About Me

I have been a Red since I was about 6 or 7. My boyhood hero was Kenny Dalglish and I have an autograph from him while he was still at Celtic. Thanks Gran! As such I gravitated towards the team he played for. So I have been Scottish-South African- Scoucer for about 30 years now! I am extremely passionate about our club, and have felt the need to start this blog in the face of the abject nature of our performaces under Benitez and the Hicks/Gillett ownership.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Class Bubbling Up??

Well, famous last words that are ringing very hollow-way now.

Blackpool hammered us. Johnson at left back is a joke and Poulsen and Lucas on the pitch means you have 6 defenders. Thats fine if you have genuine pace and guile in the other 4 positions. We have Torres.

There were signs that perhaps we are finally starting to believe in ourselves but our fragile confidence surfaced again against Everton. We should have been out of sight by halftime. Our wastefulness certainly came back to roost when we conceded 2 rather soft goals in the 1st 10 minutes of the 2nd half. Thankfully we showed some character and got a deserved equaliser from the spot. Probably a fair result considering how much better they were in the 2nd half.

Yesterday was a further step in the right direction, you cant complain about a 3-0 away win the Premier league these days, especially with our woeful away form in the last year and more specifically no wins at Molineaux sice Kenny PLAYED in 1979!

Torres and Meireles were on fire and although Wolves put us under a lot of pressure, our 31 pass 3rd goal was something to savour. Its a long time since you have seen us move the ball that patiently and confidently.

Clearly Dalglish has had a positive effect already.Torres looks interested in playing again, there is a tempo to our passing that has been lacking for far too long. Meireles is settling in nicely now that he is playing where he should be. There were signs of this under Hodgson when he did play centrally, but too often has been shunted out wide to accomodate Stevie G.

Can they both play in the same team, absolutely. Dalglish seems to have adopted the Rafa 4-2-3-1 formation at the moment. Wenger has been using it for 2 seasons and no-one has commented on it. Perhaps Rafa wasnt as daft as we all think. Whether Kenny is using this formation as a 'needs must' option or whether it will be our standard going forward only time will tell. It has a solid and vibrant look about it which was lacking under Benitez. Sure it was solid but flair and individuality within the formation wasn't allowed. Yesterday Lucas found himself out wide, in the box and just about everywhere else. Thats how it should be. If someone sees they can go and get a goal or provide more attacking option they should. Several time Torres was the one crossing and we had Maxi, Dirk and Raul all in the box, much better.

So back to my point. I have said this before and I will say it again Stevie G is 31 not 25 anymore, also his long range passing is devastating. There is no need for him to be the Duracell bunny doing his usual headless chicken impression. In short we have never really needed to replace Alonso, the solution has always been to drop Stevie deeper. He can still make his maurauding, swashbuckling runs when it benefits the team and the opportunity arises runs. His workrate is awesome and that will help us defensively too. So for me he plays alongside Lucas as 1 of the 2 deeper midfielders. Let Raul do what he has been doing the last couple of games. If he isn't fit you have Cole and Pacheco who can do something similar.Hell we could even use the Roman Emperor who is still out on loan if need be.

The issue then the becomes the wide players in the attacking 3. Dirk seems to get slower by the week (if that is possible, one of these days aslough will beat him to a 50-50!!) although he did create 2 of the goals yesterday. Maxi like Dirk works hard and does have some flair but no pace to speak of. Babel's imminent departure weakens us further on the pace front. I will be sorry to see him go, don't think he has ever been give a fair crack of the whip as either a striker or a right winger, his preferred positions.

So I suppose that brings us neatly to the transfer shananigins of the January transfer window. We have already seen some strange moves. Mr Bent has made it quite clear what motivates him. It starts with a M and ends with a Y. Why else leave a team on the up and in 6th place for relegation battle with Villa. Will they finish above Sunderland this season NO. Clearly the form of Wellbeck and Gyan mean he isn't the main man anymore, so rather than thriving and competing he runs away. He is without doubt a proper goalscorer and in the last 5 season has scored as many as Rooney and Drogba.

So who and what are we bringing in? We need a striker, so it looks like we are plumping for Suarez. The Uraguayan cheat from the World Cup, who is currently serving a 7 match ban in Eredivisie for biting an opponent! Brilliant, a nutter just what we need. We had Dioufy and Cisse surely we are bored of these type of players? Sure he has scored 8 squillion goal in Holland but that as we know is hardly a decent benchmark. After all we bought Dirk for and Babel from the same League for the same reasons and they have hardly been prolific. We do desperatley need a striker and if he is the best that is available then fine. Commoli needs to start earning the free lunches he has been having for the last 6 moths since the new owners took over.

