Date: 14th July 2011 at 9:00pm
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The end of the reign of the most unsuccessful manager in the history of Liverpool Football Club was brought about by a combination of poor results and fans’ demands for the return of Kenny Dalglish. Many pointed to Dalglish’s experience of winning trophies and dismissed criticisms that he was out of the game for too long and argued that he had been involved in the scouting department and the Academy at Liverpool. Journalists and media commentators alike questioned whether this was an unhealthy dose of nostalgia administered to the dying club at Anfield and drew comparisons with the re-appointment of Kevin Keegan at Newcastle.

Thankfully, they were wrong. Kenny’s appointment brought about a remarkable turn around in the club’s fortunes and a seemingly healthy sixth place finish.

In some ways Liverpool was almost too successful. Most fans have ignored the results against Tottenham and Aston Villa in the last two games of the season. Both are games that Liverpool will need to win next year. Villa are not relegation strugglers. Until the resignation of Martin O’Neill, they were challenging for European places. Tottenham’s rise under Harry Redknapp saw them knock LFC out of the top four. Despite this, players and fans alike are arguing that Liverpool can make a credible title challenge next season.

Admittedly, Kenny has purchased some interesting players. According to the Opta stats, Henderson and Downing are among the top five players in the premiership who created chances on goal for their teams. Rather than have Gerrard on the assist sheet, next year LFC will have Suarez, Carroll, Downing, Henderson and Adam all creating goal opportunities.

First things first, however, Liverpool need to get back into the top four. With European football among the elite, the club will be more attractive to top class young players across the globe (i.e. those who were born after the heyday of the 1980s). That may not be as simple as some are leading us to believe. Roy Evans has preached caution to Liverpool fans everywhere in an interview with talkSPORT: “We’re a fair bit behind the top four of five clubs”.

While Liverpool may make a credible challenge for the title next season, it seems a more realistic option being preached by those who know football, and more importantly, know Liverpool Football Club. Perhaps, a scrap for fourth place is the more realistic option for our expectations next season.


39 responses to “What is a realistic target for Liverpool this season: Title or Top 4?”

  1. ste says:

    Well with long ball dross like Man Hoof poxing the Title last season by the sheer fact that other teams rolled over for them, why cant Liverpool win the Title, Liverpool did thrash the long Trafford Hoofers with utter ease in March or April did they not?.

  2. baba alhaji says:

    a top 4 spot for us next season is realistic…that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for first position…we should first try to play football with confidence…our first ten games will be very crucial…a few bad performances and we’ll be back where our detractors think we belong…if even we don’t play well, we should be hungry enough to win our games…winning the premiership is about winning games…that’s what we must do…long live LFC…YNWA

  3. dom says:

    The last couple of seasons we have had really bad starts so we need to get going early on and try not to be playing catch up so early on…

  4. ANDY says:

    I agree with Ste. I’m sick and tired of teams and managers like Mick McCarthy lying down so the “wonderful” United can stroll to another title. We need at least another striker – Aguero would be nice. The 2nd half of last season proved that if we play to our strengths in an attacking way we can launch a serious title challenge.

  5. kenny says:

    I believe in GOD. I believe in Kenny. I believe in all our players. It’s now We win.

  6. gfergo says:

    i am very optimistic, i think we will go close if not win it, we have to stop losing to the smaller teams that we are expected to beat, we seem to do very well against the so called better sides its consistency we need thats all

  7. ben says:

    Neither.. You weren’t good enough last season and you’ve just added a load of average english players for exorbitant transfer fees.. If you think henderson, downing and adam are title winning players then delusion really is setting in.. Henderson is average at best, as shown for the majority of the season, in his england run out and even at under 21 level he has not looked up to anything, downing has flattered to deceive wherever he has played and the majority of blackpool fans talked of how they played better without adam in their side, the MOTD friendly free kicks and long range efforts more often than not covered up wild attempted long balls that led to losing the ball that many believed were to blame for the amount of goals they conceded.. Top 4 will be a struggle, your squad is still not as good as arsenal or tottenham’s.. Remember you didn’t even get europa this season, so pushing for the titel? Don’t make me laugh

  8. Gerrardious says:

    its simple.The players will strive to win the league(as expected) but they ease up the fans expectation by sayin they are fighting for a top 4 finish.
    minimum exptn is top 4.
    maximum exptn – no limit

  9. byrnesey says:

    As the King always says,lets just take every game one at time.I reckon a top four place will be a piece of cake for us i expect a title challenge to be honest and depending on who we sign its certainly possible to win it.
    What Kenny achieved with the team last season was amazing and now we are alot stronger,so why not?
    Come on you reds!

