Expecting the Unexpected.

Who would have thought that the winning goal against Sunderland would see the biggest scenes in the Kop since a European Semi-final won the season before? This goal wasn’t your usual goal. It felt much bigger. We needed it. Our season needed it.

You might be reading that thinking ‘we needed it? We’re second in the league, it’s been a great start’, and maybe in a few days time once I’d calmed down and had we drawn on Saturday I’d have agreed, but we can’t under estimate the importance of that goal. After a frustrating 170 minutes of us failing to break down parked bus’, a ‘here we go again’ attitude was doing the rounds in Anfield and on social media.


You can’t blame us, either. In our history we have been spoilt, our recent history however has been filled with frustration. Home draws and dropping points have killed numerous title challenges from us over the years. Liverpool 0-0 *mid table side*. 568 shots to 4. 90% possesion to 10%. 110 corners to 0 (4 getting past the first man). The Kop vented its frustration too when Jordan Henderson overhit a pass, prompting Klopp to rile up the supporters to keep backing the team.

There was a noticeable improvement in the team once the fans were onside again, and we looked far more likely to score. Adopting this all positive-all believing attitude Klopp wants is proving hard for us though, despite the massive strides we’ve made already, and that is what this piece is about.

The irony is, there’s a general consensus that Liverpool fans are an arrogant, over-confident bunch who believe every year is their year. Largely, this isn’t true. All over social media and from those around me at the game, you hear why we won’t win this, or why we can’t win that.

Can’t win the league with a winger at left back. Can’t challenge with a young keeper. Can’t win the league if you cant break sides down. We won’t win anything until we get a holding midfielder.

We’ve been served so many near-misses and heartbreaks in the league that we are looking for them now. Rooting them out early so that when the inevitable happens, we can say that we called it, we were right and we never got our hopes up anyway.

This attitude was one Klopp got onto as soon as he walked into the door. He talked about the weight of expectancy on the players, and the need for us to turn from ‘doubters to believers’. 

Despite how much we all love Jürgen, we’re still finding it tough, Wembley and Basel last year adding to our frustrations. 

Of late we expect this disappointment. We expect us to fall short at the final hurdle, we expect us to struggle against weaker sides, we expect us to concede goals every time the opposition go forwards.

BUT, this team has something about them. This team has blown teams away, unlocked double decker bus’, come from behind and gone to the big boys back yards and gotten a result. This team is the best side in the league going forward, and since game two have been as good as anyone at the back. Truthfully, did I think we were gonna nick a winner on Saturday? No. But we did. This side has something about them.


They may fall short, but lets enjoy the ride. Expecting us to fail and to prove to be inadequate has been the Liverpool thing to do of late, me included, but lets expect the unexpected, lets get behind them. Second in the league with a massive chance of another cup semi final on the horizon. 

Two of our key playmakers missing and we’re still up there with quality to come off the bench. Our third choice striker coming on and not being as useful as a silent alarm clock. There’s something different about this team. Lets start to expect the unexpected.

Written by @JackMitchell_5

Liverpool Show Improvement Against Sunderland 

For me the two nil win against David Moyes Sunderland was the biggest win of the season so far for Liverpool. 

While beating Arsenal, Leicester and Chelsea was a significant step forward, the Sunderland result shows how far Liverpool have come under Jürgen Klopp in the space of thirteen months. Let’s not forget Liverpool were leading Sunderland at Anfield 2-0 until the last twelve minutes of the game last season when they came back to draw two all. We’ll not mention the fan walk out.

David Moyes came to Anfield with a plan, that plan being let’s frustrate Liverpool and hopefully score a goal on the break through Jermain Defoe. He obviously watched the way his former team set up to frustrate Liverpool a few weeks back and managed a bore draw. 

At times the game was a hard watch, with Sunderland having all eleven players behind the ball when Liverpool were attacking. Liverpool couldn’t find a way to break down Sunderland’s resolute defence no matter how times Liverpool tried to  probe the channels, Sunderland always seemed to have two or three players there to break up Liverpool’s attack. 


If Sunderland weren’t playing Liverpool I would have called their defensive display excellent. For Moyes to have set his team up the way he did and for the players to carry out Moyes plans was impressive. 

To defend the way they did for seventy plus minutes was impressive in its own right. The level of concentration to defend against the most potent attack in the Premier League for me is to be applauded even if the away fans did resort to sickening chants throughout the game.

