Timing is Everything in Elite Sport
Timing is everything in elite sport. A few weeks back, Liverpool were on the verge of losing to Newcastle, as the Reds’ visit to St James Park descended into a horror show after some first-half horror. The introduction of our Uruguayan Raging Bull was the catalyst for a memorable comeback, with a scintillating and powerful striking performance taking all three points away from last season’s 4th placed side. After returning from a gruelling (Marcelo Bielsa led) international period, understandably the 6ft 2inch man was held back from his previous starting position in the team. At the start of this campaign, many had Cody Gakpo or Diogo Jota as their preferred striker of choice, with total understanding as to why our new number 9 was initially placed on the substitutes’ bench. This past week, however, was more about waiting to unleash chaos, as everyone waited with bated breath for the former Benfica attacker to replace one of the underperforming forwards. The language barriers, lack of cohesion, and over exuberant displays, have now been replaced with venomous intent, which should put every one of our adversaries on notice.
Darwin Nuñez finding ways to make plays for others is a part of his game that is evolving. Love to see it.
— Moby (@Mobyhaque1) September 16, 2023
Within the domination of the Wolves match’s second-half display, there was another reason why Darwin appears on the cusp of explosion. His Liverpool teammates are not only now understanding the havoc he causes, yet basking and revelling in the space and opportunities his all-action patterns of play can provide. With a work ethic and desire to draw mistakes out of shaken opposition defenders, it is surely only a matter of time before a thunderous array of goals start hitting the back of the opposition net. Slowly but surely, we are seeing the rise of a brilliant young player, one who is primed to take the Premier League by storm.
Alan Shearer on Darwin Nunez:
"His two finishes were out of this world, they weren't even half chances. They were both right in the corner against Pope." [The Rest Is Football podcast]
Real recognises real. Darwin is going to become an unbelievable striker 🙌🇺🇾 pic.twitter.com/IW59BnBBsw
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) September 12, 2023
With the tide of opinion altering outside of the Anfield adorers, the opportunities for Darwin to succeed seem set to fall in line with what is needed most. Liverpool must find a new heavy-hitting goal scorer, after losing Sadio Mané a year ago, Roberto Firmino this summer, whereas Mohamed Salah is set to leave in just a year’s time. This inevitable consequence will need the vast number of goals (scored by the Egyptian King) replaced, which is why I believe Mo is being facilitated far more as a creator and orchestrator of chances. The avenues for our record scorer have been closed off on so many occasions, with multiple defenders now swarming to surround our world-class number 11. Given this scenario, I do sense that Darwin will elevate to prominence and become the team’s standout scorer of goals, thereby helping to develop a slightly differing forward line in a post-Salah environment.
⚽️ 2 goals
🎯 4 assists
It’s been some start to the season for Darwin Nunez 🔥 pic.twitter.com/5yg9IAmMlX
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) September 9, 2023
Our enigmatic striker may well start this Thursday night, in Liverpool’s opening group game of the Europa League against LASK. I for one would love to see him unleashed on the Austrian side, with a view to getting him a solid half of football before a start at Anfield this Sunday. West Ham will be encountering their own initial European contest on Thursday evening; therefore, Jürgen Klopp must use his own away tie to prime those that can secure three points at the weekend. A powerful and enthusiastic crowd will be itching to see a full Premier League starting eleven (on Sunday), especially after the international shenanigans that restricted so many of our South Americans. With 13 points from 15 on offer in the League, a further win would solidify a tremendous start to the year. In Darwin, our German manager may finally have a monstrous tip of the spear that can elevate all those around him, which is something I cannot wait to see.