Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lucky Strikes

Now I know a lot of Kopites will be celebrating the win over the blue nosed bastards & thinking we've turned the corner. Sorry, but me being the pessimistic supporter is still unconvinced that we are anywhere nearer to ending our league title drought.
Now, after the euphoria of winning an explosive derby, let's put things into perspective. The ref won it fer us. Yes, we deserved the two pens & they were red card offences. But wouldn't you say likewise regarding the two times Lescott was impeded in our area; especially the stoppage time incident when he was wrestled to the ground by our Carra. Kuyt was also lucky fer his off-the-ground & two-footed challenge.

As I've said before, if we don't like being robbed by refereeing decisions, we shouldn't expect to win because of em. The ref was fooking crap & their ilk is fast destroying the game we love. How long before a Seria A-type debacle stains the English game. Look at the number of high profile games where the ref has been the talking point instead of the footie - LFC v Chelsea, Man Utd v Chelsea & now the Merseyside derby.

As fer Rafa's tactics, can someone explain why he did nothing to stop the threat Lescott posed throughout the match? Why was it necessary fer us to fooking play our strikers so deep that they are part of the midfield? And why, oh why, does one take off yer captain when a derby is finely poised at 1-1?
Rafa said it was to have a player who could hold & pass the ball better ie the raw & untested Lucas Leiva. So take off Momo, not Stevie G who lives fer these occassions. Fooking hell, this is a derby game & you take off the one player who gives us a psychological edge (in the absence of Torres) over our opponents!?! As commentator (& ex-Blue Nose) Andy Gray remarked, David Moyes will be the happiest man at Goodison to see Gerrard off the field.

We fooking struggled even when faced with 10 men when we should be pummelling them. Instead it was Everton who seized the initiative. Fer a study in contrast, just look at how our rivals dispatched their opponents. Arsenal were well below par but still comfortably walked all over Bolton. The Mancs comprehensively dismantled Villa away even though they were a goal down.
Yes, it was a hard battle won & sometimes you need the rub of the green. But I have a strange feeling it will be the usual case of false dawns & one step forward, three steps backwards come the do-or-die mission v Besiktas & the gunner's visit next weekend.
Why? You do not win the English Premier League by having changed yer side 106 consecutive times . . .
PS: I sincerely hope I am wrong bout this, really I do. As usual I look forward to yer comments on this subject we all hold so dear to our hearts.


ISA said...

again, i have to agree with Bala here. the performance was crap although ultimately its the result that counts. We were lucky. Carra was lucky (for his wrestling antics with 'Bobby Brown' Lescott) and Rafa still amazes me with his tactical decisions.

When u are one-man up with the Toffee's central defender off, what do you do? you take off our most influential player? strange, unless of course stevie was carrying an injury...and leave 2 defensive midfielders, one of which can't hit a barn door from inside the barn? a bit harsh but let's face it...Momo is a very hardworking player, disrupts opposition attacks but thats it. Nothing more, nothing less. AND when your opponent is one down, your numerical advantage should be enuff to dispense with a foiler and add an attacker...i.e Babel..

but then again, who am I to comment? i am just an angst-filled lawyer...

p.s finally made my maiden appearance at a MyRAWK gathering...well done chaps..keep up the good work. Lets remind those other so-called supporters'club (ARE THEY CHEVSKI IN DISGUISE???) what it means to support our beloved REDS...

JonC said...

It was the usual 100 miles per hour and leg kicking action we have come to expect - more so in the 2nd half this time round. Lucky to escape from conceding atleast a peno IMHO. But it was still a great 3 points made all sweeter by seeing the Mancunian getting sent off. Overall, we still need to improve a lot to really be challenging those above us.

I have to give a hats off to Rafa for having the the spanish bull's balls to sub SG for Leiva. He was right, we couldn't hold and pass the ball well enough against a stubborn 10 men bitters but it was Sisoko who was supposed to be replaced not the captain.

