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Season Review: Liverpool FC

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I have an undying love for Liverpool Football Club. It started when I watched the ’89 FA cup vs Everton. Liverpool went on to win 3-2 (with Ian Rush coming off the bench to bag a brace) from that moment on, my heart was with “The mighty Reds”. And nothing has changed ever since.

I never expected much from Liverpool this season. I didn’t expect anything great. My reason is simple – Liverpool Football Club is in a transition. And not just a “new manager” transition, it’s a total transition from owners through to kitchen staff. Hell, even the person who buys the coffee for the canteen at Melwood (Liverpool’s training facility) is new.  So by using common sense, you would have come to a fairly simple conclusion that this year was never going to be our year.  The way that the owners conduct business is new, the coaching staff is new, the style of play that Brendan Rodgers wants his team to play is new. It was NEVER going to come good this season.  This is one of the few times when you can use the term “transition” and mean it.  Well, that’s enough about that. Let’s move onto the good part!

League predictions:

Believe it or not, my top 6 is pretty much spot on so far. The only difference is, Liverpool and Everton have swapped places. I said from the start of the season that Manchester United would win this league easily with Shitty coming in a distant second. This is what I predicted initially:

  1. Manchester United
  2. Manchester City
  3. Arsenal
  4. Chelsea
  5. Tottenham Hotspur
  6. Liverpool (with Everton in 7th)

What went wrong:

There is no simple way to answer this question. So I’ll try and be as brief as possible.

Reason 1 – Brendan Rodgers loaned out Andy Carroll without having a replacement on standby. With him doing that and with the owners not willing to cough up and extra £2M for the overrated yank, Clint Dempsey, we were short of striking options.  Liverpool needed a number 10 (just behind the striker) in order to support Suarez. As amazing as he (Suarez) has been this season, he couldn’t do it on his own the 1st half of the season. And if you look at the 2nd half of the season, with the acquisition of Coutinho and Sturridge, this point was proved true.

Reason 2 – Tiki-taka. We all know that Brendan Rodgers’ style of play is 6 million passes and 1 shot at goal. But clearly that is a process that needs to take place. It doesn’t happen after 5 pre-season games unfortunately. And this is what ol’ Brendan tried to do. He tried to change everything… and quickly. What this created was awesome possession football with little end product. Liverpool’s passing and possession stats were phenomenal… yet we were languishing in the mid to bottom half of the table for most part of the 1st half of the season. As soon as Brendan Rodgers realized that his tiki-taka philosophy was kak, the results started changing. Gerrard started playing more attacking, direct football and more goals were scored. Point? He shouldn’t have tried to change the entire style of play. He should have rather tried and “tweaked” it here and there from the start.

Improvements:

I think consistency is going to be key next season. 0-0 draws against West Ham and newly promoted Reading at home is something that we need to get rid of. Home losses against so called “lesser” teams have halted our momentum on at least 3 occasions while we were on a decent run. I feel this was down to inexperience in the squad and in the coaching team. It’s a mentality shift that needs to be dealt with. Against the current top 4 teams, we have held the lead against ALL of them and managed to squander it to either draws or losses! Squad wise? See below:

  • Add 5 more quality + depth players in key positions – CB,LB,DM,AMC,RW
  • Plug the defence and get it more organised
  • Be More Consistent!

Looking at the league table, it isn’t all doom and gloom. We have improved on the season before. See where:

  • Lowered the average age of the squad
  • Lowered the wage bill by 30+ million a year
  • Added a Philosophy throughout the club to develop the same players for the style of play in the first team
  • Made us exciting to watch with the odd media pundit stating how exciting we are to view; number of fluid movements with goals
  • Sold some of the deadwood from Rafa + Roy + KK era…more could follow
  • Added some youth players into the first team; Suso, Sterling, Wisdom more to follow again
  • We have scored 20 goals more with 2 games remaining
  • We have kept 3 more clean sheets than last season with 1 games remaining
  • We have 6 points more than last season with 1 games remaining
  • We have lost 5 games less than last season

What we have not done

  • Progressed in cups mainly due to lack of squad depth for Capital One Cup – FA cup was a balls-up and Europe we got robbed away from home
  • Not solved defensive issues carried over from last season however looking more solid now compared to start of season, more to come for next year with reinforcements

Player of the season:

He adds a bit more bite to the Liverpool team when he plays. His favourite cereal is Bran. He bites, he dives, he hates the Jackson 5’s! Luis Suarez Luis Suarez. Yes, yes, yes, shut your mouths! Ability and performance wise, there has been nobody that has played better in a red shirt. But if you’re looking for a role model… erm… not the right place to look.

Cock of the season:

I hate to say this, but there are a few candidates. It could be FSG’s transfer policy (we missed out on Sneijder FFS), or the way Jen Chang handled the Ducan Jenkins saga (f*cking tosser). Or possibly Suarez’s bite. You guys can pick out of the 3… okay?

To wrap it all up, I’ll reiterate this point – Liverpool FOOTBALL CLUB are in transition. Not just the 1st team squad. But the ENTIRE CLUB. It’ll be a good few seasons yet before we can start being taken seriously as one of the Top 4’s. I just hope our supporters realize this and give the club time to build.

Written for The Pundits by @Potz56 – You can check out his own blog here: Potz’ Corner

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