My apologies, I had written this yesterday but for some reason accidentally set it to launch timed to today. Whoops. Anyway, it's here now.
Words of the day? Efficient if not artful, functional if not inspirational. While i was hoping for a true thrashing, or a swashbuckling, swinging on chandeliers type of performance, a 2-0 win at The Emirates is all that really matters. And a fine start to the season is a reality. Liverpool were the better side without spiking the football, and though there were some hints of a threat here and there, they never looked in any true danger. But we've said that before only to be punched in the back of the head. So that's a step forward. And Liverpool were mildly threatening at times, though we could have hoped for more. At least until the 70th minute. But with this much change in the team and still a lot of hangover to clear from last year, there's still cobwebs to be cleared, and parts to be built. But it's moving in the right direction.
-Emanuel Frimpong's sending off must've cashed the shortest odds for a red card in the history of betting and bookies. From the moment he picked up his first, a new hybrid of professional foul where he stopped a break by preventing a throw-in, it was pretty obvious that he was a total spazz who was going to not have the discipline to keep it in his shorts and keep himself on the pitch. He could have walked before halftime. Now if I have my excitable Arsenal midfielder script correct, he'll garner a few more sendings off intertwined with some great performances. After, say his 6th red card which will come in the game right after his suspension for his 5th, he'll throw the Arsenal shirt on the ground and say he'll never play in England again. Hope I have that right.
-What Frimpong did expose that has me a touch worried is a complete lack of pace in central midfield that Liverpool have. While Lucas and Charlie Adam did boss the show, on the rare occasions that Frimpong landed on planet sensible, he was able to close them down or get away from them with startling ease. Thankfully, there wasn't a brain attached to that body, or he might have done more damage.
-On the Liverpool side of things, it took Lucas two weeks of preseason, two warm up games to get back to the stellar level we saw last year. I'm pretty excited by this Lucas-Adam Axis of Anger in the center of the park, as Adam has been better than I expected and shown a defensive steel, so far, that I didn't think he had. Small sample size, I realize.
-Stewart Downing was once again classy and composed on both wings, I just wish he'd created a bit more and didn't have every cross meeting the skull of Tomas Vermaelen.
-I've seen other game wraps that said Jordan Henderson was greatly improved, but I didn't see it. Yes, he worked hard and looked a little more comfortable when restored centrally. But from that position you need creativity and a threat, an Henderson was neither. Rarely getting on the end of a Carroll knockdown, rarely involved in any penetrating move, rarely setting up anything, which is everything asked of the player behind the striker. Contrast his 70 minutes there with Raul Meireles's 20.
-Speaking of Meireles, it's clear it was only injury in the preseason, as he's the plan ahead of Aquilani. In my desire to see Aquilani stay I think I let my opinion purposely drop on Raul in order to justify it, and that was wrong. Especially when you consider that Meireles may have been my favorite player last season. Anyway, that much invention and menace in only a cameo appearance, I look forward to what he can do when restored to the starting 11. Which is coming.
-Luis Suarez is....well, Luis Suarez. Some have bemoaned that Liverpool are too much one-man with him, but when that one guy is of this quality, I'm not sure how you avoid it. If he's going to destroy defenses single-handedly, are we supposed to turn those chances down?
That's it for now I think. Back tomorrow with chart stuff.