The Premier League match days seem to get more interesting as they get closer to the Christmas period. What you think you knew, you realised that you did know. What we didn't know, we found out that we should have known. What others thought they didn't know, they actually did but it's loot late. That's fate.
Liverpool fans were wondering how an advantage on the scoreboard could have been halted on Saturday. Liverpool are still in that development stage where progress is met with unlikely results and predictable/unpredictable setbacks. That's okay because the league is in a strange place this season and neutrals will be interested to see how it pans out. In fact, anyone following the English Premier League will wonder how this will all end.
It's strange to think that Brendan Rodgers' side continues to sit in second place and that is quite an achievement for player s as well as staff when it comes to Liverpool's current season. Liverpool's fortune against the best EPL sides is decent: played 3, won one. Drew one, and lost one. The victory over Manchester United revealed that Liverpool didn't possess a soft underbelly so victory was a possibility. The game against Arsenal was a valuable lesson for all concerned. The draw against Everton may not match what Chelsea and Arsenal did over the weekend but it matters little. Points will be dropped by major EPL sides in the run-up to the Christmas schedule to accommodate any side that is progressing.
Everton away is a tough place to come to and after everything in the derby, fans wearing blue lamented the loss of what should have been a key victory in the Roberto Martinez revival story. Everton were good last season, of that there is no doubt. However, the verve with which the opposition attacked Liverpool was slightly ferocious. It was surprising that Liverpool faced such an opponent and ETW couldn't quite believe as Victor Meldrew might say in that match. Liverpool have noted problems in midfield and an aversion to defending set pieces. Plenty has been discussed in reaction and match day articles on the site. Is it frustrating because we know what the side needs to work on? Or are we disheartened because even more progress can be made in light of few convincing performances to date? Maybe we are hopeful that changes will be made but the side is competing nonetheless and that is clearly a good thing.
Performances against the best sides have been disheartening
Liverpool could and should be at a stage now where Brenan Rodgers can look to tweak his first eleven gradually and in the previous transfer window, Rodgers kept mentioning "death by football" but Liverpool looks like a counter attacking side that is ready to allow the opposition initiative in taking and controlling the game. Liverpool struggle to hold the ball in these games and one wonders whether Rodgers will attempt to restructure the midfield to take advantage of current fortuitous and merited standing in the league. Manchester United's draw away to Cardiff and Tottenham's heavy defeat to Man City illustrates the potential Liverpool have to take points off the bigger sides. Eventually, performances catch up with results and Liverpool cannot continue to rely on a dazzling attack to be competing as effectively competing and dominating good sides reveal how far Rodgers has taken Liverpool to date.
Can Rodgers afford to mess up this opportunity in the season of transition?
Liverpool's performances against the best sides are promising
Liverpool are flat track bullies and that's what will matter the most in finishing in the top four. Liverpool's style of play is irrelevant againt the league's better sides as we're still developing. Rodgers has to contend with a club legend who remains a potent set-piece weapon as well as the midfielder with the most vision. Naturally, Liverpool's manager still has to accommodate a captain who may be slowing down markedly in speed an stamina yet there is use out of the player. Liverpool have a W1D1L1 record and if a similar distribution is maintained throughout the season, it is only a case of handling the weaker sides in the league. As it stands, playing our rivals is important for the results we can get and performances can come later. Liverpool's performances will continue to be disjointed at times but perhaps Rodgers' men will hit a vein of good patch of displays matching final scores. After all, last season saw many excellent and worthy showings with very little to show for it.
Is this not eminently preferable for all concerned?