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      Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?

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      JD
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      Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Jul 26, 2019 10:59:56 am
      Man City powered their way through the English domestic season last year with their three trophies, but the reds claimed the top European prize.

      Although both sides had different fortunes in the domestic cups (I would argue we had different levels of opponents) in the Premier League the two teams were separated by just 2 points.

      I'm kind of after people's gut reactions here.  I'm coming down on the side that it's been a bit of a missed opportunity - but if I try to look at it both ways.

      On one hand you can say that we haven't brought anyone significant in. 

      On the other hand you could say the team are a year further on together, they have sampled success in Madrid and we do have a couple of players available who missed last season - Oxlade-C and Brewster.

      On balance - will these things close the gap on or overtake Man City? Or should we have done more in the market?  Maybe trying to integrate 'star names' can unbalance your squad and affect early season results?
      heimdall
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #1: Jul 26, 2019 11:03:55 am
      Man City powered their way through the English domestic season last year with their three trophies, but the reds claimed the top European prize.

      Although both sides had different fortunes in the domestic cups (I would argue we had different levels of opponents) in the Premier League the two teams were separated by just 2 points.

      I'm kind of after people's gut reactions here.  I'm coming down on the side that it's been a bit of a missed opportunity - but if I try to look at it both ways.

      On one hand you can say that we haven't brought anyone significant in. 

      On the other hand you could say the team are a year further on together, they have sampled success in Madrid and we do have a couple of players available who missed last season - Oxlade-C and Brewster.

      On balance - will these things close the gap on or overtake Man City? Or should we have done more in the market?  Maybe trying to integrate 'star names' can unbalance your squad and affect early season results?

      We Need more cover in attack, unless we get it we will be weaker than last year, the reason I say that is because all 3 of our strikers were overworked last season and have not had a proper break this summer so it will be a miracle if there arent; any injuries or burn out through the season, we simply can't rely on just having Origi and Brewster as cover.
      HScRed1
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #2: Jul 26, 2019 11:20:48 am
      I would imagine winning the CL league has given the players huge belief and confidence in picking up a major trophy and who knows what sort of wonders that can do to not only the first team but whole squad.

      But there again being realistic are we really expecting the front 3 to remain injury free the whole season, no doubt we can play tight and rely on the defence to grind out wins but that would be a huge risk.

      Will be a missed opportunity imo if we don’t bring in cover for the front 3.
      racerx34
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #3: Jul 26, 2019 11:29:09 am
      Man City powered their way through the English domestic season last year with their three trophies, but the reds claimed the top European prize.

      Although both sides had different fortunes in the domestic cups (I would argue we had different levels of opponents) in the Premier League the two teams were separated by just 2 points.

      I'm kind of after people's gut reactions here.  I'm coming down on the side that it's been a bit of a missed opportunity - but if I try to look at it both ways.

      On one hand you can say that we haven't brought anyone significant in. 

      On the other hand you could say the team are a year further on together, they have sampled success in Madrid and we do have a couple of players available who missed last season - Oxlade-C and Brewster.

      On balance - will these things close the gap on or overtake Man City? Or should we have done more in the market?  Maybe trying to integrate 'star names' can unbalance your squad and affect early season results?

      It looks like Klopp will put his faith in the return of Ox & Brewster.

      If we look at why City dominated it's really because they've been able to field two first XIs without any significant drop off in quality.
      Are Liverpool in a position to do that? I don't believe so. I think we'd all like to see an extra attacking player arrive in some shape or form.

