29 Nov 2009

LIVERPOOL start with 8 defensive-minded players against EVERTON

Liverpool need to win against Everton today. Rafa Benitez himself admitted during the week that nothing more than a win would be acceptable. Once again though, Benitez talks the talk but does not have the courage of his convictions, something that is clearly illustrated by his defensive-minded line-up for today's game against Everton.

Here is Liverpool's staring eleven:

-------------------- Reina

Johnson --- Carragher --- Agger --- Insua

---------- Mascherano - Lucas

Kuyt ----------- Gerrard ----------- Aurelio

----------------- Ngog

Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Riera, Benayoun, Kyrgiakos, El Zhar, Skrtel

We have 4 defenders, 2 holding midfielders, Dirk 'Mr tracking back' Kuyt (who hasn't scored a goal for almost 19 hours of football), and Fabio Aurelio on the left-side of midfield.

It doesn't matter how you spin it, Benitez has played it safe once again. Aurelio may play on the left in a more (supposedly) attacking role but that does not change the fact that he is ostensibly a defender.

Aquilani and Benayoun should have started in my view, and if they get tired THEN replace them. And please don't give me lame excuses about players not being fit. if you're on the bench, you're fit to play. Furthermore, it's almost 4 months since Aquilani signed; he must be fit to start a game by now.

A progressive manager who wanted to win would've played the strongest attacking line-up available. This isn't it.

Typical Benitez.


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  1. typical kanwar article. no substance. just bull

  2. no way should aquilani have started. not a great idea to make your debut in a derby match. if liverpool would have been playing better this season, he would have got more time on the pitch. just too risky sticking him in at the moment. if we are 2 goals up or are 1 behind, he will come on today i reckon.

    as for yossi, there's no way he can last 90 mins at the end. better starting with a more stable line up, then bringing him on as a substitute when the players around him are tiring.

    it's still an away game, remember, and it will be hard fought and tight. not starting with 2 holding midfielders would have been daft.
    it can still be an attacking line up, it is perfect for the counter, and as these games are often decided on set pieces, aureilio on the left is a good option to have in the team.

    rafa has put the right team out, in my opinion. it certainly doesn't merit an article on the internet slagging him off.

  3. yeah its typical Benitez, no guts at all, with this attitude he'll never provide us the premier league title.

  4. this is the same line up as ever, when we were scoring 4 a game.

    mate, you're biased.
    and very transparent. I don't know why you're after rafa's head so blatantly. what's in it for you?

  5. That's odd, I see 2 attacking backs, one attacking CF, 2 wingers, an attacking mid, a quick striker, 2 dead ball specialists ... ...

    Same old shit from Jaimie "Closet Toffee" Kanwar. No actual substance, which is the whole point, isn't it, Jaimie? Bullshit creates website clicks.

  6. it always saddens me when liverpool fans show no faith in the team. jamie, have you ever been to see us play?

  7. I find it a bit worrying that there isn't a striker on the bench, as N'gog is not a 90 minute player, at the moment

  8. the world would be such a better place without stupid articles like that

  9. typical shite post from you, getting very boring.

  10. Holly Molly
    If ever there was a time for a player like yossi to come on it is now. No one is holding the ball up! we will concede if something doesnt change and fast

  11. Benayoun is better as a substitute away from home and isn't 100% fit, so that was probably planned from the start.

  12. and a 2-0 win with kuyt scoring the second. proves you to be a fool doesn't it. thank god you have no say in the management of the club, you clearly don't have a clue because if you did you would realise that it is not scoring goals where we have struggled this season it is defending.

    have you ever produced a decent balanced article? because i haven't seen one yet.

  13. What a shock, Liverpool win another Merseyside Derby. Perhaps you can inform us how Benitez failed again today?
    Maybe you can provide us with all the relevant medical information to back up your case.

  14. see your headline ? ..... that's why you 'run' a bile-site from your bedroom in your mum's, while he earns multi-millions as a major club manager.fool.

