Liverpool: wishes for the weekend
Results depend on infinite factors, and in the beautiful game they don’t always reflect the play of the teams. Liverpool suffered 1 of their 2 EPL defeats last season at Spurs. I can live with another. My desires are simpler:
1) Athletic hit men don’t open gaping wounds at the back so easily.
Drogba shredded us in both legs of the Champs quarterfinals, and this will be about the 4th time the 4 goal Arshavin game has been mentioned on this site in its first week. Atletico Madrid’s front line also made it look easy against the Reds thanks to superior quickness and athleticism. Tottenham’s Defoe, Crouch, and Keane aren’t elite athletes, but if they look like ones on Sunday, Liverpool shouldn’t count on too many clean sheets this season.
2) Getting the ball forward without Alonso.
So much has been made of the Spaniard’s departure you’d think the Reds were being forced to play with 10 men the entire season. Most of us are deeply disappointed with the loss, but I remain hopeful that our counter-attacking style won’t disappear. It’s become fashionable to bag on Glen Johnson’s defense, so let’s hope those offensive skills for which he was brought in make regular appearances. The secret weapon could be Mascherano. He might have more passing acumen than people realize, and if so, the start of this season will show it.
3) Finishing skillz from someone other than Torres or Gerrard.
Kuyt’s my man this year. Like the Emperor, I can feel the power running through him. Hatred will make him stronger. Dirk’s gonna blast nets like they were wampa rats back home. And if it isn’t Kuyt, perhaps Riera or Babel will surface after (probable) substitutions on Sunday. Regardless, I need to see a multi-headed attack to believe we aren’t going to draw an unbelievable 7 times at home again this season.
With the Alonso soap opera dominating hearts and minds, the team was quite distracted during the entire preseason. They played like it. Instead of looking ragged and weary before the season’s even started, I was to see the crispness that comes with having a mission and believing in it. The title can be had by 3 teams, and Liverpool is one of them, but it won’t happen if they prefer to pout in their pudding.
5) A win.