We Go Again - Liverpool Reds

We Go Again - Liverpool Reds

About the blog

Welcome to We Go Again - Liverpool Reds, a blog about Liverpool Football Club with a Swedish perspective written in English. My name is Leif Larsson and I am a Swede living in Sweden. I have been a Liverpool supporter for over 40 years. I will write about all kinds of things that concerns Liverpool FC. Sometimes I will hand out praise, other times it will be the opposite. I will continuously add different categories to the blog.

Write to me on this e-mail address: wegoagain.reds@gmail.com

How can Liverpool be so bad?

ReviewPosted by Leif Larsson Mon, May 25, 2015 10:38:10

Once again we made an average side look like Barcelona. Liverpool´s performance yesterday versus midtable Stoke at Britannia can be described in many bad, and truthful, words. Here are some: rotten, pathetic, feeble, worthless, incompetent, woeful, shameful and whichever synonym you can come up with.

Liverpool needed to produce a fine effort to give Steven Gerrard an appropiate send-off, to secure a Europa League place and end the season well to wipe out recent bad memories. Did we do it? No, on the contrary, Liverpool produced the worst performance in years going down 6-1.

The defence was everywhere but in the right place, a schoolboy team or a Sunday League side has more cohesion and organization. Mistakes was as common as locusts of Egypt, the aggression non-existent, the pressing likewise and the attacking play slow, uninventive and without spark or conviction. It couldn´t have been worse, especially in the first half when Stoke had their own way for 45 minutes all over the pitch. Liverpool improved slightly in the second period but that was probably due to Stoke easing off. Thank God, otherwise it could have been double figures.

The worst thing was to see such an uninteresting approach at the start and especially the lame response in the second half. A Liverpool team trailing a midtable side 5-0 at halftime should come out as hungry wolves after the break in an effort to redeem themselves. But no one seemed to too bothered with the state of things. It was the usual huffing and puffing. On the sidelines manager Brendan Rodgers looked like he didn´t care. He should be raging mad to see Liverpool give in so easily. But he appeared detached as if he was watching paint dry. No emotions, no anger, no shouting, no armwaving, no nothing.

This season Liverpool has for some odd reason made sides we should beat look like European heavyweights. Aston Villa outplayed us in the FA Cup semifinal, Crystal Palace did it twice in the league and West Ham, Newcastle and Hull also made us look like fools. And if this was not enough, the most pitiful showing in years was produced yesterday.

It´s almost 40 years since Liverpool trailed by five goals at half-time and 50 years since we lost by that margin and the 6-1 defeat was the heaviest ever in the Premier League. I have trouble understanding how this can happen just a year after we played the most attractive football seen in the Premier League for a long time. If the downfall depends on us losing Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge this season then the other players must feel utterly ashamed aswell as Brendan Rodgers for not knowing how to replace the Uruguayan and how to form his team.

Yesterday he once more came up with a strange formation. He fielded no strikers, instead attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana, winger cum midfielder, were forwards. Behind them four central midfielders were selected. At right back we had Emre Can, a defensive midfielder and perhaps central defender but in no way a fullback. That selection backfired when Can´s naive defending presented Stoke with their first three goals.

On the whole it was a peculiar line-up where it was unclear how the team should form itself. Even the players seemed to be confused and not knowing what their roles were. The manager is more and more like Gerard Houllier and Rafael Benitez at their worst when they in their stubborn ways were determined to show that they were much smarter than everyone else and picked peculiar teams and formations.

Brendan Rodgers want to look like a clever manager with his endless changing of formations and tactics. But nothing good is coming out of his tinkering, instead he should focus on figuring out his best eleven, his best formation and stick with it.

Well, that if he gets the chance to do it next season. I think he is a capable man-manager, knows his football and is not afraid of trying new things. But there are huge question marks for his ability to motivate players, to get them to believe in themselves and above all finding the right players in the transfer market. He bought eight new players last summer and none has been a success and some of them quite the opposite.

