Liverpool losing to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium could have been predicted by many given their terrible form but a 6-1 thrashing came out of the blue. The team which looked out of sorts almost throughout the season somehow managed to grab a Europa League position.
After splashing £117 million in the transfer window a lot was expected from the Brendan Rodgers side.
Before the start of the 2014-15 season things looked good for the Reds as they had an excellent campaign where they finished just a few points behind Manchester City on 2nd position and made a come back to Champions League for the first time since 2009-10.
The Luis Suarez-Daniel Sturridge partnership alone scored 52 goals combined to make them the second-highest scoring team of that season, the defence looked good and the midfield was as good as it could have been under the leadership of Steven Gerrard. The season also saw the rise of stars like Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling but come the end of season and thing seem to be falling apart for the Reds.
Suarez left even before the season started, Sturridge spent most of his time on bench with injuries, Gerrard has already left for MLS leaving a void in the midfield and Sterling could be leaving too.
Everything that was achieved in a span of 12 months seems to be gone in the next 12. However, things are not as bad as they look and can be taken control of if proper measures are taken.
Here's a list of things Liverpool need to do:
1. Sack Rodgers, get Klopp
Since arriving at the club in 2012, Rodgers has splashed out a lot of cash but has failed top win a single trophy. Some of his decisions in transfer window have been disastrous. Spending 26 and 20 million for Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren respectively with the two having no experience to compete in major tournaments tops the list.
Also, when you see that Real Madrid signed Toni Kroos for only 24 million this decision looks even worse. The less you say about Mario Balotelli, the better it is. The Italian probably had the worst season of his career and managed to score only 1 goal in his return season to Premier League.
Rodgers' inability to hold on to his star players has also cost Liverpool. Suarez was allowed to go even after the Reds qualified for Champions League. The impact it had on the team is quite visible now.
The departure of Sterling is also a matter of time. Rodgers has always been backed both by the board and fans during his three years stay but Liverpool needs a change now and the most suitable candidate to replace Rodgers at the moment is former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp who left Borussia this year after six successful seasons with them winning two Bundesliga titles is just the man Liverpool need. He has the experience at the highest level and unlike Rodgers is known for his excellent business in the transfer market. During his time at Dortmund he honed players like Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa, Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Ilkay Gundogan.
Liverpool might face tough competition from Real Madrid who may also want to seek Klopp's service after the recent sacking of Carlo Ancelotti.
2. Get the defence right
Liverpool should once again be ready for a complete overhaul. The old guard should make way for the new stars. This will not only give them the much-needed freshness but will also provide them with long term servants.
The likes of Glen Johnson, Kolo Toure, Lucas Leiva, Rickie Lambert, Martin Skrtel should be sold to may way for young guns. Although Skrtel improved upon his form in the second half of the season the fact that he is getting older cannot be ignored.
Liverpool needs a established centre-back who could fill in the boots of Jamie Carragher. Even after having a poor season Lovren deserves one more chance to prove himself and having a more experienced partner may help him.
Schalke's Howedes or Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar are the ideal options as the two are heading towards their contract end. However, Vlaar seems a more likely option for the Reds as Howedes may prefer Champions League action.
Albert Moreno had a mixed season on the left as he looked good going forward but his defensive abilities let his team down on more than one occasion. However, if he is able to work on that aspect he could be the perfect left back for Liverpool.
The right side is where the real problem lies for the Reds at the moment. Glen Johnson is already past his best. Javier Manquillo who arrived at Anfield on loan started impressively but somehow lost his position in the starting 11 managing only 11 appearances in the whole season.
Flanagan's long injury didn't help Rodger's case either. He was eventually forced to play Jordan Henderson on the right. A new signing next season in the form of Barcelona's Mark Montoya or Southampton's Clyne can be expected by the fans.