There’s no time to get our affairs in order after a busy, not so productive week. A hard fought win at Queens Park Rangers, a spanking at the hands of reigning European champions Real Madrid and a scoreless draw at home to Hull City saw Liverpool’s confidence take even more of a battering going into Tuesday’s League Cup clash with Swansea City.
As if we didn’t have enough problems; throw a few more fit bodies into our mix and at least one striker bordering on being in form and then, maybe, things aren’t so bad. Crying about a busy schedule after you spent the last five years moping over missing out on Champions League football is bang out of order, but when you’re not playing well, you want to space things out a bit and get some time off the pitch to sort out what ails you. Unfortunately, that’s not about to happen any time soon.
After holding Arsenal to a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium last weekend, there’s no question that Hull City travel to Anfield this weekend believing that they can get something against a faltering Liverpool side.
The Reds have had an eventful week; after barely scraping past last placed Queens Park Rangers in the capital, a midweek humbling against reigning European champions Real Madrid gave not only their fitness levels, but their fragile confidence yet another blow. While it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to picture these two sides coming into tomorrows match on opposite ends of the spectrum, reconciling which one is on the up-tick and who is on a serious down-turn may take some time to wrap your head around.
After labouring to a last gasp win against bottom of the barrel Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, there’s absolutely no question that Liverpool are going to have to do better if they’re going to get anything at all when they host Real Madrid at Anfield on Wednesday.
To be fair, when I say “anything”, that’s very much open to interpretation and really does range from snatching up three points to getting out of the stadium with their pride still in tact. Following the debacle at Loftus Road, it’s one thing for the players to not only acknowledge that their performance as a whole was no where near acceptable, but to promise a better one against the reigning European champions, and it’s another one to actually do it. Let’s be honest — we’ve got everything to do.
It was foolish of me to think I could just sit down and pound out a quick match preview for tomorrow’s meeting with Queens Park Rangers wasn’t it? The entire post was outlined and I even had a witty closing line to cap the whole thing off — then I saw the news that Daniel Sturridge was injured again.
The tone of this just drastically changed. I’ll re-iterate the fact before we go any further that one man does not a team make, but there’s no denying the mental lift that comes along with having arguably your most potent attacking threat on the verge of a return from a long injury lay-off. Likewise, there’s no denying the inevitable plunge in morale when that same player, already out for six weeks after being injured with the national team, faces a setback on the eve of the match.
By this point last season, we had nothing but the Premier League to focus on until the FA Cup rolled around in the New Year. Listening to opposition managers chalk up our immense league form to a lack of European football sounded more like sour grapes than a fair analysis at the time, but we’re starting to remember how difficult it is to play two matches a week.
Woe is not us and there’s no pity on offer — top clubs play in the Champions League and they cope with it week in and week out. Following Wednesday’s disappointment in the Champions League, one would think that Liverpool will be well motivated to bounce back when West Bromwich Albion visit Anfield later today, and though that may very well be the case, there’s been precious little time to shift our focus and prepare for the inevitable challenge the Baggies always pose.