Hey, hey, it's almost Saturday, which means we're gearing up for the last league match before we're forced to endure another long, pointless, soul-crushing international break. So go ahead and get really pumped for the weekend, just know that come Saturday afternoon, your life has no purpose. Unless you're into other stuff, in which case, nerd.
* Everyone's favorite topic is back en masse: LIVERPOOL SPENT MONEY ON PLAYERS THIS YEAR!!! Now it's time to judge them after a handful of matches, baselessly speculate on their possible resale value, and keep driving home that players that have joined the club shouldn't be referred to on the sole basis of their given name, but on the amount the club paid to buy them. Players are nothing without their price tag, especially when it's mandatory that you introduce them as "£35 million-man." "Only made the bench against United man..." doesn't have the same impact.
I don't think I have as much of a problem with Norman Hubbard's evaluation of the year's signings as I do the continued emphasis on costcostcostcost and nownownownow. What better time to gauge whether or not a player is worth £16 million than after seven starts? If not now, when?
We know there's a few different sides to the "settling in" argument, and while the one that calls for continued starts despite poor performances needs to be wrapped in carpet and beaten with aluminum bats, the one the holds some water is how we judge their worth, if that's actually a thing that we need to do. I get that Liverpool spent quite a bit of money in the past year, and that without discussing cost we basically have no reliable way to evaluate players, but maybe we hold off judgment for a little while. Then again, if they all start setting the world alight, we can just start ignoring their price tag and talk more about how they dive or something.
* Saturday's match with Swansea either looks really tricky or not at all concerning depending on who you talk to, but the fact that it's at Anfield should give Liverpool enough of an edge. However, as Lucas points out during a discussion with the offal, the club's home form so far this season hasn't exactly been the most dominant:
"The results may not have been the best just yet but there are a lot of new players that came in and it always takes time to settle and build an understanding. The points that we have dropped, especially in the home games, could be crucial in the end but I am still really confident that we will have a good season. We have to make sure we get the points we need, especially at home, because that will be very important for us.
We know we have to improve our finishing but I think if we are creating so many chances, that means we are doing something right. If you look at the number of chances we have created throughout the whole season and think about the number of times we have hit the post or the
bearbar, then there are plenty of positives."
Liverpool are unbeaten in their five home matches thus far, although there's an argument to be made that the three draws all could have ended with three points for the hosts. And, as Lucas points out, the six points dropped are largely down to buckets of chances that went begging. In both wins (3-1 over Bolton and 2-1 over Wolves) Liverpool scored twice before conceding, and while in the three draws they also notched first, they conceded an equalizer and were unable to find another.
Liverpool are tied for the league lead in home draws, and of the top seven teams in the table, only Newcastle have any draws on their record, and for a side that some picked to be relegated, you can argue that's more than satisfactory. Of the rest, only City are perfect, but with a maximum of three points lost for each of Chelsea, Spurs, United, and Arsenal, Liverpool are still off the pace. It's just not good enough regardless of the competition, and if we're talking about "fortresses," it's clear that Liverpool have plenty of room for improvement at Anfield.
* There's a Kenny Dalglish grab-bag to close out the day, both from his pre-match press conference earlier in the day. First is the requisite Steven Gerrard injury update:
"Since they found the infection, Steven has really been progressing extremely well. Everything is positive for him. They found the infection and I suppose it's a wee bit like flu - you know you've got it, but you don't know where it came from. But they are treating and it is responding really well, so it's positive for him. It is nothing more sinister."
Usually I'd scoff at the use of the word "sinister," but given who we're talking about, it's probably fair, especially now that it's just outside the realm of possibility that he'll develop gangrene after two good displays against Chelsea and City post-international break.
Dalglish moves on to everyone's other favorite subject---Luis Suarez, Patrice Evra, and the investigation into claims of racism. And, even though it's party line stuff, it's interesting to hear him talk about making sure that a "perpetrator" being punished. Which I guess means that he's anticipating punishment for Luis Suarez, a third party we've yet to hear about, or he's asserting that Evra's claims are false and deserving of punishment. Regardless, we can probably all agree that we'd love for the saga to go away, which would be nice.
Except for the small fact that, whether or not this reaches any sort of conclusion, racism on the pitch and off isn't really going anywhere. But right, let's get to that conclusion and shift the focus to that black friend you have that proves you're completely free of prejudice. Colorblindness, dig it!
That's it for today, and we'll be back tomorrow with more news ahead of the preview for Swansea. In the meantime, given Liverpool's obsession with money, consider much more appropriate programming set to debut on LFC.tv: