David Prentice's review of 2009 - May-August
MAY THE latest FA Cup final for years - Saturday, May 30 - produced the quickest goal, after just 25 seconds, but Louis Saha's strike isn't enough to see Everton lift the famous old silverware at Wembley Stadium. 'The pain is not something I ever want to experience again,' said captain Phil Neville after Chelsea beat Everton 2-1. The month had started on a sour note, too. 'The biggest disrespect has come from the FA in how many tickets they have given the teams who get to the final,' said David Moyes on the usual paltry allocation for his side's supporters. There was disappointment elsewhere on Merseyside, too. Tranmere were four minutes from the League One play-offs, when Gareth Edds was red-carded for mistiming a tackle a split second late at Scunthorpe. Cliff Byrne, the man he was detailed to mark, headed the equaliser and the Iron headed for the play-offs, and ultimately the Championship. Liverpool ended the season in sparkling form, beating Newcastle, West Ham, West Brom and Tottenham, scoring 11 and conceding one, but it wasn't enough to pip Manchester United to the title. 20,000 turned up at Anfield to watch Liverpool beat an All Stars XI 3-1 in a Hillsborough Memorial match. Kenny Dalglish scored, of course. Phil Jagielka was named Everton's Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season at the club's annual awards bash, while Waterloo Rugby Union club launched a revolutionary initiative to give fans the power to run their own club. Liverpool's dreams of a third FA Youth Cup triumph in four years, however, were dashed by Arsenal's extravagantly talented youngsters, while Sami Hyppia bade an emotional farewell to Anfield 'He is a perfect professional,' enthused Rafael Benitez. Fernando Torres was voted Liverpool Echo's Sports Personality of the Year, while David Moyes scooped his third LMA Manager of the Year award. QUOTES OF THE MONTH 'My future is here. I am here and I will continue to give 100 per cent. It will always be like this.' Javier Mascherano suggests, incorrectly, that his name will not be the subject of summer speculation. 'I'm delighted, but a little bit surprised.' a modest Steven Gerrard on his Football Writers' Footballer of the Year award 'Xabi has been talking about how he wants to stay here and we certainly want to keep him so I don't think there will be any problems.' Rafa Benitez is also a little off-target.
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