My, my what a difference a winning goal makes. To the player that scored it and the team.
There was a much more positive vibe about Liverpool after Sunday and rightly so. The performance was encouraging, the realisation of the promise we’ve shown in recent games but have failed to convert into taken chances and therefore points.
Despite the win one still can’t help harking back to the Norwich and Swansea games at Anfield and the points we dropped there. It sounds negative, living it the past and not fully appreciating what we did on Sunday but if we’d just won one of them there would surely be no negative talk now? I guess the message is that we need to improve at home (starting with Manchester City this weekend) and inject a bit more consistency rather than suggesting we only rise to occasion against so called tougher opposition.
On the players aspect and every paper or website you visit seems to carry a quote from Glen Johnson, heaven knows what we would have read if he had ran the length of the pitch, beat ten men and nutmeged Cech to score!. Most of the coverage is in this vain …..
“We’re taking it game by game but our aim is the top four and that’s what we are fighting for.. If we start getting a few more points at home and keep what we’re doing away, I’m sure we won’t be too far away.”
….. however it’s only a matter of time before Johnson gets asked about the Egyptian crisis , Strictly Come Dancing or I’m a Celebrity!
This blog has been very critical of Johnson as a defender. He is constantly off the pace and out of position and I’ve lost count of the number of times he has been responsible for opposition goals since he joined us. However, on the few occasions he has played in midfield, or a more offensive role as part of a “back five”, he has proved very effective. Defensively we now have enough cover to allow Johnson to be pushed up the field. It would increase competition in midfield which his not a bad thing but I guess, if you were play Johnson the ideal combination would be Kelly at right back with him in front? As it is every time he is named in the back four I still get worried, it sounds harsh but his goal on Sunday won’t change that I’m afraid.
In general terms it was encouraging to see the way Suarez and Bellamy linked up just as they did against Brighton in the Cup. We are not exactly over blessed in the pace department so it was good to see them buzzing around and making the Chelsea back four think. No disrespect to Andy Carroll but he would have enabled them to stay within their comfort zone whilst the two “little un’s” present more of challenge as you simply don’t know what they are going to do, and by the time they’ve done it’s too late because they are so quick, would Carroll have executed the one two that lead to Maxi’s goal so neatly and quickly?
Carroll has improved recently however, there is still a long way to go and hopefully the performances of Bellamy and Suarez will make him more determined to make his mark? The more team improves to more it should be easier for Carroll. Every time we slip up the amount of money we have splashed out gets dredged up and then, inevitably, Carroll’s name and performances get mentioned thus knocking his confidence further? If the team is performing well the pressure is off him and has more time to improve, although clearly there is limited amount to which patience will stretch. Above all it is good to have genuine competition for key positions and we seem to have that in most parts of the team.
Finally amid all the Sunday roses there is always going to be odd weed or two. Step forward your super, sour away, sh*tty Sun which presumably dispatched a photographer to Stamford Bridge with the specific purpose of capturing the moment before the match that required Luis Suarez and John Terry to shake hands. Cue caption which suggests Suarez is winking at Terry. Is it a wink or just something in his eye? No matter what the suggestion is that Suarez and Terry are acknowledging each other, kindred sprits, as they are in some kind of mutual appreciation club…. you fill in the rest! Perhaps if Suarez was blinking The Sun would have suggested that he wasn’t used to the light because he normally has a white hood over his head with two small holes in it!
Further more The Sun drew attention to the handshake. That’s the handshake Sepp Blatter suggested should settle racist abuse on the pitch. Clearly Suarez and Terry were taking the p*ss in an outrageous way by copying Blatter’s suggestion when they are on charges for racist abuse, a ten game ban should follow! Then again maybe The Sun should just leave this alone, stop suggesting something is there when it clearly isn’t, and concentrate on hosing down their own backyard before commenting on the alleged state of others?