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2010/11 Review of the Season: Liverpool

June 20, 2011

Given the sheer chaos going on at Liverpool when he took over Roy Hodgson was always going to be under pressure and never given a long time to settle. The fans made it quickly clear that he wasn’t their man for the job and with rumours circulating that the players weren’t enjoying training under him, things got awkward. If the results had of gone his way on the pitch, all that could have been forgiven and forgotten.

Defeat in John W Henry’s first match as Liverpool owner against bitter-rivals Everton left the Anfield club languishing in 19th place; and it appeared Hodgson would be shown the door. Remarkably he lasted until the turn of the year before Kenny Dalglish replaced at the helm. Initially, the Scotsman’s appointment appeared nothing more than a ploy by Fenway Sports Group to get the Liverpool fans onside only for Dalglish to mastermind an incredible run in the second half of the season.

Raul Meireles, a disappointment under the man who signed him, looked like a new player in Dalglish’s side and inspired Liverpool up the table along with the sensational new signing Luis Suarez. Dalglish reinvigorated Liverpool under his direction, got them playing an exciting brand of football and even bedded in some young players into the first team squad. Liverpool fans were quick to write off 2010/11 as a disaster but with the immediate success of Dalglish continuing right until the end of the season, dreams for 2011/12 continue to grow.

Regular Starting Eleven

Game of the season Liverpool 3-1 Man Utd Liverpool did trounce Birmingham and Fulham but nothing will have given the Anfield faithful more joy than comprehensively beating the Champions. Just days after Dalglish celebrated his 60th birthday, he reignited his rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson by masterminding a victory.

Luiz Suarez tormented the United back-line, Dirk Kuyt popped up to score all three goals, Andy Carroll was introduced off the bench for his Liverpool debut and there was even time for the crowd to serenade the birthday boy. Glorious match.

Player of the season Lucas Leiva Despite of the horrid start that Liverpool made to the campaign, Lucas was able to impress. It’s probably become fashionable to praise the Brazilian but the effort he has put in to turn around the Liverpool fans has been admirable.  He tireless, solid performances and refusal to back out of any challenge established Lucas in the centre of Liverpool’s midfield.

Season in a tweet

Biggest disappointment Joe Cole It’s like flogging a dead horse by this stage but the former Chelsea man failed in almost every way to live up to his billing. His move to Liverpool was supposed to be the spark he needed to fulfil his potential but after an opening day red card, the former England man just continued to disappoint. Joe Cole looked out of shape, out of sorts and unable to fit into a system with the other players. He wasn’t helped by Steven Gerrard comparing him to Lionel Messi before the season opener.

Changes needed for next season? Dalglish doesn’t need to change too much; just continue to improve Liverpool’s squad like he has done. King Kenny will be keen to bring in better quality so as to secure Liverpool’s 19th title as quickly as possible. A couple of Hodgson’s signings need to be shipped out and replaced which has seen Liverpool linked with pretty much every player going.

Rumblings that Steven Gerrard could be shipped out appear to be nonsense but the club captain will need to accommodated into the side. Towards the end of the season, Liverpool were performing at their highest levels and that was with Meireles and Suarez working in tandem in the hole Gerrard likes to fill. The Scotsman could have a problem if he wants to start all three.

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