As disappointing as Saturday night was, let’s not take lose sight of the fact that we have taken another step forward in our development under Jurgen Klopp. So, looking forward there are many plus points to take on board. As a starter, how many fans would have taken a top four finish and a Champions League final appearance at the start of the season. Most of us I’ll bet. So, congratulations to Jurgen Klopp and the boys on a great season. We are proud of you all.
Before we consider looking forward, a quick note on one of the fallouts from Saturday. I just heard on the radio that keeper Loris Karius has received death threats from so called ‘fans’. This is mind boggling. It goes without saying this is beyond being unacceptable. Hopefully, these ‘fans’ will come to justice and be charged by Merseyside Police.
Hold your head up Loris. No doubt the club will offer him whatever support he requires. Whatever your views are on Karius, no player deserves that kind of treatment.
Anyway, looking forward.
Every transfer window is important. Arguably though this is our most important for some time. Probably more so during this Jurgen Klopp reign. Football as we all know is a results business. At the moment, Klopp has not as yet delivered us any silverware. That is not a criticism but as Rafa would say…..fact!! I am one of the many firm believers that he will. We may find that it could be like a case of waiting for a bus. You wait for one then two come at once (let’s hope it will be more than two). This season undoubtedly has seen us progress again under our charismatic manager.
Sometimes you need an adverse event to trigger an even bigger positive reaction. As an example, I was at the game in 1992 when we beat Manchester United 2-0 to end their title challenge. In case you don’t know, they were firmly in the driving seat in the run-in to the title. Leeds to a certain extent were almost requiring snookers. However, three defeats on the trot for Manchester United, saw Leeds step in and claim the title.
As the game was petering out at Anfield, The Kop (and all other ends of the ground actually) were taunting United with renditions of “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” and “You Lost The League On Merseyside”. To this day, United fans I know refuse to believe they lost the title at Anfield. They argue that their 1-0 defeat away to west Ham the previous Wednesday sealed their fate. Not so. Going into our match they were still in with a shout of winning the title. Losing to us made it mathematically impossible.
Anyway, more importantly for them, what effect did that have. I remember talking to a United fan some time after who was at the ground that day. He said it was the worst footballing day of his life. He was devastated to say the least. The effect was, as we all know, they more than bounced back from that setback. For everyone connected with the club, to lose the title at the ground of your most hated rivals and to listen to all that taunting, must have been an awful experience.
The year later they won their first of many Premier League titles. So, if they could bounce back from that huge setback – so can we.
The Foundations Are There
Without doubt the foundations of a really, really strong side are there. Just look at the quality of some of our players. We have the framework of a truly strong side in the making. Naby Keita is our first signing of the summer. And what a signing he promises to be. If the rumours are true that Real Madrid are considering making a bid for him in the region of £90 to £100 million before he’s kicked a ball for us, then that speaks volumes.
There will be so many rumours and expert opinions (and not so expert) on who we should should sign. I’ve said it many times, I will trust whatever Klopp decides to do. Many say, we need a really top drawer keeper (I must admit I fall into that category as well), but if Klopp wants to stick with the three he has, then I’ll go with that. It may be that Danny Ward finally gets a chance. Who knows.
Youngsters Coming Through
As well as the signings Klopp will make, let’s not forget our youngsters. I’m not sure what’s happening with Rhian Brewster. Hopefully he will stay as Klopp has already indicated he will be elevating him to the first team squad. I went to see the U23’s a few times last season and Brewster stood out. Top quality. And bear in mind he was playing for the u23’s at the age of 17.
Then of course we have the returning Harry Wilson, fresh from his successful spell at Hull City. Marko Grujic is another who will be looking to get more game time next season after his triumphant time at Cardiff City.
Add to those just a few other names. For example the likes of Rafa Camacho, Curtis Jones, Conor Masterson, Nathaniel Phillips, Adam Lewis and our very own Kane. I mean Herbie, not the crying Harry version from Tottenham.
Dominic Solanke, Ben Woodburn, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are already regulars in the first team squad. The addition of some, or all of the above, ensures our future is bright.
Off The Field
Much credit needs to go to FSG as well. Eventually they have made their mark on the club, season by season. The clubs finances are sound. We have money to spend in the transfer market. I am sure that FSG will release the required funds….if Jurgen Klopp requests. That is the key, Klopp will already know where needs strengthening and who he wants. Will we need massive finances for these next pieces of the jigsaw? Only our German maestro and his most trusted aides know.
We have a fabulous stadium. A great commercial department.
Yes Saturday was very disappointing. But a disaster? No way. If you want to compare today with really dark days, just remember what things were like under Hicks and Gillette. And the latter stages of the Souness (as a manager) era. These were dark days. We are going forward and season on season, transfer window on transfer window we are improving. Today things may still seem bleak after Saturday, but look at the bigger picture. I am convinced successes and trophies are just around the corner.
So, looking forward, stay positive. We’re in good hands.