Anfield boss states there is no hope of a Premier League title but is a decent performance at St Andrews’ too much to ask?
OK, let me start by saying that I know that it is hard to go to Birmingham and get a win. The St Andrews’s side are a solid unit and they know how to stifle the opposition. But can anyone remember a decent shot on target? For some reason the BBC stats department states we had eight shots on target, were they watching a different game to the one I was? Have I entered a time warp?
As an Anfield season ticket holder of two decades plus many who know me feel that I am a reasoned observer, not a supporter who will throw all the toys out of the pram after a single poor display but I really do not know what to make of this start to the season. Yes I know Roy Hodgson needs time to get the side organised and the new players bedded in, don’t get me wrong I am not calling for anyone’s head here, but sometimes you watch a game and you think to yourself “we are not going to score”. I thought that against Arsenal and thankfully David Ngog connected well with the ball and netted before the Reina blunder, but back to the Spaniard a little later.
Then there came the Man City debacle and the ineffective display when we edged past a newly promoted West Brom side who had conceded six against Chelsea a fortnight earlier. However for some reason I found today’s game the most depressing yet.
Hodgson had come out earlier this weekend saying we have no hope of winning the title, which may well be very true, but do we need such a statement broadcasted? I don’t see Ian Holloway making such a grand gesture and yet even the Tangerines aren’t likely to challenge for the Premier League trophy either.
I know that Birmingham are not a bad team and no disrespect meant, but shouldn’t we at least be outplaying them? Last season was bad enough and we were lucky to get two draws but I was flabbergasted by just how disjointed and lifeless we looked.
Fernando Torres is a yard of the pace but the service to him was so slow he had to keep coming up field to get involved. Lucas did his usual passing sideways routine, Glen Johnson continued his sticky start to the season, Konchesky and Jovanovic were on totally the wrong wavelength and if we are honest Alex McLeish’s side totally deserved to win the game but for the heroics of one man.
The shining beacon of hope. Pepe Reina. He has a poor game for Spain midweek and that coupled with his display against Arsenal on the opening day and had led some idiots to question his ability, as though the previous five years had somehow never happened. The Spaniard pulled off two world class saves and another couple of decent saves for good measure.
It’s early days so do not take anything I have stated as being too melodramatic, any negatives are exagerrated somewhat by a small hangover. Plenty of time to turn it around. Want to see Raul Meireles get a start as I have seen him in action and he is top notch. One other thing. Didn’t Roy say he was going to give Ryan Babel more of a chance to prove what he is capable of?
Pepe Reina 9 – Man of the Match by a country mile
Glen Johnson 6 – Didn’t get forward enough and wasted possession too often
Paul Konchesky 6.5 – Tried hard but needs to work better with Milan
(Daniel Agger) 6 – Didn’t have much time to do anything
Jamie Carragher 6.5 – Struggled at times with Jerome
Martin Skrtel 7 – Made a couple of decent challenges, fairly steady
Steven Gerrard 6.5 – Couldn’t seem to make things happen, often outbossed by Barry Ferguson
Maxi 6 – Did anyone notice him doing anything, should have been subbed
Lucas 6 – Got a couple of early whacks and faded
(Raul Meireles) 6 – Not enough time to do anything
Christian Poulsen 6 – Needs time to get used to the pace of the English game
Fernando Torres 6.5 – May have deserved a penalty but fluffed a couple of half chances
Milan Jovanovic 7 – I think the big man did okay. Has decent touch and has potential to improve