  10. bazza says:

    Andy – you are an idiot Wolves beat the scum. The scum won the league because they had the desire to battle out late wins when not playing so well. They have a winning mentality instilled in them as that is what wins matches. You can have all the best players but if you dont have a unity and winning mentality it wont mean a thing (just look at Arsenal.

    Ben you are a complete fuckwit as you obviously have no clue about football. If Liverpool had performed in the first half of the season as they did in the first they would have finished second in the league. If you look at KK buying history you will see that he has a habbit of buying average to good players and turning them into great players and he will generate unity and a winning mentality within the squad.

    A top four finish is very achievable but wont be easy, but as for winning it that will be too much.

    So please dont make stupid thoughtless comments until you know what you are talking about.

  11. bazza says:

    It is very easy to say that we beat the scum, man c & csk london, but just look at who beat us!!!!

  12. ANDY says:

    Hmmm I think Ben may either a very bitter blue or a manc. Liverpool WILL make a serious challenge next season. It seems to me everyone is too quick to shoot liverpool’s chances down. We have new owners with money now and a definite vision for the short and long term future of LFC – and people don’t like it!

  13. bazza says:

    andy – they dont like it because we doing it the old Liverpool way.

  14. Lfc-nut says:

    Realistic = top 6
    Optimistic = top 4
    Lolwut?? = champions

    Also, Ben, keep taking the pills.

    United keep winning the title with some very average players (park, carrick, o’shea etc) so not everyone in a team has to be a world beater to get success.

  15. ANDY says:

    Bazza I’m no fuckin idiot!!! I was using wolves as an example because they have in the past fielded weakened sides which has had a profound effect on the title. The lesser teams DO tend to fold in front of UTD as do most fuckin referees.

  16. dannycarroll9 says:

    top four is realistic.

  17. kkkersh says:

    top spot, old whiskey nose will choke to death on his chewing gum. come on you reds, this is our season

  18. ANDY says:

    If we hit the ground running – which i think we will – we could go all the way.

  19. Steve Ash says:

    Ben is obviously taking drugs or just in denial, if Liverpool can keep on improving on the football they where playing in the second half of last season then we will most definately be up there with the best of them. I seen the game in China the other night and believe Andy Carrol has got his fitness back (he looked one of the best players on the field), with him fit and playing at the top of his game – Steven Gerrard back and in his own words ‘fitter and stronger than anytime in the last decade’- he will be the best player in the PL next season. Lucas seems to have come of age and as the stats showed last season made the most tackles in the league. With Saurez, Kuyt, Meireles, Maxi, Adam and Downing all playing the best football of thier careers last season, we shouldn’t have any problem scoring goals or breaking down teams who just want to defend(as we sometimes did last season). As long as we can cut out the mistakes in defence that have been made in the past and hopefully keep Agger, Kelly, Carra and Johnson fit we should be back to the good old days of having a v-tough defense. With the best Keeper in the PL for sure now Van der sar has retired. Not forgetting Skrtel, Aqua-man, Spearing, Henderson, Robinson, Flanagan, Shelvey and likely Doni and hopefully another top striker, Left back and Centre back we could easily be fighting for a top 3 spot. So with a little luck, the great team spirit we now have and one of the best coaching teams about all LFC fans should be feeling very optimistic about our chances this coming season. YNWA

  20. Towson Tom says:

    I would like to think top 4 and I dont mean scraping into fourth place but more like competing for the title, but that depends on our tranfer dealings in this window, not who we buy but who we sell. The names bandied about as surplus to requirements are very much needed, Meireles, Aquilani, Maxi, etc… all add to the strength in depth without them we cant compete.

  21. Simon says:

    We have a team chock full of playmakers, who themselves know where the goal is, and front men who know how to finish with style. I for one cannot wait for next season.

    Us long time Liverpool supporters know that one dodgy manager and a few shaky months are a minor speed bump in the history of a club of such quality. We’ve seen top four many times and fully expect to return there this season. Winning the league is always a possibility for LFC. Maybe not this season, but you know we are on the march. Bitters will be bitters and mancs are looking over their shoulders. KK is moving up fast with a big grin on his face. YNWA!

  22. red2death says:

    Title charge. Not saying we’ll win it, but scraping top 4 is too low an expectation.

