Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Arse 3 - 0 Liverpool

Where to start?

It was a very dispiriting game from Liverpool perspective. I thought that we were reasonably good in the first half and 0-0 at half time would have been fair. But once they scored the first goal our heads dropped. The second half performance was terrible. Some of the teams that got good results in the emirates recently like Everton and Villa and Boro have played 4-5-1 and concentrated on stifling Arsenal in midfield. We didn't do that. We tried to play our own game, attack arsenal and tried to win it. We don't seem to have any confidence in our ability away from home, especially when we go a goal down. Comparing this performance to the one we gave against Villa at home two weeks previously is like comparing Eddie McGoldrick to Ronaldinho.

So what needs to change and what can Rafa do? If it wasn't for injuries we can assume that Momo, Garcia and maybe Kewell would have started. Momo definitely and the other two to a lesser extent could have made a major difference to the result. As I said in my last post, Momo is vital to the way we play. He, in many ways, is our most important player. We are going to suffer a lot while he is out injured and Zenden may be ok for the likes of Brum, he doesn't have the ability to step up against the arse. Every team gets injuries during the season and we have to cope with ours now. What we need is for the likes of Pennant, Gonzalez and Garcia to step up and deliver. If Gonzalez starts performing consistently on the left then we can play Garcia/Pennant on the right and Gerrard in the centre alongside Xabi. Gonzalez was poor on Sunday but had a good game against Brum. I would back him to show some form against Boro. Pennant did well when he came on towards the end and made a good run to the line before Bellamys disallowed goal.

And so onto Boro away. Given that Bellamy played a great game for Wales and scored last night, I would start him against Boro. His pace should cause problems to Woodgate and Pogatez. Even when he's not scoring, his pace can cause panic. Some of our players have been accused of lacking heart and bottle when we went a goal down against Arsenal. You can't accuse Bellamy of that. I think that Samis substitution could be telling and I would expect Agger will start the next few games.

The only football solace from the weekend came from Barcelonas 3-1 win over Zaragoza (read more here) and AS Roma historic 2-1 against AC in Milan. Great to see Totti get back to something approaching his best. Can the giallorossi win the league this year? I think that they have a real chance given that Palermo have a small squad and Inter will inevitably do an Inter and bottle it. We can but dream. Much more chance of Roma winning the league than Liverpool this year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think its more important for the likes of gerrard, riise and carragher to step up to the plate rather than the likes of gonzalez and pennant. They are still settling in unlike the 'big' players in the squad. We need the established stars to show the team how to do it. They know they have the talent but they are not getting any breaks atm. Rafa must accept criticism for some tactical errors on sunday. We didn't defend as a unit and failed to do anything to pick up van persie and fabregas as they drifted between the lines. Henry also did this to great effect. I personally thought that a 3-5-2 formation would have been the way to go.

Finnan alonso zenden riise
Kuyt Bellamy

That would have been my team. But then I'm a championship manager type.