Title Race Back?
First of all, by putting that title don't suggest that I believe all the SkySports hype and Arsene Wenger's post match interview about how they helped everyone back into the title race. I personally think that the result on Sunday is one that many neutral fans are split into groups. One believing that we're still in it while the other group think it's beyond us.
It can be put in many perspective. Mine is that a United win was for our own good because it looked damn likely that United will win it and it's only a matter of time. So rather, we want them to kick Arsenal off our back. But then with that Arsenal win, suddenly the title race looked to be opened up once again.
I'm not sounding like a defeatist but rather, realistically, I don't see how ManYoo can be able to drop so many points in the coming few matches. They have been on a roll and must count themselves really unlucky to lose at the Emirates. They're very lucky with injuries, winning when not playing very well and for much of the season, showed more hunger than any team in the league. So to throw away the lead now is just plain unthinkable. Losing the title now will have to be the biggest screw up in football history after Drogba and Ballack's freekick.
But then looking at another perspective, football is sometimes, or most of the time, without logic. It just defies common sense and things just happened, like that. I'm no fortune teller but it'll take some mental strength and character to recover from that defeat at Arsenal. They might feel unjust and then blow it. Who knows?
But I still believe the title is theirs for the taking and still theirs to lose. They're still in the driving seat and with Chelsea falling as quickly as someone touches Robben, they could still walk away with it.
Bringing the 'Good Cup Team' Attitude Into Premiership
For the last 3 years under Rafa Benitez, Liverpool have been rather unfairly named as a good 'cup team' due to our luck in recent cups like the Champions League and the FA Cup. We have always gone into those cup games with the correct mentality and attitude, which ultimately ensured victory. Even against all the odds, we beat the likes of Juventus, Chelsea and ManYoo in recent times to go on and lift the trophy.
But in the league, there have been times we've been found wanting especially earlier this season when our league form is bordering horrendous. We dropped so many points away from home and the players all looked disinterested, jaded and lacked confidence. But once they got into gear, they managed to steamroll past most of the teams in the league lately. How is it imaginable that it was November when our goal difference was 0 and now it stands +21.
The spirit is back and the belief is instilled due to some good performance. And with that sort of confidence and belief, we welcomed Chelsea into our den and gave them a teaching. Watch the game again, then go back and watch those gutless defeat to United, Arse and Chelsea earlier in the season. What do you see?
We have been far too conservative at times till we looked like we're there just for the taking. We looked frail, weak and there wasn't a single sign of fighting spirit. We surrendered meekly and nobody gave a damn about it. Then rewind it forward to the Chelsea game. We started off at a fast pace, close down the space well and came out with belief. The 11 players looked fearless, without a doubt that they'll win the game. They treated it like a cup final game (except it didn't end up 3-3).
If we can play against the top teams with that sort of attitude and mentality, we will do well. That is the thing I'm looking for in the players in the following months to come with huge games coming. We cannot afford to feel inferior anymore. We're Liverpool after all.
"Bye Bye Mourinho!"
The whole of Anfield chants. I dislike the Portugese for some of his antics. But lately, he seemed to have mellowed down, humbled and during the post match interview, he spoke sense, for the first time since he took over. He sounded like he surrendered it. And when the self proclaimed Special One said he can't do much about it, you know what he meant. It was all brags, there was no Special One. He's just an egoistic manager who is now made to eat humble pie after years of being at the top. Now he know how it feels to fall back down to earth and have a taste of reality.
I'm not gloating. I'll like him to stay in the Premiership for the entertainment factor. He has been charismatic at times, charming and added colours in a rather dull league. Without him, you'll still hear Wenger vs Fergie every single week. How boring!
Admittedly, he made mistakes. The biggest one being his speech about the 'untouchables' recently. I've pointed out few weeks back in my post about how that speech might come back and haunt him and I think I'm right. Now the Chelsea squad looked disorganised, disinterested and disintegrated. Not all his fault though. We all know who's behind it.
"I didn't Join West Ham For $$$$$"
Guess who? Yes, the one who has been linked with us for the past half a year, Lucas Neill. In case you didn't know, he joined the Hammers without making much of a ripple in the football world due to concentration on the so called 'Grand Slam Weekend'.
He went on to explain how he didn't join WHU for the money...blah blah...like who listens? I didn't bother reading the article past line 2.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Title Race Back?