Brendan Rodgers eyes consistency in Liverpool's quest for improvement

The Anfield club face fellow pace-setters Arsenal this weekend

The word is that this season's Premier League could be the most open for some time. Liverpool's manager, Brendan Rodgers, confirmed that his team believe they can be part of the conversation. If the first few games of any campaign are regarded as little more than idle chit-chat, the falling leaves, changing clocks and advent of November all signify that serious discussion can begin.

After this weekend's fixtures, teams will have played 10 games, and the most important of them brings together two of the top three in Arsenal and Liverpool, both of whom have benefited from a comparatively gentle introduction to the season.

Beating Manchester United 1-0 early on offered an indication of Liverpool's potential, which they have confirmed against lesser opposition, culminating in the most mature performance to date last Saturday, when Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick in the 4-1 evisceration of West Bromwich Albion.

"Saturday won't be the be-all and end-all in terms of whether we can make the top four or not," Rodgers said, "but I think what we have shown so far is that we are going to be in the conversation. It is a good benchmark for us. We have shown that we have quality in the team, that we've got a winning mentality, which is important, and that we can consistently bring that to the table."

The words "consistency" and "improvement" already feature strongly in the Liverpool manager's media briefings and will continue to do so, his belief being that one will inevitably lead to the other.

His team could hardly have been more consistent than winning their first three games 1-0 with Daniel Sturridge scoring every goal. They have drawn 2-2 in potentially tricky visits to Newcastle and Rodgers' former club Swansea, and seen off the bottom markers Sunderland and Crystal Palace by 3-1.

The one glitch was to lose at Anfield to improving Southampton, but fears that last season's spate of disappointing home results might recur were eased by the West Bromwich result.

"We're putting a marker down that we're going to be consistent," Rodgers added. "I think we can only get better and improve. We have a lot of young players who are developing and improving and that goes for the front two. Daniel is only 24. And Luis Suarez, everyone talks about his goals and his work rate but I've seen an improvement in his footballing ability and maturity this year. I believe we are in a good moment but we won't get carried away."

There would be a strong temptation to do so on Merseyside – 23 years without a title – and elsewhere if Liverpool, who have Philippe Coutinho available again, win at Arsenal and depose them as League leaders. "They are a very good team and the top team at the moment because they are there on points," Rodgers said. "Arsenal Football Club is very much Arsène Wenger, on and off the field. He's one I respect, who changed the landscape with his ideas and methods of work. He's been trying to win trophies and I'm sure he'll see this as a chance to do so."

Another chance went out of the Emirates window, however, with a home defeat in the Capital One Cup, and Rodgers appeared to side with those who believe that Chelsea and Manchester City have greater strength in depth: "Chelsea don't have an A and B team. They just have a big team from which they pick 11 players. If you look at that team [at Arsenal] the other night, that starting line-up would have a chance of winning the league as well. We have a long way to go to get to that position. Manchester City have a squad full of players as well. It's very competitive this year and we're fighting to be in the race."

Third place and a best start for five years suggests the 18-time champions should have a more authoritative say in the outcome than for some time.

Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice