Another draw adds to an increasingly frustrating Red’s picture

Liverpool 0

Stoke City 0

Yet another stalling on the home front and another chance to make progress, as others falter, blown.

Although we are still unbeaten at Anfield this is our seventh draw out of eleven home games. It is a cold fact especially as many of the sides we’ve drawn against are ones you would expect us to beat. Once again we seemed to be wanting in the final third. In previous home games it’s been converting the chances, and there have been many, on Saturday it was creating them.

Stoke set us the task of trying to get through them and we failed being limited, for the most part, to long range efforts. It’s wrong to complain about the way Stoke set themselves up, they can do want they want and for them I’m sure the ends justified the means. It is clearly up to us to try deal with the problem they present us besides they were only doing what we did at in the final part of Wednesday’s semi final?

Much of the focus for this will, unjustly perhaps, be on Andy Carroll however, this is a “malaise” that stretches much further back to days when Carroll wasn’t in the team be either through injury or form. If goals are not coming from the front two them you look to the rest of the squad to chip in sadly this hasn’t really happened and too many of midfield, although putting in the effort, seem to have a frustrated rabbit in the headlights “what do I do now” demeanour every time they get near the goal.

The story of being one of teams with the most shots in the Premiership yet with the fewest goals says it all, hells teeth Blackburn and Bolton have scored more! There is only so much you can blame on one individual or bad luck before you start to look elsewhere for the reason behind this? Perhaps Kenny and Steve Clarke will sit back and look at the system. Kenny’s post match comments were as near to, dare I say it, criticising the team, albeit in a mild way, as I have heard from him in a very long time. The sad thing is that he is right…

“The responsibility was on us to be more imaginative to break them down and we didn’t manage to do it. The couple of opportunities we got we didn’t take and in a game like that you have to take them.”

One wonders what we will do? Perhaps we are already trying, Kenny’s choice of line up for this match was a talking point. A five man defence which in the absence of Agger saw Carragher recalled along with Coates which presumably gave Enrique and Johnson licence to push up and provide for Carroll however he was dropped to the bench in favour of Kuyt who has scored no goals since the end of last season.

You’ve probably seen the game now but if you didn’t it would be easy to conjure up a picture in your minds eye, as it is a familiar pattern. Plenty of possession for us, against a well organised Stoke defending stoutly and us labouring to cut through them with the anxiety, on the pitch and in the stands, growing as the clock ticked down. There were a few long range efforts, from Downing and Henderson, and at the death Kuyt and Skrtel had a great opportunities to win it but their respective headers were wide and at the keeper. Carroll, when he came on, was involved in number of penalty appeals largely it seems with Huth who a one stage had him in some form of Vulcan death grip or head lock! However, to use this an excuse to say we were robbed would be pushing things to the extreme. Yes, it’s churlish to complain in a week when we have made good progress in two cup competitions but its so dam frustrating that we can’t get right in the Premiership when we are more than capable of doing so?

Kenny describes the current situation as “work in progress” however, on the home front we appear to be stuck in a rut, unable to convert the undoubted promise and good play we are showing (most of the time) into results. It hardly needs saying that these draws could be difference between where we finished last season and somewhere higher. Surely things will turn around and the results will match the effort however, with the transfer window, open perhaps Kenny me might be tempted to give things a helping nudge?

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Coates, Carragher, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson (Bellamy 74), Downing (Carroll 58), Adam, Kuyt Substitutes: Doni, Aurelio, Kelly, Flanagan, Shelvey, Carroll, Bellamy,

Stoke: Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Woodgate (Wilkinson 78), Whelan, Wilson, Delap, Etherington (Fuller 87), Palacios (Whitehead 62), Walters, Crouch, Substitutes: Begovic, Wilkinson, Pennant, Whitehead, Jones, Fuller, Jerome

Att: 44,691

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3 Responses to Another draw adds to an increasingly frustrating Red’s picture

  1. sean says:

    How do you play a system requiring a target man , and then start a striker who is not known for his ability to hold the ball and who has not been playing regularly and who hasnt scored since May and leave your 35 mil man who can play that role on the bench. In 55 minutes you have no shots at goal and yet you persist with the formation. Every time we got the ball out wide and it was played into the box there was no-one there. The tactics used was supposedly to protect us from the PROLIFIC CROUCH and DELAPS long throws. Yet after 15 minutes it was clear that Stoke had no intention of pushing numbers forward and Crouch could could easily be handled. Our new signings were dysmal to say the least , Henderson always a peripheral player(plse count how many times he touches the ball and what he does with it when he does get it) Downing was just awful , and Kuyt ineffective to say the least. Gerard and Adam together just does not work. We played at home and we start off with a defensive formation and we want to know why we didnt score. The players brought in are pretty much starting every week now yet its the same thing week in and week out. Average performances and suspect team selections.Now we dont even back our team at home to beat Stoke. We select a 11 to counter Stokes strength – for Petes sake they shld be selecting their 11 to counter us. Now we bemoan the fact that we did not have the personnel to do anything else( what happened to “we have much more depth than last year) or after R 105 mil we still have a weaker squad than last year. Henderson is one for the future, then bring him on , why start him every game. Downing has no confidence why persist with him.
    Dalglish will always be my King for Liverpool but his persistence to justify the poor signings is going to be his downfall.

  2. redfloyd says:

    Sean, Agree with much of what you’ve said. Henderson, Downing, Adam and Kuyt are workmanlike but sometimes we need more. Al too often there is no imagination, no spark of brilliance or opportunism that can turn a game. They are Volvos, we need the odd Ferrari or Lamborghini

    • sean says:

      So why is the Aquaman not being recalled, why not recall Joe Cole for that matter ?
      Cos doing so would be an ackowledgement that our signings are just not doing it.
      Either way just try something different – give Jonjo a run , try Johnson at right half ,
      Give Carrol an extended run with someone playing upfront with him.Try Raheem ?
      Point is you cannot do the same thing and expect different results.
      Cmon Kenny go for broke , our signings are not making an impact – no shame in
      admitting that.

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