Oh it has been an interesting few weeks for Liverpool football club, racism, arrests draws with Stoke, all makes it on a whole a pretty grim start to the new year.
In the wake of Luis Suarez's 8 match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra, Liverpool fans have been up in arms over a decision that sees their main out of action. What has come out in result of this is the club creating " support Suarez" t- shirts to which players have warn whilst warming up. This seems a bit wrong, supporting racism in a way, even if it's a team member. Feeling aggrieved that their goal threat is now significantly diminished, the club has tried to distance them selves from the racism claim and fight the fact that it was racist at all for Suarez to say what he did to Evra. What sees those efforts squashed, quickly to mention was a certain number of fans racially abusing young right-back Tom Adeyemi during Liverpool's FA Cup clash with Oldham. This abuse brought the young player to tears, playing in one of the most significant games in his young career.
As a Liverpool fan this disgusts me....the fact that a fans would have the nerve to racially abuse a player is one thing, but this occurring directly after the Suarez ordeal is just plain stupid. Feeling aggrieved that their star man will out for what they view as not a racist act, only responding with the events that took place against Oldham. Once again the Reds are in the papers for the wrong reason. Stalling a bit in the league, without their main strike force, and now a pair of racist offensives equals hardly a comfortable standing. Expanding on this Stewart Downing was taken into custody after allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend, in a night-club. This is the last thing that Liverpool needed in the wake of the Suarez incident, and what happened at Oldham. Downing scored in the 5-1 win against Oldham, his first goal since moving from Aston Villa this summer, screaming somewhat of a disappointment in the scheme of new players brought in by Dalgleish.
Liverpool have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these last weeks with events mentioned above. With the January transfer window upon us rumors of Andy Carroll making a surprise move back to Newcastle, the team he moved from for 35 million pounds. Struggling with fitness since the move Carroll has yet to prove himself at Anfield, but with Suarez out for 8 games people should be focusing on how he now has the chance to prove himself instead of him leaving.
From the red side of Liverpool it has been a silly week or so, but all put levity aside when Liverpool faced Manchester City in the Carling Cup last Wednesday, defeating the Manchester powerhouse 1-0. The goal of a fourth or better place of the Dalgleish lead Liverpool is one that will be difficult so in that light the reds should focus sights on the Carling Cup. In all honesty the Carling Cup is a competition that the Reds should feel they could win. A Champions League spot paired with some silverware, though be it the Carling Cup is something the reds should shoot for.
Some have accused manager Kenny Dalgleish of being tactically negligent, having taken a long break away from football, and this view-point seemed to retained water when his squad faced Stoke City. The old dog showed us well some old tricks as we failed to score a goal, playing in a highly defensive set-up. Stoke is a side that prides its self of being defensively solid, with strong players from back to front. Liverpool having one of the most defensively sound record this season seemed to fight fire with fire, seemingly to at times have a 5 man back-line. With Luis Suarez out and Carroll well whatever…Dalgleish had the options of Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy, the Scot chose Kuyt to pierce the Stoke back-line, leading the line on his own. It looked as though he was hoping the trickery of Kuyt would foil the slow, strength oriented Stoke back-line. This did not work and Kuyt scuffed a pure peach of chance, as he found himself with a free header but it spun wide. Andy Carroll came on with 30 minutes to go to try to get on the end of Gerrard's passes, but he looked lost, and the one dimensional style of lofting balls at the pony-tailed head of Carroll, was dealt with ease by the Stoke defenders.
There was just not enough in attack, resulting in a 0-0 draw with Stoke, Kuyt came to Liverpool as a striker, but after years of watching him, he's not. Better supporting a striker, as a link between midfield, Kuyt has been a great servant but I would not ask him to lead the line. Craig Bellamy would have been a better option as his second stint on Merseyside has been more fruitful than expected, and his speed and agility is tough for many to deal with.
To be honest the love affair that I have with Dalgleish is being tested. Great last season, when implemented as coach but results this season have fallen by the wayside. It's actually not so much the results but its the way that we set up at the start of the game, the mindset, the approach, all of that. Liverpool put on a defensive clinic against Manchester City in the Carling cup, after Gerrard put the team ahead through a penalty. With Jamie Carragher
With transfer rumors swirling around the footballing landscape, Liverpool have been pretty quiet. Feeling as though he has the squad to push on, even with the suspensions and injuries, the few rumors there has been have come on the offensive side of the game. With Dalgleish trying to build a strong British based side, sights have been set on Jermaine Defoe, who has been suffering from sores sustained by sitting on the Tottenham bench. Needing a goal scorer, the risk of going for a player whose bench time outweighs his time on the pitch is not really the direction I would orient my compass. I'm one for the outrageous and nothing would be more outrageous than an Anfield return from the once divine son, Fernando Torres. With Torres being " offered" to Carlo Ancelotti at PSG, the striker with something to prove could do this back at his own stomping grounds having seen what it's like at the next level. Call it a vision quest, and now he is ready to return and show the player he was and is.
On a more realistic note Liverpool have completed the signing of a player who has been heralded as " The New Deco," 19 year old João Carlos from Sporting Lisbon academy, the same academy who produced Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani.
With Liverpool's next match against Bolton a team floundering at the bottom who recently lost their prized asset Gary Cahill to Chelsea, will be a wounded animal that Liverpool should set out to ravage.