Pre-season games are terrible and are good for nothing except to ensure teams start off their season with at least a few injuries and a dented ego or two. A 3-0 loss to Napoli in a game that doesn’t matter is hardly a cause for too much concern or conversation, but it’s still a 3-0 loss. Member of last season’s Best Defense in Europe and this pre-season’s A Lot Less Impressive Defense, Andy Robertson, believes that it’s all going to come together when the stars of the team return.
“The lads coming back, even if they don’t play, it gives you a lift when they train and with the way they go about their business,” Robertson told the club’s website after this weekend’s loss.
“It doesn’t matter if they play on Wednesday [against Lyon] or not, that’s completely up to the manager three days in, but that’s irrelevant: if they’re back in training and back around the place then it makes a difference.
“Mo and Bobby are two of our main men and Alisson was magnificent last season. They are huge characters in the changing room as well so that’ll be massive for us, and then Sadio will come back the following week.”
The team will need at least a few games to get back into sync with one another before the season kicks off, and Wednesday’s game against Napoli and Sunday’s Community Shield final against Manchester City should be prime opportunities for that. That said, it’s still not particularly promising that Napoli (and some of the teams that Liverpool played in the US) found it so easy to get past the Reds’ defense and there probably needs to be some reckoning on how to improve the situation in the back.
Robertson definitely thinks something must be done before the City game next week.
“Napoli outplayed us and outdone us, really, so it’s something that we’ll now need to look at because a week today our season starts and it doesn’t get any tougher than playing Man City,” he said. “We need to be a hell of a lot better than we were today and that’s what this week coming up is for.
“When the season comes I’ve got no doubt that we’ll be ready, but we can’t get in the habit of losing or drawing because then it starts to sink in and you start getting used to it and that’s not what we need.
“So we need to start winning games: we’ve got a game Wednesday, hopefully we can get a result there, and then we go full throttle into the season and hopefully we have similar to last season.”