While I'd love to be creative enough to dress this up with other reasons, or charts, or describe an aspect that only I can see, the matter is much simpler than that. Liverpool's biggest problem all season has been its finishing, and it keep rearing its ugly head. And results are not going to go their way, and the season will ultimately be a failure on whatever grounds you're judging it on, if it continues. While we can sit here and bemoan the woodwork that is somehow magnetically attracting the ball in Liverpool matches, or great saves made by the opposition keeper, or calls that didn't go our way, good teams find a way regardless. Liverpool aren't right now. I think they're a good team, most of you think they're a good team. But the results are what they are. And in three games vs. two promoted sides at home and away to West Brom, the Reds came away with five points. Five start with "F", which is just about the grade you'd give that stretch.
-I'm not sure this game is going to cover Kenny Dalglish in glory. For the first 20 minutes, Liverpool were raining down Swansea's right. Carroll's crossbar rattler came from there, as did other chances. For some reason, Downing switched flanks with Henderson, who was never going to remain anywhere near the left of midfield, and that avenue to offense stopped. Why? Secondly, at halftime Dirk Kuyt was brought on for Henderson, who wasn't totally ineffective in the first Maybe it's Kuyt's poaching ability that Kenny wanted, but in a game with Swansea so packed deep in their end, width was key. Kuyt doesn't provide that. And if it's your poaching and scoring touch you're looking for, doesn't he have to be deployed as a forward? Thirdly, Bellamy was brought on for Carroll with about 15 to go, and Bellamy should have been brought on instead of Kuyt to provide that width and pace. To add, in the last throws of a tied match you're trying to win, crosses and balls into the box are going to be the order of the day. Wouldn't Carroll's aerial prowess be important there?
-So far, I haven't given enough credit to Swansea, who were full value for their point. They were dogged and determined, and when given the chance were pretty slick on the ball. We would have had no complaints had Monk buried that chance at the end, which he should have (notice Charlie Adam going for a stroll in the park while his man charged into the box to nearly steal all the points. One step forward with Adam, one back). The Swans also exposed my biggest fear about Liverpool, which is a complete lack of pace across the park. In their 10-15 minutes of having the upper hand in the 2nd half, it seemed they skipped away from every Liverpool player with ease.
-Too many times, Liverpool lacked a midfielder charging into the box to claim a knockdown. Suarez pulls out wide, a cross comes in to Carroll at the far post, and someone has to be there. Adam and Lucas don't have the mobility to get there, but you can't help but feel that's where Gerrard would have been.
-Even more disheartening that in the 2nd half when Liverpool needed new ideas, the only answer on the bench was Bellamy and he was just brought in at the end of the deadline. Is there no one else? I don't want to bemoan the sale of Aquilani or Meireles, or the loan of Shelvey for the 383rd time, but...
-I know Carroll is going to receive most of the stick after his first half miss, but I can't be convinced this match turned on a chance in the 7th minute. If it did, that says more about the team as a whole than it does about Carroll.