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Still A Long Way To Go


Almost halfway through the season and yet nothing is clear as to who will win the Barclays Premeir League and who will be relegated from it. Championships are not usually won by half season, but don't tell that to Liverpool supporters as they are relishing the prospects of getting their hands on the league title for the first time. It's been awhile since the red of merseyside were really in contention for the title.

What has changed for the side?

There are 3 difference in Rafa's side this year compared to the previous years under his realm.

1. Consistent eleven.

Rafa's consistency in picking out the same and perhaps the best eleven time and time again. Rafa's usual rotation system has seemed to be forgotten as this year he has been picking out almost the same team week in week out. They are more cohesive by playing more games together as a unit than the times before. Their injection of pace in the form of Reira has brought in some new dimension in the Reds attacking prowess. No longer is this team a one man team. The team, as a unit, has played some breath taking football with more fluid passes than ever before. With Mascherano establishing himself as perhaps the most reliable defensive midfielders in the Premier League this season he has been the anchor in guarding the back four so that the attackers will not have to be playing too deep. In the middle of the park playing beside's Mascherano is, for me, the brains of the team, Xabi Alonso. Playing in a role we only have associated with Italian star Andrea Pirlo, his ability to pass the ball with accuracy and precision has made numerous chances for the forward line. He has played much more games with regularity than season's passed and this in turn has him polishing his playmaking ability from deep.

2. Over reliance on Stevie G and El Nino.

No longer is Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres the targets for Liverpool's goals this season. The Reds can still conjour up wins even with out their two star players. The ability to spread the responsibility has seen this side gel well on the pitch. The price tag for which they bought Robbie Keane was a shock to all considering he wasn't a proven goal scorer but he is the striker to compliment Torres's ability with his hard work and nod ons. Although scoring is not his forte, his determination and hard work is applauded by most Liverpudlians. The emergence of Dirk Kuyt's Feyenoord form for the Reds has help them to scrap through some tough matches. Add to that both Kuyt and Keane are in the top 20 players in assist with 4 assist each this season. At the back there were no major changes as Rafa's men were solid even a couple of seasons back and they have shown little jinx whenever playing. The ever present Jaimie Carragher will give the Reds everything everytime he's walked on that pitch, a characteristic the England team will miss. The Reds are third in goals conceded behind Manchester United and Chelsea. Although United have played two games less than their rivals.

3. Luck.

Luck do play a major role in any winning side. Luck here is not just meant for the games won but also with injuries, suspension, purple patches and off-pitch events. The comback win from two nil down at half time against a City side having just boosting major signings was one example of their luck. Yes it also proved their determination and tenacity as a team but to do such feat you also need that little bit of luck. When they were held two all at home against newly promoted Hull City, everyone thought the others would catch up but luck was on their side as all three of the "big" teams also drew against their respective opponents. Liverpool has a greater record against the "top four" than big rivals Man Utd and Chelsea. They haven't met with any major injuries thus far and many if not all the Liverpool supporters would like it to remain that way. Although a recent bust up off the pitch involving their captain has made for a shaky new year, The Liverpool camp are a professional team and is to have brusshed aside this incident and not let it get the better of them.

Will Liverpool finally lift the coveted prize? Only time will tell.


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