      Then the only way Liverpool can beat City is squad cohesion.
      For Liverpool to beat City then parts of the City squad will increasingly need to become frustrated with being the 2nd choice.
      « Last Edit: Jul 26, 2019 02:25:55 pm by racerx34 »
      andylfcynwa
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #4: Jul 26, 2019 11:47:40 am
      While I can understand Klopp not wanting to unsettle the team , I didn’t think we would go into the season having bought no one , now it can’t be down to money because as it stands we should have plenty in reserve , being it was Coutunho,s sale that funded a lot of last season’s transfers ,
      I think most fans assumed on the back of last season’s success we would be straight into the market the fact we haven’t as of yet leaves a lot of fans mystified,
      I think the one over riding factor is we won’t buy top top quality to sit on the bench,
      On their day our front three are unplayable  , is there anyone that could genuinely unseat one of them without busting the bank I don’t think there is .
      waltonl4
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #5: Jul 26, 2019 11:49:03 am
      1 point that's all were behind City 1 point. Every year Jürgen has improved this club since he has been here and we have also been in 4 finals winning the big one this year. Who wouldn't want to have more quality in the squad regardless of cost but this man has done more than enough to earn our trust. If it was funds he needed the owners would not dare deny him £70mil in net spend since he has been here is incredible transfer dealings.
      What bothers me is the people demanding £100mil transfers are going to be complaining like f**k when we lose or draw a game they will be insufferable .
      racerx34
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #6: Jul 26, 2019 11:52:25 am
      1 point that's all were behind City 1 point. Every year Jürgen has improved this club since he has been here and we have also been in 4 finals winning the big one this year. Who wouldn't want to have more quality in the squad regardless of cost but this man has done more than enough to earn our trust. If it was funds he needed the owners would not dare deny him £70mil in net spend since he has been here is incredible transfer dealings.
      What bothers me is the people demanding £100mil transfers are going to be complaining like f**k when we lose or draw a game they will be insufferable .

      Momentum is everything in sports & I can understand some fans concern that this could be a missed opportunity to capitalise on the momentum from winning the CL. That said, it can't be easy to get the quality the squad needs in this moment & I'm sure Klopp et al will get the right players when they can. Unfortunately that might mean waiting, because LFC is not City.
      Swab
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #7: Jul 26, 2019 11:53:30 am
      I don't think it's possible for us to close the gap in terms of player acquisition alone.

      What I would argue, is that Klopp has shown that a squad and team is about more than the sum of its parts, and he has shown that consistently throughout his career.
      I think that having the first trophy in the bag is a huge step forwards in terms of development, confidence and belief.

      However, despite having great options in central defense and midfield, I think we are a little light on the flanks, both defensively and in  attack.
      I know we have options there, but I think we have room for more specialised players rather than someone who can play say, RB or LB and "do a job".

      So, in terms of personnel, we are behind city.
      In terms of the intangibles that really make a team, we are ahead.
      RedWilly
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #8: Jul 26, 2019 11:55:10 am
      I think it is a bit of a missed opportunity if we don’t get someone else in.

      A quality attacked and a back up LB are priority imo. We can’t rely on our first choice to play every game.

      Saying that, Klopp knows what he is doing and Ox and Brewster could be big additions. Gut feeling is that isn’t enough to win the league though.
      heimdall
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #9: Jul 26, 2019 11:59:50 am
      While I can understand Klopp not wanting to unsettle the team , I didn’t think we would go into the season having bought no one , now it can’t be down to money because as it stands we should have plenty in reserve , being it was Coutunho,s sale that funded a lot of last season’s transfers ,
      I think most fans assumed on the back of last season’s success we would be straight into the market the fact we haven’t as of yet leaves a lot of fans mystified,
      I think the one over riding factor is we won’t buy top top quality to sit on the bench,
      On their day our front three are unplayable  , is there anyone that could genuinely unseat one of them without busting the bank I don’t think there is .

      then why not bust the bank?
      Magillionare
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #10: Jul 26, 2019 12:00:18 pm
      We don’t really know until:

      1) The window closes
      2) We see the potential of younger talent in the PL

      2 more signings wouldn’t hurt though
      heimdall
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #11: Jul 26, 2019 12:02:12 pm
      1 point that's all were behind City 1 point. Every year Jürgen has improved this club since he has been here and we have also been in 4 finals winning the big one this year. Who wouldn't want to have more quality in the squad regardless of cost but this man has done more than enough to earn our trust. If it was funds he needed the owners would not dare deny him £70mil in net spend since he has been here is incredible transfer dealings.
      What bothers me is the people demanding £100mil transfers are going to be complaining like f**k when we lose or draw a game they will be insufferable .

