Though they won the Carling Cup and reached the FA Cup final, Liverpool finished eighth in the Premier League last season -- a disappointment that cost Kenny Dalglish his job as manager. Now with Brendan Rodgers in charge and his desire to get rid of Andy Carroll inspiring confidence, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard thinks they will finish near the top of the table instead of behind Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs, Newcastle, Chelsea and Everton.
From the Telegraph:
"I do think we will get in the top four," said Gerrard. "I think we will get it. I am confident we will get it.
"I am not being unrealistic. If we can play like we did in a lot of games last season, be clinical and take our chances, I think we will be high up in the table. I do.
"It has got to come. We are Liverpool. We can't finish eighth. We have got to put that right. We have got to take the criticism for underperforming last year. We can't be doing post-match interviews saying 'we should have got the points or we were not clinical enough'. We have got to be clinical. We have got to get the points we should get.
"I don't think it's ever happened that a team has gone from eighth to first, but there are still other big targets for us to achieve short term. Getting in that top four again is certainly the priority."
When Gerrard says Liverpool need to "be clinical" it seems he means that they can't continue to hit the post with supernatural frequency, as they did last season. And when he says, "We are Liverpool, we can't finish eighth," he means "Being laughed at by Everton fans is the worst thing ever."
But while this may seem like a fantastical leap to you and I, it's not outside the realm of possibility to Steven Gerrard. This is, after all, a man who hangs out with James Bond.