During the course of this holiday break, Liverpool have experienced extreme highs and devastating lows. The joy of going top of the table after the win over Cardiff was soon crushed by the losses to Manchester City and Chelsea, both of which were hard to swallow.
The win over Hull was a return to normality, as well as a return to the top four, albeit six points off top spot.
The win over Cardiff was business as usual. Liverpool dominated, powered by another brilliant Luis Suarez performance and earned the three points with relative ease. But then came the trip to the Etihad Stadium.
Liverpool fought hard and played well, so well that they really should have won the game. Were it not for a terrible offside decision by the assisting referee to deny Raheem Sterling's goal and Simon Mignolet's first real mistake of the season, the Reds would have rightfully left Manchester with three points.
Unfortunately, Liverpool were unlucky (hitting the woodwork for a league leading 16th time) and lost 2-1.
The trip to Stamford Bridge was a chance to recover from this unfortunate defeat. However, the team did not play with the same sharpness and desire. The passes were sloppy; yes, Liverpool may have been attempting a more vertical, high-risk approach, but the passes were sloppy even for that style.
Despite jumping out to an early lead, Liverpool allowed Chelsea space to run at the defence and, as is usually the case with Eden Hazard, that was a fatal mistake.
Although the performance was worse than at Manchester City, Liverpool were still entitled to feel a little robbed. The Chelsea goals came from two fortunate deflections from passes by Oscar and again the Reds were unlucky to hit the post.
Mignolet was guilty of a mistake, as he probably could have dealt with Eto'o's shot with more strength, but seeing as this was only his second big mistake of the season, he can be given some reprieve.
The chance to return to Anfield provided Liverpool with a much needed recovery from their recent run of losses. A comprehensive 2-0 win over Hull ensured that Liverpool returned to winning ways and can still reach the top of the table.
And facing all of their major competition at home, except for Manchester United, should help the Reds make up the point gap and right the wrongs of these past two losses.
One thing became painfully obvious over the course of the past four fixtures: Liverpool need to do good business in January. After seeing Joe Allen and Mamadou Sakho go off injured, the sense of urgency surrounding the transfer window hasincreased.
The players brought in over the summer simply have not contributed enough to the team: Iago Aspas has been a non-factor, Victor Moses started brightly but his form has dropped dramatically and Tiago Ilori and Luis Alberto were more geared toward the future of the club than the present.
As Oussama Assaidi and Fabio Borini continue to improve during their loan spells (and in the former's case, score screamers), Liverpool can certainly be assured that they will have quality in the future. But the current transfer policy has focused so much on the future that the present has been somewhat neglected.
But that can all change this January. Liverpool have had great fortune with their January purchases in recent seasons, with the likes of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, and Philippe Coutinho all arriving in January.
Now, with the current injury situation and depth issues, Liverpool need another inspired window. Hopefully, the club can bring in several quality players and the successes of the club this season should aid their quest. Players such as Mohamed Salah, Ryan Betrand and
Cristian Tello have all been linked and it would be a real statement by the club to be able to snag all three.
This window could be the most important window in recent seasons based on the great competitiveness of the league. If Liverpool are able to deal well, they could fill in the gaps as well as boost their title hopes.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms