The Reds have endured a difficult start to this season and are struggling to post a win, just as much they are playing some great football all around, the results just don’t show it yet and the ever present inability to convert chances still haunts them.
The pre-season brought huge expectation and enthusiasm among the fans, who talked about this year as the year of tremendous changes at Anfield with the arrival of a new manager and a new philosophy on football.
But to the dismay of many, including me, Liverpool have just managed to win one game so far this season and none at home. They are currently in 14th spot and have scored just 9 goals in 7 matches. Not quite an impressive record I should say, however it doesn’t tell the entire story.
For those who have had the pleasure of watching Liverpool play this season, you will know it’s not all bad. The team and the coach are doing everything, except for one thing – to get the goals and the wins. This has caused quite a stir among the fans, with some who seem to have lost their faith in Rodgers already and are asking him to be sacked.
Will sacking Rodgers be the solution to the “No goals”, “No wins” problem? NO.
Cause for concern? Well yes, obviously. Nobody associated with the club would look at the league table with a smile to see Liverpool’s name floating around the second half.
But this is not the time to hit the panic button. Not yet. The season doesn’t end here.
Rodgers brought a new style of play that was completely different from how Liverpool used to play during those glory days. A new 4-3-3 formation took over 4-4-2 that prevailed last season and, needs time for the players to adapt to.
Rodgers is moving the team and the club in the right direction and his philosophy will produce results and a winning way for Liverpool in the not so distant future. He is not afraid to go for talent over reputation, which is a wonderful welcome, and all the hard work that has been put into the players at the Academy is now beginning to pay off.
In the past, the season never ended in September or October, and it will not end here this season as well. There is every reason for everyone to be positive and not to preach doom and gloom seven games into a 38-game season.
The results haven’t been good, however Liverpool had the toughest of starts to this new season compared to any other club in the EPL. Looking at the fixtures at the beginning of the season, I never expected the Reds to be in the top four. Not that I did not trust Brendan or his men, but because I knew the team would need time to adapt to the new system that he brought in to the club.
Liverpool welcomed October with a draw to Stoke; it was the same story, different team. Possession and attempts on goal were in high numbers for Reds but no goal. However next up for Liverpool are Reading and Everton in the league before the end of October.
It’ll be harsh on me to label these teams as easy, given Everton’s form this season. The Reds however have a very good record against them. These are two fixtures that could bring much needed six points in the bag. Though both teams will pose their own different difficulties, the Reds can still win these matches.
Then November will bring Newcastle and Wigan Athletic to Anfield, while we travel to London to meet Chelsea and to Liberty stadium to face Swansea City. Pretty tricky fixtures ahead but they are all winnable – Liverpool have a great record against Chelsea, but they are in the best of form at the moment and this one should be tough.
Sure, further slip-ups will happen along the way and there is no guarantee that the Reds will turn everything around and with a new manager, new players and a new tactical system it’s highly unlikely that it’s going to be a smooth first season for anybody.
Winning the league was not the priority this season however it was to finish in top four. It may or may not happen in 2012-13, but it will certainly not happen if another overhaul of players, starting all over again to adapt to a new formation by those who remain, or another two or three transfer windows has to be spent scrabbling about in desperation trying to convince top footballers to join a team undergoing its fourth major facelift in three years.
A certain section of Liverpool’s supporters are getting restless and it’s evident. Everybody associated with the club is just as much willing to do anything to see the club back to the winning days; it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s a process that will need some time -time that Kenny Dalglish wasn’t given. Fans need to have faith in the new manager and let him do his work; no manager would like his team to lose or to finish at the bottom of the table.
We as, supporters need to forget the critics in the social media crowd. Avert our eyes and minds from all the negativity that’s been creeping up in newspapers, the blogosphere and on forums; instead stay calm and let Brendan do his job.
He knew what he was doing while at Swansea and he knows what Liverpool and its supporters want from him. He is instilling a new philosophy in the players which will bring success to the club in the long run.
He and his players must be backed to overcome initial intricacy. The team is in a very early stage of transformation under Brendan Rodgers and the pressure will not do any good. Expectation is a good thing, but the danger is we might be expecting too much too soon.
Rodgers needs time to instil his philosophy into the team, and slip-ups along the way will happen. The progress might be a bit slow, but the team is progressing nonetheless.
Having said that, Rodgers needs to get the points sooner rather than later, after all regardless of the kind of football you play on the pitch, winning is everything, and even the staunchest of supporters will start doubting if improvements are not forthcoming. But to wilfully ignore and criticize the progress which has already been made, which is there for everyone to see, just because the results are not showing, doesn’t help anybody. Neither does purposely keeping a blind faith and overlooking the wrong decisions which have been made, and letting them repeat themselves in the future.
We are looking at a long first half of the season, given the apparent lack of attacking options upfront, and given the slow start to the season. It however is only the start of the season, and there is a long way to go.
Stay calm and keep the faith in Rodgers and his men, and who knows, they might just pleasantly surprise you.