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Swansea City 1 Liverpool 0 - Prem (May 13 2012)

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Swansea City 1 LIVERPOOL 0

Report by Dave Usher

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Scorer(s) –

Half Time - 0-0

Venue - The Liberty Stadium

Date - Sun 13 May 2012

Star Man – Doni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So much for going out with a bang. We barely managed a whimper. After the promise and cause for optimism the 4-1 win over Chelsea in midweek provided, Mr Hyde showed up at the Liberty Stadium and we ended the season with yet another lacklustre defeat. Over the course of 38 games we managed to lose as many as we won. I don't even know the last time that happened.

 

This was your typical 'meaningless' end of season fixture and it showed. No pressure on either side other than playing for their own professional pride, and that usually means a stroll in the May sunshine. To say we were just going through the motions would be overly harsh, yet more often than not there is an obvious lack of intensity in these last day games when there's not much at stake, especially when we're away from home.

 

Whilst the prize money for league positions means a lot to those in the boardroom, players don't give a shit about that kind of thing. I doubt there's been too many dressing room rallying calls down the years along the lines of "Come on lads, win this today and the club will get another 750k". Swansea wanted to round off a fine season with a home win and for us there was the incentive of trying to finish above the blues. I suspect that meant far more to the likes of me and you than to a lot of those players however.

 

Everton's comfortable win over Newcastle put paid to any chance of that happening anyway, but I doubt that the players will have been aware of the score at Goodison so their lack of urgency cannot be put down to that. Not that this was especially terrible, it just wasn't very good and not a nice way to end the season. It leaves a bit of a stink really, particularly as it may turn out to be Kenny's last game in charge. Time will tell on that, but if it is then this sure as hell wasn't a fitting way to go out.

 

We probably shouldn't have lost as we did enough to merit a point, but we know as well as anyone that you don't always get what you deserve, especially if you can't take your chances. It won't surprise anybody that we didn't take our chances in this game. In fairness we didn't actually create that many and for a side that generally needs more clear openings than most to put the ball in the net, that's always going to lead to trouble.

 

The best efforts we had were almost all from Andy Carroll. In a disappointing first half from the reds he had a shot from 25 yards that he dragged wide when he probably should have played Suarez in. He also had an effort deflected just over the bar after being fed by Maxi following good pressing by Kelly to force a Swansea mistake. Aside from that, we didn't offer too much before the break and had Doni to thank for not being behind. He was playing because Reina had the mumps.

 

He made one error when he picked up a backpass from Carroll but other than that he was excellent and made two very good saves to deny Sigurdsson and an even better one to deny Dyer. The backpass thing was weird, Carroll looked to be playing it to Carragher but put way too much on it and Carra allowed it to go through to Doni who picked it up. Difficult one for the ref and I'm not even sure of the exact rule. Is it a backpass if it was played to a defender who then chose to leave it? I dunno, I'd have given the free-kick too though. Carragher did well to come out of the wall and block the shot so it was immaterial in the end.

 

Swansea were clearly the better side in the first half, but after the break we came into it more and had the better chances. Carroll brought a good save out of Vorm with a brilliant overhead kick and he then should have done better with a right foot shot after being set up by Kuyt. It was a weak finish and Vorm saved easily.

 

Doni had a much quieter time of it after the break but had no chance with the winning goal that came five minutes from time as Routledge crossed for Graham to smash the ball home from ten yards. Agger went close to an equaliser when he looped a header just over the bar, but it wasn't to be.

 

What happens next is the million dollar question. Like most fans, I hope Kenny gets another year. In part because he's Kenny Dalglish, but also because as I've said before, next season couldn't possibly be as bad as this one. Whilst so many bad results can't just be blamed on bad luck, there's no denying it played a part. There are some mitigating circumstances for what has happened this season, but that's easy for me to say as a fan. I expect the owners will view it differently.

 

Kenny wasn't their guy, he wasn't the man they ideally wanted to take the club forward. To say he was forced on them would be going too far, but in an ideal world they would not have made him the long term successor to Hodgson. He stepped in at a time when the club desperately needed him and he did so well that they were left with little choice but to keep him on beyond the initial period they intended. Dalglish earned a shot at it but now he has to convince them as to why he should be given more time.

 

Even if he can persuade them that the poor league showing is in no small part down to certain freak occurrences unlikely to ever be repeated, there's still the issue of how the money was spent last year and whether they trust him to wisely spend whatever is made available this summer. Had he been someone who they had gone out and headhunted, the man they saw as the long term choice then it would be much easier to persuade them as they'd be more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. As it is, I worry he could be in real trouble. I hope I'm wrong.

 

 

Team: Doni; Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Johnson; Downing (Kuyt), Shelvey, Henderson, Maxi (Bellamy); Suarez, Carroll:

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The review as ever is spot on , the game yesterday again was the season a poor 1st 45 mins.Then a better 2nd half but switch off and loose 1-0. I hope Kenny can put it right but does John Henry ?

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Thank you for great reports during this not so great season.

I hope Kenny stays and I hope you will do some writing during the EC in the summer.

Your round-ups during the World Cup leaps to mind still. I bet Mongo won't let us down and give you plenty to write about.

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Your reports have made some of the tough parts of the season a little more bearable, due to your humourous take on things. I enjoy them far, far more than any of the newspaper reports.

 

Thanks for your time and effort, mate.

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