Monday, August 18, 2008

Another string to our bow?

Only 6 points from a possible 6? Rafa out. That is entirely unacceptable for a club the size of Liverpool. I blame Rafa's rotation and zonal marking. If it wasn't for his bizarre policies then we'd be higher up the table, eh? Oh. Nice one Rafa, I take it all back.

All Joking aside, that was close. Listening to the match on the radio, I feared it was going to be another case of what might have been. When Boro went in front, I expected a draw. When Jamie leveled, I was relieved but didn't think we'd have enough time to nab a winner. How wrong I was. I'm sure that Lawro, in his lancastrian accent, would have said "'ey, 'ang on a minute, we can win this". I should have known that we had an ace in the hole. Stevie decided that one point wasn't enough. The only result he'd settle for was a win. What a man? When the chips are down and somebody needs to step up, invariably he does.

Mike (Manc) Reily is a right wanker, and didn't help the situation at all today. Winning ugly was something distinctly lacking in our armoury last year. We drew 13 matches last year, the joint highest in the top 10. What we needed was to convert some of those 1 points into 3, especially when not playing well. That's what appears different so far this year. A new string to our bow? I know it's early days, too early to be making sweeping statements, but we could have easily drawn that and dropped two points and Sunderland could have been the same. We didn't offer up champagne football but we got the result which I'll take for now. If we keep winning, the performances will come, especially when Mascherano returns.
Between Stevie, Fernando and hopefully Babel and Keane, we have a number of match winners in the side. The first two have won matches so far this season. I expect Babel to be eased in after his sub appearance today and start some matches soon. Keane still looks like he's getting used to us and us to him. Patience is called for and should be given unreservedly. He's proven that he's a quality premiership player over many years. Anybody questioning him is being ridiculously knee-jerky about it. Give him time and hell deliver. Keane did provide some evidence that his understanding with Torres is starting to develop.

Aurelio did very well when he came on today. Good sub by Rafa. Dossena is settling and improving but I expect there to be healthy competition from Aurelio as long as Aurelio stays fit. Otherwise Insua should be knocking on the door. Right back seems to be Arbeloa's for now with Degan struggling for fitness and Steve Finnan in limbo. Funny that. I thought the Catholic church had decommissioned it a few years ago. I'll be sad to see Finnan go but I fear it's very likely to happen at this stage. Villa and West Ham have been linked.

Liege on Wednesday won't be a walkover but we should be able to handle them at Anfield. They can't be as good as they were at home and we can't be as bad as we were in Belgium. Fingers crossed.

Tony Barrett says that Riera is back on the agenda now that Barry move looks dead in the water. But Sky also suggest that Everton might sneak in ahead of us with a £12m bid for Riera. Balague, being an Espanyol fan, has seen a lot of Riera and rates him highly. He does suggest that he's the type of player who needs an arm around his shoulder so maybe his confidence is a bit fragile. I don't know if that's the kind of player who'd thrive under Rafa who can be stand offish. Barrett also says that Rafa never really considered resigning.

Hughie McAuley is excited by the capture of a young keeper called Deale Chamberlin. He used to play for Villa but has now seen the light.

It sounds like our Danish community could be on rise. To add to Danny Agger (snakes on a dane) and the boy Savic, we've targeted a young midfielder called Mathias Jorgensen.

Riise had some glowing comments about Liverpool ahead of the Norway v Ireland friendly this week. I reckon he's a fan for life which is good to hear. I think that he's a decent chap but just wasn't good enough for us anymore. Despite his faults, many faults, he had some great games for us and played important role in many of the trophies we've won. But it was time for us and him to move on.

Montse speaks. She sounds like a lovely woman. I'd say she has it tough putting up with Rafa's football obsession. It's great to hear a bit more from the man himself about his life and ideas.

Some talk online is linking us to the newest of new Zidanes. Sofiane Feghouli is an 18 year old attacking midfielder and has been lighting it up with Grenoble. Another french kid being linked is Darnel Situ-Buyence at Lens. We'll have to fight off Utd and Portsmouth to land the 17 year old.

Rick and Rafa have kissed and made up according to Tony Barrett. Hopefully that's the end of matters of the pitch for now, but somehow I doubt it. Barrett also tells us that Rafa turned down a £2.5m bid from Stoke for Sami. He's a bit of a legend so I'd like him to get his testimonial.


Thomas Kelly said...

Afternoon Mal, how confident are you about tonight? While I don't think Liverpool have really got going yet, they ought have too much for Liege tonight given that the Belgian side have probably had their good game and yet couldn't make it count. If Liverpool score early, they'll probably win four or five nil.

On the whole Albert Riera thing, I don't think he's The Answer. He's been very good at Espanyol these past two seasons but he's a bit light weight ala David Silva and his last spell in the Premiership, admittedly at a very poor Man City, didn't go very well. He's undoubtedly a talented player but I don't know if he's right for Liverpool. He'd be an improvement on Pennant though, who seems to have one foot out the door.

Mal said...

Should have been easy last night but we made it very hard on ourselves. Will post on it tonight.