Liverpool’s 2021/22 Season So Far: A Reflection

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Written by Ross Chandley – @rossic89


An international break always brings up mixed emotions for me; firstly there’s the dread of not being able to watch Liverpool two or three times a week and thus having to try and fill my life with something else. Luckily, the remastered GTA is out so I’m covered there…

Secondly, I just don’t care for international football, I say international football, I mean England and all these qualifying games as I discussed on the Debate Show earlier this week.

The positive side, for me, and hopefully for you, is that I get to find the time to write banging articles like this one which is about to enter your life to fill, satisfy and exceed every expectation about what you thought this was going to be!


Assessing the season so far can be a difficult task and not one you can really summarise on Twitter. Well you can try, but you certainly can’t have a reasoned debate on there. 

It also depends on your personality, outlook and wether you allow recency bias to take control of your judgement and emotions.

I’d like to argue age and experience comes into this as well. And that’s not a condescending or patronising argument, nor am I saying there is a right or wrong. I’m not here for that. 

We’ve all lived different lives, have different expectations and have our own narratives which have been shaped by the things that have gone before us. Something which is hard to establish and understand when you’re trying to communicate on a platform with limited characters, with strangers who in reality have no idea or interest in life or context.

For example, there will be a slightly older generation, like myself, who, similarly to most other Reds fans, will be annoyed and disappointed with the draw and performance versus Brighton but can move on and accept these things in life can happen without resorting to selling half the side and throwing out “I told you so’s” the second the final whistle goes. 

But here’s the thing, there’s nothing wrong with that either. 

I don’t like it, I don’t agree with it but I understand it.

The only thing I really struggle with is how people with that mindset would cope seeing Bruno Cheyrou, Milan Jaovanovic & Paul Konchesky on a weekly basis. 

I’ve lived that life and I can honestly tell you, there are worse things in life than a draw to Brighton. 

High Standards

The other element that makes this so difficult is the ridiculously standards set by Liverpool and Manchester City over the past few seasons. Everything that you thought was the standard has been ripped up, set on fire and raised season on season. 

Every single game from the get go is must win. There is no time for draws, no time to accept that other sides might be having a really good game, no time for respect and appreciation. It’s the football equivalent to the glass bridge game from Squid Games. 

You slip up, make a wrong move, you’re done. 

At least that’s what it feels like. But is it really? 

Chelsea have thrown themselves into the mix this season. Rightly so; reigning European Champions, top of the league, hardly conceded a goal, Tuchel Manager of the Month, unreal side. 

But they drew at home to Burnley. At home. The side that is arguably the favourite to win the title. Dropped points at home. 

Man City. We all know how good they are: the football, the tactics, the options they have, the squad depth. 

Lost at home to Crystal Palace. 

To be fair to Crystal Palace, they’ve been pretty good. But you’d have put your house on them winning that game. 

The point I’m essentially trying to make is that rightly or wrongly, we concentrate a lot on our own team. When in reality there’s multiple fan bases living the same life as us. Looking out for our results. Eyeing up our injury list as well as their own. 

We’ve become a victim of our own amazing success over the past few seasons, and I don’t mean the club. I mean us as fans. Well, some fans. 

I got into football because I love it. I used to be able to play it before I got fat, old and slow. But it’s still a form of escapism, a reason to get away from the stresses of life. Ninety minutes of not caring about anything in the world. 

For some it feels like the success of recent years, again rightly or wrongly has hindered that enjoyment and a sense of appreciation which for me, is the best Liverpool side in my life time. 

And once again, I’ll state, that being upset, wanting better, realising that performances aren’t good enough is not wrong. Fully on board with that. 

But let’s not get carried away. 

Season So Far

As mentioned this depends entirely on your outlook for me. 

I’m a glass half full kind of person so having won four from four in the Champions League group with top spot secured and only losing one game in 11 in the Premier League games sounds pretty good to me, to be honest. 

I’d love to hear your perspective. 

The only issue I have, and like many others, is that there’s three teams above us. Too many draws for my liking. Even if two of them were against title rivals. 

Not a bad place to be really when you think about it though is it? Your standards are so high that one of your major disappointments is that you didn’t win a game of football, but you drew it. 

And don’t worry I hear you “too many draws won’t win us the league” – Possibly. But that won’t be known until May.

Four points off top spot is nothing. Enjoy the ride, this is what we all signed up for, the conversations we wanted to be part of. Yes it’s bloody stressful, yes it can seriously ruin your weekend. But I will bring it back to age and experience. I will not turn my nose up to what this side has achieved so far this season. 

