After the eyebrows, initially raised at Roy Hodgson’s appointment, returned to their stationary position, a quiet optimism began to develop among the Liverpool faithful. In only one month at the club, Anfield’s new boss had gone some way to repairing the damage of the car crash that was last season. He had persuaded Joe Cole to forsake Champions League football with either Spurs or Arsenal and join the Reds. His plans for the club were attractive enough to Liverpool’s main men, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres and with Messrs Broughton and Purslow making head-way in their investment search, things were looking up.
After a confortable win against Rabotniki, the Reds took to the field against Arsenal infront of a Anfield crowd full of renewed optimism. And but for a uncharacteristic mistake by Pepe Reina, Liverpool’s ten men could have pulled off a victory to boost morale further. There were nonetheless big positives to take from the match not least the return of Torres who’s reception on coming off the bench was akin to a goal being scored.
Journalists and bloggers worldwide were quick to laud the performance and the manager but, such is the fickle nature of football , these same people have rediscovered their critical voice since Monday’s defeat. “Too reliant on Gerrard and Torres, no width, no depth to the squad, money problems, a club in crisis” are words that Liverpool fans are tired of hearing and particularly so early in the season.
Yes, the problems stil remain. Yes billionaire Sheik Mansour has the funds and desire to turn Manchester City into world beaters. Yes, Liverpool’s deeply unpopular owners have given the club nothing yet still want a substantial profit for their “investment”. Yes there are still players starting that are possibly weaker than those sitting on the bench but lets not get carried away. Think of the feeling before or even directly after the Arsenal game. After appointing, Roy Hodgson, Christian Purslow described him as someone who would “steady the ship”. Whilst a club of Liverpool’s stature aspires for something more than just stability, lets first be patient in negotiating our way through stormy waters. With Hodgson at the helm and with attacking players of the calibre of Gerrard, Torres and Cole plus, whisper it quietly, investment from a new “mystery” buyer, the ripple of optimism that flowed into Anfield on August 15 might turn into a wave.
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