Liverpool FC: What Fans Learnt from Their Opening Two Fixtures
The opening two fixtures are now under King Kenny Dalglish's belt, with the four-point target reached.
Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, and Stewart Downing have all been given their chances over the two games and have produced mixed results.
But, if a Liverpool fan were to look at a big picture, what would he see?
Here's my view. Enjoy.
Liverpool Have Defied Their Greatest Critic
Liverpool have been referred to as the "One-Man Team" too many times under Benitez and Hodgson. Torres or Gerrard producing results single-handedly was a frequent occurance, but now, those days are finally over.
Arsenal were recently dispatched by a Liverpool side without their talismanic skipper, though I use that term loosely.
There are now other players who can lift the side to victory. Downing, Suarez, Meireles, Carroll, and even Lucas send out positive vibes in times of difficulty.
When Gerrard comes back, he will have to fight for a place; it won't be handed to him.
It's both a sad point and a very positive point, but Gerrard's days as the one and only Mr. Liverpool are finally being challenged.
Jordan Henderson Has Endured the Start He Feared
Not good enough. Why did we pay this much? He's awful.
Henderson has come under so much criticism following his two games in a Liverpool shirt that he must get headaches from reading it all.
I don't think that he deserves so much negative feedback: He's so young, with so much time on his hands.
All critics must remember three things:
1. Henderson has only played two games.
2. Those games were the hardest possible to start off with.
3. Kenny bought him for potential, not immediate success.
Sunderland was Henderson's first and only other club. It would be a challenge for him to make his Anfield debut—itself a respectable challenge—against his former club. Then Arsenal away, a difficult game in terms of skill and having to close people down.
I think you'll see an improved Henderson soon enough. Be patient, Liverpool fans.
Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll Are Finding It Hard to Gel
Based on the facts that the two haven't started together and the two are yet to proivde an assist for each other, I think it's fair to say that the ₤57.5-million strike force haven't gelled yet.
The two can compliment each other's game, of that I'm certain. But, lack of playing time has greatly impaired the timeframe it's taken to perfect a perfect partnership on paper.
Maybe it's the formation. Maybe it's just bad luck. Whatever the reason, I hope it's found and a solution put into place pretty quickly.
These two playing together as well as Toshack and Keegan did is certainly a prospect and a half.
Liverpool's Bad Days Away from Home Are Finally over
The reason for this in my opinion is simple: Liverpool's style of play has changed, so they can adopt a possession-based dynamic at home to please fans, but away from home they can use quick players like Downing and Suarez to counterattack effectively.
Effectively, Liverpool soak up pressure, fight back using the wings, and then use Carroll to head the ball on goal or to a teammate.
Failing that, Liverpool can clear the ball up pitch in Andy's general direction, and he will have a chance on controlling it and starting an attack.
Martin Kelly Is a Great Player, and an England Call Up Is Inevitable
This young man will still be around come 2020; he is a great player, no doubt about it.
Against Arsenal he was solid—he had a great game. So great in fact, Fabio Capello commented on how much of an "interesting" player he was.
He will definitely be key this season, and he is a better choice than Johnson in my opinion.
Downing Was Worth the Money
Some of you may disagree, but hey, Kenny Dalgish obviously agrees with me.
Downing has been brilliant so far, taking no time to settle in. His runs are brilliant, but it is his crossing that has been so dangerous so far. I haven't actually seen him make a bad one, and it's only a matter of time before he gets an assist or two.
Liverpool Can Win the League
The time when Liverpool couldn't field a strong team week-in, week-out is gone. Liverpool could probably field two midfields—at least—that had a case to win any game.
Liverpool were unlucky not to win at Anfield against Sunderland, but against Arsenal they made amends. I'm sure Dalglish was targeting a win against Sunderland and a draw at Arsenal, so a net of four points. Liverpool have achieved that, and should they push on from here, they can beat anyone.
Thanks for the read.