Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rodgers Cannot Afford to Fall Victim to the 'Phoney War' Again

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rodgers Cannot Afford to Fall Victim to the 'Phoney War' Again

Article excerpt

Byline: Patrick Barclay

THE Premier League is played in three phases. First the phoney war of late summer, with the transfer window still open and no one sure who is to be where as the leaves fall and the floodlights blink into life. Then the season proper. And finally spring, when the threatened turn into dare I say it of Hull? tigers while mid-table teams resemble lambs by comparison.

Alan Pardew professed to bewilderment with Crystal Palace's performance at home to Hull on Saturday, while even Steve Bruce must be in two minds about how his men appear to have all but preserved their status with wins over the Selhurst Park side and, last night, Liverpool. Should they be praised for such spirit? Or shown it all along? There has been an equally dramatic transformation of Leicester, who could force Chelsea to be at their best tonight. But no doubt the loss of Liverpool's momentum will be regarded as most significant, given the hopes raised by last season's title challenge that Brendan Rodgers was building a team capable of restoring the lustre of old. …

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