Jake's excellent end of season look back
Posted by Le Jake on May 14, 2012, 02:39:27 AM
Opinions are like arseholes. We’ve all got one, and mine isn’t popular.
Many of you will disagree with me, but I have enjoyed this season. We’ve not finished 4th, we’ve not finished first, we’ve finished 8th. Written down, it’s terrible, and the outside world will believe it to be so. Indeed I’ve had old colleagues from 3 years ago, housemates and friends of my father sending my texts along the lines of ‘they are going to wheel Kenny off, he’s lost it’ and ‘time for clown Kenny to go’, but I’ve disagreed with every one of those and will do for a long long time.
Firstly, let us look at it from a game-by-game basis. I’ll discuss stats for the stattos, luck for the romantics, passion for those of us who believe any eleven human beings can beat a different set of eleven human beings on their day, and conspiracy theories for Andy@Allerton.
• Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland – Saturday 13th August.
The first game I went to this season, one I went into with optimism. Looking at the squad, it was a good one. We played Flanno, Carra, Adam and Downing in the starting XI. It’s arguable that Flanagan will improve with age, but for next season Johnson would be a better choice. Carragher is on the way out, replaced by the more solid Skrtel, Adam won’t be first choice next season, with Gerrard, Lucas, Hendo and maybe Shelvey ahead of him. Downing... I really don’t know what will happen to him. The rest of the XI that day we would all agree would be decent starters next season.
It was a very even game, a draw being a fair result. No better than the previous season, but no worse. We missed a penalty (would this be the only one we missed over the season?) and Andy Carroll had a good goal chalked off because he was big. I would say this game we should have won, and with 1% of luck, we would have had 3 points.
• Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool – Saturday 20th August.
Kelly in for Flanno; a stronger full back, who has impressed in almost every game since Lyon under Rafa. Dirk in for Suarez, on the bench, probably needing a rest after his international heroics. Otherwise a strong team. Again a close game, one which I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing live (infact I was sat on a checkout in one of my summer jobs, and when the fella I was serving told me the result, I went apeshit at work) but on watching the game afterwards, one which could have gone either way. Arsenal play attractive football, but we played a good game which held them off until Kenny made some very good subs, the impact of which brought us two goals. I would say this is a game we should have won, and we did, getting 3 points.
• Liverpool 3-1 Bolton – Saturday 27th August.
Three Saturday kick offs in a row? A nice feeling, and one I had to work through (luckily this job was at a bookies so the punters saw me go mental each time we scored in real time). Carroll sat this one out for the start, with Suarez coming in, and the ‘Anfield hoodoo’ hadn’t yet set in. We overplayed them, with double the amount of shots, and thrice the amount of goals. Hendo and Adam got their first for the club, Skrtel got a decent goal from a corner and the fans went home happy. I would say this is a game we should have won, and we did, getting 3 points.
• Stoke City 1-0 Liverpool – Saturday 10th September
This one I ‘enjoyed’ in a pub, another Saturday kick off, but a different result. We had 24 shots to their three, yet scored 0 goals, to their solitary goal from a penalty. Skrtel in (earned it after his goal?) and Kelly out, but surely the same team should produce the same result? Well in every way but the sign in the top left of the screen, it was the same performance. The penalty result was soft, but they have been given before, but the open goal missed, and the multiple other saves and misses from Kenny’s Reds meant we went away empty handed. On another day we’d have won this, but Stoke is a difficult place to go (although in the League Cup we didn’t find it such a task) and I would say this is a game we should have drawn this season, earning 1 point.
• Tottenham 4-0 Liverpool – Sunday 18th September
We collapsed, Carroll came in from the start, and it was obvious that we believed we could win this game (on paper, a passionate and confident approach) which did not work due to our own mistakes. A red card for Skrtel and another for Adam meant we were unlikely to win. Whilst it was admirable we still tried to win the game when we were down to 10, down to 9 against a good team like Spurs is just too much, and we succumbed to our heaviest defeat of the season. Totally outplayed, we deserved nothing, which is what we got, 2 defeats on the bounce, heads perhaps going down? We didn’t deserve anything from this game, and we got 0 points.
