At this point, I think we all feel like we're thrown into a large body of water and are having various currents pull us in several different directions. All the while, the drowning sensation can't be ignored.
Because every Liverpool match brings with it (usually) something that you can feel positive about, something you can feel negative about, and most of the times at the end you're still barely punching your head above water and struggling for oxygen. Isn't this fun?
Yesterday was no different than the ones that came before. There were periods of pretty slick football that looked like it would make the breakthrough. There were other periods of such flaccid-ness that no amount of little blue pills were going to help. There were fine individual performances, some not-so-fine, but in the end we're all still not back in the boat.
I think my favorite period of play was toward the end of the second half, when Glen Johnson picked up the ball on the right touchline deep in the Swansea half. And literally all 22 players on the pitch stopped moving for several seconds. It wasn't as if Johnson was setting up his defender to try and go by him. Both of them, and literally everyone else just looked as if they completely forgot how to play the game or even where they were for a brief moment. It remained until the Swansea defender literally walked over to Johnson and took the ball away, like he remembered what was going on a half-second before everyone else.
I think that about sums up yesterday's match. Oh, sorry for the delay. Wanted to squeeze every last moment out of my holiday weekend, and I didn't see how writing about yesterday's match would enhance that at all.
-On the good side, the defense was barely troubled. Sure, some shots from distance and a couple set pieces, but it's not like Reina had to pull rodents out of his head-wear at any point (except when Stewart Downing made him). And they did that with Downing dragging them down. To boot, Johnson looked as menacing as ever getting forward from the right. Really no reason this can't continue. But it hasn't before, has it?
-I feel like the days of Gerrard being used like Ryan Giggs was a couple years back are closer than I thought.After only an hour on Thursday, The Captain looked pretty punchless for most of the match. Sure, there were a couple splendid balls and cutting passes, but there were just as many giveaways and poor decisions. Most of all, that burst that got Gerrard into areas and away from defenders takes a whole lot longer to reload these days, if at all. I can't see how he can possibly play Wednesday and be effective. Essentially, it feels like pretty soon Gerrard is going to have to be kept behind glass and either only used when really needed, or to beat up lesser teams. I don't like saying that, but it might be the case.
-Enrique had another good match up front with Suarez, but I feel this is more a temp solution than a true positional revolution for the Spaniard. He doesn't really have the touch or speed to deal with teams that will begin to truly pressure him instead of getting the free run he does from left-back. Should work for now, though.
-I know Jordan Henderson isn't a holding midfielder. But I don't know which of the other two spots he fills better. Gerrard seemed to be deeper than him for a lot of the match, but Henderson isn't creative enough to be the point of a triangle. He seems better in a 4-1-4-1 with someone alongside him. He still puts in a shift, and would probably benefit from Lucas being behind him more than Allen. But when Lucas does return (Wednesday?) Henderson probably won't play. So I don't know.
And look, Spurs will roll in after a solid thumping of West Ham, so their confidence will be high. Just wonderful.