Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Close but no trophy

The Barclays English Premier concluded this past Sunday with Manchester City claiming their second title in 3 years. It was a 2 horse race till the last day but it was obvious with City having the advantage that they would do the business. For my team Liverpool, at the onset there was always doubt by others on whether achieving a top four finish was possible but they proved everyone wrong, surpassing their target and challenging for the title till the very last day. 

Although disappointed, after the games were over I was damn proud of what they achieved in the season, they didn't get the trophy but they got the respect they deserved and made it known that Liverpool were back and they mean business. Brendan Rodgers and his troops brought back the old Liverpool, the one that sent shivers down opponents when playing against us, we were ruthless against teams, the fast style passing caught many off guard and most of the games were sealed within the first 25 minutes. The passing, the flow and the dedication of the players needs to be commended but what let us down was our defence.

Even though we scored 101 goals, just 1 behind champions City, we conceded 50 goals which is not champion quality. Hopefully over the summer break, the manager and his scouts will find the necessary players needed to strengthen the squad in that particular area. It's difficult to pin point players because they all had good and bad performances, Martin Skrtel for example, he was always in the spot light for tugging on players shirts during set pieces, also he had a habit of tracking back instead of going for the attacker, he also scored 4 goals in the wrong net but on the other hand he made countless goal saving tackles and blocks not to mention the 7 goals he scored in the right net which was a record for a defender. 

Other positives to come out of this season was the transformation of the younger players, Sterling, Henderson, Allen and Flanagan all who relatively young proved the doubters wrong. By the end of the season all of them were good as any of the first team choices, the maturity they showed in their game play, passing, thinking and vision only means that they have a bright future ahead for them. Henderson and Sterling have been rewarded with call ups to the England World Cup squad with Flanagan on standby.

I'll touch on it again, it hurts us the fans for coming so close to that elusive 19th title but imagine how the players feel. We saw the raw emotion come out the night after the Crystal Palace draw, as much as we are gutted they were even more so. Many mocked them but at the end of the day, it's them who are snapping up all the prizes now. Luis Suarez has been named Player of the season by many organisations as well as getting the golden boot for most goals scored in the league, the other night, Brendan Rodgers was name Manager of the season by the League Managers Association, so all was not lost.

But to quote the great Bill Shankly, "If you're first, you're first. If you're second, you're nothing" which is a very strong sentence but I believe we were not entirely nothing, with some tweaking this summer and the players keeping the belief we could be a force to be reckon with come the start of the 2014/15 league. We'll come back stronger, hungrier and with bigger challenges in store in terms of Europe, with our long standing captain, he'll rally the players as he always does for the challenge, WE GO AGAIN!

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