While progress in Europe, albeit a second tier competition, is always going to be good and encouraging for the players, it does mean extra games for an already stretched squad.
Although having said that, it’s slightly worrying to read the comments of some Liverpool fans on the BBC website immediately after the win, saying they wanted to exit Europe in order to win domestic games.
The team is made up of professional footballers, who shouldn’t need a mid-week rest to be able to perform on the weekend. There’s enough quality in the team at the moment to play well both in Europe as well as in the Premiership.
With January around the corner, some vital additions need to be made to the squad though. The striker situation is the most important right now and must be resolved as soon as possible.
But for fans to rather see their team lose in the continental competition to be able to do well domestically, speaks volumes of the sharp decline in recent fortunes of the club.
A few years ago, anyone saying that would have been ostracised by other supporters, but unfortunately the way things are at the moment, it almost makes sense in a way to prioritise. Having said that though, Liverpool basically need to aim for a win every time they play.
With their backs to the wall in Italy, the players pulled off a classic performance reminiscent of that 0-0 draw against Juventus in Turin back in 2005.
The players here knew they needed to win if they wanted to control their own fate, and they did.
But it doesn’t always have to be an ultimatum to get the players to perform the way they did here.
Take the tie against West Ham over the weekend; a loss or a draw certainly wouldn’t spell Liverpool’s end in the Premier League, but that doesn’t mean they can’t go and play out of their skins for a win.
This is how any team can get in to the habit of winning, before it starts coming naturally more often than not.
Suso and Raheem Sterling have been putting in fairly solid performances, while Martin Skrtel doesn’t need to be praised anymore after countless rock solid displays.
He was initially panned by many as a failure at Anfield, yet now with Jamie Carragher’s appearances limited to every now and again, his partnership with Daniel Agger is a big factor in the defence functioning relatively well.
A lot still needs to be done though before oppositions begin fearing Liverpool again. All it’ll take is one big win, then, maybe, not to put out an entirely different side for the next match.
Sometimes a bit of continuity can help enhance the team’s confidence and that’s all their current league position is down to. Liverpool aren’t mid-table because they aren’t good enough.
They’re there because they haven’t displayed enough confident on the pitch, or in front of goal.
The moment this turns around, it won’t be long before things take off in the right direction again.
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