Date: 27th January 2010 at 9:18am
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MoKo Ratings Explained:

1 – “You’re beginning to remind me of Gary Neville”
4 – “Are you f#@King joking”
5 – Reserve level performance.
6 – Very standard performance.
7 – Contributed to the team performance. Only just.
8 – Instrumental to the team’s performance.
9 – Involved in all of our best play.
10 – Won this one on his own.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool


Reina – 6.5 : Not much to do throughout. Some well earned rest!

Carragher – 5 : Struggled to deal with Jarvis (Wolves left wing) and was exposed for pace. Didn’t get forward to much effect and was responsible for giving away possession on numerous occasions. Needs to remove the 40yrd passes from his rather limited repertoire. When not contributing defensively his lack of footballing skills is laid bare.

Skrtel – 6 : Was given the responsibility of keeping Doyle at bay. Was poor in the tackle and decision making on when to go in and when to hold off. Only succeeded in this because Wolves were poor in attack which forced Doyle to play a long way form the Liverpool goal.

Kyriako – 7.5 : Was commanding in the air as should be expected. Also took up great position in cover defence as he was effectively the sweeper since Wolves played one up. More encouraging signs form the big man.

Insua – 7 : Snuffed out Wolves right side attacking options. Was position ally good as shown when he covered across the box to the right side to put in a block on a shot and in winning back post headers. Also got forward but was let down by some poor support play by most of the team.

Maxi – 6.5 : Was impressed at how he was not bullied or hurried off the ball as I normally expect from foreign players coming into the Prem. A couple of touches but not much else of quality form him. Did not look potent at all on the left side after Reira left the pitch.

Mascherano – 6.5 : Same as Reina not much to do. Well at least not as much as usual. Wolves didn’t keep possession well so there was little to do in the centre of the park on defence. He was good in possession and found some good forward passes.

Lucas – 6.5 : Same as above. There really was not a lot of work for defensive CM in last night’s game for both teams. Passed neatly enough but as usual did not try to be adventurous with his range.

Riera – 6.5 : Put in a lot of effort and was always decent with the ball at his feet. Did not link up with Insua well, often denying the Argentine the overlap. HE also suffered as a result of Liverpool front men being poor on the night.

Gerrard – 5 : It’s time it was said to be honest. Gerrard was poor in possession all night. The set pieces were almost all wasted. He didn’t make any tackles. Was dangerous on direct forward runs but without the precise control he is used to all the runs ended in disappointing losses of possession. As a hole player he should be expected to drop in and also run the channels but he did not do this much – stayed far too central.
Lets hope the real Gerrard comes back at some point this season coz we haven’t seen him once yet!

Kuyt – 5.5 : Did not give options in attack for the left side players (the only side that really contributed in attack). His job was to stay central and look to link up with Gerrard when we have possession. Gerrard never had possession and neither did Kuyt hence no joy on the night.

Ngog – 7.5 : In the 20min he played showed up Gerrard and Kuyts efforts. His skill set makes him more effective as he wins first ball headers, has good touch and enough pace to work the channels. Only when he was on the ball did we finally manage to stretch the Wolves defence. in the end his quality of play wasn’t top notch and decision making not that good either but at least he was lively.

Rafa – 5 : Liverpool is now a recognised 4-4-1-1 team which meant the Manager’s job is only then to combine the appropriate personnel for the game at hand. The starting line-up cannot be question as before the game you would say they are more than capable and it was arguably the best line-up we have fit.
As the game progresses though the manager must decide if the personnel are delivering on the jobs they have been given on the pitch. With the game at 0-0 in the middle of the second half, with Liverpool having been unable to keep possession and to craft attacks I think changes should have been on his mind. Reira was visibly tired and it was correct he go off. Ngog came on and did well so that substitution worked well. However, keeping Aquilani and Degen and to a certain extent Pacheco on the bench did not make sense.
Carragher was not contributing and Degen could have come on to defend against pace better and also retain and use the ball better. Lucas did what he was asked but there really was not use in 2 DM when Wolves were not keeping possession either. With Gerrard’s troubles Pacheco could have come on to shake things up a little – there are obvious risks in such a move though.

All in all it didn’t look like Rafa was pushing for the win. It is always worth noting that we have not insight about what the state of the squad is at any point in time so cannot make these comments with any assurance

TEAM – 6 : Did enough not to lose but never did enough to win the game. Must do better!

P.S. The ref last night was terrible. He let go of some things then he blows for other less serious things. Just made it difficult to know how to play. Both teams were affected.