Liverpool are sitting 10th in the Premier League, just 4 points off fourth place after recording back to back wins for the first time this season. Could this be a sign that things are coming together? I hope so but sadly I fear not.
The team has had more possession than many of their opponents this season and also created more chances but too often the players have been unable to convert them. A lack of clinical finishing has seen us squander chances and drop points. At 2-1 down on Sunday I thought this all too familiar story was going to be repeated. I sent texts to friends saying I was fed up with football and couldn’t bear to put myself through the pain any longer. But that didn’t stop me jumping about like a madman in celebration when we scored our second and third goals. Whilst I’m made up about yesterday’s result and I believe the next two games are definitely winnable – I still think we Liverpool fans should err on the side of caution. There have been one too many false dawns and although I would love to look forward to a rosy future I still have major concerns.
I can’t say with complete confidence that the team will take six points from the next two games, even though they are at home to Villa and Fulham.
I still think some players are carrying others and this is weighing them down.
Our lack of natural goal scorers is blatantly evident, as is the overall weakness of our squad.
And I’m still unconvinced about the club’s transfer funds and policy.
OK, maybe we’ll get three points against Villa but Fulham have caused us problems in previous seasons and if they catch us on one of our frequent off days they are more than capable of coming away from Anfield with at least a point.
Gerrard hasn’t had his best season so far and maybe, after winning so many games single-handedly over the years, he finally needs someone to lift the burden. He’s not getting any younger. Another player who looks like he is struggling, despite a good start to the season is Joe Allen. I know he’s young and playing slightly deeper than he would prefer but perhaps the pressure of playing at a club like Liverpool rather than Swansea is having an effect and he too could do with someone to take the pressure off. And yes, Sterling has been a great asset this year, but we need to remember his age and realize that at some point he will need a break.
Suarez has been in great form this season and his goals per game ratio is very good but he can’t do it on his own. The top teams have four strikers to choose from and that should be our aim.
Only time will tell about FSG’s intentions but I would like to see us go out and get Demba Ba. With the release clause in his contract and his knack of scoring he would be a great acquisition. I know it didn’t work out last time we bought a striker from Newcastle but I think he would work really well with Suarez and Sterling operating either side of him. But even if we were to buy him, that won’t happen till January and we need to think about now.
To be trailing United by 17 points so early in the season, not even half way through is unacceptable. Whilst they have a formidable forward line, their midfield isn’t the best and it certainly doesn’t compare to when they had Beckham, Scholes, Keane and Giggs. Yet annoyingly, everyone else seems to be giving them the league. That fact that City are six points behind them, despite such a strong squad, is amazing. And Chelsea too, who invested heavily in the summer and added real quality have slipped up. But after those three teams the rest of the pack seem so far behind. Arsenal aren’t much better off than us!
So although we now seem to have the Evertons and Tottenhams in our sights, I believe it says more about the quality of the league than our team. I know last season was probably the most exciting season for many neutrals but realistically it was a two horse race. In my opinion the Spanish League is much stronger and has been for the last few years.
Back to Liverpool, the good thing about yesterday was the spirit to come back after going behind. I have to admit I was surprised when we did and that is because there hasn’t been much to be confident about. Liverpool’s board really do need to invest in proven players during the coming transfer window as there are a lot of mixed emotions towards them at the moment and this positive investment would allay the fears of many supporters, including mine.
Of course there are positives too. We have some really talented young players – notably Sterling and Suso. And Andre Wisdom has looked very promising at right back. If I were Rodgers, I would have Carragher working very closely with him in every training session. In fact I think one of the best things the club could do is offer Carra a player/coach role so he doesn’t underestimate his importance to the club, despite not being a regular starter anymore.
The race for fourth place is wide open and it’s there for the taking if one team goes on a good run.