Sunday, October 14, 2007

Derby delight

It's that rotation policy again. Rafa takes Gerrard off and brings Lucas on, who is awarded the match winning penalty. When will he ever learn?

It was amazing. I'm still a bit horse. Memories of the Gary Mac derby in 2001 came flooding back. To win the Derby is sweet. To win the Derby in injury time after being 1-0 down is even sweeter. To hear David Moans and the rest of the bitter blues giving to is the icing on the cake. No doubt the conspiracy theorists will be out in force now. But while the Lescott penalty shout at the end looked fairly strong, we had an offisde goal chalked off that should have been given. Veronin also had a penalty claim early on. We were by far the better team and created loads of chances. They only had one effort on target all match. I think that if Torres was playing we would have won handy enough. Voronin had a couple of chances where he would have done better. Riise had a superb chance where he blazed over the bar. Momo had a fantastic chance with a few minutes to go. Overall I was much happier with the performance than in recent games.

At half time I predicted a draw so I was thrilled when we won. Notable performers were Kuyt, Yossi for a time and Lucas when he came on. Dirk has been getting a lot of stick from some fans, as they see him as a new Heskey in so far as he tries hard but doesn't score enough. I don't agree. I've been a big fan of his since he arrived. Put your hands up for Dirk Kuyt. He was our top scorer last season and 4 in all comps so far this year. He had a really clever and unselfish game yesterday. He showed bottle to take his two penos and could have had a hat trick of assists if his team mates had finished better. His father passed away during the summer after a long battle with cancer. I do like Voronin too but I think Dirk will go on to prove the best partner for El Nino.

Gerrard was much improved too. Some knobs in the press, like Andy Grey, will try to make a big deal out of the fact that he was subbed. I think it was more a case of him having played two England matches and we have two important matches coming up this week. Lucas changed thing when he came on and would have won the match for us if it hadn't of been for Nevilles "save". It's a pity for the lad but we got the result which is the main thing. Seeing Neville and Hibbert walk was a bonus.

It's a pity that our rivals, Arseanal, Utd and Chelsea all won. After the Besiktas match on Wednesday, we face Arsenal at Anfield. They are playing well at the moment, better than us, but we've a great home record and hammered them 3-1 at Anfield in March. I was at Anfield that day and it was very one sided. Crouch was amazing and the best player on the pitch by a mile. Even though he's not playing much and seems to be out of form, I wouldn't be that surprised to see him play for this one. Van Persie is out which good news for us.

Alan Stubs cleverly got a dig in before the match. Good motivational tactic from him.

Tony Barett of the Echo had a good article on rotation reprinted on the official site. So it seems to me that when Fergie rotates his squad it doesn't count. It remind me of the Brass Eye episdoe about good aids v bad aids. It seems that Man Utd practice good rotation while we practice bad rotation. Rotation is a stick used by the press to beat Rafa when we're losing along with zonal marking when we concede goals and Cup/Lucky manager because we haven't won the league. It seems that it's not very hard to be a journo or pundit these days. Just use the same old tired cliches and misconceptions and you'll be hailed as a genius.

There has been a good bit of talk linking us to Fernando Amorebieta of Athletic Bilbao. He's a versitile young spanish defender, the kind of player that Rafa finds hard to resist so expect him to be on his way here in January.

The echo had some good news in relation to a fall in football related arrests at Anfield despite a rise nationwide. It goes against the percieved wisdom in some sections of the media.

Will Buckly in the Observer had a good article on the inane punditry on Sky. Offside doesn't count if it's Rooney apparently. How does Jamie Redknapp have a job?


Thomas Kelly said...

Mal, saw a fair bit of the derby in work on Saturday. Didn't look like a great game, lots of aimless hoofing from both sides. Was disappointed with Carra at the end, it reminded me of Gaz Neville's antics. Sure he's happy to win but I'm alway wary of that kind of over-celebration just to rub the oppositions noses in it.

Still, two good penalties from Kuyt, the second under enormous pressure. Is he first choice to take pens now or does Gerrard still like missing them?

Any team news yet for the trip to Turkey?

Mal said...

Hi Q. Derby was really exciting, maybe more so if you had a vested interest in it. We played some nice stuff, especially in the second half where we could have scored a hatfull. We missed El Nino's finishing.

I agree with you about Cara's celebrating. It was a bit over the top and unlike him. I have no problem with celebrating in front of your own fans but not sticking it to the opposition ala Che Neville.

I don't have much confident in Gerrard taking penos and would be happy to see Kuyt take them in future. I think that he took them in Holland.

Team news for Turkey is that Torres and Xabi should be in the squad. It's a must win if we want to stay in Europe.

Thomas Kelly said...

Xabi back is good news. I'm looking at the Besiktas squad now and they don't look any great shakes, Matias Delgado is about the best.

Will be watching the Gers-Barça game tmrrw evening if you're at a lose end, possibly over in Peter's. It will probably be the first time I've watched Gers.

Mal said...

I reckon I'll stay at home and watch whatever one is on RTE.

Looks like Xabi is back for tomorrow but Torres hasn't traveled. Arbeloa is out too which is a blow.