I guess it was easy for everyone to be a bit down on the club after Wednesday’s capitulation against QPR.
I was the death nail of any lingering Champions League hopes and the manner of the defeat made it worse. I’m still at loss as how we could be so unprofessional and it let it slip. Even Kenny seemed flummoxed
“It’s very difficult to explain, we played some fantastic football. We were deserving of our lead and we weren’t even under pressure. With a bit of care and better finishing we might have been three or four up at half-time.”
Other than this I haven’t really seen or heard anything, from the players or anyone else, to convince me that it was other than a cold affirmation of what we’ve probably, deep down, suspected all season. Namely that we are some way short of achieving the consistency needed to make it count in the Premiership.
This silence suggests the chickens have finally come home to roost. It was a stark contrast to the queue of players eager to wax lyrical about the team after we’ve had a good result. “Kicking on”, taking it forward, improving, playing well and hopefully turning this into goals and points are all too familiar subjects however, one can’t help feeling that time has now run out to make good on these “promises”, for this season at least. Progress in the cup is great, gives everyone a feel good factor but remove that colourful veneer and the picture is still incomplete.
One has to ask the question just why this has failed to happen. Is it all too easy to site our lack of potency in front of goal as the sole excuse or is something else? It was evident again on Wednesday Stuart Downing seemed to have chance after chance and Luis Suarez, for all his good approach play, also needs to be more ruthless in front of goal. At the moment I’d gladly swap him for a bona fide, player who simply does f*ck all except snaffle goals, anywhere and anyhow!
Perhaps this problem is a self perpetuating one? The more opportunities we create the more chances we miss and the more it becomes a problem. Perhaps it’s not enough to say the chances will come, perhaps we need a finishing coach (have we got one?). However this has gone on long enough now to suggest that there is more wrong with the side? It’s cliché but perhaps the sum of the team is less than the sum of individual parts? Perhaps Kenny has to still work on getting the mix right?
People at work after Wednesday were suggesting Kenny’s position was less than secure however, these are shortsighted views largely based on one performance, and thirteen minutes of one performance. There are still a lot of positive things we can take from this season and it might get better. Dalglish, more than anyone, will be hurting after Wednesday and will be eager and determined to put it right. If it takes longer than originally expected then so be it but in him I still trust. Yes I admit it, partly because it’s Kenny Dalglish but also because I still believe he is the best person to take us forward to achieve the progress that he has constantly reminded us won’t be achieved in just one season.
Today we have a chance to get back into the swing of things with a home tie against Wigan. I was going to say that Wigan are struggling and that this should be three points but then remembered that QPR were also in the same position and then I remembered our home form! Surely after Wednesday the players will want to prove something even if we are probably now only playing for a slightly higher position than we are in now? Pride and professionalism will demand a response?
Team wise and despite going off at Loftus Road, Martin Kelly should be fit, Charlie Adam who took what looked to be a painful knock in the same game, is less likely to make it. Daniel Agger’s ribs still haven’ recovered and Glen Johnson, despite being unavailable, was still able to will an omelet making competition against Joe Hart in Sport Relief yesterday – yes I know!
Prediction? As I said in the last piece at moment I wouldn’t trust us to win any game against any side just as I would never ever write our hopes off! However, on paper at least it points to a home victory even though everyone is probably less certain now. 2-1 to us!