Liverpool’s rather unbelievable 3-2 win over bottom side Queens Park Rangers threw up more questions than answers for Brendan Rodgers. The match at Loftus Road was supposed to be the game that put our season back on track. The proceedings of the match however could not have been farther from most of our expectations.
With the Reds team still not able to gel together like the magnificent machine they were last season, the responsibility of turning the game in our favour falls on the shoulders of five worthy individuals who are in a better vain of form than their colleagues.
1. Steven Gerrard
Unsurprisingly, the Englishman is the first of these players and the fact that the 34 year old Liverpool legend is still our most important player is in all actuality a very sad truth. The man is not getting younger and we ideally should have found a proper replacement for him by now.
Gerrard has had a big impact on our season already after netting an injury time winner from the spot against Ludogorets in the Champions League and scoring our only goal in the 1-1 draw against Everton courtesy of a superb free kick.
Other than his goals, Stevie G is Liverpool’s leader on the pitch and the calm that his presence radiates through to his team-mates is an invaluable asset that would be needed by any football team on the planet.
2. Raheem Sterling
If Gerrard is our most important player, then Raheem Sterling is without a doubt the second name on the list. The 19 year old has shown maturity beyond his years over the last couple of seasons and by the looks of it, this year could possibly be his best yet.
The winger is currently Liverpool’s joint top scorer, alongside Steven Gerrard, with three goals and also has the second most number of assists with two. Sterling has been having a really positive effect on our team by providing the kind of energy and dynamism going forward that we have lacked this season and he is going to be pivotal to our performance over the course of the season.
3. Jordan Henderson
The story of this young man and his tenure at Liverpool should be told as an inspirational piece to any individual who doubts themselves.
The 24 year old has gone from a boo boy to Vice Captain of Liverpool Football Club in just about three years. His contribution to the team is best measured not by the number of goals he scores or the assists he provides (although he has the most of number of assists by a Liverpool player this season with three). His value to the Liverpool team is best measured by the number of kilometres he runs every time he steps out onto the pitch.
Henderson offers our club a unique kind of energy that does not perish over the course of the game. He is arguably the most willing runner in our ranks and the amount of area he covers and players he closes down along with the passing range he has added to his game makes him the third most important name on the Liverpool team sheet.
4. Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge is at this point of time our best forward and honestly, he does not deserves to be much higher up list. However, the back to back injuries that the Englishman sustained has massively limited his contribution to the team.
The new campaign has got off to a disastrous start for our number 15 who has just one goal in three appearances under his belt this season and I’m sure that he must be kicking himself watching his mates play as he sits on the sidelines.
The form and fitness of Daniel Sturridge will be a key factor behind how we perform this season and he still finds a place for himself on the list because of the potential contribution that he could, and most probably will have for the Liverpool cause after he returns from injury.
5. Philippe Coutinho
There are two reasons why I chose Coutinho for the final spot on the list. Firstly, Phil has been a part of the Liverpool set up now for almost 21 months now and he does not have to integrate himself into the system that Brendan Rodgers has set up. He has been playing with the guys around him for a long time now and this familiarity will come to great use for our playmaker.
The second and probably the biggest reason why I preferred him was the form that he is in this season. The former Inter Milan star had a wonderful pre-season that culminated in that great game against Dortmund at Anfield where he was undoubtedly the star of the show. Yes, he did fail to carry that form into the main campaign with some disappointing performances early on, but the latest indications give us enough reason to believe that he could very well be back to his best.
The diminutive midfielder had a great display for Brazil in the midweek where he assisted Neymar for one of his goals with a brilliant through ball, and the next game he played was the one against QPR where he came on as a substitute to score one goal while putting in a brilliant attacking display with some precise passes in the final third. Therefore, his attacking prowess and judicious use of the of the ball will be a key factor behind how we perform in the games to come.