This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to Sky Sports, Liverpool legend Ray Clemence has insisted that Jurgen Klopp’s side will be boosted next season by their failure to win the Premier League title in 2018/19.
Despite winning the Champions League for a sixth time, the Reds narrowly fell short of winning the league as they were pipped by Manchester City on the final day.
However, Clemence has revealed that the potential disappointment of missing out could help propel them next term, as they will already know what it takes to compete with Pep Guardiola’s men.
He said: “It helps, having got so close. If you look back three or four years, they were finishing 20 points off the league champions. Now they’ve got 97 points, lost one game all year, and it still hasn’t been good enough. In any other league, that would win you the title.
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“But they’ve got the confidence from knowing they can compete with Manchester City, and next year they need to make sure some of the points they dropped in draws, which they shouldn’t have, they win. That’s been the difference.
“But also you have to realise that in the following season, everyone is after your head. You are the European champions. Whether that’s in the Premier League or Europe, every other team will want to beat you.”
There are often two different ways to get inspired; tasting success and wanting to experience that feeling even more, or experiencing failure and never wanting to relive it again. For Liverpool, their inability to clinch the title with an unbelievable amount of points will surely rankle and leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
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But that could be exactly what the Reds need. When Klopp’s side open the Premier League campaign up against Norwich, there will no doubt be reminders as to how heartbroken they must have felt when they missed out on the final day last season. It will drive them to get through the inevitable tough periods of a season and could be the burning fire they need inside themselves to push them that extra little step.