So it appears, if most people are to be believed, that Liverpool have turned a corner. One win it seems does make all the difference?
Of course this is nonsense but it’s been a long time since we’ve had something to feel good about albeit, in the overall scheme of footballing things, something small. I think the last time I felt really chuffed with such a win was when we beat Villa at their place last Christmas and that was mainly to do with the fact that we nicked the points with a last minute goal.
On that night and on Sunday the scorer of our goal(s) was Fernando Torres who it appears has gone from zero to hero in the space of one game? A slight exgeraiton I think but Sunday’s been coming for a while. In the last couple of games Torres has looked more and more the part and only bad luck, rustiness or misjudgement has prevented him from making more of a mark. Thankfully everything fell into place on Sunday and he has received the confidence boost that will see him move on to even better things?
“I don’t know if I can play my best soon but I will as soon as possible. Every game I am feeling better, improving every day. It’s part of a footballer’s life being criticised. Playing for a team like Liverpool, everyone is watching everything you are doing around the world a minute later. I know the expectations, I am ready to fight and get my form”
I guess the trouble is when you are a player as key and as high profile as Torres it is difficult to be patient and give him the time he needs to recover his form. The criticism that he has received would hardly help him in his recovery? Speculation about his future has also been rife and I just wonder if the player himself could have defused this earlier by coming out and saying something. In doing that he might have taken some of the pressure off himself?
Roy Hodgson probably experienced his best time with Liverpool on Sunday but he knows as well as anyone that if we don’t continue with that tonight at Wigan then the brickbats may be out again. Last seasons corresponding fixture was a dog of a game. We lost 1-0 but it was the performance that grated, we missed a chance to go fourth and from then on never looked like getting there. I think it was also our first defeat to Wigan in the EPL.
Team wise tonight we aren’t too bad. Glen Johnson is fit but personally I’d persevere with Martin Kelly who played well on Sunday. If Kelly can do it against Chelsea then he can do it against most teams and he does little wrong every time he plays for us, sadly the same cannot be said of Johnson. Kyrgiakos is also out with a throat infection (tonsillitis?) which goes against his reputation. Could we have said he was out because he had a hand slight strain from punching a grizzly bear! Daniel Agger remains injured and looks like being out for a while.
Prediction? Five unbeaten and four wins on the trot suggest more grounds for optimism but one mustn’t be complacent. Sunday was a massive boost but we are still fragile as the second half indicated. As everyone knows nothing is guaranteed tonight, there is still along way to go and lots of work to do. Nonetheless with the prospect of getting right up into the top half of the table, due to concertinaed nature of the league, the players will surely be in no mood to indulge Wigan? 2-0 to us.