Ho ho ho and very ho. What fun everyone had at work on Monday morning with plenty of pithy quips around the “Liverpool actually won a game” theme. Such is the price of victory I guess, although it has come to something when no one comments about us losing which has been the case recently. Either they were used to it or they just didn’t want to kick a man when he’s down!
As it is we remain in the bottom three however, it is now so close we are only three points off the seventh place that many predicted we will achieve this season, so one win off our target then, things aren’t so bad after all! However, for me the table isn’t an issue yet. What is reassuring that on Sunday we saw plenty of real signs, as opposed to fleeting glimpses, that we still have a side that is capable of playing well and stringing together some decent performances. I say “still” because such have been the changes to the squad, and the prolonged run of bad form, that I guess it would be easy to think that we really have hit the buffers and wouldn’t recover to the standard we are used to? However, we played well and showed a creativity going forward that has been lacking for the majority of this season.
Hopefully the game will have helped HRH learn more about his squad and what they can do. It’s been suggested that his tactics haven’t been that spot on and that Torres in particular has cut a frustrated and isolated figure as a result. I think this has been plain to see in his body language and facial expressions in some of the games. Jose Reina commented yesterday…
“I don’t think we have been assisting him like we should, particularly in the last few weeks. He has not been able to do anything at all. We know he is the type of player that can win a game just like that but we can’t expect him to keep doing it on his own. We have to feed him in. That’s the point.”
A veiled dig at HRH’s tactics or simply an admission that the squad in general hasn’t been performing up to standard? I think there is an element of truth in both. Clearly Torres is one of the players our game plan should be built around and HRH must really need his head examining if he doesn’t appreciate his merits and therefore doesn’t try to use him to full effect. However, to do that he is reliant on other players and all to often Torres has been Johnny “No mates” up front while the rest have dithered and fannied about in midfield and defence almost ignoring him as if concentrating on their own issues?
Torres himself should also shoulder some of the blame. His bad form has been transferred from the World Cup to Anfield and one wonders if the transfer rumours between South Africa and the beginning of the season have affected him? Did he, deep down want to go and is now finding it hard to motivate himself? Whatever the case it is hardly an earth shattering revelation to state that all strikers go through bad spells of form and if they have the class that Torres has, they will eventually break out of it. Let’s hope Sunday was the first sign of that. Above all the players need to keep it up and HRH needs to set his side up in a way that facilities a repeat and hopefully an improvement on this performance?
Finally one win does not cure all our ills and rumours about key players moving on in January (unlikely) or the summer (more likely) still abound. Jose Reina has been a subject of such tittle tattle. Suitors include Arsenal and more recently that lot down the East Lancs Road as Van der Sar is close to drawing his pension!
I don’t believe any of them. If Reina, or for that matter Torres, is tempted to go then I’m sure it will be in the summer and back home or to Italy. In short if it’s another Premiership Club I’ll be very surprised. More to the point what will this say about our new owners if one of the first things they oversee is the exodus of two of our key players, they will determined not to let it happen? Moreover I fail to see why Reina would want to go to Arsenal when he can stay with us and as for the Mancs well even if privately it proved tempting, he isn’t stupid or Wayne Rooney!