April 29, 1907
The end of the season
It has not been a very gratifying time for Anfielders. Instead of posing as League Champions, Liverpool occupy a very humble position in the world of football, and April has been one of the most disastrous months the club has ever experienced.
As a general rule, the Livers wind up well, but this year has been an exception. The team has won one match, against one of the feeblest teams in the League – Derby County – and they have lost four, three of them at home. Such a ‘don’t care’ spirit has existed that one almost wonders that anybody has gone to see the matches.
The game last Saturday meant little to Liverpool, very much to Notts County. Had the latter lost, they would still have been in Queer Street – or, at all events, to have had to depend upon the lapses of others rather than upon their own ability. But they did not lose – they won comfortably.
Liverpool played poorly, as they have done all the month, and this gave the County the desired opportunity. It was rather a rough game, and Sam Hardy was knocked out once, fortunately not seriously. The Notts men had several illegal goals to their credit, but managed to score twice in the second half. The defence was the best part of Liverpool, their being a lack of understanding amongst halves and forwards.
The cause of the decline.
Undoubtedly Liverpool have not had the smiles of fortune this season. The breakdown of Alf West early on was a serious handicap, for although Percy Saul, who took his place has improved since Xmas, he was very shaky at first.
Billy Dunlop, too, has not shown the same great form that won him his International cap last season. At half Maurice Parry and Alex Raisbeck have suffered through illness and injuries, and their substitutes have not proved of equal calibre.
James Bradley, too, whether from sympathy with his absent comrades, or from other causes, has not been the same consistent force as last season.
The forwards, also, have had to be constantly changed, and after a player has done well in a match or two he has dropped away, and there has had to be another shuffle.
Arthur Goddard and William Macpherson have been the best of all tried – taking the season through; but John Cox, since his full recovery has been as brilliant as of old.
The Reserve team has done excellently since of the directors, Mr. John Fare, took charge of it in October; they have twice been beaten. Had this course been followed since the beginning they would have gained the championship of the Combination of a surety. The pursuance of such a course has another advantage, for it enables a director to note first hand which are the promising players in what ought to be the nursery for the League team.
There is only now next season to look forward to, and the prospects are more promising. As I stated a few weeks ago, the directors had their plan of campaign thoroughly marked out. Already it has borne fruit, and although I am not yet able to give the full results of the signing on yet I am confident that supporters will be well satisfied when it is published.
Amongst the names will be found Harry Wightman, a young amateur full-back from New Brighton, who played excellently against Barrow on Saturday, and still better against Bolton Wanderers on Wednesday, and Tom Rogers, a Rossendalian, who was marked promising when down here in a Lancashire Cup-tie.
It is always better to look forward, and with new blood to invigorate the old, Liverpool will take that position which they are entitled to. I suppose we cannot always go out in a blaze of glory, but we can hope that just as this season has been one of the downs Mr. Tom Watson – who, I regret to say, has been seriously indisposed – spoke of, and that next season we will once again be up at the top.
I must say “au revoir” to my readers now, and hope to meet them in these pages in the season that is to come and which is fraught with such golden hopes.
Goal Getters for Liverpool.
League: Sam Raybould 15, William Macpherson 9, Robert Robinson 8, Jack Parkinson 7, John Cox 7, Joe Hewitt 6, Alex Raisbeck 4, Arthur Goddard 3, James Bradley 1, Robert Blanthorne 1, Own goal (Harry Maskrey, Derby County) 1; total, 62.
Combination: Jack Parkinson 27, Robert Blanthorne 18, John Carlin 10, James Hughes 8, Joe Hewitt 7, Robert Robinson 6, Jack Lipsham 4, James Gorman 3, George Latham 3, John Cox 3, Nugent 3, John Graham 3, Wilson 3, William Macpherson 2, Sam Bowyer 2, Brown 1, Holmes 1, Maurice Parry 1, Stan Hayhurst 1, John McKenna 1, Own goal (Greenwood, Nelson) 1; total, 108.
Lancashire Cup-ties: Jack Parkinson 5, Robert Blanthorne 3, William Macpherson 2, Sam Raybould 1, Robert Robinson 1, John Carlin 1.
Friendly: George Latham 1, Sam Bowyer 1, Curtis 1.
English Cup-ties: Sam Raybould 2, William Macpherson 1, John Cox 1.
(Source: Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme: April 29, 1907)