After tasting this early season defeat us Liverpool fans need to remain grounded and display some of the humility that our great club is famed for.
As I watched our team do battle against the reigning champions on Monday night it was tempting to let disappointment take over. City’s strength in midfield and clinical finishing dampened my spirits and all but pissed on my garlic-cheese chips. If only we had got in level at half-time was my main reflection.
In truth Liverpool were looking comfortable in that opening half. We were carrying the expectations of being an almost-equal partner in this clash with last seasons victorious foe. There were positives to take for sure. Moreno will prove to be a great acquisition. Liverpool fans will give him time and he will be encouraged to mature into a reliable and exciting full-back. This will be under a boss who is quickly securing a name for himself as a very intelligent man-manager. Rodgers has been most effective in creating a suitable environment to enable our young team to grow and hopefully maximise its potential. Will this climate be put to the test now with the arrival of Super Mario? I don’t think so. For now Rodgers has earned our trust. If he feels that Balotelli’s approach and mindset are suitable to Liverpool then we should have confidence in his decision. This is not blind faith I am talking about, this is respect, and belief, that the Antrim man is due.
Last seasons heroics and almost fairytale ending means Rodgers is now in danger of falling victim to his own relative success. Patience really is the key however and we have to remember that Liverpool Football Club is ahead of schedule, possibly two years ahead. I know this is the boring viewpoint to have but what we need after last seasons roller-coaster ride is stability. I would love another title-challenge, and lets go for it, but we should not despair if we don’t go as close as last season. If we guarantee Champions League qualification again with a top four finish, coupled with a good showing in club footballs elite competition (I’m thinking quarter-finals at least) then we will be on our way to re-establishing ourselves as a major European force. Up-and-coming young talent will see that Liverpool are back at the Champions League table and dining with the best.
The clubs transfer strategy this summer was excellent. Ian Ayre, last seasons “in-joke”, is this years over-achiever. The committee identified areas that needed strengthening and got to work on those deals quickly and ruthlessly. Yes we lost Suarez but we have improved squad-depth everywhere else on the pitch. The “Spurs” curse will not befall us either, of that I’m sure. The atmosphere, team spirit and leadership that all new arrivals will be met with at Melwood is far more positive than anything Spurs could offer under AVB last summer. Also, Balotelli is not a bad “last resort” to strengthen us in the attacking third. He is a twenty-four year old with experience of playing (and winning) at the highest level. If he doesn’t work out the club will recoup most, if not all of his fee two or three years down the road.
So again, lets push for the title but not be too disheartened if we don’t reach those heights again immediately. Its going to be another cracker of a term and a great time to be a Liverpool fan. We have glorious European nights to look forward to and one of the best young squads in Europe. We will no doubt challenge on all fronts with our replenished squad. We will play the best football in the league and attack at every given opportunity. Thats the thing with Rodgers. He doesn’t seem to know any other way. And honestly, right now, I don’t think I want him to.
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