HomeViews and OpinionsTaking Stock... The Season So Far

Taking Stock… The Season So Far

Hands up, folks. Who would possibly have thought at the beginning of this season we’d be where we are now? Certainly not me!

Our ageing midfield was painful to watch. The two stalwarts of the previous years had totally stopped performing. Jordan Henderson, for so long the metronome setting the pace of the game, had deteriorated to such an extent that it was sad to watch. Fabinho, never the fastest, had slowed down to a crawl.

With Bobby Firmino also leaving, the link to the wonderful team of just a couple of years ago was looking like a distant memory.

We knew we needed a new midfield. We also knew that FSG were somewhat miserly in giving Jurgen Klopp suitable funds. Basically, we needed a miracle!

I must admit my hopes for this season were limited. I’d have taken a modest improvement; getting back into the Champions League was a must. The Europa is no real place for a club of our stature. A cup run would be nice. A few days in Dublin for the Europa League final vaguely appealed.

In an incredible coup, we managed to prise Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton for a mere £35 million due to a clause in his contract. An impressive, World Cup-winning attacking midfielder sounded ideal, and a definite upgrade on what we had last year.

The next signing was a lad called Dominik Szoboszlai from Leipzig was next. To be honest, I knew little about him. I did know I’d struggle to spell his name, at least until autocorrect took over!

Wataru Endo snook in under a cloud. How old? 30? But I thought we only brought in young lads with a long future? Surely this was a bizarre action to make up for missing out on Caicedo and Lavia, who both ended up in Chelsea’s bottomless pit of expensive but useless players.

Well, it’s panned out better than I could ever have imagined. Szoboszlai started like a train; Mac Allister took a longer time to settle, especially as he was playing as a ‘number six’ which was out of position.

Endo eventually took that role and now, like Mac Allister, is improving with every game. Even with injuries to the likes of Curtis Jones, our midfield now looks balanced and mobile. A word also for young Harvey Elliott. He’s filled in incredibly well and never lets us down.

Then we had the injuries; too many to list here. How on earth would we cope? Mo Salah even came back injured from the Africa Cup.

Jarell Quansah has been outstanding and can only improve. Joe Gomez has almost been ‘reborn’, a veritable Phoenix from the flames. From being the young lad with great strength and speed who appeared to be not quite fulfilling his potential, to what he is now; highly effective and versatile in any position he’s asked.

We’ve seen the promotion of Conor Bradley to right back after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury. What a find! Probably a better defender than Trent, and excellent going forward. Not even sure what will happen when Trent is fit again. Trent HAS to play; he’s a generational talent. Maybe as a midfield playmaker.

Then we’ve got Virgil. He’s back to being the best centre-back in world football. Probably the best CB I’ve seen, and I’ve seen the likes of Hansen, Lawrenson, Hyypia etc.

Darwin is looking like a serious player now; he must be a nightmare for any defender. Luis Diaz is finding form again. We’ve even got young boys playing well. Just ask Chelsea re Clark, McConnell and Danns.

So where are we? We’ve won the League Cup, in the Europa League last 8 pretty much and still in the FA Cup. Who would have believed it?

I was so proud of the team going toe to toe with this expensively produced rule-breaking Manchester City last week. We should have beaten them, to be honest.

The only negative is that the great man is leaving us. He’s no doubt up there with all our great managers, even Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley. We’ll miss his passion, and obviously his football genius. What a ride he’s given us. From relative obscurity in mid-table back to being the best team in the world.

Whatever happens over the next two months, let’s rejoice in the glow of supporting this team; enjoy the last few games of Jurgen’s tenure while hoping there’s more silverware. If not, I’ll cope. This season has been tremendous, and I’m still amazed that a team with a brand new midfield and devastated by injuries is still right at the business end of the league table.

Enjoy this amazing ride, folks, and remember that as a Liverpool supporter and part of our family, You’ll Never Walk Alone.

If you like Dr Andy Hershon’s writing, check out his book – 15 Minutes With You: Tips on Medical Consulation and Other Musings

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