REDS ON THE BRINK?
Time for a reality check
- Has the moaning and groaning stopped already to bring our sanity back in check? As I listened to the news on the taxi radio on my way back home from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal, I could almost hear the bile lamentations emanating from our supporters (please correct me if I’m wrong) after the final whistle at Stamford Bridge last week, signalling the Reds’ third loss in eight for the season. In fact, i wouldn’t be surprised if utterances of “We’re not going to win the League,” “Rafa has lost the plot,” and “Liverpool are rubbish,” start to hit a crescendo as if the season was already in it’s final throes!
- Mind you, we’re only near the first stanza of the season and rightly so the league is not won or lost! Eight games in! If we were to look at all the possible permutations on how our season could eventually pan out, three losses is not exactly the death knell for the Reds. If I could be so bold, I feel we can afford to lose three more and still win the league! (I see the indignant stares already!) Consider the fact that we drew 11 matches last term - which meant 22 dropped points - mostly against teams like (no disrespect here) Wigan Athletic, Stoke City (twice!), Fulham, West Ham United, while at the same time we did the double against that lot from Manchester and Chelski!
- This shows we can afford to lose a couple more matches and still taxi way above last term’s 86-point haul, provided of course we cut out the draws! In the most extreme (and most unlikely) scenario, we could lose eight matches and win the rest of the 30 with no drawn results to amass 90 points, which is four better than last season and level with the current champions. And to think we would have won the league if we had converted only three of those draws to wins, we’re not actually in a bad way as we stand now! Plus the fact our closest rivals would still drop points during the season, the title race is definitely not over.
- The big-boned hasn’t even arrived to take the stage yet! Yes, folks, all is not lost - despite the chatter to the contrary! What I’m saying is, three losses at this stage of play is worrying but not fatal! There’s no need to bring out the knives and crucify the team when we should be backing them up! I’m so puzzled as to why we’re so quick to turn on the team as if they lost those matches on purpose even though I have to admit, the first half performance at Fiorentina was c**p. From what I see, Rafael Benitez is trying to play a more expansive, attacking brand of football this season compared to a more guarded approach last season, hence the double digit draws.
- This will inevitable have a bearing on the results as the team push forward harder and more frequently thus leaving the back relatively exposed to the counter attack. This makes us more susceptible to conceding while at the same time also increasing our chances of scoring. In a nutshell, we’re trying to out score our opponents for a win as opposed to the ‘play not to lose’ mentality which proved so costly for us last season. Little patience and understanding is in order as we give the Reds some leeway to get their new playing style in order -and then watch them fly up the table!
- I’m sure the lads are trying hard to finally end the barren spell as much as we want to see them do so let’s all give them the support rather than brickbats whenever the slightest thing goes awry. Do we really want to be known only as fair weather fans? Cheering and gloating only when things are rosy but so quick to rebuke when results don’t go our way? I’ve never turned my back on the team even during those Graeme Souness years because I know when we eventually win the league. It’ll be even sweeter knowing we were with the team through all those taunts from rivaal fans who can’t even name the starting 11 of their supposed ‘favourite’ teams!
- I’ve to admit everybody loves to win, even those who can’t differentiate between a banana kick from a banana split, but let’s rise above any pretensions and support our team like true fans. Let’s be true winners and not bitter whiners. Our team need us. Onward Reds!