Yeovil Town 0 Liverpool 2 - The Most Depressing Match Report Ever.
Posted by Mark_P on January 5, 2004, 07:53:08 PM
I remember a conversation before the Newcastle game last month about the 3rd round draw, which was to take place a few days later. Everyone agreed that a long(ish) trip to a non-league or lower league team would be class, rather than having to go to a ground you've already been to hundreds of times. Yeovil was actually one of the ones we spoke about, so when the draw came out as Yeovil, it looked like a great trip was going to come out of it. If only we'd have known ...
The birds were just waking up (the flying variety, unfortunately), piss heads (well lucky ones I should say really) where just getting home from town and the milkman wasn't even there to keep us company as about ten rough-looking and sleep deprived lads waited for the coach at twenty to six. The coach was packed and un-comfy in true Barnes' style, and everyone seemed fairly excited at the prospect of a new ground to go to. Usually when it's Villa, Charlton, Boro and that, people know exactly where they'll be bevvying, exactly what's around the ground and exactly what to expect. In a few ways it was a little like a European away, and as we found out when we got there, Somerset have their own way of life, language and probably currency, so it was a lot like a European away.
Reading through the Mirror on the way there was a brilliant quote from one of their players, who once played alongside Stevie Gerrard at England youth level. "I was better than Gerrard." If it makes you happy mate, whilst you're at Yeovil and Stevie's captaining Liverpool, you stick with that thought. Paul Terry, brother of Chelsea's John, got a fair share of coverage, but if you pardon my French, he was absolute shite. Let's hope his brother does exactly the same on Wednesday, although the way we're playing at the moment he can afford to.
The New Year of following the Reds seemed to have got off to an excellent start, as, for once, the Happy Al's driver didn't need to be begged and bribed to stop at a services, and everyone descended on the smallest services ever, somewhere just as we got into Somerset. Most got a free read, and free brekkie (Very generous they were), and so favourites like 'Reader's Wives', 'Girls Only' and 'Xtreme' kept everyone, should we say, happy for the rest of the journey.
The small sign of 'Welcome to Yeovil' welcomed us, and then possibly the weirdest thing ever happened. When we were going past the masses going up to the game there was no "comic" Harry Enfield style Scouser impressions. There was no fingered salutes or anything. The Yeovil fans instead, err, waved. It was almost like we were the team coach or something, they seemed made up we were there. They had posters up with Atomic Kitten, crossed out, saying something along the lines of "We're smitten with the Glovers". Well one Atomic Kitten is a wool, one a Bluenose (and a proper one as well) - hardly something we're going to take offence with!
It seemed like Yeovil had put their whole Police Force out for the occasion, and you could tell that the rest of Somerset's thieves where rubbing their hands in glee as they went about their actions with ease. Fences all round the ground made it harder to get out of than a drug habit, and when asked where the nearest pub was the reply was "Well yow go down there, right darn, do a left, abart 2 moiles." In all fairness, Yeovil fans were very friendly, and didn't really display the arrogance the media portrayed. Although the biggest laugh of the day (Bar Riise's performance) was the £5 a programme Yeovil had decided. I thought it was us Scouser that were the thieves? It cost me that much for a match ticket never mind a programme. The local paper were giving out free supplements on the game, ten times better than most programmes I've ever read!
Standing outside the ground gave us a bit of an insight into the brilliant Liverpool loyalty service. Two Essex Reds coaches, both with Union Jacks waving proudly, turned up. Now, Happy Al's managed to get three coaches going, and if Essex Reds all applied the same way as us, then fair enough. The cynic in me suggests not, especially with someone saying the woman told him they got 50 tickets off the club. Even worse was the number of Norwegians and clueless tits there. Two lads stood behind me for example in the campest West Country accent talked all the way through. I mean, how many times you can give Cheyrou stick when he's not even on the pitch is amazing, and the group behind us who pointed at Harry Kewell and said "Yer, that's that Otsemobor" were particulary frightening. Outside the ground looking for a ticket for someone and the amount of puzzled faces we got was amazing as was the amount in our end.
An hour and a half before kick off and a conversation outside was interrupted by a huge roar of "Who the fuckin' hell are you". Looking over our end you could see Yeovil's end already full and singing. "Just like Galatasaray this, although this is a bit more like hell I reckon" was the verdict of one Red and the Yeovil fans didn't really get the idea that singing songs to an empty terrace isn't really that good, and usually you're not going to get a response.
Inside the ground we were treated to Yeovil's mascot, or Jolly Green Giant to his mates, doing his own lap of honour. He was met with a cry of "What the fuckin' ell is that", and then the grotesque, fat, horrible creature was asked "Are you Rooney in disguise". But the funniest was yet to come, when Yeovil put on their 'anthem'. No offence to Yeovil but it was the funniest thing, that deserved its own "What the fuckin ell ..." and then You'll Never Walk Alone. Their players came out to warm up and were greeted as Champions whereas our players got a polite round of applause from us, many of whom had seen us warm up about twice in 5 years and where still in shock, and boos from the Yeovil faithful.
