Despite Liverpool hitting the self-destruct button not once but twice against Manchester City, I have been left very impressed with what I have just seen from Brendan Rodgers’ team. The passing was fluid, as we have come to expect from a Rodgers’ side, and the pressure exerted on the Man City players from defence to attack was constant and effective.
The most impressive thing to note about this Liverpool side, however, is that there were seven players in the starting eleven aged 25 or younger, and just one player, Steven Gerrard, who is over the age of 30. With the inclusion of Raheem Sterling in place of Stewart Downing, Brendan Rodgers has signaled his intent to build for the future and give Liverpool’s youngsters a chance in the Premier League.
While the result may have been a disappointment, the performance certainly wasn’t, as Liverpool’s team of youngsters out-played their more experienced and illustrious opponents and were very unlucky not to win the match.
Raheem Sterling was a joy to watch as the young winger started his first Premier League match. Throughout the game Sterling made the City defence look slow and clumsy as he used his caché of skills and his electrifying pace to beat Kolo Toure with ease time after time, making Toure look like the rookie. Kopites can rightly be excited about the 17-year-old addition, who certainly has the potential to be one of the best wide-players in Liverpool’s illustrious history.
We also witnessed a master-class of passing from fellow youngster Joe Allen as the 22-year-old reprised memories of Xabi Alonso pinging the ball across the pitch with great accuracy and finesse. The young Welshman was magnificent today, deservedly picking up the man-of-the-match award, and if he can maintain that level of industry, skill, and passion, then the Anfield crowd will quickly fall in love with the central midfielder.
Besides these two relative newcomers to the Liverpool side, we also saw outstanding performances from Martin Kelly, Sebastian Coates, Jonjo Shelvey, and Fabio Borini. Should these men keep up their current level they will certainly be a big part of Liverpool’s future under Brendan Rodgers.
Outside the players who played today there is a glut of youngsters waiting to take the step up at Anfield, such as Suso, Dani Pacheco, Jordan Henderson, Adam Morgan, Andre Wisdom, John Flannagan, Jack Robinson, and Jordon Ibe, just to name a few.
It should also be remembered that players such as Lucas Leiva and Luis Suarez are also still relatively young and are only now coming into the prime of their careers.
It is with this information in mind that I would urge Liverpool fans everywhere to take today’s result with a pinch of salt as with the quality of the youth players at the club and the progressive techniques of Brendan Rodgers the future at Anfield is bound to be a bright one.
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