12/21/2009 04:33:00 pm

Why the Christmas period could provide a glimmer of hope for LIVERPOOL FC

Confidence and belief is in the gutter as Liverpool enter the Christmas period, but if previous years are anything to go by, the next few weeks could actually turn out to be rather fruitful for the club.

If there is one positive thing that has been a constant for Liverpool under Rafa Benitez, it is performing well in the league over the Christmas period:












P - 19
W - 13
D - 4
L – 2

Goals for - 40
Goals against - 13

As you can see, Liverpool has never had a bad Christmas period under Benitez.

I may not be a fan of the manager but that does not mean I don't want the CLUB to do well. I support the club over the individual, and for the sake of Liverpool FC, wins are desperately needed over the next two weeks.

So let's history repeats itself and this positive trend continues.

Jaimie Kanwar


Guest said...

away to villa next week is going to be such a toughie. we dont have the best of records at villa park.

liverpoolfan1970 said...

Not too many clubs have done well at Villa Park this season.  Max points is a must.  But first things first: we need 3 points on Boxing Day. 

Guest said...

I think this Crimbo will be slightly different. After all Rafa has been very bad. He sold a very good toy (Alonso) and wasted Santas time with toys that were then thrown out of the cot (Keane) and he has paid a lot of money for broken toy (Aquilani). So Xmas this year may be different.

Antoine said...

I, too, hope we have a successful xmas; however, I wonder if LFC has lost its fear factor? What I mean by that is whether or not teams fear us anymore, which at times may have helped us overcome some opponents. It is clear that some teams mind-set in playing LFC in the past was to hope for a result (tie) but not a victory (Wolverhampton;s decision to start a youth team against Manure). Now, I think teams smell blood in the water and no longer fear us. Psychollogically, we may be the team with more anxiety than our opponents knowing each game is crucial.
Your thoughts? Also, I am glad you allowed Chris to write a pro Rafa article; who says you aren't being fair or balanced?

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Hi Antoine - I think you're spot on about the loss of the fear factor.  Teams do not fear us anymore, and why should they.  You just have to look at some of the comments from the opposition this season to see that. After the Blackburn game, Christopher Samba said he was disappointed by Liverpool and that Blackburn felt they should have won.  The more frail we look, the more confidence other teams get.   It also doesn't helps that Benitez and the players are always in the proess moaning about lack of confidence.  This is the ultimate evidence of the death of our winning mentality.  God, stop bitching about it and just get on with trying to fix the problem! Continually moaning about lack of confidence just gives teams even more incentibve to beat us.  As you say, they smell blood.

And you're right about Chris' article - that's how this site achieves the balance that so many people moan about. The other writers write what they like; I've never suppressed a positive article and I never would.  I like to have different views on the site.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Yes - defeat against Wolves is unthinkable...but that's what was said before the Portsmouth game too =-X

jc said...

You are indeed a witty man!!

Boldlygoes said...

Having Mascarano sent off maybe a blessing. Rafa will be forced to play a more attacking formation. Surely he must play 2 strikers and Aquilani against Wolves.

Guest said...

Aquilani is unfit unsurprisingly he might feature off the bench tho. He definitely needs to play Ngog and Torres as you can't keep expecting Torres to play up front alone when by the manager's own admission he's not fully fit. Why play him alone then?

There are so many holes in Benitez current thinking he's like a sieve.

Guest said...

I know but i'm dreading our team sheet for that game. I bet he goes with Insua and Aurelio/Dossena on the wings. i.e 2 full backs.

Or with Mascherano out he'll play Aurelio as a holding midfielder with Lucas or something negative like that. I'll bet my house it will Torres alone up front yet again.

I'm sick to the back teeth of this man and his negative, defence first selections.

Antoine said...

Surely, you jest. Did you forget about Aurelio? Surely, Rafa sees him as viable replacement in the midfield.

Guest said...

Wolves won't be easy. They just beat spurs at home which we haven't done the last 3 times. Anything less than 3 points and the pressure on the players going to Villa Park will be intense.

Antoine said...

