2017-18 Season Review – Liverpool

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Top Scorer:

Mohamed Salah: 32 goals (42 in all comps)

Top Assists:

Mohamed Salah: 10 assists (14 in all comps)

Key Player:

This has got to be a pretty obvious choice. Mohamed Salah picked up every award that you possible could recieve this season. He set the record for most goals in a single 38 match season with 32 goals and added another 10 in Champions league. His presence on the pitch matters, when Klopp takes him off, you immediately can see the difference in the squad.

ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ.

This year LFC finished 4th with 75 points. Got knocked out of the FA Cup in the 4th round by WEST BROM and got knocked out of the League Cup in the 3rd round by Leicester City.

All of that sounds so familiar…

Last year LFC finished 4th with 76 points. Got knocked out of the FA Cup in the 3rd round by WOLVERHAMPTON and got knocked out of the League Cup in the Semifinal by Southampton.

So this year, LFC had 1 less point, finished in the same position and performed just as terribly, if not worse, in the domestic cups. What bothers me most, is getting bounced from the FA Cup by a team that was just relegated from the Premier League. This is one area Liverpool should focus. With a fanbase rabid for a trophy, pick one of these domestic cups and put some focus there.

Liverpool saved their season with a terrific run in the Champions League. From finishing fourth last season and having to play a playoff against Hoffenheim to get into the group stage and moving through the competition to lose in the final. Along the way, they set the record for most goals scored by a team in a single Champions League run. Very impressive stuff. They were also heralded as one of the most entertaining team to watch in all of Europe. Which is completely true. The all out attack has always been something fun to watch.

At the beginning of the season that led to some defensive issues. But with big Virgil Van Dijk joining the club in January, some of those defensive lapses began to dissipate a bit. Van Dijk is a good defender and seemed, most importantly, to help the others on the backline gain some much needed confidence after the papers shredded them every week after having countless errors. Even Karius made a terrific run at the end of the season and seemed to find his form once Van Dijk entered the squad.

The selling of Philipe Coutinho made some headlines this winter. Fans and pundits were curious how Liverpool would cope without their number 1 playmaker. Turns out, he wasn’t that important. Which seems crazy considering the talent that is Coutinho. After his departure, the squad didn’t miss a beat and cruised the rest of the way. Converting to a 4-4-2 and having Sadio Mane drop back into the midfield when defending, eliminated the need for Coutinho. Great tactical change by Klopp and terrific team spirit at Liverpool to carry on without him.

All in all it was a decent season, the triumvirate of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and now Mohamed Salah seem to have LFC lined up for years of success. IF, and this is a big IF, they continue to shed the notion of being a selling club. Bringing in Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk were clearly needed and were a huge help to the squad this season. Obviously, Salah will not be expected to reach the heights of this season again next year. Young Trent Alexander-Arnold looks amazing for a 19 year old and Andy Robertson has equally impressed with this electric pace and his desire to carry the ball forward.

And what LFC fans will point to most this season, is the progess. There is a defined process in which Klopp and LFC are improving incrementally in each of the 3 seasons Klopp has been with the club. After a terrific run in the Champions League this year, and I’m sure, a burning desire to win that competition, it will be interesting to see where they go next year. Now with a foundation in place, its time to start bringing some hardware back to Merseyside. Time to bring in the old salty vets and some more quality in depth and Liverpool should be able to challenge for the Premier League title next season.

GRADE – B+

Would have been an A+ had the won the Champions League and a C for just their domestic competitions.

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