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Nuri Şahin was the best player at the Hawthorns on Wednesday and it wasn't even close, and afterwards he spoke about his impressions of Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool and their potential.
Watching Liverpool on Wednesday was one of the more enjoyable viewing experiences the club has provided this season, which has often been the case when the club lines up with a mixture of younger players and fringe first-teamers. They've shown a commitment and urgency that the regulars in the Premier League elevens have lacked, and, at least for now, it's proven to be a successful, encouraging, and entertaining strategy.
Nuri Şahin was an important part of that success, scoring both goals and turning in one of the better midfield shifts outside of Joe Allen that Liverpool's had so far this season. There had previously been a bit of a question as to whether he or Jordan Henderson would fill in for the suspended Jonjo Shlevey, and while the young English midfielder had another quietly effective night against West Brom, it seems fairly straightforward that Şahin's earned himself a place in the eleven at the weekend.
After the match, he added his voice to the chorus of those calling for both patience and trust, drawing comparisons between what he experienced back in Germany with Borussia Dortmund and what he could see happening for Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers. "If we keep playing football like this the results will come. I'm very positive about this season. The manager has a philosophy and we have to keep going with this. If the club and the supporters give him time then it will come. I know that because I come from a club in Borussia Dortmund where that happened."
Jürgen Klopp arrived at Dortmund in 2008, and within three seasons they'd won their first Bundesliga title in nine seasons, which they'd follow up with another title the next year. Şahin was an important part of that first title before leaving for Real Madrid, and Klopp--a man many had hoped would be in the running for the Liverpool job before Brendan Rodgers was hired--brought an aggressive, attacking philosophy that saw the club simply outlast many of their opponents.
It's still a little early to try to project the trajectory of Rodgers' Liverpool, and saying they're on a path that'll lead to two successive league titles after just two points from five league matches and a few scrappy wins in cup competition won't ring true for many. But the calls for patience hopefully will, with indications that there's buy-in from most of the principals involved, and that in due time the performances and the results will end up on the same page. If that becomes the case, especially with the play of the squad's younger members, then it wouldn't be so far-fetched for Liverpool to be in a discussion of sides that are further up the table.