A word that means everything. An entirely unattainable concept, yet one that people strive for every day. To actively chase it would be to forever be tailing the impossible. An existence founded upon perilous fragility; for one mistake would erase all that had gone before.
Still we frivolously attach it to many different aspects of our lives as well as ourselves. The world itself, a single day and even in relationships. Constructing them in our minds as ideals while knowing that they can never exist because of that one quality which can never be obtained.
In the face of the recent happenings at the Hawthorns, with Kolo Toure central to a rather crucial error, such an all-encompassing
In whatever facet of reality, there is usually a margin for error; some much larger than others. Ideally you would stay away from these lines, sailing as far away from the edge as much as possible. For Liverpool, the waters are not quite so tranquil however.
Looming has been the prospect of being shut out of Europe’s elite…but there is now a path to safety.
Following the game against Aston Villa at Anfield, it was clear that a mistake had been made. The uproar that followed and subsequent fears, while having legitimate grounds ran away with itself. What it did bring up however is that in spite of everything, that setback meant more than all of the victories before it.
The pain from even the smallest of cuts causes concern.
So far there is enough evidence to suggest that the wound caused at Anfield some eleven days ago is hardly life threatening but the way in which Liverpool were exposed and then inflicted cannot be allowed to happen too often. Both in terms of set up and performance, everything went wrong but even having said that and with all the frustration and anger that came along, it was still a point gained on last year.
To stand around and simply focus on the situation would not be indicative of moving on from it. There is no one entity who should shoulder the entirety of the blame, especially given that more or less the same side played so magnificently against Everton.
Portions of it have been dished out and Rodgers himself has publicly taken some culpability. While a line does need to be drawn under that game, it should not be forgotten entirely. If it is to serve as a reminder of what can go wrong and a motivational tool for the remaining fixtures then at the very least it will have served a purpose.
Acknowledging shortcomings is the first step toward being able to counteract them. They are the fuel which lights the fire within. A perfect world is one within there is no room for improvement, which in itself is a fallacy. Without being empowered to strive for something better, complacency will poison the mind; turning dreams into nightmares. In the Premier League the threat of failure lurks around every corner. So long as we can feel it breathing down on us, the need to get away and move forward will be ever present.
Football as played by human beings and not numbers in a formula—a la Football Manager—will forever be ruled by those who make the fewest missteps. The reason why Guardiola’s tactics at Barcelona were copied so frequently is not because of their esthetic value but that they won games; and subsequently trophies. Methods work over a period of time due to a lack of cohesion on the part of the opponent or due to the personnel within. Once a side knows how to negate tactics or to prevent a special player from getting the ball, it all falls down.
At the highest level, making correct decisions is not enough. In order to usurp and take over, mistakes have to be made.
The sale of Liverpool Football Club to George Gillett and Tom Hicks was so substantial that the effects are still around today. It was only after Rafa Benitez left that the sheer level of damage could be seen. Even after they had gone and Kenny Dalglish had stabilised things, it wasn’t that long ago that Liverpool dominated games and did seemingly everything in their power to gain victory, only for one errant back pass or a lapse in concentration and how well things were going before became an irrelevance.
That was how it went under Kenny. The cost was dear.
Things have changed for the better. Rodgers and his team have built an aura around themselves that no matter what the opposition, they cannot keep Liverpool out. Having swept aside most of the league so far, it is the frequency of those combined poor performances and results which could ultimately define the season. On only two occasions have the club been beaten whilst playing badly; with the point away to Newcastle looking less and less calamitous in spite of it being an opportunity missed.
There is still far too much time left in the campaign to say one way or another whether anything of the mistakes of the past will become costly. So then it is up to everyone involved to make sure that standards are maintained from here on out. Added up, small errors become a big problem.
However if the timing is right, it will only take one.
Despite the emphatic derby victory, Everton will keep chasing. Juan Mata will spur on United and so long as Tottenham themselves continue to win then they cannot be ignored.
Looking upward, a double header with Arsenal could at least put the breaks on their momentum, who will be desperate to push on from their magnificent start. Chelsea and Manchester City will remain as they are but it would be reassuring to even attempt at bearing down on them and the title as opposed to being worried about being caught out in the race for fourth.
Despite having been been able to ride out the Christmas fixture list with only minimal damage, tougher times no doubt lay ahead. There will be moments when even the brilliance of Sturridge and Suarez won’t be enough.
When that happens, Liverpool must make sure that they are able to ride it out. Brendan Rodgers cannot allow one or two cracks to sink his ship. For the rest of the season the club may have to weather a storm. At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky…