It’s the final game of the Premiership season as Liverpool host Charlton, the focus for all Liverpool supporters will be on one man only though, Robbie Fowler, as he makes what looks like being his final appearance for Liverpool at Anfield.
Fowler was never given the send off he thoroughly deserves when he left in 2001, and this is the opportunity to show appreciation for all he has done.
The Liverpool Way fanzine have suggested making this ‘Fowler Day’ (or Number 9 day to celebrate Steve Heighway’s contribution also) – with fans being encouraged to wear their old Fowler shirts from the 90’s, stick plasters on their noses, wear Dockers t-shirts, dye their hair bleached blonde or anything else you remember Fowler for!
Match Preview Chris Wellman
SO ANOTHER domestic season draw’s to a close with Liverpool firmly established in a Champion’s league berth for next season, reward then for a season that has shown increased potential, but once again has had to endure a bafflingly poor away campaign.
Yes, that same old recurring theme rears it’s ugly head, ‘Consistency’. Once again we have fallen below the high standards we set, when it comes to the Premiership. Third to many a club would be a fantastic achievement, but to a die hard red it is somewhat exasperating, as in glimpses we once again showed our title credentials.
That said, we can look on a magnificent home record that has propelled us to the higher reaches of the league as something to be proud of. Charlton arrive with the unenviable task of trying to add to the meagre five goals we have conceded this campaign. It is a record not even surpassed by the ‘top two’ such has been our defensive qualities.
The game itself will not have that end of season feeling that usually occurs around this time, not just because we have a momentous date with destiny looming in Athens, but because it will see the passing of a certain ‘legend’ who has inspired and influenced so much when he has put on the coverted red shirt.
I speak of no other than Robbie Fowler, who will trot out for the last time on Anfield’s hallowed turf surely to rapturous applause. He may have been a peripheral figure this season, but just the mention of his name as a substitute could raise the expectation. It will be an emotional moment, and what price a goal at the Kop end which we and Rafa crave.
Another player saying farewell (injury permitting) will be Jerzy Dudek. It would be fitting for him to be given a chance to properly say goodbye to the fans as he will always be remembered for his heroics in Istanbul.
This will not however be a game based purely on goodbyes. Places are up for the 18-man squad for the final, and in the case of a certain Harry Kewell, this fixture could be pivotal for him in gate crashing the Athens party.
Rafa will be running the rule over his players with an expert eye. He doesn’t suffer fools lightly, anyone who thinks he is a certainty to board the plane with his starting position cemented, may well have to think again. I believe he will start Alonso in midfield, possibly resting Gerrard. Sami could well deputise for Agger or Carragher and Bellamy will come in from the fringes to lay his claims and partner Fowler.
There should then, be a an atmosphere of warmth, as red fans will not only pay there respects to Fowler and Co, but also the passing of Charlton to the Championship after their seven year tenure. With regards to final team selection for May 23rd however, expect the heat to be well and truly turned up.