Next season’s Champions League adventure will prove to be costly for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
If Liverpool players and fans haven’t gone through enough pain over the last two weeks, then they may think that finishing second in the Premier League and securing a Champions League spot is a saving grace. Unfortunately it is not; it is only going to drag out their pain even longer.
No one can deny that Liverpool have had a very fine season, and a lot are in agreement that this was their best chance of winning their first title since 1990. However, a lot of times this season the players and management have been blessed with a week of preparation for a single game, while in 2014-15 a possible mid-week trip to Russia might be on the cards.
Whilst their first team is undeniably good, beyond that the depth in their squad is very weak. Teams like Bayern Munich are so successful because they could line up two completely different midfields which would still be better than Liverpool’s first.
Players like Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling, who have been so influential this season, will suddenly be asked to step up and venture into an unknown territory. Liverpool’s defence has also surpassed its worst defensive record since 1999, conceding 50 goals. In the Champions League, one’s weaknesses are exploited and Liverpool’s backline would be torn apart.
Throw all this in with the fact that Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal will be in the title race for the foreseeable future, a strong return from Manchester United and the ever present threats from Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, a top-four finish looks bleak.
Granted, Liverpool can strengthen, but it won’t be enough to prevent an early Champions League knockout and a demoralising Premier League campaign spiralling out of control.