A good start!!
2 years has been passed since I have started following Liverpool Football Club. This is the 3rd season I am following and the start we have made this time is terrific. Past 2 seasons went with lot of raising hopes in one moment and crushing defeats in the next moment. Even though the general play was scintillating there is no end product (goals) to show for it during 2011-12 season. Last year also the play is exciting and there were goals too. But there is not much difference in the league position all pointing to something of a missing link, an ability to hold on to the leads, an ability to scrap through the games with wins when not playing well. A trait perfected by the champion teams. Liverpool doesn’t had that in the trait in the past 2 years. Maybe longer than that. Well, we are not champions in the past 23 years. A very long time indeed.
I could see that in our opening 3 games. Scoring a goal in the first half of the game and defending that slender lead in the second half as if their life depends on it. A very dangerous strategy but proved successful till now. Defending is not only about 4 defenders on the pitch. Its about all the 11 players, with even Sturridge, our center forward defending in our penalty box. That’s a lovely thing developed by our manager Brendan Rodgers.
The good thing about these 3 consecutive wins is that, nobody can point out only one player in the team who is making the difference. Yes, all the 3 goals so far scored were scored by Sturridge. There were some stunning saves by our new keeper Simon Mignolet which includes a penalty save in the opening game. In defense, Kolo Toure stood tall in the opening 2 games against the physical strikers like Walters and Benteke against whom Liverpool suffered a lot last year. But still nobody wants to credit this perfect start to any single player in the team. It goes to all the 11 players.
We are yet to witness the young Coutinho’s magical feet to produce those exquisite defence splitting passes, yet to witness the Lucas’s pre-injury form which disrupted all the opposition teams formations and attacks and yet to witness magical Suarez’s twists and turns on the pitch. Yet we are able to win all the games till now shows an absolute improvement in the mentality of the squad and Rodgers and his team should be lauded for that.
Rodgers has mentioned that this year we are going into the pre-season a bit earlier and also with all the players available which will enable us to have a flying start. He has been true to that word. We have beaten Stoke City, Aston Villa and Manchester United. If we ask for the best one, one has to chose Stoke City considering it is the opening fixture and we are about to surrender the lead with a needless penalty by 88th minutes. It all seemed very familiar till that point with only change was, our keeper saves the penalty and Liverpool wins the match which they would have drawn or lost by last 2 years. But the best is beating Manchester United on home turf with them didn’t had a sniff at Liverpool goal for 90 minutes. Considering they boast the best striker in Robin Van Persie that is very poor from them but we defended well not to concede any chances.
We have also strengthened every possible area on the field with quality additions and surely we can have hope for today and for the future. The next few fixtures will tell us how this team is going to be, I just hope it will be exciting and successful.