Knock the “t” off the “can’t.” Samuel Johnson
Reports of the Wolves game were hardly ecstatic in their assessment of our performance. I guess this is not surprising, even if we’d battered them we’ll still to produce a decent run of results. As it was the general consensus was that had Wolves not had Stephen Ward sent off things might have been different. Said The Telegraph
“When you have endured a start to the campaign like Liverpool’s, even this will do. Wins are wins, particularly if you have recorded just four in your previous 17 matches, but Rafael Benítez’s side had to wait until Wolverhampton Wanderers were reduced to 10 men for the goals to flow.”
And The Times
“It (the sending off) was an undoubted turning point…. giving Liverpool an opportunity to go for the kill that they, even in their present angst, were not going to pass up….. Where Liverpool go from here is anyone’s guess. Three months have passed since they won consecutive league games and their opportunity to put that unwanted record to bed is far from a golden one, with a visit to Aston Villa….”
Wolves’ Manager Mick McCarthy said
“They needed a break and they got it..”
Quite possibly but I’m certainly not going to complain about being offered a helping hand. We were due some given the events of this season some might say it’s our fault but examples are the number of last minute goals we’ve shipped and then of course there was the beach ball! What about the penalty we should have had against Arsenal on it goes.. so sorry, I’m not proud, I’ll take this and I’ll take more this season if we get as we are still due!
Perhaps more worrying are reports of the apparent lack of confidence that appears to be running through the side? How do you address this? Perhaps it’s like a dodgy curry it causes discomfort and angst but eventually nature takes its course and it comes out the other end! Perhaps we are through that now – you have to reach rock bottom before you can go up – was the Portsmouth game our 2009-10 nadir or is it more deep rooted something more fundamentally wrong? There is also our history and weight of expectation caused by last season’s runners up finish and the fact that we haven’t won the league since 1990? However, why should this be a factor? Some of the squad weren’t even born when we last won the league.
One can only hope that any players are going through a crisis of confidence can snap out of it. The manner in which Steven Gerrard took his goal certainly suggested that he has had enough. If Wolves had erected a steel reinforced brick wall in front of him he would have run through it to get to get his head on the ball such was determination! Perhaps this was borne out a raging desire to prove Rafa wrong for his comments about him earlier in the week. However, over the years Gerrard has consistency proved that the problem of bad individual form is not with him. Perhaps Rafa should start looking elsewhere within the squad to test out his own particular brand of encouragement? A win at Villa would sure go a long, long way to blowing away the cobwebs of uncertainty? In the meantime perhaps the players should take heart from the words of Sibelius
“Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic.”