2011: A Liverpool FC Year In Review

2011: A Liverpool FC Year In Review
December 29, 2011 Paul Tomkins

By Paul Tomkins

The year 2011 began with Liverpool FC and its fans in the midst of a great depression, heading nowhere under Roy Hodgson. Before long we were losing our main goalscorer, and spending the £50m (plus the fee for Ryan Babel) on two new, young strikers. With Torres gone, and Steven Gerrard about to be sidelined for more-or-less the rest of the year, it was going to be no easy task for a new manager to drag the team from the bottom half of the table towards the top six. Kenny Dalglish did just that.

Dalglish had money to spend, of course, thanks to the arrival of FSG. But it was not a case of adding £100m+ to the squad; as part of the rebuilding programme, good players were sold (along with the deadwood), often to bring down the average age or increase the necessary English quota levels. (Hodgson had signed seven players, six of whom had an average age of 30, which only served to move the club backwards in the short-term, and offer nothing but problems in the long-term.) Had Liverpool spent £115m in 2011, but kept Torres, Meireles and one or two others, then that would be a different issue.

The two transfer windows under Dalglish and FSG have proved hit and miss, but very few clubs will have a large number of players come and go in a year, and see all of the new arrivals succeed, either immediately, or indeed, over the long term. Take the examples of Meireles and Henderson; essentially a 28-year-old central midfielder who didn’t meet home-grown criteria was swapped (£12m received, £13-16m spent) with a 21-year-old alternative.

Meireles was good, but not perfect, and in fairness, it took a while for Henderson to look even remotely of that standard; as a result, and in terms of results, Liverpool perhaps suffered a little. But with Henderson growing into the role, the decision now seems wise; his best days are ahead of him, and experience gained now is money in the bank for the future. Then there’s the fact that Henderson will not be on the wages that Meireles would have been entitled to, had he stayed.

Given the number of changes to the squad (and coaching staff), 2011/12 can only be regarded as a transitional season; although no-one likes acknowledging it when they see one (not least because, in the modern era, every season spent off the pace of the top four seems like a disaster). And the second half of 2010/11 was merely an attempt to for the club to dig itself out of a hole. It’s been a year of ups and downs, but after 2010, at least there are some ups in there, too.

To illustrate the level of improvement, Dalglish would need to lose the next fifteen games in a row to equal Hodgson’s points-per-game, so far ahead is he. (Hodgson’s level should not be the benchmark, but people keep bandying about erroneous stats; and while acknowledging that it shouldn’t be the benchmark, it was the reality that Dalglish inherited.)

So far this season, with just one game left in 2011, the Reds have the best defence in the league, and have had the most attempts at goal, suggestive of getting certain things right at both ends; the disconnect lays in between, in how many chances have been squandered, rather than any fundamental problem with the approach. (As an aside, look at how Spurs were struggling for goals last season, particularly from their strikers. Also, in 2010 they were 5th, with 30 points, after 18 games; Liverpool are now 6th, with 31.)

Anyway, enough scene setting. What follows is my full review of Liverpool FC’s fortunes over the past 12 months – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and how it all bodes for the future.

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First of all, a fundamental question right now would be: is the squad better than this time a year ago? Have we improved?

Circa £75m was raised from selling Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel, Paul Konchesky, Milan Jovanovic, Daniel Ayala, Nabil El Zhar, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Emiliano Insúa, Christian Poulsen, Raul Meireles, David N’Gog and Philipp Degen. Joe Cole and Alberto Aquilani have been loaned out, both with no apparent future at the club. The Italian will raise another £5m (though I cannot grasp why it’s such a low fee) when he plays a certain number of games for Milan, and a sale automatically follows.

It would be particularly nice to still have Aquilani and Torres, if fit and at their best (I don’t think we miss Meireles that much) – but overall it was a case of necessary culling, plus players who wanted out, anyway. Insua and Ngog were pretty good for their age, but Enrique and Bellamy are better; and while I liked Ayala, Coates is already an established international. Kyrgiakos was honest and committed, but ageing.

Several of those players were on big, or relatively big, wages; a few were on massive wages.

That £75m, plus a further £40m or so, was reinvested in Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy, Jose Enrique, Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Sebastian Coates and Alexander Doni. Two – Suarez and Enrique – have been sure-fire hits. Bellamy and Coates have been about as good as could reasonably have been expected, and better than those they replaced.

Adam, Downing and Henderson have been hit and miss, but with an average age of 24.3, there’s potentially still more to come from that trio. While Downing’s fee seems exorbitant, it’s worth noting that even when failing to enthral, he’s performed a lot better than the plodding, ponderous Joe Cole, whose fee was £0m, but whose wages were £100k a week.

If that particular £20m may have been better spent, Downing has done okay; and after a slump has started to look brighter again in recent weeks, playing on the right. Henderson, in particular, looks like he could be a gem in a couple of years, while Adam, although hugely frustrating at times, has shown more than a few glimpses of class. I still can’t quite fully work him out, but he’s lightyears ahead of Poulsen, and not noticeably inferior to Meireles.

It’s clear that the overall composition of signings lacks a little something; swap Downing for Mata (had it been possible) and we’d probably be proclaiming the year’s business a resounding success – that it was better than we dare hope. But with at least 15 players off the wage bill, and only nine added, it’s fair to say that the Reds are cutting their cloth according to a new reality. This is no longer a Champions League side, and it may take time to build back up to that level. Most of the players signed lack that bit of star quality, and that’s reflective of where the club found itself.

It also became a team without Steven Gerrard in 2011 and, in recent weeks, Lucas Leiva. All clubs miss their best players, but that pair are pretty special, and hard to replace. None of the new signings have yet to feature as part of the Reds’ strongest XI.

If, in gross terms, approximately £115m was spent in 2011, I believe a case could be made for the group of signings now being worth more; at the very least, the club could break even if it had to suddenly sell everyone overnight (without fire-sale prices being taken into account).

Suarez must be worth £40m (although the racism issue, as part of a series of controversies, may affect his valuation), Enrique £15m, and given the potential he has, Coates could be a £10m centre-back. Maybe nobody would pay £5m for Craig Bellamy at 32, but he must be worth that to Liverpool. Stewart Downing looks more like a £12m player, and while Andy Carroll has struggled, you’d think £15m would see a few takers. Charlie Adam, having now proved himself to some degree at a big club, is probably a tad more valuable now, at £9m, and Jordan Henderson looks worth the £13m minimum payment in terms of long-term investment. Finally, Doni could raise a couple of million. That’s £121m, although those hypothetical figures can rise and fall from month to month.

Perhaps there’s no great sign of the ‘Moneyball’ principles paying off just yet (although several youth captures could prove bargains), but it was never about the quick fix, and by buying mostly players in their early 20s, there’s plenty of time for their values to improve.

