Spyin' Kop - Liverpool v West Brom - 11th February 2013

Posted by StevenLFC on February 8, 2013, 11:43:36 AM

Liverpool v West Brom
V
Monday 11th February
Anfield
Kick Off: 8pm

After a midweek full of pretty meaningless international games, it's probably a blessing that we have been selected by the powers that be at Sky Sports Towers to be a part of their Monday Night Football spectacular against West Brom. It's given us a couple of extra days to recover and prepare for what could be a difficult game. West Brom beat us 3-0 at The Hawthorns on the opening day of the season, and we got some revenge with a 2-1 win at the same ground in the League Cup a few weeks later. West Brom are in a pretty poor run of form though, they've not had a victory in their last eight games in all competitions, so I can imagine our old number two Steve Clarke would probably settle for a point at this moment in time, although West Brom are a side that likes to play good, attacking football  and I'm not sure they are equipped to park the bus and play for a point.

Ahead of the game, I visited the WestBrom.com forum to get the views of some opposition fans.

Enjoy!

As things stand, your side haven't won in your last eight games in all competitions (5 losses & 2 draws), any ideas why you seem to have had this dip in form after a very good start?

Ronnie_allen: A mixture of suffering injuries to key members of our squad and a general lethargy to our play since our strong start. Feeling that our primary aim for the season was already achieved looks to have led to a subconscious easing up within the team. We regularly make very poor starts to games of late and opposition sides may have figured our counter attacking style out and are minimizing such moves which proved successful for us earlier in season.

Hardtobeat: Combination of a few things including injuries, dip in form of key players, lack of strength in depth in certain positions, even the odd bit of bad luck.

WBASPE77: I suppose after a club like us makes a great start, there was always going to be a patch where we would lose a few games. We have had Mulumbu away, Gera injured other players missing games too.

17GD: I think we can put it down to lack of squad depth. We have a decent first team, but as soon as we have injuries or suspensions, we have to rely on second team players. Whereas some of the bigger teams have a squad of players that could make it into the starting XI. We all knew a dip in form would come, I just don't think any of us expected it to last this long.

FallOutBoy: The injuries we've had haven't helped, but I didn't think that would carry on all season. We've probably levelled out now, and I can see us improving, but only to the point of finishing where we currently are.

Peter Odemwingie - that was a crazy situation, travelling to QPR without permission. How have the Albion fans reacted to this, and can you see them ever forgiving him for what he did?

Ronnie_allen: Lots of anger and personally found it a bit of a joke. I am sure players locate near clubs in the lead up to possible transfers but his public pronouncements on Twitter and even more so on Sky when he stated “We” when talking about QPR fuelled much anger. I believe this will dissipate and why he won’t be adored, he is still our player and if we need him and he is willing to put a shift in he may be put up with. He should definitely find a new agent. 

Hardtobeat: Not so much the travelling in my book more his tweets in the days previous and the interview using "us" and "we" when talking about QPR means an even longer road for him back into the fans good books.

WBASPE77: The tweets were more upsetting than him driving down to QPR. He is a big player for us, so I would rather him be in the side, but he has to do a lot to earn the respect of the fans back.

17GD: It was crazy. His greed obviously got the better of him and decided it was worth the risk. Personally, I hope he doesn't ever put on the Albion shirt again. Everyone understands that footballers are mercenaries, but it's the way in which it is portrayed. I feel let down that it's been quite a while and there has still been no issue of apology.

FallOutBoy: I was expecting a lot more venom to be honest, but I think his constant angling for a move / better contract every window have made us more resigned to it. While some will never forgive him, a lot will if he plays and scores for us again.

You lost 1-0 against Spurs last weekend, was it all down to the red card? Popov was a bit silly really wasn't he?

Ronnie_allen: Moment of madness. Spurs were probably more likely to get a result, despite us playing much better in the first half since probably QPR away. Popov’s sending off just made the defeat an inevitable.

Hardtobeat: Hard to say, they had a lot of possession but we had the better chances first half.The fact they only scored once in the second half against 10 men makes me believe we quite possibly wouldn't have lost but for Popov's total brainstorm.

WBASPE77: It was a stupid thing to do. The game was in the balance as I felt it could have gone either way. We did well to only concede one goal with ten men.

17GD: It was stupid, but he's since apologised so I can forgive him, providing it doesn't happen again. I think we were always in danger of losing it with XI men, as we struggled in the final third, but as soon as he went off, it was only a matter of time. Bale is a class player and we gave him too much freedom.

FallOutBoy: I wouldn't say it was all down to the red card; Spurs were probably always going to get a goal from somewhere to sneak a 1-0. It took away any chance of holding out though, and it was an incredibly stupid decision from a player who has so far been reliable.

Steve Clarke, how's he doing as your manager?

Ronnie_allen: Firstly, we don't have a manager. Clarke is our Head Coach.
Obviously did very well at first. How he reacts to this bad run will tell a lot, something Di Matteo never looked likely to do when he was in charge. A defeat in Anfield won’t blot his copybook too much if a decent game is played but we have a number of big games after that which we will be targeting to pick up some points from and regain our confidence.

Hardtobeat: Head coach please :D He's doing ok, still saying the right things, some curious decisions in transfer window but how many were down to him? Who knows!?

WBASPE77: I have been very impressed with the start that he has made, however this is where he will earn his money, he has to stop the rot with a few wins.

