My LFC season 2010/11 in tweets: part one
By Steve Graves
This blog is meant to be about studied reflection of trends in football management, but the fact hardly a post goes by without a mention of Benitez, Shankly or Paisley probably gives away my allegiance to Liverpool FC.
I try not to let it get in the way of objectivity, and last month’s post lauding Alex Ferguson to the skies must represent a sizeable deposit in the impartiality bank.
Nevertheless, we should all be allowed the occasional wallow in the kind of obsessive fandom with which most of us started to follow the game, and which so many of the loudest and angriest voices on twitter and elsewhere don’t seem to have moved beyond.
The 2010/11 season and the months immediately preceding it was an interesting time, in the Chinese curse sense, to be a Liverpool fan. It also represented the first full season for myself (@steve_graves) and many others on Twitter. For the first time I have a diary, of sorts, of my personal season.
Looking back, I was surprised which matches and off-field incidents got me tweeting furiously, and which seem to have barely registered. Like a diary, a Twitter feed is as much a record of the writer’s interest in particular moments as it is a complete record of events.
It seems unlikely that I didn’t tweet at all during or after the early-season meeting with Manchester United at Old Trafford, but there it is. Perhaps I sensed that game was less than the pivotal clash it might have been in more successful seasons. By the same token, a 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic in November might not have merited much of a mention had it not been such a clear indicator of Roy Hodgson’s lack of a sustainable plan for the future. Coming on the back of a series of encouraging results which suggested at least some coherence developing within the team, the meek surrender of an early lead and dire play-for-a-draw approach of the last 20 minutes at the DW spoke volumes about the unsuitability of the manager for the job.
Along the way I made plenty of bold predictions which sound pretty ridiculous with hindsight (Joe Cole ‘a bright spot?’). I went through anger, brief stabs at positivity and eventually, by the turn of the year, a kind of weary resignation and the sickening feeling that I didn’t really enjoy watching my team play any more. That by the end of the season I was as excited as my seven-year-old self when Liverpool did this is testament to the turnaround effected by Kenny Dalglish, Steve Clarke, the club’s new owners and a wriggly little Uruguayan.
This is of course a football management blog, and few clubs’ seasons can have been defined by the man who was (or wasn’t) in the dugout as was Liverpool’s 2010/11. Here, then, is part one of my season - after Rafa, (just) before Kenny. Incomplete, biased, lacking perspective and interrupted by a holiday in Morocco (end of November) and occasional bouts of just not caring enough to tweet. A bit like A Journal of the Plague Year but more gruesome.
Liverpool begin the hunt for a replacement for Rafa Benitez
@steve_graves, Jun 7 2010
Staring at a depressing list of names. Trying to make a case for any of them being better than Rafa Benitez. None of them are. Might apply
@steve_graves, Jun 9 2010
good luck rafa, you’re seriously best off out of this mess
The Premier League fixture list is released
@steve_graves, Jun 17 2010
Looking forward to next season even less now, if that were possible. Arsenal and City. Bollocks.
Holland progress towards the World Cup final
@steve_graves, Jul 02 2010
Hugely pleased for Dirk kuyt, perhaps the most under-rated player in world football #worldcup
Spain win the thing
@steve_graves, Jul 02 2010
Spain the best side, Holland had great tournament. Six benitez signings in the squads. Now we’re chasing Paul scharner. Depressing.
Liverpool sign Joe Cole
@steve_graves, Jul 19 2010
Joe Cole potentially a bright spot in summer of gloom…not sure where he fits into any conceivable system featuring Gerrard/Torres.
The season begins – Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1
@steve_graves, Aug 15 2010
For a man with a supposedly dodgy transfer record, Rafa Benitez left Hodgson a bloody good bunch of players. #LFC
@steve_graves, Aug 15 2010
But hey, moving on, etc - Roy, a good man and a good manager. Will have a hell of a media honeymoon if he gets good early results. #LFC
Premier League – Manchester City 3 Liverpool 0
@steve_graves, Aug 23 2010
Ah it’s good to see two up front, gerrard in the middle and man to man marking working out so fucking well.
I can’t work out why we lost. We did everything Andy gray said we should. It’s almost like he knows absolutely fuck all #LFC
Premier League – Liverpool 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
@steve_graves, Aug 29 2010
Taken apart for long periods by West Brom, who thoroughly deserved at least a point. In total disarray at corners.
Europa League – Liverpool 4 Steaua Bucharest 1
@steve_graves, Sep 16 2010
Ok, so maybe that counts as a beginning. More Fun with Spot than a Tale of Two Cities, but a beginning all the same
League Cup – Liverpool 2 Northampton Town 2 (2-4 on penalties)
@steve_graves, Sep 22 2010
God I really hope we sneak this undeserved win against League Two opposition
Last night’s most worrying stat wasn’t the scoreline but the 22,577 attendance
@steve_graves, Sep 23 2010
Staring at @XabiAlonso on here is not going to make things better again, is it? Even if I rub the screen….
