Date: 13th September 2010 at 7:09am
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Was that a point won or two points dropped? As hard as it is for me to say this, I actually think we won a point and that should not be the case against teams like Birmingham. No disrespect to them, but a team like Liverpool should be getting 3 points against Birmingham if we are to be challenging for some form of honours this term.

The fact that Birmingham outplayed us for large chunks of the game is a huge concern. And if it were not for two world class saves by Pepe Reina, we may be talking about a humiliating loss this morning.

For crying out loud, can we please get rid of Lucas! What is he still doing in the starting lineup? I thought he was Rafa’s golden child thus he played him all the time but I hope Hodgson has not fallen into the curse of picking Lucas. I call it a curse coz clearly it is not logical to pick Lucas to start! Lucas look woeful again yesterday, giving the ball away too many time and straying passes into oblivion. When I saw the starting lineups, I was concerned to see Lucas and Poulsen starting in midfield. Those two offer to creativity going forward and we should never start with those two together again.

Why did Raul Meireles not start? Maybe he is not up to speed yet but when he cam on he made a clear difference. I was a but stumped that when Raul came on he played just off Torres and Gerrard dropped back into midfield. I would have though Raul would be in the middle with Poulsen and Gerrard would continue behind Poulsen? But I guess we will see as the season goes how Row decides to use these players.

Konchesky made his debut and he looked shakey. That was not one of his better games and I hope he gets better with time. I will excuse him as I think he has not gelled yet with the backline and Javo down the left.

Fernando Torres Liverpool 2010/11 Birmingham City V Liverpool (0-0) 12/09/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

I am reading reports this morning that Jamie Redknapp was slating Torres’ performance yesterday saying he is not working hard enough. It is no lie, Torres is not looking his normal self. I hope it is just a lack of form and he will pick up as the games go on and he is not being distracted by what is happening off the field.

Not a lot went right for us yesterday except knowing that we have a world class goalkeeper in Reina who kept us in the game. Besides that, there is nothing much to be happy about. Hopefully we can catch a wake up call before going to Old Trafford on Sunday.


6 responses to “What went wrong or right against Birmingham?”

  1. MoKo says:

    It was a frustrating Liverpool weekend. Our games against Birmingham, stretching to the days of Steve Bruce, have always been rather bad for Liverpool (except for the one 7-0 we gave them in 2006 FA Cup).

    The way Birmingham are these days, with their Chinese money, they are a really difficult to play against at home. They have a solid D and were near the top of the list of best defences last season. We just do not have the guile to deal with a team that is that well organised. They didn’t make a single mistake defensively yesterday which was really impressive. With Torres and Gerrard in their Pre-World Cup and World Cup form we really have no chance against mid-table teams. Ultimately, we have 3 World Class players. Only one, Pepe, played to his status. The other two were, and have been, really poor for a while. If they don’t perform then we are just an ordinary mid-table team.

    That’s not diss to our squad. All teams are made up the same, a few world class players surrounded by decent players. We have decent enough players but our World Class talent have not pulled their shift for a while now and it is showing.

    I know it’s easy to give Stevie and El Nino leeway on their bad performances. Even the pundits don’t like to say anything when it’s clear neither of them have performed. We have to learn from Del Bosque. At the moment Torres is a drain for possession. He gives away everything. Gerrard doesn’t seem to have the legs for surging runs anymore. His move to central mid must be formalised. He should drop and be the second holding midfielder and let someone who can get around better play behind Torres. From that position he can spray passes and very occasionally break form deep into the box. He basically has to turn himself into Gareth Barry!!!!

    I know I’m probably being a little harsh but the truth is we are not seeing the trend that has been there for a whole season now. We can no loger count on Torres and Gerrard to be the difference. Torres will eventually get back to form but that’s still 3/4 games away. Gerrard is playing at 80% right now so we shouldn’t expect him to get much better this season.

    It’s time to admit the truth! It’s supremely late!

  2. Sam says:

    I only got to watch the last 45 mins and from what I saw, I agree with Ron on certain points.

    1. Why did we have Lucas in the starting 11? He is useless esp going forward. Defensively we already had Poulsen, we did not need lucas. He convinced me yesterday that he is a waste of space, not to mention money.
    2. Meireles made a huge impact. We should have started with him.
    3. Pepe was in great nick.

    I have differing views on Torres, he is still quality. He just needs two or three scoring games and he is good to go. I think he badly needs a striking partner of a good quality. We will end up getting frustrated by him because we are relying too much on him and him alone. I also though Konchesky had a good game at LB, he put in some decent crosses in the second half. Jova looks confused to me. His decision making is pathetic. While he can run and hold on to the ball, he does not know when to shoot, or rather the question is can he actually shoot? I’m not convinced by his performances so far. The other cow is of coz Glen johnson. That guy seem so going to cost us dearly one of these days.

  3. Kava says:

    I guess I agree with much of what has been said already about the team performance. It was good at times but other times we couldn’t string four passes together. Birmingham showed more hunger and passion than us and we did well to get a point off them. I think we can officially call them our bogey team.

    From yesterday’s game I want to comment on a few players:

    Glen Johnson: absolutely awful at times with his lax attitude and hospital passes! I dont know how many times I put my head in my hands when he gave away the ball or made a poor cross! Worst player for us on the day. I say we convert this chap to a right wing so we don’t catch heart attacks when he’s in defence.

    Lucas: I’m a fan of this lad but yesterday was one of his worst performances for me. We are LFC! We shouldnt be playing 2 defensive midfeilders in any game except Barca or Madrid. We are giving way too much respect to teams like Birmingham. Yesterday Lucas looked lost and out of place.

