To be more exact, it's our equal worst start to a season since 1992 - 93. That was Graeme Souness's second season in charge, a season which saw Liverpool end up finishing 6th and Manchester United win their first league title for 25 years. We still have another five years to avoid equalling that record. We can certainly dream...
Up until only recently, the first league table of the season was published after the 5th round of fixtures was complete (nowadays it's up after game-week 1) and though it is usually premature to read much into the table after only a handful of games, this seasons table looks extremely ominous with the top 5 reading;
With Liverpool currently 16th (5th from bottom) on five points, it can be argued that we are only three points off a Champions League spot. Our performances thus far though would prove otherwise. Apart from brief spells in the opening game of the season against Arsenal, the football we have played has been far from acceptable. It would be too simplistic to say that Roy Hodgson needs a settling in period and things will improve once he is familiar with the team. That cannot be an excuse for not having any ideas, and at the moment Liverpool have none.
Against Manchester Utd today, Liverpool didn't manage a single shot on target from open play and I for one couldn't work out what the team was trying to do. I lost count of the number of times the ball was played squarely across midfield and back to Reina. It seems we have forgotten how to attack.
He may have scored one of the greatest goals in World Cup finals history but if someone can tell me the role that Maxi Rodriguez is supposed to play for Liverpool, I will be truly greatful. Craig Burley, who was commentating on the game for ESPN echoed my sentiments exactly when he said, "he's not a winger, he's not a central midfielder, he's not a striker...", so why exactly is he on the field? Ryan Babel on the other hand is a winger and a striker and hasn't been selected since Hodgson said he would give him until January to prove himself.
I'm fairly confident that I speak for many when I say, given our lack of funds and striker shortage, we have to see a forward pairing of Torres and Babel given a decent run in a 5-3-2 formation. Without worrying about the tolls of a long season, Hodgson needs to quickly establish his first eleven and stick with it in the Premier League. In my opinion 9 of that 11 is an automatic choice. Add Babel and it's 10.
As I've said before, nobody was expecting miracles this season, but expecting Liverpool to play some semblance of football is not a high expectation. To paraphrase the legendary words of Rafa Benitz, "let's hope the season starts against Sunderland."
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