Sunday, November 30, 2008

Liverpool slip up - to the top

If I were Benitez I would be asking myself, what more do you want? We're a point clear at the top of the table. Before the season we were tipped to be the club to finish 5th by many pundits. Yet we lead the league and there were boos at Anfield last night. Tough crowd.

We created chances here but again failed to finish them off. This has been the problem against unambitious teams at home this year. They are well within their rights to play for a point, but we've made it too easy for them by not being clinical enough. Sami went very close with some headers and they cleared off the line twice. Green was in superb form and made some amazing saves. The ref and linesman seemed to ignore multiple handball offences from the left back which didn't help. If there's one area that we lack in, it's breaking down a packed defence. Often we have to rely on a moment of magic from Torres or Gerrard.

Rafa called on the team to show no fear. It's a fair point as we've looked nervous in quite a few of our recent matches. He's implored the fans to be supportive and patient. He obviously noticed it against OM, as I did sitting in the Main stand. The start of the match had a good atmosphere but it deteriorated in the second half and was flat by the end. The booing at the end of the West Ham took this to another level. Best fans in the world? Not in my book. Gerrard says they deserve a title. I hope it gets delivered.Rafa took time out to back Keane today. He's having a hard time of it at the moment but his on pitch moaning when he gets subbed isn't doing him any favours. Any player who isn't performing at a big club can expect to be subbed. Look at the Man Utd striker situation.

The victory over Marseille was achieved at a cost. Both Torres and Aurelio are out for a few weeks. We'll definitely miss El Nino. It's a chance for other players to step up. We'll need them to take the opportunity. Dossena did just that and was great last night. He had by far his best game for us and delivered dangerous crosses all game. If only some of the players could have got on the end of them. The news that Xabi is committing his future to the reds is a relief. Hopefully that is the end of the Barry story.

Blackburn are in poor form so we would really wanting to be doing them at Ewood park on Saturday. But then again, West Ham and Fulham had terrible away form when they came to Anfield and they both got draws out of it. I reckon we really need to improve on breaking down a packed defence. That is the one area where Arsenal, Chelsea and Utd are well ahead of us. Too often, we have to rely on a moment of magic from Torres or Gerrard to make the breakthrough.

Zola spoke of his respect for Carragher in the pre match press conference. I loved Zola as a player. I hope he does well in management except when he plays us.

I've heard the name Zuculini a few times recently. He's a young Argentine midfielder that ourselves and Utd are supposed to be after. One player who won't be arriving at Anfield is Michael Owen. Rafa ruled out a move this week. I don't think it would be a smart move considering his injuries and wages.

No comments: