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God has returned

Liverpool have followed Spurs lead, and brought one of their favourite sons back to Anfield. Slakr tries to avoid getting all teared up in his joy.

The only thing that makes me sad is that I’ve got to admit that Boggs called it right. Following Tottenham Hotspur’s moves to bring Teddy Sheringham back to their fold, Liverpool seem to have one-upped their Champions League Qualification Spot Rivals (gor! say that four times quickly) by returning one of their own favourite sons back to the fold. Affectionately known as God at Anfield, Robbie Fowler has completed a free transfer back to the club where he started. Though its a short term contract (up for an extension at the end of the season), Fowler has recently given plenty of hope that he’s still got greatness in him with a spectacular goal that killed the game against Man United, and a hat-trick in his return from injury in the FA Cup.

Like many fans who grew up in the time of Steve Macmanamanaman, Robbie, and Jamie Redknapp’s “heydays”, there a strong bond and affection with a player I’d rate as the best English finisher of his generation. Forced out of Liverpool’s starting lineup by injuries, suspensions, and Houllier’s reliance on a strikeforce of Emile Heskey and Michael Owen, Fowler has never quite lived up to the promise he showed as a two-time PFA Young Player of the Year, but at 30 should have a few years of quality still left in him. In the mid-90s, there was considerable hope that Fowler and Co. would form the core of a quality team for years to come, but sadly it seemed that motivation never matched the talent. What was never in doubt, however, was how much Robbie loved this club, and its fans. From his support for striking dockworkers to his celebration of goals against Everton, the boy was essentially a fan grown up to become a superstar.

Fowler is unquestionably drinking from the Trough of Last Chances here at Liverpool. But given that the motivation seems right (Quote Benitez: “”I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player quite so happy to be joining a club before.”), the history, and the fact that we could use some quality finishing at the moment, I’m optimistic that this ones going to turn out to be a peach of a signing. Stevie G seems to have carried this club on heart alone many times of the last few seasons. Maybe now, he’s got someone to share the burden with.