Following on from Sunday’s cracking result against Manchester City, Liverpool welcome Burnley to Anfield tonight for the second of three successive home matches.
A win would help Brendan Rodgers team’s charge up the league since their poor run of results earlier in the season. The Northern Irishman is deserving of the plaudits coming his way and Liverpool really look like a team that can challenge. Rodgers told The Telegraph in January that his team can win the Premiership next season a statement that many thought fell into his “Er… Yeah… Ok!?” category. Bottom draw stuff. However, that said, looking at the way the side are playing right now, one can’t deny that.
I don’t think we have a hope this season. It’s not “mathematically impossible” to coin the old phrase but Chelsea, one has to admit are looking formidable this season. However, it’s my belief that with nine games to go and 27 points to play for, I’d say third and below can be a realistic target. Far be it from me to put the mockers on it but after Sunday’s display, Manchester City, Arsenal, Southampton and Manchester United are all there for the taking. I do agree though that Champions League qualification alone would be a better achievement that last season as the boss has recently stated. When one considers the first 10-15 games of this campaign, the Champions League, FA and League Cup runs, then this is clear. My only concern comes after this season is done.
Rodgers has proved he’s a problem solver. Someone that can come up with solutions that make the team hard to beat and thus a platform to build on. The recent defensive performances have been way, way better than last year and the beginning of the season. However, of all the manager’s signings last season, only Emre Can has proven real value for money. Arguably you could add Alberto Moreno or Rickie Lambert to that but the rest haven’t really set the world alight. This is where his words may come back to haunt him.
On this season’s performances, I’d say only one player for each area of the team is required this close season. A defender, a solid midfielder and a striker who can actually remove the reliance of Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling. Not to mention the imminent departure of Steven Gerrard. Rodgers needs to buy the type of players that can actually move the team forward. Players with experience who have been there and done it and can help to bring the best out of the younger players.
Back to tonight’s game and I remain confident. I expect a tougher game than the weekends though, simply because Burnley are scrapping for survival and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team bus parked in front of the goal at Anfield so they’ll be a tough nut to crack. Sean Dyche has built a decent side, Manager of the Year stuff he certainly isn’t contrary to Rodgers’ most recent over-zealous claim.
They say pride comes before a fall and I don’t want to big Liverpool up too much. After all, they haven’t won anything. They’ve just put together a decent run of form which is only what’s expected of them. True. That said though, you have to be proud with the current state of affairs. Brendan, carry on!
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