RAWK Round Table LFC 4-0 EFC
Posted by Mr Dilkington on January 29, 2014, 02:14:13 AM
Was a bit worried by our team selection tonight, but that was put to rest almost immediately given how we started. Rodgers talked about controlling the spaces better, and we did that much better.
I think the crucial thing here was we were better able to make up for key personnel losses than they were. No Coleman or Distin killed them. We were without arguably our first choice back four, but our replacements fared much better. I think the young lad Stones is actually a really promising defender, but a right back he is not. Particularly given he was facing up to Suarez and Sturridge a lot of the time. Alcaraz is just an incredibly ponderous defender, and he in turn made Jagielka look incredibly nervy and mistake ridden. The only two Ev players to come out with any real credit were Barkley and Mirallas. Barkley wasn't outstanding or anything, but given he's been injured, I thought he at least tried to spark things and looked a threat with his long range shooting. Mirallas is just a properly good wide player, he can play equally well off either flank, has a good turn of pace, and has a goal in him too. He's kinda like a bargain bucket Eden Hazard.
Our lot: Flanagan continues his somewhat unbelievable improvement with another really assured performance. Committed, tidy on the ball, aware in defence, and Scouse. I know it won't go down well, but when I watch him play, I just think 'Liverpool's Gary Neville'. Whether he can have the longevity or the International career that Neville had is another question, but he's very much cut from that cloth. He knows his limitations, but he's solid, and one any manager would be happy to put their trust in.
Talking of improvements... the wee fella in the number 10 jersey was a bit alright. Given his underpar form so far this season, tonight was a performance of great quality, as well as fantastic character. To go into a derby in poor form, playing a slightly different role than usual, and to turn in that performance? Brilliant. You can usually tell within 5 minutes whether Pip is going to have a good game or not. Sometimes everything he does looks forced and clunky, but tonight everything was fluent and natural. A wonderful player. Can anyone think of another player in the League (bar Suarez) who can turn quite so quickly. I'm sure his hips move 360!
Talking of improvements... Raheem Sterling. He's gone from overrated Aaron Lennon wannabe post Hull to most talented youngster in the country now. I never subscribed to the former opinion - it was just a case of a young player not getting many minutes and then being thrown back in and expected to be great straight away. He's now showing what he can do, because he's getting regular game time, and not only that, he's becoming a crucial
player. He's got everything to make it to the top.
There was a guy playing in our midfield who impressed me too. I haven't really watched any of our games since about 97, just read things on the internet. The number 8, who is by all accounts a complete liability, was by some miracle the man of the match. It's obviously a fluke, because the guy can't play in centre midfield. Everyone says so. To see him head the opener in was delightful and surprising in equal measure. The interceptions too! How a man with no discipline or 'tactical' understanding of the game could consistently find himself in the right areas of the pitch to break the game up and distribute astutely was quite amazing. And why was he the captain? I've read that he's had a manager sacked before, so quite how the club sees it appropriate to give him the captaincy is beyond me. A vacuum of leadership that lad. Still... an incredible performance. If I didn't know any better I'd say he was the greatest fucking player I've ever seen pull on the red shirt.
Sturridge continues to do things that make you shake your head in disbelief. The lad is just a freak. English football doesn't produce players like him. The second goal was absurd for many reasons, but the most impressive thing was how early he made up his mind, and how cool he remained. Howard rushing out, Everton defenders haring back, the crowds roar of expectation; and he just waits, and waits, and waits, and then produces the most delicate finish to effectively finish the game. Boss.
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