17GD: I have mixed feelings about Steve. I want to like him, but he seems a tad 'miserable'. That may sound like it's got nothing to do with football, but whether we win, lose or draw, he always seems to be the same. I like managers who get angry when we lose and are happy when we win. Points-wise, we're doing quite well and in general I'm very happy with the work he has done so far. I just think he needs to work on his discipline a little more. There seems to be some uneasy feelings at the club currently.

FallOutBoy: OK. He handles things well, and we were playing some nice stuff earlier this season. But I don't think his lack of experience as a number 1 has helped when our form has dipped and the injuries have mounted. He has to do something about the recent lack of discipline within the squad.

Which of your players have stood out this season (in terms of performing well)?

Ronnie_allen: Yacob shone and hopefully can get match fit after his recent injury. McAuley is solid at the back and Lukaku has probably been one of our better performers during our recent slump in form.

Hardtobeat: Yacob, Mulumbu, Morrison in the early part of the season. More recently Lukaku and Popov (until Sunday) have stood out in the bad run.

WBASPE77: Lukaku has been excellent. His goals, his pace, power but also his attitude. He really wants to learn his trade here by getting regular Premiership football. I would say that the vast majority of our players have been excellent this season.

17GD: I think Lukaku has done well, scored some timely goals and put in some good performances. McAuley has done well this season, made some great tackles and kept his head down. Mulumbu always gives 100%.

FallOutBoy: We've missed Shane Long when he hasn't played, while Romelu Lukaku has proved an talent (although he may be better as an impact sub at the moment, until he's gained experience). Chris Brunt seems to be constantly maligned in some sections of the crowd, but he's done well since coming back from injury.

Anyone who should be doing better?

Ronnie_allen: Morrison started the season strongly but has gone off the boil in recent weeks. Brunt has been inconsistent and Olsson sloppy at crucial times since returning from injury.

Hardtobeat: Diffficult one. Ollson probably hasn't been as consistent since his injury and Brunt has had a stop start season with injuries.

WBASPE77: Tough one really, I suppose Brunt but injuries and not playing in his best postion haven't helped.

17GD: Brunt. I like him, but if he starts a game poorly, he doesn't seem to pick up, it's probably psychological because he can be excellent on his day.

FallOutBoy: After another extended run of good form, James Morrison has let his performances dip recently. Jonas Olsson should be doing better at controlling his temper, especially when teams target him and try to wind him up. A lot of our fans would say Markus Rosenberg, but if he were to get games, and play in his proper position, he would probably be a good player for us.

I'd like to shift the focus to Liverpool if I may. As an outsider, how would you assess Liverpool and the job Brendan Rodgers is doing?

Ronnie_allen: Doing a decent job and Liverpool look much better with a second striker. Is certainly imposing his game plan. Major weakness I see is the insistence of passing out from the back as I feel Liverpool defenders are not wholly comfortable with this. Has led to some bad errors that have proved costly in games where you could have picked up more from.
 
Hardtobeat: They are now about where they should be; nowhere near the real big guns but near the top of the rest. As for Rodgers, I still have my doubts. His naivety in letting Carroll leave and not replacing him is a big question mark on his cv.

WBASPE77: I think on the whole he has done quite well. Your league form over the last few weeks as been better. I think the top four may just be a bit too much for you though.

17GD: Shaky start, but form of late has been good. To be honest, I don't really like Rodgers and I don't like the way Liverpool handled the Suarez affair. Having said that, Liverpool do have some tidy players.

FallOutBoy: Your start was a bit dodgy, but it's levelled out into a position I'd expect, one of a group (including your friends Everton) chasing Champions League but not being a favourite to get there.

Have any of our players particularly impressed you?

Ronnie_allen: Obviously Suarez but I feel that Henderson, who appears to have been unpopular among a significant section of Liverpool fans has been playing very well of late as well.

Hardtobeat: Suarez, Suarez, Suarez! I also like the look of Wisdom too, surely going to end up as a centre back.

WBASPE77: Sterling has made an excellent start. The real stand out has to be Suarez though.

17GD: Raheem is a great player, and I've always liked Stevie G and Henderson.

FallOutBoy: Like many, I will never like Suarez. But Sturridge is a really good signing, and if he can fulfil his potential with you, he will be a great player.

We've played twice already this season, both at the Hawthrons. You beat us 3-0 in the league before we beat you 2-1 in the league cup. How do you see this third encounter going?

Ronnie_allen: Liverpool full of confidence seeking revenge. West Brom showing signs of improvement, battling hard on the back-foot but should be opened up. Comfortable win for Liverpool.

Hardtobeat: You look likely winners :(

WBASPE77: Well I really hope that we can get something from this game. But with your recent league form I see you winning.

17GD: Sadly, I feel Liverpool will have the upper hand this time. We're going through a bad patch, we have some injuries and we just don't seem to be able to do anything in the final third. I fear a Liverpool victory.

FallOutBoy: I'd like to say more like the opening game, but we aren't playing with that much confidence at the moment. If we have Mulumbu back and Yacob starts, we might snatch a draw, but I would expect a comfortable win for you this time out.

Care to predict the score?

Ronnie_allen: Liverpool 3 - West Brom 1

Hardtobeat: 3-0 to Liverpool.

WBASPE77: 2-0 to Liverpool.

17GD: Heart says 2-1 Albion, head says 3-0 Liverpool.

FallOutBoy: 2-0 to Liverpool.

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