By James Piper
As this season comes to a close it’s time for those end-of-season recaps where we look at what went great (and not-so great) during all of this season’s matches. As I write this we are less than a week away from the 2012 FA Cup Final. I can only hope and believe that that match will finish with Stevie G lifting another great Cup at Wembley, but for most fans I don’t think they will feel like this was the greatest of seasons. With our middle-of-the-table League form, that might be a fair assessment, but there were some incredible moments from this season that are worth mentioning. Let’s take a look.
Goal highlights. Thanks to the Uruguayans! In my book, it’s Sebastian Coates’ first goal for the Reds and Luis Suarez’s long-range strike against Norwich that do it for me as far as goals of the year. Talent, and a little bit of cheekiness (Steve Gerrard even said after today’s post-Norwich match press conference that he was going to give “Suarez a bit of a bollocking” had the goal not gone in) make these fantastic goals for the Reds.
1. Big players do big things in big games. Brad Jones was thrust into the spotlight following the surprising red cards for Pepe Reina and Doni. Following the devastating loss of his son months earlier, he gets my vote as one of the great players for the Reds this season, if only for a match and a half. He was given a chance to shine, and he helped deliver the FA Cup Final. Well done.
2. Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel win my ‘Defensive Wall’ award. A fantastic partnership and a great level of passion between both players. Fantastic to watch.
3. Luis Suarez had a red-hot start to the season and is on pace to have the same sort of finish. It’s unfortunate that things got a bit muddled in the middle. But props to him for being able to pick himself up after the suspension and carry on with scoring goals.
4. Craig Bellamy is another that brings passion and energy to any match that he’s in. I hope he can continue to bring that in future seasons in the Red shirt.
Biggest Let Downs:
1. Matches at home. The famous quote by Bill Shankly is that he wanted to build Anfield as a “Fortress of Invincibility” and unfortunately that just didn’t happen this season. If there’s anything I want to see next season, it’s a complete domination of matches at Anfield.
2. Premier League form: 3 points is 3 points. Whether we win pretty or ugly, we need more points. The hardest games to watch (I’m looking at you QPR) were when we couldn’t finish.
3. The Luis Suarez situation. Brought distraction and unwanted attention to the team. Unsettled the team and seemed to bring out every commentator’s opinion on how things should and shouldn’t have been handled. The fact is, it’s over and I think everyone is happy to put it behind them.