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Lethargic and Disjointed But Liverpool Can’t Panic

2872790922 7904e772fd Lethargic and Disjointed But Liverpool Cant Panic

The unfortunate downside of modern technology means that any armchair fan can now comment on any team without actually seeing the game. As I type this, I’m listening to Radio 5 and Liverpool “fans” are calling for the head of Benitez. “The worst display I’ve ever seen from a Liverpool team” shouts one fan who obviously missed the F.A. Cup defeat to Barnsley and league defeats to Bradford, Barnsley and Watford too.

“We’d have won the League last season if it wasn’t for Benitez, sack him now” shouts another fan who seems to have forgotten Liverpool broke the record for the most points by a runner up in the Premiership last year. “We need a world class midfielder to replace Alonso, Rafa spend the money!!” So much for the reports Liverpool are skint eh? It reminds me of a time listening to a football phone in here in Sheffield, Wednesday had just lost, caller rings up. “Wednesday are rubbish, sack the manager.” “Have you been to the game?” asks the host. “No” comes the reply, “I’ve just seen the score on Sky Sports News”.

I’m stunned by the level of ire I’m hearing being aimed towards him, I never thought I’d get to a point where I’d be defending Rafa Benitez but seriously who really wants the manager sacked 3 games in to a season? Did I miss something or are Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa the worst teams the Premiership has ever seen? No, didn’t think so. Liverpool have lost to two very good teams. I know they only lost two games last season, but come on let’s be reasonable here. They’ve not lost to Scunthorpe and Norwich City have they?

Liverpool v Aston Villa  001 Lethargic and Disjointed But Liverpool Cant Panic

It’s interesting to note that on the day of the Stoke City game last week, the rumours returned regarding Benitez’s position at Anfield and the fact he was contemplating walking away from the club. This is a story that will not go away and has dogged him since 2007. Someone keeps fanning the rumours and it certainly can’t have a stabilising effect on the team or the club.

Tonight Liverpool were poor, the first 20 minutes apart but Aston Villa were superb. They got a goal and never let Liverpool settle, typical of how Martin O’Neill likes to set his teams up away from home. They like to soak up pressure and attack on the break, using the pace they’ve got in the team. With Carragher and Skrtel still struggling with head injuries, Lucas showing a lack of invention. Mascherano oddly was then forced to push forward, leaving the back four exposed.

It played straight into Villa’s hands. Young and Agbonlahor looked someway back to the form that pushed Villa up the table last season. Reo-Coker was immense, chasing, harassing and fighting for every 50-50 ball. Friedel seemed unpassable. Villa deserved the win.

The thing with knee jerk reactions like this is that people simply go “Sack the manager” without considering who’d replace them. So sack Benitez, who do you replace him with? Would anyone come with the financial situation as seemingly dire as it is behind the scenes? Clearly there is no money to spend, the signing of  Kyrgiakos smacks of bargain hunting, especially after all the speculation linking Liverpool with Hull’s Michael Turner.

Benitez hasn’t become a bad manager in 3 months and Liverpool haven’t become a bad team. They’re just trying to find some form with key personnel struggling with injuries, nothing more, nothing less. They need to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and concentrate on Saturdays match at Bolton.Liverpool could have stolen a win on the opening day, but should have been 3-0 down by half time. Stoke were ripped apart time and again.

I don’t think anyone is going to run away with the league this season and Liverpool’s key situation could be the lack of African players come January. Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City all have big players that will be going to Angola and that will be a tough month for those three teams, regardless of squad size and financial muscle.  The Premiership is never won in August and the kneejerk fans need to remember that.

53 Responses to Lethargic and Disjointed But Liverpool Can’t Panic

  1. Reds69 says:

    Those calling for Rafa’s head don’t know football and aren’t true Liverpool supporters. FACT.

  2. Reds69 says:

    Example #1 above.

  3. dlink09 says:

    get another striker similar to torres, they have a chance otherwise another season without title..

  4. Thomas says:

    “The Premiership is never won in August and the kneejerk fans need to remember that.”

    But it sure can be lost early in the season.

