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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


TANGENTS

A Real Shocker, Red-Hot Everton, Spurs and Liverpool Chill and A Tad Offside Is Still Offside

Written by on March 12, 2012 | 41 Comments »
Posted in Winners and Losers

Scoring six goals with your top scorer doesn’t get on the score sheet makes for a good days work. So even though Cagliari scored three a 6-3 win for Napoli last Friday was an impressive result.

A run that started in February has vaulted Napoli up Serie A and they are unbeaten in their last seven matches with two draws and five successive wins. In the five wins they have scored a total of 14 goals and during the unbeaten run of seven matches they have shut out opponents five times.

Next up is a trip to Stamford Bridge and an attempt to protect a 3-1 first leg lead in the Champions League. Then Palermo visit next week followed by Napoli traveling to Udinese, Juventus and Lazio in the following four rounds of play. 

It has been a rough few weeks in league play for both Spurs and Liverpool. Spurs with three consecutive losses have seen what looked like an insurmountable lead for third place weathered away to the point where Arsenal and Chelsea are back within striking distance.

After FA Cup action Spurs are at home to Stoke and then have to visit the Bridge. Hopes of a top four finish and a chance to take a seat at the UEFA Champions League table have disappeared as quickly as a spring snow fall for Liverpool. Losses to Manchester United, Arsenal and on Saturday Sunderland have left the Carling Cup winners ten points behind fourth place Arsenal with just 11 matches left.

Since 2012 was rung in Liverpool have won only once, drawn twice and lost five. The prospect of facing Everton on Tuesday in a make-up match is no cause for encouragement.

Real Salt Lake reminded everyone that they are not to be overlooked in MLS 2012. A cautious first seventy minutes of play burst into life with four goals coming late in the game. When a trademark dipping cross from David Beckham was headed into the Real net by Edson Buddle it looked like the goal was always that was needed to decide the game. Real Salt Lake had a much different opinion. They equalized courtesy of a Sean Franklin own goal and then added two more from substitute Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola.

Perhaps the biggest losers after Saturday’s Premier League fixtures were the fans. Goals doesn’t necessarily mean that entertainment is guaranteed but in this situation 9 goals in 6 games pretty much sums up a rather drab set of fixtures. The Everton versus Spurs match was the only one that fully engaged for ninety minutes.

It seems that at some stage during every season Everton emerge as one of the hottest sides in the Premier League. Everton are now unbeaten in their last seven-league matches with four draws and three wins. Remarkably the wins have come against Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester City and have involved maintaining clean sheets in all three matches. 

In 7 games Everton have only allowed 4 goals and scored 8 with 7 different scorers stepping up. Goals continue to be at a premium with only 13 goals coming their way in the last 13 games and only six times in 27 games have they scored two goals or more in a game.

Next up is the Merseyside derby on Tuesday while Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle of the current top seven have still to play Everton. It will not have escaped anyone’s notice on Merseyside that an Everton win on Tuesday would move them one point ahead of Liverpool.

Swansea have garnered a lot of admirers this season and their 1-0 win over Manchester City will only serve to increase that number. Like many teams before them City found out that Liberty Stadium is a venue to be feared. But this is not a fear based of brute force or pummelling the opposition but a fear based on being forced to chase the ball for long stretches of the game.

The only goal was characteristic of Swansea’s style with Sigurdsson opting to retain possession over risking a pass that might have allowed City to counter attack. The cross from Routledge was a thing of beauty (why are so many poor crosses played each week?) and substitute Luke Moore make perfect contact with his header.

 “Female referee’s assistant gets a huge decision just about correct at the Liberty Stadium as Man City defender Micah Richards appears to be a tad offside,” – this churlish “offside” comment from “Mad Dog and Glory” writing for caughtoffside.com.

