16 Mar 2013

No Excuses: Reds hero warns LFC to improve or face 'big disappointment'. Agree...?

Liverpool are on a great run at the moment, and with nine Premier League games to go, fourth place is still a definite possibility. The Reds kick-off the last nine games with a trip to St. Mary's to face Southampton today, and Reds legend Tommy Smith insists that his old club have no excuses for not winning today's game.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo today, Smith praised the team for playing 'decent attacking football, scoring plenty of goals and winning games'.

However, he urged the players not to allow standards drop in the final two months of the season, and claimed that the Reds should be beating teams like Southampton 'comfortably'. He noted:

"Anything less than maximum points this afternoon would be a big disappointment. They [Southampton]...shouldn’t hold any fears. They're down near the bottom for a reason and they’re a team we should be defeating quite comfortably"

Whilst overconfidence and complacency would obviously be wrong, Smith is arguably right - Liverpool should be dispatching teams like Southampton comfortably, and if the club has genuine designs on fourth place, then anything less than three points today is unthinkable.

I don't think that puts undue pressure on the players. This is Liverpool - pressure goes with the territory, and the minimum expected of the team - which on paper is far superior to Southampton - is to beat teams near the relegation zone. Smith also highlighted an 'area of concern' that he feels Southampton could exploit:

"Both Spurs goals came from deliveries which should have been dealt with. I’m sure Southampton will have taken notice of that and will put plenty of high balls into the area at St Mary’s this afternoon. In general play we defended very well against Spurs but the goals we conceded just underlined the importance of defenders attacking the ball"

This issue has plagued the club all season, and Daniel Agger is a regular culprit in this regard. He's been beaten in the air/on the ground from balls into the box countless times, which has led to goals being conceded. Hopefully, this won't end up being an issue this afternoon.

In December, Liverpool deservedly beat Southampton 1-0 at Anfield, and the stats show that the Reds dominated the game:

* 23 shots on goal.
* 64% possession.
* 10 corners.
* 78% of aerial duels won.
* 85% passing accuracy.

Despite the domination, the team scored only one goal, but with Luis Suarez on fire, and the likes of Sturridge, Coutinho and Downing scoring at the moment, goals shouldn't be too much of an issue.

It would, however, be extremely disheartening to lose the three points as a result of more defensive errors...

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  1. Drawing would also be a bad result - I really hope we can show consistency on the back of the last three wins and the great spurs result. Husni

  2. We need to win every games in this season if we want to move to top 4. Other depend on the luck whether the other teams will drop points or not

  3. If we don't make the top 4, we shouldn't be too disappointed. We were supposedly totally out of contention a few weeks ago.

  4. we only want W's! realistically we only had one game that i thought we might not get all 3 points out of and it was tottenham last week.
    We are capable of taking maximum point for the rest of the season.

  5. I'm hoping that this new found optimism from our run of form will give is the momentum to take 3 points today. What also pleases me is that we have added some game changers to the squad with an added fluidity in the frontline. I really hope Downing continues his good form as I'd like to see him given another season in this technical team.

  6. Have a feeling we won't get more than a point but hopefully we pull through. With defenders like Agger, Johnson, Skrtel etc we are always vulnerable.