I guess the main theme from Sunday’s game was that patience should be the watchword.
Cleary everyone is curious to see how the new manager and players are going to do and I suppose it’s only natural to want to see changes for the better as soon as possible. It’s not often that happens. So some of the sounds emerging from Anfield appear to be not so much about managing expectations but keeping them real. HRH has gone on record about this since Sunday and has also defended Torres’ lifeless performance. I suspect this was more linked to travel weariness from midweek than anything to do with his attitude or state of mind? Jose Reina also warned against letting wishful thinking get out of hand….
“It is going to take a while. We have got to get used to the new players and then the system. There are many good teams and our target is to be up there, but we have to be realistic. Is a Champions League spot realistic this season? I don’t know. We will find out at the end of the season what we can achieve. Of course, we have to challenge for being up there. Maybe it will take a while.”
I think most will probably say that the best we can hope for is a Champions League spot with perhaps the bonus of a cup but on the whole I reckon most Liverpool fans are realistic and I hope players such as Jose aren’t confusing initial disappointment at say Sundays result with impatience? All the same I guess it’s encouraging to hear someone such as Reina speaking in this way. If was being harsh I’d hope that the players will practice this and stay with us until the club is back on track. Sadly I’ve a feeling that if by this time next year things haven’t improved there is a real possibility that in some parts of the squad “patience” could have worn thin?
And so to tonight, Steaua Bucharest. A decent enough game but one wonders just how much our approach to this will be determined by the game at Old Trafford this Sunday?
Although he would probably never admit it I guess Fergie paid us some sort of back handed compliment by fielding a considerably less than full strength side for their Champions League game with Rangers. Can we expect HRH to follow in the same vain especially as we playing two days after the Mancs?
Incidentally on the subject of the Champions League although we are not involved there were a couple of ironic, Liverpool related things that came out of the first set of games. Did you notice that both FC Twente goals against Rafa’s Inter came from set pieces? Also did you also notice that having moaned and groaned about not been given a long run in the side or being an automatic first team pick, Yossi Benayoun made his first start for Chelsea yesterday, after five games and that’s with Michael Ballack gone and Frank Lampard injured? All in all it appears some things never change even though the surroundings might?
Anyway, I digress. I have to confess I don’t really know a great deal about Steaua Bucharest’s current state of health. Apparently they are third in the Romanian league but presumably, like the Premiership, it is early days. However, as mentioned earlier in this piece I guess the key to the result is not, with respect, the Romanians but how we approach this game. Said HRH.
“It is up to me to try to choose a team which will win the game and possibly give some of the players who are needed to play against Manchester United a well-deserved break. I will use games in Europa League and Carling Cup in order to try to get a better knowledge of he players to make certain, as time goes on, I have no doubts what our best XI is.”
Reading in-between the lines it looks like there could be changes and on the whole I think this is right. If given the choice what would you prefer? A win tonight or a win on Sunday? Prediction? I’ve rolled some dice but 5-6 is stupid so I’ll say 2-1 to us!