Monday, August 29, 2011

What a difference a year makes!

As the transfer window comes to an end, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at one of the busiest summers in some time.

Before I do that however, some context is surely needed. As I stood on the Kop for the 2-2 draw against Sunderland last September, I thought to myself, "this isn't the Liverpool I love." The Kop was nearing anarchy with the old guard shouting down the anti-Hick & Gillett chants, the younger generation angry & looking for a fight. I remember saying to my friend Dave "if this is what we've resorted to, we're doomed". It meant that the Kop was no longer a solitary force, urging the team on. It was a fractious group fighting the fight in an extremely divisive manor.

That fight of course, was to rid Liverpool FC of the worst owners the club had ever seen. The banks may have saved LFC, but without the voice of a methodical, and in some cases maniacal fan base, who knows what would have happened. I can safely say, I was fearing the worst.

Those feelings I had 11 months ago evaporated January 12th 2011. The King had returned, Roy Hodgson had been sacked, and finally, the club was ours again. Dalglish's return marked a new era for Liverpool, and was being driven on by  Fenway Sports Group (FSG). There wasn't any time for the new owners to 'test the waters', as our star striker wanted out, and he wanted out now. As we now know, we pocketed an absurd amount of money for him and have been laughing ever since. One can't forget of course, the two signings that marked a signal of intent, but that's not the focus of this post.

The summer transfer window started with some increased optimism from the Liverpool support. FSG, Damien Camolli & Kenny Dalglish had a plan, a plan to rebuild a broken team, with many needs after several summers of poor signings & little money. We were told that this was the beginning of a long and painful rebuilding process. None of that mattered though, not to me at least. You could just feel we were headed in the right direction.

Twitter has brought on a new age of transfer madness which lead us to be linked with hundreds of players we had no intention of signing (Kun Aguero & Juan Mata come to mind). I’m of the opinion that this helped to create some anxiety within the fan base. Faceless people with no real knowledge were praying on the impatient fans desperate for a signing. What would follow however was a calculated two month process that would see us bring in players we’ve needed for years.

Compare Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing & Jose Enrique to Milan Jovanovic, Christian Poulsen, Pual Konchesky, Joe Cole & Raul Miereles. That is how far we’ve come in just 12 months. We now have as good a left side as anyone in the league in Enrique & Downing, we’ve finally found a pivot midfielder that can settle a game down in the midfield with Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson provides Dalglish with a player that can play three midfield positions effectively.

I’ll use my upcoming posts to go into a little more depth, but I figured it would be a good start to the new season to give us just a small glimpse at how far we’ve come since the Hodgson/Purslow/G&H reign came to an end.

Until then…



  1. Love your write up, hit the nail on the head. There was an unsettled team and unsettled support, not that any supporter gave up, just got frustrated..again..and again..The best thats happened to our club is King Kenny taking over again, never met an LFC supporter who didnt love him since the day he was originally signed back in the 70's. Loving John Henry as well, he obviously knows his business well going by his history and he has a passion for it unlike a couple of money men who really didnt care.

  2. Nice job Jeff ....

    The First great thing about Kenny is he straight away united the support. The second great thing was his press conferences put LFC back into the minds of the football writers and his no nonsense approach. Then we started to see more positive press. (worthwhile positive press that the fans cared about not the love in surrounding mr LMA Hodgson!). I feel a renewed hope not from signing players but from the feeling we may start getting the breaks in games even some referee decisions going our way, which you need if you want to eventually challenge .... For me Kenny gives us that extra bit!

  3. Last comment from Ian Bennett