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Keep Calm, Carry On, But Make No Mistake, We Have A Conundrum To Solve...

First of all lets get one thing straight; Liverpool are top of the league and this is nowhere near a crisis. Many of us witnessed "the Hodgson" campaign - that was a crisis! Sorry to remind you of the 2010/11 season but needs must to get a bit of perspective on things. United of course have their game in hand to go 3 points clear at the top, however, I wouldn't be surprised if Burnley turn round and get a result against them in this most unpredictable season. Nobody is running away with it yet. We're at the halfway stage of the race, having just jumped The Chair (the halfway jump of the Grand National for those who aren't familiar with Aintree race course), we're still the strongest horse in the race but have just stumbled upon landing, giving our rivals a chance to overtake. At the half way stage of any race, if you're amongst the leading pack, that's all that matters. Our last title race was an anomaly, in that very few races at the highest level are won by the halfway stage - lets keep that in mind.

Still though, we do have to address issues when they arise. It would be naive to just brush the last 3 games under the carpet without assessment and a critical eye. As a sports coach myself, I always tell my players that losing is great, as it provides an opportunity to reflect better on how to improve. Losing is learning I try to explain to my young players. Without losing, we can't possibly grow to the next level. So that raises the question: just how do Liverpool get better than before? After 2 or 3 years of dominance it's difficult to improve but, it's always possible and, here's my take on it.

Our Bobby.

Feed the ball to Bobby and he will score! It's a great chant, but I'm not sure it's true right now. It's important to say that I love Bobby and I'm not criticising him here. He's going through a rough patch in front of goal, but his effort and commitment to the cause rarely diminishes. I know you're probably thinking something along the lines of; "he's not supposed to be a goal scorer, he's a link player between Salah and Mane". That is true. I just can't help wondering that in certain situations, a target man would be very useful indeed. Someone that can hold the ball up with his physical presence. Take last night for instance. Southampton are aggressively pressing high up the pitch and they're cutting off all the short passing lanes. In this scenario, there's 2 options. Switch the play to the other side, or, loft it over the press to someone who can make the ball stick (not be confused with long ball football). Olivier Giroud, Harry Kane and Diego Costa come to my mind. Now, I'm not saying try and sign either of those, that would be ridiculous. Rather that a player in similar mould would certainly be a useful asset. I'm struggling to think of a more realistic option, but then I'm not a professional scout. The second thing a player like this would bring is their ability to play with their back to goal, holding off a towering centre back, being able to shift the ball, create a small space and fire a shot off. Lukaku, for all this critics, was actually very good at this. I feel the need to emphasise again, I am not saying replace Bobby. The expression "horses for courses" is relevant here. Bobby is fantastic, but he's not always what's needed. I guess I am saying that actually, Origi should be the one to make way for this "Target Man" style player I think could offer us a different dimension in attack. I keep seeing Haaland links with Anfield. Wow... I'm just going to enjoy thinking about that for a while!

The Scouser in Our Team.

You heard the stat from the commentator last night. Trent Alex-Arnold has given the ball away 38 times - a premier league record this season. I haven't fact checked this stat, but I don't need to; he had a shocker. Now it's nothing new that even the best in the world have bad days. We all know that Trents strength is going forwards not back. He's used to having Virg, Gomez and Fabinho sweeping up behind him, allowing him to stride forwards without much of a care for what the situation is behind him. 2020 though, has seen our stable defensive ship well and truly rocked. Trent is now being forced to be more defensive minded. Something that doesn't come naturally to him. Easy to forget though, he

is just 21. 21 and won it all as well, I might add. That's insane and slightly depressing in equal measure when I compare my achievements to his at 21 years old. His scouse attitude, drive and intelligence will see him improve his weaknesses to the point they don't exist, I have no doubt. This is another instance of losing paying off. It highlights weaknesses. Trent tried to control Ward-Prowes's freekick with his chest. A more defensive minded player would have headed it out of play. It turned into a costly mistake. The mistake was made, but as long as he learns from it, it will be for the greater good when this scenario appears again.

Stay positive Reds, the best is still yet to come!

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