Liverpool’s last four league games have seen the defending champions score one goal and drop nine points, conceding their position as league leaders and dropping to fourth in the table—a point ahead of Spurs and two ahead of Everton, who have a game in hand.
For some, it’s a glass half empty moment, a side riddled with injuries falling off as others surge and, with key players likely out for the season, questions as to how they get back on track. For others, like captain Jordan Henderson, the glass might be little more half full.
“We need to score goals to win games,” Henderson said following Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United, who have pushed themselves past Liverpool in the table in recent weeks. “I’m not talking just about the front three, by the way. I’m talking about everyone.
“Midfielders, full-backs getting into the box, set-pieces. Everybody can chip in. We need to start doing that quickly—just that little bit of luck dropping to someone or ricocheting off someone and going in, because we had good enough chances to win the game.
“But, performance level I think we can be pleased with. I think we gave everything to try to win the game but, unfortunately, just couldn’t find that goal. Which we find ourselves keeping saying that over the last few weeks. That needs to change quickly.”
Liverpool, to give them credit at a difficult time, haven’t played as badly as their recent record of three draws and a loss might suggest, as the team have created 5.34 expected goals in while conceding 3.25 expected goals against in that time as per Understat.
Still, that’s hardly a dominant spread—it means that Liverpool have on average been 0.52 expected goals better than their opponents, per game, over their past four league games. Or, it’s not just that Liverpool haven’t been especially clinical in recent weeks.
For Henderson, though, for a team that’s done as much and won as much as Liverpool has over the past few seasons, a poor month isn’t the end of the world or reason to make major changes. It’s a reason to keep the faith; to believe their talent will show through.
“Sometimes it can happen in football,” he added. “We’ve just got to keep working hard and not think about it too much, because the quality we possess going forward is frightening. We just need to change our mentality a little bit and make sure we’re ruthless.”