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Liverpool 0 Stoke City 0 - Prem (Jan 14 2012)

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LIVERPOOL 0 Stoke City 0

Report by Dave Usher at Anfield

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Scorer(s) –

Half Time - 0-0

Venue - Anfield

Date - Sat 14 Jan 2012

Star Man – Glen Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shite team selection, shite tactics, shite opposition, shite performance. Just shite. Three centre backs against a team who left the immobile Crouch completely isolated and showed no attacking intent. Kuyt as a lone frontman supported by goal machines Downing and Henderson. That front three between them have the same amount of league goals as Tim Howard. Andy Carroll was Stoke's best defender when he finally got on and Howard Webb is a vile cheating scumbag who should never be allowed anywhere near Liverpool games due to his obvious bias. Think that just about covers it.

 

Apologies for being so brief, but having had to sit through this turgid crap for ninety minutes I'm not going to spend another couple of hours writing about it and I daresay you probably don't fancy reading about it much either. Abysmal, dire, cowardly, toothless, inept, whatever negative adjective you can think of probably applies to this. The only positive is that we didn't lose, but for that to have happened Stoke would have needed to come out of their own half. Still, I'm not going to criticise them for doing precisely what we did to Manchester City in the second half the other night.

 

Star man was Glen Johnson as he was just about the only player who looked like he might be able to do something to break them down.

 

 

Team: Reina; Skrtel, Carragher, Coates; Johnson, Gerrard, Adam, Enrique; Downing (Carroll), Henderson (Bellamy); Kuyt:

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Thank God for NFL.

 

what did Webb do though? apart from getting the crowd going (well it was probably Gerrards tackle) when he gave them a throw in the corner that was clearly ours and not give us penalties that are rarely given anyway.

 

we deserved nothing from that game yesterday and frankly I'm only surprised we didn't lose 1 nil with them scoring from their only real chance. maybe that's what Kenny feared happening again and that's why he persisted with 3 at the back.

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Webb and the main stand lino were both absolutely disgraceful in the 2nd half. Sian Massey was the only official who didn't embarrass herself, possibly because Stoke didn't bother attacking so she had nothing to do in the 2nd half. She might actually be the country's best official based on the few occasions she's done LFC games.

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I listened to the game on Radio City. Aldo was fuming at Webb. He said the more the crowd gave him stick, the less chance we have of getting any decisions in our favour. He went on to say he wished the crowd would stop getting on his back as he was convinced he'd give Stoke a pen if they had an appeal, no matter how flimsy. Apparently he did this against Spurs last season ?

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Dave, I think you basically summed it up with the first word of your report and didn't need to go any further.

 

And Webb is a fucking cunt. I've lost count of the amount of times he's turned down stonewall decisions against us. It happens pretty much every time he referees us, in fact every time he referees anyone. I shuddered when I seen that bent twat leading the sides out. Although, as awful as Webb was, he still wasn't a fraction of how bad we were.

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I listened to the game on Radio City. Aldo was fuming at Webb. He said the more the crowd gave him stick' date=' the less chance we have of getting any decisions in our favour. He went on to say he wished the crowd would stop getting on his back as he was convinced he'd give Stoke a pen if they had an appeal, no matter how flimsy. Apparently he did this against Spurs last season ?[/quote']

 

Was in the Kemlyn so didn't have a great view of the penalty claims but watched MOTD last night and they weren't 'stonewallers' by any means.

 

Hate Webb with a vengeance but he wasn't that bad yesterday & he certainly wasn't why the performance was so bad.

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Yep - Agree with that Dave; Short though the report was? It's of such an identikit result? It needed nothing else - Seen One such draw at Anfield? You've seen them all; Your first word pretty much sums up the entire occasion, the crap excuse for a ref', our team spending half the match sleepwalking, Everything having a stinker & all to a tee perfectly. Another week, another parked bus we didn't hardly Try & find a bloody way through - You'd think after 2 decades of this we'd have learnt but no - We still hardly even Try half the time when faced with the Pulis style masterplan that f*cking Stoke virtually patented..........