  15. What do you know we won? the question I have for you Jamie is if the same team won every game from now until the end of the season would you be happy? support your team mate don't get on there back from the off. It creates un necessary pressure and you can talk about the fact that the players should be able to deal with it given the wage, fuck off they are people first and foremost not Robots Support them or shut up

  16. What does medical information have to do with it?  Don't start going off like this is some kind of amazing victory; it wasn't.  We were outplayed for the vast majority of the game, and if it wasn't for Everton's crap finishing (and 2 offiside goals), the score would've been very different.

    This victor just papers over the cracks for now; hopefully we will improve and go on a run. The next team we play might not miss so many chances.

  17. who is aving the last laugh now....ur a pervert  biased ..i dont ave a word to describe u...

  18. seemed to work.......

  19. I think hes a man u fan having a laugh ;)  won't put it past them to stoop to this level.

  20. haha... we won atlast... if u are liverpool supporter please be patient... support ours beloved club till death...

  21. Here we go - we'll get all the pro-rafa brigade going on about how he's a genius because we won the game, and how everyone who criticised him was wrong and doesn;t know anything...

    It's one game.  Given the context of our season so far, it means nothing.  Put a run together and build some consistency, and then you can get on your high horse.

    And it's not as if it was a good performance.  Everton dominated the game; our ball retention was crap; there was pretty much zero fluency and creativity.  Winning is great, but this does not mean all our problems are solved.

  22. After the going over we got today from Everton you have to say we did really well to keep a clean sheet. I dread to think what it might have been if we had played with a weaker defence. 

  23. Thats football mate, we battered Birmingham... dunno what it is with you but you are negative no matter what lol If we won everything you would still find something wrong lol

  24. score 0-2 - nuff said

  25. When did I say he was a tactical genius don't put words in my mouth, I honestly can not believe how manipulative you are. I never said it was a good performance either, what I did say is the even before the game started you were on the teams back. That is the opposite of supporting a team.

    I have made no claims about all of our problems being solved either but hopefully in the next few weeks we will see the real Liverpool when the Aqua man gets a run Torres is fit etc... 

  26. It's called being realistic.  I can enjoy the victory but that doesn't mean I'll bury my head in the sand and think everything is sweetness and light now.  There is more than one way to view football - it's not just about being 100% positive or 100% negative.  You can be positive and still highlight areas for improvement.

  27. You suggested Liverpool went with eight defensive players. I'm suggesting that until you know who is fully fit and who isn't, you're ill informed to make any negative slant on team selection.

    I hope this gets a little confidence back in the squad and we push on. 

  28. And where did I address any of those points to you?  I was making general points.  Manipulative? Perhaps it's more a case of the truth hurts.

  29. it's a start.

    i think rafa got it right with the selection, and yossi and reira got a bit closer to full fitness. i really don't care what the performance was like, at this stage, points are more important. if we can get a few more wins under our belts, confidence will return and hopefully the performances will improve.

    can't really ask for more than a 2-0 win in an away derby when we're playing so poorly and look devoid of confidence. hopefully kuyt can take confidence from a good goal too and the weight that is bogging the team down at the moment can lift.

  30. But you are neither positive or realistic. Neither you nor me know the true state of affairs within the club, fitness, finances etc... it is all loosly based, maybe he played that team because the rest of the players where unfit, one thing I know for sure is that Gerrard played with an injection... Beneyoun has problems, Riera has problems, Aqualani is not 100%. If Rafa had risked them like you suggest if they got injured I bet you would of still criticized him. He is in a no win situation with you that is a fact.

  31. I'm not pro Benitez or anti Bentez. I'm just someone who tries to look as objectively as I can at all matters Liverpool. 25 years of watching the team through highs and lows has given me a pretty mature outlook I like to think.

    I suggest you try and be a little more balanced. You do make some very good points, now and then, even if I don't agree, but some of your posts, like this one are rash and slightly biased.

  32. luck was on our side for once, but Everton dominated us for 80 minutes

  33. Again manipulating what I have said. perhaps its more the case you need to come to terms with the fact the supporting the team means supporting the team, your entitled to your opinion. and I will not say you are wrong or right however you are not a supporter in my opinion

    <span>Jaimie "where did I address any of those points to you?"

