Maynard James Keenan once said: “A circle is the reflection of eternity. It has no beginning and it has no end – and if you put several circles over each other, then you get a spiral.”
Envisioning the 2009-10 season, I remember sitting down on the sofa with a renewed optimism. We sold Xabi Alonso, a deal that would haunt us for the next two seasons (and counting). However, despite this loss, we still had the best defensive midfielder in the world in Javier Mascherano, and an up-and-coming Italian Centre midfielder that would replace the Kop’s beloved Xabi. Additionally, we had Stevie, coming off one of his most influential seasons, teaming up once again with a certain Fernando Torres. Combined with the signing of Glen Johnson, who had been named in the PFA team of the year, the season could not possible falter.
However, as defeat after defeat occurred, it was September before we equaled our previous seasons tally for defeats. After more disappointment, Rafa and the Owners became the figures of blame. The problem for the entire season was pressure. Pressure to build on the previous season, to win the Premier League trophy that we all craved.
In June 2010, despite myself and many supporters desperately wanting Kenny Dalglish to be installed as the new Liverpool manager, Woy was appointed. As the Liverpool way is, we all supported him in every way we could. Some pundits went as far as to say that Liverpool would win the league, the glory days would soon be back. In a charming way, he buttered us up and made us feel good about the season, signing the “solid” duo of Poulsen and Konchesky, and the “deal of the summer” in Joe Cole (nonetheless I firmly believe Joe can but it right).
Again after several disappointments, Roy lashed out at supporters in what was the final straw that broke the camels back. Again, the underlying theme of this is pressure; Increased pressure from several “high-profile” signings, along with of course tactical issues amongst other things got the better of us.
January, 2011 – Dalglish takes over. The biggest smile on my face regarding Liverpool in since 2009. Any previous pressure had been relieved, The “once-great” Liverpool could not sink any lower in a season that saw us in the relegation zone. After stringing together a series of fantastic results, we began to look up the table instead of down, the signings of Carroll and Suarez relieved much of the burden from the team, and the departure of Fernandwho? made people happier according to John Henry. Again, the lack of pressure allowed the team to play some of the best football I’ve seen us play since Rafa’s days.
Now, with increased optimism, I call out to us Reds to be cautious in our deeds, do not get over-excited about potential summer signings, calling for unrealistic names. Our priority is the best young players in positions of need, to fire us back into Europe, where we belong, and eventually to the pinnacle of the game once again.
Alleviate the pressure off the players, sing our hearts out at the matches, in the Kop, in the Anfield Road end, anywhere in the stadium, or even at home. Let the players know we’re here.
Patrick (Patch) Hudson.