Thinking out loud about Monday’s game

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By Paul Culff

Another disappointing result for Liverpool as this game is surely 2 points lost. The only good thing is that the teams around us didn’t capitalize. Unfortunately the season is now one game shorter and before we know it, time will get away from us. There is no real theme to this article but merely some observations and comments. No doubt it will provoke comment from the many readers.

I felt the display was fairly lackluster. It’s strange because playing at Anfield on Boxing Day should need no added motivation . With player’s families and friends in town, I would have expected a blockbuster performance. Unfortunately it didn’t pan out that way. Passes were going astray, players weren’t making or anticipating runs and we were losing possession where we needed to be dominant. The squad now is deeper than it has been in the past and we have seen Kenny rotate the team fairly regularly and we can expect much more of this over the next couple of weeks. I wonder if this is affecting players being on the same wavelength and gelling. The midfield four has changed so much during December with Shelvey, Kuyt, Bellamy, Maxi, and Spearing in and out. Suarez has also been asked to play up top with Bellamy, Kuyt, Maxi, Shelvey or Carroll playing off him. All these players offer different things and this must create uncertainty among each other from one game to the next as players need to anticipate their team mates movements. Should we field a more regular team on a consistent basis to get them to gel? I think this can be evidenced in the back four. The same four have been exceptional and justified in keeping Carragher out of the side.

Andy Carroll – cue the comments. I am an Andy Carroll fan and want him to succeed, that’s all. I’m not saying he is setting the world on fire but can a fan not back him to succeed and subsequently help the team. I certainly hope he starts banging them in soon, be it pretty or not. Unfortunately right now, Andy Carroll can’t buy a goal. He had 2-3 huge chances in this game, one of which would have made him an instant hero. The four yard effort in the first half at point blank range was a great save. Carroll couldn’t have done much more and his ability to bring it under control and even get a shot off was admirable. He had a header towards the end of the 2nd half that he should have hit the target with but went just wide. Finally, the world class goal line save from his stab right at the death was unbelievable. Again, Carroll couldn’t have done much more. I felt he was pushed in the back (whilst attempting a header in the box) in the lead up to the injury time pandemonium. He works hard for the team and you can see he wants to push on. Hopefully he will. I think when he does, Liverpool will too. Just like Andy Carroll can’t buy a goal right now, neither can Liverpool for that matter.

Luis Suarez is struggling a little too I think. He is carrying the burden of the racism allegations, a looming 8 match ban and also trying to carry a team on his shoulders. That also doesn’t include the abuse he cops from opposing fans and the lack of protection from referees. He has been wasteful recently and I am worried he is losing faith in some of those players around him as he gets selfish when other players may be in better positions. That being said, if I want anyone to be selfish, it is probably him because more often than not he can pull it off. I can’t do nothing but admire his work rate, sublime skill at times and also his motivation. I just hope that he doesn’t get too burned out, frustrated and over react on a big stage when everyone is watching him under a microscope. He just needs to regain confidence and his mojo. This will begin by converting more chances as he gets in good positions more often than anyone else.

Finally, it was great to see Steven Gerrard back. He changed the shape of the game when he came on and I don’t recall a misplaced pass while he was on. He fed players left and right and got into dangerous positions. He did more on the field in 25 minutes than Charlie Adam did in 65 minutes. Incidentally, I think this was Charlie Adam’s worst game in a Liverpool shirt so far. Surprisingly he didn’t look up for it yesterday. Steven Gerrard was up for it though and hopefully he slowly regains fitness. I still think he is slightly injured because he wasn’t tracking back like normal. We lost shape in the middle after that substitution but we needed to push forward and Gerrard really gave us that attacking threat. I look forward to seeing more of him out there.

No real theme to this article but just me thinking out loud about Monday’s game. I’m sure people either agree or disagree and I welcome your constructive comments, not Andy Carroll bashing.




