Liverpool 2019 New Year's Resolutions
People love to make New Year's resolutions although they rarely keep them. The January window gives football clubs the opportunity to do likewise with the proviso they take it more seriously. After a splendid 2018, the Reds must look to build on their success in 2019. Here are four resolutions Jurgen Klopp might want to make.
Prioritise the Premier League
The aim this year is to win their first Premier League title. They pushed for that goal since Matchday 1 in August. The Reds have dispatched opponents without remorse, including all their top-six rivals save Manchester City. Ask Unai Emery. Or Jose Mourinho. Klopp's boys are looking like champions.
The second half of the season is where the battle is won or lost, though. Now is the time for Klopp to focus on the domestic front.
The Reds are still in the Champions League and the FA Cup. The matches will come thick and fast from February through May. Klopp must rotate but save his best XI for the Premier League. Players like Divock Origi and Alberto Moreno should start in the FA Cup. The champions league is where it gets dicey as the manager and squad will want to make up for their capitulation against Real Madrid in last year's final.
The Reds face Bayern Munich in the round of 16 and fancy their chances of going through. They just can't commit their full resources to that goal if they want to win the Premier League.
Protect their front three
Liverpool's success is tied to their attack. Mo Salah, Robert Firmino and Saido Mane have all contributed massively. Xherdan Shaqiri gives Klopp room to rotate. Origi and Daniel Sturridge also step up when called. Games like the draw against Chelsea and the win over Everton demonstrate their importance. If he uses his supporting cast well, Salah, Firmino and Mane will stay fresh through season's end and be ready to lift a trophy or two.
Reinforce at fullback
Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold add more than their share as young, inexperienced players. Klopp must ensure they have cover. The two race the length of the pitch throughout matches. When TAA was injured, Joe Gomez filled in but he is now out. Nathan Clyne saw a bit of action but Robertson's backup is the one-dimensional Alberto Moreno. Klopp can use another fullback to get him through the season's second half.
As favourites, Liverpool tripped up at the last hurdle under Brendan Rodgers. Klopp must be careful that doesn't happen again. A reputation for not following through is difficult to shake. That said, the manager must keep coming seasons in mind as well. He doesn't want to be where Manchester United are, fielding too many ageing veterans and young stars, with next to no one in the middle. Keeping a balanced squad is important for the Reds army to march through season after season like they once did under Shankly and Paisley.