initforthelonghaul

In It For The Long Haul

Adam Heayns gives a somewhat advisory angle on where we’re at as a club at the minute.

He warns that getting ahead of ourselves at an early stage (players and fans) could be detrimental to our overall target.

Liverpool have started this season productively. You may wonder why I use the word productively here? I think that before the match with West Brom, we hadn’t really been able to see what Liverpool were capable of. I believe the team showed what they’re about against West Brom. It’s about time as well, we’ve had many discussion about what is better; performances or points? Obviously, points. You will take three points no matter what, but performances are key to winning points especially throughout a season. We’ve played well so far this season, but we really stepped up against West Brom. 

Our passing looked purposeful, our movement was dangerous and I don’t think we had an attack where I thought “this is going nowhere”; there was a direction to our moves. Quick tempo passing, movement, pass, move, pass and move. We moved the defence about superbly and although all of our goals were, well, I’ll get back to you on that as I can’t quite find an adjective that fittingly describes them as of yet. The moves that set up our goals – that got us into such dangerous positions – started with quick passing and our midfield dominated. Gerrard, Lucas and Henderson were fantastic. Lucas looked back to his old self and it was fantastic to see. Gerrard put in the performance of a top, top, top player and although Henderson ran far too upright, he definitely proved that you can do so and still be a very intelligent and talented player.

Obviously Liverpool still needed 8 more players to step up in that game apart from our midfield. I’m going to stop the Ferguson baiting actually. It’s cruel to taunt a Scottish OAP. Liverpool were fantastic.

Now you’re probably wondering; I know Liverpool were fantastic, I watched the game. What are you trying to say? Well, it’s quite simple. This needs to be our year zero for this season. We’ve had a fantastic start but nobody cares how well your start has been unless you’re in the key positions come the end. The start of the season is now over, we’re into the season now. 12 games in is where you see the table take shape. Granted, we’re only 9 games in but Liverpool have drawn 2 games where we really should have won and lost 1, with a disappointing performance. We need to make sure that after 12 games, our position is stronger or as strong as that will see us part way through November. My feeling is that if Liverpool can come out of December in the top 4 then we’re really in a position to say we’re contenders.

I’m sure many of you read that as negative or pessimistic. I’m trying to keep myself grounded, as I realise that this year could be a year where Liverpool can take advantages of our stability against many of the ‘Top 6’ who are in transition. We need to pick points up against these rivals (we’ve only played one, Manchester United, so far) and ensure that we keep a comfortable safety net of points between us. We’ll have a blip. No team goes throughout a season without a blip, so we need to ensure that we can still remain in and around the Top 4, even if we’re struggling.

It’s a time to be positive and to appreciate the progress in the team and the squad as a whole. We have some real depth but there are areas that could do with some help in January, notably central midfield. I’m optimistic about where this season could take Liverpool, as I genuinely believe that the Top 4 is wide open again. My advice to fellow Reds, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. United aren’t going to be this inconsistent for ever, Spurs’ new signings will click, City will come on strong with the quality of the group that they have and Chelsea look better every week. We’ve put ourselves in a fantastic position early on, but we can’t rest on our laurels, especially with the competition that we have for 4th place. 9 games in, 29 games to go. ‘It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon’ type statements will be said throughout the season, but getting an early head start sure does help when you’re racing.

Liverpool are starting to show what they can do now; Suarez and Sturridge look like they’ll score every game and we’re starting to look much more solid at the back. We have to keep improving and when we think we’re at our best, we have to look to improve some more. I don’t need to tell you how difficult 4th is these days and I certainly don’t need to patronise you with the financial rewards it entails. Let’s keep our feet on Terra firme. Enjoy the early form but realise, it’s a long old haul the Premier League season. We’ve got to keep focused on the end goal and keep doing the hard work, rather than congratulate ourselves on being in the top 4 after 9 games. That 10th game, Arsenal (Away) is going to be a huge test of where we’re really at as a team, squad and club.

Come on the Redmen.

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