Granted that the league is never won in November. Granted also that the league is never lost in November. But still, having beaten the likes of Chelsea and Manure, you would expect that we would beat the most bottom team in the league at this stage. After all, we are challenging for the league title. I have to admit that I saw this coming. The loss to an on-form Spurs and also the lead to Chelsea is not a good sign at all. Last season, if we had beaten Manure both home and away, we would have won the league. This time around, we have beaten almost all of the top half teams but when we are expected the beat the lesser teams, we failed. Remember Stoke City at home?
It is pointless of having two third of possession and numerous chances when you don’t score goals. After Kuyt’s goal in the third minute, we saw Spurs’ defence being panicky and were making mistakes after mistakes. And we should have killed the game there and then. At that stage, I am sure we were all very confident of scoring a second goal. But alas, it never did come. In fact, Liverpool actually went into a cocoon and we suspect they were preserving their energy for Wednesday’s CL game. The start of the second half saw us raiding Spurs again and again. But yet again, all the forwards were disappointing. As the match continued, our belief started to diminish too. When Alonso and even Gerrard did not hit the ball good enough to score, we lost the belief. Where was the next goal going to come from? When even the goal post is against us, I guess that was when we started to think maybe we have used up all our luck in the previous matches.
Then the unthinkable happened. Benitez took out Keane and put in Babel. Sorry la, to me that was not astute at all. Here we are, looking for goals and you bring in a player who is so used to playing on the left flank in place of a 20 million proven striker? If Keane was injured or something, how about playing Kuyt as the striker? Yes, Babel has in the past got us out of jail, but after being sidelined for so long, did we really expect him to be at his best? He was so rusty that I was surprised Benitez decided to play him. Did he really perform so well in training to be given that particular responsibility in this match?
This begs the question of whether we have the depth in our squad. If Benitez argues that the players available to him are not all good enough to win matches, then I am on his side. Oh, we need to play Kuyt on the right because he is the best and only option. Oh, we don’t have a better rightback who could really overlap and cross like Dossena on the left hence Kuyt needs to be played on the right. But a rusty Babel as the striker? This is also not the first time we controlled a game and either lost or drew because we could not kill off games with a second goal. If LFC is really serious in becoming a contender for the league title, they have to address this soon, in the January transfer window. That’s it if we are still in the running. All the hard work of instilling the belief that we are good enough for the league title is now halfway into the drain. Yes, leagues are never won in November, but when you see the other big four teams (Arsenal is not one of them, really!) winning comfortably against lesser teams, we need to start improving our squad. We could theoretically be so far off the pace by Christmas because of games we did not win in November that buying players in January would just be a formality. Then, we will only look for so-so players for the future and knock our heads over and over again for the opportunity lost. There’s no denying that we need strikers of Torres calibre on the substitute bench. So, in summing up pessimistically, I would like to dedicate the international gesture of contempt using both my middle fingers to the not-so-new American owners. Thank you for screwing us around and for not doing enough to make us into a formidable force. May a thousand flies….
5 hours ago