Blame it on rust or a visit to his former club or simply call it a continuation of his struggles from the first half of the season, but Sunday’s trip to face Southampton wasn’t an especially good one for defender Dejan Lovren. In the end, though, despite his own shaky performance, Liverpool got the points they desperately needed and find themselves two off Manchester United in fourth and three off Arsenal in third.
"It was an amazing win," reflected the Croatian centre half following Sunday’s nervy 2-0 victory over the side that remains a point ahead of them. "It was a tough game for us, and we knew when we arrived here that it would be difficult, so it’s a massive three points. We did a great job, and we’re a step closer to the top four. We have a lot of talent here and we can go higher and higher [in future seasons] because everyone is so young."
Liverpool no longer have the league’s youngest squad as they did in Brendan Rodgers’ first season at the club, but they’re not far off, with an average age of just under 26 meaning only Chelsea and Southampton have younger squads. At the other end, Manchester City’s average age is highest at just under 30, meaning the big spenders will have to keep on restocking with expensive talent to avoid a crisis over the next few seasons.
As for Liverpool, things may have started off badly this season as the club adjusted to life—and took time to accept a different tactical approach was needed—after Luis Suarez. However, with five wins, two draws, and 17 points of a possible 21 so far in the second half of the season and topping the Premier League’s form table, it’s fair to say they’re a side back on the right track and that once again they appear to have a bright future.
"With the talent and youth," added Lovren, "I think we can achieve whatever we want, whatever we imagine. We just need to keep working hard and giving our best on the pitch."