Is Liverpool still a dominant powerhouse of football in England?
At the end of the 2011-12 season Liverpool fans came to horrifying realization – their beloved Reds were no longer a dominant force in England. Last season was one of the most intense seasons in the history of the English Premier League.
Manchester City and Manchester United fought the closest battle for the English Premier League title in history. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were title contenders as well, but they most fought among themselves near the end of the season.
Chelsea and Newcastle Untied battled to qualify for Champions League. Unluckily, Newcastle United got the fourth spot on the table, but as Chelsea won the Champions League they were automatically hailed as the fourth team to contend in the coveted tournament.
Liverpool’s derby rivals Everton finished seventh, which meant they were a place above their archrivals in standings. Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has already declared this to be a comeback season for the Merseyside Reds.
Liverpool’s new manager Brendan Rodgers believes so too. In a recent interview to Liverpool’s official website, Brendan Rodgers talked about the club’s transfer policy and Europa League.
Liverpool gave birth to their worst performance nearly 60 years of Premier League last season. Brendan Rodgers has to finish in the upper quartile and come up with a happy ending in Europa League to prove Liverpool is still a dominant force in England.
Liverpool begins their Europa League campaign on Thursday by playing against the Belarussian side Gomel. Liverpool qualified for Europa League by winning the League Cup. Brendan Rodgers believes that extra matches and travelling will keep the players busy this season, but it will not distract the team from their primary objective.
“We are still finding our fitness and our match fitness so playing these games helps us,” Brendan Rodgers said. “It will give us that edge going into the beginning of this season. Players at this level are competitive so they love the competition. Even though we are still gaining fitness it's a competitive game and it's a tournament we would like to do well in.
“It's a bit of a hike and we've got to get on our travels again, but that's life and you've just got to get on with it. We are looking forward to the game and hopefully it will serve us well for the beginning of the season. I don't want to disrespect the Europa League, but there's no doubt the league is our priority and we want to finish as high as we possibly can.
“The Europa League is a competition we'd like to do well in. Obviously to do well in it you've got to play a lot of games and hopefully that will be the case. When you play for Liverpool every tournament and every game is a priority. I never look too further than the next game and that is Belarus on Thursday and we are looking forward to it.”