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World Cup Blues


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Rafa Benitez believes that Liverpool will only get better now their World Cup hangover has subsided.


Liverpool's start to the season saw them fail to hit anything like top form, as their title aspirations were dealt a hefty blow in the process.


The likes of Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Jose Reina were all guilty of underachieving after a busy summer in Germany but in recent weeks the performances of individuals, and Liverpool as a whole, have improved.


Benitez feels that such inconsistency is a direct result of too much football but as the season approaches its second half, the Spanish tactician is predicting a more impressive showing from his charges.


"We are now seeing the best of our World Cup players after difficult times earlier in the season," said Benitez.


"It is clear that in the top sides important players had some problems. It depends on your squad how you handle that. If you have a good squad you can manage. You can win games.


"But the key players, the ones who played in the World Cup, were not playing well - not just here but in top clubs around Europe.


"For us now you can see Xabi Alonso, Steven Gerrard and Pepe Reina are playing better. The team is playing with more quality, and that underlines why our form is so much better."



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