It's finally here, the start of a new premier league season. So what can we expect from Liverpool this year? More of the same or back to around a sixth place finish following a season of frustration? The press seem to have written us off with most predictions I have seen putting us as finishing either sixth or seventh, feeling that Suarez leaving and the extra strains brought on by the Champions League will be to difficult a challenge. Supporters of other clubs seem to agree with very few predicting a top four finish for the reds.
It's easy to see why people think that, this year will be difficult but I believe that we can push on from last year at least matching our achievements.
Loosing Luis Suarez to Barcelona will hurt us, the man can't be replaced by any individual, nobody could lose arguably the best player in the world and not find it difficult but Liverpool have re-invested the money made from his sale spending almost £100 million across all areas of the team. Have we replaced Suarez? No not directly,but we have made the team and the squad stronger with almost a whole new defence, Emre Can providing the extra strength I'm midfield that many have been asking for and Markovic, Lallana and Lambert bringing the extra strength further up the pitch. Can all of that replace Suarez? Possibly if the players all turn out to be as good as we hope and especially if we can bring in another striker, just in case something happens to Sturridge (now the best striker in the league). It is however, unlikely that they all will be a huge success so perhaps we are not there yet. But what about the players who are already here. Coutinho and Sterling have massive seasons ahead and I firmly believe that the improvements they both have shown will continue under Rodgers and very soon we will have two world stars on our hands and with more following behind Ibe and Rossiter to name just two we have the strength of squad to push on on all fronts, in all competitions and yes all the above does have the ability to replace Luis Suarez.
The challenge of the Champions league should be enjoyed and not feared, we have increased our squad size and quality through the summer and the experience gained could and should prove a benefit in our league challenge not a hindrance as many predict, we have young, exciting players trying to make a name for themselves at the very highest level of the game, so go and do it and stop worrying about having to play a few extra games.
The other teams at the top end of the league have also got their eyes on the Premier League crown and those precious champions league qualifying places and with them all, with perhaps the exception of Everton haveing strengthend from last year it will be tough. Everton have spent big money but have still basically the same team as last season as they had to make loan deals permanent, they have shown ambition spending big and will be strong but not top four. Spurs will be a tougher prospect under their new manager but, in my opinion still not enough to make the top four. United are coming from to far back, yes we did similar last year but to be honest, they are not us, they are a long way short, they are still struggling to find players and I'm not sure that Van Gaal is all he is cracked up to be. I think there could be another comedy season on the cards at Old Trafford. Arsenal have got stronger and Sanchez is a great signing but City will have him next year and this year Arsenal will be fourth that's all they want and that's what they will get, probably. Manchester City and Chelsea look very strong they both have filled in any gaps in their already impressive squads and will undoubtably challenge for every trophy with Chelsea my favourites, but we are in there. Our squad is strong and we have players to be feared and a very impressive manager who is learning and getting better all the time. I believe top four is again achievable, with my prediction third, we will challenge and be close again and you just never know this could be our year.