Robbie Fowler is eligible to take part in one more game for Liverpool this season, and is still none the wiser as to whether this will be his last ever in a Red shirt. At Anfield on Saturday he made his last appearance of the season at his beloved club’s home ground, but is desperate to hear the news that it won’t be his farewell appearance in front of the Kop. He enjoyed hearing his name sung by the supporters, but they too don’t know where Robbie fits into Rafa’s future plans: “It was a touching moment for me when the fans were chanting my name at the end of the game, but I hope they don’t think it was a send-off for me. I haven’t heard anything about a new contract, but I’m still hoping that Saturday won’t be my last game at Anfield for Liverpool.”
Rafael Benítez still won’t reveal where he stands on the issue of awarding a new contract to Robbie. He did drop a possible hint when he spoke about Robbie taking part in pre-season training, but that was only a hint and means nothing. The 31-year-old has been happy with how things have gone since he returned home to Anfield, and even feels in some ways he’s done better than he could have hoped to: “I believe that I have still got something to offer – and I think I’ve got a few years left in me yet. I’ve been pleased – and even a bit surprised – with how well it’s gone for me since I came back and I think I can build on that. I’ve had plenty of interest from other clubs, and I’m told there are some offers on the table, because managers have seen that I can still do it. Scoring a few goals hasn’t harmed me.”
These offers are reassuring for Fowler, but he sees them as nothing like as important as getting a deal to stay with the Reds: “All I am interested in is getting a new contract and building on what I have achieved since I came back to Anfield. I’ve had a terrific time and of course I want to stay here. These are exciting times at Liverpool. Look at what the manager has achieved since he came here, and the progress the club has made. With a couple of decent signings in the summer there is no doubt the club can challenge for the title next season. You’d have to be mad not to want to be a part of that.”
Liverpool are closer to the title than they have been for some time. As the league table stands today, a reversal of the league double Chelsea did over Liverpool would actually see the two clubs level on points. Liverpool have proved in semi-finals of the Champions League and FA Cup that they can beat Chelsea, and if they can also eradicate the bad patches they seem to have every league season then there is a real chance of the title coming home to Anfield. For Fowler to stick around and help achieve that would be a dream come true for Robbie: “It has always been my dream to win the league with Liverpool and I’d love to stay around and give it a real go.”
When Fowler came back to Anfield his level of fitness was an issue because of time spent out injured. Special routines were put in place for Robbie and he is happy with how much his condition has improved: “My fitness seems to be the focus for everyone. When I came back it was pretty tough because I’d been out for a while with injury and I had to work on my fitness, but I’m happy with how things have gone for me and I feel pretty strong. I feel as good as I have for a long time and I feel as though I’m definitely getting there. I know my body. I’ll be the first to recognise when I’m not up to it.”
Robbie now waits to see if Rafa agrees with him.