 

However as I see it? (Huge & Very complex Rant Warning!!! If you don't like long stuff? Ignore from now LOL) I think Our whole Team need to be Far more clinical in general & that includes on occasions when facing walking target practice like Oldham? Always hammering them rather than possibly doing so else? How on Earth are we going to develop the ability to take just the One chance that we often get in matches such as Saturdays (case in point) without taking every chance we get to batter & embarrass so-called 'minnows' & basically? Developing a taste for 'blood' when playing them? Then we'll Never get out of the cycle currently imposed by Games like Saturdays, the Swansea Home Debacle & Sunderland home embarrassment this season to name but a few along with assorted other Home Disgraces in the past 20 years...........

 

Sorry but it was just All to predictable - Again, Saturday? 3PM? Overcast/Cold/Wet (delete as appropriate) afternoon? Us with a couple of Big injuries/Suspensions to key personnel & thus a ready-made excuse? Might as well post the fucking match report with 0-0 engraved on it. Funny how Most of these type of key league fuck ups we so often make? Occur in 'Bog standard' run of the mill Home virtual Bankers like the game on Saturday? Are so often on Saturdays at 3PM or v the so-called 'smaller' teams; Think Stoke City at home in 08/09 which virtually cost us The title itself, God knows How many of them this season & That annoying series of 0-0's we had with Fulham in recent years to name but a few.

 

If you ask me? We need to find something different to change such things & take idiots like Webb? Who often end up costing us such matches with their ineptness (or something else? Ala Calciopoli? Wouldn't suprise me) & plain pathetic attempts at so-called 'officiating'? out of the equation. Far to often this has happened to us - Especially in recent years. Again think Stoke in 08/09 & Gerrard's disallowed 'goal' & You'll see what I'm on about. This btw? Is the sort of match the Manc's have over the past 2 decades? Made it their business to absolutely excel in & so often do they get the breakthrough irrespective of officials or via sheer luck/persistence? That officials maybe get the impression they Will win such games anyway & are thus more predisposed to lean 'towards' them as it were in such matches hence the Huge number of decisions (including some Very bad ones) they get against the so-called 'minnows'.

 

I'll tell you now for nothing? If that game on Sat' was at OT? Stoke Would have conceded at least one pen' & probably a Red Card as well but then by the same token? The home side there Would have attacked them Until they did so & done it relentlessly rather than waiting until 80 odd minutes to miss scoring by inches with the one decent chance they could bestir themselves to create in the match. Maybe annoying to say but if it was Them playing a Home game against Stoke? Guaranteed - Stoke would have been pushed back, hounded, hunted in packs, Forced into mistake after mistake after.........You get the picture Until they damn well allowed enough space for the home side to conjure a goal & if they didn't? One of those mistakes they were forced into would surely result in the above mentioned penalty/Red Card etc & If that didn't? They'd be pressed some more until they did lose a goal/man & then? Another & so on until they bloody well Knew their place & were glad to get the on-pitch beating over with. That is the difference we need to adopt into our play in such dull/'dead' games if you ask me & not just on occasion but All the time.

 

Anyway to change it for us & Make such things happen regularly at Anfield & thus Reinstil the fear 'smaller' teams once had of our Ground? I think isn't quite as hard as it seems - I think it's not so much a question of personnel (We've had similar problems for 2 ruddy Decades now albeit a lot less often than right now) as one of mentality & ours? Definitely needs altering in those dead/dull/bog standard Saturday 3PM league games as right now? We've rarely been as bad as this at Home. Mind you on another note? We've rarely had Away records Quite as good as the current one either to balance it out.

 

But re' the home games? I think it's our 'mentality' as Rafa' would put it that's wrong. We're just not ruthless, persistent or bloody minded enough - We lose the Focus to Maintain such a relentless approach in the 'bog standard'/dull etc games non-stop as we Should be if we're to succeed. We've shown on the rare occasions when we've Had to or been in an obstinately determined mood at home this season or just plain when we're roused/annoyed about something as a Team? That we can easily take out, blast through, dismantle packed defences or at least press until find a way through - We did it to Newcastle soon enough after being a goal down, ditto City & Blackburn though we didn't beat them & we absolutely pulverised both Norwich & Sunderland for long periods - Against Sunderland we Did score twice but inept (Only?) Refereeing saw Carroll lose another goal from his name, same again for Kuyt against Swansea with another decision that not in a million years would go against you know who's mob at OT.

