Time for Liverpool to stand up and react
IF BEATING Chelsea gave us all a big boost six days ago at Anfield then losing at Everton on Wednesday night quickly ended the feeling.
I know the match had a dramatic climax which left Evertonians celebrating but the truth is it was a dreadful game - one of the worst derby matches I can ever remember.
The central defenders on both sides were on top from the word go. Both Graeme Sharp and myself in the radio commentary box agreed it was very poor stuff as it unfolded in front of us.
When Steven Gerrard limped away our creativity departed with him. Then when Lucas was sent off, we were obviously a man short and even more up against it.
But I believe Rafa might have got the tactical reaction to us going down to ten men wrong on this occasion.
I'd have preferred to see us keep two up front, maybe with Ryan Babel alongside Torres, because in playing Torres on his own we really drew Everton onto us. And the Spaniard ultimately faced a losing battle.
It was a night to forget but today the players have to show they have picked themselves up and are ready deliver a big reaction at Portsmouth.
Pompey have been struggling recently and their manager might be only days fromfacing the chop, so while they'll try and make it difficult we've got to be right up for it. Particularly as we could go top again with a victory, with United not playing until Sunday.
I hope we go with two up front. Babel has shown he isn't a wide player and doesn't want to be, so maybe pairing him with Torres might give us the firepower we need.
Whatever the line-up though we can't afford feeble minds or attitudes - we've got to stand up and be counted.
The fans will be looking out for that. And for top performances - especially with Steven Gerrard out - from players who have been brought in for big or sizeable fees; players who are yet to really live up to expectations.
I won't mention names - everyone knows who they are.
But it's time they showed they are good enough for Liverpool now.
Tough on Keane
I FEEL more than a bit sorry for Robbie Keane.
And worried that his sale back to Spurs leaves us light, which could leave Rafa Benitez open to criticism now if that is how it pans out.
Okay, he wasn't doing it for the manager but he was twice left out after scoring two goals and that is the last thing any striker will want happening to him when he's on a roll.
I suspect he was also something of a victim of internal politics too.
Let's hope this is not an episode and a transfer we come to regret.
* I DON'T know what more I can say about Phil Easton that hasn't been said.
I worked so closely with him doing the post match phone-ins for Radio City and I was so shocked at his sudden death.
Phil always looked after me on air. Those phone-ins could be long and difficult sometimes - when the fans calling in were angry at results or performances. But with Phil at my side they always seemed to go so quickly.
He was a top professional and a wonderful guy and it won't be the same without him.
I'm going to miss him.