Wigan Athletic 1
I guess if Liverpool fans were told they’d be looking a run of five games undefeated, of which four of these were wins, they would be happy?
Equally in the last two of these games, against Chelsea away and Wigan a home, many would have probably settled for four points, the inference being a win in this game after a draw at Stamford Bridge?
However, as usual, things don’t turn out like that and although four wins on the trot is a good run, remember it contains two welcome away wins, I suspect there was a tinge of disappointment that we didn’t make it five out of five on Saturday? Our form of late suggests we should have done?
Where this leaves us in terms of the season is a debatable point as I don’t think anyone really knows how far we can go. Talk of a Champions League place by the back door is perhaps ambitious however a win today would still see people suggesting it was still on just as they did after Chelsea. Perhaps however, we shouldn’t worry too much about that, be pragmatic and concentrate on getting things in place for the future? As Kenny said….
“We’ve just got to brush ourselves and get on with it, it’s nothing too damaging anyway.”
Wigan played and battled well but perhaps if we’d had just a tad of luck one point would have become three? Kenny sited the fatigue his players felt from the mid week internationals, the same for everyone I hear you cry but we did have a lot of players away. Agger didn’t play through picking up a knock in Copenhagen and Meireles, fast becoming a key player, if only through his goal scoring, was hooked just after half time. Said Kenny…
“He came in at half time and spewed up. I don’t know if it’s been a result of the game in midweek (for Portugal)….”
How would Arsene Wenger have described that? His goal would certainly have had him purring an extremely well executed volley from just in front of the penalty spot after Aurelio’s cross had been deflected into his path by Gohouri.
The absence of Agger meant we had make do and mend and content ourselves with four at the back rather than the effective five that seems to have paid so much dividends recently. Perhaps this had an effect we certainly seemed to be lacking the width the overlapping full backs gave us in those games.
Then there was Wigan’s goal. N’Zogbia’s cross from the right was headed on Alcaraz and then poked home at the back-post by Gohouri. It was offside however it was a very, very tight decision, none of our players appealed and neither did the crowd so we can excuse the referee for missing it but perhaps not so the linesman?
Then there was the absence of Gerrard, snuffing out ideas that this was a “political groin” injury designed to play truant from the Denmark game, he didn’t even make the bench. Perhaps Kenny thought he could manage without him and rest him for Sparta Prague on Thursday?
Then there was Luis Suarez who hit the woodwork twice in a very encouraging full debut. The first, cutting in from the right and drilling a low shot off Al-Habsi’s left hand post, and the second, from a free kick, an impressive “up and over” onto the cross bar. Add to these chances from Kuyt and Skrtel and on another day? However it was a good performance from Suarez I’m looking forward to seeing how he and Carroll work together. They are two different types of player which should give us plenty of options in terms of providing service long, high, wide, or through the middle. Suarez even on this small piece of evidence also appears to be a rather cheeky, or should I say resourceful, player. Before he joined us he had a reputation for flying close to the rules, playing the referee and trying to “win” free kicks and penalties. Even after only a few games he was at it. Irritating for the opposition no doubt which does us fine thank you very much!
Anyway I here you say stop being and apologist for the side. Fair enough and I’m also asking myself would I have been so tolerant if HRH was manager as opposed to Kenny? It’s unfair but there you go, Saturday wasn’t brilliant but we’ve seen enough to know what we likely to get with Kenny and on the whole we’ve enjoyed it as we did before he resigned. As a banner on the Kop said “There is no harm in repeating a good thing”
Liverpool: Reina, G Johnson, Aurelio, Carragher. Kelly, Skrtel, Meireles, (Ngog 54), Maxi, Lucas, Suarez, Kuyt (Jovanovic 73), Substitutes: Gulacsi, Kyrgiakos, Wilson, Poulsen, Pacheco, Jovanovic, Ngog
Wigan: Al Habsi, Gohouri, Alcaraz, G Caldwell, Figueroa, McCarthy, Watson (McArthur 72), N’Zogbia, Moses (Cleverley 67), Diame, Rodallega, Substitutes: Pollitt, S Caldwell, Stam, Gomez, Cleverley,
McArthur, Di Santo