Liverpool marvel in passionate season of progress

Anfield was a surreal place on Sunday as Liverpool ended the season with a rather ugly 2-1 victory over Newcastle Utd.

Liverpool marvel in passionate season of progress

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Andy

May 14th, 2014

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Anfield was a surreal place on Sunday as Liverpool ended the season with a rather ugly 2-1 victory over Newcastle Utd.

Even in the build-up to the game, there had been a buzz of hope, optimism, even belief that Steven Gerrard would be lifting the Premier League title by the end of the afternoon.

It wasn’t to be, but as the players and their families strolled around the perimeter of the pitch after full-time, fans were given the chance to reflect on an incredible emotional roller-coaster of a season for the Reds, and a season of immense pride and progress.

Just a few hours later, the city was buzzing again. Has there ever been such a big party for finishing second in the league? Down the M62, the celebrations for Manchester City’s title win were subdued in comparison.

Liverpool knows how to party and with Brendan Rodgers and his team having restored faith and pride in the people of the city and fans around the world, the future at Anfield looks very bright indeed.

It has also been a season of wonderful transition for individuals at the club, winning their own personal journeys and battles against their demons.

The Luis Suarez who saluted the Kop following the victory over lowly Newcastle cast a different shadow to that which bit the arm of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic just over a year ago.

Suarez has grown up, matured and found himself both as a footballer and a man. The Uruguayan international is now reaping the rewards of his personal triumph, being named both the PFA and FWA player of the year and earning Champions League football with Liverpool next season.

Raheem Sterling has also done a lot of learning this season, absorbing the experience of the likes of Suarez and Steven Gerrard to blossom into an exciting and confident attacker. At just 19-years-old, the sky really is the limit for Sterling and next season he will be playing on Europe’s greatest stage.

Gerrard’s season has been the latest in a long line of campaigns that have shaped and define his career. Settling into a new, deeper role between defence and midfield, Gerrard once again showed football why he has earned the nickname, “Captain Fantastic.”

His “we go again!” speech to teammates following Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Man City in April was rousing and warrior-like. His unfortunate slip to give the ball to Demba Ba for Chelsea’ opener last month was a very slight blemish on a wonderful record this season for the England international.

Perhaps the most wonderful memory of the season though will be the seas of red both on the Kop, around the ground, down Anfield Road for the team bus’s arrival and at away games. “MAKE US DREAM” read the banner as Liverpool fans united to restore themselves as English football’s most passionate fans.

Rodgers will now use the summer to build a squad to challenge on two fronts — domestically and in Europe. It is exciting times for Liverpool and Merseyside, none more so defined than by the passionate ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ that bellowed around Anfield upon full-time on Sunday.

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