“Wake-Up Call”: Post-Match Opinion

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By James Giblin : @jaygiblin

Every fan should know what happened yesterday. For those who don’t, there have been articles written about it. It quite literally fills me with anger at the thought of writing about the game in detail. It was the worst game I have seen since the days of Roy Hodgson at Anfield. I watched in horror at how easily West Ham picked Liverpool apart with the simplest of passes and capitalised on Liverpool’s horrendous defensive line. We gave them the game on a platter.

Brendan’s selection was wrong

What bothered me most was the squad selection. Fabio Borini has done little to convince anyone that he has the ability to seamlessly slide into Liverpool’s first team against West Ham. Especially against West Ham in fact. Any game against an Allardyce team will be a physical battle. Borini – with not much Premier League experience under his belt – should be thanking the manager for a place on the bench. He doesn’t track back enough, which is a major flaw for a player who offers very little going forward. If he is on the team-sheet against Everton, it will be a disaster.

After the game there were a lot of fans feeling sympathy for Mario Balotelli. I on the other hand, feel nothing but let down when considering the job he’s done in a red shirt so far. Against Villa he was poor. Against Spurs he was poor. Against West Ham he was poor. Against Ludogrets he had a good 30 seconds. I’ll give him his due, he holds the ball up well, but he lacks energy. For me he’s constantly being put in the first team on reputation. Rickie Lambert is far more deserving of a starting spot up front. But because Rickie isn’t considered a “tortured genius” he’ll never get the recognition at Anfield that he deserves.

Our central defence is the worst it has been for years

It really, really is. I am a massive fan of Dejan Lovren. I believe in the right defence, he can be an amazing leader. It just so happens that all of his centre-back compatriots are utter idiots. I am still completely bewildered as to why Liverpool kept hold of Skrtel and let go of Agger. People may argue that like Sakho, Agger is left-footed, but who cares? He and Lovren could have been a decent defensive partnership. Both at least have half a brain.

What Midfield?

Steven Gerrard. I’ve loved this man since I was in primary school. He held a place on my bedroom wall from late 90’s to late 00’s. The man has been ever present forever it seems to the fans. However, he did not turn up against the Hammers. I’m not going to slag him off too much though, the big man is allowed the odd bad game. It is in these circumstances that his fellow midfielder must pick up the torch and do the business. No one did. Everyone was poor and it stopped Liverpool playing their game.

Miserable Mignolet

I often leap to the defence of our keeper. He has the hardest job on the pitch. If defenders slip up at any point and a keeper produces a magnificent save, the error is forgotten and the brilliance is remembered. If the keeper doesn’t make a save, he picks up most of the grief from the fans. However Mignolet was at another level of piss poor on Saturday. His positioning was laughable and his attempts at saving were even more desperate. A big part of his job is to scream at that defence. He needs to protect himself by organising the boys in front of him. The fact of the matter is though, he lacks a voice and he’s paying for it.

The reports suggesting Valdes is eyeing for a move to Liverpool may give him the kick in the backside he needs.

What can we learn and how can we improve?

The answer is pretty simple. Players keep being picked because of their status in the game rather than on merit. People seem to want to see Sakho in the team because he is the France captain. People want to see Balotelli because he’s the bully beating, dogs home saving, “why always me” lad. I’ll admit, for quite a while I liked seeing the name Sakho on the team-sheet because he’s a beast. I’ve changed my mind recently because he’s an idiot who makes costly mistakes. It’s up to him and Balotelli to improve in training and earn a place back in the starting XI.

Players like Suso and Can who had excellent pre-seasons aren’t getting a sniff at Liverpool because people are too scared to give them a chance. They fit into Liverpool’s system and understand the Liverpool way of playing. They are young, they are eager. Give them a chance.