It has been 30 years since Liverpool Football Club won its 18th premier league title. The club has been struggling to attain its 19th title and it even got close to winning the title in the 2013/2014 and 2018/2019 seasons.
The time Liverpool FC (LFC) won the English Premier League (EPL) was during the 1989/1990 season with a legend of the club, Sir Kenny Dalglish (King Kenny), the manager at the time. A year after winning Liverpool’s 18th EPL title, King Kenny resigned due to the Hillsborough disaster.
Graeme Souness was named successor of Kenny Dalglish after first-team coach, Ronnie Moran, steered the affairs of the team for several weeks. Souness won Liverpool the FA Cup in 1992 and made way for Roy Evans, who also replicated the achievement of his predecessor by winning just one trophy, the League Cup. This was before Gerard Houllier was appointed joint manager with Evans in 1998.
Houllier went trophy-less until a treble in 2001, comprising the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup. Two years later, Houllier won another League Cup but he and the club parted by mutual consent at the end of the 2003/2004 season. He was replaced by Valencia manager Rafael Benitez. Benitez was successful in his first two seasons. He won the fifth Champions League title and the seventh FA Cup Competition for the club. He was also the finalist in the 2007 UEFA Champions League.
Benitez later had issues with the owners of the club regarding the transfer of a few players in the year 2010 which led to his exit. He was replaced by Roy Hodgson who spent less than a year at the club. LFC then appointed Sir Kenny Dalglish as manager of the club for the second time. Kenny joined the club at a time where the glorious days of LFC had vanished. LFC did not win any major trophies for six years until veteran Kenny led them to victory in just less than two years as manager of the club. He won the EFL Cup for LFC in the year 2012 but that wasn’t enough to save his job at the club. Consequently, he was axed from his duty and Brendan Rodgers who was then managing the affairs of Swansea City took charge of LFC.
Rodgers became the longest serving coach of the club after Rafael Benitez. He spent over three years at LFC and achieved nothing for them. His only achievement was getting close to winning the EPL title in the year 2014 but lost to Chelsea FC at Anfield and drew at Crystal Palace on matchday 36 and 37 respectfully to allow Manchester City claim their second in two years.
Then suddenly out of the blue, the “Normal One” Jurgen Klopp as he describes himself took over from Rodgers in October, 2015 after taking some months break from his previous job at Borussia Dortmund. Klopp did incredibly well in his first half season. He went to two finals with the club but lost both finals to his opponents. He started building his team and promised the club a major trophy within four years, to which he fulfilled.
Before winning a major trophy for LFC, he lost again in a final to Real Madrid in the year 2018 and placed fourth in the EPL of the same season. The three successive defeat in a final didn’t frustrate his focus for LFC. He stayed resolute and went all the way to the finals of the 2019 UEFA Champions League and this time around he was able to lead his team to a win by 2-0 against Tottenham Hotspurs, leading to LFC’s sixth European title. The successes of Klopp didn’t end there. He also won against fellow English counterpart Chelsea FC, leading to the winning of the UEFA Super Cup and went on to set a record for LFC as the first English club to win international treble after beating Flamingo 1-0 to clinch the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup trophy.
The 2019/2020 premier league season started with loads of agitation, as to whether Manchester city would win their third consecutive EPL title or LFC would bounce back stronger after losing the title to the former during the previous season by just a point. However, things changed drastically and LFC learnt their lessons. They started the campaign extremely well by winning all their games with just a draw against their nemesis, Manchester United, in the first round. The point gap became so wide to the extent that second placed Manchester City conceded defeat. Everybody thought that the 30 years EPL jinx would be broken this time around by the German talisman until the dreaded coronavirus disease (COVID-19) hit the world badly to halt all global activities.
Fans of the club became sad, worried, nervous and confused on whether the 19th premier league title for LFC would become a reality or not. All hopes were lost as the Dutch Eredivisie was declared void. Also, other top flight European leagues were cancelled as a result of the pandemic. This broke the heart of many LFC fans as they may be deprived of the title should the league be abandoned.
The German Bundesliga however, broke the odd and resumed their league on 16th May with fascinating games, goals and celebrations. Once the Bundesliga is back on track, then there is the possibility of the EPL returning to action as well.
Now, the good news for all LFC fans is that the premier league clubs have started training and the league is expected to kick start in the first week of June. So, in that regard, I confidently believe that the 30 years EPL jinx would be averted this time around. The plans of enemies aren’t the plans of God, our maker!
You’ll Never Walk Alone (YNWA).
By: Kwesi Bamfo