After a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Arsenal, it’s natural to wonder if Liverpool are going to be challenging for European spots at all this season. The poor performance at the end of the transfer window hasn’t done the club any favours either.
The Reds were poor going forward today, but if you look at their starting front six, and how many league appearances they had made for Liverpool prior to today, it perhaps begins to become clear why. If you exclude Gerrard from the figures, it’s frightening:
It perhaps becomes clear why they weren’t very cohesive. Yet they still had passing accuracy of 87% today overall, to go with an 85% average from the first two games, so things aren’t that bad at this point.
The fact that the only three Liverpool players who were below 84% passing accuracy today were Gerrard (81%), Borini (74%) and Suárez (68%) (arguably the three key attacking players in other words), also helps to explain why the team were so toothless going forward.
At least Nuri Sahin had a solid, if not spectacular debut. He has barely played for a year, but was accurate with 93% of his passes, including one key pass. In time, I have no doubt he’ll be a great player for Liverpool.
The Reds have also got two of their four hardest home games out of the way; whilst a one point return is disappointing, at the same time it’s not that surprising. Don’t forget that Liverpool outplayed the current champions (a team that has had over £400 million in net transfer spend lavished on it since the Abu Dhabi takeover) just one week ago, after all.
I think the current set up has got a lot of potential, but it will take time for the tactics to take hold and for the team to gel. I hope FSG and the fans can remain patient, as Rodgers might take a while yet to get Liverpool up to speed.