Liverpool spent much of their first season under Brendan Rodgers looking somewhat uncertain; tentative as they sought out a new identity under a new manager. That manager, too, seemed at times to still be finding his feet after having taken on the biggest job of his young career, and occasionally the results left as much doubt as promise.
It didn't take long into his second season, though, for things to start to click into place, and the results of the players beginning to feel comfortable with Rodgers' ways as well as Rodgers' attempts to adjust his approach to better suit the talent on hand have led to a thrilling, attacking side. It's also led to a group that, in Rodgers' words, is fearless.
"The team we've put together the mentality is to be fearless," said Liverpool's sophomore manager. "It doesn't matter who we play, and with all due respect to them because they've got world class players, but it's about ourselves and the confidence we have to play. There's no pressure on them—just go and play. Any pressure there is I'll take."
In past years, Liverpool were often a side that choked on pressure. Given an opportunity to climb the table or build off a promising result, it could seem inevitable they would instead stumble. Now, despite unceasing talk of the pressure the players must be under in the midst of what is shaping up to be the club's best chance at a title in the Premier League era, there have been only positive results.
Any questions regarding pressure have been answered with nine wins in a row and a side as yet undefeated in the league since the new year began. That pressure has seen the players respond with hard-fought victories against stubborn opponents like West Ham and Sunderland to go along with thrashings of Everton, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham.
What happens next, whether Liverpool can finally break their title drought and win it all for the first time since the formation of the Premier League, is anyone's guess. With each win and passing week, though, it's become clear that what Rodgers believes is the truth—that this is one confident, fearless Liverpool side. Whatever happens next, that's made for one hell of a ride.