Well, we've been Stoked...again. This time at home and with a little help from Howard Webb.
I could sit here and blame Webb all day long (and believe me, I would love to), but there isn't enough Viagra in the world to cure Liverpool's impotency in front of net right now. At this point, it might be time to start praying for a Europa League spot. I am not trying to be a doomsdayer, but this record is on repeat and no one is picking up the needle. If Kenny doesn't realize that a striker, one who can score even a few goals, is desperately needed then it might be time to start rethinking the Manager position as well, as blasphemous as that may be..
Every team should be allowed to choose one referee that they never want to have. I am sure Howard Webb would be Liverpool's pick. He had an awful game, and not just because of the penalty appeals. The clear throw-in that Gerrard won, Skrtel being played rather than the ball in the corner...I said I wouldn't talk all day about Webb so I'm done. The ratings, I don't feel like doing a poll:STARTERS:
Reina - 7 - Very little to do. This is probably a bit generous since he had so little to do all game.
Enrique - 6 - Not one of his better games. He did put in a number of crosses, but was also wasteful with about half of them. The other half of them, no one was in the box which is also a recurring theme at Liverpool.
Skrtel - 8 - Fantastic game from him. He pressed high, supported the attack and also defended very well. He was a monster on the pitch.
Carragher - 6 - Back to his more favored position, he didn't put a foot wrong, although there weren't too many chances for his to screw up either.
Coates - 7 - Other than the one clumsy challenge, he was a rock back there. He towered over Crouch (and that is not an easy thing to do) and kept Stoke from making any meaningful attempts at goal. Great to see him get a run out and have a good game in the league.
Johnson - 7 - I'm pretty sure he was playing RM. He attacked relentlessly all game, even if nothing came to fruition. I don't remember him having to defend at all. Maybe he really was playing RM. Interesting.
Adam - 7 - I thought he was superb. Sure some of his long passes didn't come off, but you can't expect a 100% success rate. A good deal of them were spot on though and they were about the only way to open up Stoke's defense. He worked hard, challenged well. This was definitely a good game for him, although his set piece ability has been a far cry from him Blackpool days.
Gerrard - 8 - He just makes things tick. Clearly we looked most threatening when he had the ball. His passes were superb and his vision is second to none. He really made the side tick today, even if it amounted to nothing.
Henderson - 6 - He had a really good game. Sure there were a few bad passes, but his movement was great and he was clearly thinking ahead. Sometimes he was too clever, but I love the effort from a young lad. If he can string a couple of these games together, then he might just start justifying his price tag. He only gets a 6 from me because he had faded in the second shortly before he was replaced.
Downing - 6 - I don't think he was poor, and I am inclined to stop blaming the crossers and start blaming the crossees. Too often there was simply no one to cross to. He tried his best and again looked much better when playing on the left.
Kuyt - 6 - He worked hard and understands the movement. This is why he needs to be playing with Suarez. He would be a perfect partner. All day he tried to break the Stoke line with his short passes and layoffs. While it didn't work out, he was clearly still a handful for the Stoke defense. He should have scored on Enrique's deflected cross though.
Carroll - 5 - Poor. Stay on your feet son and get the hell out of the way. Blocked two shots, for the wrong team. He still goes down way to easily for my liking, although I am pretty sure at least one of those in the box was a penalty, if not all of them. His movement is stagnant on crosses. And if he is moving, it is pretty much perpendicular to the goal line. Forwards like him need to have some element of a run along the goal line as well in order to get in front of the defender as well. To put it in scientific/engineering terms, there is only a j component to his vector path, but he needs an i and j. I personally believe it is time to give up and cut our losses. I just don't see how he is every going to develop considering it is widely theorized that he is lazy and poor in training. Don't believe me?, ask Pepe.
Bellamy - 6 - Tried, but same story as the rest of the team.