|photo by Carla216||via PhotoRee|
Scott's Liverpool side start of the New Year with a re
My how things have changed. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Jurgen Klopp was gangenpressing his way to a Bundisliga championship, Stoke City were hacking down Premier League opponents under the direction of Tony Pulis, who now coaches such thuggery at West Bromwich Albion, and West Ham United were happy just not to be in the relegation zone. But now, the Kloppmeister is reining over a stuttering (and limping) Liverpool side struggling to escape mid-table irrelevance, Mark Hughes’ Stoke City were favorites to beat the Reds, and West Ham comprehensively dismantled those Top 4 pretenders.
Of course, much as some things change, others remain, irritatingly, the same: Liverpool’s incessant underperforming, Daniel Sturridge’s perpetual sabbatical, and the literary aesthetic requirement that all lists be in groups of three. Oh, and there’s also that bit about Liverpool not having the requisite world-class players to mount a serious title challenge.
That said, a 1-0 victory away to Stoke in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final was at least a stutter-step in the positive direction. The first half was characterized by absolute dominance by the Reds, with a touch of poor finishing and a dash of hamstring pull. The second half yielded less dominance, more poor finishing and another dash (and a half, if you count the hobbling Kolo Toure) of hamstring pull.
I never thought an FA Cup game against lowly Exeter City could bring on such nervy anticipation. But lately we seem to play much better against Premier League title challengers than we do against League 2 opposition. Because no matter whom you play, you can only win if you score and goals have eluded Liverpool even as we dictate proceedings and create chances. Even the normally reliable Benteke has squandered brilliant opportunities in front of goal.
Changes are needed at Anfield and, while we can see some of them being made already under the enthusiastic German’s direction, more can’t come soon enough.
This is farlieonfootie for January 8th.