Liverpool seem to have finally put their November nadir behind them after a 4-1 Anfield romp against Swansea brought up their third win in four outings.
Brendan Rodgers deserves praise for seemingly turning the tide after a quartet of straight losses at the beginning of the 11th month, but exactly how has he done so?
Finding the formation that gets the best out of the 2014/15 squad
Embracing 3-4-3 is what set Liverpool off on their current run of good form and they have now lined up in the configuration for their last five matches.
It’s evidently a way of playing that has curried favour with the players, with Adam Lallana (at the double in downing the Swans) telling reporters:
“Credit to the manager. He’s found a shape which suits the players we have in the squad.”
Sticking with it
Given the amount of pressure the media were heaping on Rodgers, he must be given credit for sticking to his 3-4-3-shaped guns after it’s maiden voyage coincided with a 3-0 defeat against Manchester United.
The scoreline hadn’t reflected Liverpool’s improved performance and Bournemouth bore the brunt in the Capital One Cup three days later.
Nailing a starting front three
Adam Lallana, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho have started every game since the 1-1 draw that eliminated the Merseysiders from the Champions League.
Leaving out the more cumbersome Rickie Lambert or Mario Balotelli from the equation has brought about a return to the kind of amorphous, hard to pin down attacking trident that brought so much joy last term.
Increased speed of play
As the side’s confidence within their system has grown, the pace of passing and movement responsible for savaging so many defences last term has returned.
One quicksilver counter against the Swans took Liverpool from defending a corner to Sterling striking the woodwork in little more than the blink of an eye.
Recognising Lucas as the lynchpin
Over the last four undefeated outings there has been a shift in the central-midfield pecking order, with Lucas starting each and every one and Steven Gerrard making way for Jordan Henderson against the Welsh side.
The Brazilian is a far more responsible defensive midfielder than his skipper, statement borne out by the fact that Liverpool have lost just two of the 14 games he has started this term, with one of those the 1-0 reverse against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu.