Everything you will need to know about Liverpool’s 2010/11 campaign will be determined in the first two games of the new season.
Whether the Merseyside outfit can bounce back from a dismissive and lacklustre season will all depend on how they conduct themselves early on.
After they fell so spectacularly from the top four they were not guaranteed an easier opener--Capable and fearsome opposition was an almost certainty.
So they are to begin against thier previous top four rivals Arsenal. They are at home, so you may believe that Anfield will spur them on.
You may also think that it will signal the return of the passion and promise that has been validated by European triumphs. But come on, this is Arsenal. It is not going to be a walk in the park.
Some Gunners fans have declared an easy victory in waiting for their team and have proclaimed that this is not an unrealistic possibility. This is true if Liverpool do not return to the fold with a strengthened squad accompanying a more determined self belief.
As it stands Arsenal can be confident as they appear to have a widening advantage over their northern competitors.
Adding to Liverpool’s opening fumble against Arsenal they then travel to the rejuvenated Manchester City.
City did miss out on a top four finish by the smallest of margins, but they afforded the rest of the Premiership something to think about. They will no longer settle for second best behind Manchester United. They are a force to be reckoned with.
Who cares about the millions spent last year not yielding them a position above Tottenham. They will just look to build upon their optimistic outcome from the previous season. They have the financial backing to acquire more and there is no doubt that silverware for them is imminent.
Liverpool would not have wanted such a return to the Premiership. In the aftermath of their depressing downfall an opener against the likes of Newcastle or West Brom would suffice.
Or maybe the intensity of their opening duo of games is exactly what they need to find their way once more. If they could get at least one victory out of the opening two fixtures then they could thrust upon themselves more believable prospects for a top four finish.
If they could instate themselves as able participants as opposed to a team still attempting relaunch then they could benefit from the two matches.
The most likely outcome at this moment in time predicts that they will emerge bruised and battered from the two games. Their season will be over before it has even begun.
Such an event coming into fruition could lead players such as Torres or Gerrard to regret a failure to leave the club, if they had not exited already.
I cant help but feel though that if results do come Liverpool’s way then it will be the small steps that are needed to reignite some credibility back to the team.
By the time they come up against West Brom at Anfield in their third game we shall be able to back a route for the team to go down. This may be a fight for Europe or a mid table battle. It could even be a relegation tussle or title winning prospects.
Only time will tell.