Liverpool Football Club - The Premier League Era
Following the incredible success of the previous era, Liverpool FC's history saw a sharp decline in the 1990s, an effect that is still being felt to this day. The club won their 18th league title in 1990 and 19 years later the battle is still ongoing to add to this tally. Club legend Graeme Souness returned to the club to succeed Sir Kenny Dalglish as manager but his dismal reign only last three years. A long-standing member of Liverpool's famous bootroom took over in 1994, but Roy Evan's only success came in the form of a League Cup. Gerard Houllier joined as co-manager alongside Evans in 1998 before the Frenchman took over as the sole manager just a few months later.
The latter years of the 1990s will be best remembered for the rise of some of Liverpool's best local talent. It didn't take long for two of the club's greatest strikers, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen, to become favourites among the Anfield faithful. Jamie Carragher made his debut all the way back in 1997 and his grit and passion was long felt at the heart of defence. Of course we shouldn't forget Captain Fantastic! Steven Gerrard made his first competitive debut in November 1998 against Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League. The rest, as they say, is history...
What better way to bring in the new millennium than with a treble win! In 2001 Liverpool claimed the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup under the leadership of Gerard Houllier. Towards the end of the year the manager was taken ill at half-time during a league match against Leeds United and a heart condition ruled him out of action for several months. Despite the success of the 2000/01 season, Liverpool failed to exceed expectations. Critics largely blamed Houllier's transfer dealings as the reason for a number of poor seasons in the following years. El Hadji Diouf is more well-known for his controversial nature than his footballing ability while Salif Diao and Bruno Cheyrou failed to make a name for themselves at Anfield.
Houllier's popularity was at an all-time low in 2004 and he was replaced that summer by former Valencia manager Rafael Benitez. In his debut season the Spaniard will forever be remembered for inspiring one of sporting's greatest comebacks in Istanbul to deliver Liverpool's fifth European Cup. Fast forward to the following season and the success continued with Liverpool beating West Ham United on penalties in a dramatic FA Cup Final match. In 2007 Liverpool went to Athens for another European Cup final but AC Milan came out victorious to claim their revenge after Istanbul. With the arrival of new American owners, things quickly began to turn sour at Liverpool FC. Tom Hicks and George Gillet soon became despised by the club's supporters for false promises and public spats with Benitez and chief executive Rick Parry. Trophies had dried up since the 2006 FA Cup win and the manager received his marching orders in the summer of 2010.
The next part of our LFC history guide takes us to the 2010s when Rafa Benitez was replaced by Fulham manager Roy Hodgson, a choice met with disappointment among the LFC supporters. Following a dismal turn of events both on and off the pitch, an intense battle for ownership reached fever point on October 15, 2010 when Boston-based Fenway Sports Group won the right to take over following a legal challenge at the High Court. Their immediate message to the fanbase was clear; to let their actions do the talking, a stark contrast to the previous owners. Hodgon's tenure went from bad to worse and he was soon replaced within months of FSG taking over. At the beginning of 2011 fan-favourite Sir Kenny Dalglish marked his return to the club and his first match was against none other than old rival Sir Alex Fergurson of Manchester United. The signs of progress were clear and Dalglish earned Liverpool their first trophy in six years with a League Cup victory against Cardiff City. This success, however, was short-lived with the owners deciding that enough progress had not been made in other areas. In a bold move, FSG sacked a club legend in favour of Brendan Rodgers, a young and relatively inexperienced manager belonging to Swansea City.
It didn't take long for the ulsterman to sway the Liverpool fans on his side thanks to his charismatic personality and commitment to delivering attacking football. Rodgers' inaugural season showed steady yet promising signs of improvement and the January signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho proved to be a hit. It was during the 2013/14 season where we saw Liverpool truly spark under the manager and provide fans with some of the most exciting football the club has seen in years. LFC were leaky at the back but clinical upfront and the passion of Captain Fantastic Steven Gerrard helped sparked a serious title challenge against Manchester City. Ultimately, the deadly combination of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge proved not enough in delivering supporters the trophy they've waited over 20 years for. The departure of Suarez to Barcelona had seemed like a long time coming but the mouthwatering transfer fee received failed to reap the rewards. The first season without Suarez and the first back in the Champions League was a disappointing one, concluding with a humiliating 6-1 defeat to Stoke in what would be Gerrard's last match for the reds. It was clear that Liverpool had lost their way under Brendan Rodgers and he was replaced in October 2015 by former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, an exciting appointment that was met with huge praise by the supporters.
There's no doubt the current 2019-20 season will be one to remember forever... for good and bad reasons. After winning their first trophy for the Reds under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC didn't have long to blow away the off-season cobwebs and look to put their names in Anfield history even further. The campaign begun with disappointment after defeat to Manchester City in the Community Shield, but it didn't take long for the next trophy to arrive at Anfield. In a matter of weeks the club earned the UEFA Super Cup after penalty heroics by new signing Adrian against Chelsea FC.
With another trophy under their belt, Liverpool FC were well underway in making this another season to remember. The team racked up win after win in their quest to pip Manchester City to the title, beating several records in the process. In fact, it took Manchester United to stop Liverpool's winning run in the league and it wasn't until February that they suffered their first defeat at the hands of Watford. In December Liverpool were off to sunny Dubai to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup, a challenge only possible due to winning the Champions League in the previous season. An extra-time winner from Roberto Firmino in the final was enough to see off Flamengo, awarding Liverpool with their first ever Club World Cup and their second trophy of the season.
With a new decade underway, the question of Liverpool winning their first league title in 30 years seemed to be more a case of when rather than if. An outstanding lead at the top of the table meant that the only thing which could stop them would be a pandemic crisis. Unfortunately, such a situation happened. With the COVID-19 crisis spiralling out of control across the world, the UK government had no choice but to enforce strict restrictions to reduce the spread of the virus. Liverpool's defeat in the last-16 stages of the Champions League against Atletico Madrid marked their last game for the unforeseeable future. With normal life currently on hold, it remains unclear if and when the season will resume, leaving Liverpool FC's title hopes hanging in the balance.
The season did resume after strick lockdown rules where followed and football resume for Liverpool on the 5th July. A draw against local rivals took the reds 1pt closer. Liverpool were finally crowned champions when Manchester City failed to get any points against Chelsea and the reds 30 year wait for there 19th title had finally ended, it was also thier 1st Premier League title.