There's no doubt Liverpool have had a poor start to the season, a start so bad it falls below the standard produced by Roy Hodgson in the same period, but football is not purely about results, and there have been plenty of reasons for optimism around the club.
Chief amongst these has been the emergence of a slew of exciting young players that Brendan Rodgers has been happy to throw into the first team, with Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom the three who have featured most regularly in recent games.
It is an undeniable part of football that fans love to see young prospects in their side. It's a unique thrill to see a hitherto unknown teenager break into the first team and play well. This has been true at Liverpool, where players like Sterling have given plenty of hope to fans who might otherwise have been more concerned about the results produced by the side. But looking at those results, the presence of the youngsters indicates the problems that Rodgers has in his squad.
Suso and Sterling in particular are playing in positions where Liverpool have a real lack of quality experienced options. Liverpool have had trouble balancing the squad out after the spending spree undertaken after the last regime, and are now left with some overpriced players who aren't performing well enough to make the first team.
In the summer, Kuyt and Maxi Rodrigues were shipped out when perhaps they should have been retained in favour of people like Downing and Henderson. Though the former pair weren't exactly outstanding in recent years, they would have given a better balance to squad alongside the young players breaking into the side.
At times Liverpool have looked excellent this season, and their performances in general are good enough that they should have had better results. This can be one problem with young players, that exciting play is not matched by the understanding of how to win games that comes from experience.
The likes of Suso and Sterling are real reason to have optimism around this Liverpool side, but they are also an indication of the reasons why Liverpool have had a poor start to the season, and Rodgers has a huge job facing him in reshaping the current squad.
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