Sunday, November 08, 2009

Yet more misery

Just when I thought our luck might turn, we hammered Birmingham but only came away with a point from our 2-2 draw at home. The team was still patched up, Torres didn't make the bench but Aquilani and Gerrard did.

Just because it finished 2-2 with us getting a dodgy peno doesn't mean we got lucky. We destroyed them. Gerrard hitting the post and Riera and Yossi coming off injured wasn't lucky. Stats here. Johnson tore them to pieces down the right again and again. Hart made some good saves and our finishing could have been better. If Torres or a fit Gerrard had played it would have been a landslide.

N'Gog took his goal well but spurned a few other chances. I think he's rapidly developing into a good player. His touch is still inconsistant but his holding up of the ball, movement, awareness and strength have come on greatly. A steal at £1.5m. Somebody said he has the best goals per minutes in the league but I don't know if that's right. I do feel that N'Gog was theatrical in going down and don't approve of it but this kind of thing happens all the time, it's nothing new. Why was there an outcry this week but not so much when Rooney or Ronaldo did it over the last few years? I don't remember Keith Hackett coming out and commenting on those dives.

Man CIty visit Anfield in the first game after the International break. The phrase "must win" is overused but every game we play now is going to be one. The fact that City will be vying with us for a champions league spot makes it even more important. They, like us, are not in great form and neither team is defending well. I think it could come down to which team has a better day in defence. Carra coming in for Skrtel might help us to tighten up at the back.

Tony Barrett in the Times lists 5 areas in which Rafa can help the team to get out of our current slump.The latest injury news isn't good either. Both Yossi and Riera have done their hamstrings and are looking at the best part of a month on the sidelines.

The daily mail reckon we're in for Krasic, the CSKA right winger who impressed against Utd at Old Toilet last week. Another winger, Adam Johnson of Boro, is being linked with a £7m move in January. Given his nationality and age, I think he'd be decent at that price. But I severly doubt we'll be spending £7m on him or anybody else when the window opens. Dossena wants out according to this.

If you're interested in the transfer fees and record of the Boss, have a read of this. It details all of the ins and outs and comes to a net fee of £83m since his arrival. If you divide that by 6, with this being his sixth season, it comes to £13.8 per season. The worrying side of it is that his net spend in 08/09 was £2.5m and this season it's just £10k.

Paul Tomkins employs logic in his defence of Benitez, a much underused tool when it comes to Football writing these days. Here's a great quote:

Apparently BenĂ­tez doesn't buy well under £10m, but Reina, Agger, Benayoun, Kuyt, Skrtel, Riera, Insua, Crouch, Garcia, Sissoko, Lucas, Aurelio and Arbeloa all cost less than that amount.

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