On the 19th of December Liverpool travelled to the South Coast to face the doomed Portsmouth. In one of the worst displays of the season the Reds were beaten 2-0. On that day they seemed a million miles away from the top 4 and destined for a catostrophic season. This great club was in turmoil.
Fast forward 2 months and all seems a lot brighter in Mersyside. On the back of yet another win against arch rivals Everton, the reds also have claimed back their fourth spot. They are unbeaten in their last 7 league games. All of this seemed a distant dream at the end of 2009.
So how have they done it?
Well firstly they have stopped losing games they should be winning. Secondly there has been a slight change in style. Rafa Benitez has finally swollowed his pride and stopped trying to play creative football. Liverpool simply don't have the players to play that sort of game.
They have become more compact. The midfielders Lucas and Javier Mascherano look solid. The defence looks more assured. There is nothing pretty about what Liverpool are doing, it is simple and efficent at best. But its producing results with recent wins over Aston Villa, Tottenam and Everton.
Dirk Kuyt and Sotirios Kyrgiakos have been outstanding, their never say die attitude has just been what Liverpool needed. They both have a tremendous work rate and are natural leaders in there own ways. Kuyt especially becoming the lynch pin of the team in the absence of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.
So what is next for the Reds?
Fourth position has to be their priority no question. A club of this stature should be playing in the Champions League. Out of both domestic cups, they do have the Europa League as a pleasent distraction and their only chance of silverware.
With the return of Gerrard in recent weeks and Torres not far from a recovery things are starting to look up again on the red side of Merseyside. The time May comes around I fully expect to be sitting comfortably in the top 4 and who knows maybe holding a trophy after all?
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