• Liverpool 2-1 Wolves – Saturday 24th September
Back to Saturdays and back to winning ways (I’m a poet
). Looking at the way the season progressed, perhaps we should have won by more, but Wolves gave a good account of themselves and Suarez got a goal, Stevie Gerrard showed his face and we won the game. Was this a n early indicator of us having trouble asserting ourselves at Anfield? Perhaps. But out of sight, out of mind and we gladly took the win. I would say this is a game we should have won, and we did. Earning 3 points.
• Everton 0-2 Liverpool – Saturday 1st October
Another win for the Redmen, and one which could have been by more goals, with Kuyt suffering a rare penalty miss, and one which was thoroughly deserved. Everton weren’t played off the park, as they may have been later in the season at Anfield, but they were the second team, restricted to shooting from distance. A smart finish from Andy Carroll and a mistake from Distin gifting Suarez a goal (recurring theme?) meant that the 442 playing Reds took the three points, nothing less than they deserved. I would say this is a game we should have won, and we did. Earning 3 points.
• Liverpool 1-1 Man Utd – Saturday 15th October
Two Premiership games against our two biggest rivals, perhaps six points would have been too much to ask for, and we had to settle for a draw against the current ‘Champions of England’. Carroll returned to the bench and Liverpool looked to control the game, but lacked the finishing touch. Gerrard scored in front of the Kop, not for the first time in his career, but Man Utd ‘Supersub’ Hernandez got an equaliser. Liverpool probed but lacked the finishing touch, although Henderson came close with a dipping volley, the game was a stalemate, Suarez and Kuyt couldn’t recreate their heroics from the season before, and the game ended 1-1. A result we could begrudgingly accept, and one that was probably deserved. I would say this is a game we should have drawn, and we did. Earning 1 point.
• Liverpool 1-1 Norwich – Saturday 22nd October.
This was it, the beginning of the end, and it was only October. Well perhaps it wasn’t such a doomsday, but it was something we may yet see bite us in the arse. We bossed the game, 29 shots to 12; hitting the woodwork THREE times. Bellamy grabbed a goal against his former club but perhaps playing ‘The Big Man’ upfront would have resulted in a win. It was the first time this season I had felt truly robbed, storming back to the bus across Stanley Park tweeting by frustrations away. If one of those three woodwork hits had gone in, it would have been happy days for Liverpool. I would say this is a game we should have won, but we didn’t. Another day it would have been 3 points.
• West Brom 0-2 Liverpool – Saturday 29th October
A game we lost last season, anything would be an improvement, right? Well this was an improvement, Carroll got on the scoresheet from the edge of the box, and Charlie Adam put a penalty away (he’s good at penalties then? That could come in handy...). Another away win, perhaps the away form that used to haunt us had been banished. We were still a little wasteful, many shots skewed wide or scuffed, but a comfortable win all the same. I would say we should have won this game, which we did, earning 3 points.
• Liverpool 0-0 Swansea – Saturday 5th November
Remember, remember, the fifth of November. For it is when slight irks become little nags, and another Anfield stalemate gets the ‘daytripper’ fans mumbling into their £5.50 pints of Carling. We went out with all the intentions to win, as we often do, with over double the amount of shots on goal, but we were very wasteful. The post was hit once, and Vorm pulled off a tasty save, but this result was our own fault, and yet again it was only a draw against a ‘lesser’ team at Fortress Anfield. I would say we should have drawn this game, which we did, earning 1 point.
• Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool – Sunday 20th November.
Well, this was a bit of luck for us if I’m being honest. Maxi got a goal in the big game, and Glen got a winner towards the end, but apart from that, it was a 50/50 game. Chelsea dominated attempts and perhaps we looked to nick the win, rather than batter the opposition. We continued our decent run of away games, and beat Chelsea for the umpteenth time running, but on another day it wouldn’t be the case. I would say this is a game we deserved to draw (bloody glad we won though) and we would have got 1 point.
• Liverpool 1-1 Man City – Sunday 27th November.
Last season this game was the Andy Carroll show, this season he started on the bench and it was more of a bruising affair, becoming the Lucas Leiva show. Our Brazilian ran the game, (check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsOnfqr77fM
and try to disagree) but alas it wasn’t to be for the Redmen. We may have had more shots but our defending for their goal was a little sloppy and our goal was very lucky. It had all the makings of a goalless midfield game and perhaps it was. Another Anfield Draw.I would say this is a game we should have drawn, and we did, earning 1 point.