Signing of the Year

Despite the controversies, Luis Suarez, has been worth every penny (plus another £20m). Yes, his finishing has grown increasingly erratic, and that’s not helped the Reds at times this season – his confidence in front of goal seems to have dipped since Patrice Evra publicly labelled him a racist, and a saga took on a life-force of its own.

Suarez creates chances out of nothing, and if he had someone in form he could lay the ball to, and who could be trusted with scoring, his own value to the team would soar; and with the burden shared, he may score a lot more himself. Right now, he’s hanging onto the ball too long, and then shooting off-target. It’s perhaps tricky to play ‘off’ him as he’s so unpredictable, and often fools team-mates as much as opponents. But he’s still a genius.

The impending ban may serve him some good, as he’s in need of a rest – although if he fails to clear his name, the lingering antagonism towards him may make it harder to relax into his natural game, and only serve to drive him abroad. It may not yet be an option as far as I know, but a big money move to Barcelona or Real Madrid may end up making sense to all concerned; he’d be back in a familiar culture, and Liverpool could invest in two new strikers.

Disappointment of the Year

As I’ve noted many times, Andy Carroll is the type of player that takes time to come to fruition. But it’s not abundantly clear if he’ll be able to do so at Liverpool; at least to a sufficient level. I’m not sure that he has the necessary drive or mentality to flourish, based on a few comments about his training style and social habits, but he’s a better player than he’s given credit for. Maybe he just needs to mature, in general, and the rest will take care of itself in time.

If, in pure business terms, Carroll was worth £15m less than (the five years his senior) Torres as part of a three club exchange deal, the flaw seems to have been that as Newcastle pushed for more and more money, it placed more and more expectation on the two strikers being traded – even though there was absolutely no difference to the Reds’ purse strings whether it be £30m and £15m, or the eventual £50m and £35m. Forwards are judged on goals, and players are judged against their price tags. In both cases, these men seem to have struggled with a massive burden.

People are now raving about Demba Ba, but a year ago, Carroll had almost as many goals for Newcastle, and was four years younger. By the age of 22, Ba had yet to even play top-level football, having spent time in the French and German lower divisions, before promotion with Hoffenheim in 2008. Put a large price tag on Ba’s head, and expect him to score goals for Liverpool, and it might be a very different story. As we saw with Robbie Keane, sometimes good, reliable strikers with previous ‘big(ish)’ club experience wilt in the piercing limelight of Liverpool FC.

Carroll has been unlucky in the last few games, when hitting the target with good efforts, only to be denied by excellent goalkeeping. If – and it’s always a big if – he can get a few goals under his belt in quick succession, we might see the burden lifted.

(Having said all that, some blinding pace up front would be nice. Perhaps Carroll and Bellamy will prove to be an effective partnership until a new striker arrives and/or Suarez serves his eight-game ban. With the Uruguayan definitely out of the Anfield match against Newcastle, it could be the ideal chance for two former Newcastle forwards to combine.)

Lowlight of 2011

Without doubt, the Suarez/Evra incident, and its continued influence on the fortunes of Liverpool. Suarez looks set to serve an eight-game ban, and it’s clearly affected his form. The handling of the whole affair by the FA and media leaves a lot to be desired, and it’s something that no-one associated with Liverpool needed.

I believe Suarez has the right to defend himself, and Liverpool fans also have a right to be sceptical about the disciplinary process. Some charges are so serious that they transcend usual procedures, and a criminal trial may have better suited the accused. Had Suarez a) not been provoked, and b) used an unambiguous racist term, then fair-minded LFC fans would have accepted an eight-game ban. As it stands, it just doesn’t seem quite right, on a number of levels, given the nature (and language) of the insults traded. As with his one-match ban for the middle-finger, we want some consistency; three England internationals (Rooney, Neville and Ashley Cole) made similar gestures without punishment.

The lowest point in terms of our football was the defeat at Blackburn under Hodgson, although it at least that led to …

Highlight of the Year

Kenny’s return. It’s worth reminding ourselves where we were when he returned to the dugout, and how far we’ve come. Anyone who wanted Roy out ASAP, but is not happy with Kenny, needs to remind themselves of the reality of the situation as it was at the time. We, as fans, helped create the untenable situation, in that we didn’t quietly endure the Croydonian’s 36th year in management.

Roy simply had to go. There, and then. I don’t think we could have taken any more; he was doing a terrible job, and we were up in arms, scared of key players exiting. And Kenny was probably the only realistic option at the time. Others were on the TTT radar: Di Matteo, Coyle and Rangnick were three I liked the sound of. One was sacked soon after, and is now merely an assistant manager; the other is all but propping up the Premier League; and the third has retired due to ill health. Andre Villas Boas was probably the favourite, but he’s come in for lots of criticism since moving to England.

It’s easy to forget how different they all appeared back then. Kenny was always going to be something of a gamble, but I think we all preferred him to Roy, even with a decade away from the dugout.

Kenny did so well in those first five months – obviously slightly aided by a natural bounce effect – that it would have been unthinkable for FSG to dare try and replace him in the summer, even though it was initially only a temporary role. After all the turmoil of the past couple of years, some stability was paramount.

Goal of the Year

On the pitch, I’d say the win against Manchester United in March was the highlight. Dirk Kuyt got a long-overdue Liverpool hat-trick, against the best opposition possible, and Luis Suarez produced a jinking run that I think I repeatedly watched more than any other LFC moment. In terms of a finish, it was a prod from a yard; but the creation was an act of true beauty.

TTT Poster of the Year

Just over a year ago, Jeff (Reed) was reluctantly quitting TTT due to poor health. I decided to give him free access, such was his insight from across the pond. Hopefully it’s not been a case of exacerbating his health issues, but giving him a pleasurable way of spending his time, to help him relax. In return, we get a constant stream of sagely wisdom, and tales of a dog called Buddy. Dan, Beez and Lee all deserve their places towards the top of the table.

The indefatigable JoeP has accepted that he will be forced to post on Thursday nights on RAWK, having fallen from 1st to 5th in a year. In his case, consistency has possibly been his downfall; steadfastly sticking to certain arguments, although he may well be proven right on some of the issues. Maybe he’s the Hodgson of TTT: has one way, and sticks to it. And it’s usually quite suited to the Europa League.

In truth, almost all posters are worthy of praise; while I want the site to be welcoming, I want people to think twice before sharing their views, to make sure they are adding to the debate. In that sense, I think that, for the majority of the time, it works very well; and at times of major talking points, exceptionally well.

Before moving onto the last few categories, I’d like to thank Anu and Chris for their help behind the scenes, and express my appreciation for all the guest articles. Mihail’s regular tactical pieces add a new dimension to the site, and thankfully, most of the old hands continue to contribute (although it’s a shame Graeme hasn’t had the time anymore). It’s also been pleasing to see Beez and Dan get some writing gigs beyond TTT; just stick around on here as well, lads!

