Monday’s heavy win over Leeds gave fans the chance to reflect positively, for once, on a Liverpool performance. So what can we take from the game?
Two Liverpool-born players were arguably the stars of the show as the Reds thrashed Leeds at Elland Road, to move onto 47 points with eight games left to play.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side are still unlikely to qualify for the Champions League, sitting nine off Newcastle in fourth.
But if they can replicate this performance several times before the end of the season, it will make Liverpool a more attractive prospect going into a busy summer transfer window.
Here, Sam Millne (@sam_millne), Adam Beattie (@beatts94) and Tom Eves (@TomEvesJourno) discuss Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s new position and Curtis Jones‘ future after Liverpool’s 6-1 win against Leeds.
Firstly, Adam, how was the away end?
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Adam: It was a real display of solidarity in the away end, probably the best it has been all season and definitely my favourite.
It would be easy to throw in the towel at times like this, particularly given the fact we are so used to still having things to play for at this point.
But the supporters showed that we are still with these players and the manager, and it looked to me like that was reciprocated at the end.
Who impressed most?
Tom: Honestly, there were a number of names that stood out to me.
Trent looked great in this new system drifting into midfield more; Diogo Jota, after a quiet first half, got himself into the game with a couple of great finishes; but for me personally, Jones impressed the most.
I have to say I have had my doubts about him, but he offered so much going forward.
Sam: It perhaps went under the radar, but Andy Robertson had a brilliant game.
Singlehandedly, he dragged Liverpool up the pitch to help set up Mo Salah‘s second goal, and his counter-pressing was the best I’ve seen for a long time.
Adam: For the first time in a while, we’re a bit spoilt for choice.
I really enjoyed what Alexander-Arnold was doing in his more advanced role, and I’ve got a feeling we’re going to start seeing a lot more of that next season.
I thought Jones showed some glimpses and Robertson worked really hard on that left-hand side, but I think Salah was the standout. He caused them all sorts of problems and took his goals really well.
His tally for the season is going to end up looking really impressive despite all our struggles.
Do you think the new system, with Trent further forward, could work long-term?
Adam: I’m still a little bit unsure how it is all going to look, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see us go into the market for a right-back if this is genuinely the long-term plan.
He has unquestionably got the quality for it, he’s one of the most talented players we have ever produced, and if this position helps us get the most out of his attributes then I’m definitely not against it.
Tom: I think it was very promising and the new system worked well, but I’m not going to get too excited just yet.
Leeds have their problems and I am intrigued to see how the new system would fare against tougher opposition. But so far, so good!
Trent looked back to his best, though, so hopefully it continues.
Jones is beginning to find his feet again, would he be a player to keep or sell?
Adam: I’m a big Jones fan, but even just from a homegrown and midfielder shortage point of view, I think we’d be daft to sell him this summer.
It is clear that the manager likes him and unless we buy six midfielders, there will be minutes for him.
But I do think that next season will be massive for him if he is to carve out a long-term role within the side.
Tom: I would look to keep Jones as we are already probably losing Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the summer.
We need to be reinforcing the midfield options, not depleting them. Also, this game showed that Jones can still offer something.
Sam: I agree that it would be a mistake to sell him.
He has spoken recently about how much injuries have hampered him, but as he gets older, they will hopefully fade.
He is a player of undoubtedly brilliant technical ability but I don’t feel he’ll ever be the first name on the teamsheet.
What kind of message can a winning end to the season send, even if we don’t qualify for the Champions League?
Tom: It’s important Liverpool keep winning to show our transfer targets that we are still a very good team and an attractive side to come and play for.
Finishing strongly could also hopefully restore some confidence back into the team heading into next season.
Sam: The general mood around the club is so important over the summer.
Winning games brings an aura of confidence around the club, something that’s been missing this season.
I just hope that a good run of form doesn’t make Liverpool complacent in the transfer market.
There is also the matter of Europa League qualification!
Adam: We’ve got first-hand experience seeing how momentum can help us going into a new campaign.
Nobody could have foreseen us going so close to a quadruple during the struggles we were having in the Covid season, but the strong finish we had gave us a platform to build from, and we never looked back.
Top four is gone but belief is everything, and it is something we’ve been missing at times this season.
So it would be good for the players to give themselves a reminder of how good they can be.
Finally, will this be another false dawn?
Adam: I am very bored of false dawns this season.
For me, we need to see a substantial run before we can draw any conclusions, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
The dominance and ruthlessness we showed were really promising, and it was just nice for us to get three points on the road because our away record has been dismal.
Tom: My immediate feeling is relief to be quite honest.
I was nervous about the prospect of another away game but glad we managed to get the win – and in style too!
It was a massive win and it is a great result going into the Nottingham Forest match. Another must-win game.