On one side of the coin we witnessed a display of such an assured nature combining heart and purposeful passing and probing which resulted in Joe Hart’s goal being breached for the first time this calendar year, twice in spectacular fashion.
We also reminisced that there could have been more in a performance which was both barnstorming and controlled for long periods.
Of course our captain marvel’s vintage belter didn’t receive the title of ‘match winning goal’ which it surely deserved. Our moans and groans were reserved for our Spanish goalie, desperately short on confidence and sadly more prone to doing the wrong thing.
Elation and frustration have been the two over-riding emotions which come from following Liverpool, neatly summed up at the Etihad against the champions. Message boards have been teeming with rabid indignation turning their attention from usual suspects of Brendan Rodgers and Joe Allen, to Pepe Reina.
It is sad to see his decline in form and seeming willingness to jump ship in the summer. His comments previous to last weekend’s error haven’t helped matters: “Right now we can’t compete with the big guns. They have a big edge over us at the moment, both financially and squad-wise. There’s a reason they are so many points ahead of us, and it’s not because of one or two better players.”
On the season so far, he added: “It’s been a strange season for me because I’ve missed lots of games with injury. Some people say I’ve had a bad season, but honestly I think I only had three poor matches, at the beginning of the year. This has been the most unsettled season, both personally and as a team, since I joined the club. Liverpool is going through a transitional period, with new ideas and a different playing philosophy. That takes time. People have to be patient.”
A dose or realism, or a defeatist attitude strewn with excuses? Again, glass half full or glass half empty thinking?
The reality falls somewhere in between. We are not building a house of cards a la QPR with Harry Redknapp’s carte blanche to snap up anyone who has been featured for having a decent game once upon a time. Nothing says ‘knee-jerk reaction’ more than spending over £12 million for Christopher bloody Samba! That is enough to make even Damian Comolli blush!
It is plain to see that in our last two league performances away to genuinely top class sides we have shown some real progress. We are now a threat in more areas of the pitch and seem more capable of hurting opponents, although I still think we need to toughen up in some areas. We have yet to acquire that brutal, stubborn win at all cost mentality which was lost towards the back-end of the Benitez era.
It is hard to write a season off as a transitional period of time, beneficial to implement a new dawn, as we seem to have been doing this (in the league) for the last 20 odd years.
It doesn’t get any easier and critics will argue, what gives us the right to the title anyway? They will be right, we don’t; we have been spoilt in the past with our rich history and grand traditions. Every club’s fan dreams of success and silverware, then gets upset and frustrated when the best laid plans go awry, lament the owners, manager and players, demand change…and we begin again.
It is unfortunate that a vast amount of followers of the Reds don’t see this trend. In their lofty single minded ambitions for the club, the bigger picture has been tossed to one side. King Kenny’s majestic aura got stripped back to reveal a clown suit if you were to believe a misguided few. What chance has a mere mortal like the diminutive Irishman Brendan Rodgers following this up?
I have spoken about my theories as to why the loud minority behave this way towards the club they supposedly love. The saturation of the media outlets including shouty 24 hour radio stations dedicated to malcontent football fans hosted by presenters provoking each other into heated debate, sometimes healthy, sometimes poisonous. Patience is secondary to instant gratification.
Standards are high at Liverpool Football Club and should remain so. Jamie Carragher who has announced that he plans to retire at the end of the season has been a symbol of this for the last 15 or so years. He has administered the bollockings, took the knocks both physical and verbal, and preached inspiration all, in a bid to keep the standards of the club he loves, high. He is the epitome of someone who respects the club he loves dearly and I would be very surprised and disappointed if he was critical in the summer when he is no longer an employee of the club.
In his recent appearances in the side after usurping an out of sorts Martin Skrtel he has rolled back the years. Solid, safe and brave was how you would describe his outings, just like in his heyday. The end of his playing days will be a bitter sweet time, with happy memories, yet sadness at a realisation that an honest one-club man will never again don the shirt and walk out to the Anfield roar.
Whichever way you look at the club and its direction from the past to future, it’s not a case of everything is terrible, just as a constant positive mantra can be grating. We don’t live in a perfect world but let’s not dwell on the negative.
As always your views are welcomed.
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