There are a lot of things that worry me about Liverpool FC’s team this season. The match against West Ham United was a perfect example where they were fortunate to win after West Ham United played them off the park for large portions of the match.
To me, Liverpool were blessed by individual performances at Upton Park that smoothed over a couple of weaknesses:
- Jamie Carragher had a poor game compared to his typical performances, but there’s no hiding the fact that both of Liverpool’s centre backs were unable to deal with the pace of the opposition. The comedy of errors by Carragher and Skrtel at the back were glaringly obvious. For West Ham United’s first goal, Carragher was unable to deal with the pace of Zavon Hines and pushed the player to the ground which resulted in a penalty. For the second goal by the Hammers, Carragher lost Cole who was able to jump up and head the ball into the back of the net. As a result, Zavon Hines and Carlton Cole made Liverpool’s defense look amateurish. The name of the game when beating Liverpool this season is pace. Liverpool are unable to deal with it.
- Up top, Liverpool looked unimaginative in front of goal. That is except for three individual moments of beauty from Fernando Torres (a beautiful solo run on a shot that Robert Green should have saved, and his second-half glancing header) and Steven Gerrard (for a beautiful header from a corner which Kuyt tapped in to score). Aside from the individual efforts from those two players, Liverpool looked poor for large periods of the game.
The other thing about Liverpool is that they’re not playing well together as a team. Compare Liverpool to how Manchester United plays and the difference is night and day. United, for the most part, play as a collective unit who always seem like they’re going to win. Take away Torres’s solo run and Gerrard’s brilliant header, and what you’re left with is a uninspiring performance by Liverpool who look like they’re playing more as individuals.
The concern for Liverpool is what happens if Torres and Gerrard have a bad day at the office and they’re not able to pull off those incredible touches to score goals. Without those two players performing at a world-class level, Liverpool looks pedestrian. And this is not just the performance against West Ham United. You can add the games against Debrecen, the first half performance against Burnley, and the game against Aston Villa at Anfield.
It’s quite possible that Liverpool will turn things around after the important victory in east London and will regain the confidence and performances necessary to make a serious run at the title. I however am not convinced.