Responsibility for Liverpool’s slow start

Saturday’s game will live long in Liverpool fans memories for the wrong reasons.  The media have had a field day (or should that be beach day) with the story. Opposition fans as well as Liverpool fans have come up with more jokes surrounding beach toys than were ever thought possible.  The only shame is that we are approaching Winter, otherwise many of Britain’s seaside resorts would have seen a much needed boost.  Factories in China will be springing in to action – and producing new LFC merchandise at record rates. (Hicks and Gillett will be pleased so many United fans bought beach balls)

But two days later – as the jokes get tired it is sensible to reflect on Liverpool’s opening stuttering start to our campaign.

People blame the departure of Alonso – but he wanted to go. He is no more a Liverpool player than Luis Garcia is, Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish, Nicolas Anelka or a whole host of other players who we would have been glad to have on the pitch on Saturday.

Instinct tells some Liverpool fans to blame Lucas – yet he was probably one of the better outfield players on Saturday.

Liverpool did indeed play poorly by our high standards, but I doubt very much we deserved to actually lose the game.  United managed to scrappily avoid defeat to Sunderland on their own turf a fortnight ago – with an injury time equaliser – with a first choice squad and the home crowd at their disposal.  Ferguson slated the referee’s fitness and the media lapped it up.  Kindly ignoring the poor performance.  Liverpool lost to a goal that by the laws of the game shouldn’t have counted – and Rafa kops it big time.

Relatively sane individuals will understand all about the media manipulation and Rafa’s blatant disregard for the hacks and journos has upset a few ego’s in the London media and they love nothing more than hysterical reporting on the reds.

People who watched the game will have seen Sunderland spend almost the entire second half under the cosh.  Yes Sunderland could have made it 2 – but they didn’t.  Reina saved, Carragher tackled and the defence crowded out their three ‘glorious chances’.  None of those three ‘glorious chances’ ended with a shot on target.

Liverpool fans, and Rafa to his credit (overlooked by the media), took the rotten luck in good grace.  If United had suffered a ‘beach ball’ embarrassment – would Ferguson have laughed it off – or would he be calling for the referee to be dropped and telling the FA he was ‘unfit’ for the Premier League? I strongly suspect the latter.

While we can point to failed investment from the owners, which we have discussed countless times before – the fact remains that the blame for our stuttering start lies full square on the shoulders of the players sent out to perform in a manner expected of them.

Saturday wasn’t about Torres not playing or Gerrard.  We didn’t fluff chances that Torres would have scored.  We simply couldn’t pass the ball quick enough, didn’t move fast enough, and didn’t show any passion to win the ball and make the game ours.

Last season Liverpool landed our record points haul.  Torres, Gerrard and Alonso all had substantial spells out of the team.  Even amongst that record Premier League points total we had an horrific 10 game spell where we won only 3 games.  People throwing in the towel then were sitting on the edge of the seats as the title chase went all the way through to the middle of May.

There have not been wholesale changes to that Liverpool team which came so close last year.

Liverpool’s bad start is entirely down to poorly performing players.  We unveiled the stat on Saturday night that a kick upfield by Pepe Reina had more chance of finding a Liverpool player than a pass from Ryan Babel on that day.   Some people said it was harsh – but that was the cold reality of the day.  And it wasn’t just Ryan Babel – who incidentally was reaching his 100th appearance for Liverpool.

Liverpool are better than their results show.  The players are better than their recent performances.  The team Rafa sent out against Sunderland should have taken all three points.  If the Liverpool players were at the top of their game and we were still failing to get the results then yes – you can look at the management – but that’s not the case.

Poor performing Liverpool players have caused our stuttering start to the season. Nobody else.  They’ve got the next two games with the Anfield crowd behind them to pull their fingers out and start playing to the standard expected of them and justify their cost and salary, but more importantly justify the crest that they wear on their shirt.

At the end of a storm, there’s a golden sky.

9 comments on
Responsibility for Liverpool’s slow start

  1. i was really disheartened last night, but i have been on many occasions in my 44 years of watching and supporting and one thing i have learnt is that you never write off the ‘Reds’ we are too massive a club to dismiss, come on lads, when we beat the ‘Mancs’ on Sunday we’ll be on a run that will take us to the top of the league and we won’t give it away as we did last season, plus we might even win the Euro Champions if our ‘Foreign’ contingent can start playing a full ninety minutes we might just do it.

  2. YES the lads have had a bad start a really Bad start and it’s the senior/ international players who should take the majority of the flack because any team under the cosh looks to there star players for inspiration ! to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and force the issue, something they have just not been doing yet.
    You could say that in the last two games we were without gerrard and torres but in the two games before sunderland both Gerrard and Torres were like invisible men anyway and in my opinion iv yet to see the ‘real’ Gerrard play this season . That may seem cynical of me but if people are being honest they hav’nt ether.

    But it dose’nt stop there, the likes of Kuyt, Skirtel, Carra, Mascherano, Riera and at times Jhonson are all players who have yet to truly perform ( Carra has got better over the last three games tho). Yossi, to his credit has played reasonably well ! At least to some form of consistency and tried last night to force the game but could’nt do it on his own “Or when he’s on the bench Rafa ! “.
    But the truth is that only an all inspiring result against one of our main rivals is going to break us free from this type of form and i find it hard to believe some of my mates when they say that it’s all setting up nicely for the weekend ?

  3. The next two games are going to really tough with the confidence levels down and as a fan the only thing I can do is give my heart in cheering for the Team. The team is really pressured to win games and I sure hope we do.

  4. I watched Liverpool in the second division and later the first. There were really no stars to speak of but they played as a team. The best example of this was Gerry Byrne who in the 65 cup final played with a broken collerbone for most of the match. There are are too many WAG’s and fast cars. Play for your team and not yourselves.

  5. Thank you. At last someone who understands the game and the fact that once those players cross that white line they are on their own. Poor individual performances by players that can do much better is not the fault of the manager.

  6. And don’t forget that Chelsea lost on Saturday, with a FULLY FIT SQUAD. Had we got what we deserved at Stamford Bridge they would be coming off 3 straight league defeats. Are they in crisis? With a new manager, a massive and fit squad, conceding soft set-piece goals! Sound familiar? Funny the media aren’t rapping them.

    Moneybags Citeh also dropped points. Away to a team they should surely be battering with the talent, money and squad they have. Instead they, like Sunderland, were under the cosh for practically the entire period after they scored.

    We’ve been here before.
    Even last season.
    Remember how that panned out?

    We had at least £100m worth of FIRST CHOICE MATCH WINNERS either out injured or still in another time zone on Saturday. I’d like to see Chelsea go a few games without Drogba, Essien and Lampard.

    Those who are overreacting:

    Get a grip and wind yer necks in!

  7. We’re having our bad spell now all the other teams will go through it the league will be very up and down this season I think, next game here’s some name’s that’ll be back


    Will we beat Lyon? yes but not very comfortably, then we play the Mancs and it’s already setup to be the potential turning point of the season they’ll be fired up for it after 4-1 but we’ve GOT to go and turn them again, after that we can keep half an eye on the new boy Aquilani!

  8. Am a pool fan but must say these. Yes, the entire team sucked on Sat against a sunderland minnows. Come to think about it, Liverpool really played badly, from spearing, to lucas, to kuyt, to skrtel, to johnsons. The “best” performer was babel as he was no more than another beach ball, idling waiting for a ball to “hit” him and he becomes an immediate distraction.

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