December 2010: The Anfield Review

The weather played havoc with Liverpool's December fixtures

With the last month of the opening decade of the 21st century upon us, it was imperritive we left 2010 on a high. I’d like to say we did, but I’d be lying. We were atroucious at times and very rarely did we have anything to get our hopes up about.

We started the month by getting the point required to ensure we progressed into the second stage of the Europa League against Steaua Burcherest. The side didn’t include the most familiar names in the squad but a one all draw saw us progress nonetheless. Milan Jovanovich opened the scoring before the Romanians drew level in the second half. Surely the team against Aston Villa will be more recognisable and the result more favourable towards the Reds?

One or two more familiar names did take to the pitch against Villa as Gerard Houllier returned to Anfield, this time in the opposing dugout though. We were still, however, without Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Fernando Torres. Not that it mattered because Villa were made to look like a poor side by us.

We ripped through them time and time again and within the first twenty minutes we were two up thanks to goals from the new strike force of Ngog and Babel. The hammering was complete when Maxi Rodriguez headed home the third. It was another clean sheet and another three points at home. It was also another case of us “turning the corner” but we could only be certain we’d turned said corner with a result against Newcastle at St James’ Park.

If the corner was turned then it only lead to another long, long dead end street. We arrived in Newcastle full of confidence while the Magpies were down after the sacking of Chris Houghton and appointment, much to the dismay of the Geordie fans, of Alan Pardew.

It was Pardew’s first game in charge and the players showed that they were ready to fight for him. Nolan gave them a lead while another Scouser, Joey Barton, restalled their lead after scrappy goal from Kuyt had equalised for us. Newcastle also had time for a third thanks to a thunderbolt from Andy Carroll.

While still feeling sorry for ourselves, the club decided that kids got into the match free for our final group game in the Europa League. The kids, and adults, are probably wishing they’d stayed at home because it was another drab performance. Once again it was more of the fringe players who played against Utrecht and none of them really done themselves any favours.

A goalless draw but at least we kept up our unbeaten run in Europe and stayed top of the group. We also found out that we’ll play Sparta Prague in the second round of the Europa League.

We then went two weeks without a game thanks to the weather which caused postponements to the home game against Fulham and the Boxing Day visit to Blackpool. At last we got back into the action against strugglers Wolves, whose away record is worst than ours and that’s saying something.

But after possibly the worst performance I’ve seen from a Liverpool side in the 21st Century, Wolves’ away record is slightly better than it was. In fact I wished this game got postponed as well after what we dished up.

Stephen Ward’s goal was enough to give the visitors the three points but the lack of fight, passion and drive in the boys was more worrying than the result itself. A full 90 minutes by our returning captain wasn’t enough to inspire any of the lads into any sort of performance, it was diabolical.

But thankfully this horrid calendar year is now over and we can move into a new year hopefully returning to the form we know we have. A new year, new start.

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.