    We’ll be comfortable for top 4 and pushing for first. The rest will depend on other factors like odd goals and odd decisions.

  23. Gerrardious says:

    The Scum have been winning bcos they are consistent, have squad depth and a lot of Pacey players (which helps them grind out late results). anoda tin is that they have fast ‘natural’ wingers(Nani, Park, Valen, Giggs) who can get behind defences and carve out dangerous chances; compared to our own ‘un-natural’ wingers (Kuyt, Maxi, Jova and well… Cole) who lack pace (with the exception of the English misfit) and can only cut-in or hoof ‘Carragher-like’ balls into the box makin defenders like Shawcross look like they are world class. Also I hope we get a proven fast striker (like Torres). I know Torres did not give us the wonderful link-up play and assist rate like Suarez but still we skill need a striker who can make us dangerous from even Goalkicks and can wreck havoc while playin as a lone striker. We dont have a single ‘fast’ striker. Just look at Kuyt, Carroll(who are slow) and Suarez(swift but not pacey). Then compare them to Rooney n Chichar (very fast), even Berba. We need someone who can easily run past defenders and beat the offside trap to get on the end of thru passes. Truth be told, we dont have that yet.
    Am not sayin we should try to copy them, am just pointin out the areas that make us less-feared and less potent.

  24. Gerrardious says:

    We still need a LB, RW, CB and CF. maybe a DM as backup for Lucas

  25. Alex says:

    We are trusting dalgish 2 much see if roy sign downing and henderson 4 20mil each we would hav crucify him bt wat is happening wit dalgish wit 2 average player wit such amount believe me even rafa won’t make dis type of mistake

  26. Redsim622 says:

    Top 4 is the aim. KK is bringing in players that can help us beat the likes of Stoke, Blackburn etc – the sort of teams we’ve struggled to put away convincingly over the past few years. The sort of players we’re bringing in are not outstandingly gifted but are consistent, will get stuck in and will stay entirely committed. The aim is not to have the greatest team in Europe or even the PL but to finish in the top 4 which will not be easy. Once back in the CL FSG will have to splash out again to bring in some real world class players.

  27. tom says:

    every year for the past ten i,ve heard we need 5 or 6 players to compete. well from jan thats 5 so fuck all this negativity we can do it next year,and if you think we cant just keep it to yourself.

  28. Jeff says:

    @ ben! Your comments really made me chuckle! You completecompletely talking out of your as+! Tis funny how you say we’ve signed a bunch of average overpriced English. Players without backing your claims up! Adam, Henderson, and downing, we’re all among the top five players in the prem last season, for creating chances, let’s start with adam, third most creative midfielder in the prem last season, tis strange you know so many Blackpool fans who say, according to you 😉 that they played so much better without him in their team??? Cuz i watched quite a lot of their games, and almost everything good, involved him! He was one of the most successful tacklers in the prem, scored into double figures, took some of the best free kicks and corners seen in the prem last season! In fact, he made pretty much a lot of the best midfielders, in the top six teams look distinctly average! As for downing, your so called player who flatters to decieve? Banged in around 8-9 goals last season, works hard for his team, and is one of the best left sided crossers of the ball in the prem! Oh! I almost forgot, he was voted player of the season,not Ashley young! by the fans who go watch hhim, week in, week out! But hey ho! What do they know??? As for Henderson, the player who didn’t do anything at the under 21`s? In playing very negative football? Under that great manager?? Stuart pearce?? You got me in stitches now! 🙂 the lad was the fourth most creative midfielder last season, just one spot behind that other average player, adam!

  29. Nader says:

    i think that the target that appears to the media , the fans and everyone is a top four spot .. but i really think that the secret target is the Premier League Trophy .. i mean , with a bunch of tired players King Kenny managed to get us to sixth position after we were 13th !! .. also , statistics show that since the King came back , Liverpool were third team earning points with a small gap between us and Chelsea and Man U .. all of that was with a team without Gerrard , Adam , Downing , Henderson and a Decent Left Back .. our market is not over yet , i still expect 4 new players : new CB , LB , winger , and a sub attacker as a replacement for Ngog .. with all of that i’d be really sad knowing that our actual target is a top four spot !

  30. Jeff says:

    @ben! You say our squad aint nothing compared to the likes of arsenal of Tottenham? This may of been true and year ago, but our squad, not looking to shabby at the moment, most of our players would walk straight into an arsenal of Tottenham squad!
    aqua man
    don’t post comments when you obviously know naff all about football!

