Is it really ‘Top Four or Bust’ for Liverpool?

Much has been made of Liverpool’s season on TV and on social media, but regardless of what happens between now and May 28th, it will be widely regarded as a failure – especially without the presence of European Football.

It is difficult to defend anyone at the club for the season they have been having – bar a few individuals. But as a whole, this season has been disappointing given that the side were pushing on four fronts until the final day of the season last year.

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Jurgen Klopp and his players won’t be thinking about any of that now, as they have just four games to make the most of their situation – and the only real saving grace at this stage is that they are still within touching distance of the top four.

Liverpool are four points off rivals Manchester United, who also boast two games in hand. This statement doesn’t sound promising, but United may have the harder run of fixtures.

Jurgen Klopp’s side can finish the season with a maximum of 71 points – which would be guaranteed to earn a place in the top four in most seasons. However, whether or not they can pick up all the points available remains up for debate when you think about the club’s inconsistent form.

Let’s say they DO make the top four…

If they do manage to secure Champions League football, it gives the side a boost in morale as they into the summer. It’ll also allow the side the best possible chance to rebuild and rebound.

With European Football secured, club finances will be much healthier with a big stadium expansion paid for. There have been rumours of Jurgen Klopp having upwards of £200 million to spend in the summer to rebuild the midfield, and if those special European nights return to Anfield then that may come true. It’d certainly allow Klopp and his team to go after targets that otherwise may not be attracted to life on Merseyside without a spot in Europe’s elite competition.

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For example, players like Jude Bellingham are set to cost the club anywhere in the region excess to £100 million – if he can be lured away from an impending move to Real Madrid. With the financial security that European football brings, targets like Bellingham, Mount and Barella may be easier to obtain.

On top of the finances that Champions League football bring, it also makes a club more attractive to join. Professional football players are ambitious men, and ambitious sportsmen want to play at the highest level. You’ve got to be in it to win it, and that’ll be on the minds of the top players who are looking to achieve the top honours within the sport.

But if they DON’T…

They will be okay. There’s no denying that it would be a huge blow to coaches, players and fans alike – especially having been to three UCL finals in recent years. But Liverpool are a massive club, and one that will remain attractive to the right players and right characters. They have a good business model laid out by the owners that is sustainable for the short term, without compromising long-term success.

European football is important – but for a club like Liverpool, it isn’t make or break. If they rebuild well with astute signings like Ryan Gravenberch, Evan Ndicka and a marquee signing or two in Jude Bellingham and/or Mason Mount, then they’ll undoubtedly return to the European race next year.

Top Four or Bust may be a slight exaggeration though. It would undoubtedly be a failure after the recent successes, but it isn’t going to break the club. They’ve been a victim of their own success, and will have failed to live up to their own high expectations. They will be back before you know it.