Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Keeping the faith

Another 3-2 victory. This is becoming a habit. Coming form behind has become almost predictable. Did that make it easier to keep the faith on Saturday? Maybe so. Even when we were behind, I thought that we've been here before and got out of it. But while a comeback was somewhat predictable, a win against a Steve Bruce side wasn't, as it's something that's evaded Rafa over the last 4 seasons.

Going 1-0 down wasn't the ideal way to start the match. Agger looked a bit rusty and a poor touch left him in trouble with Zaki bearing down on him. The Egyptian stole the ball and finished beyond Pepe. Not clever. Agger showed his mettle by running the length of the pitch before setting up Dirk for the equaliser. Great way to show his mental fortitude or moral courage, if you prefer.

Albert Riera got the second equaliser to open his LFC account. A mighty strike, and with his right foot, no less. The winger has made a telling contribution since his arrival but I'm happy to see him get off the mark at Anfield.

The ruling out through injury of Torres and Babel during the international break was a major blow. But thankfully we had deadly Dirk deliver a dutch double. He could have had a hat trick had an earlier effort not been palmed onto the crossbar by Kirkland. Rafa really went for it by taking off both full backs and bringing Benayoun and El Zahr on, the latter making a great contribution to the winner. Kuyt now has three league goals for the season, more than he scored all of last year. Add that to his goals against Liege and PSV, and it's a rich vein of form for the Dutch destroyer. He reckons we can go all the way to number 19. I think it's too early to say. The match against Chelsea on Sunday should give us more of an indication.

Atletico Madrid are going to provide some stiff opposition on Wednesday night. The match is back in the Calderon which is great news for our fans who would have been screwed if it had been moved to Valenica or somewhere else. I'm looking forward to seeing Sergio Aguero perform, but hopefully he won't have a great night. It looks as if Javier will be back and Babel may be fit but Torres won't which is very unfortunate for el Nino. I'm sure it would have felt like a dream come true for him to be walking out in the Calderon again. But now he'll have to make do with a seat in the stands. I reckon we could be looking at a draw on Wednesday.

Some elements in the press linked Heskey with a return to LFC in January. Barrett in the echo says that a move is very unlikely, as are any signings unless they are preceded by sales. Pennant's refusal to move to Blackburn in August put paid to any spare change knocking around the club kitty.

Guillem Ballague effuses about some of our young talent on his blog. He rates Pacheco but thinks that he may be too small for England and will end up back in Spain.

Anelka reckons that Everton are shit. It's not really LFC related, it's just funny.

Have a listen to this. Sounds like the real Rafa, Stevie and Carra.

Tony Barrett in the Echo had an interesting piece comparing the strength in depth that we have now compared to when Rafa arrived four years ago. Our opponents in his first match were City and the bench consisted of Diao, Biscan, Pongolle, Warnock and Harrison. Last week, also against City, our bench was Keane, Yossi and Dossena who all came on and made a contribution to the comeback, and unused subs of Agger, Cavalieri, Babel and Lucas. Stark contrast which goes to show how much Rafa has improved the squad.

The "A Liverpool thing" blog has a translated interview with Dossena. He talks about settling in the team, the city and the training.

101 great goals has a video containing Gerrard's first 100 goals for the club. Hopefully it'll be boosted by a few more goals this year.

Xabi is leaving the door open for a move to Juve, despite Ranieri saying our boy Xab is too slow for Serie A. It seems quite likely that Ranieri may not be the boss for too long at the Della Alpi, so the next man may have the final say on a move.

The Guardian have an interesting piece on the history of terrace fan culture and the part the Kop played in starting singing in the early sixties.

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