Why Liverpool should prepare for another disappointing season

As Brendan Rodgers announces plans to bolster his squad next season, success may still be some way off.

At times this season, Liverpool have looked phenomenal, playing the sort of free-flowing attacking football that spoke of better things to come.

The arrival of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho in January added even more energy and excitement to a side already with its fair share in Raheem Sterling and most notably Luis Suarez.

When they are on song they can tear teams apart, as they have done on a number of occasions, putting five past Swansea, Young Boys and Norwich (twice) and four past Wigan and Fulham, plus scoring three on a further seven occasions.

In short, they know where the goal is. And while Sterling has understandably waned in recent weeks after an outstanding debut campaign, his teammates have continued to impress.

Despite rumours that Suarez may leave in the summer, Liverpool’s managing director Ian Ayre spoke last month of his belief that the Uruguayan would stay. So why, in the face of so much potential, should the club’s fans prepare themselves for another disappointing year?

Quite simply, the clubs above them are showing no signs of slipping. In fact, wherever they finish this season, at least five of the six clubs currently above Liverpool will almost certainly be even better next year.

Only Everton are likely to falter, although that may rest on whether manager David Moyes renews a contract that runs only until the summer; and whether the inevitable rumours surrounding Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines prove to be more than just paper-talk.

The fact is, there is no such thing as a big four anymore. It is a big five that could stretch to seven, of which Liverpool are one.

But when Manchester United will improve on a squad that is already 29 points ahead of Brendan Rodgers’ side, and when Manchester City will almost certainly spend big with the intention of taking back what they waited so long to get their hands on, Liverpool’s chance of league success seems slim at best.

Add to that an Arsenal side who – for the first time in years – are unlikely to lose any of their best players this summer. Instead they can add to a squad that has been resurgent since that almost-comeback against Bayern Munich.

And then there is Chelsea, pushing for a double with a manager no one wants at the helm.

Imagine what they could do when someone takes over without the “interim”; a coach who may have a bit of history with the Reds, if reports are to be believed.

While Tottenham need only keep one player and sign another to improve next season. Because Gareth Bale shows no sign of reaching a plateau, while the striker Spurs fans have been craving for many a transfer window must surely be arriving in the next one.

Liverpool will also improve. They will have to. But it will take an almighty effort to win a trophy in the face of so many challengers.

Hypothesis? Of course it is. But it is tinged with a hint of reality.

Against the sides currently above them in the league, Liverpool have won 8 points from a possible 30 so far this season, with just one win in 10 matches.

With home games against Everton and Chelsea still to come, they could improve on that. But Rodgers will have to make some very fine signings this summer to ensure next season is more than just another disappointment with flickers of what might have been.

Do you think Liverpool can realistically challenge for silverware next season?  And who should they buy to make that happen?

image: © ekilby

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