A temporary blip or something altogether more concerning? That is the question being asked of Liverpool right now, after what could best be described as a ‘mixed’ start to the new campaign.
Eight games in, Jurgen Klopp’s side have won only three, two of them courtesy of late goals, and the manner of their two defeats – a meek surrender at Old Trafford and a Champions League thrashing in Naples – mean that the optimism which followed July’s rousing Community Shield win over Manchester City has swiftly evaporated.
Indeed, there is a school of thought that the postponement of games against Wolves and Chelsea prior to the international break may actually have helped the Reds’ cause, sparing them further disappointment and enabling them, they hope, to nudge key players back towards fitness.
Klopp certainly hasn’t been amused by what he’s seen so far, speaking after the 4-1 loss at Napoli of the need for “reinvention” at Anfield. Victory over Ajax a week later, at least, represented a step in the right direction in that regard.
So how do you assess the opening weeks of the season? Who are the standout performers, the ones who need to lift it, and what does the rest of the campaign hold for the men from Merseyside?
GOAL takes a look below...