Since the Burnley game, LFC has played against Debrecen in the CL, West Ham in the league and Leeds last night in the Carling Cup. I did not get to catch the Debrecen game but, as with the other two games, LFC won not so 'comfortably too' I was told.
We are sitting 'comfortably' at third place in the league after the West Ham game when a few teams in the top five dropped points as expected. We are at the moment only one point worse compared to the same fixtures from last season. So all the dark and gloom in the few weeks after the season kicked off was just knee-jerk reactions from worried fans understandably. Third place at this time of the year is not so bad, and being 6 points off the league leader Chelsea is not a catastrophic situation. This could of course easily change soon if the likes of Arsenal, Man City and Villa win their game in hand.
The fans supporting the greatest team in the BPL if not the europe or the world, could be forgiven for having such high expectations. If we don't win by 8 goals margin, with 4 goals scored beautifully from 30 yards out before halftime in which the ref would need his arse pumped because he swallowed his whistle engraved with 'Mancs forever', then there will be some quarters who will ask for some heads to roll. Such are the expectations of some passionate fans.
There are so many issues being the talk of town at the moment. The positives of course include Torres' superb two goals against the Hammers, with the first being so awesome we will never forget it ever. His second goal won us the game. For a player who has 'lost his form and playing below his best', scoring 5 goals so far is not so bad. If Torres is not rated as the best striker in the world right now, then it is because of the biased media and pure jealousy.
Another main issue that has been the talk of town is Carra's contributions to the team. Granted that he has made a few errors that could have cost us something, but one could expect these errors taking into account his age. To me, Carra should never be blamed totally just as we should not blame the zonal marking which has provided us such great defensive results in the past. I do not want to dwell in this topic so much but suffice to say his presence in the team is crucial because he marshals the others alongside him in defense so well.
This season, Rafa seems to have decided to go after the jugular of opponents, and rightly so since some of us fans used to criticise him and his defensive strategy in the past that we felt have cost us the premiership. It does look like we aim to win games nowadays rather than not lose with the defense playing higher up the pitch. This I am optimistic will pay its dividends at the end of the season.
Sometimes the players around do not heed Carra's callings, with Johnson still new to the system with Arbeola gone, and sometimes Carra comes against faster and better and younger players whom he could have unestimated. And sometimes players that score the goal against us should be given due credit for outwitting the defense, just like how we credit Torres for outjumping the opponents players to head in his goal or get past three players and toe-poke for a goal. But as long as we outscore our opponents, I am not duly worried.
Last night's game against Leeds saw our second stringers getting a chance to show their worth. Against a settled Leeds side that has won a string of games at home in the lower league, we should be happy with the 1-0 win. I am sure if our first team were playing, we would have won the game by at least a 4 goals margin. As it was, our second stringers guaranteed more games under their belt this season and more chances to prove themselves to Rafa for a place in the first eleven.
The biggest topic at the moment is of course the manner in which the Mancs beat ManCity, which was already weakened by the ejection of Adebayour who faced the FA music in such quick fashion. Especially when the winning goal was scored after the 6 minutes (yes! six minutes!) injury time was over. Justification for the added time was indeed lame. It is very appalling how some referees get away with these types of 'blunder'. A little bit of controversy is good for the game, but too much kills it.
A friend of mine screamed blood, as I am sure many other football fans from around the world did too, and suggested that we start to bombard those who are responsible via emails for destroying the game that we all love.
If this is not evidently a case of match-fixing, then I guess there are more blind people in the BPL as I would have thought. This is not the first time this has happened and will not be the last time too. Just like the new ruling imposed for next season that requires teams to register 7 players, if I am not wrong, who are under 21 and who have trained in England for at least 3 years. No sweat. Big teams will just start recruit younger players, not necessarily English, and make sure they get their minimum 3 years of training before being unleashed in the Premiership before they are twenty one.
I would not be surprised if soon we see the support for the BPL dwindle and football fans start to follow the Bundesliga. This, of course, on top of following the La Liga which is improving steadily every year. I would not also be surprised if the FAs from around the world think twice before sending their future coaches and referees to get their badges in England. After all, so much farce is being thrown about by the so-called experts of football. As the famous line says: May a thousand flies...