After a rollercoaster ride of a season, Liverpool were successful in their aim to secure Champions League football for the 2017/18 season with a top four finish earning them a qualifier in August.
Starting with an impressive win over Arsenal at the Emirates, the Reds were dominant for periods of the season when their quality was too much to handle for many sides, but during other spells their inconsistency and defensive weakness cost them dearly.
1) Squad depth is the key to success
Whilst Liverpool’s first strength eleven is one of the best in the Premier League, when injuries struck, the replacements were just not up to scratch for the Reds. Key figures such as Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip all spent time on the sidelines and were sorely missed.
Mane’s absence in particular was notable as his trip to the African Cup of Nations coincided with a sharp downturn in form with only a win over League 2 side Plymouth Argyle in the whole month of January. With a shortage of replacements available, Jurgen Klopp was at times forced to turn to changes in formation or youngsters to fill the gap.
If Liverpool are to compete on an added front of Champions League football next season, they will need to spend this summer in order to have the depth required so as not to jeopardise their hopes in the Premier League as well as Europe, with rotation and injuries inevitable.
2) No fixture is an easy game
Having avoided defeat in the Premier League against any of the top eight, Liverpool should have ended up higher. Instead, defeats to the likes of Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace showed up the weaknesses in the side with humiliating results both at home and away.
In part, that was down to the defensive fragility of the Reds, with Joel Matip sidelined for different periods of the season and Dejan Lovren struggling for form. Ragnar Klavan and Lucas Leiva struggled to have the quality to replace them and Liverpool may have been scoring for fun, but they were shipping even more goals.
Even in cup competitions, Liverpool let their concentration slip to fall out of the FA Cup at Anfield against Championship outfit Wolves, and should really have had enough on paper to progress past Southampton to reach the EFL Cup final against Manchester United.
3) In Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have the perfect man for the job
In his first full season, Jurgen Klopp has impressed at Anfield. With his own stamp starting to appear on the team after making signings of his own in the summer to bring in the likes of Sadio Mane, Georgino Wijnaldum and Joel Matip, Klopp has been able to implement his own system.
With the 4-3-3 shape now leading the way at Anfield, it has helped to get the best out of the Liverpool squad that he has available to him and looks to be the way forward for the club. With this in place, Liverpool’s attacking power has swept sides away scoring cricket scores against the likes of Watford.
Next season, Liverpool will have to step things up to continue their progress, and it is clear that Jurgen Klopp is the man to lead that charge. With youngsters being blooded in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn, the future is bright at Anfield and the hugely popular German should help Liverpool on their way to success.