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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

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Johnson: Reds better than last season

Glen Johnson has said Liverpool have had a better season this time than last and believes their squad is better than 12 months ago.

• Blog: Familiar feeling from years past

Liverpool finished eighth in the Premier League under Kenny Dalglish last season and are currently seventh in the table under his successor, Brendan Rodgers.

They were Carling Cup winners and FA Cup finalists last season but have failed to reach the last eight of any of the knockout competitions.

However, right-back Johnson said: "It is clearly a better season than last season. Brendan is looking to improve the squad, and we have got a better squad than we did have."

Rodgers has brought in Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Joe Allen and Fabio Borini while letting Andy Carroll leave on loan, selling Charlie Adam and seeing Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez depart over the summer.

Johnson added: "Brendan was brought in to rebuild the squad and put Liverpool back into the place it should be.

"He wants to put us back in the top four, but he wasn't asked to do that in his first season. This season has been a step closer to that."

England international Johnson said he believes Liverpool are playing a superior brand of football this season, explaining: "You look at the squad, the football that we are playing, and eight times out of 10 we have been battering teams.

"That wasn't the case last season. We won a trophy last season, and of course that was fantastic. But in terms of getting Liverpool back where they belong, we want to be back in the top four."

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