So that's it then for another season. One game left but the best we Liverpool can finish is in 2nd place. Despite setting a personal club record best points total in the Premier League, Man Utd's draw on Saturday gives them a record equalling eighteenth title, level with us. A feat that not even the most pessimistic fans could have seen coming back in 1990.
Is it never to be? A question most reds will surely be asking themselves right now. Sure there this season was good at times. High points being two league wins over Utd, but too often we flattered to deceive just when we needed to perform. Signs of progress? Definitely. Benitez can be pleased that we have lasted the course but the margin between success and (ultimately) failure is small, but we are lacking in some areas. Food for thought for the backroom staff then. What cannot be argued is that this Summer is a pivotal point in the future of the club.
Rick Parry's (welcome) ousting means we face an uncertain immediate future until a new Chief Executive is appointed. Rafa has what he wanted - careful what you wish for? The press reports suggest the owners loans will be restructured but the debacle of club ownership still rumbles on with no end in sight. And lastly, the matter of Summer club transfers. It is clear, as Rafa is inclined to say, that 'we' don't have much money to spend. I do not envisage us having a large transfer war chest. But we MUST buy and buy quality not quantity. Last season's transfers hindered us rather than helped. A repeat just cannot be allowed to happen.
The side is desperate for three significant signings. Players for the flanks and a striker. One thing is for certain, the other sides will spend and maybe heavily - especially Chelsea. Continued press reports suggest Alonso may be sacrificed to sign Gareth Barry. I doubt any Reds fan would like that as Alonso has inarguably had his best season at Anfield. What is certain is that players will have to leave. Voronin, Dossena, Itandje, Deggen and maybe Babbel and Riera won't be missed but will hardly bring in the money for super signings. Replacing Hyypia's professionalism and influence in the squad may prove difficult too. It all points to three massive months for Liverpool FC. Will we push on, stand still or fall back like we did under Houllier? It could still end on an even sourer note. There's the small matter of the Champions League final in Rome. Viva España!