In the aftermath of Athens

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The Gods looked down on Milan, and leveled the score from two years ago for these two historical giants of European football. But this result is not all bad for Liverpool Football club as there was a also a valuable and harsh lesson learned.

Liverpool fans and players a like have learned that grit and determination given by players like Gerrard, Carragher and Kuyt cannot on its own guarantee success and that’s why major changes have to be made.

Fans from AC Milan and Liverpool FC will always argue on who deserved to win, and it is made harder by the fact that both teams play so different styles of football but i think its pretty fair to say that both teams were pretty even, but that will only ever be an opinion. The simple fact is AC Milan won their seventh European cup and it is refreshing to hear Benitez and his players say that Milan deserved to win on the night, none of the Mourhinho and Chelsea type whinging and complaining.

Some may even say that Benitez had one eye on next years league title when he selected his team and continued to play Xabi Alonso even though he would have been the natural player to be replaced by Crouch as Mascherano was doing such Good job of keeping Kaka quiet up until his departure. Alonso would have bean very wary of signing a new contract if he thought he would be playing second fiddle to Mascherano next year.

What this Athens adventure has shown is how threadbare the Liverpool squad actually is, Zenden (sorry i always come back to Zenden) should never represent any club at the highest level such is the European cup but Rafa felt that Kewell was not fit enough and Gonzalez is either not good enough or not ready, but there was more serious problems with the selection. Steven Gerrard`s best position is central midfield, its not a debate anymore its a fact, but in the biggest game of our season we had to play him out of position because Kuyt is the only striker we have worthy of the title, world class, Crouch maybe someday but he seems more super sub material right now. If we had the influx of money that we are about to receive earlier and had another world class striker and a top left winger then i honestly believe the result in Athens would have been very different because Milan were there for the taking with Rafa`s tactics and a team that he could be confident of.

But this is football and we cant always get what we want, but one thing i do want is for Gerrard and Co to carry the disappointment and the pain of losing this final all through the summer , and use the memory and lesson learned and with the reinforced team Rafa will build will hopefully get them off to the flying start that has eluded us for so many years now. Liverpool have been shown where they need to improve and Rafa has already berated his new owners to give him the cash quick, and you cant blame him.

Two players that he has missed out on were Eto’o before Barca signed him and Alves who will cost triple now because the board did not move and back him fast enough. I have followed this club all my life from the Paisley glory years all through the title barren years, and i have seen managers come and go that promised the holy grail but Rafa is by far the man most likely to deliver the premiership holy grail back to the Kop faithful,there have been a lot of false dawns in between, but now we have one of the top managers in the world and for the first time since the game has moved into mega buck land we can actually compete at the very highest level for the signature’s of the very best in the game.

This summer expect a host of top names to arrive at Anfield and next season those same names coupled with Gerrard and co`s desire to put aside the pain of the Athens should see us mount a serious challenge on the cup we really want, The Premiership.

Tom Harness
One Fans View