Written by Wonderman
Not much to write about today’s game, it was not much of a spectacle but still there were positives to be taken. I sat in the west stand today, behind the tv gantry and close enough to recognise Steve McManaman not too far away working for one of the tv channels. One thing that always pisses me off is when teams switch us around before kick off. Spurs were the first to do it a few seasons ago and Liverpool decided to do it today.
Prior to the match I was convinced this game had draw written all over it. As I took my seat the teams were lining up and some idiots took it upon themselves to boo Nasri when his number was called BEFORE a ball had even been kicked, fortunately there were more sensible SUPPORTERS who cheered. The absence of Kieran Gibbs meant Bacary Sagna filled in at left-back. There were full debuts for Jenkinson at right-back and Frimpong in central midfield. The bench included Fabianski, Chamahk, Bendy, Lansbury, Miguel and Miyachi .
In the first half we were performing well enough without creating any chances of note, but it is here that we can improve without too much effort in my opinion. Walcott was being double banked every time he got the ball to feet. Surely common sense should have told the players either try to play it into space for him to run on to or go and support him. Ramsey also had a bad day at the office even before his own goal. I also fail to understand how Arshavin managed to come out for the second half as he contributed nothing to the first half.
We lost Laurent Koscielny to a back injury early which saw Miquel replace him and contributed to some nervous non threatening possession. Liverpool were seemingly happy to park their five man midfield and take a valuable point, and Vermy was keeping Carroll quiet.
The turning point of the game was the sending off of Emmanuel Frimpong. But again, anyone who has bothered to do a little research would know that Mr Atkinson likes red cards and penalties and our players should have been aware of that irrespective of how many games they have played.
Dalglish showed his street wisdom by bringing on Suarez to terrorise our backline with his speed and movement. The goals Liverpool got were admittedly graced with luck: both appeared to be offside, the first one was the result of a calamitous own goal after Miquel’s clearance hit Ramsey and looped over the advancing Szczesny and the second at the death. But with ten men and a defence of Sagna at left-back, Jenkinson at right-back, and Vermaelen and Miquel in the middle, with Vermy moved to the right hand side of the CB pairing it was always going to be difficult.
Szczesny – 8 Very calm and assured, omly 1 kick went astray pulled off a very good save to his left in the first half. This boy may take some shifting
Sagna – 7 tried his best on his ‘wrong’ side in the absence of a recognised left back
Kosser – not on long enough to rate
Vermy – 9 Motm jeez have we missed him
Jenkinson – 7 committed, and willing to support, good engine and soldiered on even after getting what looked like cramp. But needs to work on his play when in possession
Miquel – 6.5 good range of passing but was understandably nervy. Often passed back to the keeper aiding Liverpool to press us high up the pitch
Ramsey – 5 was erratic, passes went astray, didn’t track back with any urgency and had little penetration in his passing. Unfortunate with the own goal
Walcott – 6 looking like a one trick pony but not helped by his team mates. If his pace was taken away he would not have been on the pitch today, not that his pace helped him. He will soon be eclipsed by Ryo
Arshavin – 4 abject, tricks didn’t come off, no work rate, no goal threat, no tracking back
Nasri – 7 decent shift under the circumstances and was pleased to see the supporters give him a boost when he came to take corners
Frimpong – 7.5 would have got 8.5 had he not been sent off, but this boy is the reason we are not going to buy a defensive midfielder, quick, powerful and aggressive. Once he controls that aggression he will be one hell of a player
Van P – 7 worked hard for the cause but very little service
Lansbury – 6 didn’t really get into the game
Bendtner – not enough time to rate
A word of caution for a so called category A game there were plenty of empty sets at the Emirates today. I don’t know if it was the kick off time or something else
A word of praise to those fellow supporters who comprehensively drowned out the morons who started to chant ‘spend some …..’ and also reminded Nasri that the dissenters are still a minority. I’m beginning to see a nucleus of fighters in our team/squad. Vermy, Kosser, Frimpong, Van P, Lansbury with Song and Wilshere to add, that bodes well for the future.
Lets hope that we get all of our bad luck out of the way early