      If we don't sign someone and get a length injury to one of our front three and have to rely on Origi and Brewster who turn out to not be quite as good as some people think then yes you can be 100% sure I'll be complaining.
      I just find it insane why we can't find a quality forward to compliment our current front three.
      waltonl4
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #12: Jul 26, 2019 12:04:42 pm
      Momentum is everything in sports & I can understand some fans concern that this could be a missed opportunity to capitalise on the momentum from winning the CL. That said, it can't be easy to get the quality the squad needs in this moment & I'm sure Klopp et al will get the right players when they can. Unfortunately that might mean waiting, because LFC is not City.

      We have incredible momentum though don't we 1 league defeat and the CL win is a massive leap and almost impossible to beat regardless of how much we spend this season. City can afford to take chances buying their players as FFP doesn't seem to apply to them and can take the loss when they leave or go out on loan.

      When we get all the lads back together they will be hungry to go one better in the league
      lfc across the water
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #13: Jul 26, 2019 12:09:34 pm
      The gap last year was one point.

      We'll have a better idea of how much progress we've made after the Charity Shield.
      Essex Mingle
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #14: Jul 26, 2019 01:15:59 pm
      In all honesty we can’t close the gap. We are just the best prepared of the rest to take advantage when/if they start to weaken.

      We need City to have peaked and to be on the decline. That's the way I see it unfortunately
      ed603em
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #15: Jul 26, 2019 01:18:07 pm

      If we look at why City dominated it's really because they've been able to field two first XIs without any significant drop of in quality.

      My gut feeling is that Klopp doesn’t want to have a squad that big full of players who expect to be regular first team starters. I think he is more comfortable with a smaller pool of established players with younger players who are still at a stage where they can be moulded and coached ... to operate this way you need to reduce the fixture list hence our interest in the League and FA Cups in recent seasons (I’m with Klopp 100% on this btw - both are near worthless in terms of their prestige and / or financial rewards nowadays so he is right to approach them in the way that he has)

      I am a believer in bringing in new players to remind the existing pool that their places aren’t guaranteed - not bringing in anyone could breed complacency
      Swab
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #16: Jul 26, 2019 01:19:25 pm
      The gap last year was one point.

      We'll have a better idea of how much progress we've made after the Charity Shield.

      So, we'll have a better idea of progress after one match which is little more than a pre-season friendly?

      Nope.

      We'll have a better idea after 38 league matches.
      Cad1875
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #17: Jul 26, 2019 01:21:16 pm
      Man City powered their way through the English domestic season last year with their three trophies, but the reds claimed the top European prize.

      Although both sides had different fortunes in the domestic cups (I would argue we had different levels of opponents) in the Premier League the two teams were separated by just 2 points.

      I'm kind of after people's gut reactions here.  I'm coming down on the side that it's been a bit of a missed opportunity - but if I try to look at it both ways.

      On one hand you can say that we haven't brought anyone significant in. 

      On the other hand you could say the team are a year further on together, they have sampled success in Madrid and we do have a couple of players available who missed last season - Oxlade-C and Brewster.

      On balance - will these things close the gap on or overtake Man City? Or should we have done more in the market?  Maybe trying to integrate 'star names' can unbalance your squad and affect early season results?

      Better idea after the transfer window their squad is a tad stronger IMO, but our returning players will put that up for debate once up and running.

      I think our team spirit is something special, more than any other club in the league,it gets the job done,along with our support we are some force to be reckoned with, nobody does it like us, and thats a fact . .

      After #6 my biggest fear is coping with injuries, everybody is going to want a piece of us, I can understand why a couple of marquee signings would seem appropriate,but thats Jurgens call just trust the guy to get on with it.

