Can you be a disappointment if I expected you to suck?
I wanted to get one more feel good post in before we delved into this, and was meaning to do Most Improved Player today. But when I sat down to do that, the list didn't get very long. In fact, it was one player long, and that was Martin Skrtel. Because it was hard to find anyone else who had been at the club last year and improved greatly this year. So I had to scrap that. Sadly, this category had plenty of candidates, and I guess that explains how we got where we are today. So let's get it out of the way, shall we?Pepe Reina - Perhaps a surprise inclusion here. But after a summer where he heavily flirted with Man United and Arsenal, it can't be argued that more was expected of Reina. Before the season I thought he was one of the best keepers in the world, and now I don't know what he is. There were more blunders leading to killer goals against this season than in perhaps his total previous Liverpool career. Those could have been forgiven if Reina had made some world-class saves to keep Liverpool level or in the lead when things were going awry. But I can't recall one outside of against Lukaku in the game against Chelsea at Anfield, and we know that game didn't matter. He was caught guessing in the FA Cup Final when faced with Ramires in a game where the first goal was going to matter greatly. Reina was simply "there" for most of the season, and we expect so much more from him.
Jamie Carragher - Seems unfair for a Liverpool legend, but the signs were there last year. So maybe that doesn't make him a disappointment, because surprise didn't come with his decay. But Carragher for most of the season was just next to awful, and looked past it a lot of the time. The yard of pace he never had became the three yards of pace he never had, and his brain or heart couldn't make up for it any more. The Arsenal loss at Anfield is the perfect example, where Robin Van Persie giggled his way to bagging the only two chances the Gunners had, with Carragher completely losing him twice. Age catches up to us all, except for Wolverine.
Charlie Adam - There's going to be a host of midfielders here, which tells you everything about Liverpool's season. Then again, a lot of us didn't have huge expectations for Adam and were confused at best over the dogged pursuit of him. He didn't disappoint in that sense. There were a few good performances early, but then his need for the glory-ball, his disinterest in tackling or tracking back, his lack of pace or positioning, and his sub par freekick delivery caused us all to try and feign sorrow when an injury ruled him out for the year. Take your time on that rehab, buddy.
Stewart Downing - No goals and no assists in the league. I don't think I need to say much more.
Jordan Henderson - Hendo will probably get more sympathy than anyone on this list just because of the way he was handled. He never got to play his preferred position, or did so very rarely. But still, so few performances that stand out, and the one that really does came at right back at Blackburn. He probably won't be a right back in the future.
Andy Carroll - While a late-season surge saves him from this award, there's still the price tag and expectations hanging over him. Less than 10 goals isn't meeting those.
Kenny Dalglish - I don't want to throw dirt on a grave here, but there's a large swath of us that was heavily disappointed at a lot of things Kenny did. The continued use of Adam when he was clearly a detriment, the constant shunting of Hendo wide to fit in Adam, Downing on the right, Carragher at all in big matches, rarely starting Gerrard, Suarez, and Carroll together, the under-use of Maxi and Kuyt, Bellamy rarely in the middle, the overuse of Enrique, and of course the awful handling of the Suarez situation just to name a few. He means everything to the club, always will, but it's hard to ignore that we expected more from him before this season started.
Liverpool's Biggest Disappointment This Season
Pepe Reina (37 votes)
Jamie Carragher (9 votes)
Charlie Adam (50 votes)
Jordan Henderson (10 votes)
Stewart Downing (127 votes)
Andy Carroll (10 votes)
Kenny Dalglish (53 votes)
296 total votes