    The fact you banded me in the group "<span>pro-rafa brigade".</span>

  34. to jamie..just one question from me..what if rafa had put an attacking type of players for tonight's game?..what will you going to say then?..Rafa Crap?..or What Rafa's Thinking?..or Why Rafa must put a lot of attacking player?..or Rafa has No Idea?..

  35. You guys get off Jaimie's case. For a club and a bunch of supporters who've been whining about the club's bad luck this Season, you know that Liverpool did NOT deserve to win that game and were LUCKY to leave Goodison with anything more than a point. Everton are barely above the drop zone, so for anyone to be celebrating the fact that we barely won against them in a game in which any other team would have beaten us (Especially after Liverpool came out after the half and once again unbelievably decided to sit on a 1-0 lead - after last week's debacle no less), you really need a reality check. We still have Arsenal twice, ManUre at Old Trafford, Villa at Villa Park, City at Eastlands, and Tottenham and Chelsea at Anfield to go, before anything is said and done on who finishes fourth. And on this form and with the type of personnel trotted out today, I can guarantee you that we will LOSE all seven of those games with 21 points dropped. Bearing in mind that Mancity have a game in hand, at the moment which would put them ahead of us in 5 place.

    But keep celebrating a measly scrappy (and very undeserved) 2-0 victory against a team we should have won against easily (based on their form and position in the table).  I'm pretty sure you'll be back to whining and ranting once we get back to our losing ways.

  36. You would earn my respect if you had came out and said I was wrong although the performance was bad a good result for the lads hopefully we can move forward and put the poor start we have had behind us now. Where is the blind faith involved here? their is non, no bias, only support... Critical and real at the same time, critical as I acknowledge the poor performance real because I acknowledge the face we won.

  37. Your text is rubbish mate

  38. This is where your argument falls down.  First of all, saying that we don't know the true state oif affairs in the club is a classic cop-out, which basically means we can never question anything that goes on.

    Second, both Aurelio, Agger, Gerrard and Johnson have been injured recently but they played.  Benayon and Riera were fit to play. How many times does this point have to be made: if a player is on the bench, he is fit to play.  Why  not start off with your most attacking line-up and then remove players when they get tired?!

    We had shocking ball retention today, which contributed to Everton dominating the game.  Both Yossi and Riera are good at keeping the ball, and showed that when they came on.

    We should always field the strongest, most attacking line-up available and then make changes as and when.

    Under Benitez, we always go for the more defensive option, and then bring on more attacking players later. 

    We have 4 defenders and 2 holding midfielders for god's sake - surel we can afford to be a little more adventurous?

    We won today, which is great, but we handed Everton the initiative because we couldn't pin them back due to lkack of real creative options.

    A team with better finishing and luck will take advantage of this in another game, and the result will go against us.

  39. All this stuff about being 'ill informed' is a load of crap. As I said above, it's just a cop-out used by fans who try and stop people questioning decisions made by benitez.  The argument is textbook: 'You can't say that because you don't know what goes on behind closed doors'. Ergo, you cannot say anything at all.

    It's a ridiculous and obvious cop-out.

  40. OMG why aren't you a manager? It makes perfect sense now.... You should be the next Liverpool manager Sack Rafa now....

  41. No one said you can't say anything they are just saying what you are saying has very little substance behind it in this case. You are entitled to your opinion however so are we (although it would seem that you like to delete opinions  that undermine what you say on many occasions).

  42. No its not a ridiculous and obvious cop-out. Its rock solid logic. You, as far as I'm aware have little inside knowledge, its more than likely Benitez knows more about his squad than you. Thats just natural logic.

