There's been one nagging question chasing Liverpool's unlikely title challenge--what if they don't do it this season? It's kind of a valid one, I suppose, in that there is very much the possibility that they don't, in fact, do it this season. But it's one that can't be answered until next season, and the season after that, and etc. etc. arrive. Like so many of the narratives involved in top-level world football, it's a question geared more toward creating anxiety and drama than actually having any actual value.
The question is often couched in a broader discussion about how everyone else in the Premier League will certainly be better. Chelsea will get the striker they've been chasing for years, Manchester City will somehow improve their squad even more, Arsenal will...probably do more Arsenal things, Spurs blah blah blah and Manchester United will be back for real this time no jokes the odds are in their favor for finishing in the top four this time swear I checked with a guy.
What that dialogue often ignores is that Liverpool--say it in a whisper--might also improve. Yes, other teams will surely do things to make themselves more competitive, because that's sort of the point. And according to Brendan Rodgers, the plan is the same for his side when the summer arrives:
"We're going to need depth to our squad - there's no question about that. And certainly, this summer Liverpool Football Club becomes a really exciting and attractive proposition for players. That's something that we'll continue to look at and continue to work on, to get those talents into the club to help grow and develop the squad. We've got targets; we know we need to improve - we're in the Champions League now, so we can say that.
"Everyone would have looked at it at the beginning of the season, and probably saw it as a real challenge for us to even be in the top four. The competition at this level, the teams and obviously the money that was spent in the summer would have projected that we would have been really challenged to get in the top four. So, with three games to go, to have confirmed our place in the top three and the Champions League really shows you the effort that our players have put in, how hard they've worked and the quality with which they've played. That's something remarkable. But I'm not surprised, because of how the players have worked and how they've played consistently. It's good for us; we just want to keep it going."
Champions League football doesn't open the floodgates for world-class player arrival (unless it does, in which case why didn't Liverpool do this sooner?), but as Rodgers notes here and Ian Ayre mentioned last week, it creates a draw the club certainly couldn't offer in the past four years. Now that it's available Liverpool's goal--just like every other team's--will be to improve.
That's not cause for anxiety or concern. It's just another reason to be excited.