Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has made a very bold statement that his team is not that far away from champions Manchester City, who are in second place in the Premier League table.
I think the Ulsterman is getting slightly carried away.
Liverpool have been in very decent form in recent weeks and the run has saw the Reds move into the top half of the table.
Brendan Rodgers men are now just four points behind arch-rivals Everton who are fourth.
Liverpool host relegation-threatened Aston Villa at Anfield later today looking to continue their decent run of form. Star striker Luis Suarez will return from a one game ban to face the Villans and will look to add to his Premier League goal tally.
Liverpool boss Rodgers believes that there isn’t too much difference between his side and champions Manchester City.
The Reds boss told Sky Sports: “For me the ambition is to grow higher. We are 11 points off second and that can all turn around very quickly so you need to get consistency – and that is what we have at the minute.”
To aim for second is maybe slightly over-ambitious, but it shows that Rodgers does have the necessary ambition to be Liverpool boss. Liverpool as a club have been underachieving for a good while now.
This statement shows that despite how unrealistic a second place finish is Rodgers is looking for his team to move forward.
Liverpool have made progress under Rodgers this season. The style of play that the Liverpool boss has instilled at Anfield is not much different to how the Reds have played in recent years. Liverpool have always liked to play passing football.
However, under Rodgers the players are keeping possession far better than under the likes of Kenny Dalglish and Roy Hodgson. Most of the Liverpool players have bought into Rodgers ideas and it has paid dividends in recent weeks.
The Reds didn’t enjoy the best of starts to the season, but the team is now settled and looking more like a team that can be compete at the top end of the Premier League table. Rodgers has also managed to bring through the likes of Raheem Sterling and Andre Wisdom from the youth setup at Anfield.
The current sense of optimism must be tempered with slight caution. Liverpool have had so many false dawns down the years and it’s still very early in Rodgers tenure as Liverpool manager. The early signs are good though that Rodgers can revive the fortunes of the flagging giant.
There is still plenty of time for Liverpool to move up the table and challenge for the top four this season. However the Reds face stiff competition from a number of clubs that currently look better placed to claim that lucrative fourth spot.
The likes of Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton and even West Brom are all looking to finish in fourth spot. The fight for a top six place will also be a tough one. One of the big contenders will miss out on European football completely.
The teams around that fourth spot have been very inconsistent this season. However, they all have the quality to put together a strong run of results. Everton have a habit of putting together exceptional runs of results in the second half of seasons.
Arsenal bounced back from a poor first half to last season to finish in third. West Brom seem to have hit a bump in the road, but will no doubt rediscover their form and Tottenham definitely have the quality to finish in the top four spots.
Liverpool have improved as a team under Brendan Rodgers. It’s going to be difficult for the Reds to finish in the top four. However, I believe a top six finish in his first season wouldn’t be a terrible result for the highly-rated boss.
Liverpool are no doubt on the up, but they are far from the finished article. The former-Swansea boss has made a very decent start at Anfield and looks to have a bright future on Merseyside.
Can Liverpool finish in the top four this season?