Fulham 3-1 Liverpool
Painful, utterly painful. As I watched my beloved Reds fall to pieces yesterday, I wondered what we are doing wrong.
Given the clubs financial problems, I don’t expect Liverpool to pull a Real Madrid, but I honestly do believe we have class players. Why, then, can’t they get it right? I recently read an article about how Rafa has a gentleman’s agreement with Real Madrid to move to Los Blancos. It went on to speculate that he cannot leave Liverpool as he is under a contract, so he is trying to get fired! I personally don’t believe these claims, and due to our bad spate of results, speculation is bound to do their rounds. But I feel a club of Liverpools stature need proper financial backing. It feels like the American owners Gilette and Hicks, are barely managing to keep the club from drowning. How are we to compete with the crème de la crème of Europe without funds? I like to believe that money doesn’t talk in today’s game, but it sure as hell couldn’t do any harm having an extra buck or two!
The injury problems keep many a Red fan up at night. Not only does Torres’ fitness seem to worry us every couple of months, but we’re buying players so that they can sit on the recovery table for 6 weeks before fit… Let’s hope Mr. Aquilani is worth the wait. Our problems really began before the season kicked off. Our players seem to take blows one after the other.
We were without Gerrard, Johnson, Reira, Aurelio, Skrtel, Agger and Aquilani for yesterday’s match. Yes that’s seven, SEVEN of our first team not even named in the squad! I agree that we didn’t have a full strength squad to face Fulham, but nobody was expecting this result.
Next thing is… What was Rafa Benitez thinking when he made those substitutions??? Let me run you through it…
Okay, so he took off Torres and he explained his decision. His logic was that Torres needs to be protected. He’s not 100% fit, he’s still carrying that groin injury. We face Lyon in a must win match midweek. He needs to be rested. Fine! But to take off your star man when your team is stuck in a 1-1 deadlock, and when no one else is looking like scoring? More so, once Torres was subbed, Fulham’s confidence seemed to grow, which ultimately led to their second goal. Ryan Babel gets brought on. Without being disrespectful to Babel, he is not nearly half the player that Torres is… Maybe we can look past the Torres sub, after all, we do need him for Lyon.
Next, when we were 2-1 down, Yossi Benayoun, who was the most creative player on the field gets withdrawn, and Ayala comes on. Why withdraw your best chance when he’s fully fit for someone who’s never really proved himself in the Red shirt?
Then, when your team is down to 9men with the captain is sent off; Dirk Kuyt, who was the most experienced player in the pitch at that point gets subbed for newbie Ecclesten. This seemed to give Fulham an extra surge of confidence and exploited their 2 man advantage and went on to score the third.
Very, very poor decisions Mr. Benitez!
I feel all of the above mentioned factors are contributing to Liverpool’s fall from grace. I just hope we can pick up the pieces. A niggling thought that still bugs me every time I watch Liverpool, is that big gaping hole in our midfield! We really do miss Xabi; there is no replacement for him. Watching him play for Real Madrid is really tough. Madrid has also had a bit of a hard time recently, but Xabi has been phenomenal! This was supposed to be our year, instead, yet I wonder if we’ll be competing in the Champions League next season…
Let me know how you feel about the situation at Liverpool.