After the fun of last season, time for business at LFC

Lee Coates enjoyed last season like the rest of us, but it’s all about getting business done this season.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 13, 2014: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the winning third goal against Manchester City with team-mates captain Steven Gerrard and Jon Flanagan during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alright lads, you’ve had your fun.

So, Luis Suarez came to town. Made us feel like kids again. We’d never had so much fun. It was chaos. He shook us up. Urged the youthful exuberance out of each and every one of us. He’s gone now. We go back to the Mrs. Back to the world we had planned out for ourselves. We couldn’t live this way every day.

The summer passed with anthem belting heat and shoulder biting antics. It was entertaining but it was only a filler. A smokescreen for Ian Ayre’s frequent motorcycle rides around Europe. He brought in function and depth. Emre Can, a man built for any sport. Markovic, a man with direction.

Lallana, a man with la in his name (twice). Lambert, a man who believes in fairytales. Full backs, two of them. Rodgers is plugging in the gaps. The gaps that were always apparent but often covered up by our performing attackers who instead screamed:

“Nothing to see here, look at me dance! Look! Look!”

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 12, 2014: Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Stoke City, with team-mate Daniel Sturridge, during the Premiership match at the Britannia Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)


New Dawn

Southampton turned up a determined bunch. Their most attractive feathers had been plucked away from all corners of the country. They’ll grow back. They know that.

It was a simplistic game. No real coherence from anyone. The Saints drew triangles around our defenders and at times got in behind. Without Lovren we may had encountered more trouble than we did. He’s calmed us all down. We can rely on Lovren. He knows what he’s doing back there. Leave him to it.

Sturridge and Sterling were sharp and potent, while the familiar midfield duo of Henderson and Gerrard were solid. In between this foursome was Coutinho. A Coutinho that had spent the summer thinking about how good he is, then deciding to show it. Against Southampton he was quiet, even hauled off half way through the second half, but there’s something to come from him, and it’s coming soon. He lit up our friendlies with some outstanding playmaking and while fingers were pointed at Sturridge as the man to step up as our front man, Coutinho will have quietly decided he’s going to be the one that ushers the brush strokes in this picture.

We poked our goals in. Southampton hammered theirs in. We got two of them, they got one. Three points gained. Three for the Liverpool consumers, that is. The ones that see football in terms of points. The first game of the season is all about getting the points on the board, that’s what they tell you.

Well, not anymore.

We expect a lot from our players in red. We expect a lot from football. Who cares if we won? Where was the madness? I dare say, it’s gone. Plastering over a leak in the Sistine Chapel may do the job, but it doesn’t look pretty.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 17, 2014: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the second goal against Southampton during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is how we go about our business now. And it is business.

We’re a team with sensibilities. A team with three points on the brain. We’ll grind out results if we have to. It’s a move forward. Genius can be flawed. Systems, sometimes not. We’re no longer the stereotype, we’re the product getting prepared for release.

It’s a sad matter (enhanced by the fact Johnny Tillotson’s Poetry in Motion has just come on in my current location) that we can’t continue from last year. But romance is short, and while it lasts, beautiful. Suarez was a romantic and a force. Mourning is allowed, but not recommended. We celebrate last season for the glorious feeling it gave us, but we look to this season with trophies in our eyes.

(The Marcel’s Blue Moon comes on next).

Our football last season was great but we’ve had our fun, for now, anyway. Let’s get down to business. Let’s get three points. Then another. And another. And another, another, another. We’ll get our points and May will come and then we’ll be having all the fun in the world.

Lee Coates