Perhaps he will get one more year to prove himself but nothing but a top four finish and even some silverware will save him in a years time. And he must do it without any large player investments this summer. The owners will not let him squander £100 M again. At the same time I wouldn´t be surprised if Brendan Rodgers´ tenure at Anfield is terminated in a few weeks or even days.

Here are my ratings for the Reds who participated in the 38th and final league match of the season (on a scale from 1 to 10):

GK Simon Mignolet 2.

Hadn´t much help from the defence but could have done better with some of the goals.

RB Emre Can 1.

Worst defensive effort from a red player in years. At fault for the first three goals.

CB Martin Skrtel 2.

Battled hard but was too often in a wrong position.

CB Mamadou Sakho 3.

Pretty solid display but was taken for a ride on a few occasions.

LB Alberto Moreno 1.

Outmuscled in defence and provided no attacking threat.

DM Lucas Leiva 1.

Couldn´t get hold of the Stoke midfield and was constantly overrun.

DM Joe Allen 1.

Passed the ball well for a while then he completely disappeared.

CM Steven Gerrard 2.

Invisible for long periods but gave it a go in the second half. Fine goal but to no avail.

CM Jordan Henderson 2.

Ran a lot to help out the defence. No contribution in attack.

LF Adam Lallana 2.

Had his moments but his finishing was poor.

RF Philippe Coutinho 1.

Passed the ball badly and his dribbles didn´t came off.

LF Jordon Ibe 4. (Replaced Alberto Moreno after 45 mins).

Best red player. Lively and beat his man all the time but the final ball never found a teammate.

RB Kolo Toure 2. (Replaced Emre Can after 45 mins).

Decent effort but was fooled once or twice.

CF Rickie Lambert 2. (Replaced Joe Allen after 69 mins).

A couple of good actions but nothing more.

This was the worst Liverpool performances in years. Well, it was no wonder as the season also was one of the more disappointing ones in recent times. We didn´t manage to fight for the title once more and not even for a Champions League place. In Europe we produced lousy displays in both Champions League and Europa League and were nowhere near any success. In the domestic cups we fell dismally at the final hurdle before the final. In a lot of matches against average opponents we made them look like world-beaters. In crucial matches we fell short again and again.

The Reds had a fine sequence when Tottenham, Southampton and Manchester City were beaten on the spin, but that was almost the only thing to be happy about during 2014/15.

It´s plain and clear that we need reinforcements in management, and all around the team and the squad. Then there can be a reason ahead of next season to believe that:

We Go Again.



Now we need a new leader

ReviewPosted by Leif Larsson Sun, May 17, 2015 13:14:39

It was a double-edged sword to witness yesterday. An era came to an end at Anfield and Steven Gerrard was celebrated in a fine way. At the same time the team couldn´t arrange a last home win for him. That´s a major worry when we move into post-Gerrard times.

After playing at Anfield for almost 17 years our captain took his final bow against Crystal Palace last night. The occasion was emotional and everybody participated to make it a nice event. Sadly Liverpool lost 1-3 and that dampered the mood considerably. Steven Gerrard had some tears in his eyes but didn´t cry. I guess he was afraid he would do so he brought his three daughters to take care of and focus on after the match.

It´s of course sad to see Gerrard leave but as always life goes on and so does Liverpool FC. The saddest thing was to watch how we once more got outplayed by a team worse than us, bot on paper and form-wise.

Steven Gerrard hasn´t been much of a leader this season and I can´t see anyone in the present squad being a future boss and motivator on the pitch. When the going gets tough we don´t get going. In fact, quite the opposite, we buckle and roll over and give in.

So in the summer we need to sign a true leader, a go-to-guy when things are going south. Jordan Henderson is by no means that man. Liverpool must find a midfield maestro with a playmaking capacity, a never-say-die attitude aswell as leadership qualities. Is he out there? Perhaps, but he won´t be cheap so the owners must open up the war chest and pour out the pounds.

