The end of the 80s ushered in a period of mediocrity for the Reds that was hard to bare for spoiled Reds like me. The decade was made even harder by the emergence and eventual dominance of our rivals from the other end of the M62.They say never judge anyone, until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Well, after Kenny delivered number 18, in 1989, it was the turn of Kopites to do the equivalent of the ‘long march’ in Manc’ shoes. All of the pain felt by our old enemy throughout the 70s and 80s was now being visited upon us.
After watching Liverpool win everything over the previous two decades, the 90s as a Red were tough to take. We would have to make do with some great attacking football, an FA Cup under Graeme Souness and a League Cup under Roy Evans.
The League title was turning from birthright to a holy grail. These were slim pickings compared to past glories.Manchester had even stolen the march on Liverpool musically. Bands like Oasis were doing a roaring trade ripping off the Beatles, and Take That were doing their best to make a mockery of everything The Smiths and The Stone Roses stood for. Bitter, me? Well, yes.
Liverpool XI (3-4-2-1): James; Wright, Babb, Matteo; McAteer, Thomas, Barnes, Bjornebye; Berger, McManaman; Fowler.
In 1996-97 we would ultimately finish fourth, 7 points behind champions Manchester United. However, maddeningly, on the final day we still had a chance of taking second spot and securing Champions League football. Had we beaten Sheffield Wednesday, Liverpool could have been dining at the top table in 97-98.Instead we served up a hugely disappointing 1-1 draw. Second spot was taken by Kenny Dalglish’s Newcastle on goal difference. They were one of three teams, including The Reds, to finish on 68 points.