Liverpool FC are on the edge of a revival, Dalglish is back at the helm, Fenway Sports Group are remaining true to their promises and there’s a fresh wave of renewed optimism sweeping through every corner of the LFC supporting world.
The positive energy around the club at the moment needs to be harnessed with major improvements to the squad to enable that same energy to follow through to the beginning of next season.
Despite recent results going Liverpool’s way; defeat to Tottenham shows there is still much work to be done before they can be regarded as title-contenders again.
A high majority of this work needs to be done in the summer transfer window, the right choices need to be made and in key areas. This is not a time to take unnecessary gambles.
Too often in the past, the club has stood on the cusp of greatness, harking back to title winning sides of yesteryear only to fail to capitalize on the pervious years achievements.
Liverpool’s Premier League title-challenges in the past decade have come in isolation (2001 and 2008), great enthusiasm ensued only for the club to be out of the following season’s title race by the New Year due to a poor summer in the transfer market.
Continued success grows on a refusal to rest on your laurels and seek improvement in every possible aspect of the club.
Of course money plays a major part in this, of which Liverpool now have, not to the the extent of other clubs in the league but enough compete provided the right players are targeted.
Many point to the lack of money from pervious ownerships yet enough was made available two buy one or two world-class players rather than five or six average players expected to make the same impact. It’s the age-old argument of quality over quantity.
Obviously it’s easier to say this than it is to execute it, some may ask ‘Well who should we sign? Who are the right, quality players for the club?’.
I can’t answer this, few could but the point remains that the transfer strategy is flawed and is in need of change.
I’d much prefer to see one Luis Suarez for every five Yossi Benayouns, (no disrespect to Benayoun).
Damien Comolli is our key man for the summer, he can potentially play a pivotal role in where the club is headed for the next few years.
FSG have often reiterated their desire to get the best young talent in the world playing for Liverpool and Comolli is the man with the task of doing so.
It’s a refreshing and exiting philosophy compared to previous owners, who were not prepared to pay big money on the potential of youth, only to pay the price for not doing so in the future when those same players became superstars.
Players LFC have missed out on in past season because of a refusal to spend highly on youth include, Christiano Ronaldo, Daniel Alves, Sergio Aguero and Mesut Ozil. Instead that same money was spent on established average players who done little of nothing to improve the club’s stature.
Much speculation has flooded the UK’s press about Liverpool’s spending plans over the summer, while a lot of it may be total bull, the calibre of players has noticeably increased and for the optimists out there, there’s no smoke without fire. Recent links include Eden Hazard, Ashley Young, Sergio Aguero and Arda Turan.
Admittedly the club as been linked with these players before but during the past year names likes of Carlton Cole, Chris Brunt and Clint Dempsey have cropped up uncomfortably more often than you like to expect a sign of the club possibly lowering their sights to a more realistic level despite the club’s status.
Manchester Utd proved this season that you don’t need a squad of superstars to win the league just a handful of quality players and a great team spirit.
As the legendary Bill Shankly eloquently said: “A football team is like a piano. You need eight men to carry it and three who can play the damn thing.”
Liverpool without doubt have the spirit, as well as the personal drive to succeed yet a few shrewd moves in the transfer market and maintaining our momentum could be the difference between realising that success and it remaining forever beyond the reaches.
Brian Irvine (@btirvine)