Henderson (15), Skrtel (52), Adam (53)
Before this game Kenny was quoted as saying that Luis Suarez, despite having played in the Copa America when most of the Liverpool squad were applying the sun tan lotion, shouldn’t be tired. It seemed to fly in the face of many mangers “oh so precious” attitude about their multi million pound steeds and how they should be treated. Never mind doing a proper day’s work for a fraction of the pay.
On Saturday Dalglish was proved right. There was no indication that the Uruguayan was tired or, for that matter in the rest of team even though many thought this had caused us to drop two points against Sunderland. Suarez was indefatigable to the point that when he was substituted after 75 minutes he looked a tad brassed off as if he was getting into the swing of things or was it because he was denied a chance to equal Robbie Fowler’s record of scoring in three consecutive opening games? For the moment this man is chomping at the bit or, to change animals, straining at the leash! We should embrace it and enjoy it as much as Suarez seems to in terms of his play and, above all, his attitude!
Suarez started this game in preference to Andy Carroll woo hoo another bit of controversy to seize on prompting more pre match off the mark theories that the two can’t play together. My my they say time will tell but what is the length of time we are talking about, certainly not three league games into the season? Those who feel that Suarez and Carroll are incompatible clearly are too young to remember to other famous red “little” and “larges” no not Sammy Lee and Jan Molby I’m thinking of Toshack and Keegan. Perhaps they were into something else before they decided to turn their “expertise” to football, they are probably the same people who complained that we lack options and strength in depth and presumably aren’t cognisant with the fact that Dalglish can only field eleven players!
What I’m trying to say is that we should be grateful we have a stronger and bigger squad now. If Suarez is tired then we can bring Carroll on and vice versa, the two aren’t mutually exchangeable but clearly might play together if the circumstances dictate. It is not just them remember Kuyt, who was tireless in this game, was on the bench at Sunderland. We need to get used to the changes and, as long as the balance of the team is not drastically affected, accept it. Because a player is dropped, or moved to another position, or substituted, doesn’t mean it’s a crisis or an admission of that we’ve screwed up in the transfer markets as Kenny said “it s a squad game”. It certainly makes a change from the accusations a few years ago that we were a two man team, Torres and Gerrard.
Anyway Saturday’s game suggested that Kenny had got it right. Moreover it was significant red letter day for Henderson and Adam who scored their first goals for the club thus going a small way to stopping the sort of people who have locked on the Carroll Suarez thing from turning there attention to them. Although Stuart Downing, our other big money signing, wasn’t on the score sheet we saw another impressive performance which suggested it was only a matter of time before he scored, goals are presumably what is needed to shut the naysayers up?
Early in the game Downing was put through but took it too far and was then foiled by Jaaskelainen’s excellent save after good work by Suarez. However, it was move that didn’t peter out. Bolton failed to tidy up after their keeper’s good work leaving Kuyt snaffle up the loose ball and free Henderson who, after a fortunate break, side footed neatly into the top corner.
From then on we were rarely threatened, Petrov produced a good save from Reina but for every Bolton chance we seemed to have many and could have killed the game off before the break. Kuyt was unlucky not to connect with Henderson’s cross and then flashed a drive cross the face of the goal. In between Suarez, set fee by Lucas, chipped onto the roof of Jaaskelainen’s net a sand iron instead of a pitching wedge next time Luis!
We were also unlucky not to be awarded a penalty or two. Steinsson handled but one boot was inside the area and other outside – what do you do? In the second half Knight felled Suarez not a penalty, as it was outside the box however the defenders resulting attempt to stop the Uruguayan by grabbing his ankle was and might have elicited a more positive response?
For Bolton the inevitable was eventually quick if not painless, it only took a minute. Skrtel, on for Martin Kelly, powered home Adam’s corner and then the Scot himself helped himself receiving the ball from Kuyt and beating Jaaskelainen from the edge of the area with a low right-footed shot into the corner.
Klasnic got one back after Carragher boobed and let Petrov in however it was irrelevant as the Bolton fan’s silent reaction proved. Nor should it detract from a Liverpool performance that was, creative, positive, effervescent, needle sharp and pleasing. There is a long way to go yet however given the team’s we’ve played so far, as points and starts go, this is fine.
Liverpool: Reina, Jose Enrique, Agger, Carragher, Kelly (Skrtel 30), Henderson (Maxi 76), Downing, Lucas, Adam, Suarez (Carroll 76), Kuyt, Substitutes: Doni, Skrtel, Robinson, Maxi, Spearing, Shelvey, Carroll
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Robinson, Cahill, Knight, Muamba (M Davies 26), Eagles (Tuncay 56), Petrov, Reo-Coker, Davies (Pratley 71), Klasnic, Substitutes: Bogdan, Wheater, Riley, M Davies, Pratley, Tuncay, Blake