That must have shook and dumb folded everyone - not only StevieG and Reds, but the bitters on the pitch as well. Hence Leiva was able to do his thing and ultimately won us the penalty.

Was great to finally be able to meet up with the famous En. Isa!!! Hope you enjoyed it.

Bernard said...

Farking hell, I've got nothing more to add but agree with what's already been said. I disagree with En Isa's likening of Lescott with Bobby "Crackhead" Brown though. The pundek looks more like a Klingon-la!

anfield devotee said...

Please note I am delighted we won the derby; sure beats getting hammered 3-0!

Me pessimism still does not preclude me from having sweaty palms & anxiety attacks throughout the 90mins. And like the rest of you, I was punching the air when Kuty scored. In fact, I suffered a bloody hypertensive headache after the game (seriously)& had to take me meds.

But Rafa's tactical decisions have been baffling & to take off CAPT SCOUSE in this match rather than "Diego" Momo was astounding!

Am at pains to stress that title winning managers do NOT rotate their squads 106 consecutive times. That is an alarming statistic, perhaps even a damning one.

Again, I would love nothing more to be proven wrong come the end of the season & we are celebrating some silverware (even the FA Cup will do me) but the way we are playing, it does not bode well.

Fer those of you who think Rafa has balls of steel fer making the change as well as fer sticking to the formation fer nearly 60mins; how would you feel if the ref had actually done his job right & we lost the game?

PS: Great to hear attendence was superb at MYRAWK gathering. Wish I could join you but am under strict orders to avoid smoke & booze . . . sob!

redgav said...

I think the reaction and expression of the L'pool fan caught by the camera after Stevie G was substituted says it all! I m no lip-reader but i think he said "What d F##@!"

senorita.. said...

the most important thing for you to do now is take good care of your health... and go easy on the pressure.

Mr D said...

While not totally convinced about the win, I take it as we scored all the goals.

While the no called penalty was a taking point there were a few other things to note which noone seems to have bothered to look at coz we won:

1. Kuyt was wrongly called offside twice and in the first instance he would have scored in the 12th minute.
2. Everton GK Tim Howard handled the ball outside the area and there was no whistle there.

Also, note that while SG was on the pitch we created 6 scoring chances, in the 20 minutes he was off we created 6 chances. This included the two chances that Voronin and Momo screwed up brilliantly.

Interesting stat!!!!!

Sure it looked like a crazy

Momo can not pass to save his life unfortunately and he has to go. His passing has cost us a match already.

@dam said...

First of all, Gerrard off in derby or not should not be an issue.

I think we have put too highly of him. He is not performing well and he should be dropped if he is not delivering. There's no question about that. If a player is not dispensable, then there's no need for a manager! He is not in charged.

If bringing in Lucas for Gerrard did not lead to a win,...if dropping Gerrard from the last few games led to all wins...Benitez got this right and we should stop putting down Rafa! I wonder what will all of us say too if Gerrard did not feature in the last few and all are wins!

It has been stated in the newspaper Gerrard's presence in the center of midfield might be a possible problem to Liverpool. Although I disagree a lot with the article as it is clear pro-M*n U*d, but time and again it has been shown without Gerrard Liverpool have shown better stats! Think Henry! These players bring in something but also take away some!

A win is a win! Three points is three points. If such performance continue until the end of season and Liverpool win it, let's not rejoice and say OUT RAFA!

@dam said...

On Sissoko, since he came I have never looked highly of him. He can tackle and win balls but he loses as soon as he gains them!

He is young though and I am not putting him in the same shoes as Viera! He can be Viera in Liverpool but not yet. On his performance recently...let's think Puasa and Raya! I don't like making excuses for him but clearly he needs matches. A substitution for him will be bad. For Gerrard, it is not much damage on him! He is mature enough and he don't need such games to pull himself up!

I thought the second half was good. The blame is on the ones in the 12 yard box. Their shooting is worse than mine!

On another player which surprisingly was not slated this time, Hyypia! Count the headers he won! He contributed to the win this time. Agger would not have won that many headers.

alliedmartster said...

