Fans vote: 2017/18 or 2018/19?

Liverpool FC
Ok, so I know this article is slightly premature as there is still so much to play for this season but although we have been breaking all kinds of club records this season have we, as fans, enjoyed this season as much as last?

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I can’t ever remember a season being met with more anticipation from the fan base as this current season was. We’d finished runners up in last season’s Champions League, after a thrilling run to the final. We’d managed consecutive top four finishes for the first time in a decade, we were about to start our first full season with Van Dijk and Robbo in the first team and we’d also made some game changing signings, that seemed to have resolved last season’s weaknesses, most notably in goal.

It wasn’t just Alisson though. In Fabinho, we gained the proper, recognised defensive midfielder so many of us had craved since Mascherano (given Lucas couldn’t stay fit). Shaqiri looked the perfect addition to rotate our front three more and in Naby Keita, we looked to be gaining a firecracker of a midfielder that would fit in perfectly with our high pressing, heavy metal football and on the first day of the season, as we swept West Ham aside, all looked to be going to plan. Until something curious happened.

Suddenly, our instantly recognisable and breathtakingly thrilling style of last season, was abandoned for a far more defensive, pragmatic approach. There were howls of derision from the fan base as we scraped by teams with single goal victories and many of us (myself included), bemoaned the baffling change in style and questioned whether the loss of Buvac was playing its part.

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After a while however, our doubting voices were silenced as we set a new club record for points, fewest goals conceded and a number of other things on our way to building a lead at the top of the table and Buvac was all but forgotten, while Klopp could do no wrong.

Our change of approach hasn’t come without its own problems however. A slower paced, more measured approach to our attacking play, has highlighted our midfield deficiencies, namely a lack of goals, assists and midfield creativity in general. It has also led to a lot of Keita’s struggles as well I believe, as he is being asked to play a different role to the one he will have anticipated I imagine.

We have now surrendered our advantage at the top of the table after a string of frustrating draws and put the title back into City’s hands but it’s still the first time in five years that we’re still right in the title race at this stage of the season and unlike the 13/14 season, we’re also in the quarter finals of the Champions League. Somehow though, I just don’t sense the excitement amongst the fans that I did last season.

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To that end, I pose this question. From purely the perspective of fan enjoyment, have we enjoyed this season more, where our controlled approach has taken us to within touching distance of glory, or last season, where we were Europe’s gunslingers and an absolute roller coaster to watch? Personally I think I preferred last season. Watching us, while incredibly frustrating in the games we would throw away, was just so bloody enjoyable. When we clicked and just blew teams away in twenty minute periods, it really was poetry in motion.

I’ll sign off by saying that I’m fully aware that by the end of the season, we could be Premier League Champions, European Champions, or both and that would completely negate this discussion, as this season would be remembered forever, with last season no more than a footnote in our development but purely in terms of fan enjoyment, I think last season takes some beating. Allez.

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