Player to Watch in 2012

Thirteen years since the last occurrence, Liverpool are long overdue the emergence of an absolutely stellar youth prodigy. At 16, Suso looked like being that player; but like so many others, he’s not pushed on as hoped – although individual development can be an up and down process. Conor Coady and Andre Wisdom seem to have the physical gifts to succeed, and young full-backs Flanagan and Robinson have gained valuable experience, but right now, none of the promising kids are even making the bench; a good sign in terms of senior squad fitness and depth (with the likes of Kelly and Coates often not making the team, or even the 18), but also proof that they haven’t gone on to make their inclusion unavoidable.

I’ve not seen as much of the reserves and youth team this season, but Raheem Sterling has to be a major star in the making. Surely?

The capture of 16-year-old Jordon Ibe, who played and scored for Wycombe this season at the age of 15, has to also bode well; he is due to arrive in the summer.

Hope for 2012

The aim has to be to get back into the top four, although the top six has become incredibly competitive. So much has changed in the last two years that it remains hard to get a grip on our new reality. Finishing in the top four this season still looks possible, with just a few points separating 4th and 6th; and yet outperforming both Chelsea and Arsenal over the remainder of the season somehow seems unlikely. Therefore, the hope has to find ourselves safely nestled within the top four in a year’s time.

More specific hopes are that we sign a striker to solve the goalscoring problems; or, as in the second half of 2008/09, players start sharing the goals around. And obviously a satisfactory outcome to the Suarez situation would be ideal.

Equally, maintaining Skrtel’s confidence and Agger’s limbs is essential to obviate signing a new centre-back.

On a personal note, I hope that 2012 is a little easier than 2011, and that I can get back to producing my best work. With a house move in the spring, and then my dad’s cancer taking hold in the summer  through to his passing just before Christmas, it’s been hard for me to keep on top of all the issues. I hope that the site has maintained its high standards, but I’m not sure I added as much as I’d have hoped to.

And on that note, I’d like to thank you for your continued support (especially in the light of a few technical issues), and wish you all the best for the year ahead.



Comments (84)

  1. Author

    A strange old year, overall. Ups and downs aplenty.

    All the best for 2012, everyone!

    • leeberolf 11 years ago

      Good summing up of the year, Paul.

      Although I don`t neccessarily agree that your standard of writing has suffered– Obviously (and understandably) the quantity has suffered, but I would say some of your articles this year, have been amongst your best!

    • elMuru 11 years ago

      Sums up Life, eh Paul?
      The very essence of it, Change (nothing in permanence).

      Happy New Year to all.

      And may the dawn of the new year change the rotten luck we’ve had into a much fulfilling experience for the Liverpool Football Club supporter, fans, disciples…. 🙂

  2. leeberolf 11 years ago

    This made me laugh though;

    “The aim has to be to get back into the top four, although the top six has become incredibly competitive. So much has changed in the last two years that it remains hard to get a grip on our new reality. Finishing in the top four this season still looks possible, with just a few points separating 4th and 6th; and yet outperforming both Chelsea and Arsenal over the remainder of the season somehow seems unlikely. Therefore, the hope has to find ourselves safely nestled within the top four in a year’s time.”

    That could almost be JoeP talking there– about his current position.

    Replace Chelsea and Arsenal for Dan and Beez and you have it! 😉

  3. Thug 11 years ago

    Once again, an excellent article Paul.

    My major disappointment of the year has been our inability to finish off teams we’ve been pounding on the pitch. Goals win matches and If we had won only half of those we’ve drawn/dropped points to, we’d be right up there and comfortably in 3rd place.

    So yes, I believe we have every reason to be satisfied with the progression we’ve made from the dark dark days of Hodgson 12 months ago.

  4. 1892 11 years ago

    Nicely put Paul!

  5. onny247 11 years ago

    Another Great Article Paul, who do you think we should measure Kenny’s achievements against this season Roy or Rafa?

  6. Mountainsti 11 years ago

    Great article Paul.

    2 years ago was a year of complete downs. Not an up in sight.

    This year has been a series of up and downs.

    Next year shall be the year of ups, ups and ups!

    It’s the cosmic balance thing!

    On a personal note, I wish you and yours all the very best and here’s hoping for a more peaceful 2012

  7. JosephCousins77 11 years ago

    Very good summary of 2011 Paul, I’d just like to ask a few questions to everyone and give my point of view below…

    How important is it that we finish in the top 4 this season?

    What are our chances of finishing top 4 this season? (taking the impending Suarez ban into consideration).

    Should we break the bank to get the quality in January to give us the best chance of getting into the top 4? Or should we be patient with what we already have and hope things click into gear?

    My point of view is that the longer we spend outside the top 4 the more difficult it will be to get back in. We’ll go backwards as a football club while others such as Spurs get stronger. We’ll find it more and more difficult to attract the better players and gradually become an average club. I don’t think it’s ok to finish 6th while say Spurs and Chelsea finish top 4 because to then overtake them next season will be extremely difficult.

    I think FSG need to make some serious money available next month and the club need to be ambitious in its transfer targets. I know it will be difficult but we need to go for it. I don’t go along with the notion that you can’t get quality in January as we’ve signed Suarez, Skrtle, Agger, Macherano in the January window. Man Utd have signed Evra and Vidic in January.

    If Suarez has to serve an 8 match ban say from Feb-Mar I think we’ll struggle to get the points required for top 4.

    • DuncanM23 11 years ago

      Thoughts – moved here from the Blackburn thread.

      IMO the chance of us finishing in the top 4 this season is 30% or lower. I think it’s between us, Arse and Chelsea for 4th, and I’d have Chelsea as slight favorites, with us and Arsenal equal behind that.
      I don’t think finishing outside the top 4 this season is a disaster, so long as we collect a significant number of points and continue to make chances (and keep it tight at the back). This is a bit of a transitional season, and while it would be beneficial to the club to get into the CL, so long as we are improving, and making progress I don’t thing it’s a disaster. It looks like one of Arsenal or Chelseas will miss out too, so there is a fair bit of upheaval right now.

      I think that we should, if we can, buy a quality striker and defensive midfielder in the window, but not at any price (see Carroll for how that affects players), and they should be long term signings (not just for 6 months or a year). We’ve turned over a lot of players in the last year, and we could do with a period of calm, but a couple of quality additions would make a big diffference.

      • JosephCousins77 11 years ago

        I suppose one way to look at it is what Spurs did last season (just miss out) and follow that up with vast improvement so far this season. They just added a couple of quality players in key areas. However I think Arsenal and Chelsea are weaker than they were last season which has helped Spurs’ progress.

        Going into this season I felt we could be stronger than Spurs and Arsenal and compete with Chelsea for 3rd. I didn’t see us as 6th best so it’s been a difficult realisation to come to terms with.

