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Can Liverpool Afford Another Season Without A Trophy

What could be the consequences of Liverpool failing to win a trophy for a second consecutive season?

When Jurgen Klopp arrived on Merseyside in late 2015, Liverpool fans knew the future could only be bright. Klopp had already proven himself as top manager, taking Borussia Dortmund back to the heights of German football and adapting a unique style of play in the process. 

Liverpool's owners Fenway Sporting Group hired the German coach with a multi year progress plan in mind, but the master of the gegenpress defied expectations. He took Liverpool to three cup finals before winning the Champions League within four seasons at the club. 

Jordan Henderson Premier League

This was quickly followed by the UEFA Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup. From being the bridesmaid to being the bride, winning three trophies in six months. Most importantly, the Premier League title followed the season after. 

Jurgen Klopp's name was then forever etched in the Liverpool history books and Liverpool were finally back atop their perch, as well as once again being the best and most feared team on the planet. But with success comes the expectation of further success, which Liverpool failed to gain last season.

Virgil van Dijk

The 2020/2021 season was not ideal for any club. The Coronavirus pandemic was still reaching dangerous levels, affecting the mental health of many members throughout multiple different areas of many football clubs as well as the physical health of players who had caught the virus. Clubs had also been dealt heavy financial blows due to empty stadiums for almost an entire season. 

But Liverpool's problems lay beyond the global pandemic. The club's failure to replace Dejan Lovren last summer would come back to haunt them as all of their first choice centre back options were struck down with injuries, forcing Jurgen Klopp to pull Fabinho from midfield, upsetting the balance of the side. 

Having four defenders suffer long term injuries in the one season is bad luck, but the club were well aware of the poor injury records of Joel Matip and Joe Gomez before this point. 

Jordan Pickford and Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool vs Everton match

Defending a league title is no easy feat in any season, but for Liverpool to finish completely empty handed was a disappointment to say the least. Their top four finish was met with joy and relief, but only because the situation leading up to that point was so bad that remaining in the Champions League this coming season was cause for celebration. 

It can be argued that not allowing the pandemic or injuries to be used as an excuse as harsh, but the bottom line is that Liverpool were left trophyless at the end of last season, and for a team that was fresh off the heels of winning their first league title in 30 years, this was simply not good enough. 

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Jordan Henderson

In sport especially in football, success must breed further success and no club understands the pressure of this more than Liverpool. The assumption is that a Premier League or Champions League must be won every season, when in fact it is any form of silverware that keeps the lifeblood of a successful team flowing. 

Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have achieved the top prizes in club football, it is now time to pursue all other trophies available. The reliance on winning the league title can be dangerous, as it is very rare a club can win it consecutively. 

Manchester City, Manchester United and inevitably Chelsea's activity in the transfer market will make retaining the league title all the more difficult, especially given the Reds silence in the window since the signing of Ibrahima Konate. If Liverpool make no further additions they could run into more issues next seasons if they have a similar bad spell of injuries. 

This is not to say Liverpool should give up the fight before it starts as they still have one of the best starting elevens in the league and in Europe. Squad depth will be a huge factor. 

Liverpool must be cautious and approach the season with the attitude that each trophy holds equal importance, as yet another season without silverware could be seriously damaging for the club. 

Ibrahima Konate

There is no issue of loyalty at Liverpool at this time, but if the club finish the 2021/22 season without a trophy, some players' heads could be more easily turned. 

Players such as Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are both approaching the age of 30 and will want to potentially finish their careers on a high with big names such as PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona always keeping tabs on the two. 

(Sipa USA)

(Sipa USA)

A less likely scenario is the potential departure of Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool legend would not leave the club high and dry because he wants to win trophies, but more the stresses and pressure that comes with trying to keep Liverpool at the top. 

Despite their frustrations, fans will always remain loyal to Liverpool even in the worst of times, but after the heights of the past three years, it would be a shame to see the club drift back down the pecking order behind clubs who have a financial stranglehold over the Premier League.