Sunday morning, and unfortunately, it is another defeat on which to reflect. London is rarely kind to travelling teams from Anfield, and again it proved our graveyard yesterday. It may be The Cottage but for the purpose of alliteration it was the Hallowe’en House of Horror. How could it all go so wrong in 6 days?
Despite having a squad in excess of 50 professionals, we lack the strength and depth required to compete in the league. This was evidenced yesterday, when injury and illness decimated our first team. Fulham’s 18 man squad was far superior than ours yesterday. Now we have suspension to add to the factors above.
Liverpool are going to appeal both red cards and hopefully they will be rescinded. Degen’s tackle warrented nothing more than a yellow card while Carra clearly won the ball. He survived against Utd when the case was made for him to walk only to be sent off yesterday for a perfectly timed and fair challenge. They do say these things even themselves out during a season but over the course of a week….
The sendings off were wrong but the errors should not be compounded by adding the 3 match suspensions that will follow. Lee Mason has the chance to correct his mistake when he submits his match report, so please Mr. Mason take a look at the VT!
Do not be fooled into thinking the dismissals were the cause of our defeat, we were 2-1 down before Degen got his marching orders. They contributed to the scale of our defeat but have deflected a lot of attention from our performance, they were not the reson for us leaving The Cottage empty handed.
Last Sunday, we fought for every ball and every blade of grass, had an extra yard of pace, and an extra ounce of strength when it mattered. Yesterday, we had nothing. Our heads dropped, not metaphorically but literally dropped. This is not what we expect and in defence of Benitez’s men it does not happen very often. But the question needs to be asked, where was the fight so obvious last weekend?
It would be very unfair to attribute blame after such a diabolical performance but Insua struggled and illustrated that he still has a lot to learn. Having had praise heaped on his shoulders in recent weeks, his lapses in concentration yesterday cost us 2 goals. Perhaps he needs sometime on the bench?
My last word is in defence of Rafa. He selected the best team he had available. He had take Torres off as he has been training/playing thanks to painkillers. We cannot afford to lose in for 6-8 weeks. He had to take him off. If, as has been promised, there is to be new investment in the next 6 months, I cannot see H&G putting up a big transfer kitty in January.
Be prepared for more of the same until May. If fourth place was offered now, I would take it. The league is gone, the league cup is gone and if we do not win in France on Wednesday the Champions League will be gone.
Through the wind and the rain…..