        My fear next season is that Spurs and Chelsea (assuming they get into top 4) make big improvements again and leave us behind.

      • DuncanM23 11 years ago

        Spurs will be running to stand still next summer. Adebayor will be back to Citeh (or he’ll use their entire transfer budget and wage budget in 1 go), they might have to start looking for a replacement for Friedel, and how long can they go on getting half a season out of King (or hold onto Modric/Bale)?
        Plus Harry has his court issues coming up, and if they are OK, he could also end up as England boss.

        Chelsea may be better next year than this, though if AVB clears the deadwood they could end up a bit transitional like we are this year.
        Arsenal are entirely dependant on RvP – will they break their wage structure to keep him? If not, they will sell this summer so that they get a decent price.

        So while CL is important, and it’s not good to keep missing out, I think the required points haul this year will be abnormally high, and next year it will revert to the mean.

    • Fady 11 years ago

      20 matches remaining in the season so 60 points on offer. Theoretically we could end up on 91 points if we win every match. Realistically, based on a return of 1.72 points per match so far as well as an expected improvement in fortunes in front of goals (I’m allowed to dream ;-)), then we should be able to secure a minimum of 70 points this season. This was enough to secure 3rd spot last season. Will that be enough this season? Time will tell.

      In answer to your questions, it’s obviously important that we make the top 4 as the financial gains (and subsequent attraction of quality footballers are too important to ignore). However, I don’t think we should break the bank to try and secure a top 4 spot. I honestly don’t think we’re that far away, and a clinical and proven goal scorer (that doesn’t have to cost the earth) could be enough for the club to squeeze into 4th spot.

      In short, I’m happy with the club’s slowly slowly approach and would rather we took the long-term approach to building the team rather than trying to find a short-term fix that might unsettle the squad.

  8. AVRed23.bkg 11 years ago

    2011, has been an education for me.

    The departure of Rafa, arrival of Hodgson and then FSG ( which could well be scripted as a thriller ).

    But even today, I remember when I screamed loudly in the cold winter night, ” What the F*ck was that?!! F*ck Off!” when Blackburn inevitably scored the 3rd goal at Ewood Park to condemn us to another defeat.

    Personally, I really meant that to Hodgson, because the way Liverpool were playing those days, he was clearly killing the football inside me.

    It was also the time when I was diagnosed with Dyspepsia, allergic to milk products and etc, so I really wanted Hodgson to piss off. (Put in his blasted interviews, 35 years in football, and what piss lot of stupid stuff)

    Those days in late December and early Jan were really awful. But then came Kenny Dalglish, we lost, drew the initial ones ( esp the Everton one was really a bitter one, when the Toffees took the lead in the second half, with Kelly upended near the box, I couldn’t imagine what the scene at the away end, all jumping up and down with some Blues even managing to get out of the away end ).

    Then came, our first away win of 2011 at Molineux (30 pass-goal), Fernando leaving, Suarez and Carroll, Chelsea boinked, United getting thumped, Man City getting plumped, Fulham getting bumped & Maxi drilling goals as if it was Christmas in Summer.

    Summer was really a surprise, but even though the results haven’t been up to our expectations ( even to the LFC staff ), we have come light years from year before.

    I’m hoping 2012 will be an awesome year nevertheless, atleast the squad has played more games ( that should mean an improvement of 10-15% over the 19 games played ).

    To top it all, with the King managing us, it’s like a f*cking dynamite (LFC & King).

    Wish you and the posters a very happy and nice new year! (& belated Merry Xmas!)

  9. Fady 11 years ago

    Good summary of the past year Paul. Agree with Lee that you have kept up the quality if not the quantity. And certainly nothing to apologise for IMHO.

    …while Adam, although hugely frustrating at times, has shown more than a few glimpses of class. I still can’t quite fully work him out, but he’s lightyears ahead of Poulsen, and not noticeably inferior to Meireles.

    I like Adam, I really do, but sometimes he strikes me as a bit of a bonehead (e.g. his two yellow cards against Spurs, some of his OTT challenges, etc). Using a cricketing metaphor, he appears to be trying to belt each delivery out of the ground instead of playing each ball on its merits. I wish he would use his head a little more as I’ve no doubt he has the talent (if not necessarily the pace to match) to really succeed at Liverpool.

    Henderson (for me anyway) has the potential to be the best buy out of all the players acquired in the last year (Suarez has been outstanding from the start so I really can’t see him getting that much better apart from scoring more frequently). He appears to be sensible with his movement on the park, and I really like his economical use of the ball. He doesn’t overplay his hand (unlike Adam) and there has been a definite improvement in his game as he has got used to his team mates. With a bit of luck, he could have scored at least three more times, and they all would have been spectacular efforts. Yes, I really like the look of Henderson and can’t wait to see him play a full season alongside Lucas in 2012/13.

  10. nathan0174 11 years ago

    Kenny revitalised the club last year and young players like Kelly,Shelvey and Henderson are great prospects for the future developing all the time which is great to see.
    Players with experience have shown real consistency of the level needed to win things, players such as agger skrtel reina Lucas. Other experienced players have provided important performances at the right time, Johnson and Chelsea springs to mind, maxi a very useful additional goal scorer, Suarez against Stoke in the cup, also a sign of winners, emulating gerrards peak moments.
    Then theres the rest, kuyt has struggled for form after his wonderful Hattrick and his prem. League 50th seems like an uphill battle. As his place in the team and impact in differing roles becomes questionable for the first time.
    Adam has too many weaknesses in his game at the moment, and like the gaps in our midfield at times you wander whether he can make up the ground. That said he has also shown he can be disciplined, win possession,dominate the centre, and deliver incisive passes in a few games. At the moment his success relies on the strengths of players around him, but as we are not Blackpool we won’t be building the team around him as we did with alonso.
    Downing is more of a squad player for me, but as liverpool have nothing like him in their team for a while, he is required to give Liverpool width, crosses, and create chances on left and right wings
    so he’s got an uphill battle like kuyt but he has fresher legs to carry him.
    Bellamy makes it look easy, crosses, flicks, goal scoring and imposes himself on the game because he has the pedigree for this club, unfortunately he’s 32 and not playing every 90mins.
    Carroll again like Adam has weaknesses that need to improve like link up play but I think he can actually make the ground up. Liverpool can play to his strengths and build attacks around him without hooding it, it’s up to kenny aswell as andy on that one.
    Enrique has nullified the threat of so many opposing goals, that is defending is taken for granted and he is expected to provide goal threats himself, he is all s needed at left back, a consistent top
    level player.
    Overall with gerrard returning and Suarez banned once again it feels like something is missing at Liverpool. But the future prospects will mean that we will not need everyone fit all season to challenge and we will eventually have the strength in depth required to qualify and do well in all competitions, which as many have discovered is increasingly difficult.
    The lack of gerrard and another attacking option is the final contributor to 2011 fortunes.

  11. nathan0174 11 years ago

    I’d like to have seen this team line up for most of the season inspite of apparent lack of width and kuyts form.
    Reina Enrique skrtel agger Johnson maxi, Lucas, hendo,gerrard,kuyt,Suarez
    On our day we can beat anyone at the greatest level, with no width, and less glamourous players, but without the strength in depth of our entire squad molding into the shape of a team effortlessly, it’s going to be a long campaign and a work in progress to get there.

  12. maccap 11 years ago

    Nice review of the year Paul. To me the quality of the site has grown this season, somewhat in parallel with the competition for places at the top of the EPL. Some great posters have shone this year to complement your own outstanding work. Like any large family there have been a few disagreements, usually when a few differently coloured sheep get into the fold. Luckily they do not, or are not allowed, to stick around too long.

    May 2012 be a happier year for you and yours, and everyone’s here on TTT!

    • Donny G 11 years ago

      Ooh, you can’t use the word ‘coloured’ there maccap, you might get in trouble…. 😉

      • maccap 11 years ago

        .. shite I was dodging one word and fell into the Hanson trap!

  13. Vinny1892 11 years ago

    Thanks to Paul and all contributors for keeping this the best site on the web 🙂

    Happy New Year all!

  14. Aquaman 11 years ago

    An apt summary indeed, Paul.
    It has been a tipsy turvy emotional year for the most of us, at the very least me myself being an emotional wreck when we don’t get that result we so richly deserve this year. And that is the damning expectation that Kenny has built for us since he took over. We now EXPECT the most scintillating football, the goals and the results from the team and from Kenny. Nevermind the rot we’ve been harboring all this while since when Rafa was suffocating without funds to compete.
    I joined TTT since it’s inception but contributed minimally simply because the arguments for each debate come in thick and fast, leaving me nothing to add, but gasping for air as I try to digest the points put forward brilliantly by all. And these debates don’t yet include the mind boggling number crunchings that Dan and Beez and many more spit out as matter-of-factly. *mumbles and curses*.
    But I thank you all, especially Paul, for giving me the sanity to prevail this emotional ride.
    Happy New Year, my dear friends.

  15. joesam 11 years ago

    To tell you the truth in spite of the bans, injuries, woodwork and bad refereing decisions I have’nt been this optimistic about the future for quite some time yet. Clearly the club is moving in the right direction on and off the field.
    Wishing you all a happy new year.
    The future is bright…….the future is definetly RED.

    • aelara 11 years ago

      I have to agree. There is a lot to look forward to in the second half of the season (despite Suarez’s impending ban).

      At the end of the day, the team are not playing badly and if that infernal “woodwork” fella hadn’t been our oppositions man-of-the-match all the time, we would have an extra 17 goals and enough points to see us quite comfortably nestled in the top four.

      We are due a change of luck, and I for one am sure it will happen sooner rather than later. And then God help those that get in our way…:)

  16. grahamo1975 11 years ago

    Paul, thank you for this site. Happy new year. Graham

  17. JoeP 11 years ago

    Good review Paul of an interesting year.

    First of all, a hearty congratulations on a deserved title win for Jeff. There is solace to be taken from the thought that the title will remain in North America, albeit that it was not to be for myself. For Lee, an outstanding performance to finish in 2nd place. As Paul has outlined many times, it’s usually necessary for eventual champions to finish 2nd before they can make the final step to greatness. The experience of the run in will help him no doubt, just as last year’s top 4 finish helped to push him on to an improvement this time around. Until you are in that position yourself, it’s hard to appreciate the level of intense pressure involved as the title run in reaches it’s climax. One minute you have a great result and performance to match, the next moment your rival squeaks out a win to cancel it out. Liverpool beat the likes of Villa 5-0 in 2009 under Rafa, only for United to clinch narrow victories over the likes of Spurs and Wigan. Similarly, just as Lee had figured out how to do block quotes, Jeff comes back to tell us all of his Christmas in Maryland, and the cushion is restored. It’s high pressure stuff, and an unenviable task no doubt.

    A commendable third for Dan Kennet, no doubt fuelled by his tour de force work on the number of chances created by Kenny’s reds in the league this season.And rounding out the top four, a man who knows all about pressure, our very own Beez, who managed to hold off a late surge to hang on to fourth place. Special mention to this year’s Newcastle – Chris Rowland. Early form suggested talk of a title tilt, but alas, consolidation in the top 7 is nothing to be sniffed at.

    As for me, it’s back to the drawing board, after what feels very much like Rafa’s last season. Obviously, being likened to Hodgson is a massive wake up call, and I’ll be asking myself some serious questions as to where it all went wrong. This poster exists to win trophies, nothing more, nothing less. There’ll probably be a summer clear out. I’ll probably stop having such a massive go at Carroll, unless he is sold in the January transfer window. Question marks remain over the future of the Carling Cup stance. Rumours are rife that it will be moved on in the summer, but the absence of Lucas for the remainder of the season suggests it may yet stay. Another turning point was that it was undoubtedly very costly to risk key posts on twitter at a crucial point of the season. Not only were some valid comments wasted on a meaningless forum, but spending time on there left me jaded and my TTT form suffered as a result. This isn’t mere speculation, it is backed up by concrete data from Graeme Riley. One things for sure, next season, I will be there or thereabouts, in contention for the biggest prizes.

    • squiddlydiddly 11 years ago

      The challenge of ridding yourself of the Hodgson comparison will be challenging enough Joe.

      I actually took a sharp intake of breath when reading that, the shock of it.

    • Chris Rowland 11 years ago

      ‘This year’s Newcastle’?

      Do I not bleed?!!

      I didn’t even make the EL spot. Not good enough, big changes needed. Complete overhaul of my posting in the summer ….

  18. Kamall 11 years ago

    Great summary. My favourite – JoeP the Hodgson of TTT 🙂

  19. Chardo34 11 years ago

    “Maybe JoeP’s the Hodgson of TTT”

    Are you trying to drive him out or something? 😉

    EDIT: That’ll teach me to refresh first before ploughing in with ‘original’ comments.

  20. Jeff 11 years ago

    First I want to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Second, I want to thank everyone for all their kindnesses. Third, I hope Paul has a great 2012 – he sure needs it.

    To me it is fair to say that 2011 was the first year of the FSG ownership. Therefore, to me the key question is are we better off at the end of 2011 than we were at the beginning of 20111? The answer to this question has to be yes.

    Since ohn Henry made it clear that it would take 3 years before we would see the fruits of the FSG ownership, I want to see us better off at the end of 2012 than we are today. This means that I want to see a shit of things happen.

