Saturday, February 23, 2008

Can you score for fun, Fernando?

The answer is yes. An unremarkable match was lit up by the brilliance of our number 9. 3-2. Job done. There have been many days when we deserved more than we got but failed due to bad finishing. Here, we finished well without playing well. Boro might feel that they could have gotten a draw but the finishing of the kid proved the difference.

Torres helped himself to three and could have ad four only for a superb save from Swartzer in the second half. The Boro defence were semi sucidal in their back passing and indecision. I think that the pressure and presence of El Nino caused them to panic and make errors. Arca headed back towards his keeper for Torres to latch onto and score his first. His second was a beautiful shot from distance after good work from Babel and Aurelio. Pick of the bunch. For his third, he closed in on a through ball from Kuyt. The keeper and defender managed to collide and Fernando took full advantage to finish them off. That's 15 in the league for the season. I'm sure it would have been more if he hadn't missed a few games with injury. Where are those who were saying in August that he was over rated and we'd overpaid at £18m?

Our defence has had better games. I don't think that Arbeloa does as good a job at centre half as he does at full back. As a result our defensive line wasn't as sharp as usual. But Carra is back for the next match so we should be back to our usual solidity. Masherano did his usual stirling work in the middle. He's fast becoming my favourite Liverpool player. Babel did a decent job and set Kuyt up for a good chance in the first half. He seems to be benefiting from getting a run of starts. Gerrard was ok but hit a lovely free which Swartzer could only knock onto the post. With the race for fourth as close as it is, the points are more important than the performance at the moment. If we play badly and win for the rest of the season, I won't be complaining.

It's a short trip to the Reebok on Sunday. Bolton are doing ok, bar a 4-1 hammering today, and had a good result in the Uefa cup during the week. I thought Megson would be shit and take them down but they look like they might survive due to the teams below them being worse than them. So we'll have to go there and be up for it. These are the kind of games that we've been drawing and losing this year. I predict a draw.

It appears that there was some drama after the match yesterday. Tom Hicks son walked into the Sandon pub and was met with a hot reaction from the Reds inside. There seems to be some debate over what actually happened but I don't think that he was met with open arms. Can't say that I'm surprised. He was badly advised if he expected otherwise.


Eoin said...

Torres is certainly one of the best players to come into the Prem in a long long time. It must be hard for you to watch a team that are somehow so much less than the sum of their parts. I've seen almost every game of theirs this season, and it's always only one or two players playing well, and the rest taking a break (seems to me). if they were all on form at the same time, they might be able to beat one of the big three.

By the way, to describe Kuyts hoof as a "through ball" is either charitable, or looking through very red-tinted glasses. I'll always have a soft spot for him too, after his "tackle" on Phil Neville in the derby.

Can't wait till the next derby, it promises to be the most relevant in a long time.

It must be tough too, to watch the yanks almost double their money in a year using your club heh heh.

Also just wondering where did you hear the figure of 18m for Torres? I've read a lot of places, and cheapest I've seen is 20.3 and most expensive is 27m. Dunno which is true, but he's probably worth the 27mil anyway. (which is more than Everton spent on their last 5 players combined, poor us)

Mal said...

Hi Eoin. How are things with you? I would agree with you that often times we've been less than the sum of our parts. I think that Agger being injured and Xabi being injured/off form has contributed. Both of them help us to play a more expansive an cohesive game.

Maybe I am being a bit generous with Kuyt's pass. It was hit in Torres's general direction but I suppose through ball is stretching it.

I too am looking forward to the next derby. I won 20 from D when we beat you 2-1 in Goodison. That was fairly relevant. Moyes has never won at Anfield and Everton haven't won there in 9 years. Big ask.

Wouldn't like to see the Yanks make a big profit but if they're kicked out and DIC come in then I'll be happy enough.

I saw the Torres fee listed as €26m which was £18m. Can't remember where I saw it. Might have been in the spanish press. Will try to track it down. Less than Yakubu and Johnson combined.

Thomas Kelly said...

Mal, when you refer to the Torres haters I assume you mean me. I still don't rate him and a hat-trick against a bunch of scrubbers like 'boro isn't going to change my mind. I saw about fifteen minutes of their FA Cup replay with Sheffield Utd. while waiting for the Ten O'Clock News last night and crikey they were awful.

On an unrelated note, what's the story with Carra being cautioned for common assault? I've not heard any details of the incident and the club are keeping quiet. Can't imagine there was much in it (according to the BBC common assault is anything from spitting to shoving). Was it just some scally giving him grief or wha'?

Oh I also see that Mascherano is close to agreeing a permanent deal. Good news. He's vital to the team.

Mal said...

I wasn't just referring to you, but yes, you were and are one of the doubters. I think that El Nino has been a resounding success in his first season. I'm not basing that on a hat trick against Boro but on goals against the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Porto. He's 15 goals in the league in 16 starts. If he hadn't of been injured, I'm sure that it would have been more. He's a good chance of breaking 20 in his debut season which would be incredible. But it's not just his goals that've impressed me. His pace, skill and attitude have helped our overall attacking play. His threat creates space for others and cases panic in defences.

Don't know what the Carra story is. Sounds like handbags.

Hope that Javier signs a deal too. I think that he's amazing. Is there a better defensive midfielder in the game?

Thomas Kelly said...

I don't know, I've seen him huff and puff for a long time and not really deliver. One half-decent season won't convince me either. I think if he was at Utd. or Chelsea you wouldn't be as impressed with him.

On the Mascherano thing, I had a long think about this. Gattuso maybe, or perhaps Senna at Villarreal are in his league. Cambiasso too is up there but Mascherano is quite awesome.

Mal said...

I think that you're wrong about Torres and will be proven wrong now and in coming seasons. If he were at Chelsea I would grudgingly admit that he is class, as is the case with Tevez/Drogba/Ronaldo etc.

I feel that Gatusso might be losing some of his bite but I could be wrong. Haven't seen enough of Senna but I agree that Cambiasso is up there with Mascherano.

Eoin said...

Can't agree with either of you about Mascherano...yet. I think he is far from the finished article, which to me is evidenced by the fact that no other big teams were interested in signing him.

Kuyt could learn about through balls from AJ's last night for the third goal.

This is the first I'm hearing about D giving you 20 for that match. seems apt considering the daylight robbery that preceded it on the pitch.

Lastly, no need to remind me of 9 years ago, it was a 21st birthday to remember :)

Mal said...

I think that you're incorrect when you say that no other big teams were in for him. We had first option on him for £10m due to him being on loan with us.
But the likes of Barca, Juve and others were interested in taking him if we didn't.
Juve and Milan
I don't really remember that match. Were we in the all sports cafe?