It’s not only the weather that’s been grim for Liverpool fans this week. Even though Robbie Keane is now a Spurs player his legacy lives on. No sooner has he gone then Steven Gerrard gets injured! This has heaped more speculation on those in control at L4 from Rafa “across” (if that’s the right word) to Rick Parry.
Questions have been asked about why no replacement was found for Keane. Clearly there wasn’t time to do this before the window shut however Rafa’s argument that he has enough firepower in the squad is, on current form, not a particularly convincing one. Nemeth, Ngog and El Zhar, who he sited as candidates as back up to Torres, Kuyt and, I guess, Babel, are not exactly dripping for Premiership experience. However, the bed has been made now and although Rafa probably didn’t anticipate the problem coming so early, maybe the situation will have a positive side and we’ll see one of these new strikers come through to make a name for himself?
Nonetheless one still can’t help worrying that the sale of Keane might haunt us. When a club’s Championship challenge tails off it’s inevitable that people will look for a reason for it. Injuries and, as a consequence, lack of strength in depth or simply because they weren’t good enough. I’d hate to think that the reason we lost, if we do, is down to back room shenanigans. It’s clear that one of the reasons, besides football, we decided to sell Keane was because it was financially expedient to do so. Let’s hope such a potentially short term attitude doesn’t backfire?
The main thing, and this sounds so obvious, is that we have to make do and have confidence in the players we have and hope this is returned in the way they play. We simply cannot afford to pick over what’s gone whilst we are the position we are. We need to look forward, keep our nerve and keep on going to “walk through a storm with your head held high” as it where?
Back to Premiership against Portsmouth today. I don’t know what the weather is like down there but I seem to remember they had a game postponed recently because Fratten Park lacks under soil heating! Portsmouth’s recent form has been woeful something like six defeats out of seven, so we should be confident of picking all three points however, how many times have we said that this season when discussing so called weaker sides? I also guess there is a chance that we can make ground with The Mancs away to in form West Ham – Ok may be I’m being too optimistic but sooner or later they will slip up and we should be ready to take advantage, for once!
Team wise, at the time of writing it seems Gerrard will be out for three weeks which means besides tomorrow (manageable?) he will also miss Spain v England (big deal) and Man City at home next week (could be worse). However, I suspect he’ll also struggle to make the Beanabeu the following week. Again I suppose it could be worse. It may sound presumptuous but I suspect Rafa will go to Madrid with safety in mind with a view to (hopefully) killing off Real at Anfield when hopefully Gerrard will be available? To this end perhaps it’s no surprise that Rafa has flown in the face of the rumours and reinstated Sami Hyypia into the Champions League squad?
Prediction for today? It has to be a win doesn’t it? Any other result is conceivable but unthinkable! A repeat of the 1-0 win at Anfield will do but I take us to go one better – 2-0 to us!
October 2008 Liverpool 1 Portsmouth 0