Get back to me when you’ve seen some of the players I mentioned before, when we scrapped for top four. I’m happy to live this pulsating and stressful life for the club I love.

I cannot and will not engage with “That’s it, leagues done. Be lucky to get top four” statements on social media. It’s not constructive, it’s not helpful and it’s clearly not true.

I fully understand wanting to win every game, expecting more from this Liverpool side and as I mentioned, like the majority of fans, the underlying frustration is that we should have won a few more games. 

But such is life, we can’t always have what we want.

I think it’s also a fair assessment to look at certain players an realise that they’ve not hit standards of previous seasons. But you can do it without digging people out. Has Andy Robbo had better games, better form, better returns on assists before? Yep. Could he do with a little rest? Probably. But that’s not to say he’s done. He isn’t.

He’s not the only one either. But these things happen. Not just in football. But life. Can you honestly say you’ve performed to your absolute max week in, week out all your life? I know I can’t.

Money is irrelevant in this argument too. I don’t care how much money you get paid, you can still have bad days. You could pay me £100,000 a week and I’d still be blowing smoke out my arse after five minutes. 

Let’s cherish and respect the lads that we have and treat them like humans, not machines.

Fear and solutions

Fear. Fear of falling behind. Fear of not winning the league. Fear of things falling apart. Fear of standards slipping. 

Fans try and find solutions to problems. Or certainly what we perceive as problems. It’s what we do, it’s part of the post match chat. A “what would you do differently” “how can we improve X” and the age old classic “would you take Coutinho back?”

Except this season/past week it’s been Gini instead of Coutinho. A reasonable arguments. But one that is built on hindsight.

Hindsight that I think most of us saw coming, oddly.

We went into the season wanting more. “Just another midfielder please, reckon we will pick up a few injuries” – a theory shared by 99% of the fan base. Yet one most of it ended up arguing about. Something which I still don’t get. 

We all want the same, we want sustained success. That’s under Jurgen Klopp and long after he’s gone. 

But for a plethora of reasons we didn’t get one. Something which others choose to move on from, others not so much. 

So now, when we find ourselves with an abundance of injuries in the middle of the park, which as mentioned, a lot of us saw coming, we’re now met with those “I told you so” comments. Which for the final time, we all wanted. You can’t start an argument with someone that agrees with you. 

Liverpool’s issues v Brighton, West Ham, Brentford et al may feel like they are defensive issues; conceding too many goals, being a bit sloppy, rash and not in control of a game. When in truth they are coming from the midfield, in my humble and quite frankly top notch opinion.

The wrong balance, not enough protection, understanding of the system, someone filling in for full backs. Basically a Gini Wijnaldum figure. 

He’s not here, it’s pointless fawning for something we don’t have. It’s up to Jurgen and the coaching staff to find solutions. Solutions which will be eased by getting lads off the treatment table and into the side. Being able to look at the bench and think when something isn’t working you have the ability to change the dynamic of a game. 

And that’s not to say we can’t have the Gini debate. Maybe we need another DM in the future, someone of Gini qualities, but younger. 

I’m also a bit of a hypocrite here as well. The major thing I took from pre season was the the shift in the middle of the park; committing more bodies to the attacks, young Harvey Elliott running into the channels, Hendo bombing forward, all the goals, all the entertainment and what felt at times, the solution to slow transitional play which cost us so many games last season. 

That style only works when you have the right personnel. Which as we’re all aware we don’t have right now.


Bit bizarre to be saying what ultimately feels like one of many school reports that I received back in the day but I’m content with the season so far in terms of league place and where we’ve found ourselves in the Champions League but can’t help but feel we’re “not showing full potential” right now. 

That’s down to injuries and I don’t actually think with everyone available we’ve hit 4th or 5th gear yet. We didn’t even do that when we played United. They were just terrible. 

But we can get to those gears, we can achieve another long stretch of unbeaten games, we will get bodies back. Yes AFCON will be a massive test but it’s going to be on the likes of Divock and Taki to step up when needed, or perhaps a Julian Ward buy in January, if anyone is willing to sell someone half decent to us.

League titles aren’t won in November, there’s a bloody long way to go, many paths to cross, nights of absolute jubilation, sprinkled with the odd s***-show here and there. That’s football. 

Other teams in and around us will be the same. We’ve just got to keep going, believe in this gang of lads, appreciate that we own the best player in world football right now and enjoy the ride. 

Ross – @rossic89

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