Sunday, November 04, 2007

Wasteful Reds Held

English Premiership

Blackburn 0 - 0 LIVERPOOL

Liverpool's unbeaten run this season continues as they were held to a dull nil-nil draw by Blackburn Rovers. But the visiting Reds will surely be disappointed by the outcome as well as the overall performance as they huffed and puffed their way through.

There was a apparent lack of urgency from the away side and only started to pound on the Blackburn goal in the last 10 minutes of the game, especially when Rafa Benitez decided to throw on the out-of-favour Peter Crouch and the injury-proned Harry Kewell.

Given the nickname as a 'cup final' player, Kewell came on to make an impact but still looked a long way from full match fitness.

Crouch, too, came on and nearly gave an undeserving lead after connecting well with Steven Gerrard's corner but it was cleared off the line.

Despite impressing in his previous outing against Arsenal, Dirk Kuyt was preferred by Benitez to play upfront on his own and it took only a glance to tell that Kuyt was ineffective as a one man strike force.

He couldn't be blamed for much of the game as the Liverpool midfield were stifled by an organised and tenacious Blackburn team and it is of common knowledge that Liverpool lacked the spark and creative force within. There was no movement and the passing was appalling at times.

Yet when presented with chances, Dirk Kuyt fluffed it all and Liverpool will travel back to Anfield with only a point. A hard fought one indeed. As a striker at the top level, he is expected to take the chance and put Blackburn to the knife for their carelessness but as we all know, he isn't the best finisher out there.

As a striker, he is supposed to score goals but apparently, not being the 'sharpest knife in the drawer', he skied one of the best chance Liverpool had in the entire game and two others.

I personally admire his never-say-die attitude, desire, determination and mental strength but when the 'knife meets the butter', he's expected to cut it but as profligate as Liverpool had been for the past month or so, he didn't help the situation.

Especially when Torres is out with an injury and Crouch out of favour.

But to be fair, Liverpool didn't deserve to win this game as Blackburn, too, had their fair share of chances and came closer to scoring than the visiting team. Both David Dunn and David Bentley skinned the Liverpool defence and were unlucky not to score as both their shots found the frameworks instead.

As one of the 'Top 4' of England, it's apparent that Liverpool doesn't seemed to be on the same level as the other 3 teams in Chelsea, Arsenal and ManYoo as they possessed a balance team with a couple of players capable of changing the game just with a moment of magic.

Arsenal is a joy to watch and they have shrugged off their impotency and exchanged it with sharpness and maturity while ManYoo grew from strength to strength. Chelsea moved on from Jose's era and are steadily improving.

While Liverpool at times, looked like 11 strangers, clueless on the pitch and even with a tactics set by Benitez, there was no shape and players don't make runs and create space for each other, making life difficult for every players.

There were times when I thought I was watching England but at least we could control possessions better.

Though we know that Ewood Park is a tough place to visit, it is no excuse that they are there for the taking and that as a club contending for the Premiership, we ought to start to play well and get the right results. Continuing with this form is only going to make us fall backwards from the pack.

It already looked as if we're falling further away in terms of quality and that many believe that players like Kuyt, Crouch, Sissoko or Riise won't get us anywhere near the Premiership crown and it is true in some way.

But I believe Rafa has bought himself plenty of time, contrary to the tabloid reports about his job on the line, and he is capable of turning things round. But maybe he just needs to learn his lesson and stop being so stubborn and sticking to his own principles and guidelines.

Rotation or whatever the ideology is, it might work in the La Liga which he won the title, it might not happen in the Premiership.


siren said...

It's not that bad sweetie. I do agree that the tinkling of teams may not be the ideal game plan but Rafa has done pretty well for your team.

Oh the bright side, Harry Kewell's getting some running time! I hope for your sake Crouch gets more playtime - against us and against Rovers, Liverpool's pace and creativity changed with him on the field. The man is hungry for action!

kuyt_kl said...

Hi there cutie Siren..

The good news should be Kewell didn't injured himself & played a good game. That's it i guess?

Bad news..
Top 2 teams got draw, but we didn't capitalised on it.

I don't understand Rafa's gameplan with 2 defensive midfielder, i never will.. with players injured, surely lucas could replace them.

i love Kuyt, his workrate is phenomenal, i always had his back, assuming he's not scoring coz of the type of job he'd asked to do on the field, play deep, collect ball from own half.. stuff like that. Unfortunately, i can't defend him this time. His finishing was terrible, couldn't beat defence one on one. PLS improve kuyt, you were supposed to terrorised epl defences. i don't like to see you leaves.

as for crouch, i don't know, just a matter of time before he plays as poor as kuyt, voro & be slagged again by us.

Kuyt, sissoko, crouch might leave should we manages to buy quaresma,alves or villa, e'too.

for voronin, why on earth did we release fowler actually?!!

psychohare said...

relax guys, u cant blame Rafa for rotating coz our key players like Agger, Torres and Alonso are out.
and dont forget, Rafa rotates only just as much as Mancs and Chelski and Arsenal. It's a fact.
Kuyt disappointed me again. But u know, hes a steady workhorse, and that's about it. I wanna see Crouch having more play time though.
Sissoko is having a bad streak, like most of the other players, cut him some slack. We all know what he's capable of.
We are not in Tottenham's position, and we were 3rd for the last 2 seasons, why worry? The only team im worried about is Man City, coz they are high flying right now.
Relax guys.

kuyt_kl said...

as long as they're sulking to the press, i wouldn't mind them to stay (crouch, sissoko). for defensive mid. we should keep masch & xabi.
btway, Rafa's shouldn't be thinking about opponent Too much, let them worry about us.
as for rotation, it worked for him in La Liga, no prob.(but pls, no more 5 changes per game).
i don't think there are other manager better than Rafa available out there. So,

In Rafa We Trust!!

kuyt_kl said...

not sulking actually