       VAR and the officials under the microscope will have a huge part to play in the coming season because its so unclear and open to debate its supposed to make it easier
       ,I dont think our officials are up to much and I will say it clear many dont have our best interests at heart no matter how unbiased they say they are  ,its not Manchester City we want to be wary off in the coming season , its the men in black and a TV monitor after watching some of the calls in the African Nations I dont think some of the refs were on the right channel never mind the correct match,theres going to be some stooshie when it all goes pear shaped

      « Last Edit: Jul 26, 2019 01:27:52 pm by Cad1875 »
      fields of anny rd
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #18: Jul 26, 2019 02:01:56 pm
      The squad is a little bit thinner. I'd say we have missed the opportunity as it stands.
      Swab
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #19: Jul 26, 2019 02:25:21 pm
      The squad is a little bit thinner. I'd say we have missed the opportunity as it stands.

      The one's who've left hardly played though.

      Milner was preferred to Moreno at LB, and Sturridge was either injured or looked out of his depth.

      I've been more impressed with Brewsters play in pre-season than I have been with Surridge during Klopp's time here.
      Sturridge is one of the most naturally gifted strikers I've seen in terms of goalscoring ability, but his general play was simply not suited to Klopp's systems, he slowed things down way too much every time he came deep and got the ball.

      I'm not saying we shouldn't get anyone in, just mking the point that neither of them will be missed, and that Brewster looks far more suited to Klopps systems.
      I know it's early days, and it's only pre-season, but the signs are there.
      7-King Kenny-7
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #20: Jul 26, 2019 02:27:16 pm
      As it stands we have probably weakened the squad compared to last year. Sturridge has gone and if you put all injuries to one side, he’s a proven goal scorer. The player essentially replacing him to add cover is an 18 year old who is yet to make his debut and spent a year out with a bad knee injury. A complete unknown quantity as it stands.

      Also with Moreno gone, we now only have 1 actual LB. Moreno is far from a reliable option but he was that, an option. Now we haven’t even replaced him so relying on the versatility of another player to cover for Robbo, always a gamble, especially if the player filling in hasn’t played that role for a while.

      Klopp has described the return of Ox, Lallana and Brewster as new signings but once again, it’s putting faith in injury prone players or players on the back of a serious injury....was this not the reason we backed out of the Fekir deal?...
      Lallana and Ox have also picked up injuries in pre-season so already it’s not the best of starts for the “new signings”.

      City last year didn’t go mad, they signed one player for about 60mill to add depth and another quality option. This year they’ve not gone mad and have added Rodri for a similar fee, again a player of first 11 quality.

      I’m not saying we need to spend 60mill on a player, because we’ve proven time and again the fee is irrelevant, so it doesn’t make a difference if we sign a player for 3mill as long as he is the right option and will improve us.

      All well and good saying we only lost 1 league game and finished a point behind City, but ultimately it makes no difference if we lost more and finished further behind because the outcome is the same; City are the champions. In fact, it drives me mad seeing people say we only lost 1 game, I’d have rather of lost 4 like City and ended up winning the league. It’s not how many you lose, it’s how many you win which is the vital part.

      Do I think we’ve improved? No.
      Do I think we will hit 97 points again? No.
      Do I think we will have good domestic cup runs? No.

      As it stands we are once again putting a huge reliance on not picking up injuries to the front 3. Origi scores some vital goals but come on, in the time he’s been with us, and out on loan, he’s proven he’s not a reliable and top class option. He’s not a player we can turn to and be confident he will get the vital goals like he did last season.


      Obviously there are benefits though, we’ve not lost any key players and it’s more time of the same core of players being together and improving as a unit. But Spurs showed last season, it can work well like that to a point, but them not signing anyone allowed us to overtake them and now move ahead of them.

      When you are at the top you don’t sit still and rest on your laurels. Being in the position we are now means we can get nearly any player we could possibly want within reason, in a years time the opportunity may not be there.

      My biggest concern is that on our previous title hunts, we didn’t take the opportunity to take the next step and it cost us massively, the following seasons we struggled. And I know people say it’s only pre season and results and performances aren’t important, but the pre seasons that followed our previous 2nd place finishes, if I remember rightly, we struggled - in fact didn’t Klopp’s Mainz turn us over? And this year, we aren’t looking good in pre season.

