Blackburn Rovers 3
Olsson 32, Benjani 38, 57
So the small step taken forward on Saturday is once more wiped out by an almighty couple of steps back. Another way defeat, four in a row now. Can anyone see a way out of this, a light at the end of the tunnel? I’m stuffed if I can.
No doubt more brickbats will be thrown at HRH and the owners must be wrestling with their patience with hands hovering, or at least twitching towards, the eject button? However, the players also need to look at themselves. This was another lame, disorganised, lifeless performance where we contrived to let the opposition walk all over us. I don’t know if the players are happy with HRH’s methods but perhaps the most disturbing of all is, seemingly, the lack of confidence that is evident all over the pitch but particularly in defence?
HRH made a few changes. The most notable was to further irritate Daniel Agger, who had in the papers this morning said he needed to play or he would about moving, by dropping him to the bench! Perhaps he was trying to let Agger know who is boss however, on last tonight’s evidence the Dane won’t be sitting down for too long? Konchesky was restored after being dropped on Saturday and Joe Cole was given a chance in the hole, interestingly Dirk Kuyt, rather than Ngog, made way
Almost immediately Blackburn set about us. Torres and Cole managed a few minor efforts on goal however the writing was on the wall from a very early stage and we played like we were expecting it. So it was no surprise that the other Diouf feed Olsson who ran unhindered and untracked from the middle of pitch into the area to slot past Reina. Once again I am sorry to say the man at fault was Glen Johnson who was again out of position, backing off. He was also seemingly oblivious to Olsson’s run although in fairness you could have said that of at least six of our players!
The second was more of the same this time we, after Torres has given the ball way, failed to close down a serious of Blackburn players who, which plenty of space, nonchalantly and coolly knocked it around the box until Givet found Benjani who turned Kyrgiakos as if he wasn’t there and fired through Reina’s hands into the roof of the net.
The third was, arguably, the worst. Again it began with a Torres error this time Samba intercepted his pass. He found Olsen on the left wing who passed down the line to Hoilett. The Blackburn player found himself in a two on one position with Dirk Kuyt and Glen Johnson. However, Hoilett easily turned Kuyt and was then allowed to advance as Johnson was yet again out of position behind the player and not between him in the goal. His lame effort to stop him came to nothing allowing the cross to find Benjani who converted easily despite the flimsy “attentions” of Skrtel.
After this cries of “Dalglish” came from the stands however perhaps the crowd should be calling for a new back four? HRH can take all the flack he likes however, if you have a defence that seems unable or incapable of basic marking, closing players down, getting tackles in and simply displaying a bit a nous then what hope have we? The buck stops with him but should HRH really need to spell out these basic functions?
Is it any coincidence that we have seemed bereft in this area of the pitch since Jamie Carragher got injured however surely there is enough experience? Surely someone can step up to the plate, three of last night’s back four played in South Africa last summer. Kyrgiakos was at fault for tonight’s second and Skrtel appears in another world these days. Konchesky has chipped in with his fair share of mistake but Glen Johnson! I know I keep going on and on about this, but he is becoming a liability. He was at fault for two of the goals tonight and, with Martin Kelly in the wings, one just wonders how long we have to put with this? I don’t care how much Johnson cost, how many nice little runs he makes up the wing or that he is England’s right back. He is consistently found to be at fault defensively however it is the likes of Konchesky who get the bird while he seems to be Teflon coated?
Steven Gerrard pulled a goal back, rifling home after Torres’ attempt, from Kuyt’s cross had been blocked. Perhaps ordinarily it might have been a winner but when you’ve a defence as porous as ours you need a few more? He then missed from the spot blazing over after he had been felled by Salgado. He and the long suffering but vocal fans didn’t deserve that but equally we didn’t deserve to be in with a chance a 3-2?
Blackburn: Bunn, Olsson (Diouf 73), Samba, Givet, Nelsen, Salgado, Dunn (Morris 75), Pedersen, Mwaruwari (Goulon 84), Hoilett, Diouf Substitutes: Fielding, Hanley, Linganzi, Goulon, Morris, Diouf, Doran
Liverpool: Reina, G Johnson, Konchesky, Kyrgiakos (Agger 51), Skrtel, Gerrard, Cole, Maxi (Kuyt 58), Lucas, Torres, Ngog (Babel 78), Substitutes: Gulacsi, Agger, Kelly, Poulsen, Jovanovic, Kuyt, Babel.