Another Newcastle visit to Anfield, another loss. But that’s the smaller story this afternoon. Liverpool weren’t brilliant despite the 3-0 scoreline suggestive nature. They faced a much weaker opposition but still, the attitude, the confidence, they’re all there. Not champions swagger, despite beating Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City in recent months. Too far away, too bad of a start for that. But winds of change and promise have been blowing at the mythical Liverpool stadium, and the fans have been chanting mostly one name.
Luis Suarez scored his third goal for Liverpool against Newcastle, his first since the 2-0 away win at Sunderland and his first home goal since his debut, back in February. The numbers don’t tell the story here, at least not the individual stats. Ever since his arrival, along with another headline grabbing transfer (Andy Carroll), new life is and passion was breathed into a team that seemed bound for relegation battles after Roy Hodgson’s horrific start.
Suarez’ ability to play off a striker or be the target man himself, his speed, technique and overall abilities just make Liverpool fans all gooey eyed and so expectant towards next season and a hopeful cash injection to further strengthen the squad. But it’s not just Suarez, it’s so much more.
It’s quite an argument – what turned Liverpool’s season around – The return of King Kenny, Kenny Dalglish, bringing back the mentality and attitude that won Liverpool so many titles during the 1980′s, with him on the pitch or on the sidelines? Roy Hodgson throughout his career was usually well liked by his players, most recently at West Brom and last year with Fulham, leading the small club a match away from European glory. Something didn’t click at Anfield.
Injuries? A depressed squad, mostly Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres who both looked to be sleep walking through games at times, when they weren’t injured? A note about Torres – Despite being unhappy (as he said and looked), he managed to score nine goals on a bad team before his 50 million move to Chelsea. With Chelsea, being happy and all, he has managed only one. How bout that.
Hodgson’s failure didn’t go well with the new American owners, who are the third option of being the big change bringers. Money and the promise of a brand new day with lots of cash and stars had its part in the revival. The rapid takeover from the hands of the two buffoons who looked destined to destroy the club quickly and efficiently didn’t bring wins immediately.
It took a cup loss at Old Trafford with the aid of Manchester United pal Howard Webb and another league loss to Blackpool, something that wouldn’t have gone quietly under Hodgson, to settle the boat. The arrivals of Suarez and Carroll, Kuyt’s return to health, realizing the man in the middle to build on is Meireles, not Gerrard, at least while he’s not 100% himself, if he ever will be again. And did I mention Lucas actually becoming a decent and reliable player in the middle?! LUCAS! A player the team almost got rid of in the summer.
A simple game is soccer, on the surface. It took quite a few pieces to fall in the right places to turn the ship around towards calm waters and a promising horizon next season. I’m leaning towards the Dalglish return being the biggest difference maker, but this post is about the future, and a 24 year old Uruguayan striker is a better symbol than a 60 year old manager. Don’t forget your past. Dalglish is a huge part of it. But Suarez is the future.