In Dubai for the last leg of the Ford Rabaa rally…go team Oman!!!
Football players required to take part in a cup final. Only LFC registered members need apply.
After a casting call like that, you would think there would be plenty to prove from those chosen to play against Fulham. What you would not expect was 8 out of 11 begging to be put on the bench. Losing to a team that has won only 28 away games out of 200 is an embarrassment. However, this was not an LFC team. This was an experimental B team who lost to a fluke goal. People talk about LFC not giving the youngsters/squad players a chance, but when they do get it, and the results are poor, there is a backlash. People complain about being lower than Everton, but when the choice is 7th or 8th, only the blues can really care about such trivial honours.
But most of these debates are the wrong issues…what should be of more concern to all LFC fans, especially those watching the game with me last night (actually, I was alone in the Hyatt, but I was chatting to friends by SMS and BBM) is what we should do when the top 5 players are taken out of the team? And what do we do about the leeches!
As some of you know, we have promising, underperforming, melting, inconsistent, and lame players in abundance, so once we remove our 5 best players, we are left with a team that is not LFC. Not one of the players starting last night, except Skertl is an expected starter this season.
Doni, showed some excellent skills to keep LFC in the game, and was one of the few to enhance his reputation. Great understudy to Reina. Could do nothing about the goal. Bench on Sat
Aurelio, the lame, has played 1 minute all season, and managed another 60 ish last night. He showed flashes of why Benitez rated him so highly, but as he can only be relied upon for 20% of the season, you can also see why Benitez offered him a pay as you play contract. Woy then gave him a full time contract, and converted him from lame to leech. Perhaps he can play in the cup final, as he is still better than Enrique, but will he last 90 mins? He has to go in the summer or renegotiate his contract.
Skertl, the captain for the night, scored an unlucky own goal. At half time, LFC had 12 attempts on goal, 0 goals scored. Fulham had NO attempts on goal, ONE goal scored. Ridiculous! Just our continual bad luck this season. Will probably play on Sat with Agger.
Coates the promising looked very assured, and made some neat tackles. He put forward a good case for getting more game time, but not for usurping Agger or Skertl yet, but certainly a good shout for third choice ahead of Carra. Should be bench on Sat, but Carra will be one of the 3, before being moved backroom in the summer.
Kelly the promising, was again very solid and made a lot of contributions in attack. He showed again that he offers more in defence than Johnson, but not as much in attack. This might be enough to get the nod ahead of Glen, as we will probably spend a lot more time defending against Chelsea. Evens to bench or start.
Maxi the inconsistent. 6 goals in 14 starts. So brilliant at times, he looks South American, so anonymous at times he looks…well you don’t know he is playing! To be fair, I believe he needs to playing in a team of players with the same style of pass and move for him to really flourish. When he was with Athletico, he provided and scored some brilliant one touch moves, but LFC are currently a 3 touch team (one to control, one to position, one to pass) that is so slow it gives the opposition enough time to reposition and anticipate the passes. Bench and out to a more fluid team in the summer.
Henderson the underperforming, started on the right yet again, despite proving multiple times, he contributes nothing to the team on the right wing. It does not help LFC, and it does not help him. Having said that, evens to start on sat, just because KK always chooses him. Replaced by Downing at half time. Downing the underperforming was ostensibly bought to supply Carroll. With Carroll underperforming, there was an argument to be made that Downing couldn’t supply a misfiring striker. Last night had to be the last straw. Carroll was a monster last night, and still Downing was unable to feed him. Bench (fingers crossed) and an uncertain summer ahead with better players coming in.
Jon Jo the promising, is progressing nicely, but last night was a set back. He is a very direct attacking player, and given the centre of the park, I was hoping he would take the opportunity by the scruff of the neck. Unfortunately, whether it was the lack of support or the pressure from Murphy et al, he wasn’t able to shine. Bench with a promising future.
Spearing the under rated, suffers from a PR problem. He is not exotic like Mascherano or Lucas. He is not sexy like Zico or Gullit. He is just a local lad one injury away from being an extra in the Hobbit. He does nothing wrong (apart from trying too hard last night and misplacing passes) but gets criticised for not contributing more.
Kuyt the melting was great as usual. He is a fighter, and there were several things missing from LFC last night. One was desire. Kuyt always has it, but many of the others did not. (As if playing for a cup final place wasn’t enough, or in some cases fighting for a job come the summer) The other was leadership. Some of the players need a 2005 Stevie G to get in their face and scream at them to make them perform. Or any other type of leadership, but there was little of that. Kuyt leads by example always, but eventually ages catches up on everyone. Evens to start on sat, but likely to go in the summer.
Carroll the underperforming…this guy was TRANSFORMED. I have not rated him this year at all, even though he has been getting better recently…but on last nights performance ONLY, I could see why he was worth 35 million. In a sea of red dross, one player won every challenge, threw his body about, got involved as if he was desperate to win, and would win the game single handed if he had to. He was so immense LFC were resorting to the long ball in the second half (and even then Downing was absent). Start on sat, with hopes for a better season next year.
Last night was miserable to watch and relive so many matches this season, but it was necessary for the future. The FA Cup final on Saturday is the only prize left this season (7th is not a prize) and it was also the last chance for many players to justify their contracts. After Sat, expect some scorched earth policy around Anfield. Squeaky bum town for some who played last night…
Team Oman won yet again, and are back in the frame to win the challenge. Only Dubai left…