Liverpool FC 2016/2017 Season Review

Yes I know, this post is ridiculously late on the blog but better late than never ay? Below I provide you with a quick rundown of each month of the 2016/2017 season. 

Was 4th place good enough? Why do I think Klopp can often be as stubborn as hell? Why did 2017 contain one of the worst matches I have ever watched as a Liverpool fan? Read on to find out.

August

Liverpool kicked off Jurgen Klopp's full season as manager in a game away to Arsenal. The Reds have had some interesting fixtures with Arsene Wenger's side over recent years and this opening tie was no different.

Seven goals were scored in the game, four of which came from Liverpool. I was left with a strange sense of disappointment at the result though after I bet 50p on a 4-4 scoreline for a hundred quid haha.
Image via Liverpool Echo | Jurgen Klopp: "It's really difficult looking for glasses without glasses."
The Reds also picked up a draw with Spurs this month but famously were beaten 2-0 by Burnley.  A 5-0 win over Burton Albion in the second round of the League Cup completed the month of August.

September

Liverpool kicked off September with a convincing win over Champions Leicester. In the 4-1 win Firmino, Mane and Lallana all found the back of the net. A tough tie against Antonio Conte's Chelsea followed but the Reds put on a fantastic performance at Stamford Bridge. 

The match included that ridiculous goal from Dejan Lovren. Google it, it's worth another watch.
Image via 101greatgoals | What a great goal from Lovren
The remainder of September saw Liverpool beat Derby in the League Cup and pick up three points against Hull.

At this point of the season, despite the slip up against Burnley, things were going well, almost too well in fact, so well that I started to think we could actually challenge. I always seem to get carried away...

October

Liverpool made it through October unbeaten, further instilling my pipe dreams about the title. Despite the good results though, I had already begun to voice my concerns over Jurgen Klopp's tactics/set up at this stage.

For me, I just think that Klopp was far too stubborn on occasions during the season. This first came properly to light for myself against Swansea, we won the match but looked very predictable and lacking in options and this only became more noticeable against a lower calibre of opposition as the season went on.

So called smaller sides completely found us out and whilst Klopp had some options at his disposal to field a more traditional set up with a striker, he appeared to be extremely reluctant to do so. There were several matches last season where I was screaming for Sturridge and/or Origi to be brought on but Klopp opted to ride it out.

Octobers results were as follows: Swansea 1 Liverpool 2, Liverpool 0 Man United 0, Liverpool 2 West Brom 1, Liverpool 2 Spurs 1, Palace 2 Liverpool 4

November

The month of November began with a confident 6-1 win over Watford but followed with a 0-0 draw against Southampton. 

The one thing the Reds appeared to lack last season was consistency. Granted, Saints are a difficult side to face but Liverpool could never quite seem to capitalise on their results, there was no real momentum. Flashes of consistency would appear in sections of the season but nothing concrete. 

Liverpool left it late to beat Sunderland on the 26th November, only finding the net in the 75th minute and then again via a penalty in 90+1. Finally, the Reds beat Leeds in the quarter final of the League Cup.


Me attending the Football Blogging Awards at Old Trafford in November. Not impressed with Fergie like...

December

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell f**k.

The festive season got off to a pretty shocking start for Liverpool. I for one had been travelling the day before for close to 24 hours from the UK to Whistler in Canada. Knowing we were playing whilst I was catching up on some much needed sleep, my head hit the pillow confident in the knowledge we'd been on a great run and that Bournemouth of all teams should pose no threat.

It wasn't such a merry Christmas for Liverpool...
How wrong I was.

I woke up in Whistler's Winter Wonderland full of Christmas joy only to check BBC Sport to find we'd lost 4-3 to Bournemouth. 4-3?! What the hell?! I very nearly threw my phone into the snow.

This match was then followed by a 2-2 with West Ham. Some of the many cracks in Liverpool's armour were seriously beginning to show by Christmas but on the whole the Reds had another pretty decent month. December included a 1-0 win in the Merseyside derby (but in extra time!!) and the same winning margin against Manchester City on New Year's Eve.

January

Liverpool played a total of nine matches in January and only won one of them. For a variety of reasons it was a terrible month to be a Liverpool fan, but even more so when you are a Liverpool fan who was born and raised in Wolverhampton. (If you don't already know why and how I became a Liverpool supporter drop me a tweet, always makes a good excuse to chat haha - @LFCKirstyLFC)

So I basically ended up in my favourite pub in the centre of Wolverhampton, literally surrounded by Wolves fans to watch the FA Cup fourth round tie. It was easily one of the worst matches I have ever had to watch and one of the worst experiences I've had. We were diabolical. I had nothing to throw back at them, we'd conceded within seconds and offered zero in return. A consolation goal from Origi allowed me to celebrate momentarily but Wolves had well and truly done us over and I'm still facing the stick now. Read the match report here.


