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      Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions

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      TameImpala
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      Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Jan 17, 2020 03:59:25 pm
      Here we find ourselves, at the start of a new decade, with Liverpool FC in an almost perfect footballing position. Many older reds who have followed us since Shankly have said that this is the greatest Liverpool side they have ever seen. You'd also argue that if they able to finish the job they've so brilliantly started this season, could even go down as one of the greatest sides in footballing history.

      The main reason we're in the position is largely down to one man, Jürgen Klopp. Whether it be his input in signings, his tactics or the way he simply rejuvenated a slowly-stagnating Anfield atmosphere from day one. The majority of the plaudits deserve to go to him. But I've been wondering a bit lately - would we be in the position we are now, if we managed to clinch the title in 2014?

      Obviously we had a different man at the helm 6 years ago, Brendan Rodgers. He took us within a whisker of the title that year, in a season which was a world apart from the two & a bit mediocre campaigns which sandwiched it. Brendan was eventually given his marching orders a couple of months into the 2015/2016 season following a poor start. This was after a fairly dismal 2014-2015 season, which seen Liverpool drop from 2nd to 6th, crash out of the Champions League at the group stages (Managing only one victory after two games against Real Madrid, Basel & Ludogorets - And even that required a last minute penalty!), Crash out of the Europa League to Besiktas and probably, the most frustrating result of all - crash out of the FA Cup to Aston Villa in the semi finals (The same Aston Villa, who were relegated 12 months later).

      It was as though the stars aligned at the time Rodgers was eventually sacked, as within a week or so, Liverpool had their replacement. Jürgen Norbert Klopp, a man who had left Borussia Dortmund several months earlier at the end of the 2014/2015 season. Upon leaving his position Klopp stated that he wanted a rest from football after seven intense years in Dortmund and wouldn't be accepting any jobs in the summer. After 5 or 6 months free of football he was ready to return and his chosen destination was Liverpool. And the rest, is history

      But would this all have happened if Rodgers would have won the title in 2014? Personally, I think we'd have still regressed the following season. I've read interviews with the squad from that year who have stated that they felt as though it was a "now or never" sort of moment. They aware that the team was riding the crest of a wave to some extent and have openly said that they knew it would be much tougher the following season, with the likes of City & Chelsea inevitably flexing their financial muscles.

      One of the main reasons for our regression was the departure Suarez, I'm still pretty convinced he would have left even if we managed to win the title. His heart was set on Real Madrid and Barcelona, as are most South American / Spanish-speaking players from a very young age. I believe there was some sort of gentleman's agreement made when he signed his new contract in the winter that he would be allowed to leave if he got his head down & did everything he could to fire the club back into the Champions League. Obviously he would have been financially rewarded for this in his new contract and it also would have given the club a better hand when negotiating a fee with any potential suitors.

      Signings? I don't think we would have made swayed too far from what we brought if we'd have won the league. The big one was missing out on Sanchez, who would have been a perfect like for like replacement for Suarez. But his reasoning behind wanting to join Arsenal was a geographical one, him & his family wanted to live in London. So I don't think a title the previous season would have done much to change his mind.

      And the big one in terms of us hiring Klopp & being in the position we are in now - What would have happened with Rodgers? You'd presume if he delivered our elusive 19th title he'd gain godlike status on Merseyside & it may have been a lot harder to remove him from the helm. As we know when things go wrong for a successful or popular manager, it's often the board who get the blame and vice versa when the manager is yet to earn popularity with the supporters. I think FSG would have found it a lot harder to wash their hands of Rogers had he guided the club to the title. Many supporters are still appalled by the way they gave Kenny the boot, so doing the same to Rodgers might have caused an uproar among fans & put them in a bit of an awkward position.

      So he stays on - Do we miss the boat on Klopp? Would he have even been interested in coming? I think one of the things which drew him to Liverpool was the longing for the title & the prospect of being the man who can finally deliver what so many have failed. Would it have been as appealing to him if the feat had already been accomplished a couple of years earlier? Man United parted ways with Louis Van Gaal a few months after we sacked Rodgers. In an alternate universe, would Klopp have made a trip the opposite way down the East Lancs road?

      If that's the case, nice one Stevie!  ;D
      waltonl4
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #1: Jan 17, 2020 04:01:03 pm
      Didn't Jürgen's wife stop him even thinking about the UTD job.
      TameImpala
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #2: Jan 17, 2020 04:07:17 pm
      Didn't Jürgen's wife stop him even thinking about the UTD job.

