The 24 hour stint in accident and emergency due to heart failure was nothing compared to the drama at the Reebok this weekend!
At last we saw last seasons Liverpool make a dramatic performance and statement of intent! Although there are still some obvious flaws with the current performances, at least we showed that we still have the belief that no game is out of our reach, like last season. It gave me a bounce in my step and I can finally watch games from last season on LFC TV with confidence that this is still the same team.
There were a number of major positives from this game, which can be the catalyst to fire up the table to take down an improving Chelsea!
Firstly, anyone who has read my other reviews of mine will see that I haven't had great faith in the much maligned Lucas Leiva. Although I still feel he is not good enough for regular first team football, he did at least show me that he has the potential to fill in when needs be. His passing looked a lot sharper and he was getting himself into some very good positions. The most pleasing fact is that after his last performance, it took a very big man to get back on the pitch and perform in front of a group of fans who he still has to impress. I have a lot of new found respect for the man and this goes some way to pave over his obvious flaws.
The other major improvement was one that I have been calling for for a while. Albert Riera (and his dartanian appearance) made an important return. Although there are better wingers out there, Riera balances the team out a lot more than Babel or Benayoun. His final ball isn't always amazing but he is the only player who can comfortably take the ball on his left foot! As opposed to Kuyt, who is a striker doing the graveyard shift on the right, Riera is an actual winger and can naturally stretch a team.
Steven Gerrard said that he owed a performance. I don't feel this is the truth (and I think he knows it too), as he has single handedly dragged us from the brink on many occasions. Torres looked a lot sharper and has perhaps used the first 3 premier league games as a sort of pre season. He seemed to stay more in a striking position unlike the Villa game where he seemed isolated and drifted out wide too many times.
A lot of people are talking about zonal marking. Where were these people when Pepe Reina collected the golden glove award 3 years on the bounce? In case anyone hasn't noticed, we have 2 players out of four who are either not regular first team players or who are clearly injured playing, as well as a new right back. I am glad that we are throwing off the shackles and going for it as 3 points are better than one. Last season we drew against Stoke twice, West Ham and Manchester City. That got us four points! This season we have lost against Tottenham and Villa but beaten Stoke and Bolton. That has got us 6 points! Can you see where I am going here?
I know we are not at our best yet but neither are other teams. Chelsea couldn't have picked an easier start. Man Utd have been awful against every team they have played and somehow won! That wont continue! Arsenal don't have the bottle and Tottenham and Villa will fade away. Man City will suffer (as Chelsea) when the African Nations kicks off!
I still feel we are in a good position and we will put a great run together!!!