It’s been a massively up and down year for the Reds, from a woeful January to currently being 14 games unbeaten. Anything and everything has gone on at the club over the past 12 months, and here is my (@AnthonyMarkMcav) look at the past year.
The year couldn’t really begin in worse fashion for the Reds, with January probably being one of, if not the worst months of the year. One win in NINE games for Liverpool in January came alongside elimination from both the FA Cup and League Cup at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton respectively. That one win came against Plymouth Argyle of all teams after drawing 0-0 at Anfield, we needed Lucas Leiva to head us to a 1-0 victory away at Home Park in the replay.
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All of these dreadful results, which also included a 2-2 draw with Sunderland and a 3-2 loss to Swansea at Anfield, Liverpool decided to not foray into the transfer market whatsoever during the winter window, which left a sour taste in fan’s mouths as the team looked to press on into February.
The Reds continued their erratic form going into the second month of the year, which brought only three games for Liverpool. The first being a horrific 2-0 loss to Hull City at the KCOM, where none of the players in Red looked even bothered that they were under-performing. This was followed by the Sadio Mane show, as Liverpool managed to best fellow top-four candidates Tottenham 2-0 at Anfield, thanks to a brace by the aforementioned Senegalese winger.
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Then, with all Liverpool fans back on side, the team travelled to Leicester and were beaten 3-1 by Jamie Vardy and co. At this point, the Liverpool team looked completely void of any ideas and attacking intent whatsoever, we only managed to peg one back against the Foxes due to a masterstroke of Philippe Coutinho’s genius.
There was some good news in February as Adam Lallana signed a new long-term contract at the club.
Now this, this was actually a solid month for the Reds. Three games unbeaten in the third month of the year. An impressive 3-1 win over Arsenal at Anfield, with Bobby Firmino, Sadio Mane and Gini Wijnaldum getting the goals for the Reds. A 2-1 win over Burnley followed, with Liverpool getting revenge for the horrible collapse against the Clarets in the second game of the season the previous August.Embed from Getty Images
The final fixture of March was a competitive 1-1 draw against Manchester City at the Etihad, with James Milner converting a penalty and Sergio Aguero bringing the citizens level. Both sides had amazing chances to get all three points, and who could forget Adam Lallana’s scuffed shot from five yards out?
Liverpool galloped into April vying for their place in this season’s Champions League.
April began in wonderful fashion as Liverpool won the second of the Merseyside derby of the Premier League season. However, the 3-1 victory over the toffees was not complete joy with Sadio Mane having to be taken out of the fray thanks to injury.
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The next three games, Liverpool remained undefeated, with a draw against Bournemouth, wins away to Stoke and West Brom. With the Stoke game having one of the better goals of the year scored by a Liverpool man as Roberto Firmino volleyed a spectacular shot into the next at the Bet365. The month then ended with Liverpool falling to the blade against Crystal Palace once more, with the Eagles winning 2-1 at Anfield. This was the day Mamadou Sakho died in my heart, celebrating goals against his parent team? Snake, him.
It came down to the wire for Liverpool to qualify for the Champions League, but the Reds managed to string together four strong results to squeak into fourth place in the league, including Emre Can’s wonder-goal away to Watford, a four-nil trouncing of West Ham at the Olympic Stadium and an impressive 3-0 win against Middlesbrough on the final day of the season to secure a Champions League berth.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool wound down the season with a friendly out in Sydney with the Reds taking on Sydney FC and coming away with a 3-0 win down under.
Nothing really happened in June being the break between seasons and all. WHO AM I KIDDING? WE SIGNED MOHAMED SALAH IN JUNE AND THAT AUTOMATICALLY MAKES IT THE BEST MONTH OF THE YEAR. The Egyptian joined on the 22nd of June (not official until the first of July) for an initial fee of £36.9million, making him the most expensive signing in Liverpool history.
Pre-season started on the 14th of July with a 4-0 win over Tranmere Rovers, but not before Liverpool could get in their second signing of the summer in the shape of Dominic Solanke from Chelsea. The Reds then played Wigan Athletic before heading out to compete in the Asia Trophy where they competed against the likes of Crystal Palace and Leicester City.Embed from Getty Images
Whilst the Reds were out in Asia, they secured their third summer signing in the form of Hull City left-back Andrew Robertson, which was long-awaited by the Liverpool fan base. Liverpool rounded out their July with another friendly against Hertha Berlin that the Reds managed to win 3-0.
