Monday, November 13, 2006

Gunners Outclass Hapless Reds

English Premiership

Arsenal 3 - 0 LIVERPOOL

ARS - Flamini (41min), Toure (56min), Gallas (80min);

Words can't really describe how utterly disappointed and depressed I'm now. It's as if after all the good works we've done, we're back to square one and proclaiming out loud that 'we're really not good enough'. By the look of things tonight, we can safely say we're pretty far away from the standards of Arsenal and all the summer signings have not made the impact they're supposed to make as predicted. To make things worst, our usually reliable defence has let us down big time in big games and we're here licking our own wound.

Seeing Gerrard and Riise blaming each other for the William Gallas goal hurts the most and I think all Liverpool fans felt the same too.

After such a disappointing start to the season, it seemed as though the momentum of the team is getting back as they've gone 5 straight wins but all at Anfield. Now we're brought back down to earth with yet another Jekyll and Hyde performance. Such were the gulf between Liverpool and Arsenal that it just baffles me and putting Liverpool in the 'Big4' is just an overstatement.

The Arsenal players were quicker, faster and sharper than everyone in the hideous yellow jersey. They're always one step ahead of everyone and there's really no way to stop them. The speed of their runs and the precision of their passes were just a totally different gravy to us and hats off to them, they took their chances and showed us how football should be played.

It's not as if we're pinned back for the entire game and didn't do anything. In fact, we started off well and created an open competition. It's daring on Liverpool's part as we all know what Arsenal are about and their prowess on counter attacks. Crouch did put the ball in the net, but was ruled offside.

Then worst came to worst, Arsenal scored when Liverpool went to sleep. Zenden let his marker go and Flamini was on hand to slid in. One could question whether he's offside. But to me, it was a perfectly crafted goal and they deserve it.

Half time and Rafa decided not to change anyone. Mark Gonzalez was playing an active role, but squandered chances and there were several occasions where he made some bad decisions. Zenden, although hardworking and willing to try, is not good enough.

Again Liverpool started pretty well, but then didn't get on any sort of momentum. Another defensive mistake let Kolo Toure through to score the goal that breaks Liverpool heart. Carragher was forced out of position while Hyypia and Finnan totally left Toure alone. Their indecisiveness and lack of mobility means Toure is through on goal and he shot through Reina's leg without much hassle.

Rafa sensed the lack of width especially on the right and sent on Jermaine Pennant. The so called solution to our right sided midfield is yet another player who doesn't seemed good enough and the 6.7million paid for him looked like it's going down the drain.

The killer blow was Gallas' free header right in the middle of the penalty box, unmarked. I'm totally speechless as to how they have left him all by himself right in the thick of action. It epitomises the term 'abysmal defending' and now there will again be questions asked about Rafa's staunch belief in the zonal marking system.

Adebayor should've added icing on the cake, but his poor finishing lets him down. By then, even the most determined player would've given up and hoping for the time to run out.

The loss once again shows that we should not delude ourselves thinking that we're a complete package. In fact, we're still only halfway there in order to actually be in the same echelon as ManYoo or Chelsea. It's a sad fact that we're a good cup team but when it comes to consistency, we're poor and so far this season, it has been absolutely disastrous.

We're alright with the home form, but what about the away? How the hell do you explain such indifference in form and what's going through the player's mind? Why are they so afraid to play away games? Are they mentally prepared?

Now on the defending. Where has the record breaking defence gone? Same players, totally different results in just over a year. We used to catch people offside so very often last season and now looking at it, we couldn't even create an effective offside trap. Finnan the ever reliable right back has gone down a little and looked suspect with his positioning at times. Carragher was lucky not to have been sent off with that rash tackle on Farbregas and this season, he hasn't found his form at all.

Midfield's in a mess. It's a fact. There's no cohesion and I sensed we missed Momo Sissoko a lot in this game. His constant pressurising and tracking are missed and the partnership between Zenden and Alonso looked out of place. The wingers we've bought in still have yet to justify their place in the squad and Gerrard's form is still a major concern.

Strikers? Without the supply, they're just chasing shadows and feeding off scrapes.

I have looked through the fixtures list for the next 10 games and honestly, if we want to finish at least 4th, we must NOT drop any more points. I've been saying this time and again this season till I'm sick and tired of it already, but we must really start to kick into gear and find some momentum.

I wouldn't blame anyone directly. But I think everyone on the pitch today need to carry their responsibilty with that sort of performance. You've let us down and you must show what you're made off and why you deserve the endless surport you've received for years.


