Caught between journalistic platitudes, propaganda, or the calls for instant-success, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture in football. Here’s three reasons why patience is not only a virtue, but a need of the hour.
Luis Suarez shaped hole.
Replacing the 3rd best player in world football is no mean feat.
In the record-breaking 2013-14 season of the Barclay’s Premier League, Luis Suarez was the engine in the Liverpool machinery – a manifestation of ‘natural enthusiasm’ – a virtue Bill Shankly spoke of so emphatically.
There exists a thin line that separates good players from great players – good players play well, while great players make good players play better. On his own, while he was relentlessly, single-mindedly sniping away at the heels of anyone who had the gumption to keep the ball from him – the entire team pressed or covered space in regimental harmony. An ebb and flow of a near-perfect synchronicity.
Singularly, Luis Alberto Suarez was a player for the collective brilliance; and his absence cannot be understated.
A Liverpool bereft of his qualities, nevermind his goals, will require new recruits and the old guard, singing off the same hymn-sheet again. Trial and error is all a part of the dance.
Waddle before you walk.
Pragmatically, objectively, securing Champions League spots for next year is important for sustained progress. Liverpool had to make do with the deficit of revenue off the pitch, and the consequent dearth of quality on it.
A failure to do so, saw the club caught in a vicious cycle of sub-standard results garnered by sub-standard players piling sub-standard performances, ending up in a sub-standard league position.
Affluent Manchester City struggled to get out of their group, on their two successive seasons of Champions League football, despite every resource at their disposal, proving the transition of Premier League success to Europe is hardly ever straightforward.
While this season’s European foray may prove to be a learning curve for Brendan Rodgers and his young blood, up against seasoned opposition, the experience will prove invaluable.
The kids are all right!
Raheem Sterling (19), Coutinho (22), Emre Can (20), Javi Manquillo (20), Alberto Moreno (22), Divock Origi (19), Jordon Ibe (18), Jordan Rossiter (17), Jon Flanagan (21)… There are very few clubs in Europe that can boast a more able-bodied set of youngsters, and fewer managers in the European game who are more competent than Brendan Rodgers, when it comes to nurturing youth.
A tough season in character building, learning curves, acknowledging deficits and coming to the fore, will only further polish the diamonds in the rough, in course, for what should make for an exciting future.