If you had told Liverpool fans at the start of the season they would finish eighth in the table with 60 points (2 places and 2 points less than last season), and behind Leicester, Southampton and West Ham, the feeling on Merseyside would have been dark and stormy. That will was a horrible season.
But the atmosphere on the Kop is anything but. If anything, Liverpool fans cannot wait until next season because they think they are seeing the start of something magical under Jurgen Klopp.
In his 8 months at Anfield, Klopp has totally transformed the attitude and energy at the club. Liverpool fans have already seen Klopp take the Reds to Wembley for the League Cup Final and next week the Kop will temporarily to Basel where Klopp will try and deliver Liverpool’s 12 major European trophy. And more importantly a win in Basel against Seville will not only give Liverpool a Champions League place next season, but they would be one of the top 8 seeds also.
But before Liverpool leave for Basel they had a final league at West Brom, in which the Reds reserves drew 1-1. Klopp defended his team selection after the game saying:
“I brought the best line-up today which I thought was the best for this game.
“We made a few changes – 11 – and it absolutely made sense because it’s perfectly clear you cannot play here with 50 per cent concentration.
“The young boys did really well and we played football. We deserved this point and it was absolutely okay for us.”
But is was clear that Klopp’s and Liverpool’s minds were focused on the upcoming Europa League Final on Sunday:
“I’m not too important, it’s not about how important it is for me. It is a European final and so what could be bigger?
I know a week-and-a-half later is the Champions League final, but that is the only bigger game until the European Championships.
This is the second-biggest in this moment in Europe. I think it’s quite big and we will try everything to take the opportunity.
It is difficult – we know. It is against Sevilla – we know. But we will be prepared, 100 per cent.
Like we deserved the point today, so we deserve to be a part of the final – 100 per cent.
And who deserves to be in a final can win and that’s what we’ll try.
Klopp is already busy planning for next season and has raided Bayern Munich to fill two positions on his coaching staff. The German is a long-time admirer of Bayern’s fitness work, having seen it up close from his time at Dortmund, and has tempted Andreas Kornmayer to leave his position as fitness coach at Bayern for Anfield this summer. The Liverpool boss has also persuaded Bayern’s nutritionist Mona Nemmer to be part of a new-look conditioning team at Anfield next season.