  43. you watched 25 years of the team through highs and lows.... then, please calm down and ask yourself:
    -which manager has achieve real things for us ?
    -which manager has improve the team year by year ( u may access this question by calcuating the value of players as if they will all be sold tomorrow)?

    my point is Rafa is not perfect, for sure, but we should wait until this low period passed before we put more pressure on him. ... if we are a true fan

  44. <span><span><span><span><span>JP, and co, you said you have watched 25 years of the team through highs and lows.... then, please calm down and ask yourself: 
    -which manager has achieve real things for us ? 
    -which manager has improve the team year by year ( u may access this question by calcuating the value of players as if they will all be sold tomorrow)? 
    my point is Rafa is not perfect, for sure, but we should wait until this low period passed before we put more pressure on him. ... if we are a true fan

    <span>Read more: http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2009/11/what-shock-liverpool-to-start-with-8.html?#ixzz0YGWeRKNQ</span></span>

    <span>Read more: http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2009/11/what-shock-liverpool-to-start-with-8.html?#ixzz0YGWeRKNQ</span></span>

  45. I think you have misunderstood JP's point ;)

  46. yes, i mean to say my words to JK.  :-[

  47. I am not arguing about who could of started, just the lack of foundation behind who you think should have started... JP sums it up quite well "<span>Benitez knows more about his squad than you. Thats just natural logic."</span>

    Nuff said I think

  48. Oi Jamie! You were very quick to get a post on after we went out of the Champions League, where's your post today eh?

    Fucking Manc.

  49. I think "Jamie's rant" on the team sheet before kick-off says it all. He thrives on our posts and cannot accept - even after today's admittedly ugly backs-to-the-wall victory - that he might, just might, have been talking out of his arse. He sits in his comfy chair and launches his diatribe and is answerable to no-one. I admit that I shook my head at the lack of firepower when I saw the line-up, but I asked myself the sensible question about the fitness of key players and thought, well - I can't imagine Rafa has any agenda other than winning this game, so perhaps he sees it as a "smash and grab". Soak up Everton's bravado and maybe bring on the recovering Yossi and Riera later to nick it.

    Well, Lo and behold!

    I can't claim to be a tactician or a statistician, but I know supporting a football club requires a bit of faith and an acceptance that there will be difficult times. According to credible reports and recent polls, the players are behind Rafa and so are the majority of fans. 

    Cut Rafa some slack, Jamie. We won today and whilst I agree we were a little fortunate, the lads fought hard and deserve some encouragement. Clearly, we need more depth, more signings -- or perhaps you think Bleater Babel would have made a difference?

    The time for the kind of critical big picture analysis is at the end of the season. Top four and at least one piece of silverware.

  50. I feel for Yossi who is a consistent victim of Rafa negativeness. I know he has been injured but if your well enough for the bench then your well enough to start. He has been our best player this season but still cant PIN a regular starting spot.

  51. "<span>but if your well enough for the bench then your well enough to start." Says you, I actually play for an 11 a side team there has been many occasions where I have been fit enough from the bench but not to start either due to knocks or what not. what's the point in starting with someone who can only last 30 mins at there max?</span>

  52. I really hate visiting this site, but was thinkin of a visit just to see wht the Mr.Know it all would say about todays win and it left me with no surprise. what were you sayin about Dirk 'Mr tracking back' Kuyt??? He won the derby for us today and dnt talk about offside goals. Offside trap is a tactic and zonal marking made the day for liverpool today when joe was offside second time. If it was man marking and two men on the post we would be level. Every system has its goods and bads. So shove it in you **** my friend. It wasnt you who preparied the team. It was Benitez and he won the game though Stivie G had an offday today.

  53. you are right Teddy, BUT, we have just beaten Everton. You need to live in the area to appreciate why that is important. I don't know many Man U fans but I know loads of blue noses. So, some victories are more important than the manner in which they are achieved, just for the sake of bragging rights and to put Everton that bit closer to the relegation zone

  54. Jamie, 

    as has been mentioned this is the same team as we have played when we were scoring 4

    After our win today...are you  big enough a man to say rafa got it right???

  55. "if a player is on the bench, he is fit to play.  Why  not start off with your most attacking line-up and then remove players when they get tired?"

    rubbish. if a player is on the bench it means he can probably play some part in the match. obviously rafas plan was to start with the most stable line up possible, and if we need to make a positive change there's players on the bench that could make a difference. makes total sense.
    "We have 4 defenders and 2 holding midfielders for god's sake - surel we can afford to be a little more adventurous"
    not at the moment. maybe when we're playing better and the team feels like it can express themselves a bit more. at the moment, in an away derby i thought pragmatism was the best option to start with, with the subs coming on and making a real difference. would it have been the same if the subs started? who knows, but the fact that we won 2-0 would suggest that rafa got at least something right, even if you don't agree with the selection or tactics.