Also, don't forget about Plessi or even moving up Carragher. Attack, in Rafa's lexicon, is something used to pin up sheets on the wall.

bharat said...

just out of curiosity jamie are u sikh?

bharat said...

also i just want to make a point and am doing it here just for the heck f it...wasnt pompy's first goal a country mile offside...i thought it was and if it was why was it not mentioned even once on any sort of news bulletin, article, forum etc...??

rossi said...

Hi Jaimie, just read your other post with you talking about Gabby agbonlahor and Ash Young, honestly do you really believe we could get both for between 25 and 30 mill, thats a joke considering MON was trying to sell barry for 18mill with only 2 years left on his contract and i believe these 2 have long term contracts.

+ you said benitez can no longer inspire and motivate the team, so im asking you to prove it??? and dont say 4 wins in 17, that only proves the team is playing shit not that he doesnt inspire or motivate.

On a positive note i agree with alot of what you said about saturday.

Couldnt believe dossena started on left

Why didnt he just keep the same team as against wigan (for continuity) or on the other hand iv noticed over the last few weeks Gerrard is just not that effective in the hole behind torres anymore, i would suggest partly down to the fact we miss alonso's sharp passing that finds him in space. Watching the lfc channel on friday and an old game from 05/06 everton where we won 3-1 and gerrard was out on the right. What do you think about if we were to go back to a 442 with gerrard on the right with a bit of lisence to go more central at times, because with Johnson, we have someone who can keep the width, when gerrard inevitably wonders. Benayoun on left and try ngog and torres upfront, who are the only 2 who seem to score at the minute????

I thought it wasnt a bad idea

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Hi bharat. To answer your question: No, I am not Sikh. I'm not religious.
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Guest said...

Its clear that Gerrard can no longer carry the team single handedly, he performaces this season have been Terrible

theycallmemrBurt said...

When gerrard is asked to play wide for liverpool he sulks like a little girl.  The body language of the boy isn't the best at the best of times but he wont play there for us.  Even though he had his most productive season EVER playing wide right for us.

For England though, he'll run his balls off in whatever position.  Personally I would get him out.  He is the original billy big bollocks and saps the confidence out of those around him with his brooding face and sulky demeanor.  I can't stand the sight of his face at the moment.

theycallmemrBurt said...

Gerrard is no more than a bully.  His style of play and "SEE YOU SHOULD HAVE PASSED IT TO ME!" body language FORCES players not to fully display their tlents because he carries alot of weight at the club.  I'm no fan of Traore but the way he humiliated the boy by taking the ball of his feet time and time again in one particular match showed this.  What that said to me was "YOU ARE NOT FIT TO BE IN THE SAME SIDE AS ME!" I don't want this from a Liverpool captain.  Another example of a talent sapper is Micheal Owen.  No one can play alongside this guy, even the great Ronaldo admitted it.  Strikers were merely in the side to make him look good and if they couldn't do that they're were out.

mo said...

let me get it this right, you are having a go at Gerrard for being single minded and determined ot do well for his club. i am amazed. i rather a leader who takes responsibility for the team that a leader who does not want to hurt the feeling of players like Troare in my team anyday.
any team is a better much better if they have a fully fit steven gerrard.
in regard to Owen, i just cant defend that shit.

makmanaman said...

if you were the best player in your team - and had to engineer wins single handedly time after time, would you be fed up with playing with sub standard players such as your example of traore?
The only way to instill a winning mentality is to be ruthless, you cant let standards slip like rafa has lately, they have to be treated with a reaction ie sacking of mark hughes.

redhed said...

how about we make all new contracts "performance based", no play well, no pay well. sick of sulky liverpool the prems boo hoo boys. sorry liverpool but your glory days are gone, crying , or continually going on about it wont change it. when i was a kid both leeds and newcastle were HUGE......with a couple of new "4th spot" contenders someone is going to miss out. the pattern is set, decline is in progress, chaos rules at anfield, the enevitable end is in sight ( maybe now even to the raffa tinted glasses brigade). but from ashes....?

Hmmm said...

"<span>I may not be a fan of the manager"</span>

sitting on the fence?

