Prior to this game Alan Pardew suggested that we were vulnerable because we were going through a period of change. It would have been nice to start this piece with a few sentences along the lines of debunking the Newcastle manager and suggesting that our performance disproved what was nothing more than a fanciful theory. Sadly it would be pushing it a bit if I did!
If you strip way the partisanship and bias that comes with watching your team this season is like no other one I can remember. Rightly or wrongly we appear to have gone back to square one paring down the team and, under Brendon Rogers’ tutorledge, completely reinventing the style in which we play. It will make for an interesting journey. However, for all this the problems we experienced last season under Kenny Dalglish, namely our inability to stick the ball in the back of the net despite dominating , still remain. Whatever way successive managers try to represent or reinvent the team nothing, it seems, changes.
Yesterday was just like numerous games before, the same old problem. With every game our reticent and foolhardy dithering over our forward personnel during the last transfer window takes on a more significant role. BR refers to the squad and it’s thinness and the how what he trying to do will take time which is fine however, stats of twenty shots and twelve on target compared to the one stat at the top of this piece, Suarez (67), say it all.
A word about he Uruguayan. He is battered by everyone who isn’t a red. He dives, he’s a racist (allegedly) he’s a cheat however it is only November but if Luis Suarez does not win Liverpool’s player of the season then there is no justice. Sure he misses more chances than he should however, the effort he puts it is indefatigable. The determination, the pestering of opposition defences is non stop. All this is basically on his own, until January (hopefully) anyway. It would be easy to get disillusioned by this but the “ hardship” seems to make him even more determined to fashion out something. His performances have been beyond the call of duty and much, much more in terms of application than most would expect?
BR named the same side that started last week against Everton which meant no Glen Johnson and no Jose Reina the latter not even on the bench. Before the game Gary McAllister presented Steven Gerrard with a very useful Liver Bird Door Stop cum garden ornament to commemorate his 600th game with us.
We began brightly enjoying plenty of possession showing lots of verve and looking bright and confident on the ball. It wasn’t long before Suarez made his mark. A clash with Coloccini reopened debates about penalties and whether, had it not been Suarez , anything would have been given. Contact was made but the sort of contact that needs to made on Suarez, before a referee would even consider awarding anything, would appear to be nothing less than a blatant bear hug from one defender while another crouches behind him allowing a third to push him over him! Even then the referee would probably consult the linesman first!
The chances slowly began to emerge and then disappear. Sterling’s long range effort and then Suarez’s free kick didn’t trouble Krul in the Newcastle goal however he had to work hard to save Suarez’s angled cross shot. Suso had a shot deflected over. So plenty of chances and dominance, it could only mean one thing! Ben Arfa got to the touchline speared over a cross that Cabaye was allowed to collect, control and then line up before rifling home into the top corner from a tight angle. To make matters worse it was just before half time.
The second half saw more dominance with Suarez and Sahin going close and finally we got our just rewards. The nature of the goal was ironic given BR’s insistence of intricate passing and patience build ups. Enrique’s long raking ball from well inside his own half was brilliantly taken and controlled by Suarez before he rounded Krul and stuck it home… er that’s it, not much more to say route one and 1-1.
After that the crowd sensed a comeback as we went for it Suarez, with a great run that seemed to involve beating the entire Newcastle defence, cut it back to Shelvey, the miss was a horrible one! He then put in Sterling who took too long to make his shot allowing Taylor to slid in a nip it off his toes. Coloccini’s sending off didn’t make things easier for us as Shelvey, again, wasted another chance by heading straight at Krul. We then we hit the bar from a bizarre free kick that seemed to get no contact from any red player but bounced a lot and deceived the Newcastle defence.
So plenty of great chances but nothing major to show for it other than another great solo effort from Suarez (back in your cotton wool lined box until next game Luis). It epitomises the problems we are currently experiencing and I see nothing to suggest that I won’t be repeated soon and on more than one occasion. January’s window seems a long way off.
Liverpool: Jones, Jose Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Wisdom, Sahin (Downing – 74′ ), Gerrard, Allen, Sterling, Suarez, Suso (Shelvey – 66′ ) Substitutes: Gulacsi, Coates, Carragher, Henderson, Downing, Shelvey, Assaidi
Newcastle United: Krul, Coloccini Dismissed, Santon Booked, Perch (Simpson – 26′ ), S Taylor, Cabaye (Ferguson – 68′ ), Anita, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez, Cisse, Ba (Sa Ameobi – 49′ ) Substitutes: Harper, Simpson, Williamson, Ferguson, Obertan, Sh Ameobi, Sa Ameobi