Two games down and six points are in the bag for Liverpool, the only time they have started with two wins since Benitez took over. It is fair to say that Liverpool have been far from the best in the opening two fixtures, and yet in this writers opinion, that is possibly as exciting as if they had started the season with two 4-0 victories.
The defence seems solid enough. Jose Reina is right up there with Petr Cech and Edwin Van der Sar. In Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Hyypia and Jamie Carradonna they have as solid a central defense as any team in Europe. New signing Dossena looks a bit off the pace but when he adapts to the pace of the Premier League I think he will prove a decent signing.
Dirk Kuyt is as industrial as ever, but still seems to be lacking a bit of creativity. Yossi Benayoun was awful against Middlesbrough and will need to raise his game to repay Benitez's faith in him. Steven Gerrard's injury plagued pre season has left him only 70% fit, the shambles of an international during the week did him no favors either.
The form of Xabi Alonso has been one plus point, he seems to becoming the one Liverpool player able to do the impossible... prove our American owners right. 18 million pounds on Gareth Barry is scandalous when we have Alonso in any sort of form.
Up front, 20milliom man Robbie Keane looks a little shell shocked to be finally a Liverpool player, I have no doubts at all about his quality and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the money is repaid. The other Spanish kid up front look decent too. Whilst Torres hasn't started on fire, he proved againt Sunderland that he barely needs a chance to win games.
We also will welcome back our Olympians next week, and it doesn't matter who you are, adding Lucas Leiva, Ryan Babel and especially Javier Mascherano to your squad is a huge huge plus.
So to summarise, Liverpool have played awfully... And yet have won both games. This is a major positive to reds fans. Last season it was exactly this sort of games that cost us the league.
We dropped points at home against Birmingham, Wigan, Aston Villa and Tottenham in games we should have won. We lost fewer games than Manchester Utd last season so these draws cost us dearly. If we now have that extra bit of bottle and fortune to win these games, then maybe, just maybe, number 19 will be on its way home.