MIKE NEVIN and Ben Johnson are with Neil Atkinson as they look at 2006/7; perhaps the strangest season in Liverpool’s recent history.
There was enormous expectation on the Reds that they would kick on from their 82 point season and FA Cup win in 2006 to challenge for the toughest title there has ever been. Benitez’s Liverpool were surrounded by expectation but was unable to compete in the transfer market, having to borrow from David Moores to sign Dirk Kuyt.
There was a tough start to the campaign, one which would end in Liverpool’s seventh European Cup Final, and there was constant takeover talk around the Reds – Moores had effectively put the club up for sale.
The approach in the market was wheeler-dealing, not making big signings and Fowler was one of Liverpool’s four forwards. Nothing goes quite as expected in this season and from the outset The Reds were on the backfoot.
Easy listening? Probably not. But Nevin and Johnson are as entertaining as ever remember the swings and the roundabouts of the early part of this campaign.
Great show, as ever. A few thoughts occurred while listening:
When you said we were just lacking a player of Nando’s quality it was like a kick in the gut. We might have won the league with Torres that season: we’d definitely have won the CL.
Players burning Rafa’s head out: imagine what Stevie must have done to him. Constantly lobbying to play in CM when he wasn’t up to the job. They must have driven each other potty, but Rafa was right, even Stevie sees that now.
Momo and Zenden……that’s the stuff of nightmares.
Hindsight: guilty of it myself (see above) but you can see how Bellamy could have been an upgrade on Cisse. Kuyt had never played right midfield, the fact that Rafa made a go of him there is to his credit. He was bought as a striker and I remember that West Ham game very well.
Rafa’s politics: I think we’d already seen signs. I remember thinking that Robbie was a cute signing, politically.
Hindsight II: That’s all we’ve got, isn’t it (apart from 5 years). But Jermaine Penant was never a Liverpool player. Gonzales did come with a good reputation, but he didn’t live up to it. He never really solved the left-sided conundrum until Albie Reina had his great six months. Wasn’t great with wide players, Rafa, nor was Houllier.