The final day of the season was mostly about Jamie Carragher, getting a proper sending off from the Liverpool fans at Anfield, but it was also about a little taste of the future, which might be brighter than the slightly disappointing present. Philippe Coutinho might be in the center of that tomorrow due to his ability since arriving in January, hoping he’ll pick off in a few months right where he left off.
He finished his half-season for the team with 3 goals and 6 assists in 13 matches, and looking like the creative influence the team has missed for quite some time. He missed out on playing with Luis Suarez in the final matches, but unless Liverpool change things up front (and they shouldn’t, there are bigger needs elsewhere), the trio of Suarez, Coutinho and Sturridge should be one of the more exciting to watch in the Premier League next season.
The main man was Jamie Carragher. He got the special serenade from the Liverpool fans, and the Kop he walked over to thanks hasn’t looked better on picture than it did at the beginning and end of the match. A special player who won every trophy possible with the club, except for that one elusive Premier League title Liverpool haven’t been really close to winning except for two times since the inauguration of the Premier League.
Brendan Rodgers is thinking about depth and improving it, not necessarily bringing in star players. It’s not just the money he doesn’t have to spend, it’s the no-Europe, no-Champions League he has to offer to big stars who might consider coming to Anfield. Liverpool is more and more a big name with little substance, that needs to build its way up both financially and professionally once more after three-four years of neglect.
And while there’s the talk of certain players coming from abroad (French defenders, half of Wigan, Christian Eriksen), there’s also the younger players or those that didn’t really get a chance this season who should be a bigger part of the setup next season. Fabio Borini had a lot of bad luck this season, and next year will be the real test, seeing if he’s Premier League material or not, starting from behind, and probably coming off the bench. Suso got his chances early in the year, and the same goes for Raheem Sterling, both hoping to become much more important players in the setup next season.
Jordon Ibe, a 17 year old winger will also be battling for the same positions. Liverpool need to start creating talents on their own once more, although Ibe grew up at Wycombe. It doesn’t matter. Having only Steven Gerrard remaining in the lineup after all those years as the sole representative of the club’s youth system just shows how bad things have been in terms of player development.
Even with the new arrivals, the key to having a surprisingly good season is Coutinho. The kind of player that always seems to be a rarity in the Premier League, and especially for Liverpool. The “fantasy” style Brazilian, who has shown he has the scoring touch when necessary as well. Liverpool are hoping that these past four months weren’t the best, only the beginning.