Writing this just after watching the deathly dull draw against Utrecht on earlier, I just thought I’d comment as to where I think the club seems to be going, mainly about Roy. NowI was one of thosewho was complaining about his appointment before it was formal – he has just not had the consistency at other clubs where he has been, or the ability to get teams playing above their previous station (except for ONE season at Fulham).
Anyway, a lot blame our squad, saying Rafa let the club down etc. and that we haven’t got as strong a squad as the top 4/5 and shouldn’t expect to be able to challenge these. to this I say – that is absolute rubbish. It was only 2 seasons when we were a little unlucjky to only finish 2nd under Rafa, and the squad is essentially the same, with only Alonso (who prior to that season had 2 poor seasons) and Mascherano gone, with Aquilani (who, in my opinion, IS a very fine player who is worthy of stepping into Alonso’s shoes, but was injured last season*) – so essentially having lost just Mascherano. Yes Man City have strergntheed with their money, but have spurs really *strengthened* their squad, or is it more them playing well at the moment? Ditto Arsenal?
Secondly, yes, we do have a lack of depth in terms of actual 2nd choice players, but I would argue that at *least* 6 players in the liverpool squad would get into any sides matchday 16, apart from maybe Man City (Reina, Agger, Johnon, Gerard, Kuyt, torres), with many others improving all the time (think Lucas vs Chelsea where he dominated the chelsea midfield which cost 6+ times more then him!). and we’re not going to get the big name talents that we may need to push us back into the “Big Four” without being more ambitious then we currently are aiming for at least a top 5/6 position (which seems contrary to roy’s ambitions of a top half finish!). As for tonight – why do commentators keep referring to \ “dead rubber” – Utrecht (If my maths works correctly) could still have qualified as the runner oup from this group, so they had the motivation to come out and play; and the way we have been playing lately, we *need* the time onj the pitch playing well to click into gear. Playing well tonight wouyld then have had a beneifical affect come the weekend, as the players owuld have greater confidence and be able to play more “naturally”. Whereas playing like we did tonight will just serve to remind the players how awfu we have been this season (MUCH, MUCH worse then under Rafa last season even!), and resulting in a worse performance at the weekend probably. Its just comon appication of pyschology people!
As for the players, thought Cole again looked old and particularly poor, as did Poulsen, 2 of Roy’s signings; and Babel didn’t do enough to show he can start week in and week out, and deliver,m with too many moments of giving possession away cheaplly, runnning down blind alleys, etc. On the other hand seeing Fabio back in the role leaves me with much more confidence then with the clown that goes by the name of Paul, Kelly again looks a class act at his age, Pacheco when he came on was real quality, easily transformed the team and we looked much better with him on the left instead of Cole, Ecclestone first half showed willingness to get forward more then babel and chase balls. so some positives, some negatives.
On to the weekend!
*also on the Aqualani point, why did roy release him on loan to Juve (where he is, apparently, playing really well and standing out there as a very fine player), then claim we didn’t have the strength in depth in the midfield?