#FM17 | Liverpool #10 – Champions?

The stage is set. We have three fixtures left in a rollercoaster Premier League season, and the title is still up for grabs. Liverpool have favourable fixtures compared to Arsenal, but we are still reliant on the Gunners dropping points to be crowned champions.

Follow me on Twitter – @MarcusBanks7 – Visit my blog The Beautiful Game

We endured an indifferent episode nine, failing to beat Sunderland and Chelsea but collected crucial wins over Crystal Palace and Manchester United. The win over the Red Devils put immense pressure on Arsenal, who welcome Tottenham to the Emirates and could be out of sight if they win.

May 2017

AS IT STANDS

1 – Liverpool – Played: 35 – Points: 76 – Goal Difference: 44
2 – Arsenal – Played: 35 – Points: 76 – Goal Difference: 44
3 – Tottenham – Played: 35 – Points: 74 – Goal Difference: 34
4 – Manchester United – Played: 35 – Points: 72 – Goal Difference: 40

6th May – West Ham (H)

Tottenham have done it! Mauricio Pochettino’s men were able to hold Arsenal to a goalless draw at which puts us level on points with the Gunners heading into the game against West Ham. It truly is neck and neck with the goal difference also the same on 44. With three victories in our final three games, we should be crowned champions as we hold a superior head-to-head record with Arsenal. First things first, we must beat West Ham. Daniel Sturridge returns from injury at the perfect time while Joe Gomez replaces the suspended Mamadou Sakho.

Line-Up:

Karius; Clyne, Gomez, Matip, Moreno; Emre Can, Lallana, Henderson; Mane, Coutinho, Sturridge

Result: Liverpool 2-1 West Ham

livwhy

Phew! Slaven Bilic’s men took an early lead through an excellent Dimitri Payet free-kick after just 14 minutes. Injuries meant the visitors were playing without a recognised striker and seemed happy to sit back and defend their slender lead. We took full advantage and were level before half-time with Joel Matip heading home from a corner. Philippe Coutinho replied with a free-kick of his own before the interval which was enough to seal the win despite some dodgy defending in the final ten minutes. The three points are all that matters. Arsenal beat Leicester, so the race is still on, and we stay top.

AS IT STANDS

1 – Liverpool – Played: 36 – Points: 79 – Goal Difference: 44
2 – Arsenal – Played: 36 – Points: 79 – Goal Difference: 44
3 – Tottenham – Played: 36 – Points: 74 – Goal Difference: 29
4 – Manchester United – Played: 35 – Points: 72 – Goal Difference: 40

13th April – Hull (A)

The title is in our hands. Only Hull and Burnley stand in our way of Premier League glory. The Tigers are languishing in 17th, just above the relegation zone. Mike Phelan’s men have endured a tough season, and we beat them comfortably at Anfield earlier in the season. Unfortunately, Sturridge and Adam Lallana picked up knocks, so Roberto Firmino and Marco Asensio come into the side.

Line-Up:

Karius; Clyne, Gomez, Matip, Moreno; Emre Can, Asensio, Henderson; Mane, Coutinho, Firmino

Result: Hull 3-1 Liverpool

hulliv

In typical Liverpool fashion, we’ve absolutely blown it. I don’t know where to start. Abel Hernandez, a man who hasn’t scored all season, decided to turn into Pele and bagged a 37-minute hat-trick. Hull only had three shots on target; all three went in. Of course. We peppered the goal with shots, but it was no use. A late Emre Can penalty got us on the scoresheet, but it was too little, too late. Our defence needs serious improvement and to make matters worse, Arsenal comfortably dispatched of Southampton meaning I need a miracle on the final day of the season to be named champions.

AS IT STANDS

1 – Arsenal – Played: 37 – Points: 82 – Goal Difference: 47 – Final Fixture: West Brom (H)
2 – Liverpool – Played: 37 – Points: 79 – Goal Difference: 44 – Final Fixture: Burnley (A)
3 – Manchester United – Played: 36 – Points: 75 – Goal Difference: 44 – Final Fixture: Everton (H)
4 – Tottenham – Played: 37 – Points: 75 – Goal Difference: 29 – Final Fixture: Chelsea (A)

21st April – Burnley (A)

The title race is not over yet, but we need nothing short of a miracle to end up on top. Our woeful performance against Hull has effectively handed the title to Arsenal, who can win the title with a point at home to West Brom. There is nothing left to say other than we must end the season with a win and at least give the travelling fans something to cheer about. Sturridge and Lallana return.

Line-Up:

Karius; Clyne, Gomez, Matip, Moreno; Emre Can, Lallana, Henderson; Mane, Coutinho, Sturridge

Result: Burnley 1-5 Liverpool

burliv

A comprehensive victory to end the season was not enough to be crowned champions with Arsenal crushing West Brom by three goals to nil. The Gunners signed Juventus striker, Paulo Dybala, whose goals have fired Arsene Wenger to the title and the Argentinean forward had put his side 3-0 up before half-time. Our performance against Burnley was top class, and Sadio Mane was in magnificent form. The result secured second place in the league, guaranteeing Champions League football at Anfield next season. We might not have won the title, but it was a great way to end a fantastic campaign.

Premier League Table 16/17 – Winners: Arsenal

16-17-table

Premier League End of Season Awards

A traditional end to a Premier League season is the annual award ceremonies, recognising the stand-out performers from the past season. Liverpool was represented well with Coutinho picking up the Players’ Young Player of the Award.

Four Liverpool players were named in the Players’ Team of the Year:

De Gea; Clyne, Otamendi, Koscielny, Moreno; Mane, Ozil, Payet, Sanchez; Aguero, Sturridge

Liverpool End of Season Awards

livawards

End of Season Review

It might seem crazy to be disappointed with a second place finish in your first season at a new club. But to come so close to Premier League glory, only to throw it away with two games remaining is a real kick in the gut. However, we have shown that we are genuine title contenders. Arsenal’s squad is stacked with quality, and they will be favourites to retain their crown next campaign.

The board’s expectation was to qualify for the Europa League, which we have exceeded, meaning we could have a massive transfer budget to work with. We didn’t perform well in the cup competitions but less playing time allowed us to mount a challenge in the league. Next season, I would love to add my first trophy to the cabinet.

We spent just £25m in the transfer window, making Asensio and Martin Caceres our only signings. The lack of squad depth hurt us on occasions, and a summer overhaul will be required.

Many squad players are going to be moved on in the summer window, and I will look to bolster the amount of options I have at my disposal. I am confident with a few more signings; we can win the title and mount a challenge in Europe too.

Thanks for joining me on my first year as Liverpool manager, I hope you are looking forward to season two!

Next Episode:

New season
– Pre-season
– Transfers, transfers, transfers

Who do you think we will sign in the summer transfer window? Stay tuned for the next episode to find out…

Follow me on Twitter – @MarcusBanks7 – Visit my blog The Beautiful Game

Advertisements
Posted in: FM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s