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Liverpool: 2011 review and look ahead to 2012

It’s that time again. As we pull the curtain on another year. A time to reflect, a time to take stock and a time to look forward. Kenny Dalglish became the Liverpool manager for the second time, replacing the beleaguered Roy Hodgson. 

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It’s that time again. As we pull the curtain on another year. A time to reflect, a time to take stock and a time to look forward. 

By way of reflection, well what a year 2011 has been for Liverpool. Kenny Dalglish became the Liverpool manager for the second time, replacing the beleaguered Roy Hodgson. Most Reds will admit a change was due, even given the short time that Hodgson was in charge. The club had become stagnant under Rafael Benitez and Hodgson, for all his good intentions, done little, if anything to improve the situation. Dalglish’s first month in charge was nothing if not eventful. We saw the departure of Fernando Torres which surprised most people be they supporters of LFC or not. The £50m transfer income was quickly spent on Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez for £35m and £23m respectively as Dalglish showed he was not intending to ease himself into his second tenure in charge lightly.

Immediately the effect of Dalglish was evident around the club, the supporters and the players with a new found belief and togetherness instilled by Dalglish and his new number two, Steve Clarke. The most notable performance in the early part of the year, had to be the mauling of Manchester United by three goals to nil at Anfield, Dirk Kuyt finishing with a hatrick, all three goals made by Suarez. The team passed the ball more in that game alone than I remember them passing throughout the whole of Hodgson’s tenure. One could argue that’s a tad harsh but it was clear that the passing was somewhat ‘economical’, shall we say, under Hodgson.

The aquisitions of Jordan Henderson, £20m, Charlie Adam, £7m and Jose Enrique £6m in the summer, along with the free transfers of Craig bellamy from Manchester City and Alexander Doni from Roma signalled the new ‘Gaffer’s intent to instil a new more skillful and attacking look to the laboured Liverpool team. The transfer of Stewart Downing from Aston Villa for a fee believed to be in the region of £20m took Dalglish’s spending to over the £100m mark since his return. A clear statement to the rest of the Premieship that Liverpool could challenge once again, the bigger wallets in the Premiership after the calamitous ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

We can’t forget of course the late purchase of Sebastian Coates to join his compatriot Suarez and the last gasp transfer request from Raul Meireles  that took him to Chelsea on transfer deadline day. The fact that he and Torres have been like chocolate fireguards at Chelsea is only testament to Dalglish and the new Liverpool.

By way of taking stock, well the season has by no means been a disaster with the Reds occupying sixth place, below Chelsea on goal difference. The defensive confusion and inconsistency under Hodgson is now a thing of the past and Liverpool have the meanest defence in the Premiership thus far this season. The only down side has been the lack of goals and the tally of 24 is no real reflection on the style of play which has been full of creativity, productivity and attacking verve and one has to admit the team has been unlucky hitting the woodwork an incredible 18 times this season. 

We have seen the return of Steven Gerrard from an injury-blighted season to change the most recent game against Newcastle, and get himself on the scoresheet to-boot. A welcome return. The biggest blow has to be the untimely injury of Lucas Leiva who has been the clubs most improved player over the last 12 months. To think the guy was often derided by the supporters since his arrival. What we all forget is that he’s still only 10 days short of his 25th birthday. Arguably Benitez’s most enduring signing coming into his prime at just the right time. Gerrard realistically only has another two perhaps, at a big push, three seasons at his current level so it’s pleasing to see that Lucas could well take over the mantle.

Looking forward, well I’m optimistic for Liverpool this coming year. I always am, and I have been for almost 40 years now. As enthusiastic for every new year as much as every new season. I’d like Andy Carroll to come good. Perhaps not take five years though, as Lucas did! I think he needs a run of games, the odd goal to bobble over the line off his backside and then the rest will hopefully be history. He was unlucky against Newcastle… Again hitting the post so his luck has to turn at some point. The same goes for the whole team. It’s not as if they’re not playing well or not creating chances and for that every Red has to be looking forward to 2012 with relish.

