View from the Kop with Jack Sear
Having had some time to process it, what are your thoughts on missing out on the Premier League title?
It still hurts, as I’m sure it does for the players and everyone at the club, too. It was a strange situation going into those last few games really.
With every City win it started to slip away more and more and I suppose Liverpool fans slowly got to grips with the fact that we somehow weren’t going to win it.
The huge, huge plus is that we have Madrid to look forward to. Without that, I’m sure it would hurt a lot more. To beat Barcelona in that manner gave everyone a huge boost. You could say that helped to soften the blow of missing out on the league title somewhat.
I suppose what you can say is that you’d rather lose the title in this way than most other ways. Liverpool simply couldn’t have done any more than they did in those last couple of months of the season and Manchester City are some team.
The Reds have been great all season and they deserve this trophy so much. Hopefully we’ll get it on June 1.
How do Liverpool maintain a similar title challenge next year?
More of the same. The same quality, the same desire, the same attitude.
Possibly the biggest plus of this season was watching Liverpool evolve into a team that never know when they’re beaten, or as Jurgen Klopp would put it, being ‘f*cking mentality giants’. That is a vital attribute of any top class football team and Liverpool showed that they had it in abundance. They played like title winners all season.
I don’t think that will go away now. With Klopp at the helm I can only see improvement. You wonder where they can actually get better, but Klopp will know exactly what he wants to do with this team now and how he’s going to do it.
How do the Reds shape up against Tottenham ahead of the Champions League final?
Things are looking good. The three week break drags the season out for the team, but it’s needed when you look at the injuries and niggles that a lot of the players have picked up in the last few weeks.
Team wise, the big call for Klopp will be in midfield. That’s been his dilemma all season really. The back four and the forward line pick themselves if everyone is fit, but he’ll have to leave out one of Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum and Milner.
I think it will probably be Milner, but his experience in a game like this could be invaluable. He can change the game from the bench, though, as he’s shown a few times this season.
What will be key to victory in Madrid?
Playing the way we have all season. Doing what we do best.
The more I think about the final, the more confident I am. I would probably have preferred Ajax, but I think an all English tie could actually play into Liverpool’s hands.
This team will be absolutely desperate to get over the line this time around. They’ll have been hurting from the manner of the Kiev defeat all season. The players and the manager. They will want this trophy so much and I just see us having too much for Tottenham. The Kiev experience will be a huge help.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Tottenham are capable of causing us real problems. They were outstanding in the second half at Anfield a couple of months ago, but play our game and show why we want this trophy so much and I think we’ll be fine.
What transfer business would you like to see from Liverpool this summer?
I don’t think we need a lot. It’s about fine tuning things. Left-back cover is the main one, with Alberto Moreno likely to move on. It will be interesting to see how they go about that, as you could argue that they need someone to cover right-back as well, with Nathaniel Clyne seemingly on his way out, too.
I should think we will be looking at goalkeepers as well. Fully expect Simon Mignolet to seek a new challenge.
We obviously went for Nabil Fekir last summer but Klopp seems quite happy with the midfield options now. Having Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back next season will be key and I think Naby Keita will step up a few gears as well.
I saw some people moaning at suggestions that Liverpool may only add a couple of players to the squad this summer and I don’t get that at all. If Klopp doesn’t feel we need a lot, then we don’t need a lot. Surely he’s earned your trust by now! What he’s done with this team is incredible.
Any other business?
Just that this Liverpool team is special. Very special. You really can’t underestimate what we’ve done in the Premier League this season.
The hurt of Kiev has driven us to another Champions League final and I fully expect us to respond in a similar way to the hurt of missing out on the league title this season.
Bring on Madrid. Up the Reds.