Liverpool Kop Archives for January 2009

What was the point? How RAFA BENITEZ continues to alienate STEVEN GERRARD

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After 5 and half years at Anfield, Rafa Benitez still has no idea how to manage Steven Gerrard effectively, something that was proven once again with his recent pubic comments about Liverpool's captain.

Can someone please explain to me the benefits of Benitez's supremely irritating recent PUBLIC comments about Gerrard, because I just don't see the positives.

LFC's season is in the gutter...and GLEN JOHNSON is living it up in a London nightclub at 4am

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Glen Johnson has made many costly defensive mistakes since he arrived at Liverpool, the most recent of which led directly to Liverpool losing against Arsenal and Portsmouth. With this in mind, how is swanning around a London nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning a professional way to prepare for the next game?

Why the Christmas period could provide a glimmer of hope for LIVERPOOL FC

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Confidence and belief is in the gutter as Liverpool enter the Christmas period, but if previous years are anything to go by, the next few weeks could actually turn out to be rather fruitful for the club.

If there is one positive thing that has been a constant for Liverpool under Rafa Benitez, it is performing well in the league over the Christmas period:

2004-5

P4
W3
L1

2005-6

P4
W3
D1

2006-7

P4
W3
L1

2007-08

P4
W2
D2

2008/9

P3
W2
D1

5 YEAR TOTALS

P - 19
W - 13
D - 4
L – 2

Goals for - 40
Goals against - 13

As you can see, Liverpool has never had a bad Christmas period under Benitez.

Baby steps to success? Why LIVERPOOL fans should put up with the current heartbreak...

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On Boxing Day, Liverpool reach the halfway point in the season with a ‘make or break' game against Wolves. The club's fans have endured a torrid season so far with nothing but small victories to cheer, and great wins against Man United and Everton overshadowed by points subsequently being dropped .

LFC need a MOTIVATOR, and MARTIN'O NEILL is the right man to replace RAFA BENITEZ

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On the 30th May 2004 (before Benitez was appointed), I wrote a post on ThisIsAnfield.com arguing that Martin O Neill should get the Manager's job ahead of Benitez and Jose Mourinho. Five and a half years later and my view has not change, and after yesterday's passionless display at Portsmouth, the need for a manager who is able to inspire and motivate is more pressing than ever.

LFC game-by-game comparison - This season vs. last season (UPDATED to include Portsmouth)

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A side-by side comparison of all results from this season and last season, up to and including the Portsmouth defeat on Saturday 19th December 2009.

NCF = No corresponding fixture
NPC = Newly promoted comparison

For games against newly promoted teams, there will be no corresponding fixture from last season.

Forget the red card - RAFA BENITEZ is responsible for the shambolic Portsmouth defeat.

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According to Rafa Benitez, Javier Mascherano's red card was the catalyst for Liverpool's ignominious defeat to Portsmouth today. Well of course it was! It's not like Benitez is ever responsible for anything, is it? It's always something or someone else's fault. In reality though, Benitez is - as usual - the person most culpable for yet another capitulation.

EXCLUSIVE - Liverpool FC 10 year TURNOVER/PROFIT analysis

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As part of my bid to cut through the misinformation and present accurate FACTUAL data re Liverpool FC's finances, here is a breakdown of the club's turnover and profit over the last 10 years.

There are three tables below.

* Table 1 presents the annual turnover/profit figures for the last 10 years, including percentage increase/decreases per year.

LFC game by game comparison: This season vs. last season (UPDATED to include Wigan)

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On a game-by-game basis, how do league results from this season compare to last season? (We'll be tracking these figures for every league game this season).

