Liverpool's underwhelming season review: Missed Champions League, defensive struggles, and midfield rejuvenation needed.
|Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander Arnold and Mohammed Salah debate over a freekick in a premier league game. (Photo credit: Premierleague.com)|
When pundits across the football world drew their predictions for the 2022–2023 season, half of the professionals tipped Liverpool to challenge and wrestle the title from the claws of the roaring Cityzens. Nothing of the sort happened, and that explains how Liverpool’s campaign went.
Liverpool finished fifth, missing out on the Champions League for the first time since Jurgen Klopp joined the club.
His record as the manager at Anfield remains enviable, so it’s laughable for anyone to call for his sack, but the club must learn from a turbulent season.
Sadio Mane left the club in the summer of 2022 to join Bayern Munich.
Mohammed Salah signed a new contract that pushed him to £350k/week, and by all standards, the Egyptian king deserved the pay rise, but a few clogs appeared here and there to impede Liverpool’s season.
The signing of Darwin Nunez for £85m was a good statement to refresh the forward line alongside Luis Dias, who joined in the winter window before Mane left, and Diogo Jota, who already had Premier League experience, but somehow Liverpool neglected an ageing midfield.
Expecting Harvey Elliot and Curtis Jones to back up flawlessly for Fabinho, the ever-injured Naby Keita, and the seemingly tired Jordan Henderson was a joke that came back to haunt Liverpool, and Klopp would know the club missed an opportunity in that regard.
While Elliot punched above his personal weights in the just concluded season, the same couldn’t be said of Jones and every other youngster that was introduced to play an inverted role in Liverpool’s struggling midfield at pivotal points in the season.
The defence didn’t do better either.
Alison faced too many shots for comfort, and the Brazilian saved Liverpool too many times.
Virgil Van Dijk struggled at some points, and the preferred Ibrahim Konate didn’t look assured for most of the season.
Joel Matip tried his best, but the likes of Trent Alexander Arnold, Joe Gomez, and Andy Robertson wouldn’t rank the season as their favourites despite their obvious individual qualities.
Alexander Arnold found his form late in the season, but that must also be due to the fact that Klopp changed his role.
We can see what Pep Guardiola is doing with John Stones and Mikel Arteta with Alex Zinchenko.
Klopp deployed Alexander Arnold as an inverted right-back, and he’s been amazing since then.
He will be found out, but until then, FPL managers will milk his strength.
Up front, Mohammed Salah scored thirty goals in all competitions, but many still didn’t rate his season as being successful.
That’s a result of his own high standards, but in truth, there were patches in which the Egyptian struggled.
Cody Gakpo and Nunez weighed in with goals but not enough to get Liverpool into champions league places.
Roberto Firmino has played his last game for Liverpool, but Liverpool isn’t short in that regard.
James Milner has left the club for Brighton, and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain was released after the expiration of his contract at Anfield.
Alexis Mac Allister has joined Liverpool for a reported fee of £35m.
And it’s the beginning of the rejuvenation that Liverpool's midfield needs, but more names need to come in for Liverpool to be able to compete with their roaring rivals.
Liverpool crashed out of the Champions League in the round of 16 after an epic capitulation at home to Real Madrid.
The club didn’t impress in the FA Cup or the League Cup. They did beat City to the Community Shield, but for all the expectations, it was an underwhelming season.
Season verdict: D
A: Excellent season
B+: Very good and successful season
B: Very good season
C: Average season
D: Poor season
E: Bad season
F: Failed season