      I believe Woodward did try to get into contact with him after they sacked Moyes, but he declined and stayed at Dortmund
      ConzS
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #3: Jan 17, 2020 04:41:06 pm
      Looking forward to the inevitable memes crediting Stevie’s slip for our current success. He knew all along.
      TameImpala
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #4: Jan 17, 2020 04:42:30 pm
      Looking forward to the inevitable memes crediting Stevie’s slip for our current success. He knew all along.

      Stevie crawled slipped, so Hendo could walk
      ConzS
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #5: Jan 17, 2020 04:46:09 pm
      Stevie crawled slipped, so Hendo could walk
      I think in all honesty you are absolutely correct in what you are saying though.
      Now a few years has past I feel like we can all look back at that moment as a blessing in disguise.
      TameImpala
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #6: Jan 17, 2020 05:30:48 pm
      I think in all honesty you are absolutely correct in what you are saying though.
      Now a few years has past I feel like we can all look back at that moment as a blessing in disguise.

      Hasn't turned out bad at all. I think at the end of that 14/15 season was the worst I'd felt supporting Liverpool aside from the Hodgson tenure.

      Even after the slip and the Suarez sale I was still fairly optimistic the club would invest properly and we'd still be in the mix the following year. Once the season started to unfold though it was clear how far behind we were from ever having an opportunity like that again & how much we'd fu**ed up the recruitment side of things.

      I remember we had a game away at Stamford Bridge towards the end of that season, just after Chelsea had lifted the title & it was one of the most excruciating games I've ever watched.

      We had to give them a guard of honour as they'd just won the league (Gerrard included in one of his final games), the slip song getting sung in full voice from their lot, goading us about the title they'd just won and how we didn't manage to the season before. We'd already lost all hope of making top 4 so the whole game just felt like an exhibition match with the purpose of humiliating Liverpool.

      Then fast forward 5 months later and we'd just hired Klopp & the mood completely changed. Just goes to show you never know what's around the corner!
      Robby The Z
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #7: Jan 17, 2020 06:57:40 pm
      We don't know what would have happened over the rest of the game vs. Chelsea. We also totally gagged away two points vs. Crystal Palace in the next match. Too many variables.

      Yes if we'd won the league the scenario would have been different re Brendan, but we didn't and it wasn't.

      I don't believe any of that was truly causal, I just believe we've gotten it right now and it is wonderful and marvelous.
      TameImpala
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #8: Jan 17, 2020 07:54:09 pm
      We don't know what would have happened over the rest of the game vs. Chelsea. We also totally gagged away two points vs. Crystal Palace in the next match. Too many variables.

      Sure we'd have seen the Palace game out if Chelsea hadn't have beaten us. I still think the main reason we threw that game away was because we went gung-ho to try and claw some of the goal difference back.

      If you remember, the Chelsea defeat put us on level points with City. Just that City had about a +9 goal difference on us. That side actually went up massively in my estimations after that palace game, better to go out in a blaze of glory I always thought  ;D

      Plus, I think if would have been even tougher to take if we'd have lost the title on goal difference

      Swab
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #9: Jan 17, 2020 08:12:56 pm
      I like this, but I feel I should say that I think BR was sacked because at that point we already had Klopp lined up.
      7-King Kenny-7
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #10: Jan 17, 2020 09:51:40 pm
      Don't think much would have been different in what followed, based on the general time we had BR. We still would have lost Suarez and despite finishing 2nd, just short of the title, we still couldn't attract the players we needed to replace Suarez and generally move forward to hopefully go one better the following year and I honestly don't think it would have been any different had we won the league that season. Chances are what followed after that season would have been very much the same because we only had the one good season with Rodgers and a large part of that was thanks to the sheer number of goals we scored...we were horrific at the back. It's not often you can go through a season conceding that many goals and be able to say you finished 2nd!

      There still would have been a massive re-building job needed so I think Klopp would have still wanted to take the challenge...if I'm honest, I can't even begin to imagine it being any other way. Just think if he hadn't been put off by the Mancs, they certainly wouldn't be in the rut they are now!

      2014, despite coming so close, it was just masking the state the club was actually in. That's not just down to BR though, this stemmed back to the days of Woy when him, along with H&G were draining the life and soul out of the club as well as the poor recruitment and running of the club in the second time of Kenny.

