Ten points from the opening seven league games isn't what Liverpool or the club's fans would have expected heading into the season. After challenging for the title and the buoyant mood that greeted a return to Europe, it's been something of a wet thud of reality rather than a celebratory start to the new campaign.
For once, though, the international break seems to come at just the right time for Liverpool: in time for a handful of key players to regain their fitness. It also, rather than interrupting a run of strong form, comes following a rather poorer run that ended with a hard-fought but generally not all that impressive victory over West Brom.
"This can be a springboard," said Jordan Henderson, who himself now heads off to join up with the England squad for the next ten days. "Obviously we've missed a couple of big players and when they come back after the internationals it will be a big boost for us. Hopefully there will be some big results coming up and we can kick on."
For Liverpool, it appears that part of kicking on is going to involve looking back. Brendan Rodgers recently referenced Liverpool's demolition of Tottenham as proof of what this season's Liverpool team can do at its best, and Henderson joined in on that with his manager, pointing to that match as the high water mark that must be returned to.
For both Henderson and Rodgers—plus a great many fans—that 3-0 victory is the tenuous proof that everything good from last season didn't disappear overnight. That it didn't fly off to Barcelona along with one player. That, with a little hard work and a fully fit squad, this is a side that can deliver that kind of performance with regularity.
"We have a lot of quality in the group and things can change very quickly," he said. "I don't think we have been poor by any means this season. You look at Tottenham away, where we were very good, and we were very good at home to Everton. I felt last week we did enough, we were better than Everton and should have won, but that's football.
"We are not at the performance level we were last season on a consistent basis but we will get back to that. We have enough quality in the team to get back to where we were and we just have to keep working hard on the training pitch, keep winning games, and it will come."