Last season, was, by accounts, a tumultuous one for all Liverpool fans which culminated in two cup finals at Wembley, one of which resulted in the club’s first trophy since 2006, but this wasn’t enough to save Kenny Dalglish’s job. Two club finals, was a sign of progression but it could not mask the Reds poor form in the league – particularly in the second-half of the season where they bordered on relegation form – saw Liverpool finish eighth, 37 points of the champions and runners-up, Manchester City and Manchester United respectively.
Many things have changed at Anfield since the final day of last season. The Liverpool hierarchy managed to tempt Brendan Rodgers, after an impressive first season in the Premier League, away from Swansea, for him to sign a three-year contract. The 39-year-old is certainly a bold choice to replace Dalglish, who, regardless of last season will always been a legend at the club, will be a tough act to follow. The Northern Irishman’s task will not be an easy one, but it will be a task they he will relish.
It has been a summer blighted with transfer speculation of players supposedly going in and going out of Anfield. Firstly, Dirk Kuyt, Maxi Rodriguez, Alberto Aquilani and Fabio Auerelio have all departed the club. Andy Carroll has continually been linked with a move back home to Newcastle or a move to promoted West Ham, Craig Bellamy has also been with a move back to Cardiff, while defensive lynchpin Daniel Agger has been linked with a move to Premier League champions Manchester City. Thus far, signings have been thin on the ground with Rodgers only making a move for Fabio Borini signed from Roma and will work with the manager for the third time. Links with a move for Joe Allen and Clint Dempsey before the window closes seem to be in the pipeline.
League form and finishing higher than eighth will be the immediate target for Rodgers, that along with the Europa League, which he will more likely use to blood some of the younger club players along with keeping the fringe players satisfied with some first team action. There is lots of room for improvement from the players themselves in terms of finishing and taking their chances, last season Liverpool had their lowest points tally since 1953-54, they hit the woodwork 33 times throughout the season and missed seven penalties. If Rodgers can get Liverpool firing, they should be good enough for get a Europa League spot and finish in or around sixth place.
Opening five fixtures: West Brom (A), Manchester City (H), Arsenal (H), Sunderland (A) and Manchester United (H)