The feeling has now been confirmed by the facts: this is Liverpool’s worst start to a season in two decades.
At the halfway mark of the 2022/23 campaign, the Reds sit a lowly ninth in the Premier League table having won just eight of their eighteen games and conceding an eye-watering 25 goals – that’s the same number as West Ham, who currently sit in the relegation zone.
Since the Premier League brand came along in 1992/93, Liverpool have never finished as low in the table as ninth. So are they on course to suffer their worst season in recent memory?
What Is Liverpool’s Worst Start to a Season?
Given that Liverpool have been accustomed to challenging for the Premier League title, or at worse a top-four finish, their current predicament is most unexpected.
To offer a visual clue as to the struggles of Jurgen Klopp’s side, they currently sit 19 points behind Arsenal with half the season left to run – last term, they finished 23 points clear of the Gunners.
But this isn’t the worst start to a Premier League season for Liverpool, and for that we have to head back to 2010/11 for the heady days of Roy Hodgson’s reign of terror at Anfield.
The Reds won just six points from their opening eight games under Hodgson, and at the halfway stage had recovered to tenth place – but still they only had 25 points from their 19 outings.
Hodgson was sacked in January 2011, to be replaced by club legend Kenny Dalglish. He guided the club to sixth place, with wins over Manchester United and Chelsea met with particular glee.
Dalglish signed off on the transfer for Luis Suarez too, who would blast 82 goals in 133 games for the Merseyside outfit.
Tied with 2010/11 as Liverpool’s worst start to a Premier League season is the 2012/13 campaign, in which Brendan Rodgers oversaw a slightly better – but still abject – opening effort that saw the Reds claim nine points form their opening eight games.
But by the halfway stage Liverpool were again marooned on 25 points – some 21 points behind leaders Manchester United – after a dismal 1-3 defeat to Stoke City on Boxing Day 2012.
Rodgers rallied Liverpool, somewhat, to seventh place, but premature exits from the Europa League and the two domestic cups confirmed this to be one of the worst seasons in the Reds’ recent history.
What Is Liverpool’s Worst Premier League Season?
That 2012/13 campaign actually isn’t Liverpool’s nadir in the Premier League era.
They have finished eighth on three different occasions, and on a points-per-game basis it’s the 2011/12 season that ranks as their worst of the Premier League years.
Dalglish was enjoying plenty of good vibes at Anfield having turned around the previous campaign, taking the reigns from the doomed Hodgson and bringing back a more entertaining style for the passionate home fans to enjoy.
The Scot was given the job full time in the summer of 2011, and set about overhauling his squad with an injection of new blood.
Jordan Henderson has established himself as a key figure in Liverpool’s silverware-laden recent years, but it’s fair to say that the likes of Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll are revered rather less in the red half of Merseyside.
After a decent enough honeymoon period, the Reds lost eleven of their last nineteen Premier League games, saw Luis Suarez banned for racially abusing Patrice Evra and left the legacy of Dalglish in tatters.
He was, somewhat reluctantly, sacked at the end of the season, with his successor Rodgers, after that sluggish stat already mentioned, later taking the Reds to the brink of their first Premier League title before Steven Gerrard’s untimely slip….
What Is Liverpool’s Worst Ever Season?
As you comb through the history books, you’re reminded of what an incredible force Liverpool have been in English football.
Since the turn of the twentieth century, they have almost exclusively occupied the top-flight – aberrations came in 1903/04, and an eight-season long stint in the 1950s, when they were relegated to the Second Division.
To that end, it’s the 1954/55 season which has to go down as the worst in Liverpool’s history.
The Reds lost five of their opening seven games in the second tier, and at one stage looked in danger of being relegated to what was then known as the Third Division North.
But they rallied thereafter in a spell of four wins in five games, during which John Evans scored a remarkable eight goals.
Form came and went thereafter, and by the end of the season the average attendance at Anfield had dipped to little over 36,000.
But they were safe, finishing eleventh, and after a spell in the doldrums they would finally be promoted back to the top tier in 1962. They haven’t been relegated again since.