    Konchesky: I thought he had a decent run out and will be an okay addition to our squad.

    Raul: this guy should start for us more often. He adds that bit of steel from the midfield and he isn’t afraid of going forward.

    Pepe Reina: Where would we be without this man?

    My 2 cents…

  4. Angelo says:

    • Reina again showed why he is the best goalkeeper in the world and has been for a while now….top drawer, world class performance from him. I think he made one “mistake” yesterday…and these idiots were doubting his qualities after the Arsenal blunder…shame on you!!
    • We didn’t lose!! And yes, I know it’s only Birmingham, but I don’t think we played well enough on the whole to warrant the 3pts yesterday…Birmingham played well yesterday, credit to them and they could have easily embarrassed us 3-0 in the first half, if it wasn’t for Reina’s performance….Also, I don’t think a lot of teams will come away from St Andrews with much….
    • I was happy with the formation RH chose yesterday….maybe Mierlies can start ahead of Lucas…I can see that RH is sticking to one team in selections…which can only be good for the understanding of the players….Although, Babel could have come on for Maxi mid way through the 2nd half…just to add a different dimension to the play.
    • The other so called Top four….didnt pick up too many points either…and this is against teams we should pick up points from…Blackburn, West Brom and Everton…
    • Konchesky I feel had a cracker on debut yesterday …and I really feel we did some good business getting him in…Mierlies I felt also played well in his short stint….i really liked his movement off the ball….

    • I’m gonna say this one last time….Johnson is a criminal…he can’t do the basics as a right back… tactically he is not aware of his positioning on the field…and he is so worried about tucking is hair behind his ears the whole time!! What is this? A fashion show? I mean imagine if Johnson played alongside Souness and he was tucking his hair in all the time…Souness would have clapped him!
    • Maxi and Poulsen looked very slack yesterday…Maxi seemed to be somewhere else and Poulsen made too many stray passes…or he would pass the ball to a player when he didn’t really want it…but I guess Poulsen is still adjusting to the tempo of English football….
    • We STILL don’t have a plan B, I mean yesterday’s changes….were on the general….like for like changes….EVEN Birmingham had a plan B …bringing on Zigic…
    • RH needs to react quicker with the subs if he sees that we are struggling to break teams down…because we are seen as potential top 4, surely we should try and take the initiative and try pose a threat of our own…we can complain about teams parking their bus in front of goal if we are not doing something to counteract the situation…

    My overall impression though, is that I feel since the 2000/01 season, we have been playing at a slower tempo to the rest of the teams in the EPL…passes are slower, and shorter and sometimes I feel certain players hold onto the ball unnecessarily longer where a one-two or first time ball would have sufficed….because of this, I feel that we have become quite predictable in our play….mid table teams have realized that if they close down the “good” areas they can come away with a point…we need to play quicker to create that element of surprise…otherwise the opposition will just regroup around our attacks…

  5. Manny says:

    What went wrong?

    Last name Levia, first name Lucas!

    To be fair it wasn’t just Lucas, his pairing in midfield with Poulsen doesn’t work because neither of them can create. When Raul came on and Stevie dropped back next to Poulsen we loked a much better side. Konchesky also struggled a bit but it may be just an issue of getting used to his team mates. Carragher needs to sit on the bench! We looked very susceptible to crosses into the middle. Torres looked isolated and we had no width as well.

    Soccer is such a simple game but Liver somehow manage to make it seem so complicated!!

  6. MoKo says:

    Gelo nailed it. Not many will come away from St Andrews with more than a point. Birmingham are really well organised.

    One point I also omitted which Gelo picked up on is RH’s reaction. Practically the whole game he stood there scratching his head but still he didn’t make any changes. Maxi was clearly struggling to make head way and Gerrard was having no impact in the hole yet he waited till the last quarter to make changes. And a similar pattern emerged when we played Man City. We used to criticize Rafa for his 65min Sub rule but a 70min Sub Rule is just as bad if not worse!

    Lucas and Poulsen both did nothing. I place the blame for that on our lack of width and the poor play of our front 4. There were no forward passes on because we just didn’t create space for them with our movement. In my book when the central mid looks whack it’s usually because the attack is static. I will add this, the lack of pace in transition from defence to attack was also a big factor. That is down to Lucas and Poulsen both being slow movers. We always let Bham get men goal side. That was cured when Stevie went to mid cos he was able to get beyond their midfield. I think we really must move him back permanently.

    I also felt we droped too deep in defence, especially first half. Bham got men behind the ball when we attacked, leaving only one man up. We should have squeezed up the field. Whenever they won it back they had space to play into because our defence was so deep. We made them look good by giving Gardner and Ferguson space in the middle. We need to close that gap between our defensive 6 and our attacking 4. We also need to change the distribution of responsibilities. One of Lucas and Poulsen has to move up into the space.

    Lucas is the scapegoat again but I thought Poulsen was actually the worse of the two. His mobility is really an issue for me. Lucas is not as good a tackler but he closes down better. He gets closer to the opposition players. They ran rings around Poulsen yesterday.

    Konchesky was decent but him and Jova need towork on their combination. There were numerous occasions when he overlapped only for Jova to go with the ball infield. But I have real hope for that side. Jova has a bit penetrative. He injected pace into moves by attacking the space aggressively. Once him and konchesky are on the same page there should be plenty of space to overlap down that wing.

    Glen Johnson is a wanker! And he’s infected Maxi with that ish and now they both look wanked!