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The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: Three Views on Liverpool's Season

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In danger of being lost in all the transfer hubbub and World Cup announcements are some final thoughts on the season from a few of Liverpool's key players.

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We have no photos that contain Sterling, Sturridge, AND Agger. This is as good as it gets.
We have no photos that contain Sterling, Sturridge, AND Agger. This is as good as it gets.
Laurence Griffiths

Between the restart of the rumour mill and the vast number of call-ups for Liverpool's increasingly large slate of internationals, the summer has already shifted into high gear before many of us could fully digest the end of the season. Liverpool ended with a win but missing out on the title felt a bit deflating, no more so than for many of the players.

The Good: Raheem Sterling Excited for Champions League

Being at the start of your very young career has its perks, namely that everything is fresh and new, and that much of the sting is taken out of disappointment when you know you still have many seasons ahead of you in which to achieve great things. For Raheem Sterling, this season was a fantastic success both on a personal level and for the team, and he's already looking ahead to continental competition next year.

"It's a great boost to come back to, being back in the Champions League," Sterling told the club's website. "For a young player like me, it'll be a great experience. I'm really looking forward to it.

"It's been a great season. We've all worked hard to try and achieve our goal. We came close, but we'll definitely be looking forward to next season and give it another real go again. With the experience I've gained from this season, hopefully I can put that into the team."

The Bad: Daniel Sturridge Apologises to Fans

Like his captain before him, Daniel Sturridge expressed feelings of devastation on the last day of the season, and directed those feelings towards the club's millions of fans as if he were personally responsible for their shared grief at losing the title.

"I'm disappointed," the striker said. "I know we set the target of reaching the Champions League but I can't stand here and say I'm happy. I am gutted. I know we've gone from seventh to second but I am never happy coming second no matter what I'm playing, whether it's table tennis, cricket or whatever, I don't like losing.

"We're all hungry for success and the fans deserve success. They've given us great support from the first minute to the last and I apologise to them for not winning the Premier League. I'll do everything in my power, just like my team-mates will, to try to ensure we do that for them next season. I believe we can."

Sturridge of all people has little to apologise to fans about given that he was an integral part of Liverpool's season, especially during the first five league matches of the season when Luis Suarez was not available for selection. Sturridge seems far more down about the final table standings than most fans, which is an excellent indication of the competitive nature to which he owes much of his success this season.

The Ugly: Daniel Agger Refuses to Sugar Coat

Never one to mince words, Daniel Agger gave perhaps the most blunt assessment of Liverpool's ultimate fate as runners up to the Premier League title. The short interview is worth watching for the controlled fury that doesn't necessarily come across in print, but poor Claire's attempt to put a positive spin on things was met with Agger's refusal to lie to himself or the club's fans about what it means to be second.

"If you look on the whole season there's a lot of positive," Agger said, "but when we stand here on the last day of the season and we've come second, that's so frustrating. We knew that it would be tough to stay at the top, and I think we would have taken the second place before the season started.

"It is [a relatively young squad] and the big games this season have definitely given some of the players some experience, so that's positive, but again when we stand here now it's a bit frustrating. It's all about being first, not second."

For all the nonsensical talk about replacing Liverpool's entire back line, it should be noted that of the many intangible qualities Agger brings to the team, his brutal honesty is something money can't buy in a new player. Steven Gerrard may have taken a similar approach in being honest about how disappointing it was to finish second, but while the captain correctly expressed those feelings in a way that was appropriate for a club talisman, it's equally important to have someone in the dressing room who isn't afraid of offering a more critical eye.