• Fulham 1-0 Liverpool – Monday 5th December
Monday night football, something that I didn’t enjoy on this particular day. A month after the Swansea shite, came the Fulham fiasco. Wee Jay got on, then got off again (maybe he shouldn’t have been off, but he shouldn’t have made a tackle like that) and it was an open game. We weren’t good enough, and the team didn’t play as it should have. Dempsey was a dickhole, but popped up when it mattered and got the winner. It was admirable we still went for the win with ten men, and perhaps the whole game could have been different had Henderson’s brilliant run and shot gone in, or Downing’s crossbar hit have gone in, or goalscorer Dempsey been sent off for being a dick to Bellamy, but it wasn’t to be. I would say this is a game we should have drawn, but we didn’t. With a bit of luck we would have earned 1 point.
• Liverpool 1-0 QPR – Saturday 10th December
Liverpool bounced back with a win, albeit quite a dreary one, and madly enough the first win I went to this season, but a win all the same. We overran the midfield and it showed that we had the better players, over three times as many chances, and it should have shown in a huge scoreline, but we had to settle for 1-0. They say the good teams are the ones that can grind out wins, so was this something we should have got optimistic about? We did hit the crossbar twice too, so it could have been 3-0. I would say this is a game we should have won, and we did, earning 3 points.
• Aston Villa 0-2 Liverpool – Sunday 18th December
Alex McLeish was a manager who was a pain in our backsides last season, but this season we took three points from a ground we took none from the previous season (thanks to a Downing goal, was he to score again here? No). Two early corners resulted in two goals (although it would have been better if Shelvey had scored with that backheel, I love that guy). Aston Villa could have collapsed, but they held their own, and the game stayed at 2-0. Suarez hit the woodwork twice (again!) and that was that. Were we to be the first stop for the Aston Villa relegation train? Only time would tell. I would say we deserved to win this game, and we did, earning 3 points.
• Wigan 0-0 Liverpool – Wednesday 21st December
Our last game before Xmas (we don’t get an Xmas break over here, let’s hope the players don’t get tired and lose momentum) and this was surely a game we should win, right? Well when Charlie Adam, the deadball expert, stood at the penalty spot about to tuck it away for 1-0 I thought so, but no, it didn’t go in, and neither did anything else that day. 0-0 it was to stay, we lined up to dominate the game, but it wasn’t to be. We were good, but not good enough. I would say we deserved to draw this game, and we did, earning 1 point.
So here we were, the players celebrating Jesus’ birthday sitting high-mid table, but with a bit of luck (and surely nothing we could blame on the Gaffer) we would have been sitting higher, definitely closer to the aim of 4th place!
Squad Review by Christmas 2011
Reina was the only one we saw, playing in the League and the League Cup, and he played pretty well, nothing spectacular in the way of saves but solid enough when called upon.
Solid, without doubt our best asset, barring the Spurs game, in which we had 9 men, they hadn’t conceded more than one goal in a game, with a few tricky games gone (away at Arsenal and Chelsea and Everton), and had one of the best records in the league. Mainly Rafa’s old team, with great additions from Kenny and DC in Enrique and the up-and-coming (young player of the Copa) Coates.
Arguably the biggest shake up under the return of the king, and where the ‘buy british’ policy came into its own (for good or bad, who knows). In Henderson, Adam, Downing and Bellamy there is a complete midfield that could play for Team GB. It could help us fill quotas, but it didn’t help us score goals. The slow comeback of Gerrard and the tragic injury to Lucas didn’t help, but four midfielders is tricky to bed in all in one go. Dirk didn’t enjoy as much success as the previous season, and Maxi was used sparingly (to the despair of some) but plenty of chances were created.
Suarez and Carroll. Both good players, combined cost of around 67m pounds, but just two men, with two heads and four legs (no Ngog’s third leg jokes please) which are likely to get tired. Suarez was brilliant, (although due to miss a few games in 2012...) and Carroll scored more than Torres, so it wasn’t bad. But with just two men comes a lack of options for those moments where things aren’t working.
With more chances created than the opposition in all but two league games, and the woodwork hit 217 times, surely there was reason to be cheerful? It would all depend on what was to come after Christmas.
• Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn – Monday 26th December
Another Monday night football, another Anfield football squib. Charlie Adam scored, albeit in the wrong net, and the Reds went into half time trailing to relegation fodder Blackburn Rovers. It was a disappointing start, especially with Blackburn having such a poor first half of the season, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Andy Carroll hit the post again, and with four times the efforts on goal, the redmen did everything but win. Kenny put a team out to win, both big money strikers, Maxi Rodriguez (who got his customary goal), strongest CB pairing of Skrtel and Agger & a sub appearance from Captain Fantastic wasn’t enough, as yet again chance after chance flew by. I would say we deserved to win this game, but we didn’t. We would have earned 3 points.
• Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle – Friday 30th December
We don’t often play on Fridays, but perhaps we should as this was a strong showing in one of our few home wins against high fliers Newcastle. A brace from Bellamy and a goal from Gerrard, with the Newcastle goal coming from a Daniel Agger own goal (it seems we don’t concede many without it being our own fault). Bellamy scored a fantastic free kick and we did all this without Suarez, who was banned for putting a finger up to some Fulham inbreds. I would say we deserved to win this, and we did, earning 3 points.
• Manchester City 3-0 Liverpool – Tuesday 3rd January
Tuesday night this time, and 2012 got off to a pretty bad start. In fairness, the Etihad is a hard place to get a draw, let alone the win (although we did do it the month after...). And the team did go out with intent, having more chances than the league leaders, but without Suarez or Gerrard, and with the others misfiring, they were wasteful. Man City were compact and tidy finishers, although one of their goals was a penalty, and fully deserved the win. I would say Liverpool deserved the loss, and got what they deserved: 0 points.
Crappy New Year?
• Liverpool 0-0 Stoke – Saturday 14th January
Yet another draw, yet another draw that I was there to witness, and it started to feel like not all was well. We were the dominant team, but didn’t look like winning the game in all honesty. Dirk Kuyt started up front on his own, which is the first managerial decision I had seriously been annoyed about(although Suarez was banned due to some nonsense), against Stoke’s bruisers surely the Warrior that is Andy Carroll could have thrown himself about and created space for some nippy players to burst in, but it wasn’t to be and the game ended 0-0. Squad depth and strength of starting XI cost us this one, alongside a lack of clinical finishing. I would say we deserved the draw, and that’s what we got, earning 1 point.
• Bolton 3-1 Liverpool – Saturday 21st January
Liverpool FC were terrible. In a regular season all teams have an off day, but the Reds had suffered two losses in three, and took one point from games which brought the full 9 the previous season. Less chances, less creativity and a whole lot less passion, no one except for Craig Bellamy looked like they wanted to win the game, which showed in the goals scored section of the game. Liverpool played their full strength team available (only Suarez and Lucas were out) so surely excuses should be hard to come by for the players? Here we had millions of pounds of talent outplayed by our outcast David Ngog, Nigel Reo-Coker, Tuncay and Zat Knight. Hopefully Kenny Dalglish could inspire them in the next game, but so far so shite in January. I would say we deserved nothing, which is what we got. Nil Points.
• Wolves 0-3 Liverpool – Tuesday 31st January
A few good home games in the two cups against the two Manchester teams (City and United, not City and Newton Heath) and then it was back to the bread-and-butter of the Premier League and away to Wolves, a game which Fernando Something shone in last season, securing a 3-0 win, this year, Mr Torres’ replacement got on the scoresheet in an even better team performance, in which Wolves were thoroughly outplayed from first to last. It not often that Liverpool do the double against someone nowadays, but the two wins against Wolves show that Liverpool can beat the minnows, they just lack consistency. Finally in January I can say we deserved the win, which is what we got – 3 points.
• Liverpool 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur – Monday 6th February
A cat – a cat – a cat a cat a cat. This dull as dishwasher game was at least memorable for the advent of the Anfield Cat. A cat ran on the pitch, it was a bit funny for a minute when the Kop sang “a cat, a cat, a cat, a cat, a cat” and I discovered that 109 kop is in the bloody centenary, but apart from that it was a bit crap. Suarez made his league return after his lengthy ban, Harry Redknapp was at home but they got their tactics spot on, they came for a point and that’s what they got. February started as January would have finished had it been one day shorter, and I would say we deserved the draw, which is what we got. 1 point.
• Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool – Saturday 11th February
This game created yet another PR shitstorm for Liverpool as Luis Suarez was deemed to not shake Patrice Evra’s hand. Here is my personal view: I do not know what may or may not have happened between Suarez and Evra. I know that Evra has a history of making up accusations, I know that Evra’s evidence was inconsistent and I know the FA gave an unprecedented punishment. I know Suarez felt hard done by, and I know the FA CALLED OFF the QPR-Chelsea handshake TWICE this season, to protect Brave JT. I also believe that Evra purposely pulled his hand slightly away to ‘dare’ Suarez. I know Evra is a c*nt.
Oh we lost, we deserved to lose. It was even-ish, but we made a sloppy mistake, and perhaps wee Jay was shown to be a trier, but maybe lacking a little in talent. I would say we deserved to lose and Evra is a c*nt. We got 0 points.
• Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal – Saturday 3rd MarchWe won the Cup a few days before btw.
So a resurgent Arsenal came to Anfield looking to carry on their run of good form which was rocketing them up the table, but it looked like we were going to do another league double when we got a penalty in the first half. But no, this was missed like so many others. Never mind, heads up, we scored first via Koscielny’s OG, then disaster struck as the aging Carragher lost Arsenal’s only ever goal scorer and boom. 1-1. The second half was open and Liverpool had decent chances, Martin Kelly missed an open net and Suarez and Kuyt hit the post (recurring theme) then in injury time, double disaster struck as up stepped Robin Van Onemanteam to score what was admittedly a good goal, and Liverpool somehow lost the game. A very bitter taste was left in my mouth after this one, we deserved to win and tried so hard, just couldn’t pull the trigger, the story of the season so far. EVERYONE would say we deserved to win this, and would have earned 3 points.
• Sunderland 1-0 Liverpool – Saturday 10th March
2012 got even worse on our annual trip to Northern pub team Sunderland. Another team on the up, this time thanks to a new manager in Martin O’neil and this game bore resemblance to the away trips to Bolton and Fulham, in other words, we were shite. We may have had more attempts, but they were pathetic attempts, and even the most ardent RAWKite surely couldn’t argue we should have won this one. For their goal, the ball hit the post and Reina’s head, then Bendtner popped it into the gaping net (we’d probably have hit the post had that happened to us) and the game petered out. Before Christmas many of our dropped points we could say we deserved, but one win in 2012 was shocking, and only one of the others should have gone our way. Something had changed, maybe the attitude since the Suarez saga, maybe tiredness following our epic cup runs so far, but it was too late to change anything really. In a season there are a few ways of creating a transition, you can sign a load of players (transfer window shut), dramatically change the way of training and playing (a task for pre season) or change the manager (sack King Kenny? Fuck off). None of these options were open to us, so were we due to stumble around till the summer? Surely March is too early to write the season off? In any case, I would say we deserved to lose this game, and we did, earning 0 points.
• Liverpool 3-0 Everton – Tuesday 13th March
This was more like it surely; a 3-0 win against local rivals Everton at Anfield. Courtesy of a hat trick from El Capitano Steven Gerrard. David Moyes was celebrating 10 years in charge but by the time the shitehawks were heading home to beat the traffic, the Kop was clamouring for 10 more years. Maybe Kenny had given the players a boot up the arse, or maybe it was another showing of “big game” Liverpool, but double the chances, a hat trick of good goals and no hitting of the woodwork, maybe that big transition wasn’t needed after all, and we just had a bad patch. Again, the Suarez and Carroll partnership had give the Blues the blues, and Merseyside was red for the night. Let’s hope this wasn’t just ‘paving over the cracks’. I would say we deserved to win this game, and we did. Earning 3 points.
