Chris Williams goes forward in time to May 2014 to bring you a his version of the results of Liverpool’s 2013/14 league campaign.
This coming season Liverpool find themselves with something they haven’t had for a while, consistency in the boardroom and the bootroom. Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all have new managers. Local rivals Everton also have a new manager whilst Arsenal and Spurs will too drink from the cup of consistency as season 2013/14 kicks off.
Brendan Rodgers’ first season brought some woefully inconsistent displays; some due to poor selection, some to poor formation and some to poor individual performances, but we always hear how a manager’s first full season is about adjustment. Truth is Anfield has seen nothing but one shot first (full) season managers since the departure of Rafa Benitez in June 2010. Consistency is key in football, especially when you’re building a philosophy. Rome wasn’t built overnight and Anfield as a bastion of invincibility once again will take longer than 12 months per person.
I’ll lay my cards on the line here, for me the jury is still out on Brendan Rodgers. Season 2012/13 was always going to be about restructure and re-growth but I expected a better return of results than was actually delivered. Key to an upturn in results and performances was the arrival of Philippe Coutinho, what a player he looks. For me he’s the biggest team impact signing since Xabi Alonso, his ability to pick out a pass is impressive to say the least. He looks every inch the ‘lock picker’ that has been missing for the last few years.
We seem to say this every year but; “this is a massive season”, not just for Rodgers but also for FSG. Today the Anfield Project was released, a long term investment, couple that with the early signings of Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Kolo Toure and in the last 30 minutes, confirmation of Simon Mignolet. The board, together with Rodgers, have made their move early – mistakes of the past seem to have been learnt. The ability to bond and get used to playing styles and current players should not be underestimated; the early moves in the market should be applauded.
So am I cracked? Deluded? No. Pathetically hopeful? Yes, but isn’t everyone as the start of a season approaches? If not why do you intend to invest so much of your free time (and these days; money) if you’re planning on being pessimistic?
Likelihood of this happening? Less than 5%. Chance of it happening? Anywhere between 0 and 100%.
That’s the beauty of football, nobody knows. Who would have realistically envisaged a second place finish in 08/09 to be followed by a seventh place finish the May after?
So sit back and relax and enjoy my (hopeful, tongue in cheek, or deluded (you decide)) results of season 2013/14. The season Liverpool finished with 90 points. Did they win the league? Who knows, I wasn’t going to work out the prospects of the other 19 clubs.
Did Luis Suarez stay? Yes he did, although the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti led to some last minute squeaky bum moments as the end of the window approached. He didn’t stay on another season after that though, but it didn’t matter, we won the league on the last day of the season…. Maybe I did work out those other 19 clubs after all.