Surrendering the title: A stepping stone to Liverpool’s success?
Following a costly error from their skipper Steven Gerrard, Liverpool exposed themselves to all sorts of taunts, trolls and criticisms that were hiding when they were on an unbeaten streak before.
This setback means that the reds’ future is out of their hands and they rely solely on how the opposition teams fare against the Manchester City side. Just like when Manchester United were on the horizons of success there were anti and pro United supporters in the league with Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea fans falling in the former category. Liverpool now tastes their own medicine, as they face the wrath of the fans who have taunted the team for every slip, every ditch and every missed goal that their players produce. However, with the recent storm of criticism surrounding Anfield, after the English skipper’s slip, it is now writing on the wall, that Liverpool has become important once again.
Comparison with 2008-2009 season
Last time they finished second place in a season, was in 2008-2009. But they finished seventh, the following season as Rafael Benítez youth policy took Liverpool back down. People now compare this probable failure of them with that of Rafa’s side, however, what they fail to perceive is that this Liverpool side is miles apart from what they were used to be five seasons ago.
They do not sit back; do not fear the worst and most importantly score on desire, whenever they choose to, in a game. During that 2008-09 season they were undone by 11 draws, however, comparing to this statistic they have only managed five of them this season so they are already six points ahead of their last note-worthy season.
Indeed an improvement!
Transfer failures now seem unlikely
Following that season, Liverpool sold key players like Alonso and Arbeloa to giants such as Spain in a move that is still loathed by majority of the reds fans. As a result their previous good work and team commitment was undone and they had to build on, from zero once again. This season however, even if they manage some outs there are players like Henderson, Coutinho and Sterling that are long term prospects and carry definite potential for next season at least.
So next season the team work, will gain its momentum not only with the help of the new signings, but also by retaining most of their players. Hopefully that will be the edge they would require over their former team.
Liverpool not a one man team any more
Previously, Fernando Torres was the sole Liverpool striker and Liverpool’s goals largely depended upon him. In the 2010-2011 campaign, Torres’ form took a slump and down went the Liverpool side. But now, they have multiple goal scorers besides having the most prolific striker in the league, Luiz Suárez, in their ranks. They also have the second best, Daniel Sturridge the high scoring defender, Martin Škrtel an ever-green, Steven Gerrard and an ever glowing goal scoring midfielder in João Coutinho and Raheem Sterling who has jumped leaps and bounds this season. Thus, reiterating again, they have an edge over their immediate ancestors.
Less experimentation, more application!
This season however, they have a fully furnished, young squad. So now their team only needs a little bit tinkering to compete on the highest level and after having a record goal-scoring campaign to their name, Brendan Rodgers is not naïve to sub his star players for some un-proven talent as they did previously. As a result, next season Liverpool might go with the same mentality with a maximum of two different names on the starting eleven team sheet.
John W Henry, more than an owner
One more thing that differentiates Liverpool from their past, is the ownership.
In John W Henry they have an owner who cares for the team, comes to watch matches and most importantly praises his team on every win which is a good omen. Before the Fenway Sports group, Hicks and Company nearly dragged Liverpool into administration, after which, the current ownership intervened to save the club.
So if the current owners can show their confidence in a team when it is drowning, they will most definitely back it when it is going through a phase of absolute glory.
So again Brendon Rodgers’ Liverpool is heading for a bright future no matter what happens in the matches to come. So much so, Liverpool will allow Brendan Rodgers, a net outlay of £60m in the summer for their transfer market.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.