If they don´t spend then Liverpool is destined for another season among the also-rans and even a place further down the table. Beside a leader figure we also need an established 25-goal striker and reinforcements all around the team. I´d say four or five top players to be able to compete for at least top four. Is the owners ready to splash the cash? I´m not so sure. They did when Kenny Dalglish asked for it and got some dross. Brendan Rodgers also got he nod to spend and also mismanaged the funds. Will FSG trust him once more? As I said, I doubt it. This summer we will most likely see fewer signings than last time around and the most expensive ones costing around 15 million pounds. In other words, the squad will not be strengthened.

Hopefully I am wrong and FSG put their money where their mouth was when they took over. They promised to spend to make Liverpool a force again, now is the crucial time to do it.

And finally another matter. In sports, numbers belonging to iconic players sometimes get retired, no one else is allowed to wear that number in the future. Regarding Gerrard´s number it would be appropriate, but in fact unnecessary. Because who in their right mind will knock on the manager´s door and ask for number 8? Well, no one in years to come, that´s for sure.

Here are my ratings for the Reds who participated in the 37th league match of the season (on a scale from 1 to 10):

GK Simon Mignolet 3.

Not one of his best matches. A bit passive when Palace scored.

RB Emre Can 3.

Kept going forward but no end product. Committed himself too much in defence.

CB Martin Skrtel 4.

Decent display but made some rash tackles and got out of position at times.

LB Dejan Lovren 3.

Seemed nervy again and was troubled in the air and on the deck.

RWB Jordon Ibe 3.

Was pretty harmless and didn´t threaten the opposing defence.

DM Steven Gerrard 4.

A quiet last match at Anfield. Tried to get a goal in the second half but mishit hit chances.

CM Jordan Henderson 2.

Is out of form and didn´t contribute much. Not a leader in the making.

LWB Alberto Moreno 1.

Provided nothing in attack and had a lot of trouble in defence.

RF Adam Lallana 3.

Nice finish for 1-0 but didn´t offer so much more.

LF Philippe Coutinho 3.

Was involved far too little. Never got going.

CF Raheem Sterling 1.

Played for himself once more and created nothing.

CF Rickie Lambert 1. (Replaced Jordon Ibe after 65 mins).

Played for 25 minutes but was never seen.

DM Lucas Leiva 2. (Replaced Adam Lallana after 65 mins).

No big mistakes but no impact either.

LF Jerome Sinclair 1. (Replaced Alberto Moreno after 87 mins).

Just made up the numbers.

A lame last game at Anfield this season and sadly none of the Reds rallied to give Gerrard a fine send-off. One final match remains to make sure the captain can end his career at Liverpool on a happy and winning note. It´s essential that:

We Go Again.



Decent display - odd home fans

ReviewPosted by Leif Larsson Mon, May 11, 2015 17:14:07

We needed a win, got a draw, should have won, but didn´t. The 1-1 draw at Chelsea yesterday was Liverpool´s season in a nutshell. Our football has been decent, often enough the Reds has seen more of the ball than the opposition and created more chances. But when it comes to converting we have not been good enough. Hence no Champions League football next season.

Liverpool is now six points behind fourth placed Manchester United and 14 goals worse off goal difference-wise. Just two league matches remains and we must beat Crystal Palace 8-0 at home and Stoke 3-0 away at the same time as Man Utd loses 0-2 at home to Arsenal and 0-2 at Hull to get on even terms with the Mancs. As you can see, no dice. We are stuck with Europa League next campaign.

The performance versus champions Chelsea was quite good but far from great. Liverpool was slightly better than the home side but we missed a couple of gilt-edged chances and that was that with that. The only thing to aim for now is to give fans a couple of good showings and Steven Gerrard a winning sending-off. To finish fifth is not bad by any means considering the strength of the Premier League but nothing Liverpool should be content with. We haven´t finished fifth for ten years so that´s a bit of a novelty but hardly anything to take comfort in.

Last season ended in disappointment but gave hope for the future. This season ends in the same mood but with less hope. In a year´s time hope must be restored, I am sick and tired of having the losing feeling at the end of the season - after season. A top four finish, perhaps even a title battle, is minimum requirement next time around and also some silverware to enjoy.

