Football Is Ridiculous
For over an hour this was a story about how Liverpool failed to deal with an improved QPR. The Reds didn’t impose themselves in an attacking sense but – whilst their defending was still about as secure as a padlock made of tissue paper – they had at least stopped the hosts from scoring. Then logic took an eight minute break.
In winning the game courtesy of Steven Caulker’s late blunder, Liverpool will at least have gained some form of confidence, character and of course three points. This could prove to be a huge win in their season, as if you can win a game in this manner then surely there can’t be many other things you can’t do.
Harry Redknapp Finds His Shape
You can imagine Harry Redknapp pondering just what he needed to do to reverse QPR’s fortunes over the international break, when the veteran boss simply stood up and said: “I’m just going to play Four Four [expletive removed] Two!”
It worked in the first half here, as Bobby Zamora and Charlie Austin troubled Liverpool’s famously suspect defence, not enough to get the goal that the hosts deserved – with Leroy Fer the most culpable there – but certainly enough to establish that this is how they should play in the future, depending on if Zamora’s body can stand up to the test of course.
Liverpool Look Bent Out Of Shape
The experiment with moving Steven Gerrard further forward – something that Brendan Rodgers did in the closing moments of the win over West Brom two weeks ago – would probably have been hailed as a success had the Reds captain scored his chance just before half-time, but it smacked a little of desperation.
In the West Brom game it was seen as a move to help out Mario Balotelli, but here it simply hindered Liverpool’s midfield, which wasn’t protecting their back four enough. Given the debate over Gerrard’s role these days it was worth testing out, but Rodgers should go back to Plan A.
Glen Johnson Is Worth Persisting With
Liverpool’s defence is a mess, you don’t need articles such as this one to point that out. Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren were bullied by journeyman Zamora, Jose Enrique has lost an awful lot during his injury absence and Glen Johnson is still Glen Johnson. But this is what they’ve got.
In Johnson’s injury absence the youngster Javier Manquillo has done an okay job, but although the England man’s long-term future looks far from secure – he’s not getting a new contract and can talk to foreign clubs from January – it is worth persisting with the older man during these crucial weeks in a stuttering side’s season. Johnson made the opening goal – a carbon copy of a Younes Kaboul own goal he forced last season – and his quick thinking is a good attacking weapon for the Reds. Just don’t mention his defending.
Liverpool Can’t Afford To Carry Mario Balotelli
The further loss of Daniel Sturridge is an absolutely crippling one for a side who were counting down the days until his return, and Liverpool desperately need Balotelli to stand up and be counted in his absence.
This was ‘Bad Mario.’ Balotelli looked disinterested and his touch was poor, but the one thing you can say in his defence was that he would have had tap ins into an open net had Richard Dunne and Caulker not done the job for him.
He’s getting into the right positions, but he needs to look like he can do something useful when he’s in them.
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