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What do rival supporters think of Liverpool’s 2014-15 season?

While looking ahead to the new season, often expectations and predictions are marred with a clear bias. Every supporter thinks that either it’s their year or at the very least that they will fare better than one or more of their rivals. So rather than publishing a Liverpool supporters’ views on the club, below are the opinions of their rivals ahead of the new season.

We have writers from our other Team Blogs giving their opinion on the Gunners. Jamie Rosbottom from the Invisible Men (Man City), Vishal Patel from Under the Bridge (Chelsea), Miran Saric from Dial Square and Sauharda Karki from The Devil’s Advocate (Manchester United)

What are Liverpool’s objectives this season?

Jamie (The Invisible Men): Maintain a top 4 position and a domestic trophy.

Vishal (Under the Bridge):  The perception is that they threw away the title, but honestly, they came into the race only in the end on the back of an incredible run. Champions League qualification is a great achievement, and I don’t think any Liverpool fan will be unhappy with just 4th place.

Miran (Dial Square): I believe that Liverpool’s goal will be to retain their top-4 spot while looking to make it past the group stage of the Champions League. They have the potential to qualify for the Champions League again due to a fantastic offense and Brendan Rodgers will and attitude rubbing off on them, but the top clubs around them made key additions and Manchester United will surely make a strong push to rebound and qualify for the Champions League in Liverpool’s place.

Sauharda (The Devils’ Advocate): After last season’s league performance, Liverpool should be challenging for the title this season. Other competitions should stay secondary for now, as the club try and re-establish their hold in the Premier League. It may be a bit to early to call for European glory, but a decent performance would be the least the fans could expect.

How do you think Liverpool will do this season?

Jamie (The Invisible Men): The void left behind by Suarez could prove to be something the club struggle to deal with over the full season. I think it will be them and Everton fighting for the last Champions League place.

Vishal (Under the Bridge): For all the wise buying, Suarez was the difference maker, and the loss of a player like that isn’t going to be compensated immediately. All the bolstering won’t help too much in my opinion. Europa League spots for me.

Miran (Dial Square): While Liverpool enjoyed a fantastic return to the top-4 four last season, every other competitor made sure to upgrade this summer while Liverpool lost the Premier league’s best player from last year. Adding in European competition could lead to tired players and Liverpool will likely find themselves fighting off Manchester United, Tottenham and Everton for the fourth Champions League spot.

Sauharda (The Devils’ Advocate): Their absence from the Champions League for the past few seasons is what keeps them from being labeled contenders. Another year or two of experience for both players and manager in the bigger European setting, and then we could expect an exceptional display in Europe. Equating player departures and arrivals is what makes Liverpool look less likelier to win the title than they did last season. Things could change with further transfer activity, but as things stand, they will be competing with United and Arsenal for one of two spots (below Chelsea and City) in the top four, which will not be an easy task for Rodgers and his men.

Who do you think will be Liverpool’s key player?

Jamie (The Invisible Men): Raheem Sterling, the one player from Liverpool I would love City to buy. I was at Anfield when he made his home debut and he ran us ragged. He’s taken massive strides since then and in a more central role I think he could flourish.

Vishal (Under the Bridge): With Suarez gone, there is a lot of pressure on Daniel Sturridge to deliver. It’s make or break season for the England man, as Liverpool will be basing their challenge on his goals. The back-up cast is a bit thin too, with Rickie Lambert being the only convincing alternative at the time of writing.

Miran (Dial Square): Liverpool will need Daniel Sturridge to build on last season’s fantastic campaign (21 goals in the league) in order to try and make up for the absence of Luis Suarez. One area in which he needs to improve is in creating opportunities for others as he only averaged one key pass per game with seven assists to his name.

Sauharda (The Devils’ Advocate): Coutinho. With the departure of talisman Luis Suarez, manager Brendan Rodgers will look to redistribute the creative and goalscoring duties that Suarez and Sturridge split between them last season. There is  little doubt that Rodgers will entrust Sturridge with most of the goalscoring responsibility, leaving Coutinho with a lot more room to exercise his natural ability to frame chances than last season.If Rodgers plans on sticking to his philosophy of play even with the departure of Suarez, then this is the man we can expect to make things tick for Liverpool this season.

What is Liverpool’s biggest weakness?

Jamie (The Invisible Men): The ability of Suarez to score in games where they needed him the most is no longer available. Sturridge needs to step up to the plate this season to try and fill the void.

Vishal (Under the Bridge): The departure of Luis Suarez leaves a gaping hole, and 31 goals need to be replaced. All the trickery and passion in his play only made him stand out that much more. Sturridge and Lambert are good players, but nobody can really fill such shoes.

Miran (Dial Square): Unlike last season Liverpool will have the strain of Champions League matches in between league games and will need to properly manage their squad in order to keep everyone fresh. Additionally, Liverpool’s defense is arguably the weakest out fo the main contenders fr the league and they’ll need new man DejanLovren to step in and be an immediate impact.

