December 2012 Archives
Although we still have one game to play before our Christmas schedule is over, today was the day that quite possibly would prove to the supporters, Liverpool were in fact making the expected improvements under manager Brendan Rodgers. We were after all playing Queens Park Rangers, who are still languishing in the relegation zone having only won, one game.
Off the field matters took precedence first though, as it was announced at lunchtime today that Brendan Rodgers would not attend the game due to an illness. This meant that Colin Pascoe, who himself was ill and Mike Marsh were in charge of first team affairs for the day. The illness also claimed reserve goalkeeper Brad Jones and meant that Peter Gulasci had to be rushed down to London from Merseyside.
The next thing that annoyed the majority of Liverpool supporters was the fact that Liverpool were playing in that DREADFUL black kit. Now that kit should not see the light of day because it is so awful, but I guess it has to be worn several times a year under the agreement put into place with Warrior. I also understand that the sales of the shirt are extremely low, so I get the feeling Liverpool have been told to wear it, to ensure it gets more exposure. It won't work of course, because Liverpool have played in Red since the 1960's and that must NEVER change.
Yesterday Brendan during his weekly press conference decided to talk the talk and stated that he could see Liverpool finish not only in the top four but in second place. Now don't get me wrong here because it is absolutely fine for a manager to have ambition. The problem is, that ambition is totally out of touch with what the true standing of the team is.
So at the beginning of the match today, we had not only a team that were over confident but a team who although still not the finished article, had a lot of pressure piled onto their shoulders. That was a sure sign that things would go wrong and they certainly did.
The day itself started with a minute's applause for ex-manager and player Phil Taylor who had passed away a fortnight ago - How I would love to know his feelings about the game. It has also been arranged that everyone would applaud when the clock struck nineteen minutes to show their appreciation for Sylvain Petrov, who is winning his fight against cancer.
Today was the day when a fledgling Liverpool team would find out if they could cope without their talisman and only striker. Luis Suarez was as we all know serving a one match ban after receiving the fifth of five yellow cards. The name of his replacement has been hinted at throughout the week and it as expected it was Jonjo Shelvey. Now Jonjo has a terrible habit of hesitating in front of the goal and sending the ball over the post, so it hoped today would be the day, he found the back of the net - he did with a little help from Collins who also managed to tap it.
Liverpool of course appear to be unable to make easy work of any of the games that they play and today's game appeared to be split into quarters. For the first twenty minutes, it looked as though the right formation had been selected by Brendan but as usual, the same old mistakes began to happen and our defence suddenly appeared to open up. Why this is, I have no idea, because by now the players should have covered what are becoming regular mistakes in training.
The first goal of the game came during that period from none other than West Ham old boy, Glen Johnson who seemed to have the run of the left flank. Several times, he managed to work his way past Matt Jarvis and it was not long before a thunderous short from him, found the back of the net. Liverpool were in front and with Stevie G also have a shot deflected, at that point in time, although early in the game it looked as they could go on to win it. Raheem also had a couple of shots at the goal, but again failed to find the back of the net.
If you know your Liverpool Football Club history you will know that today marks the 53rd anniversary of Bill Shankly's arrival at Anfield. An arrival that ensured Liverpool became one of most successful teams in England.
He took over from Phil Taylor, whose death was announced this morning and I am sure all Liverpool supporters will join with in saying, Rest In Peace Phil and thank you for doing what you did for Liverpool Football Club.
Today was also the day that Liverpool began the game with a minute's applause for the young academy player, Stephen Packer who lost his fight against cancer. Lucas tweeted his condolences to the family during the week and again on behalf of all Liverpool supporters, Rest in Peace Stephen and I know that your family will be comforted by the fact that you are now free of pain and in peace. They will also be aware that you will be looking down on them.