• QPR 3-2 Liverpool – Wednesday 21st March
A 2-0 win for Liverpool kept Kenny’s red army marching on. Kuyt bagged a rare goal and Coates got his first for the club in style, with a B-E-A-utiful scissor kick, Suarez hit the post and we played them off the park. I stopped watching after the Kuyt goal, I wanted to beat the traff... wait, what? What do you mean we conceded three goals in 13 minutes and threw the game away in the most pathetic way possible? Oh for fuck sake, how did that happen? Was it Kenny taking Suarez off when he rightfully felt the game was won, or was it the defence having an absolute mare? I didn’t see Kenny letting shite relegation fodder run past him, so I’d blame the players. Seriously felt angry after this game, we deserved to win on paper, but any team that doesn’t wrap up a game against a newly promoted team they score 2 goals in doesn’t deserve anything (hear that Man Utd 2-3 Blackburn cough cough hope that doesn’t come back and bite you in the arse
). I would say we deserved to lose this game, and we did, earning 0 points
• Liverpool 1-2 Wigan – Saturday 24th March
You’re reading that right, Wigan’s first ever Premiership win at Anfield and one they deserved. Liverpool may have had way more chances, and way more possession, but this was a terrible team performance from the players and the staff. Liverpool lined up to pack the midfield at home, that’s right, at Fortress Anfield, against Wigan. What happened to people coming here and being scared? To be fair to Wigan they came here to play football and a penalty from a high boot sent Liverpool into half time trailing, surely to a Glaswegian roasting. They came out of the blocks in the second half much better, Suarez grabbing an equaliser before an uncharacteristic defensive mistake allowed Caldwell to grab a winner. Liverpool poked and probed but there was no way through and Wigan left with a famous win. Young Raheem Sterling did get on though. I would say that we deserved nothing, and that’s what we got, earning 0 points.
• Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool – Sunday 1st April
This game was... a little nutty. It could have gone either way up until the second goal. A blatant penalty was missed for a handball on the line almost Suarez-esque but apart from that, Liverpool failed to produce their usual (albeit fading fast) attacking intent and two decent Cisse goals condemned Liverpool to yet another loss. Then everything went tits up as Pepe Reina and James Perch clashed. Reina’s fiery latin blood got the better of him and he swung his big bald head at Perch, but missed. Perch for some reason decided that he would go down anyway and Reina got sent off, with a three game ban for violent conduct. Perch, for his part, got a yellow, which meant the FA couldn’t go back and review the situation. I would say we deserved nothing, and thats what we got (again) earning 0 points.
• Liverpool 1-1 Aston Villa – Saturday 7th April
Another game which left us all wondering if Anfield was cursed, and one in which we dominated for the entire game. Doni conceded a goal which he could do little about, but apart from that he organised the defence well. Shelvey didn’t do as well as the away tie between these two, but none of the team did, and it took till the second half for Liverpool to grab a goal, thanks to El Pistolero of course. Almost 5 times as many shots on goal, and the woodwork rattled twice, any other team would have enjoyed a runaway win, but the Anfield hoodoo kept the goals at bay, and this ended 1-1. I would say we deserved to win this game, earning 3 points.
• Blackburn 2-3 Liverpool – Tuesday 10th April
If the last three games were depressing and passionless, this game was a beacon of hope for two of our players who deserved it. Maxi got a start and once again popped up with two neat finishes early in the game. Doni then got a straight red for taking down a Blackburn player. On comes Jones for his first game since Utrecht and he has to face a penalty against Yakubu. WHICH HE SAVED! A brilliant moment for Brad Jones who gave a wave to the travelling Kop before waving to his tragically taken too soon son Luca, in heaven.
Blackburn smelt blood though and in the second half Yakubu did get on the scoresheet, a now worryingly recurrent defensive lapse left him unmarked to head home.
Then Brad Jones showed his lack of game time left him with a spot of rust as he flapped at a high ball, and as Yakubu ran to latch onto it, he was shoved to the floor by Jones, who received a yellow for his troubles. Maybe referee Taylor felt bad for Liverpool, having lost two keepers in the last 3 games, or he realised Yakubu didn’t have a clear goalscoring opportunity, anyway the Yak tucked it away for 2-2.
Another QPR away was on the cards until the dying moments of the game, Coates lofted a ball into the box which Agger nodded into the path of Andy Carroll, who headed the ball into the back of the net to win the game. Although we won, I would say we only deserved to draw the game, which would have earned us 1 point.
RIP LUCA JONES
• Liverpool 0-1 West Brom – Sunday 22nd April
Back to reality for Liverpool it would appear for Liverpool as the Reds failed to capitalise on their run of two wins (oh yeah we beat Everton in the FA Cup semi to book a place in the final for our third visit to Wembley this year, did I forget to say?) but it was lovable loathable buffoon Roy Hodgson who had the last laugh on his first return to Anfield. Suarez and Carroll started upfront and Skrtel and Agger started at the back, trade Spearing and Kuyt for the injured duo of Gerrard and Lucas and this would surely be the ideal team, Kenny could do no better with the tools at his disposal. The team battered West Brom for 89 minutes, with a rare mistake from Glen Johnson gifting them a goal, but it wasn’t to be. The woodwork was hit again TWICE but the ball would not go in the net, no matter what happened. We thought it was funny to sing Hodgson for England during the game, fast forward a few weeks though and we would be left with shocked expressions on our faces. 30 shots to 9, who should win this game? The team who scored the most goals of course. Them. I would say we deserved to draw this game at least, which would have earned us 1 point.
