With the Europa League final defeat casting a shadow over Liverpool’s summer, we ponder whether the glass is half full or half empty at Anfield going into Jurgen Klopp‘s first pre-season?
Optimistic or pessimistic?
Buoyed by Klopp, or gutted by failing to gain Champions League qualification and the manner of defeat to Sevilla?
Wanting big name signings, or trusting that Klopp will make low-key signings and develop them like he did at Dortmund?
We get the views of several national journalists on where Liverpool FC are this summer.
Chris Bascombe (Telegraph)
Depends which glass. The whisky glass was half full after the second half in the Europa League final. Read what you like into that.
It seems positivity is measured by the number of players that are signed during the summer – which in recent years at Liverpool is a minimum of seven.
Everyone craves new faces and a freshening up. But too many changes have had a detrimental effect, and while I again expect a similar number of new arrivals I’m not sure the side on the first day of next season will be so radically different.
What will be most interesting is the impact of pre-season, which we know will be more intense than ever with triple training sessions. Either the Liverpool players are going to look fitter and leaner than they’ve ever been come August… or they’ll all be bloody knackered. We’ll see.
Overall I’d be surprised if there is much negativity going into the campaign. Jurgen Klopp is the Liverpool manager for God’s sake. Of course it’s going to be much better Premier League season this time.
Paul Joyce (The Express)
It’s a tough one, it’s interesting that you even have to think about it.
Before the final everyone would have said glass half full. I am probably naturally pessimistic so I would probably say glass half empty in hope of being surprised.
It’s a great question, because the very fact you need to think about it makes it that there is a lot of work to do and you hope that Liverpool’s chance hasn’t passed them by.
Dave Usher (The Liverpool Way fanzine)
It’s probably half full, but it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. The second half debacle in Basel has undermined a lot of the positivity that the last few months had provided and personally speaking it’s probably ensured a miserable summer. A loss such as that can’t be shaken off easily and the names being linked to the club this summer aren’t doing much to raise spirits either.
The policy seems to be all about signing potential and although Klopp has had great success with this approach, Liverpool as a club have not. Countless millions have been squandered on ’next big things’ and with that in mind it’s difficult to get too excited about this apparent transfer policy we are seeing.
The biggest thing holding Liverpool back is a lack of proven top level talent. With the exception of Daniel Sturridge – who can’t really be counted on for obvious reasons – there is no truly top class footballer at Anfield now. There are lots of good players and a few very good ones, but no great ones.
In fact, the only world class talent at the club is the manager, but that is enough to provide hope that things are about to get better.
Paul Hassall (Eurosport)
I fall into the glass is half full bracket.
No European football and time to reflect upon two cup final defeats; it’d be easy to look at things with a negative slant.
However, we’ve seen flashes from a relatively average Liverpool squad under the tutelage of Klopp to suggest we should all be optimistic looking to the future. Transfer targets may have shifted as a result of the Europa heartache and no Champions League football, but players will still be attracted to the charisma of Klopp.
The prospect of him being able to select the personnel of his choice to mould into his own Liverpool side is an exciting one. There are no guarantees in football and managing expectation at Anfield is always tough, but we have a coach with a strong track record at the helm and there is certainly lots of scope to be very positive heading into 16-17.
Chris McLoughlin (LFC Magazine)
I’ve always thought a half-full glass is a glass waiting to be emptied – unless of course its been filled by Bear Grylls – but the expression is used to indicate optimism. Or Klopptimism, as it’s now known, as that’s what every Kopite should be feeling towards next season.
Klopp took a badly performing team to two cup finals last season without signing a player. His predecessor didn’t take any of those players to one cup final, even when they were playing well and had Luis Suarez up front. How can that not be encouraging? Even if we didn’t win either silver pot.
I fully expect Liverpool to be better next season. But who are we getting in to ensure this improvement? Dunno, but if you spend your summer getting stressed about completely fictional transfer speculation that only exists because it generates money for those creating the rumours then you’ll end up with an emptier glass than Fergie at a racecourse offering a free bar on production of a purple nose.
Enjoy the Euros and keep the faith that, even without European football to offer, Klopp will be able to do a ‘Houllier 1999’ and convince the right players to sign for Liverpool this summer.
Or, to put it another way, mein Warsteiner ist halb voll…
Richard Jolly (ESPN)
In keeping with Klopp’s upbeat persona, half full. Progress was made in the second half of last season and now Klopp has the chance to remodel the squad in his image, it should be accelerated.
Liverpool have made a start, in securing deals for Matip, Grujic and Karius. Admittedly the most significant deals are still to be concluded – ideally with a high-class attacker and at least one more quality defender required and a need to clear out the deadwood and sell unwanted players who could bring in sizeable fees – and, as ever at Liverpool, it feels a big summer in the transfer market.
But there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic.