Hopes were sky high for Liverpool after they finished in an unprecedented second place in the league last time around. However, dreams were dashed instantly with the teams poor performance so far in the season. Also with the way the season is going, managing a top four finish in itself looks like machine impossible for the Merseyside outfit.
Since the Reds won their last title in the 1990 season, Liverpool have finished second three times in the league. In all the three occasion, the team failed to qualify for Europe the following campaign.
After the 1990 league success, Liverpool finished a creditable second in the league the following season. However, not many would have expected the clubs decline. In 1991-92, Liverpool finished sixth and 18 points behind the champions Leeds United.
In the 2001-02 season, Liverpool finished second to a fabulous Arsenal side under manager Gerrard Houllier. The following season, the club lost the fourth spot to Chelsea and could manage only a fifth place finish.
The 2008-09 season was one of the seasons for Liverpool in the premier league history. With talents such as Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, Liverpool not only dominated teams in the league but, also managed to compete with the giants of Europe. The massive 5-0 aggregate victory against Real Madrid being the stand out result of the season.
In the league, they beat both Manchester United and Chelsea in home and away. Despite of it, Liverpool lost the title to Reds of Manchester by four points. Liverpool lost only twice in the league but, the 11 draws in the league cost them the title. The next season Reds finished seventh below the likes of Aston Villa.
What went wrong?
Of the various mistakes, the poor recruitment in the following summer was a major reason for the clubs failure. In 1991-92, Liverpool broke the British transfer record to sign Dean Saunders but, he along with other recruits Mark Wright and Mark Walters did not make much impact in the season.
In the 2001-02, Anelka spent five months on loan at Anfield from Paris Saint Germain. He managed only five goals in the period, despite of it Anelka himself regarded it has his best season. ‘I played my best football at Liverpool because I played in my best position there,’ said Anelka, according to Dailymail.
But, Houllier missed the opportunity to sign him as Anelka joined Manchester City, for whom he scored 14 goals in his debut season. Instead, he bought El-Hadji Diouf for about 10 million. However, the striker managed only three goals in the league to become one of the flop signings in the premier league history.
The same mistakes was repeated in the 2009-10 campaign. Alonso having been the key player in helping the club finish second in the previous campaign, Rafa Benitez sold him to Real Madrid, which left an hole bigger then anyone would have expected in the middle of the park. Also his replacement Aquilani never reached the heights he set in Italy. Besides replacing the reliable Arbeloa (who also went to Real Madrid) with error-prone Glen Johnson did not help the clubs cause as they were knocked out in the group stage of Champions League.
Liverpool not only finished seventh in the league but, as a result of it endured one of the worst spells of the clubs history. After 2009, Liverpool played their next Champions league match only this season.
However, the club repeated the same mistakes again by buying average players like Can, Markovic, Moreno in the summer. Also, if you thought the sale of the enigmatic Luis Suarez was a mistake? His replacement Mario Balotelli is a bigger one.
So, after finishing second in the league last time and repeating the same mistakes with the summer recruits, will history repeat itself with Liverpool missing out on the Champions League spot again? Only time will tel…..