Liverpool's 6 Biggest Disappointments of the 2013/14 Premier League Season
Liverpool's 2013/14 season was, despite what Alan Hansen may try to tell you on Match of the Day, a huge success.
Hansen, the last captain to lift the title for the club, claimed that the season has been a "failure" for Liverpool—despite Brendan Rodgers' side far exceeding pre-season expectations.
Hansen cites that any team that has their title destiny in their hands with four games remaining and then don't win it from that position must regard it as a failure. Logic perhaps but misguided logic given the lack of context provided to the situation.
Liverpool had gone on an incredible 11-match winning run and qualified for Champions League football despite many pundits doubting whether they would finish in the top four when the season kicked off.
Eighty-four points, 101 goals and a second place finish a year after finishing seventh, returning the club to Europe's elite competition for the first time since 2009 points at the campaign being highly successful.
There were though, as always, some disappointments along the way.
Here are the six biggest disappointments for LFC in 2013/14.
Iago Aspas: Liverpool's No. 9
Liverpool's historic No. 9 shirt was handed to summer signing Iago Aspas after his £7 million arrival from Celta Vigo last summer.
Most supporters anticipated Aspas being somewhat of a direct replacement for Stewart Downing on the right of the Reds' attack, adding more goals from that area.
The initial signs were good but that was only in pre-season, once the season began the doubts soon crept in.
Aspas, though, was perhaps given a tough role by being played centrally behind Daniel Sturridge in those early fixtures, struggling to get to grips with the physical side of the Premier League.
Once Luis Suarez returned from suspension and Brendan Rodgers paired him alongside Sturridge, Aspas hardly had a chance. Rodgers often opted to keep him on the bench despite being three, four or even five goals ahead.
With chances limited, he finally got his first goal for the club against Oldham in the FA Cup in January.
A return of just six starts in his debut season means Aspas is one of those heavily linked with a move away from Merseyside this summer, per Hannah Duncan of Metro.
Victor Moses' Loan
When Liverpool agreed a loan for Chelsea attacker Victor Moses last summer it was seen as quite a coup. Moses had Premier League experience, was versatile and on his day is a goalscorer.
However, the £1 million spent on his loan, as per The Guardian, returned just one Premier League goal—that being on his debut at Swansea back in September.
It was downhill from there.
Although again Moses has, like Aspas, been a victim of the sublime form of others such as Suarez and Sturridge.
The Nigerian international was used in an unfamiliar role behind the front two as Rodgers experimented with a 3-5-2 formation but that didn't make the best use of his strengths.
Since then, any fleeting appearance he has made has seen him far from endear himself to the Liverpool crowd, often looking devoid of the minimum requirement for a footballer; effort.
Nine starts and two goals in all competitions means it's safe to say Moses' loan spell won't be made permanent this summer.
Defeat at Hull City
Defeats happen. Only very rarely—once in the Premier League era—does a team go a whole campaign without one.
But one that sticks in the throat from this season is the diabolical showing at the KC Stadium in early December—for added context to the last slide, it was the last time Moses started a league game for Liverpool.
Moses wasn't alone in under performing that day, though.
The partnership of Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure left supporters pondering if the two had ever met each other before. Skrtel added one of his four own goals this season in the game and Liverpool looked far from title contenders.
January Transfer Window
Looking back now, the January transfer window shouldn't be viewed as a failure—given that Liverpool went on to win all but three Premier League games following it's closure—but at the time it was certainly a disappointment.
The failed pursuit of Mohamed Salah, who ended up heading to rivals Chelsea, and ending with the controversial attempt to sign Dnipro's Ukrainian winger Yevhen Konoplyanka were the reasons for disappointment.
It was also a time when most supporters felt the squad needed reinforcements in far more pressing areas of the squad. Steven Gerrard was yet to acclimatise to his role as a deep lying playmaker, while the full-back areas both looked like quality was required.
Fortunately, no money was wasted and instead Rodgers can shop in a new market this summer given that the club are now back in the Champions League.
Like Aspas, Luis Alberto was one of the more expensive signings last summer, arriving from Barcelona's B team for £6.8 million.
Used as an attacker in Spain, Alberto started pre-season in a deeper role for Liverpool against Preston. He and Aspas both impressed, but like his compatriot, Alberto failed the test of the season.
There were positive glimpses from Alberto when he was given a rare cameo for the Reds but clearly Rodgers felt he wasn't ready—just two starts in all competitions shows as much.
Alberto has time on his side at 21 years old and could benefit from a loan next season, hopefully returning a better player in a similar manner to Fabio Borini.
Capitulation at Crystal Palace
Look away now, Luis.
The penultimate game of the season at Crystal Palace may not have meant Liverpool lost the title, but it felt like it.
After showing superb mental strength throughout the campaign it was the manner of the capitulation, conceding three goals in the final 12 minutes, that was particularly gutting.
Given that Manchester City went on to win their remaining games, even a win at Palace wouldn't have led to Liverpool winning the Premier League, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing.