match: at last the monkey’s off the back. and at last some sense were made by rafa, albeit (lots) of luck were carried into them. the first half was atrociously bad and not surprisingly it is down to the usual suspect. rafa tried to experiment using riise and aurelio switching positions often in the match and it created disharmony on the left side of the pitch. because of this, the movement off the ball was ridiculously poor and this makes benayoun to be overworked on the right side of the field. only ONE shot was made on target in the first half, crouch unluckily hitting the bar right at the end of the half.
the second half was given much hope, especially after rafa realised what gobshite this player of riise is undoing to the team. on comes babel and straight away, he began to terrorize the flanks with his pace, power and penetration. however as usual, i find rafa’s tactics to be very confusing. he seems to direct his wingers to switch flanks every so often. one second they were there, another they were on the other side. if viewers like me can be confused just by looking at it, one wonders what may be going on in the minds of the players.
‘pool were still struggling coming into the last quarter of the game. there is still no threat to the fulham goal and torres and lucas were brought on to the field to inject some penetration. now, everyone will say about torres being the saviour of last night’s match, but i guess there is something about this lucas fella. he seems to be becoming the *luck* factor to this team. the moment he stepped onto the field, reina swung the big kick for torres to chest down – and scored. i can’t put a finger to anything, but (hopefully) as the season wears on and as lucas matures, he can become new hamann + mccalister clone that i’ve been dreaming about.
and crouch! yes finally he started from the onset and did not disappoint. i totally agree with the commentators that crouch and torres is the best combination there is for ‘pool. both are technically good, holds the ball well, jangly and (at least) can head the ball. but we all know rafa won’t keep this for the next match, right?
it was a huge relief after the match ended. and where was kuyt? *phew*
reina: made 2 (or 3) wonderful saves. steady.
arbeloa: likes to get forward, but distribution is still weak.
carragher: he looks funny trying to pass the ball.
hypia: solid. at last. albeit weaker opposition.
riise: i wish there was a sniper shooting at him to the head. cannot kick, cannot pass, cannot defend and cannot even throw a decent throw in. every touch he makes will be given immediately to the opposition. fucker.
gerard: anonymous for most parts. more alarmingly was the way he celebrated the goal but ignoring torres approach. he seems to be realising that his status as the main main at anfield is dwindling with torres becoming more and more the saviour of the lot. watch this space.
mash: off day. bad passing.
aurelio: at least he can pass the ball and runs with the head. not bad.
voronin: i dont understand his game. he’s a striker, but he keeps playing at the bottom left flank and supplying crosses from deep. and he likes to fluff the easiest of chances.
crouch: he’s the target man and can hold up the ball brilliantly. please keep him rafa!
babel: initiative and damn powerful.
lucas: lucky charm.
match rate: 7/10
interesting quip: what is that pinkish badge that looks like a flower that all the managers even the commentators are wearing?