The team lined up with Mr Houllier doing his best to confuse us with the right back role. Dudek was in goal, Riise left back (Get in, we're deffo onto a winner now), Henchoz right back, Biscan, who has experience of the right back role (Excellent decision), at centre half with Sami Hyypia, Hamann and Murphy in the middle, Diouf on the right, Smicer left, Pongolle and Harry Kewell up front. Emile Heskey, Cheyrou, Le Tallec, Traore and Patrice Luzi made up the rest of the matchday squad.
The game started with Yeovil on the offensive as we gave the ball away criminally, with Hamann, Murphy and Diouf the main culprits in the first few minutes. Their fans made a fair bit of noise, and the classic "Are you watching Weymouth scum" gave a few Reds a chuckle, and there was nothing else to raise a smile on the pitch. Yeovil showed more bottle and class than their supposed higher level opposition. Pongolle was struggling against Fernanduez, who was asked, "What's the weather like up there" as he towered over the Frenchman. Murphy looked like he hadn't been to the optician over his recent spot of colour blindness, mainly for the colour Red, and Diouf was in a competition with himself to see how many dives he could get away with. The last dive he did before he was booked wasn't even close and he deserved the booking he got with it.
Harry Kewell came closest for Liverpool, but the Yeovil keeper easily saved his drive. Half time came to the relief of Liverpool fans and the words "shite", "spineless", "shitbags" and "disgrace" where the most used on the open terrace. And most of them where just in regards to the £5 programme, the ones used for Liverpool's performance where much worse, and rightfully so.
The Reds came out for the second half with the same old style, and it took the introduction of Emile Heskey to liven up the Reds. Most hoped Diouf would go off, but it was the struggling Pongolle who made way. Vladimir Smicer then cracked the post from the edge of the box, and, for once, Chris Weale's goal was under fire. Murphy passed the ball to Heskey who fired home leaving the "Who are ya" fans in no doubt who he was, and maybe even saving his manager's job in the process.
The chant of Heskey's name was possibly the only thing we had to sing about, until a few minutes later and Rodriguez brought Harry Kewell down in the area leaving Danny Murphy to fire home and put the result beyond doubt.
The travelling fans got going a bit, "We love you Weymouth we do", "We're gonna rob you're tractors", "Scousers 2 Jeffro 0" "Your mum's also yer auntie", and a bit of abuse for the loudmouth Yeovil "star", who I don't know the name of. White boots, shite hair, number 20. After that penalty, nothing of note happened, although Yeovil went close with a header late on.
The upset everyone wanted failed to materialise, but the solid display we wanted also failed to do so. It's a good job we scored the two goals, as this gave the impression we did what we had to, which really we did, but the display for the most part was shocking. Henchoz tried at right back, and did okay, but why play a top class centre half at right back when there's a player who's played there at centre half? Biscan did well, and Riise was, well Riise. Lost the ball a lot, was out of position a lot and didn't get in the action.
The central midfield duo of Hamann and Murphy blew hot and cold, with Murphy doing okay for the final 20 after a shocking first 70. Hamann did good things as well as bad, although he got hold of the game towards the end. El-Hadji Diouf was terrible, and failed to deliver a good ball all game, but I thought Smicer on the opposite wing was good and did a lot of good running. Harry Kewell was off colour as was Sinama Pongolle, whereas Yeovil where the better team, as hard as it is to say.
It may seem like I'm being unreasonably harsh on certain players but there was a lot of deadwood on the pitch and a lot of players that have got no pride or passion in the shirt their wearing. We badly missed a Stevie Gerrard or a Jamie Carragher someone who'd have got stuck in and been able to give a boost to some players, most of whom need a rocket up their arse.
I got a text message after the game off someone who'd watched the game in the pub saying something along the lines of "We were shite, so were support, 2-0 and still no singing." To say I found this offensive is an understatement. We'd all been up at 5 bells, sung for them and been subject to the shite we had to watch, and we're supposed to still sing, dance and be happy? If the players can't be arsed weekly, why should we?
On the way home, the Treble season video was played, and it was hard to put your finger on exactly how we've managed to go backwards in just under two years. Signings after the 2002 season, baring Harry Kewell, have made any real impact on the side, whereas we've let players who did make a difference go. Pongolle and Le Tallec look like they will develop into quality players sure, but the signings we've made have made the squad go backwards rather than forwards.
If we can't match any team for commitment, something we haven't at most games this season, then it's up to the management to motivate the players, but obviously this isn't happening. The decision to play Henchoz right back, whilst having Biscan who isn't in Henchoz's class at centre half could've backfired in spectacular fashion. The omission of Jon Otsemobor was shocking. 'Semmy' would've gave us a bit of fight from the right back role and would have made up a little for Carragher's and Gerrard's unavailability.
As for Yeovil, well it showed what kind of crowd they had when you saw five or six in Man United caps, and a load with jesters, wigs, and Yeovil posters on windows. They got behind their side and it was a real carnival atmosphere even when they went 2-0 down, and got a laugh from their "Heskey for Weymouth" chant.
The horrible truth is if Weymouth were to put a bid in for around 10 of our first teamers, who could argue with them being sold to them?How the Redmen rated:
Smicer 6 (Cheyrou 6)
Diouf 4 (Le Tallec 6)
Pongolle 5 (Heskey 7)
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