First you cannot get an offside decision “just about correct” – it is either right or it is in wrong. By the same token “a tad offside” – “tad” is irrelevant. Either you are or you are not. All that needed to be said was referee’s assistant Sian Massey got the call absolutely correct. TV personalities  have got themselves in hot water for similar sentiments.  

Sober second thought – Before dumping all over the referee’s assistant for missing the “goal” that QPR scored against Bolton perhaps it is worth considering the context. The TV picture we saw and the still pictures that have been widely viewed all come from the opposite of the field from the referee’s assistant.

The referee’s assistant could be clearly seen mouthing to the referee that he could not see whether the ball was over the line or not. From the angle TV viewers – and commentators – had, as well as the angle provided by the still pictures, it seems inexplicable as to why the referee’s assistant could not see it.

But he did not have our angle and until you see either TV footage or a still shot from the opposite of the field would it not be more advisable to at least give the official the benefit of the doubt?      

Who were your winners and losers over the weekend?

 

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41 responses to “A Real Shocker, Red-Hot Everton, Spurs and Liverpool Chill and A Tad Offside Is Still Offside”

  1. Brian Seal says:

    It’s unfortunate for QPR and the referee’s assistant that he did not see the goal, but it happens. And, having missed it, he responded properly, telling the referee he hadn’t seen it so he could not award a goal. I thought it was appropriate that QPR later scored with the benefit of a blown offside call, so it really did balance out.

  2. Soccerlogical says:

    Remember all the hype and big transfer fee over one Luke Moore a few years ago at Aston Villa? Will his most notable moment be the game winning goal against Man City which will cost them the title?

    Which will come first, Tevez replacing Mario or Mancini giving a Rafa Benitez “FACT” conference?

    PS Boy, that Fergie really needs to learn how to build a team and make beneficial transfers huh Manyoo fans? LOL

  3. Erik says:

    How much money would the Premier League make IF they split the season into 2 Halves? Play a 19-game “season” then start all over for another 19-game “season. If different sides win each Half they meet up at Wembley to determine the Champion. Think about how much money that would make HOWEVER – there is one massive obstacle……..IF a side playing for the EPL Title is also playing for the CL Title that pushes the EPL Title game back one more week. But if you split the season EVERTON might play for a Title! If Everton could find a way to start the season on Boxing Day they might win the league or at least play for a T4 finish

    I agree no such thing as “a tad offside”. There is no such thing as “a tad pregnant” either

    As for the QPR/Bolton game: 100% agree the linesman got it WRONG and QPR should have had a goal. HOWEVER – Cisse scored the tying goal for QPR – and HE WAS OFFSIDES! Mark Hughes might say if they went up 1-0 it changes the game (he actually did say this) and he is right but he had a goal he earned taken away and was given one he didn’t earn. Either way QPR got ONE goal. BTW – had this play happened in a Europa or CL game the goal WOULD have counted because the official standing on the goal line whose ONLY job is to see if a ball crossed the line or not would have seen it cross and given a goal. There are 380 EPL games played in a season. If you add an official on each goal line that requires paying an extra 760 officiating spots. Pay each official 1,000 pounds per game and that means an extra 760-thousand pounds in Officiating Fees per season. Add in their expenses (Per Diem – travel to the game, room, board, etc) and we might be looking a grand total of about 2-Million Pounds for these officials – a drop in the bucket for the Premier League and right now – a fee QPR would gladly pay to get that goal they should have had. Forget costly goal line technology – put a HUMAN BEING on the line and what happened to QPR NEVER happens again. So simple, huh?

    Looking at QPR’s BRUTAL sked I don’t see how they stay up – even if they get 3 points here. Their remaining sked is:

    Liverpool, @ Sundy, Arsenal, @ Man U, Swansea, @ West Brom, Tottenham, @ Chelsea (and you know Chelsea have this one circled after what happened in the game earlier @ QPR), Stoke and finish the season @ Man City – a team that might need 3 points to win the EPL.

