There was no doubt about it, the game against Stoke City was enormously frustrating for both Liverpool supporters and the team.
Frustrating, because Liverpool had the chances to easily overcome the hosts, at what has become a bogey ground not just for Liverpool but for many clubs in the Premier League.
Stoke defended resolutely, the entire team including their attack, and their keeper had a brilliant game. They picked up the three points and the mild ‘follower’ will see just that. Zero points for Liverpool.
But for the more avid supporter of LFC, this was a whole different experience to the same fixture 10 months ago. Liverpool were soundly beaten. A miserable looking rump of players, playing without any passion or seemingly technical ability.
The reds should have picked up points on Saturday – last season they should have been picking up the Stoke players’ boots to go and scrub them for them.
Following the final whistle, there was the usual cacophony of internet ‘noise’. Knees were well and truly jerked – as if some fans genuinely believed we would go the season unbeatable. Clearly, that was never likely to happen.
For those who may have forgotten last season – let’s recap:
Liverpool lost 14 league games last year. Winning only marginally more – 17. In our first 11 away games – the reds won just once, and lost a staggering 8 times. To put it another way, the reds picked up only 5 points out of their first 33 away from home.
Blackpool, relegated last season, had a better away record than Liverpool.
On almost all occasions, the reds were not unlucky to lose – they were played off the park. Easily dismantled by Everton, West Brom, Man City, Stoke, Spurs, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham and Villa. And that’s leaving a few names out.
10 defeats and Champions League
The response to a defeat and analysis often shows more insight in the football brains of a fellow fan. Most knowledgable football fans know that defeats are part of the game. When the reds finished 3rd in 2007 (a position that would be declared a huge improvement for the reds) we lost more than 1 in every 4 games. 10 games lost in total.
So by all means you can be rightly frustrated or angry at defeats, but in comparison to last year it is abundantly clear that Liverpool look a far more capable outfit and are heading in the right direction with a far more streamlined, yet competitive squad. Four games in to the new season – some people need to remember that the reds will probably have more days like Stoke away this season – but hopefully there will be at least one Arsenal away result each time to compensate.
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.