While many have praised the steps forward that Liverpool have taken under manager Jurgen Klopp since his arrival at the club in October, he will have seen there is still plenty of work to do. Some will not have predicted making two cup finals in the process, but an eighth place finish really does represent a disappointing league campaign; although some will argue the change in line-ups towards the end of the season and their Europa League run will have been a contributing factor.
So what particular aspects of the side does Klopp need to improve? There may be more but here are four to start with:
Even since Klopp's arrival, there have been too many times when the Reds have taken leads that really ought to have been held on to. Sunderland at home is one, Southampton away is another. In both games Liverpool had two-goal leads and should have taken all three points.
There are other games of course where they just had a one-goal lead and should have held on. People will say the Europa League final against Sevilla is an example of that. But it has been a case that even before Klopp's arrival Liverpool were surrendering leads that ultimately proved costly.
For too long now Liverpool have been conceding around 50 goals per league season. This is partly intertwined with game management, and of course sides are going to concede goals over the course of the season, but Liverpool have simply shed far too many.
There have been aspects of the Reds' defending that has improved, their shape seems better but it just looks as if the back four will need more protection at times...and some better defenders.
Which leads us nicely on to this point. Some of Liverpool's players have improved a lot under Klopp, and it is only right that they were given a fair crack of the whip since his arrival on Merseyside in October. But if they are to move on to the next level, they need more imposing and reliable players, probably in all areas of the field. That may take a while, but some work can be done in this transfer window.
Flat track bullying
Just look at the Reds' results against sides that were battling relegation at one point or another this season. Liverpool took six points off the bottom side Aston Villa, but failed to take maximum points off Norwich City (four) and Newcastle United (one). Sunderland were also scrapping towards the bottom (four), as were Swansea City (three).
In reality, if Liverpool are going to be where they need to be, they have to do the double over sides near the bottom. An extra 12 points from those sides this season would have seen them finish second, rather than eighth. They have shown they can go toe-to-toe with the bigger sides, now their manager needs to work on a way for the side to get regulation wins under their belts.