Finally some words about the peculiar Chelsea support. They sang a song throughout about a player from their rivals and held up signs with his name. Okay, they taunted and mocked Steven Gerrard, but still, it was him they sang about and his name they flashed in the stands. I didn´t hear any song about their own Eden Hazard, player of the season, or John Terry, Willian, Branislav Ivanovic or any other of their players. None of the Chelsea names was seen on signs in the stands. Despite their champion status.

And furthermore, the Gerrard song was a Liverpool song they´ve adjusted, no idea of their own. I understand why José Mourinho is jealous about the Anfield crowd. Okay, Kopites sometimes sing about opponents to mock them but not hours on end and like Chelsea fans when the player isn´t even on the pitch. They have this season sang about Gerrard´s slip even when they´ve faced Sunderland, Hull, West Bromwich and Arsenal and all other teams.

Odd behaviour indeed. And pitiful when they could have gave their own players that vocal support instead. I think every Chelsea player hate that their fans sings about an opponent and not of their own.

Do you think Liverpool fans would have sang about a Chelsea player slip the season before if we were celebrating a Premier League title? Of course not. But, then again, we have the best fans in the world, Chelsea have not, to put it mildly.

Here are my ratings for the Reds who participated in the 36th league match of the season (on a scale from 1 to 10):

GK Simon Mignolet 4.

Could perhaps have saved the goal. In trouble in the air on a couple of occasions.

RB Emre Can 5.

Kept Eden Hazard quiet and attacked with eager and determination.

CB Martin Skrtel 6.

Effective tackles and lead the backline well.

CB Dejan Lovren 6.

Formed a well working partnership with Skrtel. Hardly any mistakes.

LB Glen Johnson 6.

Defended properly and was more involved in attack than in a long time.

DM Steven Gerrard 4.

Hit several fine passes but had trouble in his defensive duties. Smart headed goal.

RM Jordan Henderson 4.

Mixed god stuff with bad. Invisible in periods.

LM Philippe Coutinho 4.

Missed some easy passes and was not at his best. Some nice moves though.

RF Raheem Sterling 5.

Best effort in a long time. Moved a lot, used his pace but his delivery was erratic.

CF Rickie Lambert 2.

Too slow for this division. Lost aeriel duels, most significantly when Chelsea scored.

LF Adam Lallana 6.

A constant threat with his trickery and clever moves. One of his best displays in red.

CF Jerome Sinclair 2. (Replaced Rickie Lambert after 68 mins).

Couldn´t really get into the action but showed some nice touches. Promising debut.

RF Jordon Ibe 3. (Replaced Adam Lallana after 71 mins).

Made some dangerous runs but also lost the ball to easy.

DM Lucas Leiva 1. (Replaced Steven Gerrard after 79 mins).

No particular impact.

Two games to go and soon it´s time for a pivotal transfer summer. How we succeed this time will probably have effects for a long time. We must sign at least two players of the highest calibre and one of them a 25-goal striker. Do it, please, and give meaning to the expression:

We Go Again.



What if we had beaten Hull and WBA

ReviewPosted by Leif Larsson Sun, May 03, 2015 17:52:57

Liverpool reached average level and it was enough to dispose of releagion threatened Queens Park Rangers yesterday. But the 2-1 at Anfield victory came too late, there is still no chance of reaching top four despite Manchester United losing their third match on the trot last evening.

If Liverpool had played to their right level and defeated Hull and West Bromwich in the two preceding matches then we would have been in fourth place right now, one point ahead of Man Utd. They haven´t picked up a single point in the last three games and if we had collected nine, not the four we managed, then it would have been game on inte the top four battle.

Now it´s game over. Okay, it´s theoretically possible for the Reds to leapfrog United but it will not happen. United won´t lose four matches in a row and if they win the next one against Crystal Palace, I think they do, then we must beat Chelsea away to keep the four point distance. We have always trouble getting something from our visits to Stamford Bride so a loss is a likely outcome. Then we are seven points adrift with two games to go. So even if it on paper looks like we can end up in fourth, reality will soon kick in and eliminate that notion.

