What can I really say that hasn’t been said about Liverpool’s season? It’s been a terrible year and things are looking bleak for the future. They can’t seem to find any sort of consistent form, their players keep lashing out at the boss, the boss holds onto his job despite this terrible form because of the owners, and the cycle will go on and on until something is done about the situation. Like a virgin seeing a naked girl for the first time, I don’t even know where to begin.
Let’s start with the biggest problem (I guess): their position in the league. Remember after last season when we thought that Liverpool were going to win the league? Yeah, that dream went to shit in a hurry. Altogether, we have lost 10 games in this season alone. In case you’re wondering, yes, that is more games than we lost in the last two seasons combined. Here’s a list of the teams we’ve lost to:
2-1 to Spurs
3-1 to Aston Villa
2-0 to Chelsea
1-0 to Sunderland
3-1 to Fulham
2-1 to Arsenal
1-0 to Arsenal
1-0 to Wigan
2-1 to Manchester United
In addition to all of these losses, we’ve drawn games that we should have won with Birmingham, Blackburn and Stoke, not to mention the two draws to our competition for fourth place in Manchester City. I’m not so good at math, but if you ask me, that’s a whole lot of dropped points, which leaves Liverpool sitting in sixth place behind Spurs and Man City (who both have a game, FYI) four points out of fourth place. And don’t forget about Villa and Everton who are not going to make things any easier for them at the other side of sixth, as they both have excellent teams, not to mention the fact that the recent resurgence of Mikel Arteta is causing Everton to play out of their skulls. Fourth place is a long way away and we’ll be stuck in the Europa League once more if and when we fail to achieve that goal.
Beach ball 1-0 Liverpool
And then there’s the Europa League. It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time; A blessing for all those mid table teams who suddenly find themselves playing in Europe (i.e. Fulham) and yet a curse to those teams considered superior to most that will find themselves there because of failure to gain a Champion’s League spot. Unfortunately, Liverpool fall under the latter category. Sure, it’s great that we’re in a quarterfinal to play Benfica, but are any Liverpool fans really going to be happy about winning the Europa League? I got excited at the prospect of winning it, thinking that the winner of the Europa League gets a qualification spot in the Champion’s League, but the only thing guarenteed to the winner of the Europa League is a spot in next year’s Europa League.
So we’ve played terrible. There’s no excuse. But the terrible-ness doesn’t stop on the pitch, it goes into the dressing room as well. Javier Mascherano, Ryan Babel, and Albert Riera have been causing tremendous amounts of stress off the pitch. Mascherano’s issue seems to be resolved after his outbursts at the beginning of the season, Babel still finds himself on the bench, and Riera has been sent packing to Russia. As well as this, Fernando Torres has said that he would consider leaving Anfield if the team fails to qualify for Europe (assuming he means Champion’s League and not Europa League) and Jamie Carragher has stated that he would have no problem walking away from Liverpool either. Steven Gerrard has been consistently linked with other teams, our savior Alberto Aquilani is the highest paid bench warmer in the world, and Lucas Leiva is…terrible (sorry Lucas, you suck).
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Oh and let’s not forget about Rafa Benitez. I’m pretty sure I called for his sacking in early November and I had a group of dissenters tell me that I was insane on the comments page; It’s always fun to prove commenters wrong. He’s been absolutely terrible this year and I’m almost certain that he’s given up hope. His number one problem is playing his players out of their preferred positions (i.e. Babel, Kuyt, Lucas), and leaving star players on the bench (i.e. Keane, Aquilani). There’s a million other things I’ve said about Benitez, but that could take up another whole article. The point is, we can’t sack him. It would cost us 15 million pounds of money that Tom Hicks and George Gillet do not have. Best case scenario, another team steals him away from us (i.e. Juventus) and we’re not liable for that money any more. Even better case scenario, we get Jose Mourinho (but that’s a long shot).
2009/2010 has been really shitty for Liverpool fans. Nothing has gone right and by the looks of things it’s going to be a very long and depressing summer. Torres has constantly been linked with moves to Chelsea and Barcelona, while Mourinho has been on Gerrard’s nuts ever since he was at Chelsea. To be honest, though, if our two diamonds in the rough leave Liverpool and are seen in different colours next year, can we really blame them?
Also check out Zan Rathore’s Sports Blog.