The 2011-2012 Premiership season saw Liverpool having a disastrous year by their standards.
A club rich in history and success, associated with challenging and winning the title, finished far below their expectations. Liverpool has been considered one of ‘The Big Four’ in the league, along with Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea. However, it all changed this year and they finished in 8th place, one place behind their Mersey rivals Everton. Liverpool finished on 52 points, a disappointing 37 points behind eventual winners Manchester City.
This follows the appointment of Kenny Dalglish, a hero among Liverpool fans, to the throne as manager in January 2011 (only to last at his post until May 2012). Dalglish spent over £100 million in signing new players to the clubs, without giving a due return. Many of these players are considered to be ‘world class’, and as a result of Liverpool not achieving a place in the Champions League next year, will not be playing at the highest standard of European club football. The absence of Champions League (and Premiership) prospects will mean that many of its high profile players may want to leave to a club were they have greater opportunities.
This is the case for Luis Suarez. The 25 year old Uruguayan striker is highly rated around the world, and will be chased by the top clubs. Juventus and Paris St. Germain have already expressed interest in signing him, but lying quietly so far are the Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are surely keen to sign such a player. Suarez has already suggested that a move to the Spanish La Liga sometime in his career might be on the horizon, “I hope to play in Spain in the future because, together with the English and Italian leagues, they are the best in the world” said Suarez.
Suarez was a controversial figure for Liverpool since his £22.8 million move from Dutch side Ajax, receiving an eight match ban for racial conflict with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, but his skill and speed make him a quality footballer. He can both score and create goals. For this reason, he is surely an important figure in next year’s campaign for Liverpool but the successor to Dalglish will have a tough time keeping him.
The first challenge for Dalglish’s successor will be to keep Liverpool’s best players at Anfield again next season so that they can rebuild and compete again.