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?
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.