LIVERPOOL 1 – 1 NORWICH
Liverpool continue this season with another draw. We drew against Bordeaux and continue the drawing streak with Norwich. For the fans who expect more from our team, I understand. I feel the frustration too. For our first European game in a long time, fair enough… we could have been a bit out of practice at getting the best possible results in that particular competition. But this was a league game and we were up against a team that most fans will agree that we have beaten before and should have been beating once again. So when the final whistle blows and we haven’t done as expected, the sadness and frustration set in and we start looking for answers and solutions.
HOW can we turn these draws into wins? WHY are we only getting a single point from our games? When after being very active in the transfer market this summer and improving on what was already very good, we clearly have a strong enough squad that should be capable of going up against most European teams and going away with all three points. I’ll come back to that later, but for now we’ll just discuss this game.
The starting lineup for this fixture had a few changes from the “experimental” squad we had seen for the recent Bordeaux game. Less youngsters and more experience, basically. We played 4-4-2 and Benteke finally got to experience playing with a partner, alongside Daniel Sturridge. This is one of the things Liverpool fans have been waiting for over many months. Sturridge is BACK and the manager can’t really continue to use 4-5-1 when he has multiple choices for the role of striker in the squad. I see this being a standard part of our lineups in the future, assuming injuries or suspensions don’t stop it from happening.
Dejan Lovren did not get put straight back into the starting 11 after missing out on the Bordeaux game. Instead, he would be relegated to the substitute bench and the back 4 would consist of Skrtel, Sakho, Clyne and Moreno. Our midfield would see Milner, Can and Coutinho all team up with Lucas Leiva, who was making his 200th appearance for Liverpool. Quite a milestone and may we see 200 more games with Lucas in them.
So, Liverpool had their seasoned and experienced players out on the pitch, right from the start.
There would be no excuse for if they had lost or did not win. Or at least, you wouldn’t be able to say “these players are too young and inexperienced” because all the youngsters from our Europa League game had been taken right out and the more mature players put back in.
We started out with some offensive play, right from the first whistle of the game. James Milner found himself booked with 3 minutes of play after making a rather hard challenge early on in the game.
You could see the Sturridge-Benteke partnership blooming even in the first half, with assists from each player to the other happening as Liverpool attacked Norwich head on. Exciting and enjoyable football, for sure. I want to see a whole lot more of this as we progress through the season.
Liverpool controlled the ball well and made all the right passes to find players in dangerous positions, but anything that was on target was either blocked or saved. Neither team could find themselves a goal despite making multiple offensive plays in the first half and the score was still Liverpool 0-0 Norwich at half time.
We’ve seen this happen before and Liverpool are quite well known to use the second half better than the first, we tend to get a sense of urgency like we don’t want a goalless draw and then attack even harder until eventually, we score. Why we just can’t attack extremely hard in the first half instead of waiting for the 2nd is a mystery. Perhaps we’re just not a very motivated side at the beginning of any game or it could be old fashioned bad luck and the opposition’s solid defence that stops us scoring within the first 45 minutes very often.
Benteke complained about his hamstring at half time and the manager would make a change to the lineup at the break. Danny Ings put his boots on as he replaced Benteke to partner Sturridge for the second half. It would turn out to be quite an inspirational change, though not really a piece of managerial genius as much as it was just necessary to replace an injured striker and only having 1 more real striker left on the bench. It worked out for the best though as Ings would score our only goal of the game and one which would be needed for taking any points from the game as our opposition got a goal of their own eventually. Without Ings’ goal, we could have been beaten by their single goal alone, left with no points instead of the one we claimed.
