Bit of both Roy. Yes, I'm comfy on this fence!
Didn't manage to catch it live, but recorded the game and watched it after work. It was an impressive taster of things to come wasn't it? And the upshot is, on paper, it should become better over time.
Things that stood out:
Reina seemed to really thrive playing that sweeper keeper role again. His passing is superb, and it keeps his concentration levels up when he's playing that role - more involved y'see.
Kind of beating the same drum as I have for a while now, but what a footballer Glen Johnson is. He just oozes quality, and almost everything he does is intelligent and dangerous. Also - is he the only footballer who's weaker foot is in fact his strongest foot! His goal was really nice, and I wouldn't put it past him to chip in with 5 or 6 this season.
Enrique moved the ball on quicker, and his defending was reliable. I wonder if he can add a bit of brains to his game. He has everything there to be one of the best left backs in the business, but he does need to think things through a bit more. It'll be interesting to see how he plays Valencia when we come up against the Mancs early on, because last year he got shown up, badly.
Skrtel and Agger were their usual self. Comfortable on the ball and solid in their defensive work. Although Gomel weren't the best team I've ever seen, I thought their number 9 was a tidy player, and Agger and Skrtel kept him quiet. Please just keep those two together...
Lucas was just Lucas. Amazing how much poise and structure his presence adds to the team. He was moving the ball quickly, his stamina seemed good, and he even broke forward when he got the chance. He and Allen are going to dovetail wonderfully together. And why wouldn't they? They're both brilliant footballers.
Downing... hmm.... this is still a problem for me. FWIW, I like him and in the right team, I.e Aston Villa, he can be a really effective player. Still think he's all too prone to playing in straight lines, and I think that's going to be a problem for Rodgers. Ideally I think he'd have someone much more fluent playing out there. Gaston...!
Another lesson from last night... please play Gerrard off a front man. Just get that man as close to goal as possible, and watch how natural it looks to him. Remember his comeback game vs Newcastle last season? We were struggling through that game, but he was always the one that was looking most likely to make something happen. I recall saying to Rohit that he played the number 10 role more in the way Zidane or someone of that sort would that night. Less blood and thunder, but more guile. To be fair, last night was more the old Gerrard. He was looking as fit as he has been in a long time, and he must of covered a fair bit of ground. His link up with Suarez was a joy to behold. You only had to watch the Norwich game from last season to see that.
Borini looked the part too didn't he? Moves the ball into the right positions, pressed the ball consistently, and scored a really tidy goal. Helps that he knows what Rodgers wants from someone playing that role. I think those saying he was a more technically efficient Dirk are right. Going from last night anyway...
Suarez. A genius. Plain and simple. Some of the stuff he was pulling off last night was just outrageously good. Yes, it's only Gomel, but he's done it to the Mancs, Arsenal, Chelsea all on multiple occasions. I can only begin to imagine how hard it must be for a defender to try and read what he's going to do. When Torres was playing for us, his trademark move was dribbling through the left had channel, opening his body up for the right footed shot and then closing his body back inside to open up a scoring position. The goal that springs to mind is the one he scored at White Hart Lane a few seasons back. With Suarez, there's no trademark move. It's just amazing balance and coordination. He can move the ball 5 different directions in one 2 yard dribble. What chance do most defenders have against that?
People were quick to write him off playing that false 9 role last season, but what last night showed was he can do it, and do it well. He just needs the system in place, as well as the personnel.