    Figure QPR will need about 10-12 points to stay UP. Good luck finding that many in this sked. I picked QPR to finish 18th and I might be right (I also picked Swansea to finish Dead Last – like almost everyone else who had them 19th at best – don’t think I am gonna get this one right, though).

    I now think the bottom 3 will be: Wigan, QPR and Wolves (Look at Wolves’ sked – it is no better than what QPR is facing and might be even worse) Wolves sked is home games with: Man U, Bolton (As big a 6-point game as it gets), Arsenal, Man City and Everton and Away Games at some tough places: Norwich, Stoke, Sundy, Swansea and end the season @ Wigan but by then it might be too late for this game to mean anything.

    Wolves need to get a Thumbs Down/Losers here because: They chose to go the “Cheap Route” for a new Manager. They didn’t want to give a contract for more than this season to anyone. Curbs would have taken the job but not for just this season. Wolves save d few bucks and now will see it cost them their Top Flight Status and that will cost them too man Millions to count. Wolves (Mis)Management will cost them dearly

  4. Erik says:

    One more thing

    RSL did beat the Galaxy beat in reality Bruce Arena beat the Galaxy. By going all out in Toronto a few days earlier he “gassed” the team and they had nothing for the RSL game. Still – blowing a 1-0 lead that late at home with a zillion game unbeaten streak is on the players.

    This also brings up a great angle to look at. Something I like to call: Fade the Rings

    Teams that win the Title rarely play a great First game of the season the following one. They almost always get their first game of the season at home where they get the Championship banner raised, they get to see the Trophy one more time and they get their rings (or similar). They get told how great they were LAST season and it gets them all “fat headed” and thinking how great they WERE! The fans all laud them and tell them how great they were LAST season. The opposing team silently sits and fumes over this spectacle. The Championship team goes out and lives off last year’s glory and frequently gets beaten because they are still thinking about how great they were LAST season – not what they need to do this season to win it all again. In the NBA the Dallas Mavs got their Rings then went out and played the improving – but still inferior to the Mavs – Minnesota T’Wolves and the Wolves ran them off the court. Watch for this – happens almost all the time. Galaxy simply forgot to play because they were re-living how great they were last season

  5. “Remember all the hype and big transfer fee over one Luke Moore a few years ago at Aston Villa?” – I don’t

  6. Soccerlogical says:

    Bobby – Wasn’t there a big fuss over Moore like 3-5 years ago when there was great expectation at a Moore/Agbonlahor/Young setup or am I really not as special as I thought? 🙂

  7. Luke Moore was a youth player at Villa and they did not pay a cent for him. There was crossover of part of a season with Ashley Young but is was clear before that that Moore was not going to stick around. Never rated by Martin O’Neill.
    John Carew was signed by O’Neill in his first year in charge and he led the line for most of the next four years.

  8. Soccerlogical says:

    Am I thinking of Fabian Delph?

  9. Delph is a midfield player signed by O’Neill was 7 or 8 million – could be who you meant.

  10. Ed Gomes says:

    I’ll would absolutely enjoy seeing Hughes get relegated. He will then step down and fleece another club. At that time I’ll be rooting are against him once more.

    Huge win for Arsenal. A top 4 finish seems almost certain, but this is when they’ve faltered before. Let’s see if they handle prosperity better now.
    On a side note, all the talk went from the travesty of no Silverware, to possibly not making the top 4. Should they earn a CL spot, will praises come and Silverware drought be forgotten?
    All this Podolski talk seems silly. What’s the difference between Podolski and Arshavin? Wasn’t Arshavin highly rated and Podolski isn’t?

    Somehow Harry will escape without blame for Spurs losses.
    Same goes for Dalglish at Liverpool. Let’s see if these “Owners” have the fortitude to sack him.

