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Gerrard: "We Have Ourselves To Blame"

Three consecutive victories to start the season should have Liverpool fans buoyant ahead of the visit of Manchester United on Sunday. Instead, the injury Armageddon of Tuesday night has added to the latent gloom and miserabilism prevalent amongst many Reds.

Kolo is watching you...
Kolo is watching you...
Laurence Griffiths

Those feelings you're feeling -- uncomfortable, aren't they? That poignant mixture of giddy thrill and unnatural optimism arising from six points out of six and dramatic late cup progression; the faint wave of uneasy biliousness when you ponder the visit of Mr. Giant Eyes and his Mancunian champions to Anfield on Sunday; the barely restrained rage brought on by observing Tottenham Hotspur buying all the players and the gnawing anxiety caused by the cluster of injuries to three of our absurdly thin squad -- it's a heady and disconcerting cocktail of emotions that has overpowered many over the last couple of days.

We're an emotional bunch, us LFC fans, and the oscillation between states of exultant beatitude and maudlin frustration is one we are all too familiar with. These last few weeks, however, have proved particularly vexatious, as the unfettered joy of three great wins has been compromised by the club's ongoing inertia in the transfer market and the loss of Everybody's New Favourite Person (TM), Kolo Toure, to injury. That the long-awaited and finally-arrived left back, Aly Cissokho, got crocked within moments of making his home debut, and a worryingly fragile Joe Allen looks to have done himself further damage, makes a bad scenario even less palatable.

It would be all too easy to rage and bleat and let's be honest, it was all too easy, so rage and bleat we did, until the realisation that the team has won it's first three games of the season took the edge off a little. Now is not the time for dwelling in a glass case of emotion, especially if one goes by the moniker of Brendan Rodgers. As far as recruitment goes, the manager will have submitted his wish-list and be ready to charm potential additions with his Irish brogue and effervescent demeanour, but essentially, it's out of his hands. He can focus solely on the onerous task of trying to extend the team's wonderful run against David Moyes' charges at the weekend.

When one hears that Toure has "opened up his groin" it his hard to stifle a puerile cackle until the reality hits home. Liverpool's best defender so far this season, a hugely experienced campaigner, will miss what for many of our more tribal fans is the biggest game of the season. There has been an undeniable accumulation of momentum at LFC thus far and Toure has been central to it's genesis. His displays have been simultaneously mad and immense, but more than anything else, he has been a presence, a huge character in a team of quiet men. His loss will be felt, and captain Steven Gerrard has admitted that it was the Ivorian's own team-mates who must bear much of the responsibility for his injury, failing as they did to see the game out in the regulation 90 minutes.

"There is no doubt playing extra-time was a blow for us," Gerrard conceded. "Kolo's injury came in extra-time. He wouldn't have done that in normal time. We have ourselves to blame for his injury. We have to take responsibility for that. There's an international break coming up, so fingers crossed he doesn't miss too many games for Liverpool. Sunday is a massive game. Kolo has started the season very strongly and we will be very disappointed if he is not fit for the weekend."

Gerrard admits that the team was left feeling "slightly disappointed" after the victory against Notts County, with many first-teamers having "played too much football" ahead of the United game. The plan had been to have the game "done and dusted" in order to allow some players to rest. the reality proved to be far less idyllic and potentially quite damaging. Gerrard, however, in true captain's spirit, tried to accentuate the positive.

"The only good thing is because we are at the start of the season, everybody is fit and should be fresh, so I hope it shouldn't be too much of a problem," the skipper posited. "The game got too easy. When you have a lot of inexperience in your team, you can sometimes take your foot off the gas and get punished. we were in complete control and it looked like we were going to win by three, four or five. But when you have a lot of youngsters in your team, who maybe don't know how to see a game out, sometimes you can make it very difficult for yourself, and that's what we did."

What is becoming clear is that fans of Liverpool Football Club need to strap in for an emotionally draining few days which will see the conclusion of the club's dealings in the transfer market and the face-off with that lot from up the M62. Lest we go full Burgundy, it is important to retain some balance. Liverpool have made their best start since the mid-Nineties, Liverpool have more points than Manchester United and Liverpool have the Premier League's form striker, who also masquerades as a community outreach dancer. Let's finish with the Danny Wriggle.

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