Liverpool will be hoping to end 2011 in style as we play host to Newcastle Utd at Anfield in our final game of the calendar year. As 2011 comes to a close it may be worth remembering where we were this time last year, especially with the disappointment of yet another home draw fresh in our minds.
The date was December 29th and we had just suffered a 1-0 defeat at Anfield by Mick McCarthy’s Wolves – a side that would go on to escape relegation by a single point come the season’s end. We were managed by a man who was voted Manager of the Year for 2010 and the Liverpool faithful – so impressed by what he was doing with our club – deemed Hodgson good enough to manage England, as chants of “Hodgson for England” rang out from the Kop. Chants of “Dalglish, Dalglish” were also heard at Anfield as the Hodgson tenure reached a new low during that defeat by Wolves.
As the boos faded from Anfield that night, Liverpool’s league statistics read:
- Pos: 12th P: 18 W: 6 D: 4 L: 8 F: 21 A: 23 GD: -2 Pts: 22
We were ten points behind 4th placed Chelsea and just three points clear of the relegation zone.
Not long into the new year, Liverpool supporters got their wish as Dalglish returned to manage Liverpool and almost instantly transformed the club, removing the crushing negativity and restoring our pride and passion that had slowly been eroded under Hodgson.
Back to the present and despite suffering another disappointing draw at Anfield on Boxing Day, Liverpool received no boos or chants of “Dalglish for Scotland”. The Anfield support is still 100% behind Dalglish as we sit just three points behind 4th placed Chelsea and 17 points clear of the relegation zone.
Infuriatingly inconsistent we may be, but we’ve came a long way over the past 12 months, with so much changing for the better since Dalglish returned to the helm. We remain a work in progress though, and unfortunately sometimes making that step up to a higher level can take time.
For a more recent example of improvement taking time, we only have to look at how we performed as a club under Rafa Benitez between 2004 and 2008. It wasn’t until 2008/09 that we reached a level where we realistically challenged for the title. Even then we had disappointing results and performances that season, despite achieving the highest number of points reached by a team not to win the title. Evolution – in whatever form you want to view it as – takes time. We are evolving as a team and as a club.
Liverpool’s Premier League record v Newcastle Utd at Anfield:
• Played: 17 Won: 14 Drawn: 2 Lost: 1 F: 42 A: 15 Pts: 44
Liverpool’s overall record against Newcastle Utd in the league (includes PL stats):
• Total: P: 150 W: 72 D: 37 L: 41 F: 263 A: 187
• Home: P: 75 W: 50 D: 14 L: 11 F: 172 A: 76
• Away: P: 75 W: 22 D: 23 L: 30 F: 91 A: 111
Liverpool’s biggest home victories and defeats v Newcastle Utd (league):
• Biggest home win (overall): 6-0 (26/8/1967)
• Biggest home defeat (overall): 5-1 (14/12/1907)
• Biggest home win (Premier League): 3-0 (on four occasions)
• Biggest home defeat (Premier League): 2-0 (16/4/1994)
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