Liverpool failure to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League this season has come as a surprise to many. The Reds had been regulars in the Champions League in recent years, having reached the final on three occasions in the last five seasons. However, a combination of factors has contributed to their downfall this season.
One of the main issues has been Liverpool reluctance to address their midfield problem. The club’s ageing midfield unit has been plagued by injuries, with players like Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita struggling to stay fit. Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have also shown signs of decline, but Liverpool failed to bring in adequate replacements to strengthen the midfield.
The lack of match-winners has also been a significant problem for Liverpool this season. The departure of Sadio Mane left the club with just Mohamed Salah as a proven goalscorer, and the Egyptian had to shoulder the bulk of the goalscoring responsibility. The absence of Luis Diaz due to injury and the slow adaptation of summer signing Darwin Nunez to Premier League football further weakened Liverpool’s attack.
Jurgen Klopp’s misplaced loyalty to underperforming players has also been a factor in Liverpool’s downfall. The German manager has persisted with players like Jordan Henderson and James Milner, despite their decline in form, and has been reluctant to bench them. It was only when he introduced Stefan Bajcetic during the second half of the season that Liverpool’s performances improved.
The mid-season World Cup in Qatar also tooka toll on Liverpool’s players. Having competed for the quadruple last season, the team was already fatigued heading into the new season. The prospect of playing a World Cup midway through the campaign made things worse for the players, who were clearly tired and lacked energy on the pitch.
In conclusion, Liverpool’s failure to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League this season can be attributed to a combination of factors. The club’s reluctance to address their midfield problem, lack of match-winners, misplaced loyalty to underperforming players, and the mid-season World Cup have all contributed to their downfall. The club will need to address these issues if they are to bounce back and challenge for major honours next season. The summer break will provide much-needed rest for the players, and the club will need to make some key signings to strengthen their squad ahead of the new campaign.