Fer crying out loud! Rafa was right!
We needed to play with our heads, not our hearts!
There is no question about Stevie G and his commitment. The chances we have got towards the end of the game speaks for itself. The winning goal came from an effort by leiva (this is not to say that he is a great player and I am in awe of him) but if you recall, Stevie tried his best to change the game single handedly (again).
Th result was great. We were luck, with the ref losing his balls to award a last minute penalty.
All said, I still agree with Bala that we shouldn't be messing with our best 11!

anfield devotee said...

dear @dam: again, u seem to have missed the point. No one is asking Rafa to leave, we are just trying to make sense of his tactics.

1) Stevie G is our Capt Scouse & the one game that motivates him more than most is the derby. He wasn't playing badly, was he? Plus you disregard the psychological threat he poses to opponents.

2) A win is a win? Not if we got it simply because the ref fooked up. Did you not hear what the commentators (all the ex-epl pros like Andy Gray, Macca & Gerry Armstrong) were saying? Rafa's tactics were not working save fer the opening 15minutes.

3) u criticise Momo, so shouldn't u agree that Leiva should have taken his place instead of Stevie G's?

mr D: Regarding our 6 chances AFTER Stevie G is subbed, shouldn't that be the case when we are trying to win v 10 men? And yes, ref did make some wrong/dubious calls against us but they weren't as a blatant as the penalty denied to the blue nose bastards.

alliedmartster: RE Rafa's statement - "We need to play with our heads, not our hearts".

Eh, its a derby la fer fook's sake. Its the passion that keeps things going. Who is he trying to kid by treating this like any other game? It just ain't!!!

Mark said...

Like some of you, I was baffled when Rafa decided to substitute Stevie instead of Momo who at times makes me wish Everton had signed him. As Isa has pointed out, he is a hard worker than covers a lot of ground but he offers little going forward. I do hope he develops his game quickly but at the moment, he is too limited a player.

This was the Merseyside derby and the 2 players you know would be up for it are Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. I was rather surprised with Gerrard's body language throughout the game though. Unlike Carra who was barking at his teammates and contesting every decision including which way the wind was blowing, Stevie looked rather subdued and was not his fiery self. I still would not however have taken him off. This was a game where form goes out the window and heart gives you a little edge. The first thing I said to this bloke next to me (can't remember who it was, Jonno???), was "imagine the amount of flak Rafa would get tomorrow if we lose". Thankfully however things worked out for the better as Lucas settled in rather well which is another thing. Here is a young lad, though not lacking in experience, was thrown in to the deep end of the pool and he adapted admirably.

anfield devotee said...

everyone: yes, the stevie G subbing is a major talking point. But so far no one has answered me other tactical queries.

1) Why didn't Rafa do anyhting top counter the Lescott threat? Did u not find it frustrating that the blues' leftback was constantly in OUR penalty box being marked by our striker, Voronin? Something not rite with that picture, shouldn't it be the other way around?

2) Why were our strikers everywhere except inside the Everton penalty box?

theALBERTUS said...

I dare say that with the right tactics and the right stuff will win us No.19.

Sure we're all baffled with the and choice but then again, given the burden of responsibility with a $50 million squad of talent, would you have pull off such a daring attempt? Why not! You have nothing to lose anyways.

In terms of rotation, the big teams do it. You do not see fellas like Eduardo Paco Da Silva, Tomas Rosicky or Hleb from Arsenal playing every game. C'mon if the Mancunts are doing it.

I always remember the SAS motto, "Who Dares, Wins!" That's what Rafa was doing, taking a chance that something may work even at the cost of subbing Gerarrd. Maybe this is something Steve McClaren and some of the other English managers can take a cue from taking a bloody chance for damn change. Albeit taking off Lamps was good but more can be done.

In the last 10 years, there has not been an English Manager to have lead a team as League Champions. The game now has changed and so must the tactics. So I say, a win is win and thank god its a win.

@dam said...

