Liverpool’s players have had a chance to rest and recuperate after a difficult year, and with pre-season under their belts it’s now time to begin another Premier League campaign on Saturday against newly promoted Norwich City.
It’s a chance make a statement. A chance to show this group is still capable of the heights they hit when they won the league. And as it happens, Norwich were their first opponents in 2019-20 when they won number nineteen.
“The season we won the league our opening game was against Norwich and we won,” said Sadio Mané. “Hopefully this season it’s going to be the same—that we are going to win and then hopefully win the league! Of course it’s our target.”
While it never feels as though the football offseason lasts very long, their efforts in bouncing back from a difficult 2020-21 will be boosted by the fact that for many, this past summer will have been the longest break they’ve had in years.
The club went out of its way to give even players who were at the Euros or Copa America at least three months off, and for many the summer break was considerably longer—something almost unheard of for top football players.
“I think it’s always important as a player to have rest and I think in this last summer everybody has enough rest,” Mané added. “I said it was my first [extended break] since I came to Liverpool and that is the truth.
“The pre-season went well and I think everybody is physically ready and we are just looking forward to the season. Physically and for sure mentally everything is here. I am really happy about it and I can’t wait for the season.”