When you take a moment to look back and think of all the magnificent and historic memories Liverpool FC has offered the world, their current form almost seems unfair and unimaginable.
England’s most historic club is now at the mercy of American owners who will face a mighty struggle to bring back the better days to Anfield. Since the 2008-09 season when the ‘Reds’ finished second, just four points back of champions Manchester United, Liverpool has been unable to even break into the top five in England’s top flight.
How can a club with 18 league titles and a massive fan base go through a funk for so long? If we take a look at the numbers and stats, Liverpool’s numbers have decreased every year since the 2008-09 season.
- Finished 2nd
- 25-11-2 (W-D-L) (77 goals for / 27 goals against)
- Home Form: 12-7-0 (41 goals for / 13 goals against)
- Away Form: 13-4-2 (36 goals for / 14 goals against)
A season without silverware for Liverpool, but an impressive run in the Premier League nonetheless. Rafael Benitez led his squad to the quarter-finals of the Champions League where they were ultimately eliminated by Chelsea. Captain Steven Gerrard was firing on all cylinders throughout the season and finished it as leading goal scorer for the club with 16 goals in the league and 24 goals across all competitions.
- Finished 7th
- 18-9-11 (W-D-L) (61 goals for / 35 goals against)
- Home Form: 13-3-3 (43 goals for / 15 goals against)
- Away Form: 5-6-8 (18 goals for / 20 goals against)
A noticeable decrease in victories and goals scored was just one of the many contributions to Liverpool’s poor finish. With just five victories and only half the goals scored away from home in the prior season, the 18 league goals that Fernando Torres scored were nearly cancelled out.
Having failed to make it out of the Group Stage of the Champions League, Liverpool looked destined to claim the Europa League title, but they fell short in the semi-finals against Atletico Madrid.
- Finished 6th
- 17-7-14 (W-D-L) (59 goals for / 44 goals against)
- Home Form: 12-4-3 (37 goals for / 14 goals against)
- Away Form: 5-3-11 (22 goals for / 30 goals against)
Another poor season for Liverpool, which marked the departure of manager Rafa Benitez before the new season and the arrival of Roy Hodgson. The official announcement came on July 1, 2010, but Hodgson didn’t enjoy much success at Anfield and was promptly dismissed in January 2011. His departure made room for the return of Kenny Dalglish, who was appointed manager for the remainder of the season.
Once again, Liverpool scored less goals than in their previous season, although it was only a difference of two. A nine goal increase in goals against hurt them away from home, as they only managed five victories and 11 defeats. Not only were they unable to remain undefeated at Anfield like they had in the 2008-09 season, but they were continuously struggling to win games away from Liverpool.
With the Europa League as their escape from domestic football, Liverpool saw their run end at the hands of Portuguese side Braga, who finished second after being defeated in Dublin by Porto.
Let’s also not forget the sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea in January for £50m, as well as the arrivals of Luis Suarez (£22m) and Andy Carroll (£35m).
- Finished 8th
- 14-10-14 (W-D-L) (47 goals for / 40 goals against)
- Home Form: 6-9-4 (24 goals for / 16 goals against)
- Away Form: 8-1-10 (23 goals for / 24 goals against)
Last season, Liverpool faced some difficult times and it is noticeable in the stats they posted. They scored just 47 goals all season, compared to Manchester City, who won the title, with 93.
27 points at home out of a possible 57 is extremely poor for a club with the status of Liverpool. Blackburn, who was relegated that season, managed to get 19 points at home, just eight less than Liverpool, who finished 11 places ahead of them in the final standings.
With the numbers consistently decreasing every season, Liverpool has a lot to prove this season. And their claiming of the Carling Cup last season shouldn’t sugar coat the poor season they had overall. They not only finished in 8th place, but also didn't take part in any European Competitions.
The 2012-13 season has already begun, and Liverpool fans are already be shaking their heads. As fans watched every possible media outlet on deadline day hoping for some fresh new signings, it all came and went in what appeared to be a blink of an eye. What seemed odd was the fact that new manager Brendan Rodgers looked to be overly confident that at least two players would make the move to Anfield on deadline day, yet not one made the man smile. Dazed and confused would be an understatement to describe how ‘Reds’ fans felt when the transfer window closed.
They at least hoped and were almost certain that American Clint Dempsey would make his move to Anfield, but for what ever reason, Dempsey made his way to London to represent Tottenham Hotspur in a deal worth £6m. Now I’m not a Liverpool fan, but how is it that John Henry can be okay with a transfer for Andy Carroll worth £35m, yet he couldn’t muster a good enough deal to bring in Dempsey who was sold for £6m? How does that even make any sense?
It was reported that Liverpool wasn’t willing to offer Fulham anymore than £4m for the American. So once again, only willing to offer £4m for Dempsey who proved to not only enjoy the Premier League, but he also proved he could score goals, yet Andy Carroll was somehow worth £35m?
Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini are now the two main threats for Liverpool going forward, at least until January. If Luis Suarez is to get injured, what will be of Liverpool?
With only two options in front of goal, a suspect back line and Pepe Reina handing out "gift bags," fans will certainly voice their opinion throughout the season, and John Henry and co. should prepare themselves with well thought-out answers.