Below is a side-by side comparison of all results from this season and last season, up to and including the Arsenal game on Sunday 13th December 2009:

NCF = No corresponding fixture

This Season

Last Season

Points +/1

1

Tottenham v LFC

L 2-1

L 2 -1

0

2

LFC v Stoke City

W 4-0

D 0-0

+ 2

3

LFC v Aston Villa

L 1-3

W 5-0

-3

4

Bolton v LFC

W 2-3

W 2 – 0

0

5

LFC v Burnley

W 4-0

NCF

-

6

West Ham v LFC

W 2-3

W 3–0

0

7

LFC v Hull City

W 6-1

D 2–2

+2

8

Chelsea v LFC

L 2-0

W 1–0

-3

9

Sunderland v LFC

L 1-0

W 0–1

-3

10

LFC v Man United

W 2-0

W 2-1

0

11

Fulham v LFC

L 3-1

W 1-0

-3

12

LFC v Birmingham

D 2-2

NCF

-

13

LFC v Man City

D 2-2

D 1-1

-

14

Everton v LFC

W 0-2

W 0-2

-

15

Blackburn v LFC

D 0-0

W 1-3

-2

16

LFC v Arsenal

L 1-2

D 4-4

-2

17

LFC v Wigan

W 2-0

W 3-2

-



Analysis

This season

Last season

+/-

Won

6

9

-3

Lost

6

1

+5

Draw

2

4

-2

Goals Scored

30

32

-2

Goals conceded

20

13

+7

Ave goals conceded per game

1.

EXCLUSIVE - Liverpool FC net spend figures for Rafa BENITEZ

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In my previous post, I looked at Gerard gross/net spend figures whilst at Liverpool. Now it's time to look at Rafa Benitez's figures.

Before I get to the table, I just want to highlight an important point: My source at the club has confirmed once again what Christian Purslow has already publicly stated: Rafa Benitez spent 20m of the the club's summer 2009 transfer budget on extending the contracts of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt, Yossi Benayoun and Daniel Agger.

EXCLUSIVE - Liverpool FC net spend figures for Gerard HOULLIER

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In a bid to bring some clarity to the issue of Liverpool's gross/net spending, I have examined the club's financial reports for the last 20+ years in search of accurate, irrefutable figures. Although I will be looking at every manager's spending from Graeme Souness onwards, I'll start out of sequence with Gerard Houllier's figures.

LIVERPOOL FC NET SPEND SERIES: No 1 - Gerard HOULLIER

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In a bid to bring some clarity to the issue of Liverpool's gross/net spending, I have examined the club's financial reports for the last 20+ years in search of accurate, irrefutable figures. Although I will be looking at every manager's spending from Graeme Souness onwards, I'll start out of sequence with Gerard Houllier's figures.

EXCLUSIVE – Gerard HOULLIER'S gross/net spend figures at LIVERPOOL FC

Liverpool Kop at related • 2 views
In a bid to bring some clarity to the issue of Liverpool's gross/net spending, I have examined the club's financial reports for the last 20+ years in search of accurate, irrefutable figures. Although I will be looking at every manager's spending from Graeme Souness onwards, I'll start out of sequence with Gerard Houllier's figures.

LFC game by game COMPARISON: This season vs. last season. (UPDATED to include Arsenal)

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On a game-by-game basis, how do league results from this season compare to last season? (We'll be tracking these figures for every league game this season).

Below is a side-by side comparison of all results from this season and last season, up to and including the Arsenal game on Sunday 13th December 2009:

This Season

Last Season

Points +/1

1

Tottenham v LFC

L 2-1

L 2 -1

0

2

LFC v Stoke City

W 4-0

D 0-0

+ 2

3

LFC v Aston Villa

L 1-3

W 5-0

-3

4

Bolton v LFC

W 2-3

W 2 – 0

0

5

LFC v Burnley

W 4-0

NCF

-

6

West Ham v LFC

W 2-3

W 3–0

0

7

LFC v Hull City

W 6-1

D 2–2

+2

8

Chelsea v LFC

L 2-0

W 1–0

-3

9

Sunderland v LFC

L 1-0

W 0–1

-3

10

LFC v Man United

W 2-0

W 2-1

0

11

Fulham v LFC

L 3-1

W 1-0

-3

12

LFC v Birmingham

D 2-2

NCF

-

13

LFC v Man City

D 2-2

D 1-1

-

14

Everton v LFC

W 0-2

W 0-2

-

15

Blackburn v LFC

D 0-0

W 1-3

-2

16

LFC v Arsenal

L 1-2

D 4-4

-2



Analysis

This season

Last season

Won

6

9

Lost

6

1

Draw

2

4

Goals Scored

28

29

Goals conceded

20

11

Ave goals conceded per game

1.

