Sunday, April 25, 2010

Champions League or Europa League?

It's been one hell of a season. 4th place is out of reach now, lets just hope that Manchester United won't win the league.

Come to think I it, I think I kinda want us not to be in Top 4. Don't get me wrong, I was us to succeed, I always have, but do we deserve to be in Top 4 this season? We've been playing like shit (with the exception of few games), enough said. Tottenham and City deserve it more than we do. So we'll have to wait for at least one more season to put ourselves together and start playing like the mighty Liverpool again to regain our place in Top 4, deservedly.

Let this be a lesson for all. We may be a club full of history, class and prestige, but that doesn't mean that we can stop playing well. What infuriates me the most is that sometimes I see those players in Red shirts on the pitch don't even look interested.

Well of course losing some major players due to both injuries and transfers were bound to cost us. Xabi Alonso's role last season as a deep-lying playmaker in our midfield cannot be more emphasized. While Johnson provides us an extra flair in attacking with his surging overlap runs, he is sometimes a bit suspect in defending, unlike the always-so-reliable-and-dependable Alvaro Arbeloa.

Maxi Rodriguez will come out good. Aquilani, can't say too much. He's had some good displays, including the man-of-the-match performance against Pompey, but at the moment he's a bit inconsistent. I just hope he'll be given a chance to show what he's made of. For 1.5mil, Kyrgiakos is a bargain. A bit nervy at first, but has been giving solid performances since. He's the best header in our team.

Yes, the lack of fund contributes to this dismal season, but the owners are not the only ones to blame. Here's an idea: why don't the owners, the manager and the players ALL take responsibility and stop pointing fingers at each other?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Benfica 1st leg

Well from last night's game I can conclude that:

- Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger are geniuses. That backheel is cheeky!

-In Europe you can keep your boots 5 feet high in the air and hit someone (i.e. Ryan Babel) on the head and not getting punished at all

-You can deliberately tackle someone from behind with such a crippling force and not being given your marching order

-You can retaliate when the referee cautions you after your deliberate serious foul play on someone and not getting a second yellow card.

-Touching someone on the face with such gentle loving force is worse than volleying someone from behind with extra heavy duty force

-When you grasp someone's hand for a second and let go a second later and not affecting that person's balance at all, you could be awarded a yellow card

-You can bring explosive flares,firecrackers and missiles in Portugal but you can't even smuggle in a can of Coke at Anfield.

-You can throw firecrackers and missiles onto the pitch in Europa League games in Portugal but you will be heavily fined if you throw an empty crisp packet in England.

-When you want decisions to go your way all night, you can ask your supporters to intimidate the officials with missiles and shout at them in the face until they give in.

Okay what Babel did was silly and gave a reason for the stupid ref to card him, but is his offense worse than Luisao's on Torres? No where in the FIFA guideline that says that you can be sent off for what Babel did. How could it be deemed violent conduct. Babel didn't set to cripple Luisao. Luisao retaliated when cautioned by the ref, than didn't deserve another caution?

But I can totally understand why Babel did it. I'm sick of watching Torres gets kicked all over the pitch too. He apologized later and admitted it was silly. It was silly, but I hope he doesn't feel very bad about it.

We didn't play all that well. After babel was sent off we looked like we were already giving up. Benfica started pushing us. Insua and Lucas had a stinker, enough said. But in all fairness to Insua, he was put in a terrible position, ergo the foul. You can argue that Carra's handball wasn't deliberate cause his hand was up before the cross was made, but I thought it's a penalty at the first glance. Torres missed a great chance for us to re-take the lead at 1-1. That was uncharacteristic of him, with the keeper already beaten but he put the shot wide.

It was strange. The ref got some major decisions right but made a few horrible ones too. Like Danny Agger rightly said, what's the point of having 5 refereees is none of them can make a decision?

Also, we're out of left backs and wingers. Aurelio's injured, Insua's suspended. Kelly's injured, too. Babel's suspended, MAxi's ineligible, and I don't think Rafa will let that prat Riera play. Benayoun is available though.