The Champions League final has come and gone, and those feelings have mostly subsided for people. The first feeling that undoubtedly surfaced after that kind of loss could be called near regret. A regret that this amazing season ended in that kind of a loss, despite knowing the steps we took to get there. The amazing games we won in the journey to the final will never be taken away, though.
Another player that knows the feeling of that kind of loss is the legend Xabi Alonso. Sure, he’s gone on to win pretty much every other trophy in the world (literally) since leaving Anfield, but there’s still a couple losses he holds. When he speaks of the last Liverpool season, though, he speaks from experience.
“It’s unbelievable, what they have achieved. And not just their result of reaching the final, the way they have been able to build an idea of how they want to play,” Alonso told the club website.
“From this strong base, now they have to continue building, adapting and improving. I think that’s very important, that they have in this moment this idea about the team, about how they want to play.”
Hearing from a legend is always encouraging, when it comes to how the current team is progressing and the future ahead of them. Words like these from a legend the caliber of Alonso shouldn’t be discounted. He thinks the elusive title isn’t out of reach, too.
“The next step is not securing top four, it is challenging for the title and that’s the big one that probably is the most difficult one,” Alonso continued.
“We know Liverpool, they can beat anyone, but they need to find that consistency to be regular in the whole season. We were close and we didn’t make it - hopefully they can make it.”
One of the biggest weaknesses for Liverpool has always been squad depth. Injuries and bans and players leaving in the middle of the season have wrecked havoc on previously wonderful seasons because there haven’t been skilled enough players to step in. With the addition of Keita and Fabinho this summer, Liverpool are on the right track to filling in those bits that need depth.
“I think they need to not just have a ‘short’ team. Not 14 players - you need to list 20, 22 players to be able to cope with so many games,” the midfielder explained.
“Each game, each point is so important so you need to have the whole squad connected, ready to perform at the highest level, but with the principles and the idea very clear. That can’t change from game to game.
“For me the important thing is the team. The team is already built. After, for sure you need to bring new players, you need to add new, good things, but that doesn’t disturb what they have already been doing.”
He’s 100% right, in every bit. We have the team. We have the skills. We have the manager. We just need to add to it and make sure we have not just on or two tools, but the full tool box of players and back ups to be able to really challenge for what we want. No one knows that better than Xabi (except I guess Jurgen).