    Is it me or has Cole been playing extra angry in matches. If you ask me it’s as if he’s trying to get tossed out of games.
    Chelsea is a rudderless club, from the top down.
    I found it funny that Terry and Drogba both said they would welcome Mourinho back. Funny because both would most likely be the first to be gone. I know Mourinho loved Drogba, but he doesn’t saddle himself with past due date players.
    On a side note, I know that everyone knows about Mourinho buying a house in London. But his assistant Rui Faria has just bought a new Ferrari and had it registered in England. Done deal, no?

    Pundits are fans and are most definitely not objective, although they should be.
    Players are either offsides or they aren’t. It’s fans that haggle over how much.
    Ridiculous comments.

    I know hat Moyes gets a lot of credit with what he’s done with Everton. But am I wrong in thinking that Everton should have been a perennial Europa League club and they haven’t been? They are what they are, and they should actually go after it in the Europa League. But they haven’t even reached that or gotten any Silverware. Am I wrong in thinking that they should have? At least contend for some, no?

  11. Rob says:

    SL-Still want Wenger out? 🙂

    As for Moore, you must have him mixed with Delph. As Bobby said, he was a player who came up from the youth set up.

    Bobby-You catch the Liverpool game? Still think its lack of finishing chances instead of chances being created?

    That game is a nutshell of Liverpool’s season.

    Even if you still disagree, what do you think Liverpool’s best course of action going forward is? I’m not one who thinks KD has to go. I think they need to bring a couple more players because even if Jordan Henderson develops into something useful we will still be without width on the right side and/or still with out a midfielder who can play right behind the strikers.

  12. Gus Keri says:

    About Liverpool “not creating chances” or “not finishing them,” there were only two games, that I could think of, where they failed to creat chances; the matches away to Sundrland and away to Bolton.

    In the majority of the other matches, Liverpool created so many chances and dominated so much of the stat numbers but unfortunately they couldn’t finish many of their chances.

    In the two games I mentioned, LFC looked distracted by the upcoming matches. Bolton game was before the two Manchester’s cup games and the Sunderland one was before another cup tie (vs. Stoke this Sunday) and the derby match, today.

    These scenarios gave me the impression that the focus of the team this season is more on winning trophies. And the coaching staff (and probably the owners) has a lot to do with this.

  13. Soccerlogical says:

    @ROB – I’ll assume you are having a laugh on that comment towards me and give you a pass.

    However, if you wish for me to call you out on the trolling and ignorance then I am more than happy to oblige….

  14. Ed Gomes says:

    Last time I checked nothing’s changed when it comes to Arsenal and/or Wenger. Another top 4 which will guarantee some cash, but is this the title contender pundits think they are. Arsenal is no different than Valencia, which isn’t a bad thing and actually has a nice story to tell.
    Until league title and/or silverware is won, please stop with the Wenger accolades. Last time I checked he has full control of squad and transfers. A nice club with a big following, title contender shouts have to quiet down.

    MD has made purchases that still have to develop, but spent as if they were ready. $189 mil and no CL funds guaranteed is going to be tough to swallow.
    Also, this squad should be gelling and getting better as the season wore on. Instead the likes of Bellamy are being heavily relied upon. Not good.

  15. Rob says:

    Gus-Really those are the only matches? How about the City match? Stoke match? Swansea? Tottenham? United games? Fulham? Norwich? Apart from a missed penalty, Wigan match? Second Tottenham match the only real good chance came at the end atnd it wasn’t that good because the ball was behind Suarez who really couldn’t get his head to the ball so he headed straight at Freidel.

    Seriously, what Liverpool matches have you been watching? They rarely create gilt-edged chances. Just because someone shoots, doesn’t mean its a chance. At least not in my book.

    What Liverpool does well is they maintain possession in and around the box. No one can create for themselves(with the exception of Suarez), no one seems to know how to make a run behind defenders(except Kuyt) and no one seems to know how to play a final killer ball that will free a player up to score. Oh and when they do any of that on the rarest of occassions, you find they can’t score because it is so rare that this happens.

