Looking back at December 2010, most Liverpool fans would have loved to go to sleep and wake up this evening, May 22nd 2011, with the Premier League season finally over. We’ve witnessed an eventful nine months: new owners, two managers, a Kop idol leaving, two Kop idols born, lads bursting predominantly out of the Academy, and the Reds languishing embarrassingly in the meanders of the relegation zone to a rampant resurgence that has seen the Club finish a respectable sixth place finish …………!
Today I feel like dwelling a little into the hypothetical and therefore I would like you all to take a quick look at the two tables below, the Hodgson and the Dalglish tables! The first eight lines of the tables are facts, the ninth and last line are hypothetical from the ‘what if’ category.
Played: 20 games
Won: 7 (6 home/ 1 away)
Drew: 4 (2 home/ 2 away)
Lost: 9 (2 home/ 7 away)
Goals In Favour: 24 (17 home/ 7 away)
Goals Against: 27 (8 home/ 19 away)
Goal Difference: -3
Points: 25 (1.25 average points per game)
End of Year Finish with this trend: 48 points +/- (8th)
Played: 18 games
Won: 10 (6 home/ 4 away)
Drew: 3 (2 home/ 1 away)
Lost: 5 (1 home/ 4 away)
Goals in Favour: 35 (20 home/ 15 away)
Goals Against: 17 (6 home/ 11 away)
Goal Difference: +15
Points: 33 (1.83 average points per game)
End of Year Finish with this trend: 70 points +/- (4th)
Take a good look and judge for yourself! Make your own assessment. These tables tell us the obvious and the less obvious. They tell us that the squad decided to set the pace as soon as Dalglish took over. They tell us that even though it is universally agreed that the squad needs strengthening in quality and depth, at the end of the day it was not such a shabby situation as we were led to believe.
It is evident that we played the first 20 games with the handbrake still pulled but then once we got that sorted we gathered momentum and we shot up the table. It is vital here to keep in mind that in the second part of the season we lost Gerrard, Agger and Kelly to long term injuries, Johnson was on the treatment table for a good spell, as well as Aurelio. Carroll was and perhaps still is a bit away from what can be considered a sustainable fitness. This added handicap inflates the resurgence of the Reds from remarkable to phenomenal.
I therefore wish to salute Kenny Dalglish, Steve Clarke, Sammy Lee, all the coaching and medical staff, FSG, and the players, for giving us something to smile about again! We finish the season with a good taste in our mouths; we finish the season with a sense of satisfaction that tells us the worst is behind us.
Last but not least, I would like to thank all Liverpool supporters that have showed their frustrations when these were deserved, but which ultimately stuck with the team and the Club through a very difficult nine months. Bring on 2011/12!