It must be just a little vexing to be a Liverpool player these days. Not because there is disharmony at the club; in fact, most Liverpool fans will have to significantly flex their recollection muscles to remember a time during which there was such a collection of ability and unity of purpose at Anfield.
Its not the results either; the Reds are delivering the best opening to a top-flight league campaign in the club’s 126-year history, taking 87% of available points, while being obscenely stingy on the defensive end without being boring in attack. One could quibble with their performance in the Champions League — where they will require a win over Napli in the final group game to advance to the knockout rounds — not living up to the expectations set during last year’s exhilarating run to the final, but if we’re being honest, Reds fans would in all likelihood prefer a Premier League title right about now.
No, the source of any latent frustration on Merseyside would have to be caused by the fact that despite their record-setting pace, the Reds somehow remain in second place, behind a Manchester City team that look hellbent on besting their own ridiculous 100-point performance from last year. The Citizens’ 104-point pace is requiring nothing short of perfection from the Anfield outfit every week, and it currently looks as though the clash between the two sides in March could be as decisive a single fixture as the league has seen in years.
It’s a daunting task, for sure, but James Milner has faith in his current club’s prospects.
“It’s a good start. There’s a long way to go, though,” the vice-captain — never one to dabble in hyperbole — told the club’s official site.
“We just want to keep churning out the wins and keep getting the results. It’s a good start, City keep winning as well but we know there is a long way to go so we’ve got to keep going and I think we can improve a lot as well, so that’s a pleasing thing. It’s not like we are flat out and getting these results, we can improve in areas all of the time which is pleasing.
“If we can keep getting better, which this squad will, we will be dangerous.”
The square-headed number seven does have a point; despite their impressive points haul, the Reds have yet to look as fluid or deadly offensively as they did at this point last season, which indicates that there could in fact be more to come from Jürgen Klopp’s team, fanciful as that may seem given their record.
All things point to that improvement — one that would see the club flirting with genuine perfection — being necessary too, so it’s a good job the second-in-command believes it possible. Another chance to take that step arrives on Saturday. Hopefully, the Reds will take it.