With more than a hundred goals scored, Brendan Rodgers has returned Liverpool to the Champions League on the strength of his side's attacking prowess. Those thinking there might be something of a balancing correction to his approach next season, though, shouldn't hold their breath—if anything, he says he wants to make Liverpool a more dangerous attacking side.
"The style will only be enhanced and improved," said Rodgers, reflecting on his side's goal scoring success and swashbuckling reputation as he addressed reporters at the final post-match press conference of the season. "It won't change. The philosophy here is very much based on attacking creative football to win. We know where we need to improve."
The obvious answer to where it needs to be improved will, for most, be in defence. Rodgers, though, sees a slightly more specific issue, instead focusing on lapses in concentration against some of the sides further down the table. Liverpool's defence has often been fine in big games and at Anfield. On the road against what seem smaller opponents, though, there have been issues.
"Our goals conceded this year here at home is up there with the top teams," he added, "as it should be because this is Anfield and we expect to win. Away from home in the big games we've been fine. We just need to be better and more concentrated whenever we're winning other games. We've conceded too many goals when we've scored five or six and that has cost us. "
With many of those goals coming as a result of Liverpool losing their shape as more and more players push on into the attacking third, it adds a touch of uncertainty to where he sees those improvements coming. Particularly with his stated desire to enhance and improve the attacking side of Liverpool's game while fixing the propensity for defensive lapses.
A new starting centre half is always a possibility. Though if the goal is to be more defensively sound against weaker opponents who pose a threat on the counter when Liverpool push on to score those five or six goals, it's just as possible Rodgers is dreaming of a world class fullback or a midfield addition that can aid the defensive side of the game.
Whatever his specific plans for fixing Liverpool's problem, though, he's certain those fixes won't come at the expense of the sort of thrilling, fearless attack that came to identify his squad this season. It's an approach that thrilled neutrals in England this season, and next year he wants to take Liverpool's goal scoring show on the road.
"We're going into the Champions League, an outstanding competition with some great teams, but we'll go in with the same idea," he said. "There will be no fear. We'll look forward to it."