Sunday, January 07, 2007

Out gunned

Now we'll have to concentrate on the league. I have to say that I thought it was a really good match. We played some great stuff but Arsenal were a lot more clinical than we were. We tried to play football against them and paid the price. Teams who concentrate on kicking them, such as Sheffield Utd, Bolton and Everton, have shown that you can get results that way. Xabi should have been given a peno at 0-0. Can't believe he got booked. The ref, Bennett was a joke. I thought it was looking like a 2-2 draw until Henry go the third. Rafa wouldn't have been happy with a draw and a replay given our fixture congestion. I would have prefered to win yesterday and lose the carling cup tie on Tue.

I was surprised that Pepe didn't start ahead of Jerzy who was a bit all over the place. He will always be a hero for Istanbul but I think that he could have done better for all of the goals. Pepe probably would have saved at least one of them. The defence overall wasn't that clever. Riise had one of his poorer games. I wouldn't be surprised to see Lucas Neil get the left back spot if and when he signs.

In our attacking play we did fairly well for most of the game but we lacked the clinical finishing that Arsenal had. It's been a case quite a few times this season that we've created many chances but have been unable take them. What sepparates us from Utd and Chelsea is top class penetration and finishing. Utd have great penetration and pace down the flanks with Giggs and Ronaldo. Chelsea don't as they aren't using wingers this season but they do have a clinical finisher in Drogba. If we are to challenge for top spot in the league then I think that we will need to get a top class winger.

Off the pitch, the protest by Kop was an amazing sight. Cards spelling out "The Truth" were held up to protest over Kelvin McKenzie who was editor of the Sun at the time of the Hillsborough disaster. You can read more about the source of that here. There was 6 minutes of incredible noise which was halted exactly 6 mins into the game, to coincide with the timing of the suspension of the match at Hillsborough.

And now time for rumour control. I had very little belief in the Mascherano rumours until Chris Bascombe wrote a story on it in the Liverpool Echo last week. You can read it here. He is very reliable on news in relation to the club. He says that our interest in Mascherano in genuine. I don't know if the deal is likely to go through now or in the summer but I think that he would be a good addition to the club. I would imagine that'll mean the end of Zenden which is fair enough.

Other rumours are much less likely to come off in my view. I've talked of Neil before and that one will happen. I'm surprised that it hasn't happened already. Gareth Bale, a young Welsh left back at Southhampton, has been linked to us and the other big clubs. I've heard great things but if it goes to a bidding war I don't see us competing. Niether Utd nor Chelsea really need a left back but that may not stop them bidding for him. Some mad rumours have linked Henry. It'll never happen. There are also storied that Deco has had a row with Frank R at Barca and could leave. I think that he's a great player but I don't really think that he would fit into our system.


Katherine said...

How come this post is about football as well?

Mal O'Brien said...

Yes, it's very surprising on a football blog.