Adrian Clarke looks at where clubs can improve for the 2018/19 season.
Liverpool’s second full season under Jurgen Klopp was a very exciting one.
They went the whole campaign unbeaten at Anfield, scored 84 goals in total and reached the final of the UEFA Champions League.
But if they are to improve on a fourth-placed finish there are certain areas in which they need to improve.
First and foremost the Reds must learn how to cope better with aerial balls.
Liverpool conceded far too many goals from direct headers, second balls and penalties that were conceded after one of their players had been outjumped.
In researching all 38 goals they conceded in last season's Premier League, I found that 21 stemmed from failing to deal with a high ball.
This 55.2 per cent figure needs reducing if Klopp’s men are to compete for the title.
Opponents will be aware of this fragility. So targeting Liverpool’s goalkeeper and back four with high crosses and launched balls will be a common theme until they learn to tighten up.
Liverpool must also share their goal responsibility better. They relied too heavily on their three star forwards for goals and assists last season.
It means that no player outside of Klopp’s front three who is available for the start of 2018/19 scored more than twice or made more than five assists last season.
Finally, Liverpool could do with more game-changing players on the bench.
Their substitutes scored only three times last term and two of those came from Salah after he came on at Stoke City.
It is in this area that Liverpool fell behind the majority of their top-six rivals.
|2017/18||Sub goals||Sub assists||Combined|
Keita and Fabinho will also give Klopp the ability to make greater tactical changes mid-match. The ability to switch to a "plan B" could make all the difference.
Part 1: Finishing touch can lift Crystal Palace
Part 2: Can Brighton deliver at set-pieces?
Part 3: Breaking down opponents the next step for Burnley
Part 4: Pogba and Sanchez key to United reaching top gear
Part 5: Huddersfield must aim high to progress
Part 6: Injection of pace could boost Watford's away form
Part 7: Ki to get Newcastle back in control
Part 8: Improving wing play the priority for Spurs
Part 9: Midfield pair can boost Hughes' resurgence