FOOTBALL supporters can be fickle, and I certainly am at times. At any football club around the world there are moments when you really admire a player, and then there are moments you basically despise them, look no further than Dejan Lovren for the latter, writes LACHLAN BALLINGALL.
The game itself is emotional, so it is no surprise many supporters are like that. One minute you feel that the football gods are with you, then the next you feel as if they may be against you, or maybe that’s just what it’s like to support Liverpool.
If there’s one player that has the ability to test the emotions of every Liverpool supporter, then it’s Alberto Moreno.
Let’s be honest, his career under Jürgen Klopp at Anfield looked dead and buried at the end of last season. The opening day of the 2016-17 Premier League season against Arsenal felt like the final nail in the coffin. His challenge that gave The Gunners a penalty coupled with his horrendous positioning for Theo Walcott’s goal, lead many, including me, to thinking it was the end.
What made it worse for the Spaniard was the fact he was coming off the back of an atrocious Europa League final against his former club Sevilla the season before that, so patience was thin within the supporter base and seemingly the club’s management.
The inevitable finally happened over the remainder of last season. James Milner, who despite being versatile has never really been a left back, was given the duties for the season. Someone who was a central midfielder by trade regularly being picked ahead of a natural left back, it seemed destined to be the end for Moreno. Two starts despite being fit for all 38 league games last season told the story.
After Liverpool brought in promising left back Andy Robertson from Hull City this summer, all the background noise suggested that the club were just waiting for the right suitors to move Moreno on, but then the miraculous happened.
The pacey full back looked a different player in every single minute he played throughout pre season, including his most notable performance at the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich. No one wanted to say anything too soon, as most Reds knew he still had plenty to prove — as he still does.
With Sevilla at Anfield for the first group game of Liverpool’s Champions League campaign on Wednesday night, Moreno had been on a decent run throughout the Premier League games he had played so far this season without being outstanding.
As the game kicked off any nerves coming from supporters regarding Moreno vanished quickly. He was getting up and down the left flank with real confidence and had the beating of Sevilla’s right back for most of the game.
In attack, he was linking up with the front three well. The way he played the one-touch football with Jordan Henderson outside the box was picturesque, and then to put the ball on a plate for Roberto Firmino to score gave a glimpse of what he adds going forward when at his best.
Defensively, he wasn’t too bad either. There will always be room for improvement when it comes to defending, as that has always been the area of his game under most scrutiny, but he has looked better in the games he has played thus far.
That’s not to say Moreno is all of a sudden a world beater, but he’s proven to be one of the brighter sparks of a defensive unit that have flattered to deceive so far this season.
He may not have won everybody over yet, but if he continues on this upward trajectory there is no reason he can’t still be at the club for years to come.