After three Europa League games and the Premiership season-opener things are looking pretty good for the start of Roy Hodgson’s reign as Liverpool manager. Who’d have thought optimism would be so high just a few months ago?
Liverpool showed a really positive approach against Arsenal last Sunday and they were incredibly unlucky to have Joe Cole sent off. It was tragic really. Even so, if had not been for an unfortunate mental blip by Reina, and that’s all it was as he had moments earlier made a fantastic save to keep it 1-0, Liverpool would have got off to the perfect start. Hats off to Mascherano as well who, even though he wants to leave the club, put in a terrific performance. Hodgson seems to feel he can retain Mascha for the next two seasons and let him go on a free if Inter don’t meet the minimum £25m asking price. Having him stay would be a real boost.
The home game against Trabzonspor on Thursday was a frustrating one turning into one of those nights of missed opportunities which should have seen us take a 3-0 lead to Turkey next week. Cole was once again the centre of attention with the penalty miss but his desire to get “stuck-in” is great to see. A great acquisition. Still it was a win and Trabzonspor didn’t get the all important away-goal which leaves Liverpool in a strong position to progress to the Europa League proper, although Hodgson will likely field a more “senior” side in the away-leg to ensure qualification.
One of the encouraging highlights so far has been the form of David Ngog. I was one of his detractors last season, feeling he was out of his depth, but his finish against Arsenal was nothing short of Torres-esque. Let’s hope he’s finally finding his first-team feet and that he continues his fine form.
The sale of the club is still in some doubt, which is really disheartening, with the news that Kenny Huang has informed Martin Broughton that they were no longer going to bid for the club and, even worse, the rumour is that they were likely the only serious contender. Let’s hope there are in fact other potential bidders still at the table, as we have been told by Christian Purslow, as each day the American’s remain owners the worse the debt situation becomes.
So a good start to the season on the field with the off-the-field situation still a major concern.