The game against QPR was nothing special. Liverpool played with a little more energy and moved and passed the ball better than in the last couple of games. But it was hardly vintage. Our finishing was extremely poor. How professionals like Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana can fail to even hit the target from a few yards out, with a gaping goal in front of them, is beyond me. The whole team must start practising finishing, they are mediocre at it, to put it mildly. Only Philippe Coutinho shows that he has got the knack and the knowledge from time to time.

Here are my ratings for the Reds who participated in the 35th league match of the season (on a scale from 1 to 10):

GK Simon Mignolet 4.

Not tested at all besides needing to clear a couple of crosses.

RB Emre Can 4.

Decent in defence, likewise going forward. But nothing special.

CB Martin Skrtel 5.

Won almost every duel and acted the hard man. A bit misplaced when QPR scored.

CB Dejan Lovren 5.

Another accomplished effort. Hardly any mistakes but just like Skrtel too slow to stop the goal.

LB Glen Johnson 3.

Not a performance to remember. Lazy tracking back at times.

DM Steven Gerrard 4.

Did his job without fuss or excellence. Bad penalty, skilful header for the winner.

RM Jordan Henderson 3.

Couldn´t get into the match. Sent too many passes the wrong way.

LM Philippe Coutinho 5.

An average showing by his standards. Calm and assured when scoring.

RF Raheem Sterling 1.

Awful once more. Missed an open goal from five yards and kept making wrong decisions.

CF Rickie Lambert 5.

Worked really hard and created space and chances. Nice pass to open up for 1-0.

LF Adam Lallana 3.

Mixed good with the bad. Incredible miss when it was easier to score.

LF Jordon Ibe 2. (Replaced Adam Lallana after 68 mins).

Two or three fine runs but made little impact.

RM Lazar Markovic 1. (Replaced Glen Johnson after 84 mins).

Didn´t anything of worth during his cameo.

DM Lucas Leiva 1. (Replaced Steven Gerrard after 89 mins).

Too little time to be noticed.

A lucky win and Liverpool did their job, nothing more. A game nobody will talk about in the future. Just to move on and state:

We Go Again.



I can´t wait for August

ReviewPosted by Leif Larsson Wed, April 29, 2015 19:07:59

I expected another poor effort and got one. There is not so much to say about Liverpool´s 1-0 defeat at Hull yesterday. Just the fact that there is no chance of Champions League football next season.

The Reds performed a litte bit better this time compared to the match against West Bromwich on Saturday. We were a bit more eager and moved better. But the attacking play was not up to par. Almost everytime we tried to penetrate in the middle where a couple of buses were parked. The gilt-edged goalscoring opportunities were few and far between. In defence we were caught napping now and then and on the whole Hull deserved their victory.

We could have created more with better wingplay but it was almost non-existent. And when Jordon Ibe and Raheem Sterling tried, they had a low rate of success. Their intentions were easy to read and the ball was lost.

I can´t understand why a lot of Liverpool players must take several touches and then try to dribble everytime they get on the ball. They must learn how to distribute quickly and accurately - and then move on for a return pass. If we can´t get a fast passing game going then a lot of goalless displays are waiting.

Not so much more to say about this weak showing. It was worse than a Liverpool side should come up with but that has been the case a lot in recent times.

Some call for manager Brendan Rodgers head but I think he should be given one more season. He has got some good ideas about the football and style of play but when it comes to recruiting new players neither he nor the transfer committee are good enough. We need to bring in someone with vast knowledge about players, domestic and abroad, to give good advice. Then it´s of course up to the manager to decide.

Here are my ratings for the Reds who participated in the 34th league match of the season (on a scale from 1 to 10):

GK Simon Mignolet 5.

A few good saves but was in trouble in the air on a couple of times. Not to blame for the goal.

RB Emre Can 3.

A bit naive in his defensive duties and no impact in attack.

CB Martin Skrtel 4.

Out of position sometimes and a few poor decisions. Pretty solid, though.

CB Dejan Lovren 5.

Started a bit shaky but grew into the match. Strong in duels.

LB Glen Johnson 5.

One of his better efforts, both defensively and attack-wise.