In amongst the chaos that was July, there was a new contract for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has since gone from strength to strength.
August began with the Reds competing in the Audi Cup, beating the mighty Bayern Munich 3-0 in what was a great pre-season performance. Then Liverpool went on to lose on penalties to Atletico Madrid in the final, after Jordan Henderson missed the only penalty of the shootout.
The rest of August was insanely busy. With the final pre-season friendly, a poor start to the Premier League campaign with a draw away to Watford. A Champions League qualifier against Hoffenheim that, thankfully ended with the Reds going forward into the group stage and being drawn up against Sevilla, Maribor and Spartak Moscow.Embed from Getty Images
The qualifier was broken up with back-to-back Premier League wins against Crystal Palace and Arsenal, the latter of which being a 4-0 hammering of the Gunners at Anfield.
Liverpool also rounded out their transfer business in August with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joining the Reds from Arsenal for £35million on Deadline Day.
Coming back from the first international break of the new season, Liverpool went toe-to-toe with Manchester City, and to be fair, it was an even contest UNTIL Sadio Mane got sent off for a high-footed challenge on Ederson. Then City walked away with the game, winning 5-0.Embed from Getty Images
Three draws, a win and a League Cup loss rounded out September for the Reds, leaving them sat on two points in their Champions League group and already needing to catch-up to the top four in the league.
Two more draws opened October for Liverpool, with a 1-1 draw at St. James’ Park followed by a 0-0 draw at Anfield against Jose Mourinho’s anti-football Manchester United team. Now, following this, Liverpool had their first of two Champions League 7-0 wins of the year, away to Maribor and boy, was it beautiful.Embed from Getty Images
And in typical Liverpool fashion, riding high on the 7-0 victory from midweek, we managed to go away to Spurs and lose 4-1 at Wembley. However, since then we are yet to lose at all. October finished with a standard 3-0 win against Huddersfield and a new, professional, contract for Ben Woodburn.
Four wins and two draws put together a successful November for the Reds, putting themselves in position to control their own fate in the Champions League and to re-position themselves to be successful in the league, too.Embed from Getty Images
A capitulation from 3-0 up to 3-3 against Sevilla wasn’t the best of times, but the Reds soldiered on and managed to keep in check with wins against Southampton, West Ham and Stoke in the league. Making a nice change from seasons gone past when the Reds would struggle to beat that sort of team.
Seven games into the eight we are due to play in December and Liverpool are still undefeated this month, with another 7-0 (this time against Spartak), a 5-1 win, a 5-0 win, a 4-0 win and the regularly scheduled capitulation.Embed from Getty Images
It’s been a very good month for the Reds, with good results coming in the League and in the Champions League, securing a Round of 16 tie against FC Porto to look forward to on Valentine’s Day. Plus, this was all topped off on the 27th of December with the signing of Virgil van Dijk for a world-record fee for a defender, £75million. Lovely stuff. Let’s hope this kind of form continues into the new year and we don’t end up with a January like 2017’s.
So, Reds. In the replies to the tweet of this article you’ll have the chance vote for your best and worst of 2017, here are the options. (Nominees isn’t the right word for some of these because they’re just bad)
Player of the Year: Philippe Coutinho or Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane
All three of these lads have been absolutely amazing for the Reds this year, with all three being absolutely essential to our successes. Firmino has 17 goals already this season (just since August) and has had more involvement in goals than any other Liverpool player since Jurgen Klopp took charge in 2015.
Philippe Coutinho speaks for himself, despite his mental meltdown in the summer wanting to join Barcelona, his football is a joy to behold and he is playing some of his best right now, and over the past 12 months.
Sadio Mane was revolutionary last season, with the Senegalese winger coming to life as part of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team. He’s managed to get goal after goal in a Red shirt and despite being off the boil for the past few games, he is still one of our top three for 2017.
FYI: We know we left out Mo Salah, but that was simply because this is player of the year, not player of August to December. Next year Mo, next year.
