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Liverpool 1-1 Norwich: Can’t Finish, Can’t Defend

In the end it was the same result for Liverpool as the previous week against Manchester United but the frustration was far greater for Kenny Dalglish’s men, and Liverpool’s weaknesses were once again exposed.

Luis Suarez showed that while he’s one of the best in the world at making chances for himself he isn’t the best finisher by any stretch of the imagination. There was His twisting and turning saw him create a truckload of chances which resulted in him hitting the woodwork twice, and while you could say that he was unlucky or that man of the match John Ruddy played a major part, in reality the Uruguayan should’ve taken at least one of his chances.

He wasn’t the only guilty party though, even Craig Bellamy’s goal needed a deflection to go in. Indeed, one of the best chances of the game fell to Andy Carroll, and the £35 million striker didn’t do his selection prospects any favours by missing from a free header where it would have been easier to score.

Grant Holt showed Andy Carroll how a centre forward should take his chances and Pepe Reina showed by punching his teammates rather than the ball, that even though he’s a good keeper (evidenced by his terrific save against another Holt header a few minutes later) he’s no stranger to calamitous errors.

In a game crying out for someone to put the ball in the back of the net, you wonder what Maxi Rodriguez has to do to get a game? Every time he plays it seems like he either scores or creates a goal, but lately he can’t seem to get a minute of playing time. Perhaps it’s a stubbornness from Daglish for his signings to work, because the team that played that second half of least season would have put at least four of Saturday’s chances away (Maxi included).

The defense also showed once again that they’re aren’t good enough, in particular the two centre backs. They have their moments but on the whole there are gaps everywhere and defenders are allowed free shots at goal too often. A really top class defender should be equal top of the list alongside a clinical finisher in the January transfer window.

To be fair though, the decision to underestimate Norwich and opt to play without a holding midfielder was always going to leave two below par defenders horribly exposed. The space between midfield and defense that Norwich were able to exploit could’ve easily been filled had wee Jay Spearing been brought in to break up the play, allowing Steven Gerrard to have a freer role in attack.

In his post match comments, Kenny Dalglish claimed Liverpool deserved to win,

“I think on the balance of the game we deserved to take three points from it. We played really well up to a point, created an awful lot of chances and there was some great passing and moving.”

I’m not sure I’m a fan of that statement. You don’t deserve to win unless you score more goals than the opposition, and Liverpool didn’t do that. They played well at times, but it was like a nice looking Ferrari with a dodgy engine and no end product.

To put it in perspective. Liverpool spent £62 million in the Summer transfer window, while Norwich spent a mere £9.6 million. That £50 million plus difference couldn’t even see off a Premier League newcomer at Anfield after 29 attempts at goal. Twenty-nine!

It’s clear the honeymoon is definitely over for Dalglish and Liverpool are no longer riding on their wave of optimism. Fans can no longer valiantly defend poor performances, because this club expects better. The Red’s could well bounce back next week, but how long before inconsistency strikes again?



  1. ndebenkulu

    October 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Liverpool are just an average side with a bunch of average players who move like tortoises bought for highly inflated prices to make believe they are great players! Breaking news, they are no hopers and spineless just like the manager, and i am a liverpool fan!!!!

  2. Akash@Superstarfc

    October 23, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    sack dalglish & appoint frank rijkaard!!!

  3. Mark from Relaxation site

    October 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    The people who wrote the two comments above may think they are Liverpool fans but they are not.

    I suspect the first one who called Dalglish spineless is probably a Man U fan. No true Liverpool fan would ever say that.

  4. yunus choonara

    October 24, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Great article, I agree 100 %, i was gutted against Man U and now i’m gutted for the second week, KD is making to many errors , it is about time he owns up for his errors , you rite the honeymoon is over, we are mediorce and average and will never make it for the 4 th spot if it we carry on this playing the way we are playing, KD has huge team selection problem and has lot the plot and he is too soft the players especially those that fail and costs us games.

  5. RedHeart

    October 24, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I agree with a lot of things in this article.

    Dalglish’s all sucess last season was because of one man Suarez. Other teams have figured out the liverpool’s dependence on Suarez and putting a lot of pressure on him. Lack any other obvious threat allows other teams to afford that luxury of special attention on Suarez. We don’t have any other creative player or finisher in the team.

    I think Dirk Kuyt needs to go in January and a creative central midfielder is needed. Charlie Adam is not liverpool quality unless he improves. We need Aquilani back or someone like him. Look at how instrumental Silva’s role is in Man-City’s success!

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