    "we couldn't pin them back due to lkack of real creative options."
    more down to the fact that the team isn't playing well and is devoid of any confidence. hopefully this will change. having aquilai, benayoun and reira starting would have been a blunder, in my opinion.

  56. correct. we do not have the same information as rafa and the staff, so our opinions aren't as valid. plus we're not professional, top level football managers, so most opinions on here are total rubbish.

  57. Kantwar said <span>"A progressive manager who wanted to win would've played the strongest attacking line-up available. This isn't it."</span>

    Bizarre really, when he has won more than wenger in his first 200 games and even more than your idol "the claret one"
    Just as well that reina who wouldn't be here without Rafa, Johnson, who rafa wasted his money on, Mash whom you wouldn't have sold sissoko in order to buy and Kuyt "Mr tracking back" and shouldnt play were playing or we would have lost wouldn't we?

  58. I love how Mascherano was kissing the badge.  If the rumours are true it was more like kissing the badge goodbye!

  59. Yes, and after our defeat against Sunderland I posted positive articles about the club and Rafa.  And after the Cl defeat, i also posted something positive about summoning the spirit of '89, but people like you just ignore the positive stuff i write and harp on about the critical stuff.  But if that's what floats your boat, carry on!

  60. David, if you don't like this site DON'T VISIT!

    I'll tell you why you and many of my detractors continue to visit: you know I and the other writers make valid points.  You might not like it but we say what needs to be said.  That's why one of the most common comments on this site is 'I don't always agree with you but you have a point': truth hurts, and people hate to admit it when someone who holds the polar opposite view to them gets something right.

    People always need someone they can point to as the villain, and in the case of a small minority of LFC fans (and it IS a minority), that's me.

    It doesn't matter what you and the rest of minority of people who regularly slag this site off say, the majority of people who visit this site are intelligent enough to know that everyone has their own opinion, and even an opinion seems wildly different to their own, they have wisdom enough to accept that it's just an opinion; they don't regress and start hurling insults.

    This site has been going for three years now and visitor numbers just continue to increase.  If no one liked this site, sooner or later it would just die off, would it not?  People like this site because I, the other writers AND the many superb commentors offer something unique when it comes to LFC: a place for intelligent debate about football, free from hordes of idiots popping up with insults and derailing threads.

    Like it or lump it.

    So, as I said: if you or anyone else doesn't like this site, then please go elsewhere.  TIA and RAWK will welcome you with open arms.

  61. No, this is not the same team played when we were scoring 4.  Please provide the games and the line-ups to which you refer.

    And no, Rafa did not get it right.  We won through luck, not through footballing brilliance.  Everton played us off the park for 80 minutes; they had 2 goals disallowed, both of which came about through our comedy defending; they had several other gilt-edged chances that should've been buried, all of which cam about (again) because of dodgy defending. The difference is, the luck we got today was good, not bad.

    The formation was overly defensive; we had no creative spark; we couldn't keep the ball; we were overrun in midfield; Benitez did not react quickly enough to the fact that our ball retention was poor.  On another day, Everton score 4 or 5.

    In the context of our atrocious run over the last couple of months, this victory means nothing.  It's good to arrest the slump, but the performance left a lot ot be desired.  You cannot just ignore the nature of the performance of the suspect decisions made; if you do, it means you condone it, and that's where complacency sets in.  We should enjoy the victory and be thankful for the three points, but we should strive for further improvement in performance and approach.

    That's my view, and if you ca't hack it, tough luck.

  62. kantwar - I applaud your imagination.  Did you know that you're the first person to ever think of that? Bravo ;)

    And how was I wrong?  I stated:

    <span>A progressive manager who wanted to win would've played the strongest attacking line-up available. This isn't it</span>

    Did we play our strongest possiblke attacking line-up?  No.