    Chelsea have looked extremely stellar. Liverpool will probably drop a game to each of the other big four this year. And they’ve already dropped 2 matches outside of it.

    Rafa, your love affair with Lucas needs to end. The player lacks the consistency to pull the strings in a midfield that is vying for the title. I know Rafa has been forced to play him…Aquilani will be a good solution in the long term, and there was no way to hold onto Xabi.

    It was extremely easy to point fingers at the lad today, he committed the foul and then headed in a shot that was comfortably going to sail into the hands of Reina. But he was unsure of himself in the passing game, and couldn’t get the little things.

    If Lucas is starting next week, Rafa has surely lost the plot. Play Gerrard in a deeper role next to Mascherano. Surely a lineup of Gerrard, Mascherano, Babbel, Torres, Kuyt (deployed bhind Torres), with Yossi on the wing would work better for Liverpool than that buffoon Lucas.

  5. dlink09 says:

    Kyut is a very good player

  6. dlink09 says:

    Liverpool is broke, Rafa can’t spend like man city..

  7. Matthew N says:

    The only thing I don’t like about Rafa is some of his lineup selections. At times he tends to switch up the lineup way too much and then at other times he leaves players who aren’t playing well in the starting eleven. I’m pretty upset with the season so far, but you gotta remember that we are missing Aqualani, Agger, Aurelio, the Greek dude (Kyriakios or something I haven’t learned to spell it yet), etc. I think LFC will be fine this season, though the fact that they already have two losses (compared to the two losses last season) shakes my confidence a bit. All this means is that we can’t draw as many times as we did last year. Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool is all I know, and from what I’ve seen so far it is really great. Just a couple questions: Why isn’t Riera getting more playing time? He was great in the preseason. Why is Lucas playing so much when it is obvious he is struggling? I was glad to see him leave the match today but I was wondering what was taking so long.

  8. Matthew N says:

    Kuyt is one of the most consistent and hardest working guy out there. He is always in the thick of things…

    • Kevin_Amold says:

      You guys pretty much covered it, but I”ll say it anyway. Kuyt is, I believe, very undervalued and underrated. Tons of hustle. Fearless. Never quits. He was really the only Liverpool player, in my opinion, that played well today. I often dream and hope (almost certainly in vain) that Kuyt will wear the White at Craven Cottage…..

    • SirKev says:

      A favorite saying of mine: “You’ll win naught with Kuyt”. He’s full of endeavor and the other hard working traits that people love, but he doesn’t have the skill to score consistently or make an impact on a game.

      At this point, I would hate to see Rafa go because with him at the helm, they won’t win the PL.

      • Kevin_Amold says:

        Clever rhyme. Kuyt is no scrub though. He’s scored double digits over the past 3 seasons. Not bad for a natural forward-turned-winger alongside Torres and Gerrard.

  9. Na-Sei says:

    Firstly Rafa does NOT need to be sacked! The Americans should have sold to the Arabs a longtime ago. Secondly when we are a goal down our bench looks so weak, I mean voronin is garbage. I would prefer if Rafa played Stevie G back in central midfield with mascherano and play Babel behind Torres! For me that would be much more dangerous especially now that Alonso has gone, Lieva’s lack of penetrative passes is evident. At anfield Lucas should NEVER play! Also Where is Riera?? Dirk Kuyt is poor, all he does is run around like a dog, we need a van der vart or sneijer or even Robben type player on the wings. I feel that Babel has been completely wasted on the wings, the boy is clearly a striker and it seems his confidence is being serverly dented playing in a position which he doesn’t feel he can show his real quality! He needs to play up top end of story! His quick feet, close control and pace would worry defences but Rafa doesn’t see it, that’s why Wenger is the best because he has a vision that Rafa doesn’t! Van Basten said babel has the ability to be another Henry up front but we have yet to see him in this role but WHY???

    • jeneria says:

      Voronin actually created chances when he came into the game, more than can be said for Babel. Babel is only effective in games that aren’t overly physical, i.e. Champions League as opposed to EPL games. Torres needs another striker to work with. You can’t expect midfielders (even Gerrard) to think like strikers. The lone striker setup is horrible.

