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It won't be as long a ride as you're preparing for.
It won't be as long a ride as you're preparing for.

This is the problem with opening days. The results of them tend to get blown out of proportion because there's added focus on them. After all, you spend weeks looking forward to the season kicking off, which is more emotion than you'll probably pour into most other games of the season. I remember living in Boston and everyone losing their mud over what happened on Opening Day. Despite they're being 161 games left, the Red Sox were either a last place team or going to win the World Series based on what happened in the very first game, such were their fans' reactions. It's the same with Liverpool, and I feel like with a couple days to let the anger and disappointment simmer down, we can look at what it means more clearly. Which is nothing. And we can dispel some things completely.

-That it was a complete shellacking - Here the scoreline is deceiving. West Brom taking the lead was completely against the run of play, and not something that was the result of a Liverpool mistake (unless you count woeful finishing as a mistake, which it most certainly is). Things didn't get out of hand until Liverpool were down a man and two goals, when they basically waved the white flag (more on this in a bit). Even in the brief interlude between the missed penalty and the converted one, when Liverpool were with 10 men, they were giving as good as they were getting. The scoreline was a result of Rodgers still trying to pull the game back instead of just limit the defeat. Lucas was withdrawn, opening things up. And I really don't have much of a problem with a manager trying to win a match at all times. Yes, goal difference can matter at the end of the season, but that's too long off now to worry about the trade of an ugly scoreline for the chance at pulling something out of the hat.

-That Rodgers has some massive systematic overhaul to implement - This is the one that gets to me, because it's not like Kenny Dalglish used a Stoke-level hoof-and-chase system. In fact, for a good majority of last season, Liverpool played some lovely stuff at times and were usually on the front foot. There are obviously changes being made, such as the higher line of the defense and less insistence on getting wide and crossing (which Liverpool suck at anyway), but this really shouldn't be a massive departure from what the players are used to. If it is, it feels like that's more on them than it is the manager. That doesn't mean it should be seamless, but it also shouldn't look like monkeys humping a football either. Which it didn't on Saturday for the most part.

-That Agger and Skrtel can't handle their fullbacks getting forward and being isolated - Okay, the build up to Agger's sending off didn't look good, but I don't recall Johnson and Enrique being locked back in their own half last season much, do you? Again, this really shouldn't be that huge of an adjustment. Yes, it's a higher line, but the culprit wasn't their incompetence but a terrible giveaway by Gerrard at a point when you simply can't do that as all of Allen, Lucas, Skrtel, and Agger were taking up positions that you take up when your team is in possession.

Now here is my one worry. It's not even the finishing, because I can't believe that Suarez is going to have a second straight season of having the radar off. And we'll remember that until about March, I think the exact date could be pointed at Robin Van Persie winning a game at Anfield by himself, Liverpool never threw in the towel. They'd charge and charge, create boatloads of chances at the end, never convert. But after that Arsenal match, when anything went wrong, the whole team chucked it. They never looked like equalizing in those matches, nor did they ever look interested in doing so. To me, this is the biggest thing Rodgers has to change, a sense of belief. Or at the very least, not having a sense of "Here we go again." The players can adjust to the stuff on the field better than they are given credit for. But what's between the ears? That feels like it has longer to go.