It was nice that Rafa took some time in his press conference to say sorry and in the light of Wednesday’s defeat. A little bit of humility is always a good thing, but the best way to make good things is, as always, on the pitch.
Rafa and his team are responsible for that but after every defeat someone, usually Carragher or Gerrard, comes out and says that it was unacceptable and that we must do better. However, it’s happened so often now that ones wonders if there is something fundamentally wrong? Experienced players such as Carragher and Gerrard have been at Liverpool long enough to know when things aren’t right. I can’t believe that, with half the season gone, they do not know what the problem is now. However, identifying it and then doing something about is another thing? Does, Rafa talk or more importantly, listen to his players? Surely now is the time for everyone to sit down and tell it like they feel it is – no worries, no recriminations, cards on the table. Only when this is done can everyone really start working to improve things?
Which inevitably brings us to Rafa. Firstly I had to laugh at a red top headline suggesting that an “Anfield Great” had called on Rafa to go. Which “Anfield Great” is this? Dalglish? Souness? Rush? Yeats? St John? Hunt? No, none other than Ronnie Whelan! Cheers Ronnie and thanks for your “great” comments how soon you’ve forgotten how you were encouraged to behave as a player at Liverpool when things were going wrong.
And the rest of the nonsense? Rafa’s got to the end of the season, Rafa’s going to be replaced by Gus Hiddink, Kenny or, wait for it, Alex McLeish! Torres is threatening to leave unless we sign someone. This is nothing different to the type of news we’ve had all season. Wednesday’s defeat has undoubtedly upped the pressure and the focus of attention but is it, at this stage of the season, going to seal Rafa’s fate? I doubt it.
The injuries that emerged from the Reading game and their impact going forward into the next month or so have a better chance? Torres Gerrard and Benayoun now and out for around four to six weeks depending on who it is. Rafa and any Liverpool fan could be forgiven for thinking just what the have done to deserve this. Going out the cup was one thing but to have this news as “extras” simply takes things too far a bit like getting done for speeding whilst crashing your car! If aliens landed on the training ground and abducted the whole squad and replaced then with “Stepford Wife” type replacements would anyone be surprised. Actually may be ……. no, stop !
Which brings us to Stoke and a nice little fixture to follow Wednesday? Sadly once more the build up to this fixture has been tainted by yet more whinging and moaning from Ryan Babel who revealed, via Twitter, that he’d been dropped. Sadly the penny appears to be no where near dropping with our man
“What happened after a first good season?”
he lamented or is it “tweeted”?
“Scoring 10 goals, being young talent of the year, and then second and this season don’t play at all?”
Ryan, it’s quite simply really. To be picked for a football team you have to be playing well, sadly you are not.
Although Torres, Gerrard and Benayoun are unavailable, Reina returns. The BBC website said that Maxi Rodriguez could make his debut. His signing has gone almost unnoticed because of the Reading game which is probably just the way he wanted it. Presumably he will fill in for Benayoun and will no doubt also welcome the timely return of fellow Argie Mascherano from suspension. Stoke? Well they are awkward buggers and it will be hard, isn’t every game these days? Prediction 0-0, it goes on!