With some style and quite a swagger about their play, Liverpool FC, led by their talisman manager Kenny Dalglish, closed the 2010-11 season positively, despite losing their final game.
A sixth place finish and missing out on European football, for the first time in as long as many Liverpool fans can remember, albeit by a mere whisker, would have in the past been seen as a failed season. But with Dalglish picking up the pieces of the mess left behind by Roy Hodgson, at the turn of the year, the second half of the season is being celebrated as a success.
Fans are optimistic and expectations are rising with every passing day and once the club starts its inevitable summer business, these will raise even further.
The mouth waters at the additions to Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez that could be Liverpool's next new signings.
Dalglish has certainly done all that has been asked of him this season. Next season the requests may be higher and the title might well be top of the list.
But a sustained challenge and ultimate victory in May 2012 will need some upgrades, here are five that will be a must if Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool as going to be celebrating their first English Premier League title next season.
It may be stating the obvious, but a good start to the season can be the foundations and the building blocks for the rest of the campaign; a poor one and you are playing catch-up from the off.
Last season, Liverpool got off to a dreadful start, with their first win coming in their third game; the previous two, being a draw and a loss. Therefore, after three games and a possible nine points, the Reds had banked only four.
After five games and a possible 15 points, Liverpool had only five. The Reds never recovered, the fans became restless and ultimately manager Roy Hodgson lost his job, regardless of whether he should have had it in the first place.
Possibly the fixture computer was unkind, pitting Liverpool against fellow title contenders, Arsenal and Manchester City in their two opening games; but that is no excuse, as those two clubs had the same deal and started better.
A major upgrade needed for a potential title winning next season is a positive, winning start to the campaign. This is almost a must.
Manager Kenny Dalglish has come out in the media stating, that the squad does not a complete overall haul but a wee tinkering; but the tinkering that is required needs to be of a high quality.
Much has been made in the weeks leading up to the end of last season of Liverpool's young players and how well they have performed. In particular, Jay Spearing, John Flanagan, Jack Robinson, Jonjo Shelvey and, before he was injured, Martin Kelly.
Indeed, the future of the club looks to be in good hands however such hands, at this stage need to be held for a while longer before they themselves, can push the club forward alone.
Dalglish and Damien Comolli, will be looking to add a left fullback, a wide midfield player or two and possibly a further striker to the squad, as a minimum.
Quality players will not come cheap but owner, John Henry, has already shown he is willing to dig into his deep pockets if asked.
Furthermore, Dalglish as maintained that the club's lack of European football will not hinder its ability to attract the world's best talent.
It is a fact that Liverpool Football Club and Kenny Dalglish himself, is enough to ensure that if they come knocking, players are more than likely to answer their call.
Preseason training for all players is an absolute must for a successful entire campaign.
The hard work put in during the time leading up to the start of the season, pays dividends come the dash up the final straight in May the following year.
It has been so often the case that players who have had a poor pre-season and particularly those that have picked up injuries during it, have suffered in the season proper.
The worst possible outcome would be to have star performers being hit with niggling injuries, or worse still long term ones, during the build up to the start of the campaign.
Steven Gerrard has missed most of the final games of this past season and has promised to work hard in pre-season training to be ready for the opening of the games in August 2011.
Strikers need to start hitting the back of the net in the friendlies to get back into the groove of scoring, so it will be important for the likes of Luis Suarez, Dirk Kuyt and in particular Andy Carroll to be on the score sheets regularly during these friendlies.
Carroll has only played a handful of games since his record breaking move from Newcastle United and he, the club and fans will be looking for him to come out of the blocks flying. A good solid preseason will go a long way to ensuring this is indeed the case.
Stability is the key to success and in particular dressing room stability.
Key players and staff with itchy feet and uncertain futures, lead to an air of instability in the dressing room which ultimately leads to poor team performances on the pitch.
By the start of next season, all those players that have been unsettled and unsure of their futures must either have committed themselves to the club or have left.
Pepe Reina has been one of those unsettled players throughout the last season, and his mind must be settled and committed to Anfield before the start of next season. Granted, in the first half of the season most of the players would rather have been at any other club, but that was the past.
More recently, players such Dirk Kuyt, Steven Gerrard, Lucas and even Reina himself have made it known that, with the run in to the end of the last season, the appointment of Kenny Dalglish as full-time manager and the commitment of the owners to strengthening the squad they are totally committed to Liverpool Football Club.
Success on the pitch is what keeps players happy and committed to the club and Liverpool have shown that they are capable of success. Therefore, harmony and stability in the dressing room should prevail and with this a sustained title challenge, if not the title itself.
Liverpool, in the first half of last season and in previous seasons have lacked the consistency of would be champions.
Liverpool were far more consistent in the last half of the season but still dropped needless points in games against Wigan Athletic and West Ham United. Points from such games should be bagged and not dropped; it is the difference between those teams that are title contenders and those that are simply title pretenders.
Home games against rival title contenders and others should be won and Anfield needs to become a fortress and place where visitors do not expect to gain anything.
In seasons past, successive Liverpool teams have not managed to show the consistency required to be demonstrated, week in and week out. It is possible that the lack of European midweek fixtures could well be something that Liverpool could benefit from.
With a stable of secure players, a manager who is backed by supportive owners and great coaching staff Liverpool Football Club have all the right shaped pieces of the consistency puzzle and next season will hopefully see a far more consistent team. Consistently winning.