Monday, November 7, 2011

Swansea Looked Like Barcelona Against Liverpool

Once again, Liverpool flattered to deceive. At Anfield, against a Swansea that does not travel well, the mighty Reds laboured to a disappointing draw. An out-of-sorts Liverpool performance was made worse because of a superb goalkeeping display by the Swans' Michel Vorm. His two saves from Suarez highlighted his sterling performance. Another worrying observation was that a poorly performing Luis Suarez automatically meant a disappointing Liverpool.

The Reds used to be known as a two-man team when Gerrard and Torres were in Liverpool red. Now, Liverpool is looking like a one-man team with El Pistolero. When the Uruguayan performs, Liverpool performs. Against Swansea, he seemed strangely lethargic but yet was still the Reds' most dangerous player.

To be honest, Swansea passed the ball extremely well. The Swans hardly lost possession and Liverpool were made to work very hard to get the ball back. So, when Daniel Agger commented "we were like headless chickens", he was spot-on. Barcelona turned possession football into an art-form and if Swansea had Messi instead of Danny Graham. the Swans would have left Anfield with three points.

The jury is still out on Andy Carroll. For me, he had a good game in terms of link up play and bringing players into the game. However, in Liverpool's desperation to involve Carroll, the players gave up their slick pass and move game plan. The exhillirating movement that tore Bolton apart seemed like a distant memory now. Lest we forget, Carroll's two goals this season has been due to amazing passes rather than pinpoint crosses. So Liverpool must forget about hitting Carroll with the first ball but play the pass-and-move more.

The partnership of Lucas and Adam is clearly not giving Liverpool extra man in attack. Adam, like the legendary Andrea Pirlo, likes to sit and direct traffic with his superior passing range. This meant that Liverpool lacked bodies in attack and even when Carroll wins headers in the box, there is no Reds midfielder able to run on to it. The absence of Steven Gerrard who can get into the opposition penalty box was sorely missed. Kenny Dalglish must be wishing he'd worked harder to keep Raul Meireles who is exactly the box-to-box player that Liverpool need right now.

Liverpool were expected to pick up maximum points in their last three matches. They only managed five, considering that it was Norwich, West Brom and Swansea, it is definitely four points dropped. Four points which could have pushed the Reds up to fourth in the Premiership table! Reds fans must be wondering what could have been.

At least, their next match is against Chelsea, and Liverpool typically crank up another gear when they match up against the big teams. All hopes are hinging on a big Luis Suarez performance, as when he plays well, Liverpool plays well. As for Carroll's near miss, the consolation is that Torres also blazed over in similar position at Blackburn so all is not lost.

If only Glen Johnson's rapier-like strike had gone in.....

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