I follow our new player signings and whom we are letting go with great intent and also what the other Top 6 are doing. Apart from Spurs and maybe Arsenal, I can tell you that the other top clubs are getting really great signing and if we only have Sadio Mane to show for, then I don’t know how we are going to improve our ranking from last season. Let’s just go through the clubs that can knock us out of the top 4 and see what they’ve done:
The club under Mourinho has made some of the biggest impact signings I’ve ever seen and this squad with Mou is a far cry from LVG and David Moyes. Let’s just see what they can come up with for 2016/7:
Manager : Mourinho
GK: De Gea (one of the best GKs)
Midfield threat : Mkhirtayan, Rooney, Ikay Gundogan (still injured, probably will take some time to start)
Attacking threat: Ibrahimovic, Martial
Its scary to think what Mou can do with Ibrahimovic upfront (he already broke the Manure’s power records during his medical checkup). Add to that Rooney, Martial & Mkhirtayan and I’m already thinking they’re already up there in the top 4 even before the season starts.
Manager : Pep Guardiola
Midfield threat :
Attacking threat : Aguero, Nolito
Apart from being slightly mesmerized by Guardiola’s unveiling at Man City on Youtube, I am really concerned of Man City’s purchase of Nolito, one of Spain’s top striker or probably the top. I think this guy might score a lot of goals. I think Pep will take time to settle into English football and I can’t see Man City seriously being top 4 contenders for Year 1 of Pep’s stay at Man City. You can see their slower, pacy, assured style under Pellegrini and they yet have to start building some pace in their football. I will be very interested to see how Pep Guardiola changes the current style to his tiki taka style of play.
I can’t help talk about Everton because they’ve got Koeman and they’ve got a new Iranian billionaire investor as their major shareholder only recently and will strengthen substantially. With a solid left back like Baines and a solid striker like Lukaku, Everton are looking to break the bank for a few top players to fill strategic positions in the team and will be very strong. Yes, I see them as a top 4 threat and that worries me considering the recent times they have upstaged and got above Liverpool in the BPL. It was quite insightful to hear Unai Emery (Sevilla FC’s manager) say that he would love to be Everton mgr next season as he is considering of moving on from Sevilla and you know what Sevilla did to us.
I think with Sadio Mane on our side, I don’t see us losing to Arsenal in our opening game and Arsene also have not strengthened significantly like Mourinho has done at Manure except for Granhit Xaka. With a rigid Arsene still at the helm, I expect Arsenal to be … Arsenal. That said, congratz to Ozil in a brilliant linkup play with Mario Gomez for Germany’s 1-1 draw against Italy (where they won 6-5 in the PK) and Giroud for his brace in France’s 5-2 win against Iceland.
Leicester will be Leicester. A serious threat. And they didn’t win last season’s BPL by fluke. Not when it is in a league format. Vardy’s staying. It remains to be seen which Leicester player leaves the club but if they keep their key players (Vardy, Mahrez, Ulloa, Kazaki), I see them as a toop 4 threat.
Stoke under Mark Hughes is always a danger to play and I hear they also have got the cash to get some good players in to further bolster the attacking football they are playing now under MH, quite a contrast from the robust defensive under their previous mgr.
Basically in summary for the 2016/7 season, with the new TV rights deal, I think the number of teams who have the ability to go into top 4 (not forgetting the remarkable Leicester fairy tale last season) has gone up from 4 teams a few years back to 6 years recently and for next season, I think adding Leicester and maintaining Spurs and Arsenal, it will be eight (don’t forget Chelsea’s Antonio Conte).
So it doesn’t really augur well for Liverpool FC if our top signing appears to be only Sadio Mane at 34 million. Mou brought a new player into Manure for 30 million plus which does not include Ibrahimovic and they are still buying more at that kind of price.
Ok so where does that leave us ? First lets look at our potential next season team :
GK : Simon Mignolet / Karius
Clyne Lovren (pending Sakho) Matip Gomez (Flanagan,Moreno, no please!)
Coutinho(Lallana/Milner/Markovic) Firminho Mane
Sturridge (Balotelli / Danny Ings)
As I said in an earlier post, I would like to see Klopp go back to the tried and tested double striker combo with a ‘score more than you concede’ approach that Brendan successfully applied in our 2014 season which led to our 100-goals record.
Hence if we could have a twin combo of Mane-Sturridge, it would be good but I see Mane as having a burst of pace so it perhaps would be better starting him behind the strikers and probably at right wing where he scores most. Maybe Firminho – Sturridge combo would be good because Firminho is very intelligent and deadly the higher up he is. Anyway, Klopp like Mourinho plays with 1 striker so I’m not pinning my hopes up. So far our transfers hasn’t really excited me like what Manure and Mourinho have done and I’m more worried whether we are up to it with Manure, Man City, Everton, Chelsea having new top managers and access to big funding and with a new top 4 rookie in Leicester City. Would love to hear your thought, thanks.