The goal itself was early on in the second half. Right away, our new striker made an impact on the game. Alberto Moreno was making one of his trademark runs down the left wing, crossed it over perfectly and Ings was in the right place at the right time to smash a left footed shot past the Norwich goalkeeper and into the bottom right corner of the net. Liverpool 1-0 Norwich and for his goal, I name Danny Ings my Man Of The Match
What happened next, is rather obvious. As has happened in other games, our lead was not kept as it should have been, with a clean sheet leading to a victory if you’ve already scored yourself. But, once Russell Martin had scored for Norwich, that wasn’t going to happen. However, we had an extra half hour to get a second which could have been the winner but it just wasn’t going to happen. Adam Lallana replaced Daniel Sturridge just after their goal and Firmino would replace Lucas Leiva. Our formation changed and style of play being more defensive than offensive now, it seemed as if we’d given up on winning. Was the manager content to play for a draw? It seemed that way and he isn’t gaining any popularity as more and more Liverpool fans join the “Rodgers out” crowd every day. We’re simply not as content with mediocrity as our manager seems to be.
The question is… should we feel happy with these single point games? Is the 1 point you get after taking a lead and losing it better than never scoring at all and perhaps losing 1-0? Yes, of course. 1 point is better than 0 points. However, is 1 point better than 3 points? NO, of course not and “settling for draws” seems like something a smaller club would do, rather than our globally known club. Fans around the world have come to expect the best and genuinely feel like they deserve to see victories to celebrate. Only all 3 points is worthy of our club name. WE ARE LIVERPOOL.
It’s not like we’ve been losing constantly, but I know that with new management, our team could go from being average to being the most feared team to play against in the whole league and Europe. We’ve put together a pretty strong squad all in all, however you’ve got to use in the right ways, tactically.
Managers can make or break teams, even when they’ve got a good squad to field and enough money to throw around in the transfer windows. It can still go all wrong with the best players at your disposal.
Do we need a better manager? PLEASE, feel free to comment and answer that question, and I will also make my answer known here for everyone .
There has been years of management from Brendan Rodgers – more than enough time for him to bring us great success and more than enough opportunities to prove himself worthy of being Liverpool manager. Fixtures against major rivals like Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Everton and Arsenal have not turned out with the results we’d hoped for, needed even and it’s all too much failure for the fans. Many of us will no longer sit back and wait for the best times and results to arrive. They don’t seem like they’re going to. Previous managers had just as much time and opportunities given to them and brought great success and silverware as we went from victory to victory, year after year.
Silverware has eluded Rodgers and he’s been known to scare away quality players including the likes of Daniel Agger, Mario Balotelli, Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard – all of whom have at some point listed “conflicts of interest with the manager” as at least one of their reasons for leaving Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers may be good enough for clubs like Swansea, Reading or Watford but LIVERPOOL FC require a whole new level of high quality management. We expect the very best and if you haven’t provided the very best results after being given your fair chance then it’s truly time for us to find new management. I do believe we’ve reached that point.
I put my full support behind Brendan Rodgers for a very long time but my patience with him has finally run out and now it’s too late for him to keep trying to impress us and make up for past mistakes. He’s not working out as well as we’d hoped he would. Enough is enough and I’ll say it now: I’D LIKE A NEW MANAGER.
I could name several that we already know would definitely be worthy of Liverpool – Carlo Ancelotti, Jurgen Klopp, Harry Redknapp… even to give Steven Gerrard the job with his zero years of management experience would excite most fans more than Rodgers does any more.
There’s people out there already who have a very nice record of management and which could be of use to us. More use than Rodgers ever was or would be in the future.
I am quite certain that Rodgers can no longer do well enough to bring me back around to giving him my full support any more. He’d have to win some silverware with us for that to happen. Premier League, the League Cup, FA Cup, Europa League. If he’s not won something by the end of the season… the Anfield Family simply will never want to see him in charge of our club ever again and our fans will be so vocal about it, he’s likely to lose his job. Once the general population of all our fans all want you gone, YOU ARE GONE. The fans have the final say about this and owners know when their staff can no longer be of use because nobody wants them around. We’re already very unhappy. This is the end if he doesn’t achieve the greatness Liverpool and it’s fans expect to see.
Liverpool now continue their short spell of the few fixtures we have bundled together in a 6 day period. We will play Carlisle at 8PM on 23rd September in the third round of the league cup. Be prepared to possibly see the youngsters that appeared in the Europa League once more.
I like Jordan Rossiter, it’d be nice to watch him play a cup game. I hope you all look forward to it as I do. Walk on, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.