Dealing with the bants from me fella and me brother...

Other results in January included losses at the hands of both Swansea and Southampton. Draws with Sunderland, Chelsea, Manchester United and Plymouth (Lucas scored to put us through in the second leg - FA Cup). We also lost the League Cup semi-final against Southampton.

So all in all, a bloody cracking month pfft.

February

Things didn't improve much in February for Jurgen Klopp's side either. The first fixture against Hull ended in a 2-0 loss and we also lost 3-1 to Leicester. Sandwiched in between that though was a 2-0 win over Spurs.

It makes no sense, the Reds continued throughout the whole season to perform extremely well against the big sides yet were being completely undone by teams like Hull, Bournemouth and Burnely. It was almost unexplainable. I still however at this point found myself rather frustrated with Klopp's tactics and set up. It just wasn't working against sides who defended and played on the counter. Teams were more than happy to allow us possession and just hit us on the break, we'd waltz around the box for large portions of the game with no real answer of how to break the opposition down, it was crap to watch to be honest.


Image via Goal | Liverpool concede against Hull
It was at this point of the season when I started to seriously think about 4th place and would it be good enough? I pretty quickly came to the conclusion that yes it would be. It was Jurgen Klopp's first season, he's yet to make a significant stamp on the team and let's face it, he was still learning about the standards of the Premier League. I just hope that he's learnt from his minor mistakes last season.

March

March opened with another win over Arsenal and another convincing one at that. The Reds won 3-1 at Anfield thanks to goals from Firmino, Mane and Wijnaldum.

This also happened:

Liverpool managed to get revenge over Burnley with a 2-1 win and ended the month on a 1-1 draw with Man City. I hopped over to Turin in March to tick off a big box on my bucket list. I've always loved Italian football and reading about the history of it, my chosen team are Torino and I was lucky enough to see them face Inter Milan. It was a fantastic experience!

Swapping the Premier League for Serie A when I went to watch Torino v Inter Milan in March. Liverpool played Man City the day after, I had to watch that Lallana miss in Italian...

April 

Things started to hot up for the top 4 in April and it began to feel as though every minor slip up from here on out could seriously damage Liverpool's chances. Teams around the Reds began to find some consistency and also had the bonus of games in hand.

A solid 3-1 win over Everton got the month off to a great start, the iconic photo of Coutinho, Firmino and Mane made it feel like the Reds may have turned a corner. Somewhat predictably though, we hadn't.

Image via This Is Anfield | That attack though
In the following match we drew 2-2 with Bournemouth, dropping valuable points we'd worked so hard to collect. Two wins over Stoke and West Brom helped matters for the Reds but then they went and lost to Palace at the end of the month because idiotically they didn't look out for Christian Benteke.

May


And then it was May, May felt like a very nervy month for all Liverpool fans. The teams around us had closed in to tighten the race for the top 4 and knowing the Reds could falter at any moment made relaxing impossible.

First up was Watford, for the best part of 45 minutes it looked like it might turn in to one of those games for Liverpool but then the hero that is Emre Can popped up with goal of the season. What a phenomenal effort, I don't think it will ever get boring watching that back.

Image via Sky Sports | Emre Can wonder goal
The Watford win was followed by a 0-0 draw with Southampton, only Liverpool could have done this. Southampton, at home, with two games to go after that match, but no, the Reds couldn't find the back of the net.

Thankfully, Liverpool did eventually see out the season with victories over West Ham and Boro meaning they were back in Europe under manager Jurgen Klopp. An exciting prospect to say the least.

Overall the 2016/2017 season was a mixed bag. Consistency was definitely an issue, tactics/stubbornness and set up was definitely another one and a lack of depth in the team to be perfectly honest. The switcheroos between Karius and Mignolet also didn't help, for me the role of goalkeeper needs to be a set one for each competition, there was a point last season where Mignolet genuinely thought he'd lost his spot and while some argue this helps a player focus on getting back in the team, I would argue that if left out for long enough it could have shattered his confidence. 

He's not the best keeper in the world by any means but I do feel that Migs had a pretty decent season in the end and I'm glad he remained in goal. Liverpool simply must buy strong in this transfer window and they must learn from their mistakes, when plan A doesn't work, they desperately need a plan B to break down more difficult and defensive opposition.

Here's hoping we get a few new faces in the transfer window and roll on August!

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