I generally have a policy that I try not to write any blog post or game wrap out of emotion or when still feeling raw. So I tried to wait out the rage and frustration I felt after this morning's loss. We're hours after the fact, and it still reverberates. So I guess I'll have to break policy.
There's no need to rehash why Liverpool lost, or at least the main reason they lost. You've read that summary here and elsewhere so many other times I feel like my intestines might start to spark. Dominate, can't finish, don't win. That's all there is.
It was so predictable you would have laughed if you weren't crying. Liverpool didn't take advantage of the superiority, and the math was oh so simple. You knew that Robin Van Persie was on the pitch, and you knew that he knew that Jamie Carragher was on the pitch at the same time. Wasn't hard to calculate what that would equal at 1-0 and 1-1 when it should have been at least 3-0 or 3-1.
Obviously, it isn't all Carra's fault. Just a lot of it, as well as those who simply can't get the ball into a 192 square foot space. And that's it.
So it might be a good time to see what we're left with. That would be at most, three games that matter. Those would be the FA Cup quarterfinal against Stoke, and any Wembley visits after that. The league season, with EUROPA League qualification already achieved, is gone. 10 points with 12 to go? Too much. Oh sure, the Merseyside Derby and Chelsea's visit will still be lively occasions, but they won't mean anything.
So early in March, that hurts to say. Everything hurts about this one.
-As far as I'm concerned, Jamie Carragher and Charlie Adam should never play a big match for Liverpool again. Maybe I'll feel differently when the emotions die down, but that's no sure thing. Where Liverpool go from here is to build a title-challenging and Champions League-worthy squad. Adam has certainly proven this season he's not up to it. Sure, he could be a valuable squad player in one, but Kenny has shown a blindspot to him most of the season, even though admittedly there was little choice today with Gerrard's injury. But his carelessness with the ball, his child-to-broccoli like relationship to tackling and tracking back, the disappearance of those supposed dead balls have finally made my patience run out. The choice of Adam over both Aquilani and Meireles gets more baffling by the day.
As for Carragher, I deride him with a much heavier heart. But as the club move on, Carragher is not first choice. Whatever games Skrtel and Agger don't start in the future (and my biggest fear has become one or both having their heads turned by a Champions League club in the summer) would be better used to develop Coates and Martin Kelly in the middle. Carragher probably wouldn't be happy as a reserve anyway, and there just aren't enough games to go around to move the club forward while placating what is a club legend. To be a successful club, sometimes you have to be ruthless. It's not pretty, but it's necessary.
Kenny doesn't escape blame today either. It was clear Adam needed to be chucked early in the second half. He was playing a 4-4-2 anyway, with Jordan Henderson at least making a decent fist of it on the right for once. He clearly wasn't concerned with being outnumbered in midfield, and Arsenal were so awful it didn't matter anyway. Either Carroll or Bellamy on for Adam was screaming to be done at the hour mark with Henderson providing more thrust from the center where he's better anyway. I get the oodles of added time changed the goal posts a bit, but still.
So here we are, trying to figure out who's worthy of chasing a Champions League place next season. We know the first choice backline is. Martin Kelly is too. Suarez as well. Gerrard still has it, and so does Lucas when he returns. Jay Spearing is a capable deputy for the Brazilian, and Jordan Henderson has at least hinted at being one one day.
But the rest of them? I can't say that now. Can you? It's a painful day, as the end of anything to play for in the league usually is.