A change in management and a change in the first XI were not the only differences Liverpool fans will have seen on Sunday. As predicted, the Anfield club showed a new lease of life, added vitality and a “never say die” attitude.
Despite a very harsh penalty decision during the game, and Steven Gerrard’s red card just after half an hour, Liverpool did not stop believing, something that fans did not see on their away day to Blackburn last week.
For the new Liverpool manager, Dalglish will still have his work cut out. You cannot win games on attitude alone and although he brought in some new names to starting line up, his next task will surely be to find some quality up front so the goals begin to flow again.
One negative to come out of the game was that of Fernando Torres’ performance. He just hasn’t been himself this season. Yes, much of it can be put down to injury but the striker did not seem as interested in a result against Manchester United than his team mates did. Once Gerrard received his marching orders from referee Howard Webb, his head dropped so far down, you could have thought he was playing in an under-10’s match and losing seven-nil.
Dalglish will want to address this quickly, and January will mean one, or possibly two signings to bolster things up front. Torres needs help regardless of form, he can’t do everything himself upfront and having the Liverpool Captain with him all the time is not the answer. Who Dalglish will see fit to fill this position will remain interesting over the next three weeks.
Changes to the defence did make Liverpool look much more organised. No Carragher did take some spice out of the match, but the re-introduction of Daniel Agger and the youngster Martin Kelly showed that Dalglish will make the team his own and introduce youngsters if the more experienced players are doing their jobs.
With the FA Cup now out of the way, Liverpool will be able to focus on the Premier League and try and get back into a better position, however Dalglish has already stated that he will take the pressure on.
“I’ll deal with the pressure the same way everyone else deals with it,You go about your job to the best of your ability and what happens happens. How do you know you can do anything unless you try it? I’ll give it everything I’ve got to put this club in a better position.”
The former Liverpool striker added.
“Whether that will be sufficient for everyone I don’t know but I can’t see into the future. All I can do is promise what I did when I signed for the club in 1977, they will get 100 per cent effort from Kenny Dalglish and that is the way I’ll go about it.”
There is a long journey ahead for this Liverpool team and the destination may not be as gold as they would like, some will not make the journey, others will be “dropped” off on the way, and others will join Liverpool as they look to start all over again, again.