Feature by Kerushun Pillay
Updated Friday, 19th October 2012
Liverpool currently lie 14th in the Premier League. We have taken 6 points from a possible 21, and have a goal difference of -3.
On paper, the season does not look that promising, and fans are beginning to tire of hearing Joe Allen passing statistics as a consolation for another negative result.
I am adamant that the results of our opening games do not have any bearing on the season as a whole, and neither are they all doom and gloom. Yes – we all are aware of the much laboured possession-retention, simple passing Brendan Rodgers philosophy, and, as a fan base, we seem to have full support of it.
There are certain issues that plague our season; there is, first of all, the injury and lack of depth. The injury of Fabio Borini is incredibly serious: Borini was beginning to get into his stride, and his style of play – incisive runs behind defenders – was really impressive against Manchester United. The loss of Borini means that our only means of attack is to run at defenders, and we do not have other players that can make clever runs.
There are also the constant bad referee decisions that we seem to be on the end of, of late. Liverpool – in particular Luis Suarez – never get fair decisions. I resist harping on about this issue and just believe that we have to play to our best in spite of this situation.
Another issue that I have spotted is the lack of proper leadership by our more mature players on the field. It was highly apparent in the 0-0 draw with Stoke in our last League match, where, when the slow, passing game was not penetrating Stoke’s deep defensive line, Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard decided to completely abandon our philosophy and go straight for the jugular.
Whilst this is admirable, and it is like a captain to want to drag his team up, it goes against what we are working towards this season: building a new style of play. It will not always work out, but in this transition season, Liverpool need to be disciplined, and hold belief in the system.
So how do we fix these issues?
I can’t begin to answer that question, but I do know what won’t work. For a start, getting Andy Carroll back and just launching the ball to his head would be a cardinal sin. And no, getting Falcao for £30million isn’t the answer either.
Having Joe Allen in more advanced areas would be good for the composure in the attacking third. If we stick to the plan, the chances will be created and the goals will come, it’s just a matter of patience.
The game against Reading on the weekend is a good test of our ability to keep this style of play going. Two bad results in a row (the loss against Udinese, and the draw against Stoke) shouldn’t detract from the fact that we have played some stunning football this season – even in games that haven’t looked good on paper.
We need to understand that our team is inexperienced. As we make mistakes and have bad games, we will learn more valuable lessons. Unfortunately, with this being a transition season, we can’t expect a top 4 finish or silverware. It’s time to embrace a new Liverpool, and have faith in the manager to ingrain his philosophy. It’s just a matter of time.
Follow Kerushun on Twitter @kerushun99