…occasionally they can provide genuine hope for the future.
Liverpool had a fairly disastrous start to their Premier League campaign this season, taking only two points from their first five games. Although the fixtures were 48% more difficult than the average for the whole campaign (based on the average of the opposition’s finishing position in the league last season) in fairness, the Reds were unable to get a win, and ended up making a false start in their quest to finish fourth.
In the four months between then and today though, their form has been significantly better, as the table below shows:
Whilst the opening to the season was undoubtedly poor, I fail to see how any Liverpool supporter wouldn’t take heart from the fact that the Reds’ form has been the joint fourth best in the league in the half-season since.
Surprisingly, but also encouragingly, 32 points is only one fewer than Kenny Dalglish took from his fantastic caretaker spell in 2010/11. This season’s vintage may not have bested Chelsea or United like Kenny’s mob did, but points on the board are what counts, and the scores are almost equal.
With Arsenal up next for Liverpool in the league, it’s interesting to note that the Reds have had the better form of the two sides in the last four months, and this will even still be true should the Gunners prevail on Wednesday.
Although the start to the season was particularly difficult, the period displayed in this table does still include trips to Everton, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, plus a double-header with Stoke, so this spell has been far from a straightforward path towards achieving top four form. In my opinion, nine clean sheets and only failing to score in two of the games from this run is impressive stuff.
The key for Brendan Rodgers is to maintain this form, or something like it, through to the end of the season. If he can then Liverpool will finish with around sixty points, which to my mind would certainly be acceptable for his first season. A win at the Emirates to put three points towards that total would do very nicely for starters!