The enthusiasm gained from the Fulham win is a distant memory, in a win that simply reflected how appalling Fulham are and not how good we were!
So ahead of our annual beating at Anfield tomorrow I thought I would go back down memory lane at some of our games and dealings with Liverpool.
I was born in 1978, therefore during my childhood all I knew was Liverpool winning everything in sight or if they did not the neighbours from across the park did. As such I have always disliked them and even during their lean years my dislike has not subsided.
As a child my dislike increased to new levels when they smashed as 5-0 at Anfield to confirm our relegation to the old second division. We had put together a good little run and survival was a possibility going into this game, but this was soon dashed and Plymouth Argyle awaited us the next season.
Upon our return to the top division in 1991, Liverpool was on the slide following the departure of ‘King Kenny’. Liverpool visited the Boleyn ground on an autumn Sunday afternoon and in a game which was shown live on ITV (yes football did exist prior to sky/1992) we drew 0-0. The scoreline did not indicate the quality of the game and I remember plenty of chances being created, with Frank McAvennie in particular producing a super save from Bruce Grobbelaar. The season nosedived after this game, following the ill advised Bond Scheme and come 1992 we were once again relegated.
Upon our immediate return to the new Premier League in 1993 it was clear that the squad was not good enough. So we cashed in our best player and my teenage idol (other than Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder) and sold Julian Dicks to Liverpool, in exchange for David Burrows, Mike Marsh and a bit of cash, which was used to purchase the legend (joke) that is Lee Chapman.
While the deal was good for the club, replacing Julian Dicks posters with ones of David Burrows, did not sit well with me!
We stayed up comfortably and within the year Julian had returned and Burrows, Marsh and Chapman had all left the club, so everything was good again. I remember little about the games with Liverpool that season, other than Tony Gale gifting them a win at our place with a horrendous back pass. Reggie Gale was given a free transfer soon after.
The following season we were involved in another relegation battle, however we secured our survival by beating Liverpool at the Boleyn, with Don Hutchison, who had been signed from Liverpool scoring two goals. Tony Cottee had also returned to the club earlier in the season and on his debut at Anfield managed to get himself sent off.
So the seasons rolled on, we got stronger in the Premier League under Harry Redknapp, while Liverpool continued to decline with Manchester United now winning everything in sight. We beat Liverpool a couple more times at home, but the annual defeat at Anfield was to continue.
The decline of West Ham and Harry Redknapp can be pinpointed to a couple of things involving Liverpool, namely the signings of Titi Camara and Rigobert Song! How/why did this happen, to this day I shudder!!!
The slow path to another relegation concluded in 2003 and we returned to the Promised Land in 2005 enjoying a comfortable league finish. But this season was all about THAT Cup Final.
I did not have a season ticket at the time and I was unable to secure a ticket for Cardiff, so it was a day in the pub for me. Despite my pride at the performance I still try to blank this day out of my memory, it hurts so much, we were so near, why Gerrard?! Of all players for the ball to drop to it had to be him. This should have been our day, they have won enough in the past for feck sake they had jammed the Champions League the season before!!
In our last relegation season, Liverpool gave us false hope by allowing us to beat them 3-0 at our place, after this I thought we would stay up, however, I believe we did not win again all season and succumbed to another depressing relegation.
Last season we were the wrong side of a five goal thriller at the Boleyn Ground, former prodigy Joe Cole firing their winner, however, we had the last laugh, when Liverpool paid us to take him back earlier this year!
So there you go, a few memories of our friends from the North West and I think we can safely say tomorrow that my continued dislike of Liverpool shall continue, I will take a 0-1 defeat now!!