Friday, May 27, 2016

Liverpool End of Season Review

photo by mcclavevia PhotoRee

Correspondent Scott is back from a short break:
Well, I suppose after a lengthy pause, and given that the season has ended, a review of sorts is in order. But first, as you faithful readers have no doubt ascertained, Farlieonfootie experienced a down-sizing in the writing and editorial department.  Said downsizing was not done via fiat on a per capita basis, but rather voluntarily on a personal production volume basis. In other words, the Boss Man and Correspondent Ed are resting on their literary laurels.
Yet this sporadic contributor remains hopeful they will both emerge from their hibernation given recent developments at their respective teams. First, despite the last gasp/collapse, Spurs won a Champions League spot and Correspondent Ed must be optimistic of a more sustained title challenge next year. Plus he can watch nearly all the Tottenham players play for England this summer in Euro 2016. As for the Boss Man (I have firmly adopted Ed's monicker), Champs League may have just eluded his Red Devils but he can take heart that Beelzebub incarnate (AKA Jose Mourinho) will be arriving at Old Trafford to unleash his slash and burn form of team building.
Come on back, comrades. Leicester may be champions and Villa may have gone down, but Liverpool are still mid-table.
Which brings me to my topic - how can it be, I was recently asked, that Liverpool are so happy and optimistic when they finished about the same spot as they did last year under the new Celtic coach, and lost two cup finals?  Well, I suppose getting to 2 cup finals was sort of an achievement. But, more importantly, the discerning aficionado can see the style of play that Klopp is instilling and can see that the players move with more purpose and intensity. It isn't just the gangenpress; it is the work rate all over the field, both with and without the ball.
What I have enjoyed most this year is the resurgence of players who were deemed to have been failures. Notably, both Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana have found a new gear under the German coach. In fact, most every player except the poor Christian Benteke has excelled under Klopp. The Belgian is too much of a talent to be hidden under a bushel and only brought out for Cup matches so one hopes Jurgen will find a place for him or let him go to shine in the right system.