Déjà vu in football can help determine the progress of your season.
You snatch a late winner at a rival like two years previous, or go on a five game losing streak at Christmas, and you add weight to the negative or positive vibes that surround your season.
This is what Liverpool are going through right now.
Having finished second last season in impressive, yet upsetting, circumstances, we’ve begun this campaign the same as in 2002/03 and 2009/10. Both years were supposed to be an improvement on the last, going from also-rans to outright champions.
However, expectations haven’t been met and the search for consistency continues. It’s a similar story to Brendan Rodgers’ first season in charge when implementing ideas on players took longer than expected.
Home form was failing to raise bums off seats, a first eleven was inconsistent and goals were hard to come by. Skip forward to the present day and the same aspects remain.
This time around it’s harder to fathom why this is the case, especially considering the ferocity of our attack last season. But again, much like Rodgers’ debut campaign, injuries have meant a shuffling of a pack that have been thrown together.
Injuries to Daniel Sturridge, more regularly than expected, Mario Balotelli, Mamadou Sakho and Jon Flanagan in particular have meant the chance to choose a settled eleven has rarely been available. Implementing ideas in 2012/13 was a struggle for the first half of the season, playing a more tiki-taka style with a high pressing game to the previous regime. After January the ideas seemed to be hitting home, performances were improving, players felt more familiar with the system and the goals were returning.
That second half of the 2012/13 season was the catalyst for our second place finish last season. The January signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho were a great asset to the squad and showed everyone, along with the talents of Luis Suarez, what an attacking threat we could be.
This January might not see as much action in the transfer window as back then but having players return from injury might be the boost we require.
Having Sturridge, Balotelli, Sakho, Flanagan etc back would give Rodgers the chance to work with a full squad for the first time all season. With a full quota at his disposal there may come some clarity in Rodgers’s squad selection. At the moment he’s having to put players together that may necessarily not been his plan A, B or even C.
January signings may help as well, at either end of the field potentially, but having our regular first teamers back could be just as important.
If it proves to be another catalyst for a successful campaign, it will be a sense of déjà vu that is most welcome.
By Michael Williams – @