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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Liver n'Onions: RVP Strikes Back

Before the praises where sung of Liverpool's triumphant penalty kick shoot-out win in the Carling Cup final, Liver n'  Onions wanted to see how the reds would fair at the weekend against Arsenal. I, like many took their recent form into account in making a prediction wrongfully or not. This said Arsenal was not a stale bag of bread, in terms of form- still riding high off the 5-2 trouncing of city rivals Tottenham.  Giving the Reds my much invested faith I put a ten on them to shove the Gunners back down the barrel of the gun they have be residing in for most of the year. But it's a home game, how did that slip my mind…It was the early kickoff being staged at ever growing performance cesspit known as Anfield. Much to my chagrin, that ten dollars I had riding on them did not stand a chance.  Before I continue this quick photo compilation sums up Liverpool's,

Form away from Anfield:

Form at Anfield:

Pretty much sums it up, you could say proofs in the Persie…If you may. Arsenal snapped Liverpool's unbeaten home streak with their 2-1 coup at Anfield. It may have been the first loss, but draws have been a plenty. Looking at the content of the 90 'minutes played on Saturday you would render a win was in the offing for the Reds. Arsenal looked shabby in possession and lost their midfield quarterback Mikel Arteta through a rather ambiguous injury. Top-four hopefuls Liverpool had their chances but what has separated them from a team that would make that final Champions League spot  their own is their ineptness to take chances. Prior to the game the Liverpool attacking unit had only managed 12 goals between them. Top scores Craig Bellamy and Luis Suarez are on 6 which is frankly not good enough.  The look of disgust on Dirk Kuyt's face after his poorly taken penalty was saved by the keeper Scezney said it all. With the better play falling on the side of Liverpool, the man, the myth and the monster Robin van Persie struck again, to compound woes even further. A game where Liverpool should have had 3-points in the wallet, they emerged with none. You just cannot stop the Dutch maestro, he's  so hot you could cook an omelet on him. His volley in the 3rd minute of stoppage time was superbly taken, leaving Pepe Reina with no chance, even at his front post.

I wouldn't chalk down the absence of players to Liverpool's loss, because it really was a smash and grab performance by the Gunners. But this said pundits have come out asserting that Liverpool is still way too dependent on their Captain Steven Gerrard, who did not play at the weekend. Ok i would agree to some extent, as Liverpool look lost  i the midfield when he's not playing, lacking a supplemented  vision with players like Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson. Ever since the exit of now Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso and Barcelona's Javier Mascherano  the reliance on Gerrad  has become too much, though for many years he has been capable of doing it all. To these pundits I would pull the tainted victory mask off and look at Arsenals situation. Would Arsenal have won that game if not for their captain Robin van Persie? He does it all for Arsenal, he has scored 31goals in all competitions this season, and is top goal scorer in the Premier League. He has rescued Arsenal on numerous occasions with his goals, leading by example. Would Theo Walcott have pulled off the same deft dagger in the dying embers of the game…I  don't thinks so. Liverpool's over reliance on Gerrard is a notion holds water, but so does Arsenals over reliance on Van Persie. I pose this question: If one team where to lose their star man, Arsenal- RVP and Liverpool- Gerrard, who would be worse off? 

Liverpool and Arsenal's situations are not all that dissimilar. Two teams that are, or once were part of the fabled top four, have since fallen from grace and are repairing the damages trying coping with the fallout. Both have long standing managers who have come under scrutiny. Arsene Wenger in terms of longevity as manager, and Kenny Dalglish with his association to Liverpool, as player and manager. Both struggle to find a cohesive squad of players. Arsenals reluctancy to buy opting to rely on youth, and Liverpool's over-spending on un-proven talent. Where they finish in the league this year is really anyones guess, and both will certainly have to fight to get into the top 4.

A little nibblet to munch on before Liverpool faces Sunderland at the weekend.

Stay Oniony my friends

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