Are Liverpool just one-season wonders, doomed to fail in Europe?

Benfica V Liverpool

There's no doubt that Brendan Rodgers' team have found their momentum this season, but when the emotion dies down next year, will they still be a force?

In some ways Liverpool are damned if they do and damned if they don't as far as the seasons to come are concerned. Should they make the most of their position in the summer, especially if they manage to win the title, a major influx of new faces could ruin their squad's chemistry.

Much has been made of the recruitment possibilities that come from Champions League football and a Champions League budget, but the major strength of the Reds' title challenge this campaign has been the group dynamics fostered by their ever-supportive manager.

Chuck in some high-cost, big names from the continent that threaten the places of players who gave sweat and blood this year and you have the makings of a disaster on your hands. Reputations and egos haven't really been a problem at Anfield of late, but headline-grabbing signings often bring with them plenty of baggage.

Yet if Liverpool don't buy-in plenty of support to shore up their first team then the extra fronts they'll have to fight on next year will ruin them. Their staying power in the league this year has benefited greatly from their lack of interest in other European and cup competitions. At a club where trophy hauls were the norm during the glory days however, once the wins start coming, expectations for doubles and more will increase.

Rodgers will face a major test in the summer as he walks the tight rope between overbuying and under-spending, with the possibility that he may also purchase a load of dross another dangerous eventuality.

His signings so far haven't exactly been fool proof. Iago Aspas, Fabio Borini, Oussama Assaidi, Luis Alberto and Tiago Llori have been brought in for a combined cost of over £33 million and largely failed to have much of an impact. The jury is still out on the value of Joe Allen and Mamadou Sakho, who both joined for a combined value of £30 million.

That's over £63 million that's not exactly been accounted for on the pitch. While Liverpool haven't risen to the top by copying Chelsea and Manchester City's mega-spending, they still haven't acted as paupers in the transfer window.

All managers and clubs can make mistakes when it comes to signing of course, but Liverpool are in relatively precarious position that could see them tumble straight out of the top four they've fought so hard to re-enter if they muck up the summer. It's unlikely that Manchester United and Arsenal will be so woeful next year, especially if they sort out their internal problems. Likewise for Tottenham Hotspur, who have a talent-packed squad just waiting for the right coach to shape them into credible challengers. Lous van Gaal could do just that.

There's also other concerns for the Reds. As shown by City's struggles to retain and win back the Premier League title, it's one thing to conquer one season but to reign for years and years is a very different and far larger challenge. After they won their first league trophy under Roberto Mancini in 2012, the sky blues lost their focus and intensity the year after. United weren't so far ahead of them that they deserved their commanding points total last season, City just fell away after the adrenaline of their first proper title tilt faded.

Liverpool will face similar if not larger problems what with the symbolism of the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough and the upcoming inquest into the tragedy that looks set to finally deliver the real truth over what happened. Emotion and meaning of such scale can be exhausting, and it's not out the question that the Reds' ability to stay competitive next year could be hampered by their own euphoria.

Europe will also be a major test of Rodgers and his squad's abilities, and their first season back in the Champions League could be a disappointment due to the need for the club to adapt to the continental game once more. Again, City have shown how difficulty the competition is to get to grips with, even with a team loaded with former European winners such as Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez.

If anyone can bridge the gap between the Liverpool of today and the club they aspire to become once again, it is Rodgers. So far he shown an incredible ability to lead and build the team back up to the level expected by their history. They have been arguably the most exciting team in the Premier League this season, outscoring opponents seemingly at will.

Parallels to Sir Alex Ferguson's all-conquering United teams of the early 90's are easy considering their own struggles to  translate their effectiveness in England to Europe, but if that ends up with Rodgers presiding over more than two decades of dominance on the home front too, Reds fans are unlikely to mind. However, the Kop will be keen for their current manager to instead imitate the great Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley rather than the man who frustrated them for so many years from Old Trafford.

This season could prove to be only the start for Liverpool or an underwhelming false dawn. What happens in the summer could well decide which road the club comes to travel down.

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