By James Miller – @JamesMillernews
Since arriving in 2015, Jurgen Klopp has certainly improved the standards at Liverpool Football Club, on and off the field. However, the chase to provide a first trophy at Anfield since 2012 is still on.
Coming off the back of what has already been a memorable season and one which may get even better still, the Reds are surely at this moment in time seen as a world-class side. They came agonising close to providing the Anfield crowd their first ever league trophy in the Premier League era, eventually missing out to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in what was one of the greatest title races ever seen.
Add to that a date with destiny on Europe’s biggest stage as Klopp’s men prepare to travel to Madrid for a clash with Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final, June 1st.
In more recent times the task of reaching domestic and European finals has been far from the trouble. Klopp himself has guided the Liverpool to four finals since putting pen to paper, the issue is getting over the line.
With the very near future offering a magnificent chance to put that drought to bed, the club really must now kick on and build on their status. As with anything in life, things come to a close and changes happen. Maybe Klopp will eventually move on to pastures new or perhaps he will retire on Merseyside but what is critically important is that there is a platform in place for the club to continue to move forward when that moment arises.
Firstly, the club must continue to push for trophies. It is important to build on what has already been started. From a club struggling to attract high-quality players, being overcharged and not having Champions League football to offer, the fortunes have really changed. The club has been stabilised from the top, down. The owners, staff, players and fans are happy. It feels the club is the most united it has been for many-a-year.
It feels like the club is a really attractive proposition now for anyone. Recruitment too has been first class. Recouping money from unwanted players in order to free up cash for top targets has been important, but also the attention to the academy seems a lot better.
With reports emerging lately that Klopp will look to promote young Rhian Brewster in to the first team setup as opposed to spending big money on a backup striker, it certainly seems like there are opportunities for young players with the right credentials.
Looking at next season, there should be some emphasis on developing squad depth. The Premier League and Champions League campaigns have been a success but there are still another two competitions that in truth never appeared to be high on the agenda.
It could be suggested that our games were tough in comparison to other clubs – Chelsea in the first round of the Carabao Cup was never going to be easy. Maurizio Sarri’s side went on to finish runners up in the competition. In the FA Cup, the Reds lost out to eventual semi-finalists Wolves.
Just looking at it and seeing a finalist and semi-finalist does ease the pain slightly but in truth Liverpool are a more established side at present then both Chelsea and Wolves. The problem is, the squad is too thin to compete on all fronts and priorities had to be made in terms of what was more sustainable.
The addition of a trophy is going to prove vital in Klopp legacy at the club, though his time so far has been nothing short of exceptional in regard to the positive change the club has seen. All that can really be asked for now is that the European nights keep coming and Manchester City’s domestic dominance is pressured as much as possible.