Date: 21st August 2008 at 10:20am
Written by:

I was looking through various things to watch on LFC TV and old matches and whatnot on the official site and got to watching Luis Garcia’s goal against Chelsea in the CL semis 04′-05′. That was a major blow to Premiership Champions Chelsea that season as they had simply blown away the league and were the class side in England at that time.

What does that have to do with anything?

Nothing really.

What I’m getting at is that I watched Jose Mourinho’s post match press conference following the 2nd leg at Anfield. If you’ve heard anything from him at all, you’ll know that he speaks of the “goal” in that match to this day. Well in between his pissing and moaning he said something that I found to be very interesting:

“We had no power. Without wingers and speed it is difficult.”

Essentially he was saying that we played strictly to defend following that goal and essentially were parking the bus right in front of our net. Now while that’s quite true as to that side we had on the pitch that day, I found his comments to be very relevant to our situation today. The Special One is in Italy and long gone are the likes of Smicer, Traore, and Cisse. However what is the same is the difficulty we face regularly in the league when these lesser sides place the full teeth of their defense at us for the majority of the match.

What we seem to lack at all times is the ability out wide to go past anyone. Kuyt has none of that at all while Benayoun tries to bring the ball back inside as will Babel to some extent. There is also a real lack of pace in that group minus Babel. It takes not only greater technical ability but somewhat of a superior physical performance to break down defenses of that sort. Torres has that extra gear, and that makes the difference so many times I can’t even recall. It only makes sense then that we look to add to our wide areas. Whether it be Riera, Downing, etc etc etc I think it is imperative that we bring in someone of quality for those areas on the field.

I know we need to start taking points off Manure and Chelski, but more importantly than that or at the very least just as important is not drawing with the likes of Wigan, Birmingham, Man City, and so on and so forth. These sides should be beaten at home everytime, and I’d go so far as to say about the same for their stadiums as well.

I’m hopeful that this Gareth Barry disaster will lead to our funding going to this cause, as perhaps Xabi has just what we need in the middle. I for one would not be sad to see a return to form for him, as he’s never shown anything but loyalty to the club and a desire to put on that shirt as often as possible.

With the window drawing to a close it will be very interesting to see who gets brought in and who remains to depart. Either way though, our width must be addressed or I fear we’ll be in for a disappointing campaign.

Good luck Rafa.

Wading through the red tape will be an adventure.


16 responses to “The Special One and moving the bus”

  1. Dmakc says:

    As i have said before Ben we should have went for Bentley instead of Barry as Kuyt is a forced winger not a natural one. Then we would have had the width on the right hand side. Then as you say we would have just needed Babel to take men on on the outside instead of cutting in all the time. All the defenders are ready for it now so he should try and confuse them by actally trying to get to the byline and get a cross in every now and again – lol

  2. Benjamin says:

    Yeah it’s a shame I nearly pass out everytime we try to cross the ball.

  3. Ron says:

    I agree with you both Ben and Dmakc. We do need some width. Bentley would have been a great signing but he has gone now so we have to look elsewhere. I am not to sure about Riera as I mentioned in a previous post. Downing.. maybe, he is English and if this new rule about English players comes into effect then it would be good to have downing. What about Sean Wright-Philips anyone?

  4. Benjamin says:

    lol SWP scares me, but hey I’m ok with Joe Cole. Pass him along.

  5. Benjamin says:

    Even Malouda =P

  6. Dave says:

    I think Joe Cole is beyond us as I think he will impress Scolari this season, i know i would have him on my team every week. As for SWP – no for me. I see Blackburn are after Joaquin from Valencia. Now if i remember right were we not after him a while back as well. I don’t here too much about him lately but at the time he was great for his club and Espana.

  7. Ron says:

    Now Malouda I would take any day. I think we were rumoured to be in the hunt for him at the beginning of the summer, but nothing ever since.

    Watch Rafa go out and sign some unknown winger for 5m and watch the boy turn into a star!

  8. Dave says:

    In fact – I just found an article within the BBC. It was 2006 and Rafa had this too say when in fact he had stated his wish tio play for us. he was with Betis at the time.

    Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has insisted that he does not want to sign Real Betis winger Joaquin.
    Reports in Spain suggested that the 24-year-old’s agent watched Liverpool play Chelsea as a guest of Reds chief scout Paco Herrera last weekend.

    But Benitez said: “These stories are false. The agent did not come and we have never made any offer or suggested other players as part of a transfer.

    “We are not interested in bringing the player to Anfield.”

  9. Benjamin says:

    Hmm, good digging there Dave.

  10. Tom - Aus says:

    I’d have to say SWP is a definite no, he doesn’t seem to show the qualities of a red. When I first saw Joe Cole i was not a fan but i have been converted and would love to see him run down the wing feeding balls into Torres and scoring the odd goal. Unfortunately I have to agree with Dave. Joe Cole will be out to impress his new manager and perhaps play out his carrer at The Bridge. I would like to see Babel perhaps forged into a left sided player, which would be hard, but from the glimpses I’ve seen last year, and when he plays for the Dutch, he has the quality to fill that position.
    I feel that if we keep looking for more players we’ll be overlooking the talent that we’ve got at the club that we’ve paid good money for and all they need is a bit of moulding. Sitting on the bench doesn’t improve your skill qualities or your team experience.
    Even Benayoun is playing well above himself for the amount of game time he gets.
    I just dont want us to be one of those clubs that overlook players because they take some sort of effort to fit in.

  11. Tom - Aus says:

    Hopefully that post made sense

  12. Dave says:

    It did Tom and i know what you are saying but with regards to the, and i use the term lightly, “wingers” that we have it looks like Babel on the left and Kuyt on the right. The issue I have is that both are not natural wingers but strikers which have found themselves in that position. This is why when they get close to the box the cut inside which forces all the play and the defenders into the middle therefore restricting the space for Torres and Keane to exploit. On the occasions they do get to the byline or close to it the delivery is normally poor and sorry but Kuyt is a prime example – I am not directly having a go at them because i understand they are learning the role but I don;t know if you watched the ManU v Newcastle match but Giggs on the left was superb, yes he cuts in every now and again but his main work was sending in crosses one of which lead to the goal. We really have four strikers playing in Babel, Kuyt, Torres and Keane.

  13. Tom - Aus says:

    Yeah, and i completely agree. I think the first team coach should be taking those two aside, namely Babel and Kuyt, and teaching them better and as international players they should both have the discipline to take on board what they’re being taught and work it into their already aggressice game.
    I think that the way they both cut in just crowds the box and makes it easier for defending sides to get in the way. Teaching them this trait would be great for their individual games as well as seeing the club benefit from it.
    I also have to agree that the crosses Kuyt currently provide into the box are very poor and even when Arbeloa had to come up on the weekend the box was too full to allow Torres or Keane to make anything of them.

  14. Ryan says:

    i have always wondered how babel would do on the right because he cuts in to get the ball on his right foot. so im thinking that if he were on the right he would go to the line and get some crosses with his right boot

  15. Benjamin says:

    Babel has potential as a winger, while Kuy really does not. He doesn’t have the pace, creativity, or skill with the ball to beat defenders with any sort of regularity.
    As for switching Bable, I agree that it would make sense as he plays on the left but I think we have to remember that he is a striker first and foremost, and that is how he sees himself. He is going to try to score more often than not, and that is not always the mentality we need from our wide players.