Amazing how a defeat can change supporters’ views on our teams chances of success. There has been so much criticism over the last day or so. Even King Kenny has been taking some stick, so what chance do the players have. From what I’ve been hearing and reading is extremely harsh. Jamie Carragher is suddenly over the hill and should be dropped because he is the blame for us losing so many goals, never mind about the amount of goals he prevents. Jordan Henderson should be dropped is another favourite topic from Saturday. Andy Carroll is a waste of money, I could go on, but these are the topics that I have noticed more than others.
Like every supporter I can be critical after a defeat, but I can also see the positives, from which they were many to take out of the game. I was happy with Kenny’s team selection other than Skrtel playing at right-back, although I thought his height would come in handy with Stoke’s long ball tactics, but if Skrtel was playing I would play him in the middle and shift Carragher to the right. I thought Carroll might start with Suarez up front because of his height and strength too, but I could see Kenny’s idea with Kuyt and Suarez being paired due to their superb work rate, very good to see us play with two strikers away from home.
I felt Kenny’s tactics and team played really well at Stoke, as we limited Stoke to two corner kicks and only two shots on target the whole game. Stoke usually bombard the away side but Liverpool never let them threaten as we controlled possession. I haven’t seen a Liverpool side go to Stoke and dominate in the way we did since that 8-0 game many years ago. Credit must go to Kenny and his players for their performance. I can see why Carragher has been blamed for the penalty, he was caught wrong side of Walters but he was very harshly penalised, Walters seemed to foul Carragher initially before going down like a Saturday coupon. Referee Clattenburg was so wrong to give the penalty and I felt he could have shown a few yellow cards to some Stoke players in protection to the Liverpool players as some of their challenges were a bit over the top at times. On another day we may have won a couple of penalties but I thought they would have been a bit harsh to be honest. My criticism of the players are I thought Henderson was a bit quiet and Adam’s passing was a bit inconsistent, losing possession quite a lot. I felt Skrtel should have been subbed earlier for Johnson as we had to chase the game, but Bellamy and Carroll caused problems when they came on. Stoke defended brilliantly on the day, flinging themselves at the ball and making vital blocks, and Liverpool’s luck deserted them. On another day we would have won easily so is frustrating for everybody to come away with a defeat.
But for some supporters to target Kenny, Henderson, Carroll and Carragher is out of order. Firstly Dalglish is the best man for the job and he has us playing a much more exciting brand of football and has brought in a stronger squad with his transfer activity and also he has got rid of a lot of dead wood at the club. Carragher is still a very important player for us, yes he is getting on a bit but he still has tremendous defensive qualities, most importantly is his leadership abilities as he is such a great organiser of his defence, the only defender we have that can do this. So for supporters to want him dropped is a nonsense. Andy Carroll will come good he has not had a run of games due to having that long spell out injured and Dalglish seems to be bringing him back gradually, so we have to be patient with the big man. I believe Henderson will do well for us too, but like Carroll his price tag is an added burden for him at the moment as fans expect players with big price tags to hit the ground running.
Although I am disappointed that we lost against Stoke I am very heartened by the performance and I do think we could get a good result at Spurs next week , so let get behind the team like the greatest supporters we know we are and I’m sure we will have good times ahead this season.
written by Jamie McLaughlin website at www.anfieldnews.com