I guess it’s a measure of how well we’ve done this season that Wednesday’s performance attracted so much disappointment and criticism.
Part of the anger is the irrational difficulty I have in trying to come to terms with the fact that some tournaments are viewed as less important than others when in “the old days” they all seemed to have equal priority. I say irrational as I should be used to it by now, it’s be going on for years and years. Perhaps games in the Carling or FA Cup should have the footballng equivalent parental advice stickers “warning may contain cr*p play, missing personnel and lack of interest”.
Rafa’s quickness to defend the team was admirable. We can’t expect them to play well in every game of the season. He also highlighted the risks one takes when fielding a second string side.
“I think they can still do well. When you have two or three not playing well, though, it’s difficult for the others to keep up their levels. The young players need to play more games like this – win some games, lose some games, gain some experience.”
Point taken and the Carling Cup is fast proving a useful arena for youngsters or reserves to gain such experience however the consensus of opinion was that the result was self inflicted i.e. we made too many mistakes and that we simply didn’t appear to be interested. Had we tried and worked hard and lost 4-2 then no complaints however, four goals all from poor, thoroughly avoidable, defensive mistake tells it’s own sorry story.
One hopes that this doesn’t transfer to our league form. Who knows it may have opposite effect and serve to galvanise us even more. Hopefully this will be the case if the pictures of Jamie Carragher seething on the bench at Wednesday’s game are anything to go by!
So to Bolton this lunchtime which I will miss! Sadly I have “agreed” to accompany my other half, who is mad keen rugby fan, to Twickenham to watch England play someone. Suggestions of “you take someone else I’ll look after the kids” have attracted the sort of withering look that suggests that whatever excuse I come up with I’ve got to go. I suppose I could try and break my leg!
Hopefully I’ll be able to plough through all the Hooray Henry’s, waxed jackets, oafish city banker types (ha ha ha) and other assorted knobs and find a pub on the way the ground that is showing it. Either that or it’s repeat of the famous Likely Lads episode of trying to avoid the score before I get home to the Sky Plus!
The longer our good run in the league goes on the more I get nervous before each game. This is no exception. Bolton have won their last two league games or be it rather fortuitously against Hull when Jaaskelainen had a blinder of a game. The Reebok was one of Rafa’s bogey grounds which is basically a daft way of saying he hasn’t won there, until last season when we won 3-1. Add this to the 4-0 thrashing we gave them at Anfield and many would conclude that, under the present a managerial regime, they are no longer the hardy difficult opponents we used to confront under Sam Allardyce?
However it is near easy, and history has given us plenty of warning of how these games can go if we let things slip and become complacent. For example although Bolton have only scored six goals at home Kevin Davies is the sort of no nonsense, physical centre forward that can cause our defence all sorts of problems.
Prediction? Needless to say we have to put that sort thing behind us together with Wednesday’s fiasco. This is the sort of game we need to win especially with Chelsea and the Mancs having what on paper should be easy games? I think we will just edge it by 2-1.
Liverpool 3 Bolton 0