      Lucas is young, but he needs to go.

  10. Reds69 says:

    Quick feet and close control on BABEL? Clearly you haven’t watched him play a match.

    What shocks me is how many people seem to think they know better than Rafa. The man who lives and breathes football and sees these boys in training every day of the week. Un-effing-believable. Anybody on a messageboard saying what “should” have been played is a fool. You can never be wrong that way. Easy for you, right?

  11. dlink09 says:

    he isn’t Arsene to trust young lads :)

  12. Na-Sei says:

    Reina

    Johnson carragher skrtel Insua

    benayoun gerrard mascherano reira

    Babel

    Torres
    this is what the line up should have been!
    Kuyt is GARBAGE he offers us nothing but work rate!
    Lucas well forget about him, he is NOT good enough Period!!
    Babel needs to play up front because Voronin is NOT the answer!

    • Reds69 says:

      That would be the Kuyt who scored more goals than any winger besides Ronaldo last season? Unbelievable how clueless some “fans” are. I’m disgusted.

      • Gaz says:

        Thank you.

        Kuyt was great last season and in tonight’s game he looked one of the best.

        He may not play pretty or play “the beautiful game” but he plays good effing football.

  13. Randomsausage says:

    Sorry – I meant Zola at Hammers….used to watch him at Chelsea!

  14. Na-Sei says:

    Where’s Pacheco because Voronin makes me sick!!

  15. Drew says:

    Robbie Keane?

  16. Drew says:

    Kuyt & Benayoun are good players, Babel & Lucas suck.

  17. Na-Sei says:

    Kuyt scored more goals than any other winger apart from Ronaldo, but what real qualitys does kuyt offer if he doesn’t score???
    He can’t dribble he’s not fast he can’t really cross He has no tricks, all he is good at is chasing the ball around like a DOG! For a “Winger” these attributes are unacceptable especially for a club like Ours! We need a real winger because apart from Reira who else is there?? Benayoun is an attacking midfielder who is tricky but he is not an out and out winger! I would prefer a Robben or Van Der Vart over kuyt anyday!

  18. RaiderRich says:

    Considering what Liverpool fans forced World Soccer Daily off the air because the host was Jewish, they’re getting exactly what they deserve

  19. Randomsausage says:

    RaiderRich — was that irony? Cohen was forced off the air because he was a plonker of the highest order. The Hillsborough gaffe was a just the latest example.

  20. Lyle says:

    Liverpool is not going to win the league again I think. Early losses matter as much as much as at any other time in the season. They haven’t even run through their Big Four games yet.

    Things not looking good for the Reds.

  21. Thomas says:

    @whoever said Kuyt is Fletcher with a dutch accent. Don’t kid yourself. A player like Fletcher would have been much better in todays lineup than Kuyts tireless effort. But either way, I’m not sure why Kuyt gets so much crap from everyone. Not a pretty player, but he’s effective, and adds grit to the lineup.

    It’s obvious Lucas is crap. And today, his confidence has taken even more of a hit. Only Rafa believes in Lucas, and I doubt he does anymore either. The boy was rattled all day. Gerrard with Masch in the middle, or there wont be enough service to Torres.

    Riera should start out wide. Either start Kuyt or Babel behind Torres.

    And I agree. The bench is absolutely horrific. Yossi needs to be kept on the bench. Playing him over 90 minutes limits his effectiveness. Bring him on at the hour mark, and let him spark you. Voronin was passive as hell out there. Liverpool are severely lacking in depth.

    Skrtel wouldn’t or Aurelio wouldn’t have helped today. Piss poor marking on the near post on the corner. Horrific play by Lucas to give the foul and then head into his own net. And a poor tackle from Gerrard.

    That being said, I think Liverpool will pick up 10-12 points from their next 4 fixtures and look relatively good going to Stamford Bridge come October. At that point, you’ll know what they are about…

    Chelsea are the team to beat in England right now. They are still going strong from their end of season form, looked brilliant in pre season, and have been by far the best team so far this season. The partnership of Anelka and Drogba is the best in the league. And they have quality players all around them.

