Sanjay Nair explains why it’s important for Liverpool to get on a winning run until the turn of the year.
In another topsy-turvy start to a new Premier League where upsets have been seen right from matchday 1, most eyes would have been on Liverpool to see how they fare in what was seen as a tough beginning to the season in terms of fixtures.
It is never easy to begin the season with 4 of the 5 games being played against 3 teams that finished in the top 4 the previous season and a seemingly resurgent Chelsea team under new boss Conte.
Newly promoted Burnley was supposed to be the only guaranteed 3 points in the bag. At the end of those 5 games, however, Liverpool managed to do just the opposite. Leicester, Arsenal and Chelsea were beaten in a display of devastating attacking football, while somehow failing to beat Spurs despite completely playing them off the park and in between losing the plot and the match against Burnley.
10 points out of a possible 15 from a fixture list like that would gladly have been taken before the season started. More than the points gained, it is the manner in which we have at times annihilated opposing defences that has stood out.
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11 goals scored, 7 different scorers and not a single one from the strikers shows there are many options available in that department. Klopp has succeeded in ensuring Liverpool strikes ample fear in the minds of teams already with their accurate passing and
Klopp has succeeded in ensuring Liverpool strikes ample fear in the minds of teams already with their accurate passing and pacy attacks. Though we have conceded 8 goals in 5 games, the defence does look to be getting more stable with every game played. Mane and Matip have most fans labelling them as the buys of the season already.
Now is the time, however, for Liverpool to consolidate this good start. There are 13 games before we play current leaders Manchester City, with only Manchester United and the Merseyside derby against Everton the real challenges in terms of depth and quality of opposition.
With Man City proving very early that they will be the team to beat this season, it is very important that Liverpool stays within touching distance before their showdown scheduled for the last day of 2016.
Time and again we have flattered to deceive and let good opportunities pass us by when it mattered most. With the confidence of the team being sky high and without the distraction of Europe, as disappointing as that might be, Liverpool should maximise the chances of staying in the hunt for the title and will do their chances wonders by going on to win possibly 11 or 12 of the next 13 games.
Liverpool has done it before, as recently as in the 2013/14 season with SAS in their prime, and hence it is not something new for most of these players. Again, Klopp will need to be at his motivational and inspirational best as everything good we do now comes from the intensity of this man.
If all goes to plan, the January transfer window could also turn out to be a fruitful one and the team can look to add to their depth, especially in the much-maligned left back position and maybe another striker.
Even a Pep-inspired Man City or the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal will then start to feel the heat and hopefully this will see them drop points along the way as well.
All in all, the stage is set for a cracking time for the Anfield faithful, who are always there buzzing and creating a fantastic atmosphere for the team. The players just need to go out there, enjoy themselves and grind out the results even when the opposition comes out wanting to blunt everything thrown at them.
A tough ask requiring immense and sustained levels of concentration and focus, but one that definitely needs to be achieved if we are to silence our critics.
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