LIVERPOOL vs. ARSENAL - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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Yet another HOME defeat for Liverpool. That's two in week now, and the same old problems that have plagued the club all season were very much in evidence at Anfield today.

The GOOD

Benitez played his favoured XI

Alberto Aquilani aside, Rafa Benitez was able to field what he considers to be his strongest team:

------------------ Reina

Johnson ----- Carra --- Agger --- Aurelio

Lucas ------------- Masch

Kuyt ------------ Gerrard ----------- Benayoun

------------------ Torres

Benitez can have no complaints; all his top players were fit, and even if everyone in the squad was fit and available, that is the team he probably would've chosen.

FOOTBALL CHEATS: No 20 - Wayne Rooney (Man United vs. Aston Villa - 2009)

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The Premiership's most prolific cheat was at it again at Old Trafford yesterday. Wayne Rooney's shamelessly attempted to win a penalty with yet another dive in the area, but luckily the referee was on the ball and booked him instead.

Here is the master in action against Villa:



Rooney should've been sent off for that if you ask me.

PLAY ME!! Alberto AQUILANI hammers home his (unsubtle) point to Rafa BENITEZ

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A few days ago I highlighted comments from Alberto Aquilani's father that seemed to suggest Liverpool's new signing was deeply frustrated at his lack of playing time. Well, in my view, Aquilani's most recent comments reveal that he is not only frustrated, but worried that Benitez will continue to use him sparingly.

How many new starts can LIVERPOOL FC have in one season?

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No it isn't the beginning of a joke (well, perhaps a sick one), but here we go again. Listening to Rafa after another dire performance in midweek, I heard the words 'new start' for what seems like the umpteenth time already this season.

After the Fiorentina game Rafa said:

‘I don't think this defeat will affect us and now we have to get ready to face Arsenal.

The LIVERPOOL DAILY POST backtracks over its provocative AQUILANI headline

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Last night, the 'Liverpool Daily Post' published an article about Alberto Aquilani containing a headline that suggested the Italian was publicly criticising the club. I made a complaint to the Post about the nature of the headline, and now it has (rightfully) been changed to something a little less provocative.

EXCLUSIVE - Rafa Benitez's TOTAL CAREER STATS (Never published in full before)

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There are various snippets of information floating around on the net about Rafa Benitez's career, but the full and complete stats for his entire managerial career have never been published on or offline before. Until now!

When researching Benitez's career, I've been frustrated by the lack of complete and accurate information available; and in order to judge his career (and that of any other manager) fairly, complete statistics are necessary.

LIVERPOOL vs. FIORENTINA - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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So let's see: Another HOME loss; 9th defeat of the season; woeful lack of real creativity; no discernible cohesiveness/fluency; worst points total since the Champions League began; Dirk Kuyt starting again and contributing nothing. Steven Gerrard strutting around with palpable disinterest. Gah! I can't be bothered with the bad and ugly stuff tonight; it's too depressing to dissect.

INSIDE INFO - |Trouble head for LIVERPOOL FC's summer 2010 transfer plans?

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You don't need me to remind you just how diabolical our season has become – we can all see and feel it, and our chances of finishing in the top 4 seem to diminish with each passing game. With that in mind, I recently spoke ‘off the record' with a financier who was central in discussions when DIC and Robert Kraft where looking to buy the club, and also when Hicks and Gillett took over.

