As I said on Thursday, I wasn't going to get to see Saturday's match as I was out of town. Look like i get the better end of the deal.
Following the score in the car, my fellow passengers took quite the delight in my shocked facial expressions. While a win was never guaranteed, the shellacking from Bolton seemed like the most remote possibility. And yet, here we are .
i won't comment on the game, because that wouldn't be right and you wouldn't want to relive it again anyway. But where are Liverpool now? Well, it's pretty obvious that shorn of two of their world class players -- Suarez and Lucas -- they're a pretty average side. I guess most teams would be. I'm bending a fair amount of light to call both Suarez and Lucas world class. Suarez in a Liverpool shirt has been too wasteful of chances to automatically wear that label, and Lucas still had some ground to make up before gaining that title as well. But there was no doubt in my mind he would, and quickly, and we've seen what Suarez can do at least with his national team.
In only barely a half season, it seems a rush to call the transfer policy failed, but I don't know what other adjective to bring to it. I don't even include Andy Carroll in that, because the rushed circumstances of his acquisition left time to get anyone else. Darren Bent has moved to Villa only a few days earlier. Who else was there? But Adam, Downing, and Henderson were bought over the summer because they were British and they, at least we were told, would not have to adapt to the Premier League.
But that's shortsighted. Just because a player might be familiar with the league doesn't mean they're going to automatically adjust to a new team. There are new tactics, systems, players to get acclimated to, as well as the raised expectations of Liverpool FC. Every one of them came from a team where they were accentuated in how that team played. Do any of them look like Champions League players? I can see where Henderson will one day, but...
Another reason cited when over the summer for these players were the stats that suggested they created the most chances in the Premier League last season. I've already commented on this, but this is somewhat flawed if not totally. This isn't baseball, where everything stems from one contest on the field and that's so easily measured. You either got on base or you didn't. The chances created vortex has so many variables -- position played, opponent, tactics for that team, etc. -- that if the thinking was they'll just all be thrown together and create Barcelona North, someone's awfully, awfully wrong.
The tendency here is to call for heads. That's not the right approach. Dalglish won't be sacked and nor should he. A one-off bad performance from the defense doesn't negate the Alcatraz like gate-keeping Liverpool have had for most of the season. That's vital. From that defense, it's much easier to build up the attack then trying to do it the other way round.
A transfer or two is needed. Another holding midfielder looks to be vital. Perhaps a striker, but maybe that'll confuse things when Suarez returns, as it would force Liverpool to basically play a 4-2-2-2, and that might not be their best formation. I imagine Charlie Adam has a good chance of getting stapled to the bench again, as do others.
It's a big week, obviously. Two wins, and Liverpool will be in one Final. With United and City out of the FA Cup, Liverpool would be one of the favorites to be in that Final as well. But Cups aren't what this season is about. And yet, the higher places on the table are still there, but now you have to worry that the Reds missed the chance to capitalize on their foes' woes. Then again, I think Arsenal are what they've shown, and are the annual Van Persie injury away from being pretty useless. Chelsea? Murkier. If Torres never fires they're vulnerable too.
But neither look as vulnerable as Liverpool. Guess we'll find out what's in the sack this week, won't we?