It was unthinkable at the end of the 2012/13 campaign that a year on we would find ourselves languishing in seventh place, whilst our fiercest rivals would be experiencing the heady heights of the top end of the Premier League.
If, it was some sort of strange, supernatural switchover that occurred, United certainly held their end of the bargain. They consistently built up our hopes of a turnaround in the league, before crashing the following week. They took us on some sort of European adventure, before collapsing to a team that was far better than them. They threatened to achieve Carling Cup success, before capitulating to a team that held bottom spot. All in all, it was a disaster.
But any Liverpool fan, player or representative that believes that they have taken Manchester United’s place for the last twelve months are well and truly deluded.
For starters, they didn’t get the job done. I have no doubt in my mind that after their victory against Manchester City a few weeks back, they thought they’d done it. There was an arrogance to it all.
Players, fans and pundits alike jumped onto the bandwagon, as the team proclaimed as ‘the people’s choice’, were seemingly destined for Premier League glory. It was the kind of love-in that was enough to make you vomit.
For any Liverpool fan who may well be reading this, I do not want you to take this as a bitter piece, downplaying your team’s efforts this season. The football from the Anfield outfit has, at times, been majestic, but let’s not get carried away: the success of Liverpool came from the turbulence of transition at United, Chelsea and City and a lack of consistency displayed by the aforementioned clubs.
The scary aspect of it all for fans of Liverpool is whether or not they’ll ever come as close again, another difference between us and them. There is an air of certainty surrounding United’s return next term with Louis van Gaal at the helm, along with the influx of new stars. Liverpool, however, will struggle to invest to the same level as the others and must be concerned at being left behind.
Liverpool’s end of season collapse (or shall we say ‘slip’ Mr Gerrard?) has almost overshadowed United’s failings. Football fans around the country have shown how fickle they can be, having supported Liverpool’s title challenge right up to the point that Steven Gerrard lost his footing and became the new punchline to everyone’s joke.
That satisfying incident should not allow us as United fans to forget though. This season has displayed what a genius Sir Alex was, but also what an incredible set of supporters Manchester United possesses. We have far dispelled any murmurings of being purely ‘glory hunters’ and have stuck by the club through the toughest of seasons.
We will return and it will be ten times sweeter following the experience of the 2013/14 campaign.
Consider the spell to be removed. Normal service can now resume.
Related items from Red Rants: