Just Another Weekend For Liverpool: It's Fight, Not Flight
What is the difference between watching the events unfold as they occur, either in a stadium or on TV, than reading it in words from any media platform?
No, it's the difference of not being to the Moon and still talking about your first— perceived—Moon walk.
Our last encounter, which re-instates our "Comeback Kings" status, at the Reebok Stadium against the Trotters, was missed by me on TV.
Well, partly to say the least.
I got to see us fall behind, and making a mental note of how many times should we concede from set pieces this season, only to see Glen Johnson putting scores level before the interval.
That's the last bit of action I watched, as a sick stomach diverted my attention to an important health issue, and the bad feeling residing that I missed my first Liverpool FC comeback in years.
(Liverpool's first comeback win under Rafa Benitez was against Fulham at Craven Cottage, in 2004-05 season.)
Bolton are a good enough side; add the tackling machismo, and the Trotters can prove to be a handful as Sean Davis realized after his second booking.
Yes, Sean. You get paid in cards for being overtly physical, because this is football not rugby.
So, with the Bolton "physical" tradition continued, you would definitely expect Liverpool to fully exploit the one-man advantage.
Really, not kidding here.
Ask Wigan Athletic or Manchester City (perhaps don't ask Arsenal) about having to go a man down while leading the score-board.
Still interesting to note here is, the headlines you get to read.
"Liverpool scrape past ten-man Bolton."
"Bolton undone by sending off"
"10-man Bolton put up a brave fight"
Making you consider, that after five years of assembling and being number one in Europe, is a joke and, well, you still aren't supposed to win against a team with a man down.
If you do, it's lucky.
Perhaps, Liverpool make their own luck count.
The "Johnson" Effect
Experiment: To buy a full-back from Portsmouth FC.
Theory: Liverpool FC need to buy an attacking full-back after the imminent departure of Alvaro Arbeloa to Real Madrid CF. One probable replacement happens to be Pompey's Glen Johnson. But due consideration has to be taken for a possible transfer with fee being in excess.
After all, the player is valuable to the latter club.
1) Liverpool to make a size-able bid for the 24-year-old right-back/wing-back.
2) Portsmouth to accept the bid along with other clubs interested in signing and hence bidding for the aforementioned player.
3) Negotiations are continued for a possible transfer.
4) Player agrees terms of contract.
5) Liverpool announce the signing, beating rivals towards securing the player's services.
Name of the Player
1) Player not worth his fee and can be a failure.
Inference: The signing was successful with possible doubts over the future outcome.
An anomalous success from the signing, contributing two goals in four appearances.
Both the goals resulted in the player's team winning.
Possible outcome can be termed as the Johnson effect.
Possible question: Why the previously/above stated stupidity?
Liverpool undergo a transition each season.
Possibly due to new signings from the transfer window and hence a renewed gelling time for the team.
Or, other sides getting better than the Reds.
While, thanks to the highly generous owners in the form of Gillet and Hicks, Rafa Benitez can't make mega-buck signings every fortnight like City, but one thing stands true.
One of the signings per season, stands out. Hence a good addition per season, would result in a squad with good depth.
Last year, Keane signing was a failure, highlighted to every possible extent.
But add N'Gog (who hasn't dazzled us but still impressed with 3 strikes to his name) and Albert Riera, there seems to be parity restored.
Fast forward to this season, Glen Johnson and possibly, Aquilani, could be the two good signings.
And Glen is fast proving to be a good one.
Or, at least his two goals answer that.
Liverpool's right flank, the attacking full-back and the industrious winger, are a perfect combination, even though they aren't as flamboyant against the best combination's in the world.
Last year's, Alvaro and Kuyt combination found the back of the net 13 times combined (Kuyt contributed 12 goals to that tally of 13).
This year itself, Kuyt is behind (after four games) the new right back as Glen has struck twice, one more than the winger.
The combination has contributed in 3 goals in 4 games.
That ain't bad.
Isn't it, Des?
The Vital International Break
I used to dread a term last season—"The International Break."
Remember the time, when Liverpool were without Torres and Gerrard coupled with an equally disturbing, yet inevitable, home/away draws that cost us the title.
I, for once, am warming up to the idea.
Without any major headlines, like "Liverpool player being stretchered off the field," I think after a yo-yo start to the season, this break is vital to finding our 4-0 form.
Okay, not 4-0, but winning form.
At least, we have an experiment in the form of Burnley at Anfield on 12th of September, for putting in an inference to our title credentials.
So, it's the same time of the year minus the mid-season timing.
Can Liverpool hang on to put up a fight for the title?
Or is that another false dawn at Anfield?
I, for once, think it's shaping up to a fight.
Because you rarely see a Liverpool side resign to a defeat, resulting in flight.
A simple "L" (considering flight and fight are separated by a single letter, 'L") will define our season, come May.
I prefer the word fight without the "L" in between.
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