It’s always difficult to wake up after losses like that. A deceiving opening goal followed by three well taken goals from a heavily drilled Stoke City side left me reeling.
But that’s football sometimes.
Well, for me, what was interesting was the contrast of styles. Whilst Liverpool didn’t come out on top, it was absolutely intriguing. This was a side that played very differently from the Fulham side we beat convincingly last week. This was a side that didn’t let Liverpool get too involved in the game with their passing rhythm. This was a side that was dictating our moves with their pressing, and didn’t completely rely on the counter-attack like most other teams have done so this year so far.
If anything was gained, it is definitely the lesson. Liverpool need to decide whether to retain the approach of passing the ball out whilst other teams are pressing, or just to clear it. I’m happy if it’s either way/a mix, I just hope Liverpool can be more decisive with their passing. Our weakness was also exposed yesterday, and it is the lack of aerial ability. The first goal came due to poor positioning, a weak clearance and a good finish from Walters. The second came from a corner where there was debatable defending from Gerrard and Agger amongst the main culprits. You just have to give Stoke City credit for the third. They didn’t sit back and defend.
They retained their high intensity pressing and forward play, giving them a 2 goal cushion thanks to a bit of genius from Walters once again. The problems get towards the nitty-gritty now.
But realistically, a visit to Britannia is traditionally very difficult. 4 goals (including Gerrard’s penalty yesterday) have been all that Stoke City have conceded in the season thus far, and it is very much a fortress for them.
Robert Huth is very much Suarez’s nemesis. I reckon he’s kept the Uruguayan very quiet when he is marking him, and I give him all due credit for that. The big German was immense in yesterday’s encounter, and formed a strong partnership to stop Suarez and company from coming back from the two goal deficit.
The result leaves Liverpool in 10th place, and Liverpool are really jumping up and down that Premier League leaderboard. At present, I think I am satisfied with being in the top half of the table. But that half a season (plus the transfer window coming up) is all that I’m going to give Rodgers as ‘transition time’. Now he has to really show his results. Personally, my view is that whilst silverware is nice, and success depends on how much you get, it’s all about the Premier League for me this season. To try and catch up. To at the very least secure a Europa League spot for next season. It is substantial for a club for Liverpool.
I reckon that whilst the fee is exorbitant, the Daniel Sturridge signing will come good. He fits in with the philosophy, and I reckon now Luis Suarez can play as a true ‘false 9′ with Sturridge coming in to play opposite Raheem Sterling. Exciting times, I reckon, for Liverpool FC.