Foster 57, Howard 90.
What a beautiful day!
I wasn’t at Anfield yesterday so didn’t witness the game and only saw brief highlights. TV can distort things but it looked like we had enough chances (loads of them in fact) to put Barnsley away. Had it been Arsenal or The Mancs instead of us one would have just put the result down to the “magic of the cup”, fate, bad luck or just one of those days etc However, no freak circumstances for us. Yesterday was typical of our season. We just can’t finish sides off be it Barnsley and anyone else.
This sort of result is one that everyone hopes will happen to other teams but never to their own. It took ages for Liverpool to experience one of these upsets. Then it came, Bolton (when they were an old second division side) beat us at Anfield in the FA Cup. This was shortly followed by Bristol City again at home in the FA Cup. Both the games were under Souness however Houllier also experienced a similar “humiliation” when Crystal Palace (again a division lower than us) did for us again at Anfield and in the same competition. I was going to say welcome to an exclusive and ever growing club Rafa but then remembered Burnley a few years back!
This is going to sound absolutely awful but as I followed the game via Soccer Saturday, my depression at Barnsley pulling a goal back and then scoring the winner was slightly tempered. My four year old son obviously foresaw what was going to happen. Clearly loving his dad so much, and knowing how depressed I would get at seeing the result, he decided I would need to be distracted from the events to come. So he picked up a garden trowel and smacked his older brother in the face with it!
As I stemmed the flow of blood and listened to Le Tissier and the rest of the Soccer Saturday crew, except Phil Thompson of course, guffawing, I thought life can’t get any worse. What had I done to deserve this? A loved one in distress and my son hurt! I pay my poll tax, I’m not racist, I’m not sexist I don’t read the Daily Mail and I’m kind to animals. Only two days ago I went back to the old guy who sells to papers at the station where I catch the train to work because he’d given me change for a twenty when I’d handed him a tenner. A noble thing to do which fate should recognise, so what sort of “reward” is today’s result? However, one should never expect anything. Did Liverpool?
When pondering whether or not to take matey boy to hospital, the thought did cross my mind that, as I was there, I might as well check myself in! Failing that go to the garden shed, lock myself in and not come for a week or so actually just wait until the season is over! Other bad bits. The Result f**ked up my fixed odds. I’d just wrote a blog (see previous piece) suggesting that the FA Cup was our best chance of silverware and that I felt we might be turning the corner. Even Barnsley gave no indication of things to come as they got nothing on Soccer AM’s crossbar challenge earlier in the day!
Anyway, enough of the self pitying, navel gazing. Where does this leave us? Although I’m rather miffed, like other Liverpool fans, I suspect that when things have died down, it won’t have too much significance. It certainly provides gold plated justification for those inside and outside the club who seek to disrupt and topple Rafa, but will it? I don’t think so however even allowing for the absence of Gerarrd, for most of the game, and Torres we should still have had enough to beat Barnsley. Shots reigned in but they held out. Had Rafa picked his strongest side I think we would have won, so he needs to take some responsibility.
Under strength against Marseille in The Champion League lost and scraped through. Under strength against Chelsea in the Carling Cup lost. Under strength against Birmingham, Reading and others in the league lost or drew. Critics will want to see some justification for this. For Rafa’s sake I hope we do soon.
Well done Barnsley! I salute your tenacity guts and eye for the main chance and finally, I leave you with this.
Barnsley played 32 won 10 drawn 10 lost 12 fourteenth in the Championship with worst away record in their division.
Inter Milan in Seria A played 23 won 18 drawn 5 lost none.
There can only be one result. Can’t there? But that’s what they said about yesterday!
Liverpool: Itandje, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Riise, Benayoun, Lucas (Gerrard 75), Alonso, Babel (Kewell 69), Kuyt, Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Martin, Pennant, Arbeloa.
Barnsley: Steele, Hassell, Souza, Foster, Kozluk (Van Homoet 60), Devaney, De Silva, Howard, Leon (Campbell-Ryce 71), Ferenczi, Nardiello (Odejayi 55).
Subs Not Used: Coulson, Togwell.