Two games into the season and an unconvincing opening win was followed by a sobering defeat at the home of the reigning champions. Liverpool have lost Suarez to Barca (despite him not being able to play, or them not being able to sign anyone…) but have added lots of new blood, including ‘super Mario’.
So how has the press reacted? Many of the readers on here think the print media in particular are a little bit in love with all things scouse and with Brendan Rodgers in particular. Surely the fans too (or the bloggers at least) are pretty happy with the team after what was arguably a very good season last time out.
Anfield Asylum was fairly measured; same old defensive weaknesses but a) it was City away and b) they played fairly well so, “We’ll live (maybe)”. Liverpool Offside thought it might be a welcome wake up call – “it was a demoralising loss but perhaps it may prove a timely and sobering bucket of ice over our collective heads”. But overall, the same message, calm down calm down, “everything’s going to be fine”.
Most ‘pool fans seem quite happy to have Balotelli at Liverpool and I can’t say I blame them. Sure, he’s a risk but as the Anfield Wrap says, not that much of one. He’s a great and proven striker, he will score goals. Can he fit in with Liverpool’s system, will he upset the dressing room? Maybe. We might hope so but I wouldn’t count on it Gunners. At £16m he seems a good buy, better than £60 for a winder anyway.
The Guardian were quick to praise Liverpool despite the defeat: ‘Here was a contest befitting last season’s No1 and No2 sides, a heavyweight encounter in which Liverpool slugged it out with the nation’s champion XI and dominated large passages. Any team would miss the scintillating Luis Suárez but Rodgers’ side seem to have already consigned him to distant memory’ wrote Jamie Jackson (who?).
Chris Bascombe at the Torygraph (who?!) believes the title race is between City and Chelsea anyway Liverpool are in transition apparently. (Haven’t they been in transition since the Premier League was formed?) Expectations have been raised by last season, but while LFC have strengthened, so have City and the Chavs. What’s different is that the two blue clubs have bought the finished article while Liverpool have bought potential.
Ollie Holt in the Mirror also issued a ‘calm down’ message to Liverpool fans: “This is a side, don’t forget, that has lost one of the best players in the world, Luis Suarez. It would be strange if they didn’t suffer some sort of reaction to that.” This season is all about staying up there and coping with the CL alongside the PL. I think Holt forgets that we lost Ramsey for large periods last season, or that we lost RVP the season before that. I doubt he would cut M. Wenger as much slack as he does Rodgers.
But that is the message at this early stage of the season and its one I expected. Liverpool overachieved last time out and so we might expect a little bit of a reality check. Rodgers is British so he gets an easier time of it than foreign managers; Liverpool also made up about half the England team (that failed so dismally in Brazil this summer). Curiously that failure seems to have more to do with our own number 10’s much publicized off the pitch moments than it did with the individual or collective efforts of Stevie G et al.
So, yes, as you all expected the media (except the currant bun of course) love Liverpool and will continue to make excuses for them.
So calm down, calm down, calm down*
PS. The Champions League draw has been quite kind to Liverpool too, so I expect the media to talk up their chances of retaining top four now.
*repeat ad nauseum…
- Showing character is as important as playing nice football
- Unbeaten run gets to 11: but were the press actually there?
- Alexis on the score sheet, Arsenal go in the group stage
- Arsenal v gobble gobble gobble. A preview.
- Decline and fall