Last seasons 6th placed finish felt like a major disappointment, and the pressure is on to challenge for at least a Champions League spot. After a slow start to the 2015/16 English Premier League season, the management team and players at Liverpool Fc will be all too aware of the need for improvement. A proud club with a rich tradition and passionate supporters, the focus each year is whether Liverpool are in a position to challenge for the trophies they frequently used to win. Having been within touching distance of the premier league title two seasons ago, only to finish an agonising second, this has increased the expectation levels again.
Yet just as they lost Luis Suarez to Barcelona after the 2013/14 season, Liverpool were unable to retain their young England star Raheem Sterling who switched to rivals Manchester City for the start of this season. This was coupled with the long-serving skipper Steven Gerrard not having his contract renewed and moving to the USA for a new challenge. Any club would struggle to replace such key players, and so it is probably not too surprising that Liverpool have not hit the ground running.
Bringing in the powerful Christian Benteke from Aston Villa has seen Liverpool start to vary their game, the Belgian forward offering a target man to aim for. Liverpool will hope he can forge a partnership with the returning Daniel Sturridge. Having spent so much of last season out injured, the return of Sturridge is akin to a major new signing, and having only scored 4 goals from their opening 6 Premier league games, his return will be much welcomed. The talented Felippe Coutinho will most likely play off these two front men, looking to play them in and weigh in with the odd goal himself. He is certainly capable of scoring quality goals from distance.
Jordan Henderson takes on the unenviable role of replacing Gerrard in midfield and as Captain. Brazilian Roberto Firminho has been brought in alongside Henderson, while in defence they will again depend much on Martin Skrtel at centre half. With the addition in the summer of right back Nathaniel Clyne, Liverpool now have two ex-Southampton men at the back, though they will be hoping Clyne has a better first season then Dejan Louven who initially struggled following his move from St Marys.
The club’s American owners, Fenway Sports Group, have floated plans to re-develop the famous Anfield ground, increasing its capacity to 60,000. However in order to raise the finances for this massive project they will have to ensure that the supporters keep on buying those Liverpool football club tickets . Manager Brendan Rodgers will be looking for his new look team to push on and match this ambition and match the fans desire to challenge their major rivals once more.