Jürgen Klopp’s team fail to live up to their own high standards
Last season, Liverpool won both domestic cups and came close within two goals of the quadruple, missing out on the title on the final day, before defeat in the Champions League Final.
This time round, the Reds ended the campaign trophyless, unless you count the Community Shield, and outside the top four for the first time since 2016.
The early warning signs were there, with Liverpool failing to win any of their first three games for the first time in a decade.
In fact, following a 2-1 home defeat to Leeds at end of October, Jürgen Klopp’s team were languishing in ninth place.
Shortly after the World Cup break, Klopp’s job was genuinely under threat.
His side lost four successive away games, swatted aside by Brentford, Brighton and Wolves in the league, also dumped out the FA Cup at the Amex.
A few weeks later, the season was essentially over, with the Reds dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.
The first leg at Anfield provided a rollercoaster of emotions, with Liverpool racing into a 2-0 lead after only 14 minutes, before falling apart and suffering a 5-2 defeat.
Then came their undisputed highlight of the season, with Klopp’s team demolishing fierce rivals Manchester United 7-0, with all the goals coming in a remarkable 45 minute spree.
Cody Gakpo only broke the deadlock on the cusp of half time, before Liverpool added six more after the interval; nobody in attendance or watching anywhere around the world will forget that game in a hurry.
Six days later though, the Reds were beaten 1-0 by Bournemouth at Dean Court, encapsulating the inconsistency this team experienced all season.
Towards the end of the campaign, they won seven on the spin, including that bonkers victory over Tottenham, but it wasn’t enough to gatecrash the top four, with Liverpool having to settle for fifth place.
So, last season’s Champions League runners-up will not be in the Champions League next season, and getting back into Europe’s premier club competition has to be the priority.
With next season’s Europa League Final taking place just over the Irish Sea in Dublin, supporters in particular would love to win that tournament for the fourth time.
Will a new-look Liverpool team challenge next season?
Four stalwarts of the Jürgen Klopp era will have a departed, namely Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Naby Keïta and Roberto Firmino.
Meantime, the recent editions of Darwin Núñez, Luis Díaz and Cody Gakpo have all been made to fill the void left by Firmino and Sadio Mané before him.
So, this isn’t groundbreaking to say, but the biggest revamp is needed in midfield.
Curtis Jones enjoyed an extended run in the side towards the end of the campaign, while teenager Stefan Bajčetić excelled when he was in the side before a season-ending injury.
But reinforcements are required and, with Jude Bellingham out of their price range, it seems as though Alexis Mac Allister is the club’s primary target, although he won’t come cheap either.
Towards the end of the season, Klopp experimented with Trent Alexander-Arnold as a Zinchenko-esque inverted full-back, possibly to hide his defensive deficiencies, and Liverpool’s own midfield issues.
Will this continue into next season, or will Liverpool’s midfield have been strengthened to such an extent this is no longer required in quite the same way?