LFC 4-0 Fulham Eyewitness Report

Posted by Hinesy on December 23, 2012, 01:00:24 AM

If you've ever wanted a proper Christmas game, this was it.
All the ingredients for a fun filled festive evening kick off were there:

Friends - old and new
Goodwill to all men
Panto villains
The Colours of Father Christmas
Silent Night
and everyone going home with a warm fuzzy feeling of finally getting the present we've been expecting for a long while...

Turning up early for a mini mod get together it was lovely to meet up with 5th Benitle, Claire, 24/7, and Rhi and Hally never mind Lents and Harinder all popping into the Sandon, out of the rain, into the beer. We mostly had that quiet concern that goes with being a Red these days, an expectation of victory but an acknowledgement that it won't be easy and unless the presumed possession is converted speedily into goals, we'll be frustrated..

and so to the ground... Anfield filling up with the usual red and white santa hats, full of cheer, beer and hope.

The team consisted of the usual suspects, the facts are elsewhere, but suffice to say my spec from the Anny Rd end was one of The Colours of Father Christmas: dark green pitch with red and white players a plenty kicking the ball around in seeming mirrored warm ups.. We play close passing, they play close passing, we do touch and shoot practice, they do touch and shoot warm ups, we use the spare goal they er... completely ignored it...

Here's a photo of us being so bored warming up, we've all gone in and left the Londoners to it..

Panto villains and old friends
Anyway Fulham consisted of a lot of tall players with a good ol pantomime villain up front, Dimitar Berbatov. Never mind your Clattenburgs and cockney boo boys, here was a proper good ol' fashioned player who looked like Dracula, hated crosses like Dracula, played well to be fair, but was booed at every touch and rightly so - he's a greasy wanker. He probably hoped for the moniker 'Dimitar the Scimitar' when he was old enough to hear he'd beein called such a name, but tonight, thankly his luck was blunter than a hungry vampires tooth. But his short passing, and basic ground skills were still there for all to boo see.
And he's behind you... there was OOH AH I would like to know how you retain your ginger hair do in the face of being turned down by most of Girls Aloud, our Johnny Riise. Two eyes, one foot, nae chance. Downing had him in his princely paid pocket most of the match but his early return for the second half was richly rewarded with a few renditions of his song and again when he took a long throw in, fortunately down by his own corner flag in the 2nd half.

Goodwill to all men mostly came in the form of the space allowed firstly to Martin Skrtel to score his goal.

A £10 stake on Martin scoring first with a result of 2-1 to us would've paid out £910. Fuck knows what the same 1st scorer and 4-0 would've given back... Fulham were, to be fair, and considered, shit. Even at 3-0 up we still looked like we wanted to be first to the ball, pressing and interested. we played well, but not that well. Certainly for my money, no better than we were against Arsenal, or Villa for long periods last week, but this time it worked. Goodwill indeed. Gerrard was allowed to waltz into the box for his second, goodwill to Downing for his shot, his first league assist, (yes, about.fucking.time.) according to statto's worthier of memory than I and Luis' final goal was a proper return for his effort, unselfishness and probable frustration of being surrounded by some players whose mind work at about 10% the rate of his. Yes Shelvey I'm looking at you.

Suso looked like someone had left the mascot on and was having fun til his dad caught him out. And Fulham playing with one up front, Vampire Dimbo, meant our defence were not troubled in the first half.

Nor I by the meat and potato half time pie, the Anny Rd backstage may be crowded but I like the pies back there. And the fact that the fattish kid sat next to me only bothered to turn up after half time, so I had a free extra seat for the first half.

Goodwill even extended to Mark Clattenburg. Actually that's a complete lie. There were two blatant pushes he ignored, and Suarez's throat will testify to several choke holds ignored by the Mark in the Middle. Or no mark if he continues to be lazy. His interpretation of what constitutes advantage needs adjusting, and his ass hole refs need to carefully look at the offsides against Suarez in the first half.

Even goodwill to Pepe's unorthodox leg save in the first half meant the ball headed redwards...

Silent Night: the atmos took off three times: once deservedly and unanimously supported for the Stand Up for the 96, and plaudits to Fulham Fans for joining in, as far as I could see. The second was for Luis' song, not the best in my opinion but still got us going.
We also need a song about going the season without a penalty... I'd suggest Pink Floyd's We don't need no education: "We don't need no pens this season, we just need some ball control, no dark sarcasm for the ref now, we'll just score some normal goals..." but that's why I'm not a song writer.

The third time the ground properly woke up was at half time when a couple of flags demonstrating the links between Liverpool and Borussia Munchengladbach were paraded around the pitch perimter and the German team's fan club had turned up in numbers, in the Upper Anny Rd, singing their beer drinking footy song. They were deservedly and loudly applauded, tache's and steins all.

But as often is the case with a later kick off, thoughts turned to turkeys, presents and whatever happened to Igor Biscan, never mind opponents who kind of sit in the no mans land of not being hated, not being noted, not being dangerous but not being shit, the ground was largely content to shout the odd chant, do the usual rounds of this and that, and then settle down for Strictly Come Suarez.

Half time continued with, in the persistent drizzle, the usual zonal raking... I'm tempted to shove on a dark blue coat and bring a rake in and mooch on pitch at half time aimlessly prodding random sods in the hope they'll settle down. A bit like being a copper at a riot then... (*ayeee thank ewe)

The second half saw Fulham adopt a 4-4-2, bringing on what looked like the Predator to play for them, but turned out to be Hugo Rodallega and a funky hair do. They were better for it. But still with Berbatov allowed to shoot a couple of times, and Pepe spilling one to Martin to boot away, (note the applause Pepe got when he took one back pass of many and just hoofed it upfield ;) ), they were still not much better. We watched what happens if Downing believes the hype and shoots properly, he scored and nearly did again. Interestingly it looked like Jol had told his team to cut us off just inside their half yet both he and Johnson were allowed too often to cut in from the outside.

I'd like to mention Gerrard... Gerrard ah Stevie... You got man of the match from John Aldridge and plaudits on Motted but for me, whilst your passing was lovely, there were still times when you looked like you'd decided and picked and selected which attack would be worthy of your runs and which wouldn't. There was a case where we broke and the ball went to Shelvey on the left (2nd half, attacking the Kop). He passed it quickly to his right expecting someone to pick it up and move on, but the whole space was empty. Gerrard had chosen simply not to run with it. Now I know he's not got the legs he had, but but but but... it's a tricky one and one we must think about at some point. This is a transitional season for him, and how best to use him is happily not my choice. I'm not grumbling, I'm merely mumbling...

Anyroad, we won and won well, even Jamie Carragher was let on for a bit, Lucas didn't get injured, Downing played!! and Henderson turns out it was Allen, my eyes are going looked interested. There was a clean sheet and we showed some of the lovely interplay we're capable of. But I'd like to thank the two Martins: Martin Skrtel for a lovely opener that freed us up and Martin Jol for telling his team to be good elves and let us all have that warm fuzzy glow.

Home in the rain. Gawd bless everyone of us. :wave

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