Liverpool FC performed well above expectations last year and finished in a very respectable 2nd place in the Barclay’s Premier League. They came close to winning the title, but with a draw against Crystal Palace and losing to Chelsea in the last few games, Manchester City was able to steal it from under their noses.
This year, Brendan Rodgers has made several high profile signings, the biggest being Adam Lallana’s £25m move, Dejan Lovren’s £20m switch (both from Southampton) and Lazar Markovic’s £20m transfer from Benfica. These are three from seven signings.
This can go one of two ways. These signings can gel straight away and make an instant impact on the team. This could mean that the club comes close to winning the Premier League for the first time. This amount of signings could have a detrimental effect on the team.
This happened at the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign when Tottenham Hotspur signed over £110m worth of players. This had the opposite effect of what was hoped for that year. The players had trouble communicating with each other and just didn’t work as a team. This got better after a few months, though. By then, it was too late and dreams of the title fell by the wayside.
I don’t think this is going to happen at Tottenham. They have signed three of their seven signings from the same team where they have worked together for a while. This means they shouldn’t have any problems with the communication barrier, and they are used to playing together, so they will only have to learn the new tactics.
Liverpool have lost their key talisman this summer with the transfer of Luis Suarez to Barcelona for £75m. The Uruguayan scored 31 goals last year, with three hat-tricks. Even with some of their signings this year, I don’t think they have anyone to replicate that. Their transfers may not even have 31 goals in them this season between them. This is a major factor to say they can’t win the league this season.
After their successful campaign last year, Liverpool now have automatic entry into the Champions League group stages. This means at least six more games to contend, and that figure could rise to 10 should they get to the final. This is to add to their Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup fixtures.
However, the team has worked on their squad depth. They can now field very competitive teams in all their games. They will clearly focus on the Premier League and putting in a good show in the Champions League, but they may have to sacrifice a domestic cup run in the process.
There is no doubt in my mind that Liverpool will get Champions League football again this season. But I think it may be a little difficult for them to win the league outright. Without Suarez, Liverpool would have only finished seventh in the League. This is key. Without his goals Liverpool might struggle against some of the big teams this year.