Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Second goal syndrome

If the premiership games this weekend had ended after 80 mins then we would have been thrilled. As it happened, we had a disastrous weekend. We were leading against the BS at Anfield but let them in with a needless late late free kick that Benayoun conceeded. Lil timmy cahill managed to flick in at the near post. Good finish but a bit of a sucker punch. We'd been the better team and should have battered them. But second goal syndrome struck again when we didn't take our chances and let them back into it due to our slim lead. We don't have any toes left after shooting ourselves in the foot so often.

The captain struck a fantastic long range shot to take the lead which was no less than we deserved. He had a fairly quiet game beyond that. El Nino should have put us in front when he beat took the Everton defence apart but hit the post when he should have hit the back of the net. As well as that, he could have had a peno when Jagielka took him down in the box. He caused lots of problems in the first half but faded badly in the second. But he should benefit from the run out and will be sharper with every game. Riera was good and had a few decent shots. Arbeloa is back soon which is helpful as we don't threaten down the right with Carra. It's Everton again in the cup at the weekend. Rafa may rotate and I have to admit that I find myself not caring too much about this one. It's always nice to beat the BS but I suspect the cup might mean more to them. I am much more focused on the league than the cup.

Oliver Holt in the Mirror has an article backing Rafa over his press conference. What is worrying, is the impasse on Rafa's contract. He rejected the initial contract offer as he wants to bypass Parry in the transfer negotiations and have more say in how we spend our budget but the Americans seem unwilling to acquiesce to his demands.

Ryan reveals all. Will this help? I hope so as he's been fairly poor by and large this season. I fear a summer departure is on the cards.

Quite a few reports have been linking us with a 21 year old centre back at Fluminese called Anderson. Utd are rumoured to be in for him too. But with the Agger situation growing increasingly worrying, some of the press reckon we will give Sami another 12 month deal. Tony Barrett in the Echo has an article which allays the Agger transfer fears somewhat.

The Guardian is linking us with Hibs young full back Paul Hanlon who is on loan at St Johnstone. I fear he may be a bit lightweight for the premiership given these stats.

Pennant looks to be heading to the south coast on loan until the end of the season. Portsmouth say that he wants his free transfer in the summer so they aren't going to be able to sign a long term deal with them. He has no chance of playing for us so we may as well get his wages off the books for now.

At last, some sense on the "mind games" issue. Hindsight is definitely 20-20 vision when it comes to this kind of guff.


Anonymous said...

Hey Red in Dublin,
Not wanting to antagonise you or anything but didnt think myself that Pool deserved any more than a draw from this game. Sure, they had more possession but created very little,individually were poor and everton were quite comfortable until the goal. When Gerrard scored then, I always felt Everton were a threat. Watched it with some Pool fans who all felt a draw was fair. I dont think it was about not taking chances for that second goal, ye never created any chances for that second goal.
You'll disagree perhaps but Id feel there are too many average players through that Pool team - Kuyt, Keane, Riera's been ok only,Babel, and that's just attackers! Too reliant on Gerrard/ Torres for me to win a league. Only my opinion of course...

Mal said...

As you suggest, I don't agree with you. I thought the Everton defence looked shaky when tested in both halves. Torres caused havoc with his runs and left several defenders floundering in his wake. Have a look at the highlights. You'll see clear chances for Riera, Gerrard and multiple chances for Torres. Beside hitting the post, he also should have had a penalty in what was one of the clearest penalty decisions I've ever seen. Media pundits agree with me that it was a stonewall peno. If we'd have taken these chances then Everton's late goal wouldn't have mattered. That's the point that I was trying to make in the post.
You can say that we are too reliant on Torres and Gerrard but you could make the same argument about other teams. Chelsea were too reliant on Lampard/Drogba when they won the league. Utd were far too reliant on Ronaldo last season. Where would they have been without his goals? Liverpool are joint top of the league despite the fact that Torres hasn't played much at all this year. I suspect we'd be well ahead if he'd have been fit. We managed to beat Utd without Torres AND Gerrard. We also beat Chelsea without Torres. Would we have been able to do that if we were too reliant on them? Would we be top if we were too reliant on a player who hasn't played?

Anonymous said...

I thought Everton defence was solid myself,as did most reports in papers I read,declaring an Everton draw deserved.I remember Torre hitting post (he didnt have multiple chances,and Setanta agreed that the pen call would have been really harsh),Riera shot,Hypia nearly getting there as Liverpool chances,I dont recall anything else. Everton had just as many chances - Cahill's header, Ahichebe's shot, a couple of close crosses from Baines.
I agree that the top teams tend to be reliant on top players but feel there's too much of a discrepancy between Liverpool's world class individuals and the rest, which are average. Of course Torres would have made a difference in those games Pool dropped points but it wouldnt have changed the face they played poorly in those games.
Anyways, that's just an alternative opinion. I wouldnt expect a Pool fan to agree necessarily. I wont be coming on here all the time arguing with ya, dont worry!

Mal said...

Come on as often as you want. All debate and opinion is welcome and will be examined on it's merits. Sure what is a blog but an online opinion? I don't expect everybody will agree with me and it would be pretty boring if they did. I love having a football debate.
I wouldn't be a big fan of Setanta and their coverage. If they say it would have been a harsh penalty then I would have to disagree as would those with brains who's opinion I would listen to ahead of Setanta and it's genius panel of Sherwood et al. Ken Early on Newstalk 106 said it was a definite penalty.
I do think that match reports do tend to be written in light of the result. If one team scores late goals then the result was never in doubt. Similarly if one team scores a late equaliser then it was a deserved draw. If Cahill had of missed or we had of taken one of our chances then the reports would have been much less complimentary to EFC. The prisim of hindsight tends to colour the overall view of the game.