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Klopp in tears, a new Liverpool anthem and nocturnal immortality at the rendezvous
A year ago today, Liverpool won their first League championship in 30 years.
Dan Kay writes:
It was the moment that Liverpool fans around the world have longed and dreamed of for three long decades.
For most clubs, the trophies that arrived at Anfield between the 18th top league championship in 1990 and what became the holy grail of the 19th thirty years later – namely, two Champions League titles, three FA Cups , three League Cups, three UEFA Super Cups and two Charity Shields – would be considered more than enough and in some cases would be a golden age.
But Liverpool FC are not most clubs. The dynasty started by Bill Shankly in 1959 and developed by Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish made the Reds England’s most successful team and was founded by repeatedly winning what Shanks called “our bread. and our butter “, the title of champion.
Despite all the glory and prestige of the Continental conquests that saw LFC become the country’s preeminent team in Europe, it was the continued dominance of domestic competition that made Liverpool long regarded as the best club in the country. , with the 13 best flying titles won between 1964 and 1990, placing the Reds in the lead with 18 overall ahead of their closest rivals Everton and Arsenal, who by then had nine each.
Kenny Dalglish’s 1989/90 champions were probably never placed in the pantheon of Anfield’s greatest teams, but they had seemed to face the emotional brunt of what the club had endured the previous season and ultimately finished in the lead of the Premier League by a comfortable nine points and were only denied another crack at the Double then hallowed by a shock defeat in the FA Cup semi-finals to Crystal Palace.
There wasn’t much at first glance to indicate that the longest drought in club history was imminent, but six months after their crown defense began in February 1991, the unbearable pressure that Kenny Dalglish had had suffered as a result of the Hillsborough disaster coupled with his own and the club’s relentless drive for success led him to resign as team manager.
As the English game was about to undergo a fundamental change with the advent of the Premier League, Liverpool were plunged into a seemingly endless cycle of boom and bust that saw hopes and failures time and time again. Kopites’ dreams of a nineteenth title rise and then fall like their team would. show their ability to compete with the best at home and abroad while bringing the silverware back to Anfield, but still fail to take that final and most meaningful step when it comes to the league championship.
Roy Evans, Gerard Houllier, Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers all managed to put together teams that seriously threatened to end the never-ending drought, but each time fate seemed to conspire against them the most heartbreaking of all in Rodgers’ case in the spring of 2014 whose offensive but defensive team was on the cusp of glory and needed just seven points from its last three games to be crowned champion before stumbling with the finish line desperately close but terribly off range.