  1. I think when Caroll plays we revert too the long ball to assist him and Samba was enjoying himself.The shot he missed in the 1st half a real class striker would have put that away but again i guess his not and and his awareness is so bad how about when he missed that header and downing send it back if he as aware he would not have given up.He sucks big time and kenny should cut his losses and move on.

  2. I agree with all you said. I fear Suarez is losing faith in those around him and coupled with the racism row, I fear he will flee to Spain or Italy. I hope not.

  3. Liverpool have the best defence in the league, yet Blackburn and Wigan have scored more goals than us! Monday’s game was just another frustrating game in yet another frustrating season! I had very high hopes in August.

    1. I agree. I think we are fooling ourselves a little. The fundamentals are not right in the team and it needs to be addressed. Otherwise we will lose the quality we have. Pepe and Suarez for example.

  4. Carroll was good but unlucky against Blackburn. He should be given more match time and I am sure he will eventually start getting the goals Liverpool need so badly.

    I would also like to see Liverpool play at the begining of each with the same enthusiam and spirit as they have been doing in the last 10 minutes of each match. And of course less complaining and more support from the fans.

  5. we need to buy a player like higuain in january! andy carroll is gud but it wil take him awhile to be good. but he is not the kind of player to be played along with suarez. we need a player like higuain or torres,a perfect goal poacher. i think andy carroll wil do good if he is played lone striker with downing and a right winger providing crosses!!

  6. we need to buy a player like higuain in january! andy carroll is gud but it wil take him awhile to be better. but he is not the kind of player to be played along with suarez. we need a player like higuain or torres.i think andy carroll wil do good if he is played lone striker with downing and a right winger providing crosses!!

  7. We need a 20 goals a season forward and we dont have any… Kenny needs to be looking at a forward in january but I don’t the owners will give him the money, he put all his faith on Carroll and for whatever reason the lad isn’t justifying his potential. Even the simple things seem too much for him.. For me it’s the pressure he’s under. The price tag and the fact he’s barely playing so think he’s trying too hard and that’s why we’re seeing this awkward amateur Sunday league striker instead of the confident, smashing defenders all over the place Carroll of 12 months ago. It’s mad to think we’ve drawn 7 games and the chances we had in most of them we could and should of won them games. Anyways, we need a striker who’s going to score and the only fella who I think for £20m can come straight in and do the job is Soldado of Valencia, there out of the CL and in the mickey mouse one now, so if we have the money and kenny could somehow sell him the ambition for end of the season and beyond then I think he’s the answer.. It’s not like we’re playing bad and lot creating anything… One of these games all these chances are going to go in and someones going to get a hiding… Let’s hope it’s against Newcastle to end the year on a high :)

  8. thanks for the article.

    Lfc as a team going forward seems a bit predictable, loss for ideas and way to slow in there build up. Some players seem a little scared to take a risk in the attacking 3rd. Maybe worried that their place in the team for the next game will be taken away if they try something different or against team instructions. Stop with poor choices in the final 3rd and provide the forwards with quicker ball allowing them to be on the front foot when attacking could improve our chances infront of goals.

    One last point i would like to make is that our timing for substitutions doesnt always have to be at the same time for every match. Make changes at different times especially when we think of mondays game were suarez was struggling for large parts of the game. This season we do have players who can come off the bench to make a difference in a tight game.

  9. Its so sad, painful and frustratin to see lfc easily drop points from winable matches. Kenny should know that times have changed and he should provoke the players to give more. If spearo was given the playin time hendo is enjoyin now he would have turn out better.time’s runnin out, we nid a goal poacher now. Go for podolski.

  10. sell carroll downing kuyt and henderson

    buy soldado higuain wijnaldum (PSV) or remy ( marseille )

    buy hazard – winger or attacking mid – ramirez etc

    buy new central defender

  11. Not this season. Not the next one either. Maybe after that. But that’s what I have been telling myself over and over again. Nothing changes and I almost feel like giving up. Ya the fans are supposed to get behind their team but fans are also supposed to give players some stick when they crap on the pitch!
    And don’t tell me we are playing good football ’cause we are not! I haven’t seen a single swift counter, not once have we over-loaded the box in search of a goal and every attack is cutting inside from out wide. The central mid-fielder’s are too deep and no attacks from the middle of the pitch whatsoever. Such a predictable game!! How is any of that beautiful? The own goal against City and Stevie’s goal against united were absolute luck and still we bemoan that we have no luck. We have only 2 Center Forwards in the team, why??