 

Anyway with the much derided of late Henderson, Adam, Bellamy, Carroll, Downing, Suarez, Gerrard, Lucas, Spearing et al in our lineups? There's More than enough amongst that little lot to dismantle a packed defence when we're riled/focused enough; We've shown that & we've done it to nearly everyone away from home recently when in the mood. Further on this? We now do the same to the Mancs virtually every year at home as they Always come to us in our Home League game v them & Try to set up a blockade & score by our errors/counterattacks. Which brings me to my point - If anyone here knows anyone at the club? Maybe they should tell them to refer to videos of a game that I always believe brought one of Your Very best reports Dave - The Manc' Home game of 08/09? On September 13th 2008? Why's that So relevant? Simple - I remember the Home game v them the year before of 07/08 on 17th December 2007 as one of my most depressing as an LFC fan & I remember your report as well on that game with a line that maybe helps explain What we face in all these home draws better than anything else I've seen along with our response the following season maybe offering a Key to unlock all these ridiculous draws;

 

The line? Was something like "They came here & set up like a smaller team waiting to nick a draw/get a point & maybe profit from any mistakes - Ferguson comes here with the same plan every single year & every F*cking year it works for him - Well? It's up to us to break them down & force him to change that plan and up until now? We haven't looked like doing so". Well in view of all that & the fact that eventually? We Did break down said blockade & have done so Every time they've attempted it since (on all 4 visits) & they with some of the best defenders around can & have been broken? Why don't we Learn from that & apply it as part of our answer against all the other so-called 'parked buses'? Just an idea but since the problems been plaguing us for so long? Any recovery from it Has to start somewhere no? So why not with the way we broke them down in that September 2008 game & Finally ended that awful (until then) stat of not even Scoring v them at home for 5 bloody seasons or beating them at home for seven was it? After all they virtually Becamethe old us by stealing our ideals & principles twenty odd years ago to overcome their own drought & as regards us now?

 

We're clearly when in the mood or on our game? A match for Anyone in the division - We've proven that Time & again this season - It's just these maddening 'dull draws' & constant F*cking blockades set up by lower teams that's hindering us rather than any massive lack of ability or personnel in our team so? Why not try something different to break the pattern? Why not Learn from those who in the not to distant past were absolute experts at using the very tactic used so well against at Anfield recently to beat us at Anfield Every bloody time & who have been for a long time the best at Beating such tactics on Their home ground. Basically? Why not steal from them in the same way that They once did from us when We were The Premier Force in the English game in order to take back what we should have done So long ago?

 

They manage it in these 'dull/dead' Saturday 3PM, 'Bog-Standard' Home games, year in, year out, time & time & time again; A header from a corner, an awful deflection, a penalty awarded after a sustained series of attacks, a shot from miles out whatever? They Always end up getting the job done & it's nearly always? Those points that are the difference in their recent titles - And they've done it recently & in the past with some truly awful (for title sides) &/or cheap teams but? They Keep getting it done no matter what. I think BTW that This is what's lacking from us right now in all those awful 'dead' draws/saw it coming miles off home stumbles/shambles. Not so much the tools as the Will to get the job done with those tools against Anyone no matter what, the unending focus that we Are good enough & will win against such sides & the ability to batter against them like waves on a cliff face Until they damn well submit - We barely had an attack on Saturday & that's often the case in these games - How on Earth do we Expect to win them if we don't even Try & if we don't know How to?

 

The answer is simple & (Lord Help me & 3 Hail Mary's for saying this) it is? Look to Old Trafford - The examples there in front of us with what We did to their last 4 attempted 'parked buses' at Anfield (which had some of The best defenders in the league in them) & beyond that? With what They do to such 'Buses' Every bloody week from any 'smaller' team that rolls up at OT. All of them? Have gone there repeatedly & either been given a damn good hiding or been so Afraid of getting one? They've been glad to take a one goal defeat & get out ASAP - Such Regular repeats of that script like Our home draws? Aren't an accident. That fear comes from years of going there by such teams & being hunted mercilessly, pressed from all sides, attacked to distraction & basically run off the park Until they concede & lose no matter what. You don't need Ronaldo, Messi & David Villa to do That as long as you set up correctly & have the right approach in the first place to such games; Look at them in recent years alone - They've often won such games? Not with a constant stream of candidates for World & European Player of the Year but instead? Via such luminaries as that little Macheda twerp, Karel Poborsky, Jordi Cruyff, Luis Saha, Danny Welbeck, the old Diego Forlan, Darren Gibson etc etc have done it just as often as their more famous attackers. No, it's not the players at all; It's the Approach to such games that gets them over the line time & again - It might be very annoying but also crucially? We can learn to do this & inculculate it over the long-term into Our squad as well given time & patience. Indeed? Who do you think they Learned this from in the first place so many years ago when They had similar struggles at Home in Ferguson's first years which almost led to his sacking?