The team has finished the year with a win, and that’s all that can be asked of them t this point. They not only won but won emphatically even scoring all four goals in a 3-1 victory! Next up is a massive fixture away to Manchester City and a game the fans can be very positive about given the performances against the Sky Blues so far in Dalglish’s reign.

Overall I think Reds supporters can be proud, encouraged and, yes, optimistic for the year ahead. The race for European football is by no means over and there’s a lot of football to be played between now and May.

It only leaves me to wish all Football supporters of any team or denomination (but especially the Reds of Liverpool) a safe, happy, healthy and wealthy 2012. Enjoy the football, support your team through thick and thin and never lose the faith because remember, “It’s a funny old game”.

By Ben Green

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(Video) Liverpool sends fans down memory lane with memory of fantastic goal

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Fabio Aurelio Liverpool

Liverpool pulled a rabbit out of the hat by signing Andy Robertson from Hull City. The Scot wasn’t a big name then and didn’t cost us much but he has been incredible since breaking into the first-team.

The newly appointed Scotland captain is easily one of the best left-backs in the world and is only getting better with game time.

Although Liverpool have finally signed a dependable left-back, that wasn’t the case for many years as Alberto Moreno and Jose Enrique never seemed to fulfil their potential.

The Reds were a little unlucky with one player and that was Fabio Aurelio, the Brazilian. The former Valencia player was a Red for six seasons but made just 87 appearances in the Premier League.

The left-back was known for his incredible delivery and had a fantastic moment or two. His goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford is one of our greatest moments post the Champions League win in 2005 and FA Cup in 2006 and the Reds wished the 38-year-old on his birthday.

The Brazilian was great at set-pieces but his injuries prevented him from reaching his potential. Rafa Benitez got the best out of the now 38-year-old but the defender had to retire a few years ago as injuries caught up to him.

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Former Liverpool star claims he wants to play under this manager

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Kevin Keegan Liverpool

Kevin Keegan’s managerial career can be remembered for his rant against Manchester United and slumping behind the advertising hoardings after Liverpool beat Newcastle 4-3.

The former England star was one of the best during his time as he picked up a couple of Ballon d’Ors and won numerous titles as a player for the Reds.

Keegan certainly knows a thing or two about winning trophies and in a recent interview with the Guardian, the former England captain added that out of the current managers, he would love to play under Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds play attacking football but Keegan claimed he saw a bit of himself in Klopp and hence, would have played under our manager.

“I’d have to go for [Jürgen] Klopp because he’s like me.”

“He is going to tackle someone one day.

“I was very close to it [too]. When someone was breaking away and it was near the touchline, and I was stood there, I was very close one day to bringing him down. I really was.”

The 67-year-old is right about Klopp’s passion for the game and that is one reason why we are doing so well. The German has turned us into one of the best sides in the country and it is time for him to break his trophy duck at Anfield.

Read more: Former World Cup winner wants this German superstar to join Liverpool

The Reds last won a trophy in 2012 but with Klopp at the helm and the players producing incredible performances, we may have something to cheer about at the end of the campaign.

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“Wasn’t his best goal”, “He scored better” – Some Liverpool fans are certain Puskas had better goals last season

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Mohamed Salah Liverpool

Mohamed Salah came third in the best men’s player category at the recent FIFA awards but the Liverpool star did pick up the Puskas Award for the best goal of the season.

The winning moment came against Everton on 10th December 2017 as Salah jinked past a couple of players before curling the ball into the net.

The effort was adjudged to be better than Gareth Bale’s strike against us in the Champions League final and Cristiano Ronaldo’s effort against Juventus in the same competition.

Salah was on a tear last season as he broke the Premier League scoring record with 32 goals in the competition. The forward had a number of magical moments and a few fans were convinced this wasn’t the Egyptian’s best goal of the season.

There were brilliant efforts against Watford and Tottenham that come to mind. The 25-year-old hasn’t been on fire this season but the award should come as a handy boost for the remainder of the campaign.

Read more: Fabinho and Mignolet to start: Predicted Liverpool line-up against Chelsea in Carabao Cup

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