On Rafa's tactics, he is surely the better one than any of us here. He is the one with the players day in day out. He is the one hired by Liverpool FC. He is the one called the Tactician by the English papers. So who are we to question him? We should not ask Rafa's tactics in a negative way. Instead, seek for answers through Rafa's mind! Not against it!

I am sure Stevie G is motivated in every game. It is a derby but he is captain and he is matured. He should be motivated as highly in derby as in any game. His psychological threats? Come on, is his form making people tremble? Nobody fears Liverpool currently due to below par performances and bad press. Why Arsenal and M*n U*d firing all cylinders? They have the press advantage just like our Government! It doesn't mean they are better head-to-head but merely people fear them more. When they play Liverpool, not necessary they will trash Liverpool!

Ex-EPL Pros...hmmm....didn't they question Rafa season in season out? If nobody is tired of their talking, I am! It has always been May which shut them up so I leave it till May! Remind me to come back on this then!

Taking out Momo for Leiva instead of Stevie G...doesn't that seems imblance? With Hyypia behind instead of Agger, are you sure you want 2 attacking mids? Gerrard did not play badly but he is evreywhere causing the team to move according to his positioning.

JonC said...

Captain Scouse's persistently drifted to more central positions with his surging runs. Huge gaps were created down our right flank and that put Finnan in a pretty bad situation against the faster and younger Lescott. That should partly answer ya question Bala. ;0)

mozisgod said...

'...panic in the stands of gooodison...panic in the standsss of anfffie-eld.'...and i wonderrrr to my-mmyy-selff..could life every be the saymmeee again...mwahhahhaaaa..good to see the healthy debate *coughcough*.. having said that..i grew up with a liverpool fan. my younger bro. upto the point he even had a anfield shrine of sorts in his room...only thing missing was the kemenyan... (that is until yours truly came in...and decided to tear off his faded poster of the great danish maestro..jan molby..and ..a corner end of the dalgliesh era liverfool team..all daintily dressed in the 'sexy' 80's crown paints/candy kits...(oohh sacrilige)..but you must was on a day my team..lost to his team..or i should say...your team...and plus i was the elder farked up bro...but coming back to what i'm trying to say dudes & dudettes...when i we start thrashing each other..siap keluar kayu hoki wa cakap lu banggg...until my pop stepped in..and told us...look here's another stick...go whack each kau-kau...i want to see only one fella come back okay....allo we were 15 and 12 yrs old la fren..but..the thing is..the passion dude..the fella became so mad...and after that his eyes swelled up..(naturally away from me of course) was then..i kinda figured out the passion he had...and to tell you the truth....the only other teams fans..that i had seen with so much FERVOUR..AND PASSION.AND FARKALL ATTITUDE..(other than my team la of course) is those bloody damn merseyside utd? sorri la brader..that one all very trenddy team maaa.....he never forgave me for that i suppose...(oh yes..i can hear..all you koppittes belching in agreement)...chelsea?..that's money waving its shaggy arse around....but stevie g dude..he encapsulates that's a give a milisecond..a deft pass..he can change the whole game..the spirit...and more often than not...we have seen that..stevie g...barnesy..gazza..hoddle..ardiles..even ray clemence..who by the way...shares a grand history with your team & mine..(coughcough..).sometimes..its that few seconds of a pure magic brewer than can change timbuktu to ktulu..ok ok..gua sudah sesat tanpa haluan..i will stop now..but..seriously..i wish i had a player like the g man on my team....
see ya fellas. kudos to the passion bros.

p.s. yes bala & fellow liverpool are right.. i would have never confessed on tearing up a liverpool poster in the thick heyday of the now legendary broadwalk....what do you think i got a death wish?!!!!COYSSSSSSSS

anfield devotee said...

@dam: Good come back he he! I see what u are saying bout old Sami needing cover but everton were down to 10 men la, if we canna take advantage then, bila?

My main concern is that I have seen this kind of slump before & we nevr fooking recover. Thus I am VERY worried.