The 'BENITEZ EFFECT' strikes again! (and this time it only took 4 months)

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With his ineffective man-management skills, Rafa Benitez has alienated a whole host of players during his reign, including Peter Crouch, Robbie Keane, Yossi Benayoun, Ryan Babel and Xabi Alonso. The latest person to feel the full force of the 'Benitez Effect' is new signing Alberto Aquilani, who has become 'frustrated' with his manager's cautious approach.

VIDEO: All 10 goals up for the FIFA goal of the year award (Torres' is best by a mile!)

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Fernando Torres is in the running for the FIFA goal of the year award. Take a look at what he's up against

Adebayor (Arsenal) vs. Villareal



Elian Atar (Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv F.C.) vs. Maccabi Netanya



Essien (Chelsea) vs. Barcelona



Grafite (Wolfsburg) v Bayern Munich



Iniesta (Barcelona) vs.

STEVEN GERRARD hires ROY KEANE to protect his home

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After searching far and wide for a guard dog ferocious enough to protect his home, Steven Gerrard finally offered the job to ex-Manchester United captain Roy Keane, who jumped at the chance to get out of his Ipswich Town misery and return to his wild ways.



Gerrard said:

"Erm, Keano is the toughest player I've ever faced in the Premiership.

LFC game by game STAT COMPARISON: This season vs. last season. (UPDATED to include Blackburn)

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On a game-by-game basis, how do league results from this season compare to last season? (We'll be tracking these figures for every league game this season).

Below is a side-by side comparison of all results from this season and last season, up to and including the Blackburn Rovers game on Saturday 5th December 2009:

This Season

Last Season

Points +/1

1

Tottenham v LFC

L 2-1

L 2 -1

0

2

LFC v Stoke City

W 4-0

D 0-0

+ 2

3

LFC v Aston Villa

L 1-3

W 5-0

-3

4

Bolton v LFC

W 2-3

W 2 – 0

0

5

LFC v Burnley

W 4-0

NCF

-

6

West Ham v LFC

W 2-3

W 3–0

0

7

LFC v Hull City

W 6-1

D 2–2

+2

8

Chelsea v LFC

L 2-0

W 1–0

-3

9

Sunderland v LFC

L 1-0

W 0–1

-3

10

LFC v Man United

W 2-0

W 2-1

0

11

Fulham v LFC

L 3-1

W 1-0

-3

12

LFC v Birmingham

D 2-2

NCF

-

13

LFC v Man City

D 2-2

D 1-1

-

14

Everton v LFC

W 0-2

W 0-2

-

15

Blackburn v LFC

D 0-0

W 1-3

-2



Analysis

This season

Last season

Won

6

9

Lost

5

1

Draw

2

3

Goals Scored

27

25

Goals conceded

18

7

Ave goals conceded per game

1.

What's the point? JAVIER MASCHERANO wants to leave, so just let him go!

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Despite the fact that Javier Mascherano wanted to leave only a few months ago, Rafa Benitez is still trying his best to tie the Argentinean to a long-term contract. What's the point? Why can't Liverpool just let him leave? There seems to be this idea that Mascherano is somehow irreplaceable and integral to Liverpool's success, but in my view, Liverpool could cope perfectly well without him.

POLL: Piers Morgan's vicious attack on GARY NEVILLE - Out of order, or fair comment?

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Today, Piers Morgan of The Daily Mail launched a scathing attack on much-loved Manchester United right-back Gary Neville. Was Morgan out of line, or was he merely speaking the truth?

In his column, Morgan said of Neville:

"I absolutely loathe his pinched Mancunian features and his horrifically irritating personality".

VIDEO + POLL: Did STEVEN GERRARD dive against Blackburn?

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It really pains me to highlight this, but Steven Gerrard's 500th game for Liverpool was marred by yet more play-acting from the club captain.

Cheating is a cancer of the modern game, and it is our duty as fans to be truthful and fair, even when it comes to our own players.

This site is anti-cheating in every way, and that means holding the mirror up to nature and condemning Liverpool players if and when they cheat.