Young Player of the Year: Joe Gomez or Trent Alexander-Arnold or Ben Woodburn
Liverpool have some of the most exciting youth talent in the world right now and none more so than the three lads that I’ve just mentioned. Joe Gomez has been stellar in the absence of Nathaniel Clyne after coming back from his long-term injury in January. His defensive mind and developing ability to read a game has been lovely to see.
Another player that has come in at right-back is Trent Alexander-Arnold, who scored a free-kick in the Champions League, belted one in off the bar against Swansea and could accurately pass the ball over a mountain if he so wished. He’s been brilliant.
Ben Woodburn has been involved less in the first team than the other two here, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the merit. He fired his country to a vital three points scoring a winner against Austria for Wales after coming off the bench, and when he has been given a rare chance in the first-team, his quality has been obvious.
Capitulation of the Year: Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool or Sevilla 3-3 Liverpool or Watford 3-3 Liverpool
There have been many but these three, which all happen to be 3-3 draws are the pick of the bunch. Liverpool were two-nil up against Arsenal at half-time before a five minute renaissance brought the Gunners three goals and the lead. Liverpool needed the luckiest of deflections following a Roberto Firmino effort on goal to give Liverpool a split of the points.
Liverpool were 3-0 up at half-time away to Sevilla, and with Alberto Moreno and the rest of the Liverpool defence deciding that they weren’t going to play the football in the second half, Sevilla came back into the game and managed to tie the game up through Guido Pizarro in the 93rd minute.
Another added time capitulation rounds these off with Liverpool conceding a third to Watford at Vicarage Road in the 94th minute of the opening tie of the Premier League season. Damn you, Miguel Britos.
Best Win of the Year: Liverpool 7-0 Spartak Moscow or Maribor 0-7 Liverpool or Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
Winning 7-0 is great isn’t it? Liverpool managed it twice this year, and both times coming in the Champions League no less, the one against Spartak came in front of a home crowd, with the entirety of the Liverpool side being on the same wavelength throughout. I jokingly suggested that we’d win this one 9-1 before the game and damn, we were close.
The other 7-0 victory came earlier and that was an absolute rout away to Maribor. Liverpool scored for fun as Trent Alexander-Arnold got his second of this Champions League campaign alongside braces from Firmino and Salah.
Not as many goals but just as destructive, the counter-attacking Reds were on show as Liverpool raced to a 4-0 win against Arsenal in August. Mane, Salah and Firmino were on top form as Liverpool ran out to a well-fought win. Plus, Danny Sturridge came on to score. The arms.
Worst Loss of the Year: Liverpool 2-3 Swansea or Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool or Spurs 4-1 Liverpool
A struggling Swansea City visited Anfield in January and went into the game expecting nothing to come out of it, but thanks to Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson offsetting a brace from Roberto Firmino to give the Swans all three points. Extra points for this heartbreak as I was stood in the Kop for the whole game and wanted to off myself afterwards.
Manchester City are devastating the Premier League this season but when Liverpool travelled to the Etihad it actually looked like we were in with a shot, well, that was until Sadio Mane managed to get himself sent off for kicking Ederson in the face. City then ran away with the game and won 5-0. Braces from Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus lifting the Citizens to all three points.
The very next away outing to a big side and Liverpool were trounced again, this time without a red card to take the blame. We were overrun by Spurs at Wembley and Harry Kane’s brace accompanied by goals from Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son.
Cult-Hero of the Year: Ragnar Klavan or Roberto Firmino or Joe Gomez
Liverpool fans have a tendency to go out of their way to specifically love some players regardless of ability or impact on the pitch. Ragnar Klavan has become loved within the Liverpool fan base whilst Bobby and Joe are long-standing heroes within the LFC community.
Goal of the Year: Roberto Firmino vs Stoke or Emre Can vs Watford or Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Hoffenheim
We’ve seen our fair share of world-class goals this year from all corners of the Liverpool team, but these three are my favourite three. Firmino’s volley against Stoke is absolutely incredible. Emre Can’s bicycle kick against Watford is breathtaking and Trent’s free-kick against Hoffenheim left me speechless.
So that was 2017. Remember to vote on the polls underneath this article and let’s look forward to our last game of the year against Leicester and to 2018. Up the Reds.