Thursday, February 12, 2015

Stoking a Blazing Hearth: Scott on Liverpool

Scott is admiring Liverpool's form of late:

With that nail-biter of a victory over Spurs on Tuesday, I'm ready to say that Liverpool are firmly back on track and the team is starting to gel and acclimate to this season's formation and personnel changes. Yes, it all started happening far too late for a shot at the title (which was probably never a real possibility anyway) but a top 4 finish and another go in the Champions League is well within reach, present form continuing.

That Tuesday's victory was achieved without the services of Raheem Sterling is another plus. And that super-sub Mario Balotelli provided the tap-in winner is the icing on the cake, post-goal scowl notwithstanding.
It was far from easy with Tottenham looking the more dangerous at times, scoring 2 levelers to dampen the Kop mood before Adam Lallana to Balotelli helped them find their full voice. Harry Kane, in particular, continued his blistering form with a deft turn and power finish.

But, in the end, it was a bit of luck on Lazar Markovic's first goal that made the difference as Hugo Lloris should have done better with the under-hit shot. Still, 3 points were needed and gained so the Liverpool Express continues to gain momentum and, importantly, belief.

Questions surrounding Brendan Rodgers have surely evaporated as his back three formation seems to play to the team's strengths. Plus, he has shown leadership with his judicious use of Steven Gerrard and the brief sabbatical given to Sterling a few weeks ago. Most recently, his substitutions on Tuesday proved pivotal as it was sub to sub that resulted in the game winner. All the while, Jordan Ibe has been seamlessly, and advantageously, slotted into the side, even as the effective Daniel Sturridge has returned. Rodgers' naysayers are a shrinking cadre, shivering outside the warming hearth that is Anfield.

With more challenging fixtures coming fast and furious, while this is the time to acknowledge the tectonic shifts that are piecing together an effective Liverpool team, it is not the time for complacency or idle introspection. Rather, now is the time to fire the afterburners and blaze that hearth unrelentingly through mid-May.


This is farlieonfootie for February 12. 

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