Chance. It’s a big thing in Monopoly and an even bigger thing in football.
It’s remarkable how significant that one word can be to a game, especially when it’s followed by either ‘taken’ or ‘missed’.
In the space of eight days Liverpool found out at close quarters just how significant it can be. A week earlier our 5-1 victory over Arsenal sent shockwaves around the Premier League for the ferocious and clinical like nature of our performance. Yesterday, again against the Gunners, we also won plaudits for our performance despite not coming away from the game having booked a quarter-final date.
At Anfield we were two up inside ten minutes and the same could’ve been said of yesterdays trip to the Emirates, Daniel Sturridge having an uncharacteristically shy afternoon in front of goal.
It was hard to be annoyed at yesterdays defeat. Had we been outplayed, much like our league visit to Arsenal, then you can question the desire of certain players or even the tactics that were plan A and B but yesterday we did all but equalise.
Of course there are a few factors outside of our control that potentially stopped our progression in the FA Cup, most notably a certain Yorkshire based referee whose lack of hair I childishly picked on in times of annoyance, but overall there wasn’t much else we could have done.
Although if you don’t take your chances when they present themselves then you run the risk of going home empty-handed. Unfortunately that’s the fate in which we found ourselves yesterday meaning our FA Cup journey was over, it’s our job now to make sure our objectives in the league don’t follow a similar path.
Focusing purely on a league campaign, playing Saturday to Saturday, could be beneficial over those around us but with one of the lightest squads within the top seven we need to take advantage of any opportunity open to us.
Having reached mid-February within the top four it shows how well we’ve done so far this season but the business end of the campaign will determine if it was a successful one or not. Days such as the 5-1 mauling of Arsenal showcase our talent and potential to upset the top four incumbents but it would be foolish to think this first eleven will feature in every game till May.
The fact that Brendan Rodgers made only one substitute yesterday speaks volumes for the squad depth at his disposal. This could be because the players on the pitch were playing well enough to stay on, or that he simply doesn’t trust some members of the team in big games.
Either way, it shows that we need luck with injuries and consistency in front of goal to turn this good season into an excellent one.