  31. Mitch says:

    I cannot see why we cannot challenge for the title. KK is adding depth to the squad, which we seriously lacked last season. Despite that we did well to come agonizingly close to the top 4. Whereas Arsenal, Man City, Man U and Chelsea may have splashed some cash for marquee signings, I believe LFC have been more prudent in choosing the right people who WANT to be part of the team and who add depth and ruggedness and strength to the midfield and width.
    There’s a healthy new found ‘can do’ attitude in the dressing room and everyone is fighting for a position…this was missing in the last season…

  32. ben says:

    Keep dreaming your dreams.. As every year you will all build yourself up for disapointment.. I agree with the poster who said that if hodgson had signed henderson and downing for a combined 40 million you would have crucified him. At least you’ll be alright for squad rotation, is it 9 central midfielders you have now? Fair play you tore us apart at anfield at the end of the season, much in the same way we did you at Coms,(though with one eye on wembley, de jong out and tevez injured early doors, it wasn’t a great indicator) but being realistic now, forget the divine right mentality a lot of you seem to posess, that you will realistically be able to aim for the title? My prediction is 4th at best. Stop your thought processes being so insular, look how well the teams above you perform, you have to rely on them completely bombing next season for you to break in.. By the way I’ve had a season ticket since birth and go home and away week in week out, so get to see a lot of football, including those players I have commented about, so before you go spouting juvenile accusations ‘you obviously know nothing about football’ think..

  33. Darren says:

    Ben you make me laugh! Your obviously a typical glory hunting manc who knows fcuk all about football! It’s funny that when you scumbags were after signing Henderson he is one of the best young english midfielders coming through but now we have signed him he is average at best! Hmm funny that and you say we have payed over the odds for english players… 16 million for Jones and 17 million for Young who had 1 year left on his contract, I think were not the only ones who have payed over the odds but that because its the way the market is a the minute! Yeah Henderson ain’t worth 16 million but neither is Jones they both have the potential and that’s what we have payed for! Downing isn’t worth 20 million I’d say he’s worth 15 million but he was Villa’s player and fans player of the year with two years left on his contract and they didn’t want to sell him so an extra 5 million over his real valuation ain’t bad business though I don’t think we splash that much on many 27 year olds. One more thing Ben don’t forget you have just splashed out nearly 20 million on a young Spanish keeper who has had one full season in goal no thats risky!! Just like Bebe though I do think he will be a good keeper but you never know and like I said before you pay for the potential when buying young players! And before you post again research what you are saying first so we don’t have to waste our tome talking to you now I think everyone wants to say this FCUK OFF!!!

  34. ben says:

    Darren mate did you read my post? I’m clearly a city fan.. ‘De jong out and tevez injured’ glory fan? Before this season the only time I’d been to wembley was for the 2nd division play off final, no glory in that.. Oh and before you post again research what you are saying..

  35. Darren says:

    Your latest comment wasnt on when I started writing and no were in your first comment does it mention your a man city fan! I’m not a mind reader!

    At least Adam, Henderson and Downing aren’t just joining for the big wage packages and don’t tell me that the likes of Silva Tevez and co joined for any other reason!

  36. Inspector says:

    The target is top 4! We have to get back to Champions league first! We have a better Team/squad than we use to, people are just trying to talk them down becouse they are threatened! YNWA

  37. Mitch says:

    Even if it is 4th at best, I reckon it will be at the expense of Man City itself…We have players who take pride in the club and not their checkbooks…!

  38. Anthony says:

    Top 4 Finish.

    Watch this! (What happen when Man Utd Fan wearing Man Utd Jersey to a Liverpool Training Match in Malaysia)

    “Stand Up if you hate Man Utd” – just making a point the intensity of rivalry is shown around the world.

    YNWA Malaysia!

  39. Arjun says:

    After reading the post I never felt like commenting anything, but reading the comments that a few Rich, blind mancity fans wrote , I feel that the fan should know something about their own club.
    Are you talking something about overpriced.. IRONY at its best. What was your spending over the last 3 yrs and what players did you get??? you forgot about Santa cruz, milner, jo, adebayor, etc etc who warmed the bench… huh.. You are a disgrace to yourself… You better kick yourself after going through proper stats..
    Liverpool is gonna be better for sure, be it 4th 3rd or anyother position better than last year. Atleast there are people who are nervous and scratching their heads looking at the spending pattern of Liverpool. GO LIVERPOOL GO