February 2008 Archives

FERNANDO TORRES was absolutely fantastic against Middlesbrough on Saturday and I think we can say without any shadow of a doubt that he is one of the very best strikers around.

If you look at the Premiership. The likes of Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Emmanuel Adebayor and Cristiano Ronaldo are all fantastic players in their own right but in terms of being a threat in front of goal I don't think there is anyone better than Torres at the moment.

THE best way Liverpool could celebrate their victory over Inter Milan on Tuesday night would be to forget about the Champions League altogether until the two sides meet again in the second leg.

Before then Liverpool have got four Premiership games from which they must look to take a minimum of 10 points if they are to secure fourth place.

In effect, they are now involved in a mini-league with Everton, Man City and Aston Villa and the prize for the winners is absolutely huge.

IT WOULD be an overreaction to suggest the writing was on the wall for Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez going into this game but the graffiti daubed around Melwood yesterday showed just how frustrated many of the club's supporters have become.

Esteemed coaches like the Spaniard should not be judged by mob rule and such obscenities do not portray much intelligence or tactical acumen but the message to the man in the Anfield hot seat was a blunt and simple one - a plea to play his best team.

Although gambling somewhat by preferring Brazilian rookie Lucas to the experienced Xabi Alonso in midfield, Benitez, as expected, brought back the big guns for this heavyweight clash and was rewarded handsomely with a potentially historic win after his patient side saw off 10-man Internazionale with a two-goal salvo in the final five minutes.

LIVERPOOL fans must be thinking this season is becoming like a stuck record. Another disappointing result, another debate about Rafael Benitez's rotation policy.

The Spaniard's decision to leave out goalkeeper Pepe Reina, striker Fernando Torres and midfielder Javier Mascherano while only giving the last 15 minutes to captain Steven Gerrard came back to haunt him when Barnsley poached an FA Cup shock in the closing minute.

It all adds to the pressure on the manager ahead of tonight's Champions League showdown with Inter Milan.

WHEN it comes to the Champions League there appears no better tactician than Rafa Benitez.

It was a case of what a difference a couple of days make after the debacle of the FA Cup defeat against Barnsley.

And it proved, once and for all, that when the Liverpool manager indulges in his rotation policy - as he did last Saturday - he pays the price.

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