Liverpool are sitting joint top in the League along with Arsenal after round 7 of the English Premier League. The Reds earned a convincing 3-1 victory over the newly promoted Crystal Palace on Saturday where strike duo – Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez – found the net yet again.
This is all but a terrific improvement from Liverpool’s point of view. The stats will justify the meaning of the word ‘progress’ in truest sense. At this point, last season, Liverpool had only 1 win from 7 games and were lying 14th in the table and 10 points ahead of what they had amassed last season at this point.
Taking all factors into considered like easy fixture schedule than last season thus far, players are more comfortable with Brendan Rodgers’ philosophy now, sufficient squad depth than last term etc – one cannot still deny the giant strides Liverpool have taken this season which is earning them valuable points.
And most importantly this side is still imperfect. It is not as if they are performing to their maximum limits and cannot improve any further. The second half performances need a drastic improvement, SAS combo still a work in progress, players like Joe Allen, Coutinho and Aly Cissokho will return and could have a great impact in the team, any many other issues as well that are are yet to be solved, so Liverpool are expected to improve from here on, as rightly pointed out by the Reds manager.
The question is – how far can they go from here? I think they should aim for the title. It may sound funny and robust optimism but the Reds should not put a bar on any limit of their ambition this season.
You’ll say top four is a realistic target. Of course it is, but if they simply aim for top four, they might fail again. This is the best chance for Liverpool to not only grab a top four spot but mount an outside challenge for the title as well. No matter how small fraction of a chance it is.
Due to managerial changes this season at the top clubs, we can find that none of the three potential title challengers have made a strong start to the season. Though in the second half of the season, the scenario might change, but expect other clubs like Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool to be up there as well.
The main advantage Liverpool have over others is they don’t have any side distraction for this season. While it is virtually unthinkable that a side challenging for the top 4 or aiming a distant shot at the title have no external commitments like European games. These are very rare nowadays. That means, Liverpool can field his best 11 week in week out. They must take this advantage to its fullest effect. And to be honest, the best 11 of Liverpool is as good as any other top English team at the moment.
I’m not saying Liverpool will be in the title race but they should prepare themselves mentally as if they are going to be in the race till the end. Not many teams have the luxury of playing its best 11 eleven week in week out – what else they should worry and fear about? The key here is the belief. Let the skeptics believe whatever they want but it is up to Rodgers to impart that confidence that his team is good enough to fight the big guns all the way to the end.