    Liverpool supporters were using this excuse at the beginning of the season and its the same at the end. Its time to look at what the real problems of this team are.

    SL-What are you talking about? What am I trolling?

    You always get worked up. I am pretty sure you are talking about the Wenger comment and all I asked is if you still wanted Wenger out? Sounds pretty silly now when you look where they are. Its ok to be wrong sometimes 🙂

    If its the Moore comment, then I am not sure what I can do for you pal. All I said was that Bobby was right and that Moore came up from the youth set up.

    Btw, I don’t mind if you show my ignorance 🙂

  16. Soccerlogical says:

    @ROB

    Which part of various member comments/criticism towards Wenger (and Klinsmann for that matter) is your brain having difficulty with for the past year?

    You really should develop your brain plasticity.

  17. Gus Keri says:

    Rob:

    The difference between you and me is one of us sees the glass half full and the other sees it half empty.

    Many of the games you mentioned in your post showed that LFC are capable of creating chances and unable to finish them.

    Of course if your standard is “gilt-edged chances,” then I don’t know what to say. Is hitting the woodwork 21 times up to this standard?

    No body is saying that LFC becomes suddenly the Barcelona of the English league.

    yes I did see all the LFC games this season. Every minute of them. and I can say that with the exception of the two games I mentioned, I can tell you that they have created so many chances. And if it wasn’t for the poor finishing, LFC would have been still in contention for UCL spot.

    Other difference between the two of us is that I still think they need more time to gell. We keep forgetting how many new players joined at the same time and how young some of these players are and how many different styles they played before they joined LFC.

    I am willing to give them more time.

  18. Rob says:

    Gus-With the exception of Henderson who is a young player that joined?

    Hitting the woodwork 22 times is not a statistic that says anything other than you shot the ball towards the goal.

    And yes gilt-edged chances are what players usually finish. Take United’s game against Liverpool. Rooney was given gilt edged chances and he took them. Its what players usually convert.

    Liverpool’s game against Blackburn is one where they created gilt-edged chances. If you don’t see the difference in terms of chances from that game to the many others that I stated then we will just have to agree to disagree. There is no comparison in those chances created.

    Thats the difference, to me, of this Liverpool team of being one that is fighting for a Champions League spot and one that is battling for seventh.

    SL-The comments that said they weren’t good enough…and they shouldn’t be in the positions that they are in now.

    Besides that, I don’t remember any other specific comments that I disagreed with.

    I agreed with your stance on Suarez though 🙂

  19. Soccerlogical says:

    “The comments that said they weren’t good enough…and they shouldn’t be in the positions that they are in now.”

    – Can you be a bit more vague, obviously you like arguing with yourself.

    Wenger did not properly prepare this side (depth, alternate formations, etc) to be title contenders on any front as this has already been proven.

    Feel free to continue ignorantly going off on tangents about Wenger’s managerial ability in finishing fourth and his T Henry loan just like a golden retriever enjoys chasing his own tail.

  20. Rob says:

    SL-There can be only one winner. So if City lose to the title, I can say that they didn’t properly prepare even though they spent loads of money. You give a weak argument. My point is Wenger is an excellent manager, nothing more nothing less.

    He is not perfect but he does a great job with what he works with.

  21. Rob says:

    Its amazing what creating solid chances can do…of course it helps when Gerrard is on the recieving end of those balls.

  22. Ed Gomes says:

    Wenger may just be a great manager, but he was supposed to be of the kind that won Silverware.
    Just because he gets into the CL again please don’t forget how disappointing this season has been.

    I didn’t think Stevie G was exactly what Liverpool needed, but I could be wrong. They clearly need a leader on the field and dressing room.
    As for Liverpool’s new pieces gelling, they should be getting better not worse.

