Another league season is over as all the Premiership clubs played their last games today.
Liverpool’s 2-1 win at home to Villa today ensured they at least held on to fifth place, level on points with sixth-placed Bolton. Bolton beat Everton 3-2. Liverpool’s goal difference of 11 was superior to Bolton’s five – but both teams better than Everton on goal difference, as Everton finished on a negative goal difference. In the end Everton were only ahead of Liverpool by three points, and with such a poor goal difference for the Blues, Liverpool will look back on some poor results that ultimately cost them fourth place.
Of the eleven away games Liverpool lost, they could have got at least a point in the majority of them. Rafa Benitez is aware of this, and will probably show his players this final table when they return for pre-season training at the end of next month.
Premiership Final Table 2005 (Top)
The season isn’t over altogether though yet for the Reds. Rafa and his players will now move their focus onto the Champions League final in Istanbul on May 25th.
Whatever happens that night there will be big changes over the summer at Anfield. Rafa has had a season to sort out what he inherited from Gerard Houllier, and a good part of that squad can expect to say goodbye.
Last summer Benitez was perhaps more concerned with raising some funds to try and bring players in that he wanted, which explains why he didn’t hang around when Real came in with an offer for Owen, who’d been stalling on a contract. Charlton got Danny Murphy because Rafa felt he could use the funds wisely.
If Rafa can pull off more signings like Xabi Alonso over the summer, Liverpool’s next Premiership season should be more fruitful. A new shirt sponsor should be agreed in the next couple of weeks, Liverpool’s Champions League run has earned a lot more money than expected, and there’s no former managers to pay off this summer. This means extra cash for a manager who has shown so far that he knows a good player when he sees one.
Thankfully Liverpool have got that big game coming up in Turkey, because the end of the season is even worse when there are no big tournaments on during the close season. After the 25th of this month we start counting down to Liverpool’s pre-season games as we are starved of enjoyable sport for a short while. We don’t like cricket, in case you hadn’t guessed.
In fact with all the movements that Rafa is likely to make in the transfer market this summer we’ll be in for a more interesting summer than normal. Add to that the fun of the freakshow that’s going on down at Old Trafford and it will be back to dark nights and leaves falling off trees again before we know it.
As soon as anything happens involving the Reds, we’ll keep you informed.