Liverpool though under Klopp are a different beast than the Liverpool teams of the past. While under previous managers, the Sunderland game would have been two points dropped and left a lot of fans grumbling, Klopp has assembled a squad that’s capable of effecting a Plan B or at times a Plan C. 

The injury to Phillipe Coutinho, while being a massive blow to Liverpool’s season, against Sunderland it proved to be a blessing in disguise. The fact that Divock Origi spent so much time on the pitch allowed him to get up to speed of the game. 


While Firmino and Sadio Mané probed and probed down the wings for Liverpool, often with no end result, it was Origi’s more direct styl me that led to Liverpool’s opening goal. His quick thinking on the right hand side of the Sunderland box which resulted in Liverpool’s goal was what I call a real strikers goal. 

No disrespect to Firmino and Mané but Origi saw the gap at Sunderlands far post and instead of passing the ball in to the box, he was confident enough to take on the strike which resulted in the break through goal. The goal was reminiscent of his goal against Stoke last season. 

Liverpool wrapped up the three points with a penalty scored by Liverpool’s Mr Reliable James Milner after Mané was fouled in the box. 

For Liverpool to beat Sunderland, shows progress. They were left frustrated by both Manchester United and Spurs this season who parked the proverbial bus against Liverpool, the fact Liverpool continued to probe away and didn’t get frustrated shows that the players have faith in Klopp and his way of playing, even if some fans don’t. 


Next up for Liverpool in the league is Bournemouth, another team who are likely to park the bus in order to try and frustrate Liverpool, Eddie Howe may just have to come up with another plan to beat Liverpool. Parking the bus doesn’t work, going toe to toe with Liverpool wont work so what does he do? Well we’ll see next weekend. 

Written by @TheMoanyOne 

My personal favourites: Gerrard moments

Following Steven Gerrard’s choice to hang his boots up from professional football, the news caused an epidemic on social media – unfortunately, most of which was dominated by some United fans intent to remind us of the unfortunate moment the title proved elusive again for Gerrard.

Fortunately, though, on the contrary, many pundits, managers, world-class players have paid tribute to Gerrard’s career – an incredible one spanning from 1998, when he came through the young ranks at Melwood.

The local lad, himself, has won every club trophy there has to be – bar the Premier League (somehow) and the FIFA Club World Cup. Regardless of that farcical moment in 2014, when Gerrard slipped in a league match against Chelsea – a game which proved to have a colossal influence on our season, for the wrong reasons obviously.

But, that’s a bit like saying Buffon isn’t world-class because he didn’t win the Champions League? Or Messi being billed as not world-class for not winning an international trophy? It’s easy to remember what goes wrong for a footballer, and have complete disregard for their achievements. It’s been epitomised by sections of rival fanbases mocking Gerrard for his club & international achievements, which clearly indicates envy.

To conclude, his legacy on football must not be under-estimated. Even the likes of Kaka, Wenger, Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson etc have had the decency to appreciate Steven’s magnitude.

Anyway, enough of my waffling – here’re my favourite moments that Gerrard had in an LFC shirt.

Gerrard’s corker v Olympiakos (8th December 2004, Champions League group stage)

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The odds were heavily against Liverpool qualifying for the group stages, having plunged themselves into such a complicated situation that meant they needed to win by 2 clear goals to progress from the group (which consisted of the likes of Monaco, Deportivo La Coruna & Olympiakos) – we had managed to collect 7 points from a possible 9 so far by the time the Greek side came to Anfield in December 2004.

The skipper made the headlines before the game, stating “I don’t want to wake up on Wednesday morning in the UEFA Cup” in his pre-match words of wisdom. This was labelled a turning point for us, however our status in the group looked in serious jeopardy when Brazilian Rivaldo put Olympaikos ahead with a free kick past the helpless Chris Kirkland.

At half time, Liverpool needed 3 goals to go through. It brought a bold response from the manager, who brought on Florent-Sinama Pongolle. The Frenchman immediately got on the scoresheet, making it 1-1. But, it still wasn’t good enough at the stage for LFC, so the Spaniard once again pounced, bringing on promising young prodigy Neil Mellor; he too got in on the act to put the Reds ahead, stretching to divert the ball in.

The atmosphere at this point in Anfield was crackling. The fans were beginning to make an unerring atmosphere, beginning to believe in a third goal. And boy was it delivered, it was the captain himself.