    If a key player like Essien or Lampard go down, Ancelotti can plug in Deco, Ballack, Cole (when fit). Liverpool in contrast is left turning to Vornonin and Lucas.

  22. Matthew N says:

    Did any Americans notice the advertisements for the Chelsea/Burnley game at noon on Saturday and the SPL Celtic/Hibs game on Sunday as well? I don’t know if I’m the only one but I figured those were actually meant for us Americans. I was actually quite excited that I would get to see some SPL in HD but I was very disappointed when I realized that all the layouts and ads were for those receiving the ESPN UK feed.

  23. The Gaffer says:

    Oh gosh, here we go again with Liverpool. Is it me or does Rafa Benitez not learn his lesson year after year? How many times last season and the season before did we see opponents score goals against Liverpool from set-pieces such as corner kicks or free kicks simply because Liverpool’s defense was static “thanks” to their zonal-marking system.

    As Joe Royale said in the broadcast on ESPN, he doesn’t believe in the system (especially for corners), and I completely agree with him.

    And once again, Liverpool had a TON of chances to score but only netted one (out of more than 21 opportunities).

    Torres and Gerrard had a very bad night at the office. Things will improve, but Benitez has to get this team to tighten things up and start making some tactical changes.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  24. Simon says:

    Random Sausage you’re an idiot; Rafa’ DID take a chance on Babel!! He payed 11 million for him and he promoted Insua to the first team as well – so what was that cr*p about Old Trafford’s Whisky addict? And as to Rafa’ ruining our heritage – WTF? Really? Remind me just WHO were top scorers, lost least games and BATTERED United TWICE last season? Remind just who were CL top scorers and scored the most goals in England the year before? Anyway, idiots never understand reason and thus you will now be ignored until A:) You grow up and say something SENSIBLE or B:) Nurse gives you your medication since it’s very exciting on computers isn’t it for a 4 year old like you? Idiot

    Thomas – If you think Fletcher’s better than Kuyt you’re deluded/don’t know football or just a fool; Kuyt didn’t just hit 12 goals last season – he CREATED nearly as many and he’s ALREADY got this season as many goals as the much lauded Michael Owen and Nicolas Anelka have for their respective teams – one – whilst Fletcher has done what exactly in the past 3 or so seasons? They’re DIFFERENT types of player – one is a wide player/striker whilst the other is a central midfielder – comparing them is stupid. If you want to compare Fletcher to anyone, compare him to Mascherano.

    Yes and Chelsea are so great this season as they were last in the early games that you’ve forgotten just WHO burst their bubble at the Bridge in October 2008 haven’t you? Oh, look I’ve just noticed when and where we play them first this season – You do know we’ve not lost in the league at the Bridge since 2006 don’t you? Rafa’ EXCELS in big tactical games as Chelsea found out last season; And just HOW good were Chelsea last year anyway, when Deco, Ballack and Cole were ALL injured along with Essien and they had to rely on the likes of Stoch, Di Santo and Quaresma? They looked average then didn’t they?

    Along with that, they’re not getting any younger and time WILL catch up with them as it did last season, just watch. We finished above them last year and could do again – I still think the REAL title threat is Man U and whoever finishes above THEM will deserve to win the league whilst Arsenal this year are an unknown quantity as yet.

    As to the rest; Kuyt wasn’t our worst player tonight and nor was Lucas (who would play MUCH better without Mascherano – we should use him OR Lucas but NOT both as Lucas was a Gerrard style attacking midfielder in his youth and given free reign rather than an unsuited holding role could be again)- No, the (dis)honour of our worst player fell to Insua who despite creating our goal was constantly caught out of position and repeatedly passed down his flank with the ball by Villa players in numbers. We played well enough in attack in the second half to win (18 shots on target with 1 goal as compared to LAST season when we had 11 shots with FIVE goals???) but the damage was done in that awful, sleepy (by us) first half.

