What a difference a year makes. Five minutes is a long time in football, but the last 365 days in the life of Liverpool Football Club have been the most tumultuous that I have ever know.
Rewind back to this time last year. Rafa was on his way out to be replaced by King Kenny, sorry, Roy Hodgson. Our big summer signings of Chelsea sub Joe Cole and Milan Jovanovic on free transfers gave cause for quiet optimism rather than loud cheering! Roy was brought in to steady the ship, looking at his history with Inter Milan, his last really big club, perhaps you can understand where the board were coming from (cue big Stetsons, Wild West soundtrack and a big helping of cowboy, Mr Hicks and Gillett).
The optimism soon disappeared as our one year sabbatical from the Champion’s League seemed to be looking more permanent as we lurched from one disaster to another. Shocking defeats were matched by shocking performances both on and off the pitch, not least from George and Tom, whom I now firmly believe were Man U fans desperate to ruin our once great institution.
Talk of sheiks coming in with vast millions to outspend the Blue half of Manchester proved to be unfounded and more paper talk ruled out several others before more Americans in John ‘our saviour’ Henry and his Fenway Sports Group came riding in.
I, like so many others were sceptical, but the club was on the brink, lurching from one shocking defeat to another, languishing in the wrong half of the table. Roy exited, and eventually took over at West Brom where his talents were again brought to the fore. Was he ever given a fair chance? Not with King Kenny waiting in the wings, wanting the job. We wanted Kenny, our fan power equals no other reasonable resolution. Once back in the hot seat, despite a loss to ‘them’ the only way was up.
Henry seems cool and calculated, but he also believes in the fans. He cannot fail to believe in ours. He was witness to possibly the biggest red movement as the anti ‘George and Tom’ campaign effectively made their stay untenable.