The teams’ performance yesterday was good, but not good enough. We are winning statistics but we are not notching up the points. Here is my overview of yesterday’s performance. The game plan said 4-4-2 but it looked more like a 4-3-3 in practice, with Bellamy, Suarez and Downing across the attacking front.
Lucas Leiva – Not available through suspension and boy did we notice. The little Brazilian has become an invaluable asset. Sorely missed!
Pepe Reina – Got it horribly wrong when they equalized but redeemed himself a few minutes later with a miracle save on a second Holt header. Redeemed!
Glen Johnson – Glad he is back, but I still think Kelly is stronger defensively. He should have replaced Downing when he was taken off with Carra taking his place. Missed resource!
Jaime Carragher – Was involved in the three way collision that left Holt to easily head into an unguarded goal post. When they attacked, especially on the counter, we looked very much on the back foot defensively. Can do better!
Martin Skrtel – Not one of his best matches. Holt and Morrison gave him and Carra more headaches than Rooney and Chicharito the weekend before. Inconsistent!
Jose Enrique – A few shaky moments at the start, but was creating play in the second half with his tireless forward forays. Marathon Man!
Charlie Adam – Still a shadow of the marauding captain we saw leading Blackpool last season. Slow on the ball and lost possession once too often for comfort, also leading to a counter which led to their equalizer. The only positive move in the full 90+ minutes was his slalom into the penalty area in the second half which was interrupted rather abruptly by Barnett. Disappointing!
Steven Gerrard – Understandably still way below his standards. He is much slower, tackles much less but the sore point here is that he has lost his precision. Patience!
Dirk Kuyt – If this guy was to translate 1% of his huge work-rate into a moment of magic, then he is guaranteed a goal a game. Ran his socks off but did not produce the vital ingredients. Undecisive!
Stewart Downing – Was a thorn in their side in the first half but should have been brought over to the left when we equalized by which time Lambert took counter-measures and his forays became less affective. Faded away!
Craig Bellamy – Finally given a start produced a stunning first half rewarded with a much wanted goal. Inventive, inspired, but then in the second half Lambert counter-measured with a double marking which made his life much harder. Should not have been substituted!
Luis Suarez – My fear is we are becoming dependant on him as much as we were on Torres. He may be building a reputation with referees that might work against him. By far our best player but is squandering too many chances in front of goal. Unlucky!
Jordan Henderson – Brought on in place of Downing and made to work where he has been least affective. His introduction provided no impetus thus rendering his run out almost useless. Out of place!
Andy Carroll – Lambert brought Holt out to go for it; we should have brought Carroll out to go for it too! Came in too late in the game but still had the opportunity to win it. Belated introduction!
Daniel Agger – Brought in to push Jose Enrique forward. He should have player instead of Skrtel because the Reds need class in that central defensive area which they lacked, especially with Lucas out. Misused!
Kenny Dalglish – The first half game plan worked fantastically, and we were the better team hands down with Lady Luck rewarding us with a deserved goal on the stroke of injury time. We did not counter measure Holt’s introduction, and we did not add much needed fire-power immediately after their equalizer giving the opposition the impression we were fearing defeat. Bellamy should not have come off and if anything Johnson should have been moved forward instead of Downing with Carra moved to cover for Glen with Agger replacing him as centre back! Carroll, as I said was brought in too late in the game and should have come one as soon as Norwich got the equalizer. Lack of improvisation!
One step back as far as I am concerned. We should not be ruing missed chances and imprecating bad luck. We should be winning these games. I feel we are not reactive enough and we fail to counter-act when the run of events take a bad turn.
The only real positive from yesterdays match is that we did not lose, because we did run that risk! By the way, the above is not a slogging off; it’s just what I saw!