    Did we dominate?  No

    Did we create lots of chances? No

    Did we have any memorable passages of fluid attacking play? No.

    Did we keep the ball well?  No

    Did we win the midfield battle?  No

    Did any of our players have a stand-out game?  No

    Did we look comfortable at any point in the game? No

    Did we play better than Everton?  No?

    Is there any evidence in our performance that we've turned the corner?  No.

    Is there any evidence to suggest that ongoing problems have been resolved?  No.

    We won, which is great, but let's not delude ourselves - there are still major problems to be addressed.

  63. I had another unoriginal one that started with a C...I am guessing that would have got deleted though. 
    What I despise about you is that you only take a negative viewpoint. All of your inciteful points could be attached to any manager and any teams at some point and most of those teams have a group ready to criticise at the drop of a hat. 
    Some fantastic players of those teams have pointed to the kop as an example of how support should be.  So with that in mind why push us towards the norm, Mr Kanwar?  
    Do you know whether there is a setting on Newsnow to drop your dreadful site so I do not see your spiteful drivel?

  64. That is a bit hypocritical from you jaimie as the same could be said about you ;)

  65. In my view Dirk Kuyt is simply a striker and not a right wing.
    He can't play on the right side of the pitch.
    The dutch has always scored playing as striker, both in Netherland and England, and today He scored on the rebound with ability.
    Dirk is a very cleaver player, with good movements but He need to play many games as a striker.
    Someone say that the goal rate of Dirk is very low, but the question is:
    How many starts for Kuyt in the striker role?
    He could be a good second, third choice of our line attack.
    Please, don't claim Kuyt as "Mister tracking back", because He's an hard worker, a good striker, and also a loyal servant of the Club.
    Maybe He could play as a striker.

  66. Mark - listen to how brainwashed you sound:

    Having aquilai, benayoun and reira starting would have been a blunder, in my opinion.  

    How can having three of your most creative players on the pitch be a blunder?!  Are you suggesting that team would've played worse?!

    You're so desperate to defend Benitez that you're not seeing things clearly. (IMO)

  67. God - so why don't we all just go and lie down in a dark room, sew our mouths shut and never talk about football again?!  According to you, every possible opinion about football is invalid because we're not 'professional, top leve managers'.

    Football management is not a divine art; it is not some kind of mystical sciene that only a select few are capable if understanding.  You seem to think it is though (!), which is yet more evidence that you are brainwashed.

    The intellectualisation of football is truly hilarious.

  68. Yes - click on the site name next to an article and you can choose to hide the source from your feed..  Please do that because then it means I won't get any more pointless comments from you clogging up various threads :)

  69. Just to continue.....

    Was our record 1 in in nine?

    Should we expect to dominate if our record was...1 win in 9?

    Does dominance come through confidence?

    is it possible to be confident having won ...1 in 9.

    and on and on..........

    your chatting ultimate fart...

  70. Did you ever consider that Benayoun and Aquilani are both small players?

    Given the fact that Everton created all their chances from high balls into the box, playing into their hands by selecting a couple of titches seems a genius idea!!

  71. Obviously i'm delighted we won..but that line-up disgusts me. No other manager in Europe would pick a side like that apart from Benitez. It's really anti-football. I don't care what we win or don't win i detest the footbal that he stands for. Sorry but that's how i feel..Can anyone imagine Wenger or Fergie picking a side like that?

    Today was a victory, 3 points but really just confirms why Benitez is regarded with such contempt by football lovers.

    Anyway the sheep will all be cooing over him but any real football fan will continue to treat him with the contempt he deserves. You can beat crap like Everton with teams like that but you will NEVER win a league in this country with such sterility.

  72. well said jamie. it needs saying because that is the first time i have seen us played off the park by any everton side. he must not of watched the game again from tuesday because you wouldnt of played the same team.
    too many defensive players. aurelio should be competing with insua for the left back spot not played anywhere else. dirk should be played upfront which is what he bought him to do. ngog is a good substitute no more than that. and dont get me started on lucas being first choice for liverpool
    in centre mid. if you dont like reading criticism about liverpool go and join
    tomkin times and read what he has to say through his red tinted glasses. How deep is his throat by the way.

