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A (Terrible) Year of Content on The Liverpool Offside

2017 wasn’t all bad. But a lot of it was. And that’s before even getting to the football and us talking about it.

Watford v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images

With 2017 just about in the books and a significant chunk of our readership and staff off either celebrating with their families or trying to survive them, we thought it might be a good time to take a look back at the year that was. And what a terrible year it was. I mean, there have probably been worse. World wars and plagues and pogroms and whatnot. And, I mean, life generally before people figured out basics of sanitation and thought the answer to everything was leeches and bloodletting probably had its share of downsides.

But 2017 didn’t end up the super fun future we were promised. And then there was the football. No silverware, bombing out of the League Cup, failing to land most of our top transfer targets and generally falling short in a summer meant to put Liverpool back on their perch, plus whatever the hell it was that happened back in October when everyone forgot how to score goals but the defence still really sucked. Probably most of what we wrote about what was going on wasn’t great, either—I mean hey have another set of quotes about how we’re totally not gonna let in lots of stupid goals any more and then a transfer rumour about some dude you’ve never heard of and Liverpool aren’t actually going to sign woo go us.

It wasn’t all bad, though. Not entirely. At least not for us as a site and not for Liverpool. And maybe not even for the world as a whole, though we’re probably a little less sure about that than the other two which tells you something about 2017 but I guess we should all be thankful the black death isn’t really a thing any more and that nobody’s trying to cure the vapours through the power of mercury.

About the year that was for Liverpool, though, and our attempts to figure it all out, all the stories seem to circle back to the summer, when we did what we could to break down an old season before trying to read the tea leaves of a new one.

Last summer saw us saying goodbye to the greatest Liverpool player of the modern era (and we’re only half joking, there, because boy do we love us some Lucas over at TLO Towers).

Then there was the part where we started a totally serious boycott of Red Bull because Leipzig wouldn’t sell us Naby Keïta and The Express took it seriously and wrote about how “outrageous” it was. That was fun, at least apart from a couple of Everton fans telling us they hoped we died. And even then, in the end they’re stuck being Everton fans, so…

When it came to the players Liverpool did manage to sign, we were most excited by the chance to get to break down what fans could expect from new signing Mohamed Salah—and it’s nice to be able to look back and say we got it pretty much right, though even then he’s somehow exceeded even our lofty expectations.

On the flip side—and getting back to the part where Liverpool fell short last summer—we couldn’t help but get excited about the potential for a big, statement-filled deadline day only to be left disappointed. And we were a little hasty breaking down what fans could expect from Virgil van Dijk. Though with rumblings the club might kick off the new year by righting that wrong, maybe we’ll get that statement—and be able to make good use of our earlier work—in the end. We wouldn’t mind if our Thomas Lemar scouting report ended up being useful, either.

Then, there was the big one. The part that couldn’t be avoided. The part with Philippe Coutinho and Barcelona. Which was probably one of the less pleasant parts of the year from a Liverpool point of view. But at least it gave us some stuff to talk about—and, when it all became just a little too much to deal with day after day after day, an excuse to fall back on being the food blog we’ve always sort of been to escape the madness of it and prepare for Hoffenheim in the Champions League playoffs.

But it wasn’t all food-based escapism. There were also the parts where we turned around and tried to sort through whether it might make sense to willingly sell Liverpool’s unicorn for the right price and engaged with the fact that Barcelona. Just. Wouldn’t. Stop. Lying. Ever.

Across 2017, and beyond the individual players, we tried to figure out whether Liverpool’s transfer record under Fenway Sports Group was really as bad as some would have you believe.

And we tried to hide our love for Daniel Agger in the name of a fair and open TLO democracy. Not that it mattered in the end with the vote coming out about how we’d have wanted it.

Somewhere along the way, we all talked a bit about how we ended up here. And sometimes, at our admittedly rare and infrequent best, we tried to step back a little to fit this funny thing that is football fandom into our own larger pictures.

As the season(s) progressed, we’ve tried sort through the highs and cope with the lows on the pitch and, when we can, show a bit of patience and take what chances we find to celebrate a little redemption. Though we haven’t always quite pulled off high-minded—now and then we’ve fallen back on snark as a coping mechanism and we’ve maybe even lost our cool and gotten a little bit angry now and then.

Mostly, then, we’ve just tried to muddle through it. Because it’s been that kind of a year. In football and in life. But it hasn’t been all bad, for us and for Liverpool and hopefully for you as well, wherever you are and whatever you’re off celebrating as 2017 winds down and we brace ourselves for the dawn of 2018, a busy run of fixtures, another transfer window, and the knockout rounds of the Champions League. Plus whatever the hell we get from life in general. Which will hopefully, at the very least, not include a return of the black death and and world wars and using mercury as a cure-all.

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