The new English football season has just started, and my beloved Liverpool are due to play Aston Villa away later in the Barclays Premier League. With several expensive new signings on board, much is expected of Rafa and his charges to deliver immediately. I’m personally quite excited by the new-look team but am keeping my fingers crossed, as usual. The past few seasons had promised much at the beginning, but ended up in disappointing fashion. Once bitten twice shy, I’m not going to be fooled by all these pre-season hype.
My head says the new players will take time to gel, and maybe they will take a season or two to finally take the title that has eluded the club since 1990. My heart, of course, will hope that the drought will end come May 2008.
And it is my personal belief that Liverpool’s first seven games will define their league season this time round. That’s 21 points – the number of points they were behind the champions last season. They had always been slow starters the last couple of seasons and in each of those seasons they finished some points off the eventual champions. Jamie Carragher had said that they could not afford to start slowly last season, and the team ended up doing exactly that.
This season, if they want to improve, they will have to start strong. It is heartening to hear that Rafa has actually set a 60-goal target for his four strikers – Torres, Crouch, Kuyt and Voronin. At least we now know that he is thinking of playing attacking football this term.
I really wish that the players will live up to expectations and push Man Utd and Chelsea all the way to the end.
So, the first game? Liverpool 2 Aston Villa 0.