Today's match against Newcastle wasn't pleasant for anyone to watch. Not the traveling fans, not the fans sitting at home at Anfield, not the fans up at odd hours all around the world to watch Liverpool play. Unsurprisingly, it wasn't much of a treat for Brendan Rodgers either.
"Understandably for the supporters it [has been] a difficult period for them but we can only continue to work hard and we'll analyse today's game," Rodgers told the media after the match. "It was fairly straightforward. We didn't create enough. We had enough of the ball, we had enough of the possession, found it in good areas, we just didn't create enough in the final third and then we gave away a very bad goal to lose the game 1-0.
"We'll just continue to work and work as well as we have done over the past couple of years and we're confident we'll get the results. [...] We have worked very hard for a couple of years to get to this level and playing against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu says we've been doing OK."
While Liverpool certainly did "OK" last season in earning their Champions League place with a second-place finish in the English Premier League, but just because Liverpool did well last year doesn't mean they can rest on their laurels this year. This squad is very different from what Rodgers had a year ago, and so far he and the squad have struggled mightily to adapt to one another. If Rodgers is still thinking of things operating as they did last season, that could go a very long ways to explaining why this season has been so lackluster.
Back to today, however, Rodgers fell in to the old manager's standby of deserved results. "I didn't think we deserved to lose the game," he said, "but we didn't do enough to win it." That may be fair, as on the whole the match was very balanced. Neither Liverpool or Newcastle were particularly impressive on the day. When the big moment came, though, Liverpool's back line fell apart, and as Rodgers himself had already pointed out, they gave up a very, very bad goal.
"We are in a transitional phase and have to do better," Rodgers went on to add. Shifting his focus on what's to come, he spoke about the Real Madrid match coming up midweek, saying that "it's a wonderful game for us. It is a big week against the best in the world at the moment. We will go into the game hoping to get something out of it."
Hopefully Liverpool can manager to get something out of that match, but they've have to play a whole lot better than they did today if they want to.