Time to consolidate: is 4th place realistic?

27 02 2010

It is that time of the year when the table is as good as set in stone but some reshuffling in the order. It is this reshuffling that Liverpool will be interested in, particularly the movers and shakers on and around the 4th place.

Realistically, Liverpool will probably finish 5th if they maintain the current momentum (or lack of as some would rightfully say!). Optimistically, they will scrape a 4th place finish which is the only form of respectability that they can garner from a season that has gone awry. It’s been close to 30 matches since they beat an opposition by 3 goals or more. This seemingly insurmountable task was second nature last season with the reds winning most of their last 10-15 matches with a good two or three goal margin.

Some would blame the departure of Xabi Alonso compounded with the sporadic availability of Torres and Gerrard and also the loss of the latter’s form in the recent past. I think this recent lack of winsomeness is a non-linear combination of improper use of Ryan Babel, Albert Riera and 20 million pound man Aquilani and shear bad luck.

Manchester City’s spectacular 4-2 win over Chelsea would put Liverpool’s immediate future in sharp contrast. Gone are the early days of this season when a draw against one of the top four would be applauded. It is the time of reckoning that Liverpool can extricate themselves from only through half a dozen or so spectacular wins (read 3-0 wins). No more 0-0 stalemates against teams below them. No more goals conceded of set pieces. No more “we’ll sit back and get them on the break”. If Liverpool are to have any illusion of finishing 4th (as a higher than 4th place is quite unrealistic), they need to start winning games. ALL games that they play between now and the end of April.

As for tomorrow’s game that they have against Blackburn Rovers, a side that can be quite tough, Liverpool have to do just one thing and that is WIN!



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