      Winning the league in 2014 would have been amazing but it could be viewed that it's a blessing we didn't because we could have spiraled into an even worse state and Klopp having gone elsewhere or you could view it as the chances are, it wouldn't have really changed the years that followed massively. Personally I think it's the latter. Given FSG so happily got rid of Kenny despite winning a trophy and making another final, I don't think they'd have waited any longer than they did to sack BR had we managed to win it in 2014.
      redtiler
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #11: Jan 17, 2020 10:45:44 pm
      I'm not trying to analyse, just trying to enjoy the journey again, This is different, but in a good way.  any Liverpool supporter knows we do  not do it easy. They put us through the wringer, but for some strange reason we thrive on on that pressure, and people who do not know each other come together, we and you know. You can feel this if your a red, and its addictive, you want more.  Devo'd or not we carry on.
      dunlop liddell shankly
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #12: Jan 17, 2020 11:53:44 pm
      Suarez was a goner long before the "nearly" season started, let alone ended, so we always would of had to replace him. Whether the signings would of altered much between who we would of got and who we did get depending on that League Title, I'm not so sure. Although, I think winning the League would have given Brendan more command over the signings. And from what we know of Rodgers, he'd rather work with younger players who he can nurture like Sturridge and Coutinho than the more experienced players we got that summer like Balotelli and Lambert. So a League Title might have allowed him to get who he wanted rather than the committee signings.

      But more importantly than who was coming in, I think players would of been less wanting to leave - in particular Raheem Sterling. Maybe he would of had left anyway when City's money came calling but a League winner and who knows what happened after that the following season, he may of seen a brighter future at Anfield rather than Maine Rd. Winning trophies keeps players happy, so others like Pepe Reina, Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson may of all been, more, willing to be a squad player to a League Title winning manager than one who just finished runners up. And of course Steven Gerrard may of been a lot happier seeing his days out here than in the sun of LA had we won the League.

      One thing that squad lacked, that we don't right now, is mental strength. If we conceded a goal back then it was panic stations as we all remember. And, that, as much as the departure of Suarez was what caused the following 18 months to be so painful. Losing the League the way we did must of haunted those players for so long. And again, you then lose players like Reina and Agger from around the squad can't help.

      So if we don't lose the League - and no one moment was responsible for our failings to win the League that year - in 2014, then who knows what 2015 and beyond look like. I doubt we'd of sacked Rodgers as quickly as Leicester sacked Ranieri after he won them the League. I think we'd of persisted a little longer, even if everything panned out the way it did. If anything, the hatred towards FSG would have escalated to a more extreme level than it already was. Brendan would of almost sealed himself into a god-like status had we won the League in 2014. People will deny that of course but ending our 24 year wait for a League title would have put Brendan Rodgers up there as a Liverpool legend.

      But we didn't win the League that year and what followed was painful as a Liverpool fan. But to enjoy the days like we are experiencing now, you have to go through the dark times as well. And we as a club can look back on many moments in time and say "what if" but dwelling on the past doesn't help anybody. Let's just enjoy the present because it's well worth enjoying right now.
      TameImpala
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #13: Jan 18, 2020 08:01:30 am
      I like this, but I feel I should say that I think BR was sacked because at that point we already had Klopp lined up.

      Yep I think we would have had him lined up for a few weeks at the very least. This was apparent by the timing of the sacking (just before an international break) and the swiftness in completing the deal
      HUYTON RED
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #14: Jan 18, 2020 01:15:56 pm
      At what point in this alternate universe do Balotelli, Lambert and Colin Pascoe's shorts turn up?
      TameImpala
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #15: Jan 18, 2020 02:02:55 pm
      At what point in this alternate universe do Balotelli, Lambert and Colin Pascoe's shorts turn up?

      Colin Pascoe haha. Forgot about him, shows how f**king dire we were, that at one point all we had to sing about was his legs in those nonce shorts haha
      Shabs
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #16: Jan 18, 2020 05:15:09 pm
      Colin Pascoe haha. Forgot about him, shows how f**king dire we were, that at one point all we had to sing about was his legs in those nonce shorts haha

      Pascoe still unbeaten as a LFC manger..
      HUYTON RED
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #17: Jan 18, 2020 05:24:02 pm
      Pascoe still unbeaten as a LFC manger..

      He's no Ronnie Moran.......
      Shabs
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      Re: Alternate Reality - Liverpool 2014 PL Champions
      Reply #18: Jan 18, 2020 06:41:34 pm

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