Liverpool are better than their results of the past month. That much is clear to anyone who has watched them play. Still, what matters isn’t how well you play or how slick your attacking moves can look. What matters is whether you score more goals than the opposition, and Liverpool are failing by that metric.
It means they look to already have lost touch with the league leaders. It means they look far from assured of advancing in Europe. It means constant reminders of last summer’s frustrating transfer failings and questions about the lack of impact made by at least one of the new arrivals. Steven Gerrard, though, has faith.
“The league doesn’t lie,” Gerrard admitted on Sky this week. “Liverpool are where they are, but what I would say is I’m really enjoying watching them at the moment. I love the manager. I think he has taken this team and the club forward. I can see Jurgen is a little bit frustrated at the moment but we all are.
“Of course it could have been better if chances had gone in or errors could have been avoided, but we are seven games in and Liverpool are capable of going on a long run winning. I’m confident this season can be a success, whether that be in the league or in Europe or the FA Cup. I’m a big believer in this manager.”
The good news is that while Liverpool look like they’ve lost touch with the league leaders, they’re still in the thick of the top four race—and a win against Manchester United after the international break would go a long way towards making even one of those league leaders, the two Manchester clubs, appear within reach.
And in Europe, the good news is that the entirety of Group E looks an unresolved traffic jam after the first two rounds—Liverpool haven’t set themselves apart the way their performances have suggested they should have, but so too have they not been left behind by anybody. Qualification remains a realistic goal.
Still, it’s been a similar story for a few weeks now, ever since it became clear Liverpool were on a poor run of form, generally playing well but regularly failing to turn that into wins. For now, the club can—just barely— survive on good play while everyone waits for the results to come. They can’t for much longer.