My posting schedule’s been pretty inconsistent lately, but I definitely felt that I needed to talk about some things post-Besiktas.
The return/expected return of a certain Daniel Sturridge has prompted a reversal in Liverpool’s results, with the Reds now sitting happily in 6th place, with an oppourtunity to overtake Arsenal & Southampton tomorrow. Its easy to write off that Besiktas game, but now it really is all our eggs in one basket for Liverpool FC.
Liverpool have been, of recent years, a team relying on that one player to rescue them out of any situation. The two years which have been exceptions in my recent memory would be Fernando Torres + Steven Gerrard, and the very brief times that Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge linked up together – and even that is very difficult to consider, given the nature of Suarez’s suspensions and Sturridge’s fragile legs.
Liverpool’s offence pre-Sturridge’s return lacked confidence and the ability to slot the ball in the back of the net. Quite frankly, Raheem Sterling, in my opinion is really not ready to be put in that center forward role. I’m not even talking about his conversion rate. Its the positions which he gets into. He drifts out pretty wide, and then you end up with noone in the box to aim at and then Liverpool really have no bite up front.
Daniel Sturridge’s performance against Besiktas is by no means a measure of how he’s gonna perform for the rest of the season, but I simply think that he was not ready for that game. His fitness was very unconvincing, and did Brendan Rodgers value this game highly enough to take that risk? Lambert’s looked really sharp in all his games, hasn’t he? The reasoning is because I really think that Balotelli (yes, Balotelli) is a player who is very hot and cold. He’s gonna have his really good patches of form when he finally finds the back of the net after he wears his bib (banter) during the warm-up. He’s been scoring a few lately, and I think that the unconvincing link up play with Daniel Sturridge, coupled with that penalty controversy would have done nothing to improve relations between the two.
But after a very quiet January transfer window, it means that all our eggs are in the Daniel Sturridge basket, and as long as his l(egg)s remain injury free, we should be able to snatch that coveted 4th spot from the Gunners.
Another thing that I consider very questionable is definitely the penalty taking order. I’m not talking about the first 4 takers, because I think that its fine. (and its not even because Dejan Lovren was the only player who missed) I’m asking why you would ask a defender who was until just recently very low on confidence, with the fans calling for his departure, to take the fifth penalty. Arguably the most important penalty there is (and he’s meant to be the last out of the first ten regulation penalties before heading to sudden death). I find it questionable, as does his penalty taking ability really warrant taking that last penalty kick? I’m sure we had better penalty takers out there.
But all things considered, we saw some pretty good performances. Emre Can put in another top notch performance, whilst Joe Allen did really well in the center of the ball park as well. I’m sure Liverpool will show us something better against Manchester City, and I’ll definitely be tuning in, hoping for a good victory!