Ho Hum, another home game another poor showing at Anfield.
It seems as though that can be written every week after a Liverpool home game, and that really upsets me. Liverpool are a club with a great history and a great tradition and since 2005 I do not get the same feeling about the club anymore. The last few season of course have been mired with poor ownership and some questionable transfer signings that have left the team with an uphill climb back to respectability.
New ownership (especially when replacing a terrible outgoing one) always comes with new hope and new optimism. Businessmen who are eager to succeed, choose the Premier League as their new outlet to help fatten their wallets and further their business acumen give supporters hope. Hope that new players will be brought in, big names who will be cheered at The Kop and whose jerseys will be worn around the streets at Anfield. This hope really got started last season in January when Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez were signed for a considerable amount of money.
There were strong showings leading up to the end of the 2010-11 season where Liverpool finished strong and Luis Suarez was looking as though he would be a great replacement for outgoing Fernando Torres. And then all the summer signings to hopefully step up Liverpool’s push for a Top 4 finish. Who could have predicted that at the beginning of May Liverpool would be 8th in the table and over 30 points behind Manchester City?
Who also could have predicted that the opening match of the season, a 1-1 draw with Sunderland at Anfield, would be the common occurrence at home this season? Just five wins at home and numerous dropped points makes Anfield seem like just another ground. Shouldn’t Anfield strike fear into opposing players the way Old Trafford and The Nou Camp do? Shouldn’t home games against teams such as Wigan, Norwich, Blackburn and Fulham be a pretty sure 3 points?
Of course there are positives this season, such as a Carling Cup trophy, and the very important FA Cup final against Chelsea. As a Liverpool fan, this is a very important FA Cup final. It is a final that will pretty much define whether this season is a boom or a bust.
Supporters of any sport have short memories and if Liverpool do win the FA Cup and pull of the double those same supporters will forgo all the struggles at home this season. It can just be chalked up to a rebuilding season. There are teams this season (Arsenal, Spurs, potentially Man City and Chelsea) who will come away from this season with nothing. Granted winning the Carling and FA Cups is an unusual double, but it not as though Liverpool are not familiar with an odd trophy filled season.
Hopefully fans remember the 2000-01 season where Liverpool did the unusual treble, with a Carling an FA and the UEFA Cup. At the time Liverpool still had not won a League title in 10 seasons, but these three trophies brought hope. Liverpool had young players named Gerrard, Carragher and Owen who still were yet to discover their full potential. It would be wonderful for an FA Cup win against Chelsea for young players named Carroll, Henderson and Coates to discover their full potential.
A lot of questions will be asked this summer regardless of the result against Chelsea at Wembley. What does ownership make of this season? Where does Liverpool go in the future in terms of building their squad? What players will be brought in and sold in the transfer window this summer? What is Kenny Dalglish’s future at Anfield?
The difference between and win and a loss though make these questions either easy or difficult to answer.