Neil Mellor cushioned a header in Gerrard’s path (using Tyler’s words there), who sweetly struck the ball in the bottom right-hand corner past the helpless Nikopolidis. He sent Anfield into raptures in the process. There wasn’t a better feeling of belief at the end of the day, but this felt like a Steven-Gerrard game, in the perfect scenario. Obviously not forgetting Sinama-Pongolle’s & Mellor’s impact. It proved the catalyst for a remarkable run in the Champions League – even though at the time nobody knew what was ahead.

Gerrard’s header v AC Milan (25th May 2005, Champions League Final)

This game also deserves a mention. Although this goal didn’t win us the trophy necessarily, it played a huge impact in the comeback we produced to stun the Italians in the second half – arguably this proved to be the springboard for us winning the trophy.

We were 3-0 down at half-time, and commentators, pundits, opposition supporters etc were doom-mongering on us (couldn’t blame them!) – with many predicting AC Milan to go and score 5 or even 6. I don’t think I need to explain what happened in the dressing room at half-time, but it seemed as if it was a completely different team out there. We were making a mockery of Milan, and how exquisite they were in the 1st half.

The minute we stepped out for the 2nd half, we looked rejuventated. It felt as if the players in the 1st half were kipping throughout the 1st 45 minutes, but woke up in the second thanks to Rafa. Riise found some space & freedom on the left to chip a superb ball to Gerrard, who surprisingly had ACRES of space between the two best defenders (arguably) at the time; Alessandro Nesta & Jaap Stam.

He connected perfectly with it, though, and sent the flying into the corner, leaving Dida with no chance. His galvanising celebration, where he raised his arms to the Liverpool supporters as a message of “COME ON!” set the tone for the rest of the game. This goal proved absolutely vital for us, as it gave us the momentum for us to go on and score 2 more – of course, also winning the penalty shootout in the process.

Gerrard’s screamer v West Ham (13th May 2006, FA Cup Final)

I don’t think I really need to explain this. But I will.

We went into this game as favourites to lift the end-of-season trophy to add to our bestowed trophy cabinet against West Ham United, a side promoted from the Championship the previous season under Alan Pardew.

It looked as if the players were suffering deja-vu from Istanbul though for long periods at the start – Jamie Carragher stretching, poked the ball in his own net – and then Reina’s blunder led to Dean Ashton doubling West Ham’s lead. You could hear a pin-drop from the Liverpool contingent.

Djbril Cisse, though,, volleyed in fine fashion to give Liverpool some respite going into half-time, before Gerrard thumped the ball home past Shaka Hislop to make it 2-2. Liverpool were unable to find a third though and Paul Konchesky, of all people, saw his tame looking delivery make its way past Jose Reina, somehow.

As the time ticked down, it looked as if West Ham were going to lift the FA Cup, and LFC were going to lift a good season trophyless. However, thanks to the right foot of Steven Gerrard, we were able to not worry about this game haunting us & our grandchildren in the future. Imagine the media stick we would’ve received if we didn’t win!

As it then went to the penalty shootout, Reina was our hero once again, producing a vital stop from Anton Ferdinand ensuring we lifted our 7th FA Cup. Unfortunately, this proved to be our last major trophy under Rafael Benitez, but not in a rush to forget Gerrard’s magic!

It’s not easy choosing out of these three, so I’m going to settle on Gerrard’s goal v West Ham in 2006. There are other notable mentions though. Hopefully this piece will allow others to appreciate Gerrard & what he has delivered for us – he was a colossus at international & club level.

Written by @SteLindellLFC

 

 

My favourite Steven Gerrard moment

As one of our greatest ever players calls time on his playing career, much will be written about people’s favourite Steven Gerrard moment/goal, with Olympiakos and Istanbul very likely to be at the top of the list.

But my favourite Gerrard moment, and to this day my favourite ever Liverpool goal, came twelve months later in Cardiff.

Picture the scene. The Reds were heavy favourites to win their seventh FA Cup against a West Ham side who had only returned to the Premier League that season and who we’d completed a league double over. On a gloriously hot afternoon at the Millennium Stadium, we had a nightmare start, with Pepe Reina fumbling one into the path of Dean Ashton and Carra putting through his own net. We were 2-0 down and stirring down the barrel. This looked one game too many for a team playing its 60th competitive match of a season that had began the previous July.

A fine volley from Djibril Cisse reduced the arrears before half time, before Gerrard himself levelled with a goal similar to Michael Owen’s equaliser against Arsenal at the same venue 5 years earlier.

Just minutes later though, an innocuous looking Paul Koncheskey cross from the left floated over Pepe Reina’s head to restore West Ham’s lead. The disbelief on Koncheskey’s face said it all. When you’ve fought back from 2-0 down only to concede again in such a manner, you start thinking it’s not your day.

