Tuesday, 3 November 2009

This is it!

Wednesday is crunch time for Liverpool in the Champions League. Whilst a defeat does not spell the end of the line, it would make things very difficult and we would be relying on results elsewhere going our way.

On the positive side though, when the chips are down we do play at our best, with or without Gerrard and/or Torres.

A win tonight, though, and I would expect us to qualify.

There has been a lot said recently about Liverpool and Benitez, including a lot of people coming out of the woodwork saying that Benitez has lost the plot.

Funny how these people can change their minds in such a short space of time, coming on the back of a very good campaign last season.

Teams just do not become bad overnight.

Liverpool are currently suffering from a combination of problems.

1. The squad players are just not performing. People like Babel are woefully underachieving and that means that when Gerrard/Torres are out we are struggling to replace them.
2. We are not going on the front foot soon enough. Keeping the ball and having 75% of the possession is no good if that possession is all in our own half with Mascherano and Lucas dropping back to the halfway line, picking the ball up from one centre half and then giving it to the other. We need these guys finding space behind the opposition midfield, creating space for the forward players. I don't mind us doing that when we are already in the lead but I'm afraid that we have fallen back into the bad habits of last season. Only when we go a goal down do we suddenly spring into life and we need this attitude from the off, playing as though we are behind.
3. Alonso is sorely missed and whilst we may well have replaced him with a quality player in Aquilani, until he is fit and playing we will struggle with both Lucas and Mascherano in midfield.

It must be said that we need to learn to perform from the offset and also to grind out the 1-0 wins when we are not playing well – something that the other lot down the East Lancs are masterful at doing.

One thing I will say is that this blip will end shortly and we will then go on a run where we will get 40+ points out of 45 and I am very confident that we will finish easily in the top 4 at the end of the season. I also wouldn't rule us out of winning another trophy this year. If we do fail to reach the knockout stages of the champions league then we will challenge very strongly in the Europa League.

One thing that won't happen though, is we won't get rid of Benitez.

Another tip for you, Wayne Rooney will be player of the season. Sportsmen who become fathers very often hit a good vein of form and I am predicting this will happen to Wayne and hopefully this will also end with England doing well at the World Cup next year.


  1. I thought it was Wednesday night this week mate. Have to agree with most of what your saying. Its horrible at the moment but if nobody panics it WILL be sorted and we will go on a good run as always. Just need to be realistic!

  2. You're right and I've amended it. Right about not panicking too.

  3. They need a win tonight or its the door for Benitez..surely???

    Too long have Liverpool relied on individuals rather than playing as a team.

    Going to be a long hard season for your boys.

  4. He isn't going anywhere.

    I'm sure we'll win tonight and everyone will stop going on about it when we go on a winning streak.

    Arsene has had his turn,

    Fergie will be next....

  5. Just discovered your blog... loving your work. I always appreciate a good footy-themed poker blog!

    So are you really convinced the Rafa is still the man? I know you had a good campaign last year but I think your poor run this year is a true reflection of a squad with too many average players.

    Without Gerrard and Torres, it's so difficult to see where a goal is gonna come from. I like Benayoun a lot but I feel that he needs to have good players around him...

  6. Thanks for the comment. Yes Rafa is still the man. I agree that there are average players in the squad though and players that are better than they perform (Babel for instance who, just after he scored last week was shaping to take a free kick when I turned to Andrew - my son - and said I bet this goes out for a throw in... and it did!)

    The reality is that the squad is getting better each year and whilst Alonso is a big loss he is also proof that Rafa knows a good player when he sees one.

    I'm just hoping Aquilani is as good as the glimpses we've seen - Arsene was interested in him so he must be good!

  7. Yeah, I'll be looking out for Aquilani. If he can stay fit then I'm sure he'll be a big player for you.

    I have to say, it's mind-blowing to think that Liverpool haven't won the league for 20 years. That simply shouldn't be the case for a club of such stature. But I just don't see that Rafa has what it takes to bring you No.19.

    I'd love to be proved wrong... I have a lot of Liverpool supporting mates and obviously I'd much rather see your lot win it ahead of the Mancs and Chavski