    First, I want to see continued investment in players at all levels. Second, I want to see FSG resolve whatever the holds up are on actually breaking ground for a new playing venue for the first team. (It is widely rumored that we have for all practical purposes found someone who will put up serious money for naming rights and the holdup is dealing with the powers that be in Liverpool.) Third, I want them to upgrade everything in Liverpool to the same standard that they have in Boston. Finally, I expect them to make progress in all of these areas in the upcoming year.

    I expect others will add to my wish list.

  21. Chardo34 11 years ago

    Predictions for 2012:

    City survive a late scare and take the title before spending £1bn more on their 2012 CL campaign while telling UEFA to stick FFP up their arses.

    Spurs put on a late burst that nearly wins the title before it takes its toll on their aged squad and melts half of them in a nanosecond (with dire consequences for future seasons) Arry leaves for Ingerland and appoints Jamie to the number 2 job.

    Utd continue picking up points without playing well once. Ever. Finishing in 3rd yet as Europa champions, Fergie is lauded by the press as the greatest manager in the universe for winning all of Europe’s trophies.

    Chelsea start their squad overhaul in Jan using the African Nations Cup as an excuse and look to have made some decent buys before their melting players stage a coup, the wheels fall off, Roman’s axe falls on AVB and player manager Lampard guides a team with an average age of 35 into fifth.

    Arsenal fall apart when RVP has a season ending injury in January. The team struggles to combine valient CL nights with away games oop north and limps into 6th after finishing as heroic runners up to Barcelona in the CL final. The press and former players go mad, so Wenger decides he’s had enough and retires, leaving Arsenal with no hope of coming close to the top four for the next decade at least.

    Meanwhile, Liverpool keep plodding along, taking steps forward by demolishing Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and City while falling back with home draws to the lowlights. We end up taking fourth by default while racking up a world record 100 shots against the woodwork in one season, including 20 in an epic FA Cup final win against Everton.

    PS The summer transfer window proves to be very interesting.

  22. Steely 11 years ago

    Brilliant summary of 2011 Paul.

    TTT has completed another year and just gets better and better. I for one would like to thank Paul for an utterly brilliant site. This is a Mecca for sanely minded Liverpool fans. Only knows how Lee got in!

    Behind the scenes Anu needs a special mention. Only knows how much work you put in. As someone who is computer illiterate, you make this site tick like clock work. Likewise with my namesake Chris. Someone who has been there and done it. I respect your knowledge and know how – a top poster and credit is due to all the behind the scenes work.

    As for the members of this site. I love my Barcelona comparisons. If Jeff is the Messi of TTT then Beez and Dan are the Xavi and Iniesta. Lee is the maverick Dani Alves and JoeP is the dependable Puyol.

    All the regulars on here are top class and worthy of a place in as the top posters. All that are mentioned in the poll along with the likes of Vicdad, Mountainsti, Macattack, Kamall, Maccap, DuncanM23, Fady, Chardo34, squiddlydiddly, Serpico, Kopthat, Roller, Finin, Joe Holden, El Suarez, Alan, 1Hamndd, MDonald1987, KinnyRiddle, Mr W, Jazz, JerseyRoyal, CPEdwards, Ross, chrisjdillon, Ispahan1, josephcousins77, Crowdgobananas, happy_red, NeilM, Tango and G&T. Apologies to anyone I’ve missed but there are so many posters i’m interested to hear from.

    My personal highlight, like Paul’s is the return of the King. I’m too young to remember Kenny either playing or managing first time round. When I started supporting Liverpool a certain Robbie Fowler was just arriving on the scene. When he made his comeback in 2007 it was one of my highlights as a Liverpool fan. God knows, Kennys return would be ten times that but it give us young-uns a chance to appreciate a living legend that we never had the chance to experience.

    Long live the King
    Long live TTT
    And a happy 2012 to everyone.

    • squiddlydiddly 11 years ago

      Cheers Steely!! Humbled even if it’s the ‘B’ team!! 😉

      • Steely 11 years ago

        I’m sure I’ve forgotten loads. I’ll be editing this post no doubt. I’ll be happy just to make the C team!

      • Alan 11 years ago

        Ditto……cheers for that indeed 🙂

        And a Happy New Year to everyone , here’s to believing in a bright future !

    • cpedwards 11 years ago

      Cheers mate, it’s nice to know someone reads the crap I post!

      To be honest, I was happy just to avoid to ‘dead wood’ clearout this summer!

      On a personal note my season highlights were meeting Erin and her husband in NY back in February , meeting Fourcandles (Chris) when he was over for the Norwich game, and everyone else I met before the ‘Evening with Rafa’ thing whose names elude me , but one was a baldy chap.

      Happy New Year everyone. YNWA

      • fourcandles 11 years ago

        Cheers, cp. I love reading your crap. :D. Again thanks for showing me the pubs in the City Center, getting me some lobscouse and lots of fried foods. And thanks for not telling anyone that I only drink cider, and not beer.


        God bless us everyone!


        Live long and prosper!

        May the Force be with you!

    • anu 11 years ago

      Thanks Steely – appreciate it.

  23. JoeP 11 years ago

    Does anybody have a membership for RAWK? I need an invite right? Last time I tried it I couldn’t get it to work. Anyone able to help? It’d be a Thursday night only thing, but this is Thursday night so…

    • leeberolf 11 years ago

      One question. If and when you do post on their Joe. Will we be able to read it?

      I`m saying this because I have only ever visited the site a few times, and when I have done, I have quickly moved away from it before my eyes started to bleed!

      Oh wait. A bit like channel 5 — only without the shite Van Damme film! 😉

    • Chardo34 11 years ago

      I bet you were rubbing your face in frustration when you couldn’t sign in.

    • JoeP 11 years ago

      I think you can read it yes. I’ve read forums on there before, just can’t register to post.

      Chardo, if someone could show me how to sign up, that would be utopia!

      • Chardo34 11 years ago

        Sorry, can’t help, but I’m looking forward to reading the pearls of wisdom gleaned from your 36 years’ experience on this planet.

    • I don’t think you need an invite, but you need an ‘official’ email address.

      By that, I mean you can’t use hotmail or yahoo or whatever – I had to use my work email.

      • JoeP 11 years ago

        Ah ha – that would explain it thanks Beez. I’ll see what I can do.

      • JoeP 11 years ago

        It says there is an error and I am unable to register at this time.

        Would be good to get that sorted before next Thursday.

  24. Pist'n'Larey 11 years ago

    Great summary, Paul.
    Happy New Year to all of you out there!

  25. peterneall 11 years ago

    There are LFC highlights and TTT highlights and one of my delights its the way they complement one another!

    As so many have written the LFC highlight this past year has been the return of Kenny. His ability to get us all pulling together in the same direction again is a truly massive achievement, especially when you remember where we were before his return! He is completing his task and the development of the team and the way we are playing,has caused him problems because he has enabled us to dream again, so any relative failures seem bigger than they really are. On the playing front we are moving forward and now our rivals do fear us again, just not quite enough yet – but that will come, of that I am sure.

    ON TTT the post Swansea blow up was necessary for all concerned,and the values and principles that Paul espoused and demanded made my heart lift. What he has created, and I for one am proud to belong to is a site where values, principle and argument count for more than mindless ranting. We have a community that is beyond price, and the creation of this in times of personal difficulty matches on this site what Kenny has achieved on the pitch.

    As a forum Paul you have maintained the highest standards during a difficult personal time, the true measure of a leader is someone who can enable others to step up to the plate when needed, the list and quality of the posters you name in the poll , and others referred to who didn’t make the final are testimony to your leadership as well as your scholarship. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I am proud to be supporter and a TTT’er.

    Finally all that I hear of the principles of John Henry and his behaviours towards Paul and others make me feel that at last we have owners worthy of the club, and this makes me confident of the future, even if my impatience to be the undisputed no 1 again is not reached immediately.

    If I measure my feelings and thoughts about the club and compare them with this time last year we have moved light years, I am ready for more.

    Last year TTT was good for me, it was a refuge in a dark time. This year it has become a place of learning, scholarship, humour and cameraderie. I didn’t think it could improve, but by goodness it has. A forum that can analyse the points per game and so on, and at the same time congratulate Erin on the birth of her daughter is a very special place.

    Every blessing to all who contribute to this wonderful site whether by writing, reading, producing the next generation of TTTers or just lurking.

    • squiddlydiddly 11 years ago

      If anybody reads my previous post, i’ve requested deletion, due to not wanting to sound offensive or insensitive given Paul’s recent loss.

      Apologies for any offence.

      • fourcandles 11 years ago

        I’m guessing a post deletion creates the glitch in the matrix now affectionately known as the “you could be right” anomaly.

      • anu 11 years ago

        Fixed 🙂

  26. peterneall 11 years ago

    Thanks Squiddly – I remember, and hope to meet again this year, we need an excuse or two for the odd get together, maybe we should ask RAFA for a TTT evening special!!

  27. squiddlydiddly 11 years ago

    Lovely post Pete, happy new year to you.

  28. 1Hanmdd 11 years ago

    Great summary… not sure if it’s been posted but for me one of the biggest issues going forward for the club is the stadium. As the Clash said … ‘should I stay or should I go now’.

    To be honest, not bothered either way, I just want a decision very soon and to move onwards and hopefully upwards. (No to ground share… EVER!).

    All the best everybody.

  29. gwbiker 11 years ago

    Watching liverpool manu from ’93. Left back Julian Dicks, centre back Razor Ruddock…. thank God times have changed! Best wishes to everyone on TTT YNWA

  30. As with everything you write Paul, this is a fair and balanced summary of where we were, are, and are going.

    For what it’s worth, here are my feelings on the above headings:

    Signing of the year – hard to argue with Suarez, though I think Enrique deserves a hell of a lot of credit for signing the day before the start of the season and playing every single league minute for the joint best defence in the league.

    Disappointment of the year – Again, £35m on Carroll doesn’t look shrewd at present, but he’s still young. For that reason, my vote goes to Downing. I have defended him, and do think he’s done okay, but for the price and his age (supposed peak years and all that) I expected a little bit more.

    Lowlight of 2011 – Suarez/Evra. Just hope it doesn’t become the lowlight of 2012 too….

    Highlight of the year – Kenny’s return. And the return of belief that came with it. On the pitch, it was Suarez’ jinking run against United.

    Goal of the year – my favourite was the 30 pass move at Wolves. After 4 months of Hodgson dross it gave me belief back that we weren’t all that bad, and could actually play a bit given the chance.

    TTT Poster of the Year – as soon as the nominations were out, I tweeted that Jeff would win. No contest!

    Player to watch in 2012 – don’t really follow the reserves/youth so can’t really comment here. I’d like to think the answer for this could be Carroll!

    Hope for 2012 – Champions League football obviously. Plus peace and goodwill to-and-from all subscribers on here 😉

    Finally, a massive thank you for everyone who voted for me in the poll, and to anyone who has recommended one of my posts.

    Happy New Year everyone! Now let’s beat the crap (on the pitch) out of those Geordies!

  31. serpico 11 years ago

    Good review of the past year, with the broad and level headed vision for which Paul has become known for.
    I agree!

    My only addition to the list would be a special mention to Martin Skrtel, who I feel is in many ways a bit of an unsung Liverpool hero. Between the strong (even if sometimes too strong) personality of Carra and the technical talents of Daniel Agger, Skrtel was the less conspicuous permanent among our center backs in the past year. And yet there is so much to say about his performance during this time!

    I would single him out for praise for the following qualities:
    1) His ability to take the ball forward on a seemingly hesitant run that somehow ends up around the rivals’ box, and then delivering a simple pass to a team mate in a good position.
    2) His aerial power and awareness, especially against teams that try and break our offside trap (his treatment of Yakubu was a prime example).
    3) His mid range passing is immensely composed, often switching flanks to a player with more space and in a forward position. Watch the technique of his passes, he really learned how to float them! This gentle touch and very high awareness of his teammates translates to assists – as for Maxi’s goal this week.
    4) He scores headed goals! He scores headed goals for Liverpool!
    5) He is always healthy! (touch wood)
    6) While not getting the plaudits that players around him – Agger being the prime example – often draw, he keeps at it and delivers consistently polished performances.

    No disrespect to Agger, but I would like to see 2012 as Skrtel’s year – the year in which Skrtel is finally acknowledged as the elite EPL center back that he is!

  32. Taşkın 11 years ago

    A great summing up Paul. Id like echo Lee’s comments that while the quantity of your output may have suffered (and even then its still been way over what I and most others would have expected given the circumstances) the quality of the work has never been better.

    So thank you to all involved at TTT -including everyone who comments – for making this place ‘Home’ on the internet.

    When the world seems to be falling around our ears, or indeed when it ever seems too good to be true (which is not as often as we’d like) you can rely on TTT to put things into perspective.

    Roll on the New Year and may it be a happy one for everyone – and in particular for Liverpool FC.

  33. “To illustrate the level of improvement, Dalglish would need to lose the next fifteen games in a row to equal Hodgson’s points-per-game, so far ahead is he”.

    A few people have queried that on Twitter, so here is proof (as if proof were needed!):


  34. anu 11 years ago

    Cheers Paul

    Well played everyone – brilliant content from everyone, great comments from you all, some quality drama, and lots of insight.

    Hope you all had a great Christmas. Looking forward to 2012.

  35. garythespud 11 years ago

    I’ve had the Norovirus (Winter Vomiting Bug) while on a family break and it’s been right horrible! But to return and find out that I got quite a few votes in the poll is quite brilliant. Made my day, I’ll tell you.

