Sunday 14th August 2016
Any idea as to whether Liverpool will go on to challenge at the very top of this year’s Premier League is impossible to predict. In one of their ‘tougher’ fixtures on paper however, they go home with the three points. On top of the disappointment of defeat is the frustration that our visitors really didn’t play that well.
Our pre-season went pretty well I feel but all of us experts are united in our opinion that a good squad could become a potentially great one with a couple of additions. And if ever that was emphasised that was today.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought we played quite well in the first half. A goal and a missed penalty backs up the fact we were the better side and equally as important we looked pretty sound in defence too, our visitors limited to no more than a couple of half chances.
And we were unlucky enough to go in level at the break to an absolute ‘worldy’ of a free kick.
But if we took the game by the scruff of the neck in a similar fashion after half time we were in with a massive chance of getting a positive result.
Whatever was said in the interval however, and I assume it was start with the same intensity as we did from kick-off, it certainly didn’t get carried out onto the pitch.
Two big defensive injuries in the same position pre-season is unlucky. I get that. But even if they didn’t occur we all knew it was an area that needed strengthening. And we haven’t done that.
And up front the story is the same. Olly Giroud is a decent centre forward. As is Danny Welbeck. But they are not available. We knew that many weeks ago. Alexis is an awesome player. But he is no centre forward. Today his role looked almost irrelevant at times.
Going forward however, is not our biggest concern. We have players in our squad all over the pitch who can score goals. And if you get three at home, you should win any game.
Our visitors today some good goals but all (apart perhaps from the opener) were avoidable with better defensive play. And in that crucial 15 – 20 minutes after half time when we needed to start again and make that first half dominance repeat itself we were nowhere to be seen.
I’ve seen us score 4 at Anfield. In fact in one game I saw us score 6. But very very rarely have I seen us concede 4 at home. But today that happened and we got beat.
Taking the positives, we were good in the first half and we battled to make a game of it from an impossible situation.
But letting in 4 goals and losing to a side that really weren’t that good is extremely worrying.
It is easy to criticise team choices and tactical decisions after a game and with the benefit of hindsight. Especially when you get beat. That cannot be argued. But after 45 minutes today it looked like we had got it right. What went wrong from there is more difficult to comprehend.
The trip to Leicester comes next, not a fixture that needs any additional build up. The Foxes are the Champions of England they host our team smarting from today’s disappointment.
That game can’t come round quick enough in my book.
Chins up people.