ďfirst day back at school and the new kecks look bossĒ

Posted by a partridge in seat_5c on August 10, 2006, 12:25:25 AM

Liverpool returned to school after the summer holidays today with some new pupils sporting boss new kecks that were much admired, despite the unusual width, but after a busy morning the greedy little minds of a few started to think about some nice greasy spam fritters and chips, and Boccoli sneaked past the dinner ladies to strike a blow for the nasty old greens. Order was quickly restored in class as bad boy Bellamy shoved star pupil Gerrard out of the way to answer his first difficult question of the year. Are you going to score twenty goals this season? Correct. Only another nineteen to go. Not bad considering he wears Doctor Martenís Doctor Martenís Doctor Martenís boots.

Lunch must have seen too many spam fritters consumed as energy levels seemed to wane. New boy Pennant had enjoyed his morning, his flares having been every bit as wide and entertaining as anticipated and now everyone will want a pair. Yet after lunch he seemed to get a little frustrated and quietened down a bit. Sissoko had been as lively as ever but did some good work despite his desk being too small for him. He made sure that Boccoli would not be returning to Anfield in a hurry, the horrible green thing leaving the field in florets to a chorus of boos. As hometime drew near, star pupil Gerrard, having been moved from classroom to classroom, started to look irritated and was sent home early. Minutes later, very late arrival Gonzalez, another of the new boys resplendent in flares, answered a very important question indeed and then shortly afterwards the bell went. It hadnít been quite the first day theyíd hoped for, with the field trip to Ukraine or Cyprus coming up. Headmaster Benitez looked sternly on, enquiring of his deputy, Ayestaran, why they hadnít thought of letting the lads wear Bellamy bottoms and DMs before. They really looked quite boss indeed.

First day back reports:

Reina - could he have done better with the first one? er? nitpicking? hmmm ... smart save late on though saved a 2-2er (I think the shot was going in?) and a much trickier away leg.

Finnan - got up and down to support Pennant well in the first half, sat back more second half, possibly due to lacking match fitness yet.

Carragher - ďLa ParedĒ, nuff said.

Hyypia - got dragged out by his opponent leaving room for Boccoli to run through, not really his fault.

Riise - a repeat of the Cup Final for Riise, got run ragged a bit. To be fair the Congolese winger was sharp first half but Riise looked half a yard short of sharpness, mentally as much as physically, getting done several times by switching off for a split second.

Pennant - a purring Mercedes in the first half, I love the way the ball just sticks to his foot when he receives it, oozes quality. Didnít thrash loads of crosses over until Crouch came on, often picks a square pass to the edge of the box for someone to run onto. One or two dragbacks nearly left opponents on their arses as he span away past them. Might sound whingey but I just felt he allowed himself to drift out of the game a bit second half, like to have seen him demand the ball a bit more. Does need to learn to drive into the box to get on the end of things coming over from the left as well. Rafa will drum this into him. Cracking start though.

Alonso - another Cup Final replay, Xabi didnít look fit first half to me, getting caught on his heels a few times, one of them leading to him losing his runner who sneaked past his striker, who blocked off Hyypia, to score. Strangely seemed to look fitter in the second half. Perhaps heíd been on the rowing machine at halftime. Below par from Xabi, he started the season slowly last year and we canít afford for him to take a month or two to get into gear.

Sissoko - another player who was excellent in the first half but faded a little with the team in the second half. Probably too much to expect them to sustain that effort for ninety minutes at the moment. As often happens, half-time seemed to disrupt our rhythm and we didnít really manage to get it back again. What I particularly liked about Moís performance was the way for such a big lanky lad he managed to operate well with a couple of players on him, spinning into them and then away again and releasing the ball for someone else. Late strike was deflected over. Improving. Opposition managers wouldnít like to read that, would they Iain.

Gerrard - looked on fire first half with some sublime touches without even looking to see where players were, the ball went to them anyway, off instep, heel, whatever. Drifted out of the game second half, especially when moved left side, where he went into Beckham-in-England-mode, failing to stay where he was put. Not a crime when youíre going forward, it is when youíre on the defensive and youíre nowhere near your man. Possibly this was the reason Rafa took him off, to restore some shape to a disintegrating unit. Heíll never admit it of course. It was tiredness. But we know the score, us.

Zenden - funny player Zenden, he seems to click with some players, like Warnock, but not others, possibly including Riise. Somehow one doesnít seem to be able to read what the other is going to do and Zenden looked like a player who was playing ďout of synchĒ, the sort of trouble that Cheyrou used to have, in the right place two seconds earlier or two seconds later, but not when you need him to be there. Probably just needs time to work an understanding. Has to be said though, well it doesnít but I will anyway, I usually have the feeling when Zenden plays that nothing is going to happen. Weíre solid with him on the left but we seem to lack penetration. Will probably play central quite a lot so maybe not much to worry about. Hopefully.

Bellamy - possibly struggled a little bit to get in the game, a few flicked passes didnít come off and might have been better held, but sod it, he scored, heís bullish, play him forty games and heíll score us our twenty goals, no doubt about that in my mind. There, Iíve said it so it will come to pass.

subs :

Garcia - lively, hit and miss as usual, Iíll take the misses just for the hits.

Crouch - power, Peter, power. Head the ball, donít let the ball head you. Pretty please.

Gonzalez - canít remember being so excited about a player Iíd never seen play, Iíve probably single-handedly created all the unjustifiable hysteria over him. Well, in my house at least. Now I have seen him play. Get in there, son!

© a partridge in seat 5c 2006

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