Tonight’s win over Alashkert was… a win. It was not a great performance, and indeed our opponent appeared technically superior at times, but it gives Steven Gerrard’s side a small advantage going to Armenia next week.
It wasn’t the morale-boosting gung-ho display we wanted, and demonstrated a tonne of players still aren’t clicking this season, but while it was the very thing we warned against (less than a 5-0 drubbing), it still was a win.
It’s hard to be overly excited by what we saw – a clutch of players who had another quite horrible first half, before Scott Wright’s introduction saw energy and an increase in tempo – it also brought the best out from Ianis Hagi and gave us a bit more gumption in the second half.
To only score one against a side this bad isn’t great, Alashkert might be Armenian champions but they’re having a horrible season now. Sound familiar?
What did we learn from this? Not much, in truth. That our players are still drunk from 55, that Steven Gerrard’s European Midas Touch is not there yet this season, and that the squad seems to have regressed from last season alarmingly.
But in the past 2 weeks, these were all evident anyway.
There is a lot of work to do to get back the form, energy, will and quality we had for most of last season, because at present we’re miles off it.
But a win is a win and a group stage still earns us a decent £3.5M quid.
It’s better than nothing.