But as the clock ticked into injury time and all hope looked lost, the ball dropped to the feet of the Liverpool skipper fully 30 yards from goal. I was smack bang behind that goal as Gerrard caught it absolutely perfectly with that wand of a right foot, hitting a shot with the power and precision of a laser guided missile that flew into the bottom corner of Shaka Hislop’s net. This was no hit and hope – no goalkeeper in the world would have saved it. Gerrard had produced countless world class finishes before, and in big games, but to do it when he was dead on his feet, with seconds remaining in the FA Cup final with so much on the line, is testament to what Steven Gerrard meant to Liverpool FC.

Imagine Alan Pardew had won an FA Cup final against us as a manager to add to THAT goal? Imagine Paul Koncheskey had emulated Lawrie Sanchez and Pardew himself and scored a famous FA Cup winner against us, one that would inevitably be replayed every time he was involved in a big tie or faced the Reds? Imagine being reminded of the day they beat us in the FA Cup final every time we faced West Ham? Thanks to Steven Gerrard, none of those things happened!

Other players played their part that day – Cisse’s brilliant finish got us back into it, Momo Sissoko’s energy was priceless in extra time and Pepe Reina was the match winner in the end, making a miraculous late save from Marlon Harewood before coming up trumps in the penalty shoot-out.

But without that piece of brilliance from Steven Gerrard in the 91st minute, we’d have lost the FA Cup final that day, pure and simple. Big games are often defined by big contributions from big players. Cardiff 2006 became known as the “Gerrard final” and rightly so!

Written by @Pilnick_Jimmy

LFC versus David Moyes

A familiar foe returns to the away dugout on Saturday. Here I take a look at how the Reds have fared over the years against David Moyes (and look back over some memorable wins over Everton and Man Utd – always a bonus!)

Everton

When it came to Liverpool FC, it’s fair to say Moyes wasn’t trying to win the Nobel Peace Prize during his time as Everton manager. From his “people’s club” jibe, referring to the Heysel disaster in press conferences and as a TV pundit, saying Everton were “clearly the best team on Merseyside” in May 2005 and constantly moaning about the relative budgets of the 2 clubs., Moyes couldn’t resist having a dig at the Reds. It seemed to be his weapon of choice in terms of keeping Evertonians on side during an era when relations between the 2 clubs were arguably the worst they’ve ever been. His 2 successors at Goodison, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman, haven’t resorted to such tactics.

It’s well documented that Everton’s winless Anfield record stretches back to the last century, and Moyes accounts for 12 of those games. There were some memorable Liverpool wins in that period; the 3-1 in 05-06 after Steven Gerrard had been sent off, with Phil Neville heading into his own net , was my particular favourite. At least Neville had the distinction of scoring for the European champions that day, something that as far as I know his brother never managed!

The Gerrard hat-trick in 11-12 isn’t far behind, as is the 2-1 in 04-05 in another game we ended with ten men (and about 3 of them could barely walk by the end)

On the other side of the coin, Moyes’ sides often frustrated the Reds in Anfield derbies, achieving four 0-0 draws. And a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw in January 2009 was a hammer blow to our title hopes that season. (I went home and drank a full bottle of wine I’d been given by my boss as a Christmas present after that game! And I don’t even like wine!)

Our record was actually better at Goodison, with the Reds winning 7, drawing 1 and losing 4 of 12 visits, compared to 5 wins out of 12 at Anfield.

But perhaps our most memorable Derby win over a Moyes side came away from Merseyside in April 2012. The Reds met Everton at Wembley in the FA Cup semi final and came from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Luis Suarez and a late Andy Carroll header. This game more than any summed up Moyes’ limitations for me; they’d been gifted a half time lead, we were in a dreadful run of form and even had our third choice keeper, Brad Jones, in goal. Yet Moyes reverted to type in the second half and instead of going for the throat, his team crapped themselves, allowing King Kenny to break Evertonians’ hearts in the capital once again!

Manchester United 

For reasons only known to the Man Utd hierarchy, Moyes was chosen to take over from Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2013. Here was a man for whom finishing 8th was classed as success taking over at a club where finishing second was classed as failure. It was comparable to Hodgson getting the Liverpool job except I wholeheartedly backed this appointment!

The Reds’ faced post-Ferguson United 3 games into the season at Anfield and an early Daniel Sturridge goal settled matters. We travelled to Old Trafford a few weeks later for a League Cup tie but this time were on the wrong end of the same scoreline.