      Whether people deem 1 point as a massive gap or a small gap is irrelevant because it’s still a gap we need to close, and regardless of opponents faced, their domestic cup success suggests the gap maybe bigger than we think.

      Someone said the other day, strike whilst the iron is hot, and I completely agree.

      This is our chance to go up another level, I hope the summer business will be justified, regardless of whether that’s signing a player or not. We were so close last season, it would be a shame for us to fall away like after we finished 2nd before.
      « Last Edit: Jul 26, 2019 02:32:05 pm by 7-King Kenny-7 »
      Borg
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #21: Jul 26, 2019 02:32:12 pm
      Very happy this thread was created....giving us all a space to be the back seat manager. Thanks

      Questions and answers:

      Can we expect ManC to continue piling up 98+ points per seasons?
      Yes. Proven track record over continuous seasons. Continued influx of talent. A healthy de Bruyne. A defense that was the PL's finest down the stretch. True scoring options both up front and at midfield. Superior depth.

      Can LFC duplicate its record points total with the same roster (essentially)?
      Doubtful
      For me, LFC's march to a PL title is all about consistency in scoring goals. Seven draws last season mainly because of an inability to gain clean strikes in the box was their down fall.
      Salah came back to earth (somewhat) in 2018-19 as defenders figured a way out to contain his left foot. I maintain his 2017-18 season was an outlier and I expect his goal scoring total to resemble this past season.
      I expect Mane to continue to ascend in the goal scoring dept.
      Firmino is a tough prediction. He cleans up loose balls and thrives against Top 6. I want to believe he will net more goals but the man gets dinged up so frequently.
      Origi now has a defined role.....target in the box and clutch shooter. Physically, the man is massive and will be an enticing target for Robertson and Trent. Outside the box, Origi brings little. Lack of ball carrying/passing skills. That's OK.
      Shaqiri....I'm putting him in the irrelevant column until he Klopp regains trust in the guy.
      My bottom line: I expect 5 more goals from the front 3 plus their substitutes assuming no prolonged health issues.

      Goal scoring from LFC midfielders remains a concern. Klopp's 2018-19 style of play certainly played a factor in this group's low goal total. Ball control from the back line and an offense designed to feed the front three using TAA and Robertson limited midfielder opportunities. The question: Will Klopp allow this group more freedom like in 2017-18?
      Note: When Henderson was allowed to charge into the box late last season he delivered. Ox was the straw that stirred the drink in the Spring of 2018.  In other words, this group has the ability to net goals. The question is how Klopp instructs them.
      His defensive minded strategy earned LFC 97 points but 7 draws earned 7 out of 21 points....one short.

      On defense, relinquishing a league best 22 goals was incredible but I will argue the back 4 showed more vulnerability in the back half of the season despite the low goal totals. Lets not ignore the high number of goals LFC gave up on the road in the CL.

      My expectations:
      LFC will lose more than once and I predict 4 losses. Like Salah coming back to his norms, I don't expect LFC to replicate anything close to their 1 loss season.
      Odds are injuries will also be more prevalent this coming season vs last. Expecting the front 3 to remain whole given the frequency and number of games these guys must play is unrealistic. Fingers crossed...but.....the sport can be brutal

      As currently constructed, 88-90 points....2nd place.

      Note: For me....and I absolutely believe in the minds of ownership despite their public proclamations, the team's #1 goal will always be Champions League glory or at least deep runs in the knockout stages. (Pochettino agrees)
      13 games vs 38.....$116 mill potential vs a few extra mill for moving up a slot on the PL table.
      Continued rise in the "coefficient" rankings is free money for the team. Right now, #1 coefficient Real Madrid gets $39 mill of free money just for qualifying for CL. LFC is currently 12 on the list....but should accelerate quickly up the list with continued CL success.
      The insane amount of prize money available in CL trumps all else....IMO. We all know the horrible challenges teams face without sufficient revenue to finance ambitions.
      The ugly truth: Money makes the team and the only way LFC can compete financially with ManC is to go deep into the CL.
      The great news for this coming season is LFC is a number one seed in the upcoming CL and their path to the knockout stage is virtually a given.

