No one ever said it was going to be easy, title challenges rarely are.
Some Liverpool fans would have you believe that everything is fine and there is no problem, others would have you believe the sky is falling in. Much like in the current political spectrum, you aren’t allowed to sit in the middle but that’s exactly where my thoughts are.
Before the window shut, I was adamant that Liverpool needed to go out and buy a right back. I’d have loved to have seen Sturridge sold and a striker brought in but our main issue was at right back.
Trent Alexander Arnold is the only right back at Liverpool who I trust to do a job week in week out. I’ve not been impressed by Gomez when he has played there and while I loved the work rate from Milner and Henderson and can’t say a bad word about either, neither of them are right backs short term or otherwise.
One to eleven I believe we are as a good as any team in Europe, maybe even with a few subs on top of that but more than ever this is a squad game and since we’ve lost Trent, we’ve simply not been the same side.
Last night our football was slow, predictable and looked like a side not so much trying not to win but reluctant to risk losing for a win.
On reflection it’s probably because of the issues we have with injuries. While on the subject of injuries, since we’ve lost players it hasn’t been spoken about once seemingly in commentary and yet every other team is given that excuse. Playing last night we were without our first choice right back, centre back, and two of our first choice central midfield.
For comparison that’s like if City lost Kompany, Walker, Silva and De Bruyne. Which throughout the season to be fair, they have. The difference is their ridiculous squad depth. It’s why I said that I believed they would win the league and to be honest the only thing that has changed is that Liverpool now being in less competitions may even the score on that side of things.
Spurs have the worst squad depth out of all three teams and yet somehow are still in the title race having lost Kane and Alli. A tip of the cap to Heung Min Son for his late game heroics and importance this season.
What winds me up is, I called this. It’s not like I’m saying I could see it coming, it was already there to see. I don’t know the full story of why Clyne went to Bournemouth, I have heard it was “personal reasons” why the club moved him on and that’s fine but leaving us with no recognised backup was poor from the club and so far, it has cost us big time.
I understand that people are saying “the players aren’t out there” or “we don’t want to rush into it” but if you honestly want to tell me there’s not a better right back we could have signed than Milner or Henderson out of position, I’m sorry but I’m not buying that. Also they didn’t have to be a worldy.
The injury has hit us harder than it would because of the injuries to Henderson and Gini. I believe that had either of these two been available then we would have seen Fabinho at right back last night but with the only real options being Lallana, Shaqiri and Keita, Fabinho was needed in the centre to add some steel, which he clearly did.
This isn’t panic, it’s informed comment. I still believe we can push City all the way, I still believe their fixture pile up could come back to haunt them and I still believe you can’t write off Spurs.
What is most important is I believe that Klopp is stubborn and that FSG love that about him. He won’t veer from a plan and it wasn’t his plan to bring in a right back at this time. I think being ahead of schedule is what has held us back this window and that next season we will see that right back when he has time to assess the options carefully and I can respect that.
It’s just frustrating that a problem that we could all see was not addressed and sometimes a short term fix is better than no fix at all.
As for the near future, I’m not expecting any favours from Everton so we will need to beat Bournemouth to remain top. There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t and won’t do that and with Trent in full training and in line to start, hopefully this is the end of our blip.
City had theirs, we’ve had ours. We’re still top. Game on.