    Johnson was rock solid and allowed only ONE cross whilst also finding time to play his quasi winger role and keep the Villa right occupied but tonight we were let down by poor set-piece defending – Lucas shouldn’t have jumped for the free kick and we TRIED to man mark for that corner on half-time – Man markings better is it? When it gives a opposing defender a standing jump with a full QUARTER of the goal to aim it where he CAN’T miss? DESPITE having 2 markers? Don’t make me laugh – Man Marking was the reason for that bloody second goal tonight and the third one was a terrible challenge on Gerrard’s part.

    I DO agree with you Na-Sei though – Rafa’ SHOULD use Babel as a striker, the answer’s obvious, he’d be a PERFECT back up for Torres and he’s sitting there on the sub’s bench match in, match out – we don’t NEED another bloody striker – just use Babel in his PROPER position. Anyway, there’s plenty of time left to recover as yet – Man U lost 2 games in 92/93 in their first two PL matches and then won the damn thing, whilst they lost and drew their first 2 games TWO seasons ago and won the CL AND PL. So who knows what’s coming from Liverpool? We shall see………………………………………

    • SirKev says:

      And you can keep yourself happy and warm with those great “accomplishments” while United are polishing the silverware.

      I agree that Johnson played well and looks like he good be a good signing which raises Rafa’s success rate to 50%?

    • Matthew N says:

      Insua played great.. I don’t know what you’re complaining about. There were not any dangerous crosses from his side and he was one of the only players who looked like they were trying to create chances and stretch the field. Insua did much more work on the left side than Johnson did on the right (and the most dangerous cross of the night came from Johnson’s side). If you’re looking to blame someone, there are tons of players to blame (and certainly Insua shares some of the blame just like everyone else), but please at least take a critical look at what you’re saying. The one thing I can’t stand about my fellow Liverpool supporters is the “sky is falling” mentality and the call for the ouster of the manager and the players after every draw/loss.

  25. Raatzie says:

    Want on, want on,
    for wingers that can start
    and Dubai to pay off the loan

    Du-BAI PAY OFF . . . THE LOAN

  26. Thomas says:

    Alright Simon…

    “Thomas – If you think Fletcher’s better than Kuyt you’re deluded/don’t know football or just a fool”

    Read what I said. In that game, Fletcher would have provided more value to Liverpool than Kuyt. Kuyt had an alright game. I was inferring that a CENTRAL MF would have been better for Liverpool as opposed to a work horse right “winger”, as Lucas obviously was trash. And then I went on to complement Kuyt for what he brings to Liverpool. And Masch is far better than Fletcher (since you asked for a comparison).

    “nd just HOW good were Chelsea last year anyway, when Deco, Ballack and Cole were ALL injured along with Essien and they had to rely on the likes of Stoch, Di Santo and Quaresma?”

    Well yeah, you take out 4 first choice MF’s for any side and they will struggle. The point I made was they have much more depth in midfield than Liverpool does. And if ONE player is out, they have quite a few who can step in and keep the team going. In contrast, Liverpool have ONE player out (Aquilani, who is an unknown really), and it’s obvious there isn’t really cover for it.

    “As to the rest; Kuyt wasn’t our worst player tonight and nor was Lucas (who would play MUCH better without Mascherano – we should use him OR Lucas but NOT both as Lucas was a Gerrard style attacking midfielder in his youth and given free reign rather than an unsuited holding role could be again)”

    Kuyt played ok. Lucas was horrid. Maybe not the worst. But bad. I know you watched the game closely, because most of your assessments are spot on. But you can’t deny that Lucas a) has no confidence, and b) was not very good at simple things, like distributing (which I’d say youd want in a attacking MF as youve described him).

    Taking Mascherano out of the line up would be completely idiotic. How does removing a holding midfield player benefit a player like Lucas, who you have described as an attacking player at heart. Lucas was in the line up to fill Xabi/Aquilani’s shoes. He obviously didn’t do it well.

    I think one problem with Rafa, who I acknowledge as a good tactician, is that he is married to the 4-2-3-1. He wont budge, and he may need a change in formation until his has his deep lying playmaker back. Otherwise, like I said, put Gerrard further back and let him orchestrate the midfield. Give Babel a chance in a more central role. Or start Voronin/Kuyt/Lucas (since you seem very keen on him) behind Torres.