Premier League – Liverpool 1 Blackpool 2
@steve_graves, Oct 03 2010
Thank god we’ve stopped getting those 0-0 draws against lesser sides at home.
Not that there are any lesser sides at the moment…
@steve_graves, Oct 04 2010
Inter down to second in Serie A…do they fancy reappointing former boss Hodgson - swap deal maybe
Hicks and Gillett dig in
@steve_graves, Oct 14 2010
Hicks and Gillett’s legal team could well be led by Maurice Levy from the Wire. He got the briefcase.
Premier League – Everton 2 Liverpool 0
@steve_graves, Oct 17 2010
Hodgson doesn’t ‘accept we were outplayed or in any way inferior.’ That’s just mental.
Aquilani scores in Juve win, Inter go top of Serie A, Alonso running show for top-of-the table Real. In parallel universe, all is well.
@steve_graves, Oct 20 2010
Hodgson departure looking likelier after Purslow goes and Rijkaard leaves Gala…I believe and hope he’ll do decent thing and step down…
…that said, it will be a shame. Good coach, wrong job, wrong time. Rijkaard a major name fallen on hard times. Like us.
Premier League – Liverpool 2 Blackburn Rovers 1
@steve_graves, Oct 24 2010
Much, much, much better #LFC performance but still 0-0. Wonder who can step up to save Roy… (the answer: Fernando Torres)
@steve_graves, Oct 26 2010
No reason to get carried away but a good performance. Roy needs 3-4 more in a row.
@steve_graves, Oct 28 2010
Roy: ‘hands off Reina’. That’s more like it! Hodgson’s best week so far, but he must be wishing it wasn’t Bolton away next…
Premier League – Bolton Wanderers 0 Liverpool 1
@steve_graves, Oct 31 2010
#lfc start positive, feels like team working from same plan for once.
Europa League – Liverpool 3 Napoli 1
@steve_graves, Nov 5 2010
Not sure anti-Hodgson sentiment today is justified. Europa League has to be secondary consideration and shadow team did ok considering
Concerns about total lack of long-term #LFC direction under Roy totally justified - but 3 wins in a row is a platform at least
Premier League – Liverpool 2 Chelsea 0
@steve_graves, Nov 7 2010
What a performance from @LucasLeiva87 - can’t think which esteemed football writer said he’s not good enough for #LFC recently @henrywinter
Premier League – Wigan Athletic 1 Liverpool 1
@steve_graves, Nov 10 2010
@kennethdalglish joining twitter is worthy of an open-top bus parade in itself
May still pull a win out of this but #LFC total lack of gameplan appalling. Sitting deep seems to be Hodgson’s sole idea.
whistle goes… I hope Roy Hodgson doesn’t understand hashtags. Twitter reaction would make him choke on his werther’s
Premier League – Stoke City 2 Liverpool 0
@steve_graves, Nov 13 2010
Stoke game on radio. YouTube clips of proper Liverpool teams on the tv. Works well.
Last tweet sounded like criticism of #lfc team. Most good players, following orders.
Sometimes even sausage, mash and beer are no comfort.
@steve_graves, Nov 17 2010
Shameful part of me thinking gerrard injury may speed up decision #lfc must take now.
Premier League – Liverpool 3 West Ham United 0
@steve_graves, Nov 20 2010
The league’s two least competent teams clash. Exciting.
Torres foot on gas, steams past gabbidon. Good sign.
@steve_graves, Dec 13 2010
Ryan Babel is infuriating me. Twitter imitating life.
Sky Sports headline: ‘Roy draws up shopping list.’ Let me guess: Werthers Original, cocoa, Swedish season review 1976/77 DVD #LFC
Betamax recorder, Ford Capri Ghia, a big lad who’ll do a job up front #what’sonroy’slist #LFC
@steve_graves, Dec 14 2010
Roy: ‘the only teams with better results than us over last 5-6 games are Arsenal/Man Utd’. Reality: there are 8 others, inc Blackpool/WBA
@steve_graves, Dec 17 2010
I agree with Paul Konchesky’s mum. I too wish he’d never left Fulham. #LFC
@steve_graves, Dec 20 2010
Rafa leaving Inter, coming back to Merseyside home…this will quickly turn into a Revie/Clough scenario. Fascinating times ahead at #LFC
@steve_graves, Dec 26 2010
#LFC game off today. Barely merited a shrug of indifference.
Premier League – Liverpool 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
@steve_graves, Dec 29 2010
Fully deserved goal for wolves. The worst 56 minutes I’ve seen from #lfc ever.
Premier League – Blackburn Rovers 3 Liverpool 1
@steve_graves, Jan 05 2011
Poor Roy. His number one transfer target’s out for the rest of the season. Shame, Marveaux actually looks a good player #LFC
Struggling for words..
Will we be on MOTD early on? Need sleep but masochistic part of me wants to see that again #LFC
@steve_graves, Jan 06 2011
Kevin Keegan thinks 2 champions league finals in three years represents a period of decline. Kevin Keegan might be best not speaking.