* On the pitch, where are we currently in comparison to the other teams looking to challenge for the title?
Arsenal - Both teams at there best I believe we are both on a par with each other. They play the sexy football, we play with the heart and have a solid defence. The two Champions League ties will be really really close if both teams are on top form. As for the title, 1 or 2 quality additions from us, I think we can become a better squad than these and if we find consistency I think we will be ahead of these in terms of challenging next year.
Chelsea - I've said this since the FA semi of 2006, in a one off game, I think we are the better team than Chelsea and I think again if both teams are at there strongest we will be about level, but I think we have a slight edge. The one problem is, Chelsea are more consistant than us, if we were to get there level of consistency in the league, I think we would be the better team of the 2.
Man Utd - Out of the other big 3 teams, I think these are the ones we are behind in terms of quality. They have quality in all positions, we have quality in most areas but lack it in some & thats why I think they are in the stronger position at the moment. An addition of a quality Right Winger, A quality second striker (e.g. Robbie Keane) and a quality Full back and I think we can be in as gooder shape as these in challenging for the league.
*If you were offered this position at the beginning of the season, would you have accepted it or have we not performed well enough overall?
No, I think maybe some of the draws that we have had, especially at home could have been turned into wins. The Birmingham one particularly sticks to mind with Torres being rested. If we could have turned 4 of those draws into wins, we'd be in a much stronger position and I think it comes down to our ability some times to not finish teams off.
It looks like now, we are finally starting to finish teams off and if next season we can hit the ground running and actually kill teams off instead of letting them get back into it (e.g. Villa, Spurs) I think we will be in a much stronger position.
* We seem to be more equipped within the squad to challenge on the European fronts than domestic ones. Is this likely to change any time soon?
Hopefully, with an addition of 2/3 more quality players, we can be better equipped to challenge for the league next season. We also need to improve our consistency in the league, like we do in Europe. Maybe now, with a settled formation and a good core to the line-up, next year the consistency will hopefully come more naturally and we can challenge in the league like we do so frequently in Europe.
* When can we realistically look to challenge for the league?
Hopefully next year with some quality additions and a trimmed down squad, we can dramatically close the gap & challenge for the title. As I said in the earlier questions.
The big must for Liverpool is consistency, if we can get that into our system, I really honestly think that we can challenge next season.
* Is Rafa Benitez the man to help us make that challenge?
I think so. It now seems to me that he has knocked the rotation system on the head and has found the core of his best team, with those players playing in there bet position.
I would like to see what he will do with the funds available to him in the summer, whether that be with DIC or RBS. If he can get the right buys in, we will have a really strong starting line-up and providing he doesn't rotate too much, there is no doubt in my mind that Rafa can deliver Liverpool the title.
* When will we be "back on our perch" for good?
Hopefully, very soon. I can see it happening. Were not far off it now. All we need to do is to find consistency in the league and I think we will be up there with the best again.
It looks like we've got Europe covered and are back on our perch there. If we can seriously start to challenge for the league again, I think we will be back on our perch again and will hopefully win alot more League Championships over the years to come.