Another wonderful season of exciting football has again come to close in the English premier league with Chelsea being crowned the champion in grand style. Chief among the some of the events this season was the retirement of Steven Gerrard “captain fantastic” of Liverpool FC ending his playing career with the Anfield club after 17years. Liverpool FC showed a lot progress in the 2013/2014 season but lost it at the crucial period with the Gerrard slip against Chelsea and a final 10 mins 3- goals from Crystal Palace thus denting their hopes of clinching an EPL title.
The 2013/2014 season was almost their best season after the famous win of 2004-2005 champions league final win over AC Milan in Istanbul after coming back from 3 goals to draw level and win on penalties. They had likes of Xabi Alonso, Dudek, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Luis Garcia, Riise to mention a few and was managed by Rafa Benitez. Few players came into the fold each season and some departed too, Joe Cole, Luiz Suarez and Raul Merieles, Dirk Kuyk to mention a few joined the Reds to bolster the team.
Looking back at the 2013-2014 season, Liverpool attack had Suarez, Sterling and Sturridge- “S.S.S trio”, scoring goals aplenty, Man Utd fell victim of the rout of this combo winning both home and away, likewise mauling Arsenal at Anfield, despite Suarez missing about 8 games at the beginning of the season due to his Indiscipline yet he won the golden boot award with 31goals and the PFA awards. Compared to the 2012-2013 season, Liverpool gained 20 more points in the 2013-2014 with their goal difference showing a marked improvement as they scored 28 goals more while conceding just 6 goals more than 2012-2013 season, 2013/2014 season was quiet amazing for the Reds, they converted their chances and the scored over 100 goals.
With their exploit during this season, 2014-2015 season is expected to be a work over for the Anfield team, losing out in the FA cup in fifth round to Arsenal after defeating Oldham Athletic and Bournemouth in the 3rd and 4th round respectively. Also, they crashed out of the League cup in the 3rd round to Manchester united, with this losses, they had ample time for the EPL, playing 38 games won 26, drew 6, lost 6 scored 101 goals and conceded 50 and a goal difference of 51 with a win ratio of 68.42%, great season it was for them indeed.
Jamie Carragher’s retirement at the end of 2012-2013 season and Luiz Suarez move to Barcalona the season after, there was a need to strengthen their back four, midfield and bolster their attack. With Suarez moving to Spain at 81m euros, Brendan Rodgers brought 3 players from Southampton: Adam Lallana, Lovern, Rickie Lambert, Mario Ballotelli, Moreno, Kolo Toure, Manquillo, Emre Can, Markovic. With this array of players, UCL, FA Cup, Capital One Cup, EPL was in store for the Anfield giants, One would think, at least a trophy should be celebrated at the end of the season by Brendan Rodgers and his boys.
Employing different formations from 3-5-2, 3-4-3, 4-4-2, Little did we know we would be receiving a shocker from Brendan Rodgers and his boys, worst performance in all leagues contested for, played 58 games in all, won 26, drew 14, lost 18, scored 74, conceded 69 goal difference of 5 and a win ratio of 44.83%.
A lot of questions arose in my mind, was Brendan Rodgers wrong to have allowed Suarez leave? Or was Sturridge injury a factor? Was it wrong to have built the team around Suarez, Sterling, Sturridge combo? Even with Raheem Sterling’s threat of leaving Anfield this summer and mauling of Liverpool by Stoke on the final day of the EPL by 6 goals to 1 and their qualification to play in the Europa league by a stroke of Luck, would we say Brendan Rodgers wasn’t capable of leading this team to glory once again as the board as assured Brendan Rodgers of their support? Above all, what do this team need to succeed and rule Europe again?
Fingers are crossed!!!
Afolabi Adedapo Abayomi