A team once regarded as the best in the country, Liverpool have been in free-fall this season, the bright sparks in the team not enough to carry them to a top-half finish.
On the face of it, winning 13 out of 26 matches in all competitions isn’t too bad but too often Liverpool have looked flat and uninspired on the pitch, seven of the Reds’ league wins coming against teams who finished bellow them.
The season started well enough, the team boosted by bringing Beth England in on loan as well as extending Niamh Charles, Sophie Ingle and Satara Murray, a first day win over Everton the best possible start to the term. One win in their next three league outings began to set the tone, a rolloping 6-0 over struggling Sheffield and a scoreless draw away to Durham in the league cup outliers. Another WSL win followed, a narrow home victory over Birmingham City before another dominant Conti Cup performance at home to an ailing WSL 2 side the high before cup losses to Sunderland and Chelsea.
The new year brought about a run of three wins, three clean sheets and 15 goals scored in the process, England in fine form, netting eight times. The wins dissipating when Liverpool came up against stronger teams, the team conceding seven in two; three at home to Arsenal and four at the CFA. The new year bringing about a change or two in personnel, Rinsola Babajide brought in from Watford with Natasha Harding leaving for Reading and Casey Stoney officially leaving.
Gifted another weak opponent in the FA Cup, the Reds saw off Chichester City, ploughing their form into a home win over Sunderland in the league before being knocked out of FA Cup by Chelsea – three months after they had disposed of them in the league cup. Another loss followed, this one to Birmingham before back-to-back wins over Yeovil Town and Bristol City before a 3-0 loss in London. A draw against Everton set them up for a shock win over Manchester City before they shipped three unanswered goals to Reading. The season ending on a strange note as the Reds took a 2-0 lead over Chelsea, the league champions scoring three in 13 second-half minutes to leave the north with three points.
Hope for the future
In a season that should have seen Liverpool push the teams above them and insure a return to their best, the Reds flailed on the pitch, the side unable to mask their weaknesses, they were routinely picked apart. As a unit the team seemed to forget the fundamentals of the game, with discontent growing amongst the loyal fans, complaints filtering through about the lack of ambition at the club.
The game has come a long way in England since Liverpool’s title wins, the Reds left behind as Chelsea and Manchester City have overtaken them, they side looks weak and in desperate need of an experienced hand. The upcoming transfer window always set to be one that would have a drastic effect of the team, it will hopefully be a chance for Liverpool to hit reset and lead with their best foot into the coming season.