BLACKBURN vs. LIVERPOOL - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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Despite having an (almost) fully-fit squad to choose from, Liverpool dropped yet another two points amid a further lack of creativity, and more mind-numbingly frustrating decisions from Rafa Benitez.

The GOOD

A fairly Positive line-up from Benitez

Well, aside from the excruciatingly anti-football partnership of Lucas/Masch, the line-up was pretty good.

Cursed? Why LIVERPOOL may be heading for certain defeat against Blackburn today

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Despite the availability of an (almost) fully-fit squad for the Blackburn game today, victory at Ewood Park will be no easy task; in fact, Liverpool could be heading for certain defeat; and here's why.

The recovery curse! Historically, whenever a manager has returned to the game after a serious medical procedure, their first game back has always ended in emphatic victory.

Gerard HOULLIER and Rafa BENITEZ - Check out this amazing coincidence!

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Whilst I was researching win percentages for Liverpool managers, I came across some very interesting similarities between Rafa Benitez and Gerard Houllier. They're more alike as managers than you might think!

Take a look at the following table: When it comes to win percentages and total career games, Benitez and Houllier have almost identical records!

BENITEZ vs. Ferguson vs. Wenger vs. Mourinho: Who has the best WIN percentage?

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In a recent article, I looked at unbeaten ratios for the top managers in English football over the last 50 years. Today, I take a look at win ratios: who has the highest win percentage, and how have Liverpool's managers compared with their rivals over the years?

Here are the figures for all Liverpool managers from 1959-present (all competitions):

Years

Total
Games

Wins

Win %

1

Kenny Dalglish

6

307

187

61%

2

Bob Paisley

9

535

307

57%

3

Rafa Benitez

5

315

178

56%

4

Joe Fagan

2

133

70

53%

5

Bill Shankly

15

783

407

52%

6

Gerard Houllier

7

325

165

51%

7

Roy Evans

5

244

123

50%

8

Graeme Souness

3

157

65

41%



Rafa Benitez is holding his own against some of Liverpool's legendary managers of the past!

POLL: Who does Liverpool miss more – Sami HYYPIA or Xabi ALONSO?

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Liverpool have undoubtedly suffered as a result of the dual loss of Sami Hyypia and Xabi Alonso over the summer, but which player does the club miss the most?

Sami Hyypia was my favourite Liverpool player for years; a superb footballer and a real gentleman, he embodied everything that was great about the club.

BENITEZ vs. Ferguson vs. Wenger vs. Mourinho: Who has the best UNBEATEN ratio?

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Over the last 50 years, which Liverpool manager has the highest unbeaten game percentage, and how do managerial rivals – both past and present - compare?

Here are the figures for all Liverpool managers from 1959-present (all competitions):

Years

Total
Games

Wins

Draws

Total
Unbeaten

%
Unbeaten

1

Kenny Dalglish

6

307

187

78

265

86%

2

Joe Fagan

2

133

70

37

107

82%

3

Bob Paisley

9

535

307

132

439

82%

4

Rafa Benitez

5

315

178

69

247

78%

5

Bill Shankly

15

783

407

198

605

77%

6

Gerard Houllier

7

325

165

81

246

76%

7

Roy Evans

5

244

123

63

186

76%

8

Graeme Souness

3

157

65

47

112

71%



It's no real surprise to see Graeme Souness propping up the table (!

"The media is on the bitch. They think it's all over. It is now!" Actually, no it's not.

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Much has been made of Liverpool's catastrophic start to the season; out of the European Cup; out of the Carling Cup, and in danger of finishing outside the top four. As they would if any of the top four were doing badly, the media has overreacted and (predictably) come up with age-old clichés to explain Liverpool's problems.

10 little-known facts about Liverpool FC under BILL SHANKLY

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As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Bill Shankly's arrival at Anfield, there is interesting information about the great man flying about all over the place. Here are 10 random snippets of information some fans might not know about (and if you do, great!)