We also need a leftback. Glen Johnson is not the answer there. If Aurelio is fit play him. Johnson should be moved into midfield ala Gareth Bale. I know I keep banging on about it but he cant defend and has oodles of pace and skill, let him loose! If it works for Harry we shouldn't be too proud to copy the idea. Decent Leftbacks are at a premuim and perhaps we will just have to persevere and look at it again in the summer. Only one I can think of would be Luis Enrique at Newcastle, he defends well can cross and pass to team mates, skills lacking in Konchesky and the still on loan Insua.

I also believe we have made a derisory bid for Charlie Adam. That shows a lacks class from us. He is easily on par with Luka Modric as far as form goes, would Spurs sell him for 4 mill?? So why should Blackpool accept chump change for him? I agree with Holloway make it 14mill and you can have him. If we are serious I would hope 8 or 9 mill would be more acceptable and realistic. He could play on the left hand side of midfield but he is clearly at his most effective centrally. Would pose a formation and tactical problem. How do you accomodate Adam,Meireles and Gerrard in central mid, especially in a squad bereft of width. That is Kenny's dilemma to sort out.

On the width front, I haven't changed my tune. Left wing = N'Zogbia its the only sensible option without doing a Wolves and raiding the Championship (Hammill). I would not be averse to that either, there are plenty skillful wingers plying there trade at that level that would be worth taking punt on. Snodgrass (Leeds), Eagles(Burnley), Commons (Derby) and even Coppinger (Donnie) are but a few. The 1st 2 like especially and I am sure we could offload some of the squad dross we have in part exchange if funds are few.

We have Fulham and Stoke next, I was fortunate to see both at the Cottage on Saturday. Stoke dont look very good, but Fulham seem to be finding their feet again. At 33 Danny Murphy is still one of the best users of a football in the league. Wednesday night will not be easy especially as Dembele is back for Fulham. He plays between the lines and is very hard to shrug off the ball once he has it. Lucas will have to be particularly wary of him and Dempsey who have developed an excellent understanding together.

I would line up as follows



Sunday, 9 January 2011

Goodbye Woy - Welcome back King Kenny

Well I was going to blog yesterday about our woeful performances in our Lancashire double against Bolton and Blackburn. The former because we won with a dodgy offside goal, the latter because we didnt play that badly but got sucker punched on the break thrice. Blackburn did what Newcastle and Wolves have done to us recently, pressed and couter-attacked.

Hodgson was bereft of ideas not just on the night but throughout his short, impotent reign. 2-0 down at halftime and made no changes, then they score the 3rd as he is about to bring Dirk on. You would think he would have changed that seeing as the game was lost at that point. But no he plowed ahead even though we needed Dirk for today.

The back 4 were a disgrace with Glen Johnson in particular outshining the cosistently inept Konchesky. I believe he has reacted to Merson's Soccer Saturday commets about his not being good enough by Twittering that the opinions of Alcoholic, drug addicts dont concern him. If that was the case why Twitter???

Possibly because Merson is not wrong in his assessment. I find Merson's comments in general to the point and more often than not correct. He says Torres hasnt tried a leg and Johnson and Konchesky are rubbish, hardly earth-shattering or incorrect!

So Hodgson had to go. He was disrespectful to the fans, who I feel have been very patient, waiting for an outbreak of football. There have been too few times when that has happened this season. He has show a lack of tactical nouse and a distinct unwillingness to make big decisions. There are several times whe he should have dropped Torres especially and others and he wouldnt do it. From the players body language and lack of effort one wonders if he ever had the dressing room. Perhaps Gerrard, Torres and Carra hold too much influence. Lets be honest the 1st 2 have hardly tried at all this season.

Dalglish coming in does seem a bit desparate, although he is already on the payroll and will instantly command and recieve respect in the dressing room. So perhaps there is some sense in it. He already showed today he wont shirk decisions. Made 2 changes 10 minutes into the second half which were positive and almost produced a goal instantly with Babel's shot.

Then with 15 minutes left he brought Torres off who had worked hard for the team and with a game on Wednesday not a bad decision. Hogdson would not have done this. I thought we put up a good fight today and if our captain had a brain between his ears instead of compost, we could won with 11 against 11. We were always on the back foot after the penalty which I think was the right decision. Agger makes contact any striker worth his salt would go down. The Stevie G sending off was a no brainer and Dalglish did not protest after seeing the replays.

Today's result was not important in the context of King Kenny's 2nd spell in charge. We saw more belief and desire and with a bit of luck we could have earned a replay. Even my Manc friends said pen was harsh and they werent very good. In fact if you swapped our midfield for theirs you wouldnt really changed the teams all that much.

Its been our failure in the last 3 years to find suitable partner and cover for Torres and our failure to secure decent fullbacks in that time. We let Riise and Warnock and Arbeloa go and replaced then with Johnson,Konchesky and Insua, clearly not of the same quality.

Lets hope Kenny can motivate the players ad hammer Blackpool on Wednesday night.