You know when you’ve arrived.
Not when you emerge from your chaffeured motor and a kindly man in livery takes your decanter from you and says softly, ‘The girls are in the American bar for you, sir…’ No. It’s when you have the radio on after the results on a Saturday teatime and the voice says,’Next week they have Everton, but after that, they face a tough run against Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester United.’
We are – or at least very certainly on the brink of being – one of those sides you don’t fancy playing.
This is historic. Not just just because some johnny on the radiogram said it, because it’s actually ringing true and as a supporter I’ve only felt like this once before and that was in the early 80’s.
The game was good. By this I mean that at half time, I genuinely felt we’d given a good account of ourselves. Perhaps having recently sat through so many Horror Movies watching us as the slashed up and slain victim come back to life and vanquish the Killer Zombie, I was almost quietly confident we weren’t done quite yet.
The injuries are becoming a chore. But then who wouldn’t want Christmas off? It’s daft to go away even with the deals. You can’t beat being indoors, fire on whilst slowly overdosing on posh mince pies being ploughed into brandy cream. Running around in the cold with nothing to protect you from Jack Frost but a £1.99 pair of mittens from the Megastore? No ta, mush.
Liverpool are getting better. They haven’t recovered, definitely still trying to shake it off, whatever it was that they caught. 3-0 against East London’s finest was a false remission alright. Torres in particular ha that look about him that Berbatov had when he first went to Yanited. The eyes appear closer set, the chest thinner and lots of brief glimpses over the shoulder seems to be the body language of the down at heel sniper.
And so to the ratings. I know you want ’em.
Gomes – 6 Alright, unconvinced about some of his passing, mind.
Hutton – 6 Another alright. Loved his penalty dive. Proper Torville & Dean stuff.
Gallas – 8 By jove I think he’s got it!
Kaboul – 7 Can someone spin round the pubs and get King ready? Cheers.
A&E – 6 A real A&E performance. Wish he’d just be consistently good.
Azza Blud – 7 Is this a wing heeled wonder I see before me? Improving.
Palacios – 4 (Which includes 3 points for putting his shirt on the right way round)
Modders – 8 MOTM but lots of errant passes, particularly early on.
Bale – 7.68 On the end of some abysmal ‘tackles’, we seem to getting kicked by everyone.
3MP – 6.82 Won lots of headers. Yet to win my heart.
VdV – Huge loss.
Defoe – 0 (Which includes a 5 point deduction for seriously winding me up on the day of rest)
Bassong – 7.58 Steeped in and caught the eye. Good stuff.
November 29, 2010 at 11:03 am
November 29, 2010 at 11:06 am
November 29, 2010 at 11:07 am
November 29, 2010 at 11:24 am
November 29, 2010 at 11:30 am
Meh performance, but a battling one against an organized side. Palacios was just awful, though he shouldn’t have been booed/ironically cheered. Thanks to his sloppy passing our midfield was cut to pieces, though in truth we should’ve been more compact as a team and offered more outlets for our CMs. Because of our inflexible width, wingers like Nasri and Maxi tend to have plenty of joy against us and we tend to be overly spaced out – hence the long ball.
We shouldn’t have to resort to the long ball and knockdown so often, it may be effective but it should be a plan B with players of our quality; most of the time the long ball/cross just loses possession in the center, where we are most exposed. More give-and-go, more triangles please. We need not only raw ability but intelligence and vision, which is partly why I oppose the Ashley Young transfer despite him having an absurd number of assists in the last few years (third, behind Lampard and Fabregas). He is just not visionary enough, he takes on players or crosses when he ought to release someone else. We need more players like Modric, who has been wonderful in recent weeks despite less than inspiring midfield partners.
Torres is low on confidence but his flicks and movement were still great, he won’t be off form for long. Reminds me yet again of how seriously we need a top striker or two in Jan. Smart, powerful, pacy, clinical, works with VdV etc…or at least someone who can score pens. Our strikers are not nearly well-rounded or consistent enough. I sound like a broken record but our weakness in this area will keep us from top four, unless Defoe magically hits a giant run of form.
Btw, I’m annoyed with how little fouling we are doing compared to the other team, fouling is an art and we should be disrupting their attacking rhythm more often. Certainly other teams are doing it to us, so we need to release the ball and move into space more quickly, not just look to moments of individual genius to save us.
Huge plus was Bassongers slotting straight in…thank fuck i say
What was The Bull’s injury?
Looked like he hurt his hip
“steeped in” you say. Wtf!? Good read as usual though ;-)
Crouch is doing good at the non scoring stuff. But the rest of the strikers are not even managing that and have barely a league goal between them all year.
If we cannot afford Torres or love Super Lazy Pav’s dimples I can live with that.
What I cannot live with is that Keane+Gio are both on our strikers list and drawing their salary and neither have contributed a jot for a year.
Just shipping those two and spending the proceeds and saved wages on one or two strikers would be an upgrade that cos zilch and at least look like we could see a problem staring us in the face.
Unfortunately if that was going to happen it would have happened in the summer. So we will limp on with strikers who cannot score wasting the hard work of the midfield.
Pity that cos with strikers even half as good as our midfield we would be top of the table right now.
VDV out for a month!