Groans rang out at Anfield on Boxing Day, as Liverpool failed to overcome bottom-of-the-table Blackburn Rovers. For the sixth time this season, Liverpool dropped two points at home with a draw.
The theme of the season (wasted chances) reared its head as usual, and Mark Bunn had a decent game in the Blackburn goal.
One positive on the day though was the return to action of Liverpool’s talismanic captain Steven Gerrard, for only his fifth league appearance of the season so far.
If (for arguments sake) everyone in the Liverpool squad was fit and firing, who would you say are their two best attacking players?
I’m sure most people would probably opt for Suárez and Gerrard.
But how much time together have they had on the pitch in the league for Liverpool?
So far this season it’s 243 minutes. Or if you prefer, less than three full games. With Gerrard not at 100% fitness for any of it either, don’t forget.
How about last season? A whopping 213 minutes together for the pair.
In virtually a full calendar year, the Reds’ best two attacking players have played all of 456 minutes together. Five full games in match time, in other words.
Of course injuries (like the ones suffered by Gerrard) are par for the course in football, and I’m not trying to use it as an excuse. There’s also every chance that after all these injuries, the captain is unlikely to recover the ‘force of nature’ form he once possessed.
But when Liverpool are trying to throw together a new team and make a serious assault on the top four, it’s not helping that their two attacking geniuses are not playing together, is it?
Even without them playing together much, the Reds have still had more shots than anyone else in the league this season at the time of writing.
But if Kenny can get them both fit and firing and tandem, then I strongly believe that Liverpool can kick on towards fourth place in the second half of the season.