1. Shanks had to wait almost three years to experience his first Merseyside Derby as manager of Liverpool.

If 'Spirit of Shankly' is a 'democractic group', why has it ignored its own members?

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Earlier today, I highlighted how Spirit of Shankly was planning to make it 'physically impossible' for Liverpool's Owners to enter the stadium. Given the fact that SOS is allegedly a 'democratic' group, this antagonistic, polarising plan was surely voted on by SOS's members, right? WRONG.

The following is stated on SOS's website:

"SOS is a professional body, elected democratically".

'Spirit of Shankly' thugs planning to physically assault Hicks + Gillett?

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SOS - the embarrassing and xenophobic Liverpool FC 'fan' group that shamelessly uses Bill Shankly's name to legitimise their thuggish agenda - has hatched a dubious plan to physically restrain Tom Hicks and George Gillett from entering Anfield on their next visit. Perhaps now, Liverpool fans will finally wake up and realise that SOS is doing nothing but damage to the public image of the club and its fans?

1 assist in 18.5 hours of football. Is that what makes a player undroppable at Liverpool?

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Actually, yes, and the facts prove this. Dirk Kuyt is, for all intents and purposes, undroppable. And what have Liverpool gained this season as a result of Rafa Benitez's favouritism? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I'm sorry to belabour this point but favouritism is on the things that I despise the most in football.

RYAN BABEL: Yet another victim of the 'Benitez Effect'

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In April 2009, Holland coach Marco Van Basten criticised Rafael Benitez's handling of Ryan Babel, noting that the player had taken a step backward since his arrival at Anfield. This week, Babel has once again expressed his dissatisfaction with the way he is treated at Liverpool. Has Babel failed or is Rafa Benitez to blame for not giving the player a consistent chance?

13 points beind Chelsea? It's time for Liverpool to summon the Spirit of '89

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On New Year's Day 1989, Liverpool lost 3-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford, a defeat that left the club languishing 17 points adrift of runaway leaders Arsenal. A cloud of pessimism descended over Anfield and the title seemed a million miles away. Sound familiar?

After the winning the title in such scintillating style in 87-88, Liverpool were clear favourites to retain the title in 88-89.

Game by game comparison: This season vs. last season. (UPDATED TO INCLUDE MAN CITY)

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It has been a pretty disastrous three months for Liverpool in league so far, but on a game-by-game basis, how do this season's result compare to last season's?

Below is a side-by side comparison of all results from this season and last season:

NCF = No Corresponding Fixture

This Season

Last Season

Points +/1

Tottenham v LFC

L 2-1

L 2 -1

0

LFC v Stoke City

W 4-0

D 0-0

+ 2

LFC v Aston Villa

L 1-3

W 5-0

-3

Bolton v LFC

W 2-3

W 2 – 0

0

LFC v Burnley

W 4-0

NCF

-

West Ham v LFC

W 2-3

W 3–0

0

LFC v Hull City

W 6-1

D 2–2

+2

Chelsea v LFC

L 2-0

W 1–0

-3

Sunderland v LFC

L 1-0

W 0–1

-3

LFC v Man United

W 2-0

W 2-1

0

Fulham v LFC

L 3-1

W 1-0

-3

LFC v Birmingham

D 2-2

NCF

-

LFC v Man City

D 2-2

D 1-1

-


ANALYSIS

This season

Last season

Won

5

7

Lost

5

1

Draw

1

3

Goals Scored

23

20

Goals conceded

19

5

Points gained (total: W+D)

16

24

Points dropped (D+L)

17

9

Overall point differential

-8 ( i.

I'm sorry, Rafa, but Robbie Keane's failure at Liverpool is mostly down to YOU

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In an interview with 'The Times' today, Rafa Benitez once again laid the blame for Robbie Keane's failure at Liverpool at the feet of the player himself, claiming that he was sold because 'he was not playing at the level we knew he could play'. In my view, Benitez's mis-managment was the real reason Keane did not prosper at Anfield.