Performance wise it was a terrible day for the defence again, conceding 3 goals for the second game in a row. Spirit-wise, it’s too early to tell. Teams lose the occasional match and a draw is often welcomed by managers under the banner of ‘a point is better than nothing’.
Yes of course it is. It is also 2 points dropped and in terms of the last result, make that 3. Can this be recovered from? Without a doubt.
Will Liverpool be able to recover from the loss? We’ll know soon enough. The fact of the matter remains that every time the Reds have built a smidgeon of momentum, it’s come crashing down with an unexpected defeat.
The Arsenal loss at The Emirates is perhaps the only one that didn’t surprise many, although it probably still left a bitter taste in the mouth after the performance there the season before almost got Rodgers’ men a famous victory.
Mind you, it was also the performance in the dying stages which ended up giving the 2 points away after being 2-0 up.
The players in the current side have been functioning well, at times. It’s been unpredictable throughout the season though and that throws you back straight to the beginning of Rafa Benitez’s reign when every football expert in the country seemed to wonder why Liverpool couldn’t produce their European form on a weekly basis in the league.
This season there is no Europe. Yet the inconsistency is as consistent as ever. It’s got to be a case of the eye being taken off the ball repeatedly.
The loss against Southampton, draw against Newcastle, the same against Everton, and now this 3-1 overturning against a side who up until kicking off against Liverpool, had avoided defeat in as many games as they had actually lost. A bit of a semi-double negative estimate there for you, which should make the weekend’s result all the more disappointing for Liverpool.
The mentality within the management and the squad seems to be at a halfway point, so when the team wins it all seems rosy and upwards, while a loss replaces everything with a huge question mark.
Brendan Rodgers did come out after the match and say the result isn’t derailing Liverpool’s campaign and so far, with 25 games still to go in the season, he’s quite right.
But if current precedence is anything to go by, you would be forgiven to expect more defeats and erratic draws scattered evenly for the rest of the campaign as well.
Liverpool just haven’t shown enough steam yet to go on a good extended run this season. They have also squandered opportunities at key moments to pick the pace up, instead folding like a pack of cards.
The Merseyside derby would have been the perfect match to pick up a good solid win to keep building the season on. Instead, Romelu Lukaku was allowed to have a bit of a field day by turning the game in Everton’s favour. Maybe this is playing the tough Drill Sergeant a bit much but Liverpool should never have been in a position where Daniel Sturridge’s late header was going to square things up. Not after leading the game twice.
It’s one thing to chase the game as they had to do against Hull, but letting a lead slip away isn’t good going by any standards.
This is where the difference continues to lie between Liverpool and Manchester United. The latter managed to rally back against Stoke at home, despite being shut out and frustrated by the Potters for most of the game.
Many have, and probably will continue to insist it’s the mediocrity of the manager and/or the players responsible here. It’s not the quality that’s lacking though. It’s the strength in character that hasn’t been up very high. The players seems to be languishing somewhere in the middle as far as a winning mentality goes, which only gets upgraded momentarily before slipping again.
To keep it right up there, there’s an urgent need for persistence of the highest order from everyone in the squad.
A bit of ruthlessness and refusal to accept the possibility of anything but a win has been the key ingredient missing so far.
Until that comes along, expect more results in the Hull and Southampton genre.
Live4Liverpool is recruiting columnists. For further info contact the site editor at firstname.lastname@example.org