10 Key Factors to Take Liverpool to Premier League Title Glory

Max MuntonLiverpool CorrespondentJuly 6, 2014

10 Key Factors to Take Liverpool to Premier League Title Glory

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    Clint Hughes/Associated Press

    "Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool, we're on our way to glory," sang the swaying Kop throughout a season that revived Anfield's atmosphere and restored pride in fans' hearts.

    It was a wonderful season, full of colour, memorable moments and sub-plots that will go down in Anfield folklore for a long time yet.

    But resting on that success is not in Brendan Rodgers' remit and no sooner was 2013-14 over than he was saying, "We go again!", as per ESPN.

    Here we look at 10 key factors in Rodgers continuing the work he's done in rebuilding Liverpool to push towards honours in 2014-15.

New Signings Need to Settle in Quickly

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    Fernando Vergara/Associated Press

    Liverpool getting their summer transfer business done early with the arrivals of Rickie Lambert, Emre Can and Adam Lallana could prove to be a shrewd move.

    The trio have plenty of time to settle on Merseyside—or back on Merseyside in Kirkby-born Lambert's case.

    Whilst Lambert and Lallana bring with them a wealth of Premier League experience, Can will need time to adapt to the Premier League, though the Bundesliga is probably more similar to England's top flight than any other league in Europe.

Momentum Can't Drop

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    Clint Hughes/Associated Press

    Liverpool's push towards the Premier League title in 2013-14 saw an 11-match winning streak, before they were stopped in their tracks with defeat at home to Chelsea.

    It was the passion and belief that surrounded the whole club, from fans to players and staff, that carried Liverpool through the stunning run.

    Game after game, Liverpool's relentless attacking displays didn't drop, epitomised by Steven Gerrard's cry of, "We go again!", as per James Dickenson of the Daily Express, after the Reds' 3-2 victory over Manchester City at Anfield.

Every Day's a Flag Day

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    Clint Hughes/Associated Press

    The story of Liverpool's remarkable 2013-14 season starts and ends with the fans.

    Such passionate displays of support became a regular occurrence on Liverpool's run of form in the second half of the season—the Kop beautifully decorated in red and white scarves and flags.

    The choruses of "We are Liverpool tra la la la la" echoed around Anfield and away ends of every stadium Liverpool visited.

    The team's bus was greeted upon its arrival down Anfield Road by a sea of red, flares and songs as the "12th man" became the beating heart of Liverpool's title challenge.

    More of the same next year, as well as the euphoric Champions League nights returning, could give Liverpool the extra push they need for success.

Equip Squad for Challenge on Two Fronts

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    One of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho's many excuses for his expensive side not finishing above Liverpool last season came way back in December.

    When asked whether Liverpool could win the Premier League title, Mourinho was quoted by The Guardian's Dominic Fifield as saying, "My players are going to play 60 matches this season. Liverpool's will play 40 matches. It's a big difference. Quality plus ambition plus this advantage, so yes, they can win it."

    There's some truth to it. Liverpool's squad was relatively small compared to its rivals and the added exhaustion and pressure of midweek Champions League games this time round will certainly be an added test of character.

    Rodgers must equip his squad with enough quality personnel ready to compete both domestically and in Europe.

Raheem Sterling's Development Continues

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    Raheem Sterling was arguably Liverpool's best player during the second half of 2013-14. It was certainly the season he came of age.

    The 19-year-old's confident runs at speed left Premier League defenders for dead. His tricky ways at taking Liverpool's attacks forward and providing goals for teammates was dazzling.

    Adding more goals to his game, 2014-15 will be a big year for Sterling to develop his career from wonderkid to one of the league's best attackers.

Defensive Leaks Need Blocking

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    Liverpool's defensive frailties last season were a source of much concern for fans, leaking in 50 goals in total throughout the league campaign.

    Injuries caused the constant shifting of the back four in front of Simon Mignolet, with question marks raised over the consistency of Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson and Kolo Toure.

    Martin Skrtel enjoyed a season of rejuvenation, Jon Flanagan was a shining light in both full-back positions and Mamadou Sakho eventually settled in well to central defence.

    But the cracks do need covering up, however cavalier the Reds attack may be, and the reported chase of Southampton centre-back Dejan Lovren, as per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, may be the start of fixing them.

Progressive, Not Adaptive

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    Last season saw Rodgers' tactics evolve from possession football to full-throttled, attacking action with passing at the centre of the game.

    It led to Liverpool producing arguably the Premier League's most exciting football, scoring 102 goals on their way and terrorising defences week after week.

    Liverpool's ability to respond to the nature of any particular game and reshape to score more goals than their opposition was none more evident than in the 6-3 victory at Cardiff City in March, in which the Welsh side went ahead twice.

    It will be exicting to see where Rodgers' tactics lead Liverpool next, how he will utilise his growing squad and the new signings that have arrived this summer.

Successful Pre-Season

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    When Rodgers regroups his players in preparation for the new season, he will look to instil in them that same cohesion that saw them exceed all expectations.

    A busy pre-season schedule sees the Reds face Brondby and Preston before a US tour where they'll take on Roma, Olympiakos, Manchester City, AC Milan and potentially one more game, before taking on Borussia Dortmund at Anfield a week before the Premier League gets underway.

    The value of a good pre-season, full of opportunities for all, goals, victories and untiy cannot be underestimated.

Steven Gerrard's Leadership Is Invaluable

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    Gerrard may have reached 34 years old, but he proved in 2013-14 that he still has the ability to carry Liverpool to great things.

    Gerrard thrived when moved into a deeper, more defensive central midfield role to preserve his fitness by Rodgers.

    It's been a torrid few months for Gerrard, having embodied Liverpool's emotional title push only to be beaten at the final hurdle and suffering England's premature World Cup exit.

    But the captain carries the club on his shoulders and Liverpool will see him as a pivotal figure for players to sponge knowledge and experience from and to oversee the transition under Rodgers.

Life After Suarez?

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    With Luis Suarez's inevitable move to Barcelona looking imminent, Liverpool must move on quickly from losing the 27-year-old Uruguayan.

    For all his troubles, Suarez has produced three and a half outstanding seasons for Liverpool.

    Despite missing the opening five games of 2013-14, Suarez still put 31 goals away for the Reds in the league, and created a further 87 goalscoring chances for teammates.

    That sort of form is near impossible to replace.