I've been traveling for much of the past week, and I had planned to write a (somewhat) joking post here about how Liverpool's terrible away form was such a downer that it's even affecting my mindless free time (I haven't so much as considered playing my FIFA 07 season in weeks), but I'm going to try and go in a different direction.
Part of my travels kept me from seeing the Boro match – considering the result, I couldn't have missed much – but where do things stand from here? Certainly, a good run can be had and fourth in the league is still possible, but it's going to take a tremendous turnaround, psychologically, to make that happen.
There's plenty of good to be had, but for a season that started with such incredible expectations, will Rafa be able to rally them? What brings the players to Melwood every day now? The Champions League push is still alive and kicking, but is that enough? I can't imagine that alone will motivate players for the next five-plus months. C'mon lads, let's make another Istanbul! It sounds nice, but then there's messy fixtures with Watford, Man City and other middling Premiership sides that also require motivation. Plus, with morale down, the home matches in league that formerly could be taken for granted – for lack of a better term – could now sneak up and bite the boys in the back side.
I'd love to find some promising positive side to things right now, but an energized run for fourth in the league just isn't very motivating right now. I mean, with adjusted expectations that take into account the present reality, a wild success would be to finish third.
More thoughts tomorrow about why not winning the Premiership this season is especially tough to take. It's a half-formed theory, but I'll take a shot at it in 24 hours time.