Sauharda (The Devils’ Advocate): Liverpool’s biggest vulnerability would most certainly be their leaky wider defensive areas. The issue could be seen at many instances last season – so many chances created and assists made from wider areas with passes running across the width of the pitch. The problems were almost exclusive to the 4-man back-line rather than with the 3-5-2. The problem were expected to be addressed towards the start of this pre-season, but considering that all the three goals that Liverpool conceded against United in Miami were created from passes from out wide, we could see a similar issue towards the start of the season.

What do you think of Brendan Rodgers as a coach?

Jamie (The Invisible Men): He has one thing common with other managers at top teams, big egos. But I do think he is a great manager and wants what is best for his club in his own way.

Vishal (Under the Bridge): Brendan Rodgers had a dream season last time around, and did very well to improve so many players and his entire team. Can he do it again? Rodgers wont lose his job, even if Liverpool do finish outside the top 4, so he should continue to focus on doing what he does best, and implementing his plans.

Miran (Dial Square): It will be interesting to see how Rodgers fares without Suarez and in European competition now that he has more than just the league to worry about. Tactically, he’s a very good manager but the strains of losing your best player while having to work around more midweek games will test any manager no matter of their pedigree.

Sauharda (The Devils’ Advocate): Having successfully transcribed his Swansea philosophy at Anfield, there are now very few doubts surrounding Rodgers’ capability as a top flight manager. He bears the idea of bringing in players who can fit into his philosophy rather than constantly trimming his approach to instill players. The transfers made in this window stand to prove the same. This makes his dynamic tactical approach even more favorable, with players comfortably and quickly adapting to playing in a wider range of formations since both players and tactics share the common philosophy and mentality. As far as this season is concerned, Rodgers has a lot of work to do, especially with regard to adjusting with the departure of their talisman. It’s obvious how desperate for silverware this season, so a trophy-less finish and a poor league performance could see the manager out the door.

Which young Talent Radar player do you see making the maximum impact?

Jamie (The Invisible Men): Raheem Sterling as stated above he’s a phenomenal player who really has no limit in to how far his ability can go.

Vishal (Under the Bridge):  It’s been said before, but it’s worth saying again. Raheem Sterling is a player who propelled Liverpool up the table towards the end of last season, with excellent performances in big games. Speed, strength, and imagination rolled into one make Sterling. This season, he’ll face expectations and responsibility within the team, and it should be interesting to see how he gets on.

Miran (Dial Square): For Liverpool, it’s definitely Raheem Sterling and his huge offensive upside. Liverpool will look to a number of players to replicate recently-departed Luis Suarez’s numbers from last season and the incredibly pacey Sterling will be someone who will need to take that next step to live up to the considerable hype placed on his young shoulders.

Sauharda (The Devils’ Advocate): Raheem Sterling. The young English international is thriving under Brendan Rodgers’ system at Liverpool. With the enormous backing of both manager and fans, the youngster can be expected to step up a gear this season. The arrival of more players in similar roles leaves Sterling with a lot more competition to retain his spot in the line-up, which should only be to his benefit.

What do you think of Liverpool’s transfer activity?

Jamie (The Invisible Men): Lazar Markovic. A lot has been made about how many players they have signed from Southampton, but Lallana and Lovren had a great season last year and should do well for Liverpool. I’m not so sure on the signing of Lambert though.

Vishal (Under the Bridge): Lot of interesting signings, but the one that will be important is Lallana. As an attacking force, Liverpool have lost out on the man called Suarez, and that is a big loss. This is a player who is going to fit in well with the pressing, and dynamic attacking tactics that Brendan Rodgers likes to use. He’ll probably be drafted into the team right away, and will need to set the stage for the likes of Sturridge to find the back of the net.

Miran (Dial Square): Liverpool has positioned themselves well for the future with a number of solid young signings such as Lazar Markovic, Emre Can and DivockOrigi. Can seems to be a versatile tool capable of influencing the game in a number of ways so he’s one to keep an eye out for the future. Though I feel that they overpaid for Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren.

Sauharda (The Devils’ Advocate): 

The sale of Suarez has brought in a fresh injection of cash for Rodgers to bring in the right players, and the money does seem to have been put to good use. Considering how the manager likes to play quick, agile players around his primary goal scorer, Lallana and Markovic appear to be decent deals on a tactical outlook.The best capture would be that of Dejan Lovren, which was quite intriguing. Considering the typical Rodgers’ system, one would note that Liverpool lacked a proper ball-playing defender under him last season.

Follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieRosbottom, Vishal @VishalNPatel7, Miran @therealbozz and Sauharda @sauhardaK

Give a read to all our Shankly’s Men articles here.


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