The league table makes for happy reading for Liverpool fans across the globe. Eleven games in is a decent indicator of how your team’s season might pan out and its case of so far so good for Brendan Rodger’s troops. We all know it’s not as straight cut as that and although there is a healthy degree of optimism about the team the majority of the fanbase expect a curve ball or two before the season draws to a close. Finishing the season in the “Top Four” is still the objective if we continue to play like we did against Fulham last Saturday we might secure that return to Champions League football.
It was a perfect response to the Arsenal defeat. In fact, it was the polar opposite in terms of performance. The Arsenal performance was lifeless and dull whereas Fulham felt the full wrath of Liverpool’s red blooded existence with a score line that could have been considerably worse for Martin Jol’s struggling side. Liverpool were full of ideas going forward and their energy ultimately proved too much for Fulham. The writing was on the wall after 30 mins for the South West London side and Jol will not be happy with how his team accepted defeat without as much as swinging a punch.
Personal performances aside, what was most pleasing was the way Liverpool demanded the ball back and off each other, defensively and in attack. They defended and attacked in packs and the pack were ball hungry, something which overpowered Fulham’s limp attempts at keeping the ball for more than thirty seconds.
Steven Gerrard silenced some critics with an all action display. He was central to everything and his precision passing set up a plethora of Liverpool attacks. Jordan Henderson’s enthusiasm for football knows no bounds and he is beginning to warrant the tag of “most improved” player at the club. His slide rule pass for Suarez’ first goal showed that he has a game changer in his locker too. Something that has been lacking on a few occasions for the tenacious midfielder. Glen Johnson and Philipe Coutinho showed what we have been missing in recent weeks and their return from absence couldn’t have come at a better time considering next week’s derby fixture.
Luis Suarez can’t stop scoring at the minute and the Liverpool faithful have the prayer books out so that he returns from International duty unscathed and primed for action. The way he took his two goals on Saturday was symbolic of a player who is in red hot form. Keeping him during the January transfer circus is an absolute must. No fee should be entertained, no matter how ludicrous, then worry about his intentions next summer when the time comes.
Anfield recognised an honest performance and they responded to the team not resting on the laurels of their first half display. Too often we have taken the foot of the gas in the second half and although economical in terms of fitness it’s not what a sell-out Anfield crowd expect. That didn’t happen against Fulham and the fans found their voice in retort. This expectation should be embraced by the manager and players and help put the fear back into the prospect of playing at Liverpool’s iconic stadium.
Who knows where this season will take us, “one game at a time of course”, post-match interviews will remind us of that, but Liverpool fans are dangerously close looking at the next four fixtures and dreaming of 12 points. Everton – Away, Hull – Away, Norwich – Home, West Ham – Home.