Guest said...

well said its about time some of the players woke up and started to put a good shift in. Check the records its now almost 12 months since gerrard played a half decent game for the club. After the game against newcastle he proceeded to get himself arrested for a brawl. He has not played well since then. The club stood by him when clearly gerrard needed support how has he repaid us, with lacklustre performances and sulking when asked to play out of position anfd yet if cappello asked him he would play in goal. He is not alone though Carragher has also refused to play as a full back when asked. What have the following players got in common - Dalglish, Beardsley, Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and so on - answer they never ever thought that they where bigger than the club, always realised that it was the club and the supporters who helped to make them what they were. Not so with some of our current crop. Whilst i am in this sites owners eyes an apologist some of the players need to take there portion of blame. Whatever team Rafa puts out on the pitch when the whislte blows  he can do nothing but spectate like us. Against Rafa I look at the body language of one of the highest qualified coaches in the country and to me Sammy Lee tells us all is not well behind the scenes. H and G have taken a lot of stick from many supporters me included but they dont decide who to sign, they provide the finance that is available to them to support the manager its the manager who decides who to sign. the adequacy of the finance they have provided is very much open to debate in my opinion not enough, but then i have to say some of the players purchased with the limited finances made available are very questionable. So H and G start packing your bags and Rafa leave whilst you still have some of your reputation intact go with dignity a legend remembered at anfield forever for the 5th one.

locky said...

To hell with it, bring in Pacheco. He has bags of potential, and as the current crop seem to be unwilling or unable to step up, let a young player have a go.

That said dont hold your breath, Benitez  seige mentality is in full flow.

Stel said...

we'll take him on loan at Arsenal in Jan..

poloy said...

I just hope the team can find a way to use other teams' lack of fear to our advantage.

In the past, these teams who were afraid of us just parked the bus in front of goal, hopefully we can take advantage.

Guest said...

very funny

redhed said...

exactly, if these pampered sulks dont want to play, bring in the reserve boys who i'm sure will give it thier all. to many teams with no "stars" take us to the cleaners because football demands effort, a team effort. we used to come back from the dead and score in the dying minutes of a game, that showed grit, now its just " i cant be fucked". i cant get to anfield ( or even england) but if i could i'd give these lazy muts a right  bollocking at the top of my voice!, about time anfield faithfull worked out that your boys need a rockit up em, theyre no gods, theyre our employees....

Jay said...

yet that is what fans are basing their judgement of Rafa on - win against Wolves and all is forgiven! lmao

Jay said...

we played some good fluid football against Wigan with Aurelio on the left of midfield.  Notably however, we also had dropped Gerrard into midfield in the place of Lucas, instead of having him just standing upfield with a defender of his back waiting for balls that never arrive, and also had moved Kuyt from midfield to partner a man up front thus giving the side an extra body to work with up front while also removing a blockade to forward movement from the right of midfield.

Even as a man that has wanted Rafa gone for years, I was singing his plaudits after the Wigan game (for finally making the simple & obvious changes we've been calling for pretty much all season) and stating that this performance could be the template to kick on for the rest of season, but alas he reverted to type in the very next match, as did the team's performance

Kuyt and Lucas were brought back into midfield in the place of Gerrard and Benayoun, and the rest is history (read humiliating defeat against the bottom club in the league)

Jay said...

Guest - we played some good fluid football against Wigan with Aurelio on the left of midfield.  Notably however, we also had dropped Gerrard into midfield in the place of Lucas, instead of having him just standing upfield with a defender of his back waiting for balls that never arrive, and also had moved Kuyt from midfield to partner a man up front thus giving the side an extra body to work with up front while also removing a blockade to forward movement from the right of midfield.  
Even as a man that has wanted Rafa gone for years, I was singing his plaudits after the Wigan game (for finally making the simple & obvious changes we've been calling for pretty much all season) and stating that this performance could be the template to kick on for the rest of season, but alas he reverted to type in the very next match, as did the team's performance  
Kuyt and Lucas were brought back into midfield in the place of Gerrard and Benayoun, and the rest is history (read humiliating defeat against the bottom club in the league)

Jay said...

Plessis should've definitely been given some opportunities in the first team this season. 

In the absence of common sense and giving up with the two holding midfielder system to drop Gerrard back into centre midfield, Plessis should've been taking games away from Lucas and Masch when they were still in the midst of being given half a season to play themselves into form! (not least for the simple fact that I think that he is actually a better prospect, and at least an equal player to Lucas already)

Jay said...

to be fair I don't think anybody is carrying that fear factor anymore - teams are slowly realising that setting yourself up to only hope for a draw (everybody stays deep bar one striker) will usually result in defeat, and are at least putting out players with some form of attacking intent.

