M Davies (4), Reo- Coker (25), Steinsson (50)
I guess you could be forgiven looking at this game in the context of the way the media present the product. Christ, to think we’ve come to this, football is a “product”!
Liverpool have lost and are way behind in the chase. But for what? I don’t know nor do I particularly care. Let’s get real, bottom, sixth or seventh place, so what! What galls me is obvious underachievement and seemingly half arsed “couldn’t care lass” attitude we saw in this game. No doubt those involved on Saturday, if they ever stoop so low as to read this, will disagree, but that is what it seemed like to me. Moreover there appeared to be an arrogance and disrespect for Bolton that, despite their league position, was gleefully picked up and thrown back in our face. We deserved it.
Perhaps underneath there is something else, a lack of ability or professionalism, that means we let games like this slip because we nether have the intelligence, ability, pragmatism or application to make it go our way? In a perfect world of course we would win every game we are expected to win however that is slowly becoming a shorter list. Bolton have the lowest goal scoring record in the league. That’s all the leagues we seem to classify as leagues plus a few other others that occasionally get covered during the FA Cup. They might raise their game and perhaps our eyes were on the Carling Cup semi second leg however, there is no excuse for approaching a game in such an apparent half arsed “this is beneath me” manner.
One of the many, many struts that holds up Kenny Dalglish as being the man he is has been his loyalty, to this club and most specifically in this case, his players. So when he comes out and actually criticises them those in red shirt they should sit up a take notice. There have been more white Christmas’s recently than Kenny, to use a term that is more on their level, “dissing” his players so those who played on Saturday with any regard beyond the weekly pay check, should sit up and take note.
“The most disappointing thing for me was I don’t think they were ready to play the game. If they needed a lesson to be taught to them then this was it. If they think they can just turn up and get a result and not be competitive and not match the opposition for effort, then they have had a lesson today. It is built on the philosophy that the next game is the most important one, not the one that is two or three down the line. If they needed a lesson to be taught to them then this was it.”
These are unique words from Kenny. The problem is with this lot is, and I’m sorry if I keep repeating myself, is I don’t even think they realise what Kenny has done and the significance of it. They are to young to “know their history”. Perhaps it’s generational thing nonetheless if any of the players have any self respect, regardless of what Kenny says, then they should shape up. I guess what I’m trying to say, having clumsily reeled off three or four paragraphs of diatribe is that Saturday’s performance was not good enough. Even if you disregard Kenny’s standards as a “that was then but this is now” stance it was still poor, poor, poor and very, very poor indeed, not mention poor and let’s add some more poor to the description followed by another poor….. poor, poor, poor, poor, poor OK that’s enough!
Our lack of potency in front of goal has been there for all to see this season. Thankfully the defence has been mean enough to ensure that we are were we are however, inevitably the back four are occasionally going to have an off day and when this happens and the forwards continue to wallow in their own malaise, then you are going to get results like this?
It was sorry parade of errors. Agger and Johnson (please, please, please see previous blogs why do we keep playing him in defence?) indulging in a bout of unprofessional “gentleman’s excuse me” to let an incredulous Davies to run through and score. Next it was Nigel Reo Coker’s turn to get in front of Johnson and Agger again without fear of challenge and then Steinsson as a result of the old chestnut of not defending set pieces properly. In between Bellamy responded for us but his shot, it dribbled over the line, was just as unimpressive as his childish inability to control himself. He and Reo-Coker clearly have a history but Bellamy never learns and, given the result, his gobsh*te behaviour towards the Bolton player was the last thing we needed. Bellamy has done well since he returned to us however his finger, in some kind of narcissistic, warped way, always seems to be constantly hovering above the “self destruct” button?
So where are we now? It’s difficult to say. By this time next week we could be on a high having beaten Manchester City to get through to the Carling Cup final and then their neighbours on Saturday in the FA Cup. Nice stuff if it happens, personally I don’t think it will but it’s just the sort of thing we’ll do. However, Sunderland, Norwich, Swansea, Wigan., Blackburn, Stoke and now this, the players are kidding no one. Kenny appears to have the whip out. He doesn’t need to prove himself to anyone, he can walk away tomorrow so it’s pride and attitude and doing the right thing in his mind. Those players who think they can take the pi*s out of him should be afraid, very afraid!
Bolton: Bogdan, Steinsson, Knight, Ricketts, Wheater, Muamba, Eagles (Tuncay 90+1), Petrov, M Davies, Reo-Coker, Ngog (K Davies 88), Substitutes: Lynch, Boyata, Riley, Pratley, Tuncay, K Davies, O’Halloran
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Maxi (Kuyt 64), Henderson, Adam (Downing 64), Carroll, Bellamy, Substitutes: Doni, Coates, Carragher, Kelly, Downing, Shelvey, Kuyt