But the return game in the league is the one that will live long in the memory as Brendan Rodgers’ in form side ran out 3-0 winners in one of our most convincing ever wins at Old Trafford. It was an indication of just how far the title winning squad Moyes inherited had fallen in less than 9 months under his management.

The game will also be remembered for Mark Clattenberg awarding us THREE penalties (imagine that happening under Ferguson!) We dominated from start to finish and the Mancs can count themselves lucky they weren’t on the wrong end of one of their most humiliating ever home defeats, prompting an infamous internet clip where an elderly United fan says the word “bobbins” quite a lot! Sadly though, there was virtually no way back for Moyes after this!

Sunderland

Despite going on an impressive run under that other football visionary Sam Allardyce to escape relegation, one of Moyes’ first actions as Sunderland boss was to announce the squad was a load of shite and another relegation battle was inevitable. It was classic Moyes, and his team “responded” by failing to win their opening ten games, with Moyes of course absolving himself of any blame for his team’s terrible start. They have picked up in recent weeks though and have won their last 2.

Saturday might lack the edge of some of our previous encounters with Moyes teams. After all this isn’t a Derby or a game against the Mancs, just a match against a team in a relegation scrap with a very mediocre Premier League manager. But with the carrot of top spot dangling in front of us, I fully expect our excellent home form to continue and Moyes to once again leave Anfield empty handed.

Written by @Pilnick_Jimmy

I want to believe

Those amongst us who ever watched an episode of “The X-Files”, will remember Mulder’s poster which stated “I want to believe”.  That’s me right now.

I’m desperate to believe, begging myself to. People talk about the possibility of a league title around me, I hear it on podcasts that litter my constant car journeys for work, and I briefly get swept up with the possibility.  I allow myself a moment to dream about it, but I’ve seen too many false dawns to do anything but flit around the edge of this light at the end of the tunnel.  I talk myself in and out of it constantly. 

Examples…

“Mané going to the Africa Cup of Nations, should knock us and our shape.” We’ve got Daniel Sturridge and Big Div Origi, absolutely chomping at the bit on the bench. I want to believe…

“What if Milner gets injured?”  He did, Alby Moreno played well. Fits and starts that Alby lad, and I’ve given him all the same crap as everyone else, but he can do a job. You know what, he’s bought into it too, fair play to him. I want to believe…

“We’ll struggle against the grocks like West Brom.”  Boxed that off alright didn’t we? Even when we’ve played crap, we’ve found a way. Burnley (non-existent to me as I’ve mentioned before, pissed at a wedding, swerved the entire fucking thing) appears to have given the team the kick up the backside that it needed to find a way. To do as they’re told, work the plan and not give up. I want to believe…

“We can’t defend.” I saw a league table this week based on shots conceded this season. We were bottom, fewer than everyone else in the league.  We’re letting in a goal a game for the most part, in games where we already have a couple usually. I want to believe…

You get the idea.

Now it’s a case of where there’s a will, there is indeed a way. I’ve seen bloody minded Liverpool teams, I’ve seen quick Liverpool teams, I’ve seen clever Liverpool teams and I’ve seen a whole host of shit ones. This one, more than any of those, makes the cynic in me sit up and pay attention.  They could do it. I want to believe.

I’ll never harp on about it being a certainty, I don’t have it in me to do so. I’m open to the possibility.  It’s what I’m in this for. Well, pretty much.  I like the journey, the excitement and enjoyment of a vintage Red team.

My uncle, a season ticket holder in the Kop since Shanks was a boy, believes that its all misery unless we win the title. Cups won’t do it, the performances will all be for naught if we don’t take the bloody thing home come May. He can’t enjoy the matches as a result. He can’t see the good things that we do he’s too busy looking for the cracks in the dream.  The Scully to my Mulder, and should he read this I’ve no doubt he’ll moan about that reference, as well as his implied age of a hundred and odd. I want to believe.

If you can’t enjoy what we’ve seen this season, why are you here? The ride itself is an adventure, the goal is the promised land. To see that bloody trophy passed to Hendo on a sunny May afternoon, that’s the dream. I want to believe that this team and this manager can make it happen.

When I started this, the underlying point was going to be about how we should enjoy the journey regardless of the final destination. I don’t want to think like that though. I want to believe. 

Here’s to May, and to every mad weekend from now until then, if we embrace it, enjoy it and hold on tight for the ride, who knows? I want to believe.

