Just like after the previous defeat when we were clearly destined for relegation, many fans appear to have lost the ability of anything even slightly resembling perspective.
It was a confidence-boosting win on Sunday, for sure, but it wasn’t a great performance (we were battered by West Ham, at times) and we had a bit of luck.
I would however, argue that we sorely deserved that luck, given how many penalties we’ve had against us, how many dodgy ones have gone for and, simply put, how much referees just seem hell-bent on working for the opposition.
But a slightly fortunate win doesn’t mean the season has all of sudden turned around. We’ve had a decent run, losing one of our last 11 league games but it’s also important to note that half of those have been draws and have managed back-to-back league wins once this season.
Don’t get me wrong, I was absolutely delighted with Sunday’s result but it was the manner in which we turned the game around that led (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this) to the over-the-top outburst of jubilation. When you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, it’s like a sudden release of adrenaline, whereas a comfortable 3-0 victory would’ve been equally as welcome, I doubt many people would’ve overreacted so much. Myself included.
I am yet to be convinced by Rodgers as a manager, a tactician or a person and his dealings in the transfer market have left a little to be desired too. Many will argue that he hasn’t had as much money as previous managers but he’s still had some, and after a great start Joe Allen has struggled, while Borini wasn’t overly impressive before his injury and it would now appear that not even Rodgers wants to put Assaidi on. It becomes a concern when a manager starts questioning his own signings.
However, I’m still prepared to allow him time. Until the end of the season, at least. Some fans are now talking about us as potential Champions League contenders, but that is as much an overreaction as it is when fans become suicide risks after we’ve lost a game. And despite there now only being a 4 point gap between the Reds and 4th, that is as much due to the inconsistency of the likes of Tottenham, Everton (oh God, that hurts!) and Newcastle as it is any great form on our part.
We have a pretty straightforward run-in through Christmas and the New Year, on paper, and with Suarez back and Lucas already seeming to have hit the ground running, there is obviously reason to be optimistic. All I ask is that the overreaction in both directions is tempered slightly. It’s ridiculous to shout the odds at fans for responding overly-negatively to a defeat and then become stupidly optimistic following a narrow win the weekend after.
It can be hard sometimes, particularly being a Red in the past three years. We’ve had some huge ups, followed by continual downs in the past three seasons, so it’s hard to keep things in perspective and excitement at unbeaten or winning runs – no matter how short – is to be expected, just as losing (or drawing) a couple on the bounce is going to lead to pessimism.
We’ve had three successive wins against three pretty good sides, kept two clean-sheets and over the next five games it wouldn’t be out of the question to hope for 12-15 points. With a good run of wins, maybe a signing or two to get excited about in January and bit more killer instinct in front of goal as a result, and maybe in the New Year there’ll be a reason to let our expectations run wild but until then, it’s crucial that we keep them in check, regardless of the result.
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