    Terry calls the comments of Chelsea being run by the players, ludicrous. Lol!
    Even if Abram brushed him aside it was clear certain players just weren’t producing. Either that or they’re done.
    You can scream system all you want, the fact is that these guys new they were gone if AVB stayed so they fought him. Lets face it nobody is going to pay these guys what they want. No real club will want them either, at least not at the stature they see themselves.
    China, Emirates or Russia is the next stop, if not MLS.

  23. Ed Gomes says:

    I know it’s off topic, but economic ramifications are being felt throughout.

    Besiktas players and staff haven’t been paid for 4 months. They are preparing to face Atletico, which if they are able to beat it would be the furthest a Turkish team as ever advanced. They are training due to the pride of the shirt.
    I wonder what kind of pride there will be for the current owner of the shirt, after the match. Besiktas went all out and made some big signings, but CL play for next season looks out of reach. Cheap sells coming.

    Guimaraes players in Portugal have refused to train due to wages not being paid. Not so prideful of that shirt, I guess.

    There’s plenty of other clubs that are behind in wages. Many Presidents/Owners have also been unable to properly run their clubs, shocker, and don’t even have jersey sponsors.

    For me this has more to do with badly run clubs instead of economic downturn. Bad decision after bad decision is made.
    In Portugal, in my opinion, they are making the huge mistake of expanding the league to 18 teams. More doesnt always mean better.

  24. Rob says:

    Just on recent memory, didn’t Galatasaray win the UEFA cup in 2000 over Arsenal?

  25. Ed Gomes says:

    Rob you are correct. What I meant to say it would be Besiktas best result in competitions, not Turkey. Sorry about that.
    Then again I love the Arsenal result, and I wish I was baiting someone to saying it. Lol.

    On another great note, I love the war of words between RvP/Arsenal and Krul/Newcastle. Call me crazy, but I’m not shocked RvP isn’t being lauded as a nice guy. What I love most about the situation is that he went at it with a fellow Dutch National team player. Once again the Dutch dressing room should be combustible.

  26. Gus Keri says:

    Rob:

    You shouldn’t ask a question that you can find the answer to it if you do an internet search if you do your homework.

    When they were singed, Henderson (21), Coates (20), Carroll (22) and Suarez (24) were considered young, I guess.
    Even Adam (25), Enreque (25) were on the better side of their playing age which usually peaks at 28 years of age.

    Add to them the promotion from LFC youth teams of Kelly (21), Flanaggan (18), and Shelvey (19) and you can see that the team is getting much younger.

    We just need a little bit of patience

  27. Rob says:

    Ed-Yeah I have never heard of RVP being accused of being a nice guy.

    Turkish football, in general, is in shambles. Gonna be a while for them to sort that out.

    Gus-I apologize I read your comment to say how there were many young players joined at the same time.

    Yes there are some young players in the squad(just like every squad) though I wouldn’t call Adam, Suarez or Enrique young players. Besides Suarez and Enrique have represented themselves very well this season.

    In any case, fair point. Perhaps patience is the key though I still see Liverpool’s problem as creating those chances that we talked about before and I don’t see any of the aforementioned players being the guys to create it.

    I’m looking forward to the NextGen semifinal tonight. I’ve seen a lot of ink on Suso and Sterling, I’m really hoping they start developing into first teamers. They could provide the width that Kenny is looking for.

  28. Gus Keri says:

    Rob:

    My exact words were: “We keep forgetting how many new players joined at the same time and how young some of these players are”
    Emphysis on “some of these players”

    Any way, I am also looking forward to the Liverpool vs Ajax game this afternoon.
    There are quite few good players with this team. Sterling is my favorite of them all. But you also have Coady, Morgan, Silva and Wisdom who are also good. I don’t know if Shelvey will be playing today.

    I like to see the American Marc Pelosi playing. He has done well so far.

    Beating Ajax is going to be difficult, though. Ajax is one of the best at this age group and they beat Barcelona 3-0 away.

