This is what Rafa said to the press after the game against Stoke City. ‘I’m really pleased with the performance against a difficult team. In a tough game we did almost everything to win.’ Was he serious?
When Liverpool plays with Carra, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and Insua as back four, Degen, Mascherano, Lucas and Aurelio in midfield (both Degen and Aurelio provided more cover for our fullbacks than proposed themselves in attack), and Kuyt and Ngog up front, you are telling the opposing team. ‘Okay, we’ve come here to contain your game, especially your set pieces, now attack us and we will attempt to counter-attack you.’
For a team that had around 40% of the ball, no corners to it’s favour, and only two shots on target, one being the goal and the other an upright strike I would be embarrassed to say that ‘we almost did everything to win!’ Were we watching the same game Rafa?
It seems to me that we tend to preserve players for the next game and never go on the pitch to win the game in hand. What’s the point?
Today we had absolutely NO PLAYER capable of creating play or an attacking opportunity. Our passing was pitiful at times and we rarely made it forward of their penalty area, were all our forward moves broke up.
Rafa said this week ‘we are not playing well’, what did he expect to achieve fielding a side without creative quality as he did today?
The goal on the 57th minute probably changed Rafa’s substitution plans, which usually come around the 60th to 65th minute. Kuyt and Ngog were totally ineffective today. We had Pacheco on the bench, what great risk would it have been to give him a run and harass Huth and Shawcross. Why not move Kuyt out right and bring Aquilani on to replace Lucas who was running a yellow?
Thankfully Hull City (or better still shotstopper Myhill) resisted the Spurs siege keeping us within touching distance, and cousins Everton literally outplayed (I saw the game!) Man City bringing us one point closer to them. So two of four direct competitors for the 4th CL spot did worse than we did the other two, Birmingham (game postponed) and Villa (play tomorrow) were not in action.
Wednesday’s game with Spurs at Anfield is another vital encounter. We might all pray to the Gods for us to have our fair share of luck, but Rafa must stop challenging their patience by fielding a team that can really go for the win.