by TTT Subscriber Anthony Stanley.
Chris and I have been writing these articles for the past while and one thing has been a common denominator: during the research, the sheer volume of achievement by Liverpool Football Club has become very apparent. Sometimes we can almost be blasé at looking back at our history, like it occurred in some country that is essentially unfamiliar and foreign to us.
2009 deserves a place in our history. It was the culmination of Rafa’s marvellous work – the edifying of the monolith and the zenith of just how effective we could be under the Spaniard’s stewardship. We didn’t actually win anything. But it was one hell of a ride.
We were unlucky in two massive competitions and it could have been so much more. It also should have heralded something special; looking back, there is a trace of a team reaching their peak but just falling short. The reality, however, is that the Liverpool crafted by Rafa may well have been able to kick on and grab that elusive title if not for circumstances that were beyond his control.
But the season should be celebrated simply because of the memories that it bequeathed upon us. Benitez had given us plenty of these already in the campaigns preceding this but it all came together in a near triumphal procession; we fell short, but it looked, briefly, that we were back on the map of being genuine contenders again.
Yeah, déjà vu. In this case, familiarity does indeed begin to breed contempt. But remember Madrid getting spanked in the same week as United, two 4-4 draws in seven days against two of our closest rivals, Gerrard’s hat trick at Anfield as Villa were contemptuously swatted aside, Newcastle hammered at Christmas time in St James Park, Fernando Torres terrifying the opposition, Alonso purring, Mascherano snarling, Stevie racking up goals, 106 strikes from the team in all competitions, 25 league wins, 86 points.
Celebrating failure? No, this is a paean to us getting our voice back and how we could have ended years of domestic frustration. In the modern landscape of shifting and swirling financial realities, it was, without doubt, a successful season.
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