• Norwich 0-3 Liverpool – Saturday 28th April
If the last game was a display of fruitlessness, this was a glorious celebration of what hard work and one magical explosive player can do. Norwich have enjoyed a good first season with the big boys, but today was all about one man, Luis Suarez. His first goal was set up with a beautiful pass from Gerrard, his second was a showing of what can happen when you press and press till the opposition get scared into making a mistake and the third... well decide for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFKiVGLhm_I
(enjoy the clip without crappy nu metal)
This was a fine display and in a way was a showing of what could have been in many of our games this year with a bit of luck. But for today, it was just something to enjoy. Suarez’s song is fun to sing after all. I would say we deserved to win this game, which we did, earning 3 points.
• Liverpool 0-1 Fulham – Tuesday 1st May
The fourth CL spot was long gone and Kenny decided to play the second string in this warn up for the FA Cup final. Not much was to be expected of the squad, although Henderson, Carroll and Downing still got game time (as did young Raheem, arguably too late) there isn’t much to say. Shelvey had one cleared off the line but thats about it, we did have a lot of shots, but this was merely a formality. It’s the fans who made the trip I feel bad for. Kenny sacrificed this game, but was he right to? Is the King flawed? I would say we deserved nothing from this game, which is what we got, earning 0 points.
• Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea – Tuesday 8th May
THIS IS NOT A TYPO. Following on from a disappointing FA Cup final defeat to some team who buy success, we played London minnows Chelsea in our last home league game of the season. An Essie own goal (from a brilliant mazy Suarez run) a Henderson goal from a scumbag JT slip and a header from Agger after a nice bit of work between Carroll and Shelvey meant the Reds scored three BEFORE half time. It should have been four but the perennially disappointing Downing missed a penalty. Ramieres got a consolation before Shelvey drilled one in from 35 yards. It was something to cheer about following a cruddy weekend but surely with Chelsea wanting fourth place and playing Essien, Terry, Ivanovic, Malouda, Ramieres, Torres and Sturridge it can’t be called Chelsea reserves. Shoots of hope for the summer? Liverpool dominated from first to last and this was a fine end to a questionable season. I would say we deserved to win this, and we did, in styleeee, earning 3 points.
• Swansea 1-0 Liverpool – Sunday 13th May
Last game of the season, we couldn’t move up or down the league, we played half the reserves, we were unlucky. There’s your list of excuses. But for those saying “dead rubber, not arsed” I would say this. Many Red fans travelled across the border for this, the players are paid by LFC, and if there isn’t something LFC related that they are being rested for, they should be playing. In reality we only played Doni over Reina (ill anyway) and Carra in hopefully his last game (not because he is the root of all evil as some will have you believe, but he is in the twilight of his career) and I would have been gutted had I gone. I would say we deserved to lose this, and we did, earning 0 points.
Thanks for reading
So there we have it, a game by game analysis of our season and how it could all have been different had we had a little luck. I think our performances deserved 62 points this season, not title winning form, and would only take us up one place, but in such a strong league, it would have been a lot easier to stomach than the worst points total ever.[/center]Positives:
We have some really strong players with Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique, Lucas, Gerrard and Suarez, with players like Shelvey, Henderson and Carroll looking like they are going to develop well.
Not only can we finally rectify our previous transfer mistakes, we can go forward with investment and an abandonment of the buy British Policy.
We can transition the squad and the playing/training methods.
We won a trophy. That’s more than Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United.
We have a club legend at the helm
We’re NOT CHELSEA.
We’ve made decent in-roads into marketing opportunities.Negatives:
Anfield isn’t a fortress any more, (but it can become one again)
We spent a lot of money last summer
The press hate us (I think it’s a positive, but may have negative impact)
I can’t afford to go to as many games (a personal gripe of course, seeing as our Anfield form is so shite, perhaps it’s a blessing to the club)
Hope this made you miserable gits
SMILEBRING ON NEXT SEASON – ON THE MARCH WITH KENNY’S ARMY – JAKE MITCHELL 2012
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