Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Basel FC 1, Liverpool 0: 'We didn't get going quickly'? Rubbish.

I have plenty to say about today's match and will wait to be more objective, but for Rodgers to come out and say 'We didn't get going quickly' is complete ox arse.  At least Gerrard admitted, 'We were not good enough tonight.'  Damn right you weren't.  In fact there was no 'we' to begin with, our boys had as much cohesiveness as a half-drunk Sunday side in the park who had never played together before and quite frankly, it was embarrassing.

We were tired, quite obviously.  Yes, our squad has been decimated with injuries, but that doesn't excuse the dreadful passing display.  I honestly think Sterling should have been given the day off and Suso given his spot.  A win would have been nice, but a draw more ideal.  We got neither though.

I can say their goal was 'luck', but unlike Everton last Saturday, Basel created many more legitimate chances.  They deserved that goal and it's hard to argue against it.  We deserved to score as well, but didn't.  Sterling wasted many a chance and the rest of the side didn't do much better.

We were dispossessed entirely too easily and it was mainly because of our indecisiveness on the ball.  We were predictable and clearly lacked the intuitiveness needed to anticipate fellow players' moves. I don't want to blame one player in particular for our 'self-stifling' attack, but I will say this, Loic Remy, bad heart and all, or Samuel Eto'o, wheelchair and all, would have been better acquisitions.

This was a rare occasion.  Maybe it was because of the foreign atmosphere, but Hendo and Sterling did not play well.  Despite travel time in the England squad, they appeared quite uncomfortable in the unfamiliar confines of Saint Jakob-Park.  They are the heart of the side now with Gerrard playing third fiddle.  Had Sir Gerrard crumbled, we would have been in huge trouble.

On the other end of the spectrum, Coutinho was fantastic, at least in the first half.  Some of the passes he made were spot on, especially to his diminutive English counterpart.  In fact, he might be the poster child to being a more efficient side and player as Sterling clearly needs some time off.  Hendo's performance was surprising though, since he's yet to show any affects from fatigue.

I'm getting really tired of the Markovic criticism though.  Once again, he's 20-years-old, and showed much improvement today.  Sure he made a few mindless passes, mostly due to misinterpreting his clubmates' moves, but he was much better on the ball.  He's going to be a great buy, but needs time, much like Sterling and Coutinho did.

I don't know how much I want to write about Balotelli.  Until he and the club realize he is not the player they are trying to utilize him as, it's a waste of every one's time.  He will not beat one yet two defenders on the dribble, he will not make many brilliant passes, and he will not get as many calls as he should.  I don't necessarily believe he needs a 'partner' striker, but he does need solid service and with Sterling, Coutinho, Gerrard, Can, and Henderson, that should be the issue.  The issue relies in his positioning and communicating between he and his potential assisters.

In the end, I think I agree with our Captain, we aren't good enough.  Fortunately for us, I think we have the ability to get much better, so I don't think bringing in another player is necessary.   We look like a bunch of individuals out there masquerading as a team.  That has to stop, we have to gel, or we are looking at a long and down-winding road.

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