Liverpool may be in transition this season, but this is a campaign that could quite quickly turn spectacular if they keep trending in the right way…
THERE was a moment in the first half yesterday when Joe Gomez took the ball from a centre circle and strode through the West Ham midfield.
From my back row seat in the Main Stand (lovely views of the North Wales coast from the concourse) I wasn’t sure it was Joe at first. He was the last person I expected to see weaving his way through a forest of legs, but there he was. Dropping shoulders all over the shop. It was a hell of a run. Gutsy too.
Joe Gomez playing in and marching through the middle of the park. From right back. When you think you’ve seen it all before.
He was great too. As was Curtis Jones — both men who tend to receive frowns from the wider audience — who harried and chased until his lungs gave out. Joe and Curtis are doing new things and did them well against an impressive West Ham. I thought The Hammers were great.
And so were Liverpool. This was a genuine contest and a spectacle. We spend so much time just willing our lads on that we fail to see two sides outthink each other. This was as fascinating as it was enjoyable.
Fascinating and enjoyable just about sums up Liverpool 2.0. If this is a transitional season, then I wished we had more of them in the ‘90s when that label was affixed to almost every campaign. This seems so much different.
I’ve never been a fan of the term ‘transitional season.’ Who the hell wants 2012-13 again?
I don’t want to be told that we’re changing things so maybe let’s not get our hopes up, eh? Sod that. I’m not giving up on my utterly unrealistic hopes.
But transitional it is. A new midfield with no number six of sorts. Do you need a number six? We’ve been crying out for one all summer and then we get one who plays passes like Pablo Aimar. We needed more energy in there last season and now we’ve got a Hungarian lad who probably jogged home afterwards. To Southport.
More importantly, we’ve got five wins and a draw in our first six games. That smacks of consistency more than experiment.
There’s only one side who wouldn’t be happy with that and they’re frankly freakish. For all the back-slapping at St James’ and Old Trafford at the weekend, they’d love our start. Seriously, I heard every phone-in yesterday and we were barely mentioned. Good. I like that. Five wins and a draw.
That draw, though. Chelsea. Feels like two dropped now, doesn’t it? Ah well, we can’t go back.
And the best thing? This is nothing like the finished article. There are still some concerns — defensive cover etc — but I’d rather be facing them from a position of 16 points from a possible 18.
I love games like this as much as I do 7-0 wins. West Ham gave The Reds a headache before the first game with Paqueta in particular sewing things together. An early 2-0 lead wouldn’t have flattered them.
Given his comments earlier in the week, Antonio should have googled ‘Clinton Morrison Liverpool’ before kick off. I’m not sure how he missed that. It was the second worst miss of the day. Sorry, Darwin.
But we grew into it. moved the ball quicker when we needed and slowed it down more. Their equaliser wasn’t met with panic or even dismay. We just worked it out again and sorted it out in the second half. Diogo Jota’s goal was met with applause rather than roars, such was our dominance at that point. That was my view of it anyway, though I had to deal with cloud cover where I was.
It’s still early days but this feels like fun. Joe Gomez strolling through midfields in September.
He’ll be shooting next.