  29. J Rob says:

    Young players are going to be increasingly important everywhere with Financial Fair Play and more so for Liverpool. With the emergence of a top six in England and with their non-progress in the EPL this season Liverpool aren’t close to Champion’s League material. As such they are going to find it very hard to attract the best talent.

    Case in point: Eden Hazard of Lille. A few months ago there was talk of Liverpool using Joe Cole as leverage for a deal. Today Liverpool have no chance of competing with the likes of Man Utd or Man City who can guarantee Champion’s League football.

    Rafa Benitez’s greatest legacy at Liverpool may turn out to be re-organising the youth development at Anfield. He recruited two coaches from the Barcelona youth system, reduced the age of the reserve team and established youth and reserve teams where the emphasis is on nurturing players who can pass and who are comfortable on the ball.

    From the footage I have seen, Conor Coady and Raheem Sterling both look excellent. Only time will tell who goes onto play a significant part in the senior team.

    Not related but Rob and Gus what do you think of Brendan Rodgers of Swansea as potentially a future Liverpool manager? I just love the type of football Swansea play. Based on the traditions of Liverpool his style of passing football augmented by two wingers would surely be welcomed at Anfield. Premature to be thinking about these things but another good season in the EPL and Rodgers is surely poised for a bigger club.

  30. Gus Keri says:

    J Rob:

    I agree with every thing you said until the last paragraph.

    First of all, I don’t subscribe to the group that wants a manager’s change right now. In my opinion, Dalglish has not failed yet. I can see he is trying to implement his style on the team and it might take some time.

    But if he fails, I wouldn’t consider Rodgers as a replacement.

    Rodgers is a fine manager and he has done wonderful job at Swansea. But he is no different from many other young inexperience managers who had their share of temporary success like Di Matteo at West Brom and Holloway at Blackpool.

    If you have to replace Dalglish, I would bring a more experienced, and preferably, intenational manager.

  31. J Rob says:

    Gus

    Not advocating for a manager change now just making a case for Rodgers down the line at some point.

    Guess he appeals to the romantic in me. I could take mediocre results but we have been utterly pish to watch for ages.

    Kenny has been unable how to consistently make do without Lucas. Said it before but we looked good before his injury and since then have been somewhere between tolerable and awful but with a lot more of the latter.

    Not really convinced after last night’s win. We played well but goals 2 and 3 were the results of poor defending. That said Liverpool’s midfield looks a lot more mobile without Charlie Adam.
    Jay Spearing apart from an awful game at Old Trafford has been very competent. Martin Kelly did a better job of getting in good positions last night. He just needs to practice his shooting. And is there a more improved defender in the EPL than Martin Skertel this season? He has the bonus of being robust unlike Daniel Agger who breaks a rib everytime he sneezes too hard 🙂

    Onwards and upwards to the magic of the FA Cup. Oh that’s right we are playing Stoke. Expecting a game slightly preferable to watching paint dry.

  32. Gus Keri says:

    I hate this.

    The game has been postponed twince. I was hoping it would have ended before the beginning of the second half of the UCL games. They didn’t expect this many people would show up for the game.

  33. Rob says:

    JRob-I like Rodgers. I think with the talk of the youth coming through, those players would fit into his system well.

    Gotta disagree on Liverpool being far away from a CL spot. Whether you agree with me(not creating gilt-edged chances) or with other people(lack of finishing) then you gotta feel that Liverpool is a player or two away from being a CL squad.

    Gus-Since this past summer we’ve had four players join. Plus the time for excuses is past. They play football with each other everyday now, so they should be able to have a good read on each other’s games.

  34. Gus Keri says:

    Here are few reasons why I think Liverpool has yet to reach its potential.

    The long injury to Lucas ( a massive loss)
    The long injury to Gerrard (another massive loss)
    The long injury to Johnson (another massive loss)
    The 9 games suspension of Suarez (another massive loss)

    In the absence of Lucas and Gerrard, Dalglish had to play a quartet that had not played with each other before (Adam, Spearing, Henderson and Downing)

    On the top, he had to play Suarez with Carroll who had not played with each other before and who had played under very different styles at their previous clubs (Carroll with a direct style and Suarez with a Latin style)

    If you think 8 months is enough period for all to gell, then we have to agree to disagree as you said it before.

