Well it was a good week for Chelsea with a decent result against Benfica in the Champions League quarter final. The Blues managed to nick an away goal to set up a 2nd leg game at Stamford Bridge with a big advantage. The same could not be said for Barcelona whose 0-0 against AC Milan was certainly in favour of the Italian side. It only takes a dubious penalty or sneaky goal to cause a major upset, but Messi & Co. are so effective at home it will be very tough for Milan to keep a hold of any lead they get. It will be an interesting game in the Nou Camp, that’s for sure. Real Madrid easily overcame APOEL to go into the second leg with a 3-0 lead. Bayern Munich lead Marseille 2-0.
Onto all things domestic now and it was heart warming and refreshing to see some good news regarding footballers today as Bolton player Fabrice Muamba who suffered a massive heart attack on the pitch just two weeks ago now tweeted this picture of himself from his hospital bed. It’s great that he is doing so well and I am sure my sentiments are echoed by real football fans when I say I wish him the best. I know he won’t see this but I think everyone is rooting for him to make a full recovery.
Righto, let’s talk about some more serious things now. Liverpool. Where do they go from here? They have won the League Cup this year and are in the FA Cup semi final against city rivals Everton, but as for team form and playing as an actual team, there is something really lacking somewhere. Here are my thoughts on the problems at Anfield.
- The Manager – Kenny Dalgleish is surviving on his “legend” status at the club. If it was any other man in charge at the club, he would have been out long before now I think. He seems more tactically inept than Sven Goran Eriksson’s selection of Theo Walcott for the 2006 World Cup squad. I mean honestly, playing 1 up front AT HOME against a team that is in the bottom 3 in the league? Come on Kenny, do you know what you’re doing? I think not. He is also horrendous in dealing with the media as the Suarez debacle showed on every occasion he was interviewed.
- The Signings – Stuart Downing is possibly one of the worst signings Liverpool have ever made. There is literally nothing coming from him from wide positions. Henderson? what position is he actually supposed to be playing? Charlie Adam has been reasonable at least, but has a tendency to make a fluff at a key moment and has missed a few penalties in important games. Andy Carroll? I feel a bit sorry for him and I’ll talk about him in his own section.
- Andy Carroll – You don’t turn from a prolific goalscorer to crap overnight. When he was at Newcastle, he had Kevin Nolan to help him out. They had a great understanding and that hasn’t happened at Liverpool. Steven Gerrard should have taken over that role but he doesn’t play as close to the attack and the fact that Carroll has rarely started games hasn’t helped his confidence. Suarez has always been the preferred option and in the game they HAVE started together, Suarez has been the most selfish striker I think I’ve seen for a long time and rather than pass the ball to Carroll for an easy tap in, he will go for a shot every time. This is also something I’ve noticed in Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge and I wish he wouldn’t do it. Carroll needs to be given a more involved presence in the team and knuckle down and do some hard work also, but I don’t think that will happen with Dalgleish in charge.
- The Reputation – Liverpool have always lived off a reputation that precedes them and yes they’ve won many trophies and leagues in the past, but that is precisely that, THE PAST! It doesn’t win you games this season. Teams no longer fear the team and I foresee and Everton win in the FA Cup semi final. As for a final league position?, I don’t think Liverpool will even make it into the top 6 and their Europa League qualification will be off the back of a League Cup Final win against Cardiff on penalties; not very impressive is it?
So what do you make of my thoughts this week, please leave your comments below and give me your ideas. As we head into the exciting part of the season with teams going for titles, avoiding relegation and European qualification, there will be much to discuss in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading. Get well soon Muamba and Petrov =)