After the promise of Liverpool’s improved play last week in the victory over Spurs, Liverpool fans expected the improvement to continue – but the train halted once again in a dull game in the Midlands.
It should have been so different – two changes from last week – Maxi Rodriguez replacing Phillip Degen on the right wing (a free transfer for another free transfer) and Alberto Aquilani somewhat surprisingly dropped for the returning Steven Gerrard.
Liverpool had briefly motivational spells at each end of each half – but for large swathes of the game in between it wasn’t pretty from either side. In fact, on balance, of the limited chances on hand – it was Wolves who managed to eek the hardest work out of the keeper.
Jamie Carragher was destroyed down the wing by Jarvis on numerous occasions. His desire to stay in his own half only invites further pressure on himself and his pace was cruelly exposed.
Not only that but it continually caused the team to lose shape – if it wasn’t Lucas rushing back to cover then it was Skrtel moving across from his centre back berth.
Despite this, the remaining members of the defence did look like they are starting to improve. The introduction of Kyrgiakos in recent weeks has added a new steel to a Liverpool side who have now only conceded once in the past 5 Premier League games.
But the problems at the other end remain uncorrected.
With Torres still out, and likely to remain so for a while, 2-goal Spurs hero Kuyt was again handed a starting berth up front. Unfortunately old habits die hard and he was often found outside the box on the flanks attempting to cross to the now non-existant striker.
The brightest spark was probably David N’gog – who’s arrival on the pitch with 20 minutes to go made Liverpool look a lot more dangerous than they had for the first 70 minutes.
Steven Gerrard fared little better in an anaemic display. It was debatable whether on current form he deserved to walk straight back in to the team at the expense of Aquilani.
Aquilani’s favoured position appears to be as a more advanced midfielder. It may be that Gerrard would be far better employed on the right wing.
Two points dropped. The reds move up to 5th and can draw some minor positives, but there is no doubt Liverpool should be beating teams like Wolves and Stoke.
Post Match Comments
“If you analyse the game, it was a fair result. In the first half, we were in control, although we didn’t create chances. The final pass in the final third was the difference.
“In the second half, they pushed harder. We still had some good counter-attacks but again the final pass was the difference. It was a fair result.”