One of the most important seasons in Liverpool’s recent history is fast approaching.
The Reds head into the coming Premier League campaign without a trophy since an unconvincing League Cup triumph over Cardiff City in 2012.
Andy Robertson and Emre Can will join their #LFC teammates in training today.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 25, 2017
They needed extra-time and penalties to see off the Championship outfit after a 2-2 draw, winning the shoot-out 3-2.
Since that day it has been a story of near misses and what could have been at Anfield, as the Reds have gone close on a number of occasions.
Liverpool’s quest for a Premier League title still goes on, as under Brendan Rodgers they came agonisingly close during the 2013/14 season.
The loss of Luis Suarez meant they could not replicate their challenge, and after three years without a trophy Rodgers’ time was up.
In came Jurgen Klopp, the charismatic German coach who was tasked with bringing the Reds back to the top and ending their wait for silverware.
With a squad that was not his, he managed to lead the club to two finals, however they were beaten in the League Cup and Europa League finals by Manchester City and Sevilla respectively.
In his first full season the Liverpool boss secured a top four finish, as they made their return to the Champions League along with Europe’s elite.
It was a frustrating campaign though, as they blew away their opponents in the early stages before dropped points against the bottom half of the table saw their chances of challenging for the title falter.
They still managed to bring European football back to Anfield though, which is a huge boost to the club.
Now, though, is the time they brushed off the tag of ‘nearly men’ and clinched some silverware to make Klopp’s reign a successful one.
Their fist task is to match their performances against the top teams with their displays against clubs at the opposite end of the table.
They finished last season unbeaten against the top six, however losses against Burnley, Bournemouth, Swansea City and Hull City outlined their need for improvement.
Far too often The Reds found themselves unable to break down defensive outfits, and when the frustration hit during those games they were undone on the counter.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 22, 2017
It is as much a mental battle as it is a physical one, as they seem to rise to the occasion of the big games, but cannot replicate that in games they are expected to win.
If they can turn frustrating draws into hard fought wins it will bring confidence to the group, and in turn will see Liverpool advance up the Premier League table.
Another area they need success is in Europe, as no matter how hard the club’s fans and players try to forget their last crack at the Champions League, it will always come back to haunt them.
Under the guidance of Rodgers they failed miserably to progress from a relatively simple group, and while it contained Real Madrid it also pitted them against FC Basel and Ludogrets.
Just one win from six games saw the Reds enter the Europa League, with Klopp taking charge of their run to the final.
Champions League football is needed at Anfield, and it has been sorely missed of late, so a strong run in the competition is definitely a priority for the coming season.
It will be tough to challenge on all fronts, with the Premier League strengthening year-on-year as the battle for the top four last year proved.
If Liverpool want to continue to consider themselves as one of the country’s top clubs they need to challenge though, and they need to bring trophies to the club.
It is time for Klopp to progress his side from being delighted with finishing fourth, to celebrating silverware and triumphs.
Rodgers’ time was up after he became the first coach of the club since the 1950s to fail to win a trophy in his first three years in charge.
Liverpool’s current boss has been at the helm for half of that time, and with two finals he is definitely heading in the right direction.
Klopp is without a doubt a perfect fit for the Reds and is undoubtedly improving the players as he did in his former job at Borussia Dortmund.
It is time for his Liverpool side to deliver though, making the coming season a crucial one if he is to leave a lasting legacy on Merseyside.
He has already been given legendary status by many fans, with his exuberant style leading to a number of viral videos of his highlights. These combine some of his best moments on the touchline, in press conferences and playing crown green bowls at a local club.
It has been a brilliant period of boom’s, broken glasses and learning how to speak scouse, and while the comedy factor he brings is a breath of fresh air the real highlights Klopp will want to look back on will be success on the field.
In one of his first interviews with the club he told fans how he wanted to change them from ‘doubters to believers’, but is it now the time to change from believers to achievers?