Pls la, Rafa has got NO divine rite to be shielded from criticism. His blunders in the europen cup final last season is reason enough, dude.

But keep up the opinions. Its good to have a healthy debate amongst ourselves.

JonC: I tak faham le, shouldn't he have pressured lescott into staying back. I doubt Stevie G is tactically that naive especially after one or two of Lescott's surging runs. Well, fair point anyways.

mozisgod: u better watch out mate. Big mistake to confess yer former crimes here. . . wait till someone sees yer car la, woi . . .

Isa: Just a little curious why u didn't post a comment on previous posting "Enter The Dragon"? Why?

ISA said...

u talking about those scantily clad women? nothing much to say really...its not so much of "been there done that" but i'd rather leave it be. to each his own...anyways, semuanya economics, ada demand ada supply lah..and i usually dont give a fook as to what other people wanna do with their money...

ISA said...

back to more pressing issues like rafa's tactics...although the man surprises me most times, i believe that the reason why we've been playing the way we've been playing is becoz we dont have quality cover at the back...with agger out & paletta unfortunately sold before realising his full potential (ok, i am biased towards argentinian defenders,..i have high regards for them since the days of passarela...mean, skilful & wicked) & with arbeloa not really a centreback, we've been playing with a very low line.

with agger, it was closer to the halfline, thus cramping & choking the opposition very early. But with hypia, whose game was never about speed anyway, the defenders are a bit lower than usual to compensate for the speed. as for lescott, rafa just didnt have an answer for him, i guess. so, let him run the wings all day long as long as the centre is covered, thus the reason why both momo & mascherano were playing. every defender worth his salt would know that its better to lead the forward/winger away from the centre of the box...

its quite dangerous to play that way but you have a much much better chance of defending from crosses then from forwards who come directly at you thru the center. at least its more predictable when the ball is swung in from either wings. and rafa being the ever analytical man that he is (the man has several cameras positioned around anfield at every home match to record players' movements etc, & has them analysed by some research agency...), he probably thought about the odds..

so, until agger recovers, i can't see a major change in tactics. rafa's mistake i guess was at the beginning of the season...too much hope was placed on getting heinze. bila tak dapat it was ok until agger's injury.

And when the Toffees were down to 10 men, why didnt we take the initiative? that i cannot answer. maybe rafa thinks the players had a system in place and disrupting it abruptly might bring more harm than good?? only explanation to me..

but then again, i could be wrong. aku baru bercadang nak ambil my coaching badges...

anfield devotee said...

Isa: Ha ha . . . u a coach? Perhaps it would e better if you sat fer the Ref exams seeing the amont of abuse u usally hurl at these fookers. And if u were a ref, doubt any punk would dare question yer decisions.

RE: Dragon Ladies . . . he he, thought u might be able to enlighten us la, bro! Ha ha . . . just joking!

ISA said...

i make fergie's hairdryer seem like whsipering sweet nothings in a lover's ear..hehehehe...

yes, i have been the gaffer of the M'sian Lawyers' Team for ages, with my own coaching notes..dont play play..

me a ref? u gotta be fooking kidding..with a career total of 8 red cards and numerous yellows..sorry lah..overqualified. its better to abuse than be abused.

my most memorable abuse of a ref must be the lecture to one turkish ref at the Lawyers' World Cup as to why the Turks will never be accepted into me a nice yellow..

the other that comes to mind was when i approached a ref during a game, whom i had been quite familiar with over the last 15 years or so..state,club,college, the wanker was always there..placed an arm around him & I told him that i had known him in the game for more than 15 years..and he was still fooking STOOOPID...immediate yellow greeting!! hehehe

Bernard said...

There you have it, the Malaysian Roy "Fookin 'Ard" Keane....

k_saegaran said...

anfield devotee, i being a toffee appreciate your honest take on the derby with regards to the ref. we were denied a fair game and valuable points by an incompetent match official or biased (depents on ones perspective). if this has happened to the big 4, the FA would have acted immediately. its a disgrace to the lovely game of football.