DM Joe Allen 3.

Kept the ball in the team but didn´t contribute in attack.

RM Jordan Henderson 3.

Ran around a lot but a lot of without making any particular impact.

LM Philippe Coutinho 4.

Missed more passes than usual but his temmates hardly ever gave him good options.

RF Jordon Ibe 2.

Tried the same thing all the time and seldom beat his man. Ineffective.

CF Mario Balotelli 1.

His laziness gifted Hull the goal and was completely toothless in attack.

LF Raheem Sterling 1.

Didn´t use his pace and stranded on the opposition all the time.

CF Rickie Lambert 1. (Replaced Mario Balotelli after 65 mins).

Imposed himself in the air but without any measurable result.

LF Adam Lallana 1. (Replaced Jordon Ibe after 65 mins).

Tried to get into the match but failed.

RB Lazar Markovic 2. (Replaced Dejan Lovren after 76 mins).

Made a couple of useful runs but nothing more.

When Hull scored I knew it would be another huff and puff effort on the road to defeat. Let August come quickly, then:

We Go Again.



Boring way to see top four hope vanish

ReviewPosted by Leif Larsson Sun, April 26, 2015 11:19:40

The 0-0 draw between West Bromwich and Liverpool must have been the most boring match in the Premier League this season. Especially the first half was so dreary that I would rather have watched paint dry. The performance from West Brom was the worst of a home team in PL for a long time and against this lame team Liverpool only managed a draw and in the process top four hopes were killed.

Liverpool owed fans a strong display after the miserable one versus Aston Villa in the FA Cup. But the Reds didn´t live up to the responsibility and instead produced another pitiful showing. We can in all certainty not reach the Champions League postitions anymore and the risk is that we have to endure five final tedious matches.

After the game both manager Brendan Rodgers and a couple of players said in interviews that they still believed in a top four finish. Well, you should never give up, but they are deluded. If we can´t down this poor West Brom team how can we suddenly be able to win five on the trot against similar teams and better? Some of them fighting for PL existence. Right, we can´t.

When 16 league games remained I predicted Liverpool would finally land on 67 points and miss out on top four and end up in 5th or 6th place. At the moment we have collected 58 points and the total tally of 67 is still plausible, as is the 5th or 6th position. We had a brief spell of good football and fine results but when the crucial matches against Manchester United and Arsenal came along we crumbled. Same again yesterday when a win was needed, once more Liverpool failed to grab the necessary victory. I don´t expect us to suddenly be different and cope with pressure and amass 15 points which perhaps won´t even be enough to qualify for a CL place.

We have to forget this season and especially the match yesterday. We started slowly, owned the ball, but created nothing in the first half. In the second the Reds were a bit more energetic, but not much. Two fine chances were squandered and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had to come up with one or two fine saves to rescue us from an embarrassing defeat. On the whole an awful showing from Liverpool.

There was a lot frustrated gestures between Red players showing there is unrest in the squad. The selfish actions on the field didn´t help. Raheem Sterling thinks he some kind of world class star. Almost everytime he gets the ball he tries to dribble and nearly always he loses the ball. Jordon Ibe and Mario Balotelli followed the same ill-advised path. Other players did it from time to time. And almost every time a dribble was tried a pass to a better placed teammate was the right decision.

Decision-making is not the best feature in the Liverpool side. Furthermore, every player is so in love with the ball they need three, five or seven touches before releasing it. Could be poor game intelligence, bad ball skills or sheer laziness not making sure beforehand what the best move is when getting the ball. Captain Steven Gerrard has been a first touch master for years. He doesn´t dwell on the ball, just passes it along to someone he already know is there. Just as the old pass and move team decades ago did. It´s beyond me how other Liverpool players have avoided to learn how to quickly move the ball and themselves. They have a great opportunity to study the master himself in training and in games. Soon enough he leaves, who is going to learn them then?

Here are my ratings for the Reds who participated in the 33rd league match of the season (on a scale from 1 to 10):

GK Simon Mignolet 6.

Not much to do but came up with point-winning saves and also punched well.

RB Emre Can 3.

