Once a Red, Always a Red

Once a Red, Always a Red

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 12, 2009
  • Always a Red, Geoff Reid, Liverpool, Once a Red

Editor’s Note: Geoff Reid appears on WVHooligan.com each week. This week he returns with his series on the life of a Liverpool fan. Feel free to leave Geoff your thoughts below.

Itís been a little while since I last posted my thoughts on Liverpool FC.† Last time out, the club had just suffered a demoralizing defeat at home to the hands on Aston Villa, and crisis mode was being pushed by the media and some fans adding fuel to the already growing fire.† Since then, the reds picked up a scrappy 3-2 win at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton before going on an international break.† So in theory, there isnít too much to recap.

Starting with the match against Bolton Wanderers, by all means was not the prettiest match in the world and in a lot of ways it defined the term winning ugly.† If we get all the negatives out of the way first, the defending simply has to improve, itís as simple as that.† All fingers will point to zonal marking because itís the easiest bandwagon to jump on in times like these, yet Liverpool have had one of if not the best defense in the league the last few years.† That there tells me it works.† The problem simply is the reaction time has to be better.† If the ball is bouncing around in your six yard box, as a defender your first instinct should be to block the ball or clear it out of danger no matter what cost.† Man marking has always traditionally been the English way of defending and in a lot of ways itís one example of why the English game was behind the times for so many years before it took foreign managers and players to come in during the latter half of the 1990ís but thatís another story for another day.

Moving onto the positives, we saw a good debut for Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos who seems to be a direct replacement for Finnish legend Sami Hyypia.† Although he doesnít look the quickest on the ground, certainly his height could be key in the coming months this season in the league playing against teams like Bolton who have a physical style about them, plus heís already been exposed to British football by being on the books of Rangers in the SPL for 18 months so heís no stranger to the traditional style.

Another positive was the character and determination amongst the squad after going behind twice and coming back to win.† No, itís not a recurring theme we want, but it is comforting to know that when the team is up against it then they do have the drive to come back from the brink but then again, thatís been a trademark of this team ever since Rafa Benitez became manager in the summer of 2004 and proof of this was the Champions League final against AC Milan in Istanbul a year later.† Fernando Torresí confidence will be higher after scoring and every striker is confident the more goals he scores.† Since this game, it looks like Steven Gerrard has come back into top form after scoring for England to help seal their trip to South Africa next summer.† Alberto Aquilani has yet to make his debut because he is still recovering from an injury he picked up with Roma at the end of last season and that still canít get here soon enough because Lucas Leiva is not the long term answer in midfield alongside Javier Mascherano.† Lucas is another option for rotation and hasnít performed badly, but he wonít be first on the team sheet if everyone is healthy for the biggest match of the season whether itís the Champions League Final or a league match that is must win that would guarantee the title all Liverpool fans crave.

This Saturday, Liverpool host Burnley (9:55am, ESPN2) in what should be a hard fought match.† Expect Burnley to close up shop and hold out for a 0-0 draw, similar to what Stoke City did last season when they came to Anfield.† Once again, the question is which Liverpool team will show up to play?

On a side note, everyone should join me in congratulating our own WV Hooligan for officially tying the knot!