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What a difference Xabi Alonso makes. Liverpool has looked very weak so far this year. Few things make me happier than this. I always hear people talking about how Lucas is a very underrated player and doesn't deserve all the crap he gets from fans and the media, but without alonso linking Gerrard and Mascherano in midfield Liverpool is really stagnant. In the Villa game I watched it seemed like all their offensive drives went through Johnson on the wing. i think he was a brilliant signing though, he's (and maybe this is hyperbole) reminded me a lot of Maicon the way he makes runs forward and his quickness and dribbling skills.

That's about all they have going for them though. I'm pretty convinced they're going to finish fourth at best this year. Too little depth and they've done a poor job of replacing Alonso. Arsenal's looked strong and United has looked.. well alright. But it is the beginning of the season so things will surely change. But for now it's nice to see Liverpool and United struggling while we're thriving. Our ball possession and number of shots so far this season has been absolutely fantastic. Only complaint is our frustration in finishing. Also I'm glad to see Ballack back performing wonderfully. I gave him a lot of grief over the last season and even called for his release over the summer, but he's looked absolutely brilliant in the diamond formation and has done a great job of getting in position to score his first 2 goals of the season.

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