The problem that Liverpool face is that we haven't used all these years of CL football to stockpile superior CL calibre talent to everybody else throughout our team, and so are much closer to the chasing pack than we should be and not proving to be capable of capitalising on the more open games

Gary said...

We haven't had the fear factor for a long time; pretty much since the Premier League started. Some teams give up before they even get to Old Trafford, as we saw with Wolves last week. Fulham also did it last season going up to OT. We're seen a scalp. A big team who are beatable which is why we sometimes struggle against the lesser teams. They up their games, and we sometimes we can't deal with it. Portsmouth on Saturday was a perfect example of this. That was probably the best Portsmouth have played all season. 

Whether you like Rafa's style of play or not, we have always been difficult to beat. During Rafa's tenure we have lost 68 games in total out of 316 gamesin all competitions (PL, FA, CL, CC) which is pretty good record. However we are playing so badly at the moment and with so little confidence we don't even have that anymore. We look pretty vulnerable every time we play. 

longchalk said...


ok the dust is settling after the latest horror show
a few points we may wish to hold onto before the new year
The shankly quote reported in the Times - we really need to heed that.
Any problems will be dealt with by the club, the board will take action if required
At the moment its bad however recoverable just about.
MOTIVATION !? Rubbish as ive said before anyone who needs motivating should be shown the door no exceptions simmply end off and good riddance.
Its not the manager who gets the results it’s the players - yes rafas tactics are bizarre however witch hunting him is not a solution.
I belive hes surrounded by yes men now perhaps this is where the issues breed A strong objective character is needed to have a quiet honest stock check - howver who that would be is a mystery is sammy lee capable?
The internal staff changes made by rafa and the demise of results will not go unnoticed so I expect action if it continues.
Last year was good yet we must bear in mind the sea changes right throu the league
I cant see 8 teams fighting for the top positions, I don’t believe the likes of villa,spurs etc,, can maintain it till the end. however we need to put it right asap.
I pray we get maximum points for xmas period otherwise God knows!
Important to remember even with alonso last year we couldn’t kill teams off.
That was a clear requirement latst year and the purchase of AA was to redress this.
Aqualani will hopefully resolve this, if not loan or buy some one to fulfil the maker role. A player like this will boost the team I believe more important than torres back up
Surely such a player could play centre dash when required any way?
So lets hear who we should get for this essential role ?
This would be more helpful in our current plight surely.

ps - perhaps one of the young lads from the reserves could do this, some look capable, the lad who came on at blackburn had energy maybe give them somemore oportun ities?


theycallmemrBurt said...

No, what i'm saying is sometimes this type of personlity is detrimental to the rest of the TEAM.  Take Fulham or Villa for example or even Man utd ithout Ronaldo.  There is no billy big bollocks in any of those teams.  Everyone looks to get the best out of each other and play as a team.  I'll always remember wht Gerrard said when he decided to stay (allegedly under duress!)

"I can't blame the fans for being angry.  They thought they were going to lose their BEST player".  When you start believing your own hype even if it is true sometimes it effects your attitude.  When you start to belive that you are Liverpools "BEST player" then you start to sulk and moan when you are played in a position that brings out the best in the team but not necessarily yourself.  With Gerrard it seems Team Glory must coincide with personal glory in tht order.

theycallmemrBurt said...

If a player is low on confidence where is the benefit of lowering it further still, especially if the player in question is picked on a regular basis. wouldn't it be better as Liverpool captian to respect the manager and his team mates and try to get the best out of players.  Gerrards drive to win shouldn't be at the detriment of his teammates morale.

Amil said...

Do you fear of your job, Rafa?

"No, I fear about our next game"..(Oh, no against Wolves??)

Then maybe Rafa will start with this line up :


Aquilani (we need to protect him until the score is 3-0)

Ken in USA said...

I'll take the spirit (Christmas spirit?) of this entry and raise you a few, Jamie. Call me crazy, but I felt a little bit of the old Reds spirit shining thorugh on the Wolves game. If we have a strong win against Aston Villa and we do a smart thing or two in the transfer window, I could see us turning the corner and then some with this season.

Go Reds!

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