Untroubled defensively but totally ineffective going forward. Clumsy passes.

CB Martin Skrtel 4.

A decent display but was caught napping on a few occasions.

CB Dejan Lovren 6.

Best Liverpool player. Tackled well, was always in the right place and delivered well. His best showing in a red shirt. Not that the opposition was tough.

LB Glen Johnson 3.

A bit nonchalant in his defensive work at times. No attacking threat.

DM Steven Gerrard 5.

Didn´t stand out in any way but passed the ball well and kept his cool.

RM Jordan Henderson 3.

Invisible for long periods. Should have scored from his fine close range chance.

LM Philippe Coutinho 5.

Got on the ball a lot and really tried to find a way through the home defence. Only player with clever intentions.

RF Jordon Ibe 3.

Ran down blind alleys a lot and didn´t create much. Unlucky with his woodwork shot.

CF Mario Balotelli 2.

Played for himself and didn´t contribute to the attacking game.

LF Raheem Sterling 1.

Dribble, dribble, dribble. Can anyone tell him football is a team game. Overrates himself.

CF Fabio Borini 1. (Replaced Mario Balotelli after 75 mins).

Ran around like a headless chicken not getting anything done.

LF Adam Lallana 3. (Replaced Jordon Ibe after 75 mins).

Came up with a few tricks to trouble the home defence a bit. But no end product.

Once more Liverpool failed to live up to expectations and left us fans with a uninteresting run-in. Nevertheless:

We Go Again.



Best was required, worst was delivered

ReviewPosted by Leif Larsson Sun, April 19, 2015 19:40:46

Rubbish! That sums up the way all Liverpool players performed when it mattered most. When top displays was needed everybody came up with extremely lousy showings in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley. Aston Villa won 2-1 but their win was never in doubt and the Birmingham side outplayed Liverpool for the entire match.

Liverpool played without will, belief, determination, passion, movement and every aspect needed to win a semifinal. Villa on the other hand was clever, inventive, hardworking and tough. The Reds had a five minute spell after our 1-0 goal with decent football. The rest was just garbage. A mediocre team made us look like a Sunday League side and at the same time we made them look like Barcelona.

Even manager Brendan Rodgers got it all wrong. He was brave and smart enough to change both tactics, formation and personnel several times during the match to try to change things but his initial stratregy was all wrong while Villa`s was spot on and didn´t need changing. It worked like a charm versus a toothless, lame and pedestrian opponent.

Here are my ratings for the Reds who participated in the semifinal of the FA Cup (on a scale from 1 to 10):

GK Simon Mignolet 1.

Acted nervous, was rooted to his line and his hands was too weak when Villa scored their goals.

RB/LB/CM Emre Can 1.

Clumsy in defence and no particular actions going forward.

CB Martin Skrtel 1.

Outmuscled by Benteke the whole match. Caught napping too often.

LB/CB Dejan Lovren 1.

Gave the win to Villa when blasting over from 30 yards with one minute left and a lot of Liverpool players waiting for a ball into the penalty area.

LWB/LB Alberto Moreno 1.

Dismal crossing and first touch. Lost every duel.

DM Joe Allen 1.

Did he participate?

CM Jordan Henderson 1.

Too slow on the ball and wasted a lot of passes. Defensively weak.

RWB Lazar Markovic 1.

Lost the ball all the time and missed his passes.

AM/DM Steven Gerrard 1.

Didn´t contribute to anything as an attacker and didn´t help the defence as a sitting midfielder. Slow an sloppy. No leadership. Didn´t he want to end his Liverpool career at Wembley on his 35th birthaday? Apparently not.

LF/RF Philippe Coutinho 1.

Scored a goal but hardly anything more.

CF Raheem Sterling 1.

Dribbled a lot and lost the ball every time. Tried to shoot on a few times and every time it was a lame effort. 100k a week? Don´t make me laugh.

CF Mario Balotelli 1. (Replaced Lazar Markovic after 45 mins).

Ran offside six or seven times and contributed zero to the play.

RWB Glen Johnson 1. (Replaced Joe Allen after 78 mins).