    Rafa knows much more about the game than I do, so I’m sure he will make the necessary changes in the coming weeks. And as I said, I think Liverpool will take 10-12 from the next 4 games.

  27. Tyson says:

    Game over for Liverpool.

    This article is obviously written by a blind Liverpool fan.

    Liverpool only lost 2 games last year during the entire season. This year they lost 2 games within the first 3 matches.

    Unless they don’t lose another game for the entire Premier League season they will inevitably end up doing worse and lose the PL title by an even bigger margin.

    Liverpool back to their usual. Xabi Alonso created most of the goals Liverpool scored last year so this was all very predictable. Sorry Liverpool.

  28. Lfc4life says:

    Sell gerrard for £85m to man city with a buy back clause(incase the arabs come in)

    allso sell:

    vorinin £4m
    lucas. £4m
    babel £10m
    dossena £7m

    £110m buys:

    villa. £35m
    silva. £20m
    robben £15m
    shnider £15m
    upson. £15m
    rvdv. £10m

    1) raina
    2) johnson
    3) agger
    4) upson
    5) aurilio
    6) masch
    7) aquilani
    8) silva
    9) robben
    10) torres
    11) villa

    subs/squad

    1) cavalari
    2) kuyt
    3) van da vaart
    4) benayoun
    5) shnider
    6) carra
    7) insua
    8) skyrtl
    9) ngog
    10) sparing
    11) plucewhatever

    honours = clean sweep

    now thats a thats a team… not a 2 man banwagon!
    As much as it would break my heart to see stevie go…. Sometimes you gotta take one for the boys!

  29. wllmhll says:

    behind gerrard and reina, kuyt is the next consistent player there but definitely sell lucas and voronin. i think theres still hope for babel though.

  30. Sujay says:

    The problem with Liverpool is definitely the Midfield. Against Villa every pass from Masch, Lucas was blocked by Petrov, Cooker and Sidwell. Gerrard has to drop deep and do the creative linking. At home playing Lucas is a big mistake. Get Riera on left, develop a partnership with Insua who looks good down the left giving that extra width. Right side looks great with Johnson and Kuyt. Play Benayoun behind Torres. Cant understand why Rafa hates second striker? He should have bought someone good this season to pair up or at least be a cover for Torres.

  31. Kay J says:

    Liverpool lost two games over the whole of last season and only managed to finish second. What are the chances that they go through the rest of the season and don’t slip up against the likes of Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal or even Spurs next time around? Of course no one can see into the future but based on the players he needs to call on from the bench when they are a goal down it shows they have nowhere near as much depth as Chelsea.

    I am not biased as a Chelsea supporter, but the fact that Essien is being rested and other players are coming in this gives me a calm feeling ahead of the African Cup Of Nations, the midfield constantly changes so you have no idea what to do when defending against them, Anelka and Drogba on form. So far Ancelotti is doing what LFS failed at last season – he has everyone playing with a smile on their face especially Drogba and that is a winning formula.

    No one can argue with that.

  32. Chris from Texas says:

    The one thing a lot of critics aren’t looking at are the stats from the match. Liverpool had 68% possession and had almost 3 times as many shots on goal. Normally, they would have won easily, but due to three mistakes ended up losing the match. That’s football, that happens.

    The loss came down to the players making mistakes, which has nothing to do with the manager. What could Rafa do about the OG? The fans need to look at the positives and stay behind their team, otherwise they shouldn’t be rooting for them in the first place.

    When times get tough, that is when loyalty matters.

  33. brn442 says:

    Tired of this “Liverpool only lost two matches all of last season” nonsense. What silverware did that get them? NOTHING. So what if they’ve lost two matches? As long as they don’t draw 11. Midfield and Defence aside. The other thing I will fault Rafa for is again, HAVING JUST ONE WORLD CLASS STRIKER, in the squad, worst yet, starting just one striker on the pitch. Obviously, Kuyt doesn’t get paid to score goals anymore, Babel couldn’t finish an order of Fish n’ Chips in the penalty area, and Voronin – I wish him the best of luck and hope it works out the 2nd time around but I ask myself; would he even make the bench of Chelsea, Man U, or Arsenal?____ Well then why is he good enough for Liverpool? Lucus?, oh dear – can’t wait for Aquilani’s link play and forward support – I’m just concerned that his body cannot last a brutal premier league season.