      No doubt this team will play to win every game (never an issue unless its a rinky dink cup match) but at some point in the season hard decisions regarding priorities will get made. LFC managed to fight for 2 cups till the very end in this past year of near perfection. I don't expect as close a race (as currently constructed).
      Hope Klopp proves me very wrong.

      Buy a legit striker and I will rewrite this post with much enthusiasm.




      « Last Edit: Jul 26, 2019 02:39:17 pm by Borg »
      CT_LFC
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #22: Jul 26, 2019 03:24:59 pm
      As it stands we have probably weakened the squad compared to last year.

      I disagree with that. How many minutes did Moreno get last year? not much above zero so he doesn't really count. I imagine his spot can easily be taken by Lewis/Larouci/Hoever on the roster.

      As for Sturridge, he mainly got the crumbs at the end of the game with the very rate start so Brewster getting those minutes is hardly a weakening of the squad.

      As it stands we are once again putting a huge reliance on not picking up injuries to the front 3. Origi scores some vital goals but come on, in the time he’s been with us, and out on loan, he’s proven he’s not a reliable and top class option. He’s not a player we can turn to and be confident he will get the vital goals like he did last season.

      I think you are selling Origi a bit short. He scored massive goals for us and has continued to score this pre-season with 3 more so i think he is going to be a valued contributor in the upcoming season.

      What i would say is that we haven't improved the team with transfers and we're hoping it will improve organically and i think that is a risk. I still maintain a winger would be a long way to getting us that evasive title.
      Swab
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #23: Jul 26, 2019 03:26:02 pm
                                             
       

      Origi now has a defined role.....target in the box and clutch shooter. Physically, the man is massive and will be an enticing target for Robertson and Trent. Outside the box, Origi brings little. Lack of ball carrying/passing skills.

      Klopp's 2018-19 style of play certainly played a factor in this group's low goal total.


      Origi played wide left on a number of occasions last season.
      He's also not "massive" (That would be VVD)
      He's 6'1" and 12 stone, which is light for a footballer.

      Last season we scored more goals and conceded fewer than the season before.

      It might be an idea to check these things before making a judgement.
      7-King Kenny-7
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      Re: Have we closed the gap on Man City this summer?
      Reply #24: Jul 26, 2019 04:04:51 pm
      I disagree with that. How many minutes did Moreno get last year? not much above zero so he doesn't really count. I imagine his spot can easily be taken by Lewis/Larouci/Hoever on the roster.

      As for Sturridge, he mainly got the crumbs at the end of the game with the very rate start so Brewster getting those minutes is hardly a weakening of the squad.

      I think you are selling Origi a bit short. He scored massive goals for us and has continued to score this pre-season with 3 more so i think he is going to be a valued contributor in the upcoming season.

      What i would say is that we haven't improved the team with transfers and we're hoping it will improve organically and i think that is a risk. I still maintain a winger would be a long way to getting us that evasive title.

      It’s not so much the amount Moreno and Sturridge played, more the fact we had the option.
      Let’s not forget Sturridge smashed pre season last year and was playing well when he was playing, it was just Xmas onwards he then dropped right off.

      But look at the time Origi played between the winner vs Everton and the Barca game, he scored once(?) and he could have won us the game vs West Ham. Largely his overall performance I think was quite average. I think the Barca game is the only game I can actually think of where I think, yeah he played damn good. Doesn’t take away the importance of his goals though. But I think it’s a significant drop in quality from our first choice 3, where as City have all 6 of their attack at a similar, very high level and I think we should have been looking to bridge that gap one way or another.

      But like I say, it’s the options we had that we now don’t and we can analyse games all day, doesn’t change anything. I just hope that the squad we go with is a well justified squad.
      « Last Edit: Jul 26, 2019 04:23:11 pm by 7-King Kenny-7 »

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