Chee Sheng said...

u have summed it up very nicely.
i sure hope that we can win the league during my lifetime. Good thing is i'm still young...


I've got this feeling that the last thing that would complete my life would be Liverpool winning the league. HAHA. Sounds crazy.

Elia said...

If my Red Sox can win the World Series.I have no doubt Liverpool will get it done in the near future.I had high hope for Gonzalez,but I don't know maybe loan him out to a smaller club to get more experience in the league.Right now he looks very mediocre not the same player I saw in Spain.It probbly wouldn't happen,but his play against United was very poor also.Will Harry play this year?somebody needs to step up on the left because right now I have little faith in Gonzalez.

p.s. nice touch to your blog with the stats on your sidebar


Ace Cowboy said...

Something tells me Rafa's gone unless he makes some serious strides in the CL this year, like winning the whole goddamn thing.

I'm really just very confused about the Reds. One day they look awesome with Kuyt and Crouch capitalizing on the service of the midfield, the next they look hapless and not even in the same ballpark as the Chelseas and Gunners of the world. Good god, I thought Watford coulda beaten them yesterday. You're right, putting Liverpool in the Big Four is really just wishful thinking at this point.

The three goals were from Flamini, Toure and Gallas?! I mean, C'MON, at least give up goals to goal scorers, right? They did a shitty job of marking anyone. Look at how well Arsenal's back four played and you see how ridiculously poor the Reds backfield was. Arse shut Liverpool down without Reds even challenging Sore Throat Jens' backup. It's fucking Almunia, take shots on net from wherever, get balls in on him, test the f*cking guy! Between Riise and Stevie who can score from anywhere, they didn't do a good job of that.

The midfield is a joke right now. They're karate's a joke (sorry, Danny LaRusso reference). Gerrard is playing like dog-doo, and everyone else is just not good at anything on either side of the ball. Zenden and Pennant blow, Xabi Alonso is not what he once was or what he could be, and MoMo is out for what will seem like forever. It's a PROBLEM, and it won't be addressed for a while. This is gonna be a long season.

My solution? Bring in Daniel Agger on defense, in the center. He brings a little speed and hopefully he can shake things up. Then maybe Pepe Reina will get his head out of his arse. Put Gerrard back in the middle, and hope Luis Garcia gets fit in a hurry. That solves nothing, but at least it's a start.

Oy, I wish I knew how to fix this team, but I'm thinking it's gonna take until the transfer window to get this sorted out. I feel like giving up on Warnock so quickly was a huge mistake right now...


You've got some points there but I think the board will not be in a rush to sack him because after all, he has won the Champions League and FA Cup to buy himself some time. I myself think that he should not leave anytime soon as well because even Shankly took a while before he built up a great Liverpool team. We used to be in a decline and I still believe Rafa is now stopping the rot and bringing us into the right direction.

I think once again this has to do with the mentality of the players. Some are not in the right state of mind. Remember earlier in the season where we struggled to get goals home and away? It's sort of the same situation and I think we'll see an improvement soon, albeit little too late.

Summer signings have been very disappointing thus far. Other than Kuyt who has been one of our best performers so far, the others either don't fit in (Aurelio) or not good enough (Pennant). Bellamy is having confidence crisis like the rest of the team do and Mark Gonzo is too lightweight for the Premiership although he needs time to get used to the physical approach.

And yes, Agger should've started in defence because Hyypia's already near the pass-out date and we should only use him for European games where the pace of the game is much slower and his experience is vital.

PS: Do you mean Lucas Neill? I thought he performed pretty well against Utd.

Lena said...

Agreed; too mediocre summer signings (except Kuyt, who seems like an intelligent, hard-working striker).

I just can't help but wonder if Gerrard will leave at the end of this season. It certainly wouldn't surprise me.


Hey lena, I'm worried about that too. Actually all along I knew he's gonna leave us someday just a matter of time and I'm sort of mentally prepared already.

I'll link up your blog by the way. very interesting!

louis` said...

based on the comments from above, i guess many of us are bitterly disappointed. i'm no exception. i am sure many of us have expectated more from liverpool from the start of season, which led to such disappointment.

now i can hope for is a 4th place and win some cups back..



Sometimes the higher the expectations, the more disappointing things will get. Actually I never really thought we'll going to challenge but just to improve from last season and then get in more quality players before the final push.