From Hodgson and Poulsen, through Torres to Dalglish – Putting LFC plight into context

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The season had just started. We were optimistic. We had a new boss. Things were looking good.

The 3-0 loss to City was just a tiny blip- we’d learn from it- and after all, we lost because Mascherano didn’t want to play. Good riddance.

Northampton? Really? We all couldn’t believe the result, but we were still optimistic. We still believed. After all, he played all the kids. Maybe our kids just aren’t up to scratch..that’s it! Blame the kids!

Oh no. Newly promoted Blackpool? At Anfield? What’s going on? Our confidence started to slowly disintegrate. It’s probably just our squad though- not enough depth. And what’s the manager supposed to do with that?

A 2-0 defeat of Everton? Ridiculous. And our manager stating it was one of our better performances of the season, and he wasn’t really bothered about the result? Unacceptable. Things are starting to look bleak.

Wolves. Bottom-of-the-league Wolves. They’ve beaten us at Anfield. We showed no fight, no passion. We’re a laughing stock. Nobody takes us seriously anymore. Our manager? What a joke! Liverpool Football Club is languishing 12th in the league, with a -2 goal difference, after 18 games. And we’re out of the Carling Cup. Can it get worse?

Blackburn have just outclassed us. Long-Ball-Blackburn. I knew it. It could get worse. Liverpool is finished. Gone are the days when we compete at the top- we can’t even believe we are going to win next week’s game. Things are getting desperate. Get Kenny in- he’s our last hope..

Painful memories for all us Liverpool fans. I think we can all agree that our thought processes where all very similar at the time- and I think we can all agree that at the time, we were desperate for something different, something which we could smile about.

I don’t know about you, but I genuinely thought that Liverpool Football Club as we knew it, was dead. We were lying in an awful position in the table, and if someone had of offered me to go back to the days of Rafa, when we were coming 7th in the league, I would have certainly taken it. After all, 7th is a lot better than 12th.

So now, let’s put our current “crisis” into context, only one year and a bit on from those desperate, desolate times.

We’re 8th in the Premier League. Still not Liverpool standard, we all know. But, for once we can genuinely say, the fact that we are in 8th does not represent our form. Ok, the “unlucky”, “woodwork”, “fantastic goalkeeping performances” and “tiredness” excuses seem valid, but they don’t cut it for me, because every team experiences one or two, or all of the above throughout a season. However, we can safely say we don’t belong in 8th, because our performances show otherwise. You can count the games we did not deserve to win on one hand, and in 90% of the rest of the games, we’ve truly outclassed, and outplayed our opponents, no matter if it was Norwich or Blackburn, or Manchester City, Manchester United, or Arsenal. We have even beaten Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton away. In fact we completed the Merseyside double a few weeks ago. So, with the quality performances we have witnessed, throughout the whole year, and add to that at least one goal scorer (I’m praying, like you, that Kenny invests in one on the summer), then why’s everybody getting so angry? Ok, watching a lot of the games this season has been infuriating, but mostly because we have 100% deserved to win the game, and we have come away with 1, or no points.

But let’s not forget the Hodgson days- playing bad football, and getting equally terrible results to match. Surely, only one year on, playing sublime football against a majority of teams, even when missing a key component of a team (a goal scorer), is desirable. Surely, only one year after feeling that the Liverpool you knew and loved was gone, it’s unreasonable to expect it to be back, challenging at the top again?

But, let’s not forget the small detail that is silverware. One year on from being knocked out in the early stages by Northampton, Liverpool ended their silverware drought with winning the Carling Cup. And before the abuse starts to fly in, if beating Stoke away, Chelsea away, and top-of-the-league Manchester City over a two legged tie only gets you the ‘Mickey Mouse Cup’, then I wouldn’t mind winning it again next year either.
Add to that, the fact that we are going to Wembley again, for the FA Cup semi-final against Everton, and I think you’ll find that we’re actually not really in a ‘crisis’ after-all.

So, our beloved club, Liverpool lay dejected, a laughing stock, 12th in the league, only a year and a bit ago. Kenny came in, let our ‘star’ striker leave for a fantastic £50 million, and replaced him, with (at the time) the best up-and-coming young English striker around (who a host of teams were also closely monitoring) and added 7 or 8 more young players, to complete the re-vamping of our squad. (Determining whether it was ‘good businesses or a rubbish transfer policy is widely written about on the web, and I don’t want to try and add to it, considering all views have been heard already.)

However, no matter what your view is, the fact is, Kenny now has a completely new squad. You cannot expect 7, 8, or 9 new, young players to suddenly gel, and start competing. We all knew this was a transitional season deep down, and I think it is sensible that we all accept the progress we made (potentially 2 cups and very promising league performances), get completely behind our manager Kenny Dalglish, and start supporting the players, even if they have failed to shine so far. Let’s not forget, we all wrote Lucas off as being useless, and we all said he would never make it. But now, still only 24, he’s one of the best defensive midfielders around. Let’s just hope, that 20 year old Jordan Henderson and 23 year old Andy Carroll follow suit.

So really, let’s stop this constant complaining every time something doesn’t go right- we’re not Chelsea. We are Liverpool Football Club, and we pride ourselves on our fantastic support, which, let’s face it, our club needs loads of, right now- and if we do, I think you’ll find the golden skies are just around the corner.

YNWA.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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