Learning From The Past To Inspire The Future

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Just before the nation embraces the Three Lions for the summer, it’s the last chance to relive and reminisce on what has been a truly entertaining season for Brendan Rodgers side.

On numerous occasions during the season, when asked of Liverpool’s title chances, Rodgers reminded everyone what a remarkable achievement it would be to take a side from seventh to champions. The same applies for taking the same club to a runners-up finish.

With the pre-season hope of a top four finish, it could be said that we’ve overachieved by three league places but that would be an insult to a side who have constantly broken records this season.

The most attacking Liverpool side of certainly my generation, the way that we’ve beaten teams at ease, home and away, has led supporters to dream of more than purely an exclusive European qualification spot.

However, to make sure supporters can continue to dream of the more elusive prizes in the game, it’s imperative that we learn lessons from our last two title shots.

In 2002 and in 2009 we came second with high hopes of going one further the following campaign. Both assaults on the title came slightly out of the blue, 2002 maybe less so due to the treble success the season prior, as we hadn’t troubled the top table but as we’d now ruffled some feathers the hope was to soar above them twelve months later.

In both instances we fell incredibly short of expectation, failing to qualify for the Champions League and waving goodbye to any shot of a title for another year.

It’d be quite easy to say that won’t happen to this Liverpool side but that’d be an almost repeat of events under Gerard Houllier and Rafael Benitez. The difference with this team is that it feels like we’ve still got more to come.

The unexpected title shot this campaign was, without doubt, achieved too early in the clubs long term plan. This is something John W Henry has admitted himself, but in his admission there was a sense of realism.

In 2002 and 2009, especially in the latter, circumstances meant we ended up pushing too hard for another title bid, something that set us back further than we could have imagined. The position we find ourselves in now, a youthful attacking side that is back in the Champions League, is something that we should be eternally thankful for as we know the pain of missing out on dining at the top table of English and European football.

Pushing too hard to keep ourselves in this position brings with it the potential damage of missing out for another five years so our transfer activity this summer must be meticulous.

Links to the likes of Adam Lallana, personally, excite me as, should we capture his signature, we’d be claiming an England international who chose us over other clubs in the league – a sign of the club is moving in the right direction.

Strengthening in other areas is also essential but a bulk in numbers coming into the club may bridge the gap between academy and the first team, something of vital importance to the manager and board members.

Although a club immensely proud of its history, this could well be the time to firmly look to the future and write new chapters for generations to follow. It could be an interesting summer.

By Michael Williams – @mikewilliams05

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