Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Liverpool 0, Aston Villains 1: 'Character'? Senderos should be suspended

In continuing some of the worst football seen in the Premiership in years, Aston Villa pulled off a criminal win against Liverpool on Saturday.  The farcical display was highlighted by four, yes, four off-the-ball assaults by Phillip Senderos on Mario Balotelli.  Somehow all four officials missed them all.  Oh yes, there are FOUR officials, not just one or two or three, but four.  Once again the Prem cheapens it's product with a laughable display of officiating and then blatantly ignores the 'ignoring'.  Yes, the refs saw all four fouls, if that was Sakho on Rooney, the Frenchman would have been sent off immediately after the first assault and then probably fined and suspended.  Save the lies, misdirections, and double-speak for the idiots who will fork over any amount of money to feel like a winner because their lives are so pathetically indulged in vicarious behavior and will never analyze anything beyond where they defecate.  If the Premier League truly cared about racism, they certainly failed to show it at Anfield on Saturday.  If the Premier League truly cared about putting an honest product on the pitch, they would never allow contentious acts of 'character' be displayed one time, yet alone four.  Welcome to the hyperreality, you just got a front row seat.

With my diatribe out of the way, Liverpool did not deserve to win either, but they certainly should not have lost.  They dominated nearly every aspect of the match except thuggery.  Lo and behold had the home side acted in the manner that the Brum bruisers did, cards would have been in abundance.  The fact that LFC received more cards than the visitors is laughable in itself.  Amazingly the Claret and Blue got called for more fouls though, a whole one that is, and 19 total fouls in the entire match?  Maybe the refs didn't see anything in the match, maybe they were just too busy thinking about their summer homes.

As for individual performances, outside of the amazing diplay of 'character' by Phillip Senderos, who probably thinks by 'character', he means a cartoon character.  Maybe he thought he was Elmer Fudd and Balotelli was Bugs Bunny. Who knows, who cares.  Getting on with it, Adam Lallana has a long way to go to justify his £26m transfer fee, 80% passing is just not going to get it done.  It was technically his first match so he gets a pass, this time.  The bottom line is, we had an 89% pass success rate, we moved the ball down the pitch with ease, but once we got in the opponent's third, we failed to find space, failed to make space, and failed to take advantage of the few true shot opportunities afforded to us by the 'negative' football being displayed by Villa.

Once in a while, especially early on in matches, we need to take ambitious chances to score spectacular goals and once we are a threat from scoring outside the box, it'll open up the pitch like magic.  Sterling, Coutinho, and Henderson are going to have to 'thump' it from distance and try to at least force a save from the opposition keeper.  Maybe Balotelli sneaks and puts away on the rebound, you never know.  It's nice to have players that want to help their teammates score, but one too many passes is becoming habitual among our players and getting us no where.  Sometimes being selfish is best for the team.

There is little logic to Saturday's result.  Aston Villa basically planned on the nil-nil draw and got a lucky result.  They had no intentions of trying to play an up-and-down match with a side that would have abused them for doing so.  Still, Liverpool is going to have to deal with this a lot this season, very few other than the top five or six clubs have the firepower to get into a free-for-all.  Coutinho, Sterling, Henderson, and Lallana are going to have to step up, take chances and quit going for the obvious pass all the time.  Failure to do so is going to result in a long season and Balotelli getting assaulted often.

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