Second from bottom, but only three points off from safety, the Welsh side are looking like prime candidates to be involved in the relegation scrap. It’s been a bit of an odd Premier League season for everyone involved, and with less than ten matches remaining for almost everyone involved, any of the teams currently in the top four could win the title, and anyone conceivably up to tenth place, could go down.
This doesn’t look like a team that won the Premier League title at a canter last season and that’s because it’s not, in the philosophical sense anyways, the same team. Under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, they had more than mere belief. Nothing short of an arrogant entitlement to the three points on offer was drummed into them and they responded, time and again, in kind. Unfortunately for them, and buoy for the rest of us, new boss David Moyes has failed to inspire such feats – that, and no one is scared of him.
With the Reds enjoying a rare lay-off over the weekend after their match with Sunderland was postponed, I took started comparing the 23-year old to some of his contemporaries around the league. Using the stats freely available at Squawka.com, I ran Henderson’s numbers against Chelsea playmaker Oscar, Arsenal pretty-boy Jack Wilshere, Everton upstart Ross Barkley, Manchester City stalwart Samir Nasri, Southampton ace Adam Lallana and Manchester United scapegoat Tom Cleverly. I’m hardly a seasoned statistician, but some of the results were rather surprising.
The Northern Irishman, who is quite often criticized for not making any substitutions, let alone the right ones at the right time, made an astute tactical shift with the score tied up. Although Sterling was doing his best to track back, Rodgers recognized that Swansea City was having the run of the midfield, with the duo of Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson failing to adequately cope with the amount of bodies the visitors were committing forward. The introduction of the Welshman, who put in an almost perfect cameo appearance, was the perfect adjustment to stem the tide.
To be fair, we’re not used to being pressed quite that hard at Anfield; in a glimpse of what could be on the way when the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City visit Merseyside, Swansea City gave us the kind of test that Arsenal and Everton never looked like providing.
Although the Reds came away with the points, Garry Monk’s sides ability to draw level was a bit disconcerting, with Liverpool’s offense once again proving to be their saving grace.”It was an excellent three points for us,” Brendan Rodgers said in his post-match press conference. “Yet again the offensive side of our game was very good to get four goals.” And, it has to be said, very poor to concede three.
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