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How Do Liverpool Get Back to the Premier League Summit?

photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia

It’s fair to say that Liverpool have been well and truly knocked off their proverbial perch in recent years thanks to the dominance of Manchester UnitedChelsea and to a lesser extent, Manchester City.

Liverpool failing to win one Premier League crown since 1990, having been so previously dominant in the years before, is a story that wouldn’t have been envisaged by many on Merseyside in the 1980′s.

In 1989-90 Manchester United were a mere blur in Liverpool’s rear view mirror as the Merseyside club swept away all challengers in their path to accrue trophy after trophy. However, there has been a major power shift in Lancashire in recent years with Manchester United now proclaiming themselves as the dominant force in English soccer by amassing a staggering 12 Premier League titles to Liverpool’s zero.

So how do Liverpool combat this and re-establish themselves as the preeminent force in English soccer?

First, they need to leapfrog Chelsea and Manchester City as both these clubs have spent massively over the last few transfer windows turning themselves into title contenders and neither will be easily surpassed. The potential saving grace here with regards to Liverpool is that Chelsea will once again be manager-less in the summer and Manchester City are in danger of being ejected from Europe unless they stop spending astronomical amounts on players. That’s not to say that these clubs won’t strengthen, as I’m sure they will, but due to financial fair play restrictions I don’t believe we will see the super transfers of the last few years.

Liverpool are also in the fortunate position of being financially stable with very limited debt. Therefore if Liverpool can hold onto the crux of their squad and invest rather substantially yet cleverly in areas that need strengthening, there’s a good chance they could finish above these two clubs next year.

The major problem is going to be eclipsing Manchester United. The Red Devils have been so successful recently that winning is ingrained in every member of the team and Alex Ferguson only has to make minor changes to his team every year to keep that success going. It’s going to be exceptionally difficult for Liverpool to compete on the same level as Manchester United next year unless they can keep all their players and attract some superstars.

The future does look bright for Liverpool. The stadium upgrade should be well underway by then meaning more corporate boxes and increased match day revenue. The squad is bristling with young talented players who, on their day, can stand side by side with the best in the league. Provided Liverpool can hang onto their top players and make one or two stellar signings then there’s no reason they cant finish second next year.

It may take a season or two, though, before Liverpool can reclaim that elusive Premier League crown and once again call themselves champions.


James Hilton is a soccer writer for Follow him on Twitter ,  Facebook or add him to your network on Google