    Half season over and we are 6th. I didn’t expect to be on top but I did expect great commitment from the newly signed players. I see that only in Enrique and Bellamy and sometimes in Downing when he tries to cut in. Where is our Central Midfield when we attack? Why does Adam always play long ball or square passes or back passes and never a through ball down the middle?

    Why are substitutions so late? Why is Henderson playing week in week out without having shown anything promising so far? Shelvey had a better game than this lad!

  12. Luis Suarez is not struggling, he’s simply THE ONLY TOP PLAYER WE HAVE FROM MIDFIELD TO UP FRONT, when Stevie came in monday maybe i’m not the only one who saw a couple of one touch plays between him and Luis, that’s because GREAT PLAYERS DO GREAT PLAYS, put Downing, Carroll and Adam in Barcellona then you’ll see how much good players counts and we lack in that. Liverpool have the best defence in the league yes, and if we’re where we are it’s because we have a bad midfield and bad offensive players, that’s easy, and let me tell you, a poor management cause if you spend 40 milions for Carroll (an old style player, i laugh hard when i hear people criticise him) and 20 for Downing you’re not a manager of the level that Liverpool f.c. is. We just need quality players, that’s all (in my book also a modern manager like Benitez), now there’s a chance to buy Tevez and i hear about Podolski, OH MY GOD…be ready to finish in 7th even this year so no great players will come next year and maybe Reina will leave ecc…

  13. Lacklustre game for sure. As always we had several minutes great football surrounded by several more minutes of mediocrity. Our biggest problem is a serious lack of quality inside the final attacking third. You can understand a few stray passes, and a few missed crosses, but how do paid professionals send so many balls into the stands? As for Andy Carrol, I would like to have him watch some film of Mario Gomez at Bayern. He tracks back on defense, he hustles allover the pitch, and his teammates work hard for him in return. I think Andy Carrol could be the same type of player, but it comes from hard work, and not a cool pony tale. Luis Saurez will find his form as soon as the bogus racism charge is resolved. Unfortunately, I think he will end up with a 3 match ban, with the remaining matches held over his head for the next time a prissy frenchman looses his balls. On the bright side, we looked very well organized the last 26 minutes of the game with Stevie G on the pitch! That alone makes me feel positive about the future…YNWA

  14. Everything has not gone right for us this season and the Suarez issue aggravates the sitaution. Anyway the FA is run by a bunch of jerks and I would say “Burit n Kunkit” to them. We dont have this problem in my place.

  15. This whole problem begun when Kenny bought a midfielder instead of a right winger belive you me I was shocked because I expected him to buy a right winger but he disappointed me by buying a midfielder in Henderson maybe Kenny thought he would have all the money in this world to buy mediocre players for high price even some managers in d PL was surprised at such fee for Henderson..Since Henderson came into the club has he ever performed top class on consistent basis to justify his price tag?ofc not even Adam that was bought for a lesser fee as in the quarter part of Henderson’s price tag had performed better than him despite the fact that Adam isn’t in the world class frame.I don’t understand why these managers tends to go astray with their decisions one might wonder what they had thinking in her brains when it is glaring to see that an eyesore.Well as for Caroll he is never a top class player even his biggest attacking asset is yet to help him score if only he was a top class player he doesn’t need run of gamems to start scoring once he gets out there in the pitch he would score or make assists for fun.The disadvantage would be putting Carrol on a consistent run of games and we stutter and keep lamenting about our goal drought.The answer is simple get a goal poacher in January then we move on its up to Caroll to rediscover his lost form its up to the manager to find a lasting solution

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