    Great article, Paul and I agree wholeheartedly with it all. I think there’s been some lovely comments above and I can’t add to the sentiments as others have posted so elequently. Have a great New Year folks, and I look forward to the banter in 2012.

  36. rbk_85 11 years ago

    Paul, your articles have provided me with the required rationale, helping me keep my perspective with regards to Liverpool’s current expectations and I thank you for that. I feel like my decision to sign up to TTT subscription could be my buy of the year!

    re 2011: We all know Liverpool Football Club as a whole is the strongest it’s been since the beginning of 2009. The club is unified again and it feels like everyone is now pulling in the right direction from the board right down to the fans. It’s pleasing to see not too many hangers on in the squad anymore, like the Degens, Voronins, Poulsens and Jovanovics of recent years. Yes the new signings will be questioned, but that’s nothing new and I know who I’d rather have when you compare the current squad with previous squads containing the aforementioned. I think we as Liverpool fans need to hang on to our perspective and see through the media’s attempts to destabilise what looks like a very promising and rapid rebuilding operation.

    For the present, if the (ridiculous) Suarez ban is upheld there is no need to panic. Torres’ departure and Gerrard’s absence during 2011 has proved that Liverpool are not a one or two man team. Seeing Stevie come on to pull the strings last night (and show Messrs Adam and Downing how to truly deliver a ball) and finish the opposition off looks like Liverpool already have their first key reinforcement for January. With the Champions league places still very much in sight and a double header in the League Cup Semi to come Liverpool fans have many reasons to be cheerful going into 2012.

    Happy New Year!

  37. Dannyrat1 11 years ago

    Happy New Year Paul.

    Many thanks for all the hard work that goes into the site.

    Lets hope 2012 carries on where 2011 left off, results wise (Arsenal aside…cant have it all i guess!).

  38. NeilM 11 years ago

    Happy New Year all at TTT!

    Excellent review Paul.

  39. redpeter 11 years ago

    All in all, a good year on TTT with many highlights. Well done, Paul and the lads.

    Happy New Year everybody in the Northern Hemisphere and all of the other TTT time zones. 🙂

  40. el_Suarez78 11 years ago

    Happy New Year all.

    Let’s hope 2012 is a good year all round!

  41. matthewyoung 11 years ago

    Happy New Year to everyone.

    Hope it brings health and happiness to you all.

  42. maccap 11 years ago

    Ich wünsche Euch allen ein besonders gutes Neues Jahr! Or I wish everyone an especially good new year. (except the usual crowd and the English FA).

  43. Jazz1971 11 years ago

    Godt nytår til alle ved og omkring LFC og på TTT.

    Happy New Year to everyone at and around LFC and here on TTT.

  44. Newton75 11 years ago

    Paul, I’m new to the site and was therefore unaware about your Father’s condition. For what it is worth, my sincere condolences to you and your family.

  45. leeberolf 11 years ago

    Happy New Year everone!

    What did I miss?

    • Jazz1971 11 years ago

      You didn’t miss anything, mate.

      2011 was a most tedious year.
      Nothing to write home about neither on nor off the pitch.

      No amazing wins, no surprising draws and no embarassing defeats.

      No masterclasses by King Kenny in the art of entertaining very professional pressconferences (just as there were no cringeworthy moments of foot-in-mouth-syndrome with DOF in 2010).

      No players leaving, especially no one-time Anfield legend looking for a bigger and more ambitious club or deadwood being cleared out, just as there were no new exciting players joining, some instant hits, others still waiting to fulfill their promise.

      And first and foremost: Absolutely no, let’s say, highly debatable procedures and decisions by the FA in 2011.

      So all in all, 2011 was a very uneventful year – bring on 2012!!!


      (Sarcasm allert!!!)

  46. Happy new year to all.

  47. matthieustevenson 11 years ago

    A day after you posted this came the best day of the reds year for me. Yes it was only one game but the return of that man gave me new hope for fourth spot. I think in hindsight we have done excellently without our best player for almost a year but in 30 mins Steven Gerrard showed a) exactly what we have missed and b) that there is life in those legs yet. A cameo of real brilliance I haven’t stopped smiling since seeing him pull that armband on again. The whole team was visibly lifted and he seemed to improve every player around him. God bless you Stevie G, my word we have missed you 🙂

  48. cherry268 11 years ago

    Happy New Year to Paul and everyone else
    Look forward to our continuing improvement on the pitch and the continuation of an excellent TTT site

  49. Chief Rocka 11 years ago

    Happy New Year everyone. Lets hope that 2012 is a good year.

  50. evans528 11 years ago

    2012 has started on a humerous note. I have just watched the end of West Brom v Everton where Everton score in the last 5 minutes.

    Sky cameras catch our Woy banging his head against the hoarding behind where he sat. It was priceless.

    Happy New Year to everyone.

  51. Newton75 11 years ago

    Just in relation to the Suarez situation, what are the members thoughts on the possibilty of the particular set of circumstances arising whereby the club are percieved to be defending the indefensible? Joseph Heller couldn’t of concieved of a more insidious catch 22.

    By the by, I read on the Liverpool Echo website a comment posted by a supporter who stated that after thirty years of unshakable support he will never step foot inside of Anfield again due to the clubs management of the Gordian Knot that has become the Suarez dilema. Thats got to get the attention of the powers that be.

    So whats the consensus lads. Do we stick or twist?

  52. steviesulaiman 11 years ago

    Thanks for the summary, Paul. My belated sympathy for your Dad.

    Agree with you that it’s been a good year so far, and yes this season has been tougher that with more points (after 19 games) than last year’s 5th position now places us in 6th place shows the tough competition in Top Six.

    About the transfers, if only we had handled Meireles better it wouldn’t have left bitter taste.

    I’m also happy we can get Henderson as I see him as a future key player. He is yet to find his best position, though, since his effective passing and less steel may have been better for AMC rather than DMC. I also hope we can play more accurate pass in the final third… it’s a bit frustrating sometimes seeing us dominating as much as 70% possession but throwing them away in the final third due to inaccurate (often long) passes. It’s also affecting Carroll, he plays better with the ball on the ground, though his height (and later duel-winning stats at lfc.tv) shows that he is also dominant in the air. In terms of accuracy his left foot is much better than his head, and in the West Brom game we can see how sharp it is, not just depending on power.

    So other than keeping the good performance, my wish for 2012 would be to increase the passing accuracy. If that happens, then hopefully we’ll also see the true value of our No 9. And last but not least, I wish our Captain to stay fit the whole year. It’s reaaally great to see him back and score!

  53. jsz22 11 years ago

    We start the year 11 points from the summit. Let’s not go handing out anything to anyone just yet. 19 matches to play.

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