Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Robbieless reds rout rovers

LFC are back to winning ways with a 3-1 win away at Blackburn. At half time I was afraid that it was going to be yet another one of those days where we struggled to break down a packed defence. Pepe had kept us in the game with a superb save from Pederson after 30 mins. But in the second half Blackburn came at us a bit more and gaps opened. We exploited them to take our first win in three league matches, a win which keeps us a point clear at the top of the league. "Everybody's chasing Liverpool" as the commentator said yesterday. If we're still top in Jan I'll let myself get excited, for now it's a case of one game at a time.

Xabi opened the scoring after the hour mark with a shot which he passes into the net. Xabi was back to his best after a few mediocre performances. Yossi added the second after beating Warnock on the edge of the area, he shot past Robinson to place the ball inside the far post. Rafa will be annoyed that Santa Cruz was allowed to pull one back with a close range header for them with a few minutes to go. Stevie G put the icing on the cake after being set up by Riera.

Insua made a start and played really well in the absence of the injured Aurelio. He looked at home in the first team and added a lot going forward. He looks a safer bet than Dossena at the this stage. Yossi did well with his goal and could have had another in the first half only for a vital challenge from Warnock. But he is surely a squad player rather than somebody you rely on every week. Babel did alright with a few runs but could have contributed more. Setanta were getting ready to lambaste Rafa for not starting Keane if we didn't win. I'm hoping that Robbie will see this as a warning that nobody is guaranteed a place despite their price tag and step up his end product. It's the final match of the champions league this week and PSV host Liverpool FC knowing that they can't make it through to the last 16. We could do with banging a few goals in to improve our goal difference, which will enable us to finish ahead of Atleti, who face a harder journey to Marseille. The goals haven't really been flowing for us recently so this is a good chance to turn that around with a prize awaiting us if we can. Agger will come back in for Sami as the Finn isn't registered for the Champions league this year. I expect that Keane will be given a start and hopefully will repay that with goals.

It sounds like Gerrard is maturing when it comes to his position on the pitch. He is no longer demanding where he wants to be played. I'm glad to hear it. In the past I thought he was too selfish in trying to dictate where he should be played. That's a decision for Rafa to make, not Gerrard, not Jamie Redknapp, not Andy Gray nor anybody else.

Ince junior helped the youth team to advance to the next round of the FA youth cup by beating Leeds 2-1. It would be great if they could make a run in the competition this year. There are some very highly rated players in their ranks.

Torres has gone to Spain in search for a cure to his hamstring problems. There are mixed reports as to how long he might be out for. One suggests he'll be back in the new year with another saying he could be back for the Christmas programme. While we needs his goals, his long term fitness is more important.

Argentine kid Zuculini won't be making his way to Anfield just yet apparently. English kid Hammill will be coming back in January according to Sky. Maybe Rafa sees him as an impact sub on the left the same way he uses El Zhar on the right at the moment.

Tony Barett in the Echo suggests that Dubai may have dropped their interest in the club as cash for big investments isn't readily available anymore. If this is accurate then we could be in big trouble. The Times has a similar story. There may be trouble ahead.

The FA won't be taking actions against Liverpool over the Michael Shields demonstration. If you want to examine the facts and evidence which is stacked in Michael's favour, I suggest checking out the BBC inside out documentary on him here. Very informative. I'm very happy that the club have taken a stand here and backed one of their own. Unusual to see a premier league club make a decision like that without a financial motive behind it. Lawrence Donegan in the Guardian has a well thought out piece on the subject.


Katherine said...

Come on you reds.

Mal said...

Well said that lady.

Brian London, innit. said...

Robbie's going to need some Paul McKenna style confidence boosting at this point. He's certainly been poor but he needs a regular run of 90mins to change things round. On another note, exactly what incriminating information does Diggler have on Rafa?!

Mal said...

Good to have you on board Brian.
Rafa loves Dirk but in fairness, he's done really well this year. At the start of last season he was muck and Rafa didn't drop him so he's unlikely to do so now.