For the a good part of the opening in Liverpool's loss to Chelsea yesterday, it looked like Liverpool might be finding something resembling an effective approach despite the fact that so many of the personnel and managerial decisions culpable for their struggles in the past few months were present. An early goal from Emre Can and a positive start from Philippe Coutinho were exciting developments, and a lead against the unbeaten league leaders create hope that wrongs were being righted.
And then the rest of the match happened, with Chelsea scoring twice and Liverpool underwhelming yet again in a 2-1 loss. It was far too familiar even with the relative level of improvement on display, and it meant that Liverpool had lost three matches in the span of a week for the cherry on top of a dismal autumn run. But despite the disappointment, Raheem Sterling is confident that Liverpool will find a way back after spending most of the last two months at sea:
"It's always disappointing to be 1-0 up and lose the game. The boys tried hard and there is disappointment throughout the camp. We'll pick up ourselves up and go again. Defensively, we could have dealt with situations better. But I thought as a team performance, we did well at times and certainly could have won the game.
"If we take our chances and play well, we can turn it around and climb up the table. But we just need to focus purely on the next game after the international break. Everyone has the belief that we can do it. We showed against the team at the top of the league that there is not much between us. We'll keep going and turn it around very soon."
From here, "turning it around" would mean that both performances and results find another, more consistent level through what's going to be a busy finish to the 2014 calendar year. Turning it around will mean qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League with wins over Ludogorets and Basel. Turning it around will mean getting three points at home and away in the Premier League, and climbing closer to the top four as the new year approaches.
Turning it around will, in short, mean doing all the things they've failed to do since August. Whether or not they manage it remains to be seen, but what's clear is that if their season is going to be remotely successful, Liverpool have no other choice than to turn it around.