Liverpool is one of the most successful clubs in England and Europe, having won 18 league titles and 5 champions league titles. But, the red men were started to struggle in the league as well as in European competitions since the summer of 2009.
Liverpool finished 2nd in 2008-2009 season with 25 wins and 11 draws, falling 4 points behind the rivalries Manchester United.
After the Confiderations cup in 2009 in which Spain finished third, it was announced that the Spanish midfielder, Xabi Alonso would be joining Real Madrid for the fee worth of £28 Million. This seemed to be the major mistake committed by Rafa Benitez later as Liverpool have been continuously struggling with their form since his departure.
As Alonso’s replacement, Benitez signed Alberto Aquilani from the Serie A side, AS Roma. Liverpool paid £20 Million to Roma in order to bring the Italian midfielder to Anfield. But the midfielder was turned as one of the major kop flops of the last decade.
The absence of departed Alonso didn’t take much time to felt at Anfield. Liverpool started 2008-2009 compaign with a lose to Spurs at home, in which two strikes from Cameroon defenders, Sebastian Bassong and Assou-Ekotto in the second half had put Steven Gerrard’s first half penalty in vain. Liverpool’s poor form continued throughout the season and the team which finished 2nd in 2008-2009 season had finished 7th in the next.
In the mean time, in champions league, Liverpool were drawn with Itlaian side, Fiorentina and French giants, Lyon. Rafa’s Liverpool couldn’t cross even the group stages of champions league of 2009-2010 season.
As the Mersey side finished third in their group in champions league, they made appearance in round of 32 stages in europa league as one of the top contenders to win the title. But, the Liverpool hope of winning the Europa league were dazzled by Diego Forlan, where Liverpool had lost to Atletico Madrid in semi-finals. The Uruguayan striker took advantage of two defense errors-one at Madrid and one at Liverpool- in making the aggregate as 2-2. On away goal basis, Liverpool were eliminated from the competition.
Liverpool’s dipped form was not limited only with premier league and European competitions but it was reflected in FA cup too. Liverpool were drawn with Reading in FA cup third round. Steven Gerrard’s long range strike cancelled out Peter Church’s opener at Madjeski stadium and the match ended with the scoreline of 1-1 as no more goals were scored in the remaining part of the game since the 35th minute. On the re-match at Anfield, Siggurdson’s penalty in the last minute of injury time cancelled out Gerrard’s opener and it was Shane Long, who captured the headlines with a fine header in the extra time.
Liverpool had a disasterous 2009-2010 season and at the end of the season, Liverpool management had sacked their manager, Rafa Benitez. Roy Hodgson who enjoyed a fine run with Fulham was appointed as the new manager of Liverpool in the summer of 2010.
The condition of Liverpool had become more worse after the departure of Argentine midfielder, Javier Maschereno despite of the new manager making four major signings in his new reign- Milan Javanovic from Standard Liege, Cristian Poulsen from Juventus, Raul Meireles, Joe Cole from Chelsea.
As the new manager failed to make a big impact with his new club, Roy Hodgson was sacked in January 2011 and the Liverpool legend, Kenny Dalglish was appointed as the new manager for Liverpool. But, Liverpool did fail to progress even under Dalglish and the scott was sacked in the summer of 2012 leaving the way for Brendon Rodgers as the Northern Ireland man took the premier league by storm with Swansea.
But, Liverpool have been continuously struggling even under their new manager. Liverpool are currently in the 14th position in Barclays premier league title with 6 points in 7 games.
The Current Formation:
But considering the style of play and with current young talents in the names of Joe Allen, Suso, Rahim Sterling, Nuri Sahin, Jojo Shelvey etc., it is expected that Liverpool will be making considerable progress in 31 premier league games left.