- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 21, 2009
- 4 Comments
- Geoff Reid, Liverpool
Editor’s Note: Geoff Reid appears on WVHooligan each week. Today he kicks off his new weekly post about the life of a Liverpool fan. Feel free to leave him your thoughts below.
So there I was just getting home from work last Sunday after nine o’clock knowing that I missed my beloved Liverpool’s season opener away against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. I already knew the score, as I was cheekily following the live up-to-date match statistics on my phone and was well gutted, however not jumping the gun. Once I was watching the replay on FSC and knowing the score I was still screaming at the television as if it was live. Makes me wonder if I’m actually sane when I know the eventual outcome. But then I also realized that nobody was around to listen to my points and anyone in my household that would have been there wouldn’t have understood what I was on about anyway. So the thought of an online diary if you will came into my head and unfortunately for you poor people that read this will be reading my points of view and rants!
In this day and age with the millions of dollars, pounds, euros whatever the currency may be, we find ourselves having a lot more knee jerk reactions after one bad result. Panic time starts to set in among certain fans and that is driven by the media more then anyone else. Also in this day and age, newspapers are struggling to sell with the growth of the internet so they need stories to sell their print. Some are true and others false. When it comes to English football, the tabloids in the UK are some of the worst. After reading some stories in the English tabloids, you wonder if they’ve even kicked a ball in their life.
After Liverpool lost to Spurs on opening weekend, these reactions were already happening with certain pundits saying Rafa Benitez hasn’t replaced Xabi Alonso, Lucas Leiva isn’t up to that responsibility and Liverpool’s title hopes are finished. All this after one match! My favorite Liverpool writer Paul Tomkins has a very interesting take on knee jerk reactions when it comes to this sort of thing. Is Lucas a suitable replacement for Alonso? No, of course not, that is why Rafa bought Alberto Aquilani from Roma right after Alonso was sold to Real Madrid. The problem is, Aquilani is injured for another six weeks at least, until late September at earliest. Already though, some former players turned pundits are getting on Aquilani’s case. Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon was quoted as saying “They have brought in Alberto Aquilani to fill that space but until he proves he can be the chief supplier then they are going to have problems.” So how can he prove himself when he is still injured? And as for Lucas, all the criticism he got after his performance against Spurs, he was actually one of Liverpool’s few bright spots along with new signing Glen Johnson in an otherwise poor overall performance.
The first half against Harry Redknapp’s side, the reds looked very flat, as did Spurs to a point and being the first game of the season, it was to be expected somewhat. The clash of heads between Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel summed it all up. That incident should never have happened and should have been avoided. It comes down to the basic art of defending, one of them has to put a name on that ball and call for it, especially when there was no pressure from a Spurs striker. Just goes to show, even the very best who play at the highest level can make mistakes. There was also other basics that were lacking like simply putting a few passes together, movement off the ball all of these simple things that made Liverpool top scorers in league play last season. It’s been a tough pre-season with different players starting at different times. For example, the Spanish contingent started their pre-season later because of Confederations Cup duties. Even Fernando Torres was getting unfairly criticized with pundits saying he looks like a shadow of his former self. Well if that’s the case, he might as well pack it in at the age of 25 because he’s already reached his peak and he’s past it. Because England didn’t take part in the Confederations Cup, not many English people even knew it was on or what it was therefore had no idea some players like Torres had a late start to pre-season training.
Overall, I can’t argue with the 2-1 defeat in north London. Spurs were the better side through the 90 minutes and all I kept thinking was we need to improve and fast. Yes, the reds should have had another penalty when Andriy Voronin was barged off the ball by a Tottenham defender when clearly he never meant to play the ball. Another shout for a handball came only a few minutes later but that was only ball to hand. Putting aside the late penalty claims, the defeat was what Liverpool deserved.
The home opener was only three nights later versus Stoke City and already it was a must win game, with all crazy rumors of Rafa Benitez quitting over supposedly not being given any more transfer funds by the owners. To be quite honest, I wouldn’t mind these rumors starting every week because whenever they seem to start Liverpool win by four goals! And it happened again against the potters. The question now is who is the real Liverpool? The side that beat Stoke 4-0 on Wednesday evening or the one that was second best against Spurs?