ALL in all, it’s hard to complain about the Reds start to the season. 3 wins from 3, 9 points from 9; it’s certainly been the start we all dared not dream for, particularly considering the last of those 3 wins was against our bitter rivals, Manchester United.
So it’s a case of so far, so good? Well, yes and no. While the pure stats read 100% positively for Liverpool, it has so far been a case of ‘a game of two halves’ in all three league games – and the cup game, as well – with Liverpool coming out of the blocks ready to tear into the opposition, only to lose their way in the second half and run the risk of conceding and undoing all of the first halves good work.
It was a theme of our first season under Brendan as well, with Liverpool often succumbing late on to a period of sustained pressure. It has been a different matter this season – so far – though, with Liverpool’s new-found solidity and bottle helping see them through these rough patches.
Against Stoke, Villa and United, Liverpool we’re seemingly forced to drop deeper and deeper as the second half wore on but it seems now that that was as much by design as anything else and credit must go to the manager, the coaching staff and not least of all, the players, for managing to put those theories into action.
However, despite having spent the 2 week international break comfortably top of the league we now have a run of games which requires a different type of Liverpool performance.
It was easy to understand adopting a second-half ‘safety first’ approach against a side such as Stoke who have haunted us many a year and it was an admirable performance, in the end. Against Aston Villa, we were playing a side in great form, who relied heavily on their speed, pace and the power of Benteke so their was no question we’d need to play deeper once we’d taken a very early lead.
Likewise, against Manchester United, we were up against the league Champions, so it was surely only expected that, after going ahead, we’d come under long periods of pressure.
Against Swansea though, we’ll be facing a different proposition. This is a side who have progressed well under manager Michael Laudrup who has built upon the foundations laid by Brendan Rodgers but their start to the season has been poor so far, with just 1 win from their opening 3 they currently sit 18th in the league.
At the Liberty on Monday Liverpool must take the game to the Welshmen and really press them high up from the off. We’ve seen a very new side to Liverpool this season and we all like it but it’s time to reintroduce the side that were scoring for fun in the second half of last season, starting at Swansea.
That game kicks off a run of league fixtures which run through the rest of September, through October up until we face Arsenal away on November 2nd which are all easily winnable and in order to come through that series unscathed, with as many points as possible I believe that we need to ensure that the rock-solid defensiveness we’ve shown thus far needs to be coupled up with that familiar silky-smooth attacking play that saw us make a habit of scoring 4 or 5 goals on a number of occasion last season.
With Sturridge hopefully able to make the game, Coutinho back to his best, the introduction of Victor Moses on deadline day and Luis Suarez’s return only just over a week away we have the catalysts there to really help us play some incredible football and to regain top spot after Saturday and Sunday’s fixtures that’s what we’re going to need to start doing again.
Live4Liverpool is recruiting columnists. For further info contact the site editor at email@example.com