Written by @BigLee01

5 Reasons Why We’re Better Than 2013/14

As I recently discussed in my previous article, Liverpool are top of the league ahead of the November international break – talk is beginning to waft about the Reds potentially lifting their first Premier League title ever and their first league title in 1990. How does it compare to the 2013/14 season though?

The question to ask is is the current LFC team better than the one that **nearly** lifted the league in 2014?

Short answer, yes. Why? Here’s a breakdown..

1) Points & wins collected

Well, the immediate answer is because of the wins we’ve had in contrast to the 13/14 season. In 2013/14, we collected 7 wins out of a possible 10, losing 2 & drawing 1 – we had collected 22 points at this stage in November 2013.

Now, we’ve won 8, drawn 2 & lost 1 – collecting 26 points in the process; 4 points better than this stage 3 years ago. So, maximum points are being collected regularly. Points win you titles, and if we can sustain our consistency, at this rate we have a real chance of collecting a significant haul of points.

2) More chance of domestic success

The Reds were knocked out of the Capital One Cup in 2013 against United, but we’re now already in the quarter-finals of the cup – meaning there is still a good chance of us lifting outside silverware. However, if we do not do well in the league, domestic success will be overlooked as trivial – the same happened with Kenny Dalglish when he won the Carling Cup in 2012, but due to Liverpool finishing 8th, this arguably cost his job. We haven’t experienced the winning feeling since then, so it’d be nice for some piece of silverware to make its way back to Anfield’s cabinet.

3) Ability to beat smaller teams

& we’ve been able to displace the so-called “smaller” teams – an example is in the 13/14 season, we drew away to Swansea, then lost to Southampton at home. Yes, Swansea were a side low on confidence when we played them earlier this season – but we had come from behind as well, and at one point the game didn’t present a lot of optimism for us.

We also drew away at Newcastle & lost 2-0 away at Arsenal, a side who were the league leaders at the time. In all competitions, we had lost 3 & drawn 3, whilst winning 7. It’s not so impressive when you compare it to our current form, where we’ve lost 1, drawn 2 & won 8. Just to add as well, we had a much harder fixture list for the 16/17 season, but gained more points from it, whilst easily mauling the teams lower down the table.

4) Spine in the team at last.

Additionally, we have an all-round team this year that has just about the right spine and balance in midfield & attack. In 2013/2014, there was some creative attacking football under BR, but at times we were left relying so badly on Luis Suarez (and sometimes a fit Sturridge). I feel as if our midfield still did lack versatility in that season; many of our midfield players like Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho & Gerrard weren’t at their best in the first half of the season, but they improved as we put a record winning run together. I feeel now our midfield has guile, balance & stability, it is enough against the bigger teams.

The attack? Well, it’s debatable to say it’s better than the 2013/14 side, but no one can deny Mane, Firmino & Coutinho have not been at their best this season. They have been just as effective, operating on the same wavelength, and scoring a ridiculous amount of goals. It wouldn’t be right to compare the goals scored between the seasons, as we were without Suarez for a vast majority of the first half of 2013/14.

5) Mental strength, defensive experience & improvement, lack of complacency by JK

Complacency is what cost us in some games during the 2013/14 season, with Rodgers at times japping on about the “character” the team showed – it felt at times as if he was clutching at straws. Whereas you look at Klopp before the game against Watford – he in fact warned against being over-confident. It’s easy to understand the revving confidence in the fans & players, but there are times you cannot have the ego to win titles. It’s the mental strength which outfought Chelsea, Leicester, Arsenal etc that is a valuable asset in a title-winning side.

Defensive improvements – yes, we are still struggling for clean sheets at times, but our defence looks better on paper & more prepared for the long run. We have physical players such as Joel Matip, the tough Dejan Lovren, pacey & versatile Clyne who can attack and defend, coupled with Milner’s consistency in filling the void left by Moreno at right-back. Whereas you look at the 2013/14 defence, which consisted of the likes of Glen Johnson, Aly Cissoko (who never gained his starting berth), Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel & Kolo Toure. Don’t get me wrong – there were some good players in this defence, but we were far too rusty & disorganised as a unit. Just to add too, most of them were inconsistent at the time, which was why there were anomalous results in the defensive performance. We also have experience in our defensive ranks right now – which is key for a title.

I feel more confident under the charming German that is Klopp; his charismatic hugs, emotion etc has won over the city of Liverpool. It may seem a bit premature in the season to say this, but why can’t it be our year?  I know I’m going to come to regret this come May, but still, this will stay up..

Written by @SteLindellLFC