  73. Jamie...I feel you are not fitting the role of a liverpool fan....don't you know the mighty Liverpool have THE BEST:-
    medical staff
    hot dogs
    owners - maybe not till they give RAFA £9999999999999999999999.00
    etc..etc..etc !!!

    Please don't try and tell the true story as we are all extremely happy with what Benitez is doing at LFC and it keeps being the best circus every season !!!

    Long may it continue.."IN RAFA WE TRUST"

    Please join the "KRAP" campaign Jamie - Keep Rafa At Pool !!!!!

  74. however even if mark is brainwashed, that is exactly what you are trying to do with your anti Benitez stance so concrete. are you suggesting the team would of played better as that is just as ludicrous, no one knows.

  75. then go and be a manager and proove it.

  76. We were poor today but a wins a win. What i don't get is people saying Everton having 2 disallowed goals, ok one was pretty tight but the second one was a good 3 yards offside. If we left Torres 3 yards offside every game he would get 3 disallowed goals a game at least but the point is they were correctly disallowed. As for the defensive line up, I don't agree fully, Johnson and Insua were clearly instructed to overlap and get forward and this is probabily why we play with 2 defensive midfielders. Also Kuyt did score yesterday which was something Everton couldn't do with similar chances.

  77. did we win a tricky, away derby game, when confidence and form was low - YES

  78. Jaimie - i'm brainwashed for having an opinion which doesn't fall in line with yours?

    having reira, benayoun and aquilani on from the start would have been a blunder, in my opinion, because reira and benayoun are not fit enough to last 90 minutes of top level football. remember they were originally ruled out for a mont, yet they both came back way ahead of schedule. sticking them on for 20 minutes at the end when they have the capacity to change a game against tired opposition is much better than having them start the match and fade quickly. is this such a far out concept? remember, matches always start quicker than the pace they are at in the 60 plus minute zone, and the derby was 100mph as usual. not a great envirionment for 2 players who aren't very physical to start with, and they're both coming back quickly from hamstring injuries. benitez got the tactics right and protected his players.

    as for aquilani, it's dissapointing he hasn't had more time, but don't forget he's coming back from a horrible spell of injuries, and it has to be right. if liverpool were playing better at the moment, he would have had much more game time. as it is, i don't think a derby match is the best time to put in a brand new player who hasn't played a full match since march. it was better starting with 2 holding players on sunday. again, benitez got it right and looked after the player too.

    there is a full explaination of my opinions. how is this being brainwashed, and who am i brainwashed by?
    maybe it's possible that there are people out there with different opinions to you who don't feel the need to publish it on the internet with ATTENTION grabbing HEADLINES!

  79. Actually thought the defending for their two (dissallowed) goals was ok. They were both offside - without a doubt, nothing 'lucky' about that. IMO the 2nd 'goal' we played Jo offside for was superb.

    Agree, however that the performance wasn't brilliant. Although I'd argue the defence did ok and it's been good to see carra improving over the last couple of games.

    One question, in your opinion what were the 'suspect decisions made'? Do you mean the ref's decisions, rafa's or something else?

    Totally agree we should strive for further improvements, this is the case after every single game!

    Also, we should remember what happened after our last 2-0 victory, this result only matters if we go on from here and win three out of the next four at least.


  80. "God - so why don't we all just go and lie down in a dark room, sew our mouths shut and never talk about football again?!  According to you, every possible opinion about football is invalid because we're not 'professional, top leve managers'."

    not at all. i am not a football manager, but i love talking about the game and like everyone, have lots of opinions on what liverpool should be doing, who we should be buying, what should be changed etc. i realise however, that benitez has been involved in playing and management for a long time, so his ideas on the game are more likely to be more valid than my own. this doesn't stop me from having an opinion, but it's very much from a layman's perspective.

