Season Review so far by Dave Hendrick @DaveHendrick_

The Kop Table Interview

Peter Phillips sits down with Dave Hendrick to provide a season so far review….

1)      How would you sum up Liverpool’s season so far?

I think we’ve done better than people have made out. We’re top of a difficult Champions League group, having knocked out a good team to make it into the group stages, and we sit 5th in the League only 4 points off second. And if everyone is honest, the whole league is playing for second behind City this season. We’ve lost to, in my view, the two best teams in the league. Fair enough, we got battered in both but I think a lot of people would have marked both down as potential or even probable defeats when looking at the fixtures. We’ve had a couple of disappointing results but all in all I think we’ve done pretty well considering we’ve been without Clyne all season, Coutinho had his tantrum and now an injury, and Mane was suspended and then injured. That’s three important starters, plus an important squad player in Lallana has missed the entire season so far as well.

2)      Who has been the best performer for Liverpool in your opinion?

It’s impossible to look beyond Mighty Mo. Salah has come into the team and from day one he’s just looked like he belongs. In pre-season he built a good understanding with Coutinho, and he’s built them with Mane and Firmino during the season as well. When we get those four together for a run of games I think they’ll terrorise the league, and I think Salah could realistically get 25-30 goals this season which is staggering for a wide forward in the Premier League.

3)      Which has been the best Liverpool performance this season?

I think the Arsenal game. We were just on another level to them that day. We tore them apart and in truth, we could have had 7 or 8 and nobody could have claimed it wasn’t a fair reflection.

4)      Which has been the worst Liverpool performance this season?

Spurs. I know we took a bigger beating against City but that was a fairly tight game until the red card. Against Spurs it was just a disaster. Lead by Lovren, we tore ourselves apart and they capitalised in ruthless fashion.

5)      Do you think Klopp will address the defensive problems by making signings in January?

He has to. If he doesn’t I think we’ll fall short on all fronts. We badly need a top-class centre-back, in fact we need two of them, and we need a proper defensive midfielder. I think Klopp will address it, I expect he’ll try again for Van Dijk and maybe look to get DeVrij in as well.

6)      What are your hopes and expectations for the rest of the season?

I want us to have a good run in the Champion League, quarterfinals at least, finish in the top 4, and have a real go at winning the FA Cup. I’m not a big fan of the domestic cups as I think they’ve very much lost their glamour, but we need to win something. One trophy in 11 years is unacceptable for a club like Liverpool and if we don’t win something this year then next season Klopp will pass Rodgers as the longest tenured Liverpool manager not to win anything. I think the exact date would be around Christmas so even the league cup next season would come too late to avoid that unwanted record.

7)      Who would you sell/buy in January to strengthen the squad?

I’d sell Ings in January because there’s no place for him at the club. I’d sell Flanagan at the same time for the same reason. Two honest pros but neither good enough for Liverpool, especially after the injuries. I’d fire Lovren from a cannon into the North Sea just to be rid of him. And I’d sell Danny Ward because he’s our third choice, he needs to be playing and we might find a club who are desperate for a new keeper and might overpay for him. In terms of buying, we need that top end centre-back and the obvious choice is Van Dijk. I’ve been driving his hype train since before he went to Celtic so at this point I’m just desperate for us to get him. We need an upgrade at the 6, and Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht would be perfect for that role. Great defensively, and excellent on the ball. Everything Henderson isn’t. He’s a perfect fit with Naby Keita as well, and signing him in January allows us to let Emre Can go and at least recoup some money before losing him on a free. I’d also try and get either DeVrij from Lazio or Gimenez from Atletico Madrid signed to a pre-contract to join on a free next summer, and then maybe lowball their current clubs to get them over 6 months early.

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