A new season and a fresh start. Under new management, a change of ownership could soon follow suit. The 2010/11 campaign certainly has a different flavour to it.

Somewhat apprehensive before Sunday's opening Premier League game with Arsenal, I wasn't too sure what to expect. I came away cautiously optimistic that this season could yet prove to be a decent one.

Arsenal, a team 12 points better off last season, were contained with relative ease for the majority of the game despite the sending off of Joe Cole in the first half.

There is certainly a freshness about Roy Hodgson's Liverpool. It's difficult to describe, but perhaps the impact of any new manager will always have that initial hallmark. As for the team sheet, Hodgson's first surprise selection of the season was the inclusion of want-away midfielder Javier Mascherano.

Certain Liverpool supporters will have contrasting views on Mascherano's situation. But one thing is for sure – he will always give his best for the red shirt. Sunday was no different. Whether it be his first or last appearance for the club, you felt the performance was always going to feature the exact same intensity the Argentine has trademarked throughout his career.

In fact Mascherano's determination was matched throughout the team as Liverpool battled on with 10 players (at one stage nine). The shape and stability of the defending was pleasing but you probably have to credit Rafa Benitez on that one. The reds did a very similar kind of job on Everton last year when reduced to 10 men after the seeing Soto Kyrgiakos sent off.

Given time Hodgson's influence should grow on the team and will ultimately determine whether this present side can prosper this season.

Disappointing it may have been to lose a goal late on, it's hard to lay any blame with Pepe Reina. The outstanding performer of 2009/10, Reina reminded everyone for 89 minutes what a good goalkeeper he is. Unfortunately the goal was a mistake but you could argue that he was almost 'due' one. Even the top keepers very rarely go through seasons without one or two dodgy moments.

One major plus from the game was the continued form of David Ngog. The French striker seems to be really growing into the lone forward role after a progressive term last time out. Four goals in three games is a great start and a goal in a big game will do wonders for the confidence.

While Liverpool go to Manchester City next (following a Europa League tie) without the suspended Cole, there is reason to be satisfied with the opening day showing and enthused that there could be a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.

One game doesn't make a season but after the doom and gloom of last season with events both on and off the pitch, it felt good to see the team back in 'proper' action.