  35. J Rob says:

    Gus:

    I am going to mainly disagree with you:

    The long injury to Lucas ( a massive loss)
    ABSOLUTELY

    The long injury to Gerrard (another massive loss)

    DEBATABLE. Our win/loss ratio isn’t that much different with or without him. End of last season we did well without him.

    The long injury to Johnson (another massive loss)
    DISAGREE…a defensive liability who has improved at the back and doesn’t actually provide that many goals or assists.

    The 9 games suspension of Suarez (another massive loss)
    DISAGREE. He hasn’t scored enough goals or created enough assists to be indispensable.

    Every team deals with injuries throughout the season. The only difference is the better one deal with them better.

    Fact is CHAD – Carroll/Henderson/Adam/Downing have been a collective failure. And a very expensive one at over 80 million pounds.

  36. Gus Keri says:

    All what I am trying to say is that when you have so many new players (some of whom are young) and quite few players coming up the ranks and significant injuries to important components of your team, all these factors slow down the rebuilding project.

  37. Ed Gomes says:

    Gus I completely agree.
    But this far into the season you have to start to see some cohesion, and I’m not so sure that’s happening. If I was a Liverpool fan I would be concerned that someone like Bellamy is being counted upon so much.

    How about that old guard yesterday verse Napoli. I heard the commentator say, “why get rid of the old guard?”.
    Let’s just say that Chelsea fans will be very proud and thrilled for the win. Should they falter and not get a top 4 finish, they also have the built in villain in AVB. But maybe, just maybe, yesterday was the worse thing that could have happened to the club. Terry, Lamps and others will further entrench themselves and delay a much needed turn over. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Chelsea actually has some younger quality, and the “old guard” can still get it done in a critical game or even tourney. But does anyone think that their form hasn’t slipped? Does anyone think that they will, be able to hold through a whole season on multiple fronts?
    Great win, but it just might of been the worst result the club could of had, even if they make a nice CL run.
    On a side note, how funny was it seeing Terry directing the players from the sideline when Luis got banged up. You had DiMateo signaling and Terry doing the same, if not moving players around even more admittedly . Di Mateo actually did a double take but kept quite. Old Guard running the club was a nonsense statement, huh.
    Chelsea fans will see it as a passionate captain that only wants what’s best. A futebol fan will see it as mutiny on the pitch.

  38. Gus Keri says:

    ED:

    “that someone like Bellamy is being counted upon so much.”

    This is not true
    Bellamy had few good outings with the team especially when he was coming off the bench but so did Kuyt and to some degree Carroll.

    Dalglish has been rotating his team throughout the season, especially up front. Even Suarez has started almost two thirds of the games only.

    Upfront, there is no single player that outperformed the others, in my opinion.

  39. Gus Keri says:

    On the “old Guards” of Chelsea, AVB’s problem, maybe, that he was trying ot make a lot of changes at once.

    But the funniest thing is how Di Matteo was jumping on the strolling Torres who probably said to himself “hey! get off me man. I don’t need you now. Didn’t you see how badly I was playing?”

  40. Rob says:

    Gus-“All what I am trying to say is that when you have so many new players (some of whom are young) and quite few players coming up the ranks and significant injuries to important components of your team, all these factors slow down the rebuilding project.”

    What you just described is what every team goes through every season. Its called turnover.

    Thats why I say that Liverpool needs more.

  41. Soccerlogical says:

    @Gus – “But the funniest thing is how Di Matteo was jumping on the strolling Torres who probably said to himself “hey! get off me man. I don’t need you now. Didn’t you see how badly I was playing?””

    I had the exact same reaction when I saw that shot as well!

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