Luck was on Liverpool´s side yesterday. It won´t be in the future, particularly in such an extent. The Reds must make their own luck if we are going to challenge for top four. In other words, the effort against Queens Park Rangers, despite winning, was close to rubbish.
Especially in the first half when Liverpool didn´t turn up. Bottom of the table QPR dominated completely, hit the bar twice and squandered a couple of other great chances. It could have been 3-0 at half-time and game over. In the second period Liverpool had a slightly better attacking play but defensively we were as bad as ever this season. Same old mistakes occurred, such as bad positioning, inability to handle dead ball situations and lack of concentration.
After the game manager Brendan Rodgers and captain Steven Gerrard admitted that Liverpool had been lucky to win. Okay, honesty is good. But at the same time they said that the Reds didn´t reach the required standard and didn´t play as good as we can. This annoys me. I don´t want to hear that. Why? Well, it´s about time that Liverpool play as good as they can. It´s time to rectify all that is going wrong. In almost every match this season Liverpool has under-performed, only versus Tottenham came a convincing display. So in seven other Premier League games, two in the Champions League and one in the League Cup Liverpool has been below par.
Now I want ten games when the Reds are above par, well above. The capacity is there, but for some odd reason it rarely shows on the pitch. What are the Reds doing in training? How come the same type of defensive errors never stop coming? Last season the defence was out of sorts, same again this season. And nothing is done about it. Take care of it. Now!
The future looks gloomy, I´m sad to say. If we can´t beat the worst team in the division without enormous luck, then a fight at the top of the table looks unlikely. If we play like yesterday and face Chelsea, Arsenal and even Swansea it will be a dead cert defeat. The team must improve massively, and quick. I´ll hardly dare to watch the game against Real Madrid on Wednesday, I fear that the Spaniards will give us a humiliating lesson.
The below par performances is stacking up so perhaps it´s the current Liverpool standard. I hope not, but now it´s up to the Kop crew to prove otherwise. I really think the Reds can do better, if not it we are destined for a mediocre midtable position again, and I can´t take that after last season´s sensational football and title challenge.
The game yesterday left us with a lot of negatives but at least a couple of good signs could be seen. Three points is always welcome, whichever way we grab them, and the win sent Liverpool up the table to fifth and only three points behind third placed early pace-setters Southampton. And ahead of Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton and maybe Manchester United aswell, it depends how they fare versus West Brom tonight. Another encouraging thing was the improved display from Raheem Sterling. He was lively again and hopefully he can hit top form soon. Philippe Coutinho was eager when he came on after an hour. He is apparently also close to his best. Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet also performed pretty good. But none of the other players reached their best or even normal standard.
So, it´s high time for players and staff to take a hard and long look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are satisfied with what they are giving the Liverpool supporters at the moment. I sincerely hope that the answer is no and that the issue is addressed promptly.
Here are my ratings for the Reds that participated in the eighth league match of the season (on a scale from 1 to 10):
GK Simon Mignolet 6.
Made several crucial saves, some of them difficult ones. Was also pretty good in the air and made no mistakes. A solid effort, even if he was rooted to the line at times.
RB Glen Johnson 3.
Didn´t contribute so much offensively, only the cross that led to an own goal. Not so bad defensively even if he was caught napping a couple of times.
CB Dejan Lovren 3.
Has a hard time imposing himself on opponents and looks shaky. He gets outpaced and outwitted too often, mostly due to bad positioning.
CB Martin Skrtel 5.
Was wrongly placed once or twice resulting in dangerous situations. Otherwise he showed resoluteness and was fearless in the tackle.
LB José Enrique 3.
Over-works the ball sometimes and is therefore getting into trouble. Tried to join the attack but didn´t manage any end product.
DM Emre Can 3.
Did a decent defensive job but was sometimes passed too easily. Passed the ball simple and well. Could use his strong body more.
RM Jordan Henderson 4.
Had his moments with a few good passes and some deep threatening runs. Isn´t the dominant figure in midfield he is supposed to be.
CM Steven Gerrard 4.
Offered hard work, some opening passes and a few attacking endeavours. But on the whole he was not making his mark enough.
LM Adam Lallana 3.
Far from the fine performances of late. He had som creative efforts but faded the longer the match went on.
AM Raheem Sterling 6.
Started a little hesitant but got more and more involved. Ran a lot and his tricks paid off quite often. His quick run as late as in the 95th minute gave the winning goal.
CF Mario Balotelli 2.
A terrible performance. He constantly shot when a pass was on and his first touch was bad. No interchanges with his team-mates. Missed a sitter. Need bench-time.
CF Philippe Coutinho 5. (Replaced Adam Lallana after 66 minutes).
Was really up to it, moved well, scored a goal and hit some great passes.
DM Joe Allen 2. (Replaced Emre Can after 66 minutes).
Was quite quiet and wasn´t involved particularly much.
CB Kolo Toure 1. (Replaced Raheem Sterling after 95 minutes).
Only on for seconds and didn´t affect the game.
I can´t understand why Liverpool players seem to lack energy, a will to run a lot in order to get into great positions and refuses to learn how to defend. We should dominate and beat QPR handsomely, not with an own goal in the 95th minute. I have waited for an improvement but it is apparently far off. But still:
We Go Again.