NEIL was joined by Mike Girling, Craig Rimmer and Sachin Nakrani after Liverpool’s plating of Arsenal.
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‘plating’ was a good way of putting it. Liverpool were awesome again against a challenging team yesterday, roll on Fulham this Wednesday!
Chris Bascombe can suck Brendan’s big ‘un…
I’m not one of those who analyses football too much. I’m happy to just celebrate each win or get aggressive if we don’t win, then wait till the TAW podcast on a Monday to find out how we played and who did well. So this isn’t going to be a revelation but Suarez and Sturridge have formed a good partnership. Coutinho looked like he’d formed a good partnership with Sturridge last season and earlier this season and Henderson and Suarez seem to have a good understanding. That’s what football’s about. Anyone whose ever played in a team of individuals will know it rarely works no matter how good the personnel are. You need a chemistry. If we’re honest, Coutinho had a quiet patch after his return from injury until recently. In the past 12 months Sterling has had us questioning him. Suarez, though always brilliant has had some dark clouds following him and so on. Now though, everyone’s hit form / enjoying their game. Not only are those 3 partnerships all flourishing simultaneously but Sterling’s added to that by genuinely becoming one of the Prem’s most exciting players and then there’s Gerrard. The truth is, the 6 players mentioned above are all one of the leagues most ‘in form’ players in their position and have all found an understanding between themselves. Saturday was the fruit of what happens when it all comes together. It wasn’t a one off though. We’re seeing it regularly. This could well be the early days of a group of players that go down in LFC history. So, why am I stating the obvious?
Well, it’s mostly to try and convince myself. I’m riding the crest of the wave like everyone else. I’ve seen the table and fixtures to come and like everyone else I’ve got mates telling me we can win the league. I don’t feel it inside though. If it were City or Chelsea in our position and playing like us I’d be saying ‘write them off at your peril’. If it were Spurs or Everton I’d be saying ‘they’re gonna fade soon’. So, It’s not down to ‘points behind’ or ‘games to come etc’ it’s down to my psyche. I don’t feel like we’re in the same league yet as the top clubs. It’s definitely a hangover from where we’ve been. The progression is almost happening too quick for me to keep up. So, I’ve been trying to work out this weekend where we’re really at and although my maths ability is laughable for an adult I think we’re 85% there, in relation to City and Chelsea.
Our home form is the stuff of champions. We can’t ask for more. It’s our away form that’s stopping us from being ‘absolute’ title contenders. We’ve dropped 20 points from a possible 36. I think at Anfield we’ve taken 34 from 39. So, in my estimation we need to improve our away form by 30%. That would have given us a further 6 or 7 points and put us top (had we been 30% better away from home all season). That’s only – for every 3 draws / losses we need to win 1 of them. So, no Toure mistake at West Brom, not letting Newcastle off the hook with 10 men and no Mignolet error against City and it’s a different outcome. It’s not a lot. Fine margins. So I may or may not be right in saying if we need to be 30% better away and 0% better at home then divided by home and away we need to be 15% better overall, haha. I think the point is we’re not far away and it’s about time I got my head around that and realise what a brilliant team we are. The evidence is right in front of me and all the fans of other clubs are telling me how good we are.
Finally, the only worry is if we lose Suarez. I’m usually even more pessimistic about our chances of keeping him than I am about Prince’s music and so tend to just enjoy it while he’s here. Now, I’m starting to think with our team spirit, which we all know is important (I can’t see any other top club with it), the chemistry / understanding, the pace, the passing and the flair, but most of all, with the rapid rate of our improvement he’s got no reason to go. He doesn’t need to leave for money or CL football (hopefully). We’re almost as good a prospect as anyone at the minute. Bit of fuckin sun would be nice though. Then we’d be attracting the Messi’s of this world.
Just back to being negative again for a minute, it’s my experience that every time a league game against opposition like Fulham (i.e. shit) is this important we end up fuckin it up. It’s a massive test of our steel.
P.s. Someone said on the podcast we need to put a run of 4 wins together and that we haven’t done that. I wasn’t taking it literally but we have. At the start of that run we were 7 points behind the leaders. 4 games later we were top for Christmas.
Neil, you hit the nail on the head re Coutinho playing central midfield. He is hugely combative and extremely intelligent there and you get sublime passes from him without him being up behind the strikers.
Each game we have struggled (perhaps bar the Hull game where we just ran around with our dicks in our hands all game) it’s been because BRod has pushed Coutinho forwards to be closer to the strikers, trying to be more “aggressive” and “attacking”.
Problem is, that just makes our midfield very lightweight with just Stevie plus one other there and teams just walk through them. That 3rd man in the midf makes all the difference, and with Sterling and one of the strikers helping out in the wide areas and able to tear upfield at a rate of knots we’re able to really pressure teams in the middle of the pitch and transition to attack incredibly fast.
That’s the secret. If Rodgers takes one out of the midfield we struggle. It’s that simple.
When talking about the growing confidence and assurance of the younger players I would guess that Steve Peters must be a huge part of that? BR should get credit for bringing him in , but the actual transformational work I would guess is more down to the Dr.
Niel its March 17th and we’ve beat Citeh on a 10 game winning streak were two points clear with 4 to go. You said it here first that we would go on a run and win the league. Neil, MVP stuff of legends son. YNWA from Boston.