By Gary Murray
Let’s start with the Merseyside derby, 1 point gained or 2 points dropped?
The way I feel about the game, it’s got to be 2 points dropped for me. I’m hoping, come the end of the season, it turns out to be a point gained, but right now it can’t be seen as that. We’ve discussed on the podcast how we were disappointed with our approach to the game (too defensive), but even with that, we had the chances in the game to get the win. On another day with an in form Salah, the game probably finishes 2 or 3 nil and we’re still sitting top of the league. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be.
Jamie Carragher stated before the Manchester Utd game that if Liverpool got through the week of Utd away, Watford home and Everton away still top then it has been a good week. With Liverpool 2nd does that now make it a bad week?
Similar to my previous answer, I’m hoping when the 38 games have been played, that point at Goodison turns into a great point. I don’t think you can really say it’s been a bad week. A point at Old Trafford isn't exactly a given, especially with the form Solskjaer has them in. Then we’ve gained a point at Goodison in the derby, again, never an easy one. Even if we were confident going into the game, derbies are notoriously difficult and this was a very determined and resolute Everton team. Finally, the 3 points at home to Watford was probably to be expected, no disrespect to Watford there, but at Anfield we should be beating them and we did so convincingly. It’s not ideal drawing the two away games with the way city are rolling out victories, but to say its a bad week would maybe be a bit harsh.
Moving onto this weekend, Burnley at home. What changes would you like to see Jurgen Klopp make? If any?
For me we’ve got to go more attacking than we did against Everton. I’d like to see Keita back in I think. Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably a bit of a risk playing him with how poor he’s been in his debut season for us, but I just think in this game he’ll probably be able to put a similar performance in to what he put in against Bournemouth. One of his main issues is his decision making, I find that he keeps hold of the ball too long when he should release it. Against Bournemouth he got that balance of dribbling vs passing right and looked like the player we thought we were getting. Other than that, probably just bringing Firmino back in for Origi would be the only other obvious change. Everywhere other position is pretty much cemented in my opinion!
Finally, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is due to play in an U23 game this weekend and has been back in full training. How much of a boost is it to have him fit for the final 2 months of the season?
It’s hard not to get excited, we’ve definitely missed that attack minded midfield link to the forwards, but it’d be a bit harsh on him if we expected too much. It was a bad injury and he wasn’t expected back until next season. The fact he could feature at the business end of the season and has been included in the champions league squad for the knockout stages is remarkable. I’m more hopeful than expectant that he can have his say on the how the season turns out but who knows? Let’s just get him through the U23 game and get him training regularly with the team, then go from there..... Fingers crossed!!