    "Football management is not a divine art; it is not some kind of mystical sciene that only a select few are capable if understanding.  You seem to think it is though (!), which is yet more evidence that you are brainwashed."

    erm, i'd imagine that being a succesfull football manager is a skill/science that only a few people can do, otherwise everyone would be doing it.
    do you think you, or any non proffessional, could just walk into a football club and win things? i'm really not sure what you're on about with this.

  81. I think he played this team because it is the fittest available. I don't really follow your theory that if they're fit enough to be on the bench then they are fit enough to play. There are different levels of fitness. I don't know this as fact but maybe Aurelio is a fitter person than the likes of Riera/Yossi, and is able to recover from injuries quicker.

    It was a defensive team but it worked (just about). It wasn't a good performance but that doesn't matter. Derby games are usually quite scrappy games. They did play better than us but it doens't matter. In a few week times all we're going to remember is the scoreline and 3 points rather than the perfromance.

    You say that we shouldn't have played both Lucas and Masch, either playing Aquilani or Gerrard alongside one of the them. But then you later say that we were overrun in midfield. That was with two defensive/holding midfielders. Wouldn't we have been worse off if we had played Aquilani or Gerrard in there instead?

    You also say that there is no evidence that we have turned the corner. I think there was plenty of evidence from this game and from previous games. In the last four games we have drawn two and won two. None were great performances, but its a good sign that we are picking up points when we're not playing well. This was by no means our strongest team, and yet we kept a clean sheet and won the game. It was a spirited, hard working performance, we got a bit of luck both with the first goal and Everton's poor finishing. And we still have Riera, Benayoun, Aquilani and Torres to come back to full fitness.

    We also did what we did with Gerrard having an awful game. That is probably the worst peformance from him in a long time. So other players stepped up slightly. I think Lucas and Masch were good, Ngog did a job up front on his own. Johnson and Inusa had decent steady games.   

    Some people on here have said that this team disgusted them. But we won.What more do you want? Every week I will take winning ugly over losing pretty. Arsenal play pretty football and where did that get them yesterday or last week against Sunderland. 0 points out of 6. At the moment, good football is a bonus. A win at any cost was the priority yesterday and we got that. Don't get me wrong I want us to play good football, but at the moment I'll take a scrappy unconvincing win,.

  82. definitely. he should play as a 2nd striker. i think rafa want him to play like messi or walcott, cut inside the box from the right, assist or score. but he obviously not fit for the job. why can't rafa sees that? i think benayoun will do a better job from that positions.

  83. spot on mate. we didn't even played like a contender or a champions in the making.

  84. And Teddy how is that different from the Birmingham game where we clearly SHOULD have won the game?

  85. I would say this - LOOKING at the game I dont think Gerrard is fit. The past few games he has only exerted/extended himself in short bursts during the game. That indicates to me that his fitness level is not where it should be. Riera and Benayoun were possible going to be out for an extended period of time. That they're back thios soon also INDICATES to me that they are not fully fit either.

    Did rafa put out a defensive team? Yes he did. He probably felt that losing was not an option and as such was prepared to walk away from a derby game with minimum 1pt. The fact that the team was able to leave with 3pts was extremely important for 2 reasons. Firstly its 2 victories in a row and helps to build the confidence in the team. The fact that we didn't play well but still got the victory could only help inspire confidence in the team.

    Secondly, they were able to fight scratch claw and ultimately repel a team that was much much stronger in the air than us. Our achilles heel all season has been the defence and thei susceptibilty to set pieces and balls in the air. I'm sure yesterday's victory raised the confidence of the back 4 immensely.

    I too am wondering why is it taking soooo long for Aquilani to get increased playing time. It could be reasonable to say that this wasn't the best game to put him but the season is not getting any younger and we need all hands on deck to continue working our way up the table.

  86. aurelio fitter than riera/yossi you must be having a laugh. the lad as never played ten games in a row. also that is why rafa has only offered
    him a pay for play contract at the end of the season. which he has turned down.

  87. Thanks for that Kanwar see you can be of some use!

  88. someone smell curry?

  89. Fred, there's a difference between being injury prone and being fit. Aurelio does get injured a lot but what I'm suggesting, and its just a theory, is that maybe he gets match fit quicker than the other players.