It’s currently 24 years since Liverpool Football Club were the Champions of England, during that time they have been crowned Champions of Europe, but still that elusive and coveted 19th league title remains beyond their grasp. The last time Liverpool won the League, Manchester United, who had gone 26 gruelling years without lifting the League title have gone from having seven titles, becoming the most successful club in English football history by winning 13 Premier League titles.
24 years of pain could, and probably, should have been almost forgotten last season as Liverpool, with three games remaining, sat top of the pile on the back of a staggering 11-match winning streak. Those dreams of winning the title came to an end after Jose Mourinho arrived at Anfield and promptly parked that infamous bus to derail Liverpool’s run, which following a 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace, handed the title on a plate to Manchester City. This was, without question, Liverpool’s best chance of winning the title during the last two decades and one wonders whether an opportunity like that will present itself again soon.
This season Liverpool currently find themselves in 8th place having already lost six – the whole amount that lost last season – with almost a third of the season gone.
Liverpool fans will point to the fact they have lost one of the world’s best strikers in Luis Suarez, a fair point given the amount of goals the Uruguayan netted for the club but surely that is too easy an excuse. Many clubs have lost top players and have still managed to achieve great success; you only have to look at Southampton this season to illustrate that point. The Saints lost a host of top players during the summer but invested the money very wisely and replaced the players they lost, like for like. Liverpool’s investment during the summer transfer window seemed to focus more on increasing numbers due to their involvement in this season’s Champions League, rather than quality. Can you honestly say Adam Lallana or Lazar Markovic are better, or even as good as Raheem Sterling or Philippe Coutinho? Adam Lallana, a signing from Southampton, along with Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert, is an interesting player. There is no doubt that Lallana is a talented footballer and being nominated for last season’s PFA Players’ Player of the Year award only emphasizes that, but at 26 years of age and having been scouted for many years by a host of other clubs you have to ask why it’s taken this long for somebody to make a move and at £25 million it seems a rather inflated price based on one terrific season for a mid-table club. The same could be said for Dejan Lovren, a £20 million signing, a year on from joining Southampton for £8 million after being deemed surplus to requirements at Lyon.
“I can categorically tell you Mario Balotelli will not be at Liverpool.”
Quotes from Brendan Rodgers during Liverpool’s pre-season tour and ones he really should have adhered to. Balotelli, no matter what people say, is not a top player and definitely not a player capable of replacing Luis Suarez. The Italian may, according to various players and coaches, have a great deal a talent but bar a good….yes good Euro 2012 what has Balotelli actually done to deserve his reputation as a top player? Any winners’ medals Balotelli has received during his career have come from being part of a squad and only during his spell at a very poor AC Milan side has Balotelli ever been first choice. Yes, there is the odd flash of brilliance, but that could also be said for most players in the Premier League and with all the baggage that comes with Balotelli, it’s far more trouble than it’s worth. Replacing Suarez would always be difficult but signing a player who is the complete opposite to Suarez makes you think Brendan Rodgers settled for Balotelli having, reportedly, failed to tempt Radamel Falcao to Anfield and is more than likely regretting that decision.