  34. Ocko says:

    Long time supporter first time writer…. so be nice!

    A couple of problems to fix before the season is a loss.

    1. Width.
    The main Liverpool problem is the same problem that they have always had. WAY …WAY…to narrow. Alonso and his wonderful passing only covered up the problem of width. Outside of Torres and at times StevieG, who on LP can beat ANYONE off the dribble to the outside? Benayoun? No, he cuts into central as soon as he can. Kuyt? No, he brings good skills things but beating people of the dribble is not one of them. Babel? No, he has the pace but not the control. (And he has been given every chance.) Reira? Well maybe. He hasn’t seen the field but for 10 minutes against Stoke. He was good for Spain this summer but has been hurt and on again and off again in training. (Off of BACA?) Johnson? Yes! And look how dangerous the right side is with him and Kuyt. You can see teams shading over to the right to cover this but the left is still a train wreck. With the left not a worry, teams can crowd the middle and shut down SteveG, which in turn kills service to Torres. Villa was so unworried about the left that they took an extra defender and shadowed SteveG. Every time he would touch to ball inside of 40 yards not one or two but THREE guys would fly out to greet him. Liverpool’s only goal? Off a reverse ball to Insua. How to fix? Well Reira seems to be the obvious answer unless Liverpool is going to dip back into the market. Until this problem is fixed top /mid table teams are going to be a problem.

    2. Buying players based on skill and not position.
    My NFL (the Colts) team does this ALL the time and it’s madding. Kuyt’s really a striker. As is Babel. Lucas is really an attacking mid-fielder. Mash is a holding mid-fielder who is starting to be asked to come forward. (why is he shooting 40 yards out, 4 times a game) Benayoun is a attacking mid-fielder playing winger. And we wonder how we lost the plot???? I saw Babel play before he came to Liverpool. Back to goal and route one is what he did….Now he’s a winger? It can take years to learn a position at the pro level. Lucas has always looked lost because he is…he’s never played as a creator before. It’s really not fair to ask ALL these guys to do this…Which leads me to my next point….

    3. Small market team playing in big market sandbox.
    There are only three reasons that Liverpool are in the great shape they are in. Carra, StevieG, Torres. End of story. Two home grown and one great buy. Liverpool will NEVER be able to spash out 40 million for a star. Not enough turn over. Owners have large debt load. How, as fans, do we see this? Value signings. Players who are discounted for one reason or another….Babel? Young and a project. Benayoun? Small market team needed cash. Aquilani? A hurt national player who is on the discount rack. Voronin? We need a second striker? Oh..we have someone coming back from loan. We couldn’t sell him last year so he will do. Rafa…Please for the love of god …stop buying people then not using them at want they are best at…I know you need to spend your pennies wisely. I feel for you. I understand they changed the rules on you with your budget. But go get the best player for the money at the position you need to improve that you can. It’s that simple. Stop trying to be so damn cute in the market.

    4. Line up
    Anytime everyone and their brother can take a guess at the best line up for a team you have major personal problems. Formation is the first issue. We only have one strike who anyone fears so that formation must end in a one. Johnson is our third best attacking player show he has to be able to get forward. That means it has to begin with a 4, for cover and all. Since we don’t have second striker and StevieG is our second best attacking player and he can roam…the only other number is a 5….so….4-5-1. Only answer that creates width, let’s StevieG get around the pitch and lets the enforcer enforce. Lucus: what he does best doesn’t fit in our player personal role. So…

    Johnson Carra Skyrtl Isua
    Kuyt Masc StevieG Benayoun Reira
    Torres

    Play Benayoun and StevieG off of Torres and tell Reira to stay on the touch line and Johnson to interchange with Kurt.

    My two and a half cents.
    Ocko

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