Liverpool: We Were Architects Of Our Own Downfall (& That's A Good Thing)

We made mistakes but Rodgers nearly fixed them, and that's a really promising sign...
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We made mistakes but Rodgers nearly fixed them, and that's a really promising sign...

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Liverpool: We Were Architects Of Our Own Downfall (& That's A Good Thing)

It would take a foolish man to look beyond Chelsea, with the tactical genius of Jose - ‘you six, on the eighteen yard line’ Mourinho - for the title at the moment.

It would take a special kind of idiot to claim that Liverpool are going to win the league after what can only be regarded as a dismal start to the season - fractured, weak, inconsistent, unbalanced, unconvincing, susceptible to loss to mid table teams that we should be dismantling. I’m that special kind of idiot. Liverpool are going to win the league.

Consider that claim dedicated specifically to the guy who followed me on Twitter simply to quote my own articles at me and laugh at their idiocy. Cheers mate, made me feel like a ‘real’ journalist. Ego suitably polished.

But I refuse to back down. Liverpool will win the league. Feel free to quote that back at me and laugh if it doesn’t happen. I’ll take my chance because despite everything that’s going wrong at the moment - and, Christ knows, there’s a fair bit. I believe.

I believe because, despite the fact that Brendan got it very badly wrong - VERY badly wrong - to start with, he changed, he altered, he adapted and he nearly made it right. To be 2-0 down after 6 minutes is appalling. To be 2-0 down after 6 minutes to a team managed by Sam Allardyce is somewhere way beyond unacceptable. And it’s not like Hammers fans can even disagree with that appraisal; they hate him as much as the rest of us, if not more. We were the architects of our own downfall. Brendan was the architect of our downfall. He chose the wrong team again. He set the wrong team out in the wrong way again. He chose to go with Lucas again. Lucas alongside Gerrard doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t give forward thrust, it doesn’t relieve pressure, it doesn’t protect the back four.

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He chose to change the back four again. Well, he chose to pull Sakho and put Skrtel back. Which might be a good call, Sakho can be a little ‘erratic’ but it doesn’t breed consistency, it doesn’t breed understanding. He chose to start Borini. And Borini did well when he came on in the Champions League, spread the game, put himself about, tried. But Borini doesn’t ‘do it’ on a regular basis. Borini isn’t good enough. There’s a reason why Brendan spent the summer trying to sell Borini to Sunderland and then to QPR. God love Fabio, he wants to fight for his place but he’s not good enough to justify it.

Brendan had the sense to change early. Not early enough to not be 2-0 down but still early. Three centre backs, left back pushed up to midfield, some threat. Enough threat to bring it back to 2-1 before half time; a Balotelli take down, a shot, a rebound for an excellent Sterling finish.

And from there we should push on, we should claw back. Sam knows how to protect a lead though, he marshals teams. We huffed, we puffed, we didn’t threaten. We had all the possession, none of the cutting edge. And then they scored again and it was done and we’d lost three of our first five games and the Mancs and the Bluenoses and the Spurs fans were laughing at us. Which went well for them didn’t it?

People said at the beginning of the season that we’d bought too many, that we couldn’t accommodate everybody we’d signed. And they might have been right. Brendan hasn’t had the luxury of learning rotation so far. He’s learning it now while trying to push on from last season. Learning his best eleven in the post Suarez era, learning the formation that will suit those eleven best and adapting to the fact that his most important signing, Adam Lallana didn’t have a proper pre-season, adapting to the fact that he lost Joe Allen to Andorran astro-turf, adapting to the Hodgson inspired idiocy that lost us Daniel Sturridge.

Excuses? Perhaps but those three come back, the eleven settle, we decide on our formation, we plan for our rotation and everything will come together as it did last season.

At 3pm the Manchester United revival (they beat QPR don’t you know?) was in full swing, Everton were laughing at us and anticipating entering next week’s derby ahead of us in the league, Spurs were entertaining the concept of the top four. At 5.30 Chelsea had won the league. Things change. Quickly. It’s September (I’ve checked). Nothing is won or lost yet.

Liverpool will win the league.

Sod it, Liverpool are going to do the double. And win the Champions League.

You can quote me on that.

@ianrsalmon