No impact on the game.

CF Rickie Lambert 1. (Replaced Alberto Moreno after 90 mins).

Did nothing.

A shaky defence, a non-existent midfield and an attack standing still. Liverpool has been out of form lately and when a trophy loomed on the horizon we hit rock bottom. Is it any point in believing that:

We Go Again.



Coutinho - our phenomenal whizzkid

ReviewPosted by Leif Larsson Tue, April 14, 2015 18:58:17

Magical. Spellbinding. Mesmerizing. Three words to in a small way describe the performance from Philippe Coutinho yesterday, our own football wizard. It was probably his best effort in a red shirt and the Newcastle players was unable to get near him, let alone stop him. Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen scored the goals in Liverpool´s 2-0 win but it was Coutinho who was king of Anfield. He was unplayable and close to world-class. Perhaps even at that level.

A match against Newcastle on a Monday night hardly gets the blood rushing beforehand. But when you get the chance to watch the skills of virtuoso Philippe Coutinho it soon turns into a red letter day.

He got the nod to play as a false nine, a central striker in a forward line of three and did it to perfection despite doing it for the first time. The Brazilian took it like duck to water. He was all over the pitch creating magic. Coutinho has got so many things in his football toolbox. His eye for defence-splitting passes is unbelievable. His technique and bodyswerving makes it almost impossible to dispossess him. His quick thinking even surprises his teammates. His cheeky trickery is a joy to watch. The one yesterday when his completely unexpected back-heel fooled three Newcastle players must be the con of the season.

On the whole Liverpool played quite well in a must win match. The speed and creativity was back in our attacking play and all players worked hard to hunt down the ball. Okay, one or two lapses in defence could have been detrimental but luck was on our side and in goal Simon Mignolet produced another excellent display. He is back to his best and acts with confidence. I am never nervous nowadays when opponents get a shooting opportunity or a set-piece. Migs handles almost everything with ease.

The victory took Liverpool just four points adrift of Manchester City who resides in fourth place. The blue team is out of form and maybe, just maybe, we can get past them and sneak into top four. It´s going to be difficult, they have a not too hard schedule left and we need to grab five points more than City in the remaining six games due to their superior goal difference. But nothing is impossible as long as our little magician produces his remarkable talent.

Here are my ratings for the Reds who participated in the 32nd league match of the season (on a scale from 1 to 10):

GK Simon Mignolet 7.

Cool as a cucumber these days. Made a few extraordinary saves and ruled his own area.

RB Glen Johnson 6.

Strong in defence and quite good going forward. Wasn´t dispossessed as often as he can be.

CB Emre Can 5.

No apparent mistakes but was wrongly placed a couple of times. Decent runs forward.

CB Dejan Lovren 4.

Seemed a bit shaky and was caught napping on occasion. His passing was not up to par.

LB Alberto Moreno 5.

Lively as ususal and more effective in attack than in recent times. No troubles defensively.

DM Lucas Leiva 7.

Won the ball all the time and passed it smartly and with accuracy. A perfect defensive shield.

CM Jordan Henderson 6.

Worked hard and popped up all over the pitch. Nice pass for Sterlings goal.

CM Joe Allen 4.

Dwelled on the ball too much and got dispossessed and outmuscled. Reacted quick to score.

RF Jordon Ibe 3.

Never got going and hardly anything he tried came off.

CF Philippe Coutinho 9.

A masterclass from the Brazilian. His trickery, sublime passing and inventiveness was out of this world.

LF Raheem Sterling 5.

Brilliant action to score the goal but missed two sitters and dribbled too much and lost the ball. As usual.

CF Fabio Borini 2. (Replaced Jordon Ibe after 58 mins).

Ran a lot but wasn´t involved so much.

CF Rickie Lambert 1. (Replaced Raheem Sterling after 89 mins).

Did he touch the ball? Another meaningless sub appearance.

Liverpool needed to win to keep up the interest for the rest of the league programme. Now we can look forward to both a FA Cup semifinal and the final stretch in the league. Keep winning as:

We Go Again.



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