far away. A left-back would be nice, but I don’t think we should give up on Moreno yet. He’s still young and have a look what you’d consider the best left-backs in the league this season were doing at his age.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEGa-i8O_z7/?taken-by=amplfc18&hl=en

Is not being in Europe next season a help or a hindrance to Liverpool?

A help if it was the Europa League. You don’t attract any players because you’re in the Europa league. They’d come anyway. We’d have had four games before September, which drives a bus through everything Klopp wants to do. He’s banged on about how important pre-season is, so driving a bus through that could only be bad. Missing the Champons League is bad because it’s a status thing. It’s a chance to say ‘look at us’.

Three Liverpool players you expect to leave the club this summer?

Benteke, Skrtel and Sakho – I reckon he’ll get a two-year ban and we’ll sack him.

Three positions Liverpool need to improve in?

Central midfield, central defence and in goal.

Any (realistic-ish) players you think Liverpool should buy?

I don’t really think this is the game for us to be honest. Klopp shops in a market that makes everyone realistic. We look like we’re going all out for Gotze though and I’m fine with that. Ultimately, I just want players that the manager wants because I think the petty squabble between Rodgers and the committee, ultimately, did for him, even if with the benefit of hindsight their business last summer was actually very good. One bust from seven – and then I can even argue Benteke hasn’t actually been that bad.

What can Liverpool achieve next season?

The treble. If you don’t think it’s possible then what’s the point? Klopp has a week between games for large portions of the season and we saw what a difference that made in 13-14. Klopp is better than Rodgers and has a set up that will thrive from that. A week for him and his team to tactically analyse opponents is pretty exciting.