 

Again? It's All in the mind - Nothing to do with getting yet More overpriced strikers or adding still further to our already Huge recruitment drive of the past year when we've already brought in more than half a new bloody team!!! It's quite simple - We just need to go out there as a Team & utterly determined against such sides - All of them? To hem them in, force mistakes, press, press & press again & Keep on pressing Until such mistakes happen & then? Swoop on them or break down the defence through sheer exhaustion.

 

We had the right idea at home v Sunderland (first half) & Norwich (90 odd mins), Blackburn to by the end of the game - Just create a tempest & an attacking storm they cannot cope with & keep on battering away at them; Never mind defending & keeping a clean sheet - they don't attack enough to warrant such worry at home; They need penning in, battering & Forcing to concede defeat these small teams - Every time we play them & whatever our teams shortcomings? We Are good enough to do this to each & every team at Anfield from Man City right down to Bolton & all in between. We just need the Focus to maintain such pressure for 90 mins in the dull/dead matches that are So important for potential champions to win. Get that focus? And half the job is done whilst the Champions League? Wouldn't be a worry as such an approach? Would transform both our points tally & our League Fortunes long term in a heartbeat.

 

Anyways, I don't often say this but in the case of the 'Bog standard'/Dull matches that Always trip us up? We could do with following Their lead at home against the so-called 'parked buses' & we don't Need multi-million pound signings & yet Another round of recruitment to do it. Just change our Approach to playing such sides & apply it to All such teams. This could pay dividends long-term & bring us the 'missing link' we've been looking for in league matches - That link if you ask me? Is not another signing - It's the Mentality - the one we've been missing all along - Find that? And losing at Spurs year in, year out, yet another robbery at OT by a ref or us Having to be the best in the Top 6 mini-league to get a decent number of points? Won't matter anymore as the dross? Will be put in their place & Never again will phrases like "we can get a point here/We expect a result/Should be good for a point" etc be used in conjunction with Anfield by the shite little sides & their annoying prat identikit little managers - But it's Us who Needs to make that leap - The Sooner someone gets that idea across within the club & thus our mentality in such games changes? The better because?

 

Quite simply, Those games are The absolutely crucial point that needs changing for us & our acute need to Begin the Long-term process of permanently changing our approach to them? Is now becoming utterly essential & Can't be stressed enough So badly are these draws now hurting us in the league. If that little fact wasn't clear before btw? It damn well should be now with a side we battered 2 weeks ago (who attempted just such a 'bus parking' job albeit utterly ineptly) ahead of us in the league. As I said? The Sooner we get that change started? Our whole mentality in such games changes & the small sides are destroyed week in, week out or at the very least hounded non-stop when we play them at home? The better for our club & our league performances long term.................

 

NB I honestly think Howard Webb? Could do with his performances in Our games in particular? Being Investigated in some way - I Don't think it's a coincidence the Last time he gave us a Pen' was January 2010 And since & indeed before then? We've had some absolute stonewallers caused by virtual assaults on our players (including Saturday) turned down by him. Also? Did anyone think that Kuyt/Carroll being virtually piggy back ridden in the box/Virtually losing half their shirts? Were just a Little bit more serious & worthy of a penalty than the so-called 'offence' that Carra' gave away to concede their pen' at the Britannia in September? A complete fucking joke & the contrast between those incidents & the Joke in September? Displays the bias against us by officialdom? Loud, clear & illuminated in 6 foot Neon letters. Something Should be done about all this ASAP but Nothing Will be- Mark my words.............

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I think some of the criticism is a bit over the top. Last season we hailed Kenny's change in formation for the home game against Stoke after we had been well beaten in the away game under Hodgson. Kenny played 3-5-2 with Agger, Skrtel, Kygiakos, Kelly, Johnson, Aurelio, Gerrard, Lucas,Meireles and Kuyt. It worked wonders in a comfortable 2-0 win. Dalglish must be forgiven for having a go with the same formation. For some to come out and say that once they saw the line-up they knew we couldnt win, is too easy.

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This rattled me. Usually you are a voice of reason, willing to impartially describe a performance and inject some perspective into a defeat or costly draw.

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