Connect with us

ARTICLES

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. 

Published

on

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

Follow us on Twitter@Koptimes

Advertisement
471 Comments

ARTICLES

Liverpool star charged by FA over possible betting misconduct

Published

on

Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been charged with misconduct related to alleged breaches of the betting rules from the Football Association, as per the Guardian.

The alleged issue came up in January and the striker has claimed he has never gambled on the sport.

The report claims that the charges are related to the Englishman’s move from Liverpool to West Bromwich Albion in January. Footballers are prohibited from gambling on games or any other matters related to the sport.

The Guardian adds that this issue is to revolve around the disclosure of information as the charge relates to “information relating to football which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time”.

Sturridge has claimed his innocence and a statement released by the football club read (h/t Guardian):

“Daniel has given his full and unequivocal cooperation throughout this process and has assured the club he will continue to do so. Daniel has also stated categorically that he has never gambled on football.

“As with any issue of this nature, we will allow the process to be concluded in its entirety before making any further comment.”

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

The English striker faces charges under rule E8(1)(a)(ii) and Rule E8(1)(b), as per the report, and has until 20 November to enter a plea.

The former Chelsea striker had a horrible time at the Hawthorns on loan and saw West Brom getting relegated.

The 29-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season but has scored some vital goals for Liverpool in the current campaign.

Read more: Liverpool equal two more records after their impressive 2-0 win over Fulham

Sturridge bagged a goal against Paris Saint-Germain in our Champions League opener and levelled the scores when Chelsea played the Reds in the Premier League with a superb strike.

Continue Reading

ARTICLES

Liverpool equal two more records after their impressive 2-0 win over Fulham

Published

on

Mohamed Salah Liverpool

Liverpool don’t seem to be the same team from last season, despite boasting an unbeaten record in the Premier League.

The Reds beat Fulham 2-0 to make it 30 points from 12 games, and are just two behind Manchester City who lead the table.

Our attack hasn’t blitzed the opposition like last season, but the numbers suggest this has been an amazing start to the Premier League campaign.

Ian Doyle wrote for the Liverpool Echo about the latest game and claimed that we have matched our best points tally after 12 games.

Doyle further claimed that our goal difference of +18 was the best in terms of Premier League seasons.

Our attack might not be firing on all cylinders but our defence has been exceptional so far. Alisson kept yet another clean sheet on Sunday, and we also equalled the record for clean sheets from 1977-78 and 1978-79.

James Milner scores for Liverpool against Arsenal

In fact, our defence has been the reason why we have done so well this season. We barely seem to concede and Virgil van Dijk has been an exceptional purchase, alongside Alisson.

The pair combined well to start an attack against the Cottagers on Sunday. Van Dijk signalled Alisson to take a free-kick early, and that resulted in Mohamed Salah opening the scoring for the Reds.

The Reds haven’t been that great in the Champions League, and we need to ensure our qualification into the next round.

Read more: “Hopefully they can win the Premier League” – Former Liverpool star urges club to break Premier League duck

Liverpool play Watford after the international break and take on Paris Saint-Germain away a few days later.

Continue Reading

ARTICLES

“I can’t believe it”, “Shocked” – Some Liverpool fans unsure about Mohamed Salah’s choice of T-shirt

Published

on

Mohamed Salah Liverpool

Mohamed Salah is one of the biggest stars in football. The Egyptian has grown in stature since his move to Liverpool from AS Roma last season, and helped Liverpool to a Champions League final too.

The former Roma star is also one of the most recognisable faces in the world, and there have been murals, statues and paintings celebrating the success of the Liverpool attacker.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the player wants a bit of privacy and Salah tweeted an image of him travelling “incognito”.

The player wearing a Balaclava would not have been much of a problem, but many fans didn’t like his choice of shirt.

The Egyptian wore a “Project-Playboy” shirt and while we cannot say what his intentions were by sporting the shirt, some of the fans questioned his taste, while others some supported him.

Read more: Liverpool handed incredible home record after 2-0 win over Fulham

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 TheKopTimes.com