So Liverpool secured just their second league win of the season at the weekend – but it was against newly-promoted Reading who are still seeking their first Premier League victory.
The Reds have now picked up seven points from their last three league games, and things seem to slowly be picking up for Brendan Rodgers’ men.
But the true shining light has undoubtedly been Raheem Sterling. The 17-year-old came into this campaign an unheralded youngster, and at the weekend became Liverpool’s second youngest Premier League goal scorer behind Michael Owen.
Add an England call-up into the mix, and that is not bad for a player who spent the majority of last year turning out for Liverpool’s youth teams and reserves.
The Jamaican-born youngster is hugely talented and with the first-team football he is getting at Anfield will surely be a star in future, having earned numerous comparisons with club great John Barnes.
What is not so certain however, is where Liverpool will end up this season. Despite dominating for large periods against the Royals, the home side failed to deliver a telling blow to secure the win.
Rodgers will be hoping that Sterling’s remarkable progress continues, and with it, the upturn in Liverpool’s form.
Edin Dzeko’s impact at Manchester City demands the striker plays more than just a bit-part role at the club.
After scoring two vital goals on Saturday to turnaround a 1-0 deficit and earn three precious points at West Bromwich Albion, the Bosnian bristled at suggestions he was a super sub.
He wants to start, he demanded. And so he should. He is ridiculously underrated by many, including many City supporters who claim he does not fit into the team’s style pf player or he failed to justify his transfer fee.
But Mario Balotelli, for all his technical brilliance, just does not find the net with anywhere near as much consistency as Dzeko.
Sergio Aguero is probably the best of striker in City’s ranks while Carlos Tevez is clearly an excellent option, but Dzeko deserves a chance.
Last season, he scored four at Tottenham in a 5-1 win, two at Old Trafford as United were beaten 6-1, the game’s only goal in a vital win at Wigan, and memorably a 90th-minute strike to pull it back to 3-2 before Aguero’s heroics to earn three points and the title on that last day against QPR.
He is a scorer of big goals, vital goals. And he has done it this season already with 11 strikes in 16 appearances for club and country, a lot coming off the bench.
He should be more than a super sub. He has the attributes to be a success in the Premier League, with pace, power, bravery and above all an ability to find the net.
Mancini should put more faith in the 26-year-old.
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