Right, so Liverpool aren't playing very well at the moment and there are quite a few areas of contention. The goalkeeping position isn't one that has unified the supporters, the heart of the Liverpool defence remains a source of great debate, the midfield fails to function defensively, the attack lacks cohesion as well as menace, and the combination of new signings and injuries has caused some disruption. Right now, I don't care how Liverpool will win against Everton but it just has to happen.
Brendan Rodgers is the one tasked with making important decisions in providing Liverpool with enough of an advantage to head into October. If Liverpool win, the other fixtures on the weekend should provide an opportunity to jump at least two or three places as the three teams immediately above Liverpool have extremely tough fixtures. Hull host the champions Manchester City, Arsenal welcome North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, and West Ham travel to big Big BIG spending Manchester United. Does it matter? Maybe. Liverpool play first this weekend and joint first at 3PM BST on the following weekend. Being 7th or 8th on weekend and then 6th or 5th the following one just changes the conversation surrounding the club especially if Liverpool sit above Tottenham, Manchester United, and Everton on Sunday morning wherever Liverpool fans are.
Fixtures have been looked at on TLO over the past week by Ed and myself but maybe there'll be less misery around the club. Liverpool need wins because supporters are tense, slightly fragile even. You can notice it at Anfield because we've been here before. Many are waiting to see if last season was a false dawn and if any summer signing can make a similar impact to Philippe Coutinho or Daniel Sturridge. Will we maintain our Champions League spot thereby causing untold misery for a team or two that just will not accept failing to qualify for the 2015/16 edition. Even the penalty shoot-out against Middlesbrough FC felt like the culmination of a surprising start to the season and lasted beyond anyone's expectations with a peculiar hypnosis.
Beating Middlesbrough was the only option and if it had to be on penalties then so be it. It shouldn't have to go to that stage, but this is where the side is at right now with various areas of the team malfunctioning somewhat. It was a game where Liverpool did okay but the impending fixture reminds me that everything else is a bonus to the Premier League, even the Champions League. Attaining consistency in the Premier League enables Liverpool to feature in Europe's best competition with expected regularity and lovingly denies rival clubs from such an existence. The club has a tasty carrot to dangle in front of prospective and current players while building financial side of the club to compete at the level it should. Is anyone really worried about domestic clubs and Europe?
The FA Cup isn't until January, Liverpool have been blessed with another home fixture in the League Cup against Swansea City, and the Champions League group should be one Liverpool can navigate even with concerns surrounding the team. Failure in the cups won't be terminal but the worry for some is that Liverpool dropping out of the top four may be the start of another spell in the Champions League wilderness. Of course the upcoming games against Real Madrid matter but but but...what if we don't get there next season? Joey Barton shared his less than enthusiastic thoughts on Mario Balotelli, Raheem Sterling might be going to Real Madrid one day, and UEFA are inspecting Liverpool's finances. More reasons to worry! We...must...make...it...stop.
All this is why it's best to find somewhere to hide, cover your ears with a pillow, and check the score after the derby. It's still too early for pitchforks and inquests, but a Liverpool victory would banish some fears for a weekend or two. Thankfully, Everton have enough defensive worries to trouble Roberto Martínez in his L-shaped sofa at night. Everton's midweek League Cup experience was a harsh three nil defeat to Liverpool's next League Cup opponents and the friendly neighbours have a managed to take less points than Rodgers' stuttering side thus far. Fancy that! Still, it'd be best to avoid the first Premier League game this weekend, just in case. You never know what's below in that trapdoor.