So, have you recovered from Saturday yet?
My friend’s suggestion that the display against West Brom was “car crash football” was perhaps a little extreme however I’ve no doubt, on this scant evidence at least, those inclined to knee jerk reactions will have already concluded that the team is in need of a detailed servicing before it becomes roadworthy? The Guardian continued with the automobile mishap theme
Even though it is seemingly the nature of things these days, we need to be careful of premature, impatient, heat of the moment “606 caller” reactions and let’s hope, as Brendon Rogers tried to imply, it was just a “bad day at the office”. However with ManchesterCity, Arsenal and The Mancs just around the corner immediate improvement is needed or it could be seriously embarrassing. Some of this shouldn’t be too difficult to cure, surely we’ won’t repeat some of the clod hopping errors we made on Saturday? Nonetheless the pessimist in me wonders what is in store for us with these three games, is that what Brendon Rogers meant when he said
“There are going to be more days of hurt, in terms of where we are trying to go.”
I don’t doubt this but one wonders if Rogers, even at this early stage, is trying to make unnecessary headroom for himself? To suggest that the club was in an appalling state when he took over and that recovery will be a long, arduous and painful trip, I believe, is not altogether true. Furthermore is what he is trying to do, or where he is trying to go, radically different from what we already have? What is it anyway? It seems to involve more passing or something but after Saturday and pre season I’m non the wiser. Is the transition process going to hurt so much and take so long? Remember this is a club that last season reached two Wembley finals, and won one of them, and finished eighth in the league. Had we been a tad more ruthless in taking the numerous chances we created, it would have been higher. Yes, and before you seize on it, eighth is not good enough by Liverpool’s standards and clearly there are things that need improving (is there a club in the land that doesn’t fall into this category) however, is the patient as chronically ill as Rogers would have us believe or is his approach just a way of buying a bit more time for himself?
Clearly we will get a better indication as the games unfold and tonight we have a good opportunity to iron out a few things against Hearts, in the Second Qualifying Round, (Part 2, Sub-section A, page 7) of the Thursday Night Naughty Step Cup… sorry league!
Martin Skrtel, after a less than fulfilling performance on Saturday, would no doubt welcome the opportunity to get another game under his belt? No doubt he will be buoyed by his new contract extension however he will not travel along with Gerrard, Suarez and Johnson. So much for the old adage of the manager fielding the same team to get a bad performance out of their system?
Elsewhere Charlie Adam is in the squad but must be looking nervously over his shoulder given our reported interest in Adam Johnson (again), the signing of Joe Allen and, even though he is seen as one for the future, Oussama Assaidi. Andy Carroll travels but may well be behind Lucas, Kelly and Flanagan as substitute forward! I exaggerate (I think) but the issue remains a mystery. Presumably it will go some way to being solved if we secure the services of Fulham’s Clint Dempsey who is currently intent on keeping himself “match fit” and, at the same time, creating the right impression for potential suitors!
Prediction? I don’t really mind at present as long as we play well and build up confidence for the weekend. I used to watch Hearts when I was working in Glasgow for a short while and couldn’t get down to Anfield. The trip to Edinburgh to watch my football was, in terms of atmosphere and friendliness, far more preferable to the tiresome bigoted nonsense that was never that far away in Glasgow. I hope “The Jam Tarts” are as accommodating tonight, 2-0 to us!