I didn’t get a chance to see the Swansea game until yesterday because I was away with the family at half term. Although in the previous piece I suggested a defeat wouldn’t be the end of the world. I was more miffed at than I thought I would be.
I guess most of it relates to the situation we find ourselves in even though because of this we should expect results like this from time to time. The immediate reaction is to lash out at Brendon Rogers for not getting the win and although I guess some blame should be levelled at him, it is part of a wider picture. Even if it were just a case of poor management and poor player performance it is a pity, and a damming indictment of the game today and it’s crowded fixture lists, that I don’t think anyone will get too upset about being knocked out of the League Cup, even though we are the holders? One only has to see the results at Stamford Bridge and at Reading the night before to see how some clubs are treating it with a rather cavalier attitude even though, if you are a neutral, it’s great entertainment. The scores, 7-5 to Arsenal and 5-4 to Chelsea, suggested they were playing “rush keeper” and no offside’s!
The result has bought a disproportionate response as to where we are. Rogers has started bemoaning his “thin” squad and, just coincidence I think, Kenny Dalglish was interviewed by Talks Sport” and amid the numerous adverts for hedgehog gutter brushes and money supermartket.com managed to reveal a few telling facts.
The Dalglish issues are for another piece however, Rogers “revelation” about the thin squad is hardly earth shattering news.
“I have given players the opportunity to come in and shine and that is all you can do as a coach and a manager. It then becomes quite easy for me, but the problem is then that your squad is even thinner. I can’t keep playing Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez is our only striker”
Well the club sold Dirk Kuyt, loaned out Andy Carroll so it looks like, until January at least we will have to unless we play younger players and risk more results like Wednesday’s? The plus side is that BR has been forced to look at the younger players and the experience they’ve gained will, if they are good enough, accelerate their development.
Situations like these cause one to look back and reflect and one wonders just how naive the owners were when they bought the club? In the first season they were easy with the cheque book sanctioning major purchases. Perhaps now they have realised just how much they have taken on, done the maths and reassessed the situation. Add to that no Champions League football and the supposed redevelopment on Anfield and you have a much cautious ownership Surely there will be more players to leave before we spend if not just for football reasons but also economic. This was underlined by the way Joe Cole, Jordon Henderson and Stuart Downing, all expensive signings on heavy wages, struggled on Wednesday night and not really offered anything since they joined us? Perhaps if Dalglish had stayed they might have come good however, Rogers has his on ideas which are also no doubt tempered by the owners concern with cost and value for money?
It will take time for the full picture to be revealed and at present I think it’ fair to say the majority of us realise this even Gerard Houllier was prompted to suggest so a few days ago. So we move on and today we have the small matter of Newcastle at home, . Perhaps we can take a page from their book? They have clearly scouted extensively and unearthed a number of nuggets that have played a major part getting them were they are today. The underlying mantra with us it seems is value for money and not paying inflated transfer fees or wages? So extensive scouting, like Newcastle have done, and delving deep for an untapped and unheard of talent it would seem is a key area?
For many today’s game will bring back memories of the two famous 4-3 epics at Anfield in the 1990s’ It’s ironic that so many goals were scored in those games when we are having so many problems upfront. Yet despite this apparently Sky reported the other day that in terms of most shots we are around fourth or fifth in the Premiership list! Surely someone been double counting?
Prediction. Team wise BR will ring the changes from Wednesday and restore something like the full strength side, Jose Reina and Glen Johnson may return. However it remains to be seen if this will be good enough to stop Newcastle who unlike us have plenty of options upfront and stronger more dynamic midfield. Nonetheless hope springs eternal and I’ll take us the prevail by 2-0.
Finally in this game Steven Gerrard should make his 600th hundred appearance for the club. What can you say about the player except congratulations and thanks?