Following a 6-1 thumping of Leeds United, Liverpool are back. At least for a few days. At least until they play their next game. For at least a little while, though, we get to celebrate a top performance and result in a season that hasn’t had much to celebrate.
And according to midfielder Curtis Jones, the biggest reason we’re all sitting here in a good mood this week following a Liverpool game is thanks to the team’s energetic high press deployed on the weekend.
“You can talk about the goals and we scored six, but the biggest thing was the energy and determination,” Jones said. “We were up against a team that sat deep so we had to risk the ball a bit more, but [when we gave] away the ball the whole team worked their socks off.
“It’s not been a season the way we thought it would go but we’ve stuck together as a team and we’ve got the fans there as well, so we’re all as one. There were six great goals, so it was a great day out there.”
Liverpool’s biggest problem this season isn’t that they’ve suddenly become a bad team, though. It’s that they’ve become an inconsistent team. Whether it’s down to an aging core or players still jaded from the exertions of past seasons, the result is the same.
It’s been a 6-1 one week against Leeds United—but a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture. It’s a 7-0 against Manchester United one week—and a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture. And it’s a 1-0 defeat in their most recent game against Bournemouth last month—following a 9-0 vicotry in the reverse fixture earlier in the year.
Add it up, and that’s 24 goals scored and six conceded in six games. An average scoreline of 4-1 with the aggregate underlying stats painting Liverpool as one of the best teams in the league. And somehow, preposterously, a record of three wins and three losses.
Still, those highs suggest there’s still quality in this side. The question is whether they can get in the right new pieces in such that that quality can once again be married to some level of basic consistency.
Some of that might come from Jones, still just 22 years old but having struggled through injury issues that have set back his development and led to questions about his Liverpool future. But if he can help bring some of that consistency back over the final eight games, he might yet have a future in Red.
“I just love the game and I love being around the team and having a chance,” he added. “I’ve started three on the spin, so the confidence is high but it’s not through the roof. I’ve still got a long way to go. I’m just taking each game as it comes and I’m happy.”