Monday, November 17, 2008



We controlled the match more than Bolton. But at times the thought that it was going to be another one of those ‘Spurs games’ kept you worried. One of the games in which we controlled possession but gained nothing. When you see chances after chances not being taken -- Keane’s and Gerrard’s especially – the thought becomes stronger. The almost-goals when the woodworks denied us a few times did not help either. Then you receive SMSes from friends reminding you of the Spurs game. You begin to almost lose the belief totally.

You feel that this is a game we should win but then again you continue to worry. Because it has happened in the recent past. You have seen it before. And deep down you continue to belief Keane is not really going to score. You still belief our strike force in the line-up is not formidable enough to win our games comfortably for us. You belief that we have always struggled to win this season and this game is not different. You belief we are overly-dependent on Gerrard’s form and when he plays badly we will struggle further. You lose the confidence when Torres does not start.  

Even after the second goal you still do not celebrate. Mind you, we were playing without the usually strong defence. You could see how sometimes they were struggling in the game. It showed too in Reina’s performance, probably due to a lack of confidence in the lineup in front of him, especially during set-pieces. And when you see Bolton playing so robustly, you start to worry whether Agger or the aging Hyypia might get injured. And the substitute would not be able to hold on any longer and we begin to concede goals.

So when the final whistle was blown, you managed only a meek sigh of relief and start to worry about the next game.

The win put us on top for a short while before Chelsea took over the spot again. Of course losing this game was not going to be a disaster for this year’s campaign but if we were really to challenge for the top until the end of the season, we need to win games like this one. In fact, you don’t really expect Chelsea to lose many games this season. And of course we do not win the league title by beating only the big four. 

When the ref was signalled for Torres to come in, the look on Keane’s face said a thousand words when he saw he was the one being substituted. Many thought Keane was blatantly angry or even arrogant. Disappointed I am very sure but I felt he was just as surprised as many of us. Maybe Benitez had a game plan in the preparations for this game. Something like Torres to come in and play alongside Keane. But I guess Benitez was thinking of the deadly combination of Torres and Gerrard upfront that worked so well towards the end of last season. And it worked as well too when we scored the second goal. This line-up also meant Bolton were a bit more cautious at the back and defended a bit deeper which affected their raids forward. This was truly one of those ‘In Rafa we trust’ moments. Imagine if we had not bought Keane or we do not really need to play him as often as possible to justify his purchase.

Who can argue against this fact? He comes in, shows how big a threat he is with his positioning and speedy runs and skills and attempts, and then executes the perfect pass to Gerrard to head in the second goal. Something which he created out of nothing. Yet again we see the understanding between him and Gerrard. That one act alone is worth millions, not to mention how it also helped Gerrard’s to make-up for his earlier poor efforts.

Benitez mentioned the other day it would be fantastic if we had 5 Gerrards and 5 Carras in the team. But I prefer to also have at least 3 Torreses. Simply brilliant! Many fans would not argue against one of the SMS sent by a friend (Selva) after the second goal that read ‘Torres we love you’. If Torres were English, he would have been the new ‘God’ of England football surely.

I remember around ten years ago when Hyypia was signed up by Houllier for 2.5 million, everyone asked who the hell is this guy? Together with Stephane Henchoz, he proved to be a towering pillar in the central defence. Then his partnership with Carra has made him into a legend at LFC. Now at 35 years old, you would think he would be less of a force he used to be. But seeing his blonde head clearing one after another aerial threats in the few games he has been played this season is very comforting indeed. He was disappointed to be left out of the squad list for the CL this season, but I guess Benitez knows better. He is not as fast as he used to be and should have more rest than the other youngsters, but he is certainly a great player to be trusted as a cover for either Agger, Carra or Skrtel.

They are at it again and this time it is about the extension for Benitez’s contract and the issue of copyrighting of the Liverbird. We need better owners who are true to their words. Period.


kajang-today said...

bro khan,
with Chelsit firing on all cylinders, losing or even a draw is not an option anymore. Dropped points will hurt in the long run.
Liverpool game is not advisable to heart patient. The suspense is unbearable at times.
In every game, they created hatful of chances but failed to convert them. This is one particular area they need to improve on. Keane will reach double figure but not more than 15, once in every 2 matches left.

Khan said...

true bro K-T
Hope we get some players in the january transfer window, ones who could come in and straight away do a good job like Skrtel.

Anonymous said...

Sorry macha quite busy over the weekend and just found some time to comment. It's a fantastic way you have stated the understatements. Overall I don't have any major complains about our team's performance as I notice the players are trying their best. However, the finishing is a headache for everyone. Bad luck and lack of confidence in our strikers were clearly seen during this match. I disagree that we should look for instant strikers to slove our problems. I'm afraid the inclusion of new strikers would only destablise our team. Instead we should further strengthen our defence which I think is quite fragile. The secret of success of teams like Chelsea and Man U is their defence. If you notice, they don't concede easily and remain tight throughout their matches. Although I said "Torres We Love You" but I have to admit he could have done better. I totally agree with Rafa's dissatisfaction towards Torres. However, I think Rafa is a little biased here. Why didn't he say anything about Gerrard whose performance has taken a suddden slump. What about Riera? This chap kept on falling down at crucial moments! Anyway, let's keep our faith in team and hope we could win every match (without heart attack) until we clinch the title. I will never rest in peace if Man U catches up with us. Things are getting tighter man. YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE - SELVA.

Khan said...

I feel we need backup strikers..better ones, better than Keane (not to say that he is not doing well now but we need goals). When you see the other big teams scoring 4-5 goals a week you tend to worry, no? Just compare the goal difference between us and chelsea. When other teams are busy defending, they tend to attack less. As one hockey coach used to say 'attack is the best form of defense' hehe.
Reira needs to change boots at halftime la..maybe then he would be brilliant throughout the whole game. Rafa would be crazy to critise Gerrard overly in the open..always does it subtly though with good reasons.
yeah..any team but manure!