Writer: Ross Molyneux
Date:Saturday November 24 2007
24th November 07
Two home games, two complete and utter write offs, as we quickly descend to depths unplumbed even under Souness and Roeder. I`m genuinely struggling to remember the last time we conceded four and three in consecutive home games as our current defensive malaise continues. What made things worse were the puzzling decisions in game.
The team that lined up seemed fair enough, with Geremi dropped to right back rather than recalling Carr (a plus point at 12:45, probably less so come 13:15), and Alan Smith dropping in. Given came in for Harper, probably unfairly, whilst Beye moved inside to centre half for Faye. Enrique popped up at left back whilst Zog pushed forward, Martins replacing Owen.
Straight from the off there was this sinking feeling about the team. Passes went astray and the Dippers gained instant domination. The only real surprise was how long it took them to score, Gerrard launching a pretty much unstoppable set play into the roof of the net. He`d been booed throughout the game, allegedly for his England performance, although personally I thought it was for the two footed tackle on Nobby about three years ago.
Smith had a half chance later in the half, our only shot near to goal all game, before controversy kicked in. Torres broke our offside 'trap` (misnomer of the year) and dinked the ball onto the on-rushing Given`s arm. No free kick as play went on, Torres eventually driving the ball into the base of the post and away to safety.
Half time and Sam`s sterling team talk paid dividends as the Scousers scored from the opening move of the half, Kuyt bundling in a Gerrard corner. After that the joke got worse. Geremi managed to evade all efforts to substitute him despite being a complete farce and Emre went off for Barton. The Cameroonian`s appointment as captain was a total mismatch, with Nicky Butt far more suited to the role. After all he was the only one on the pitch telling people what to do.
Babel came on, scored, and showed us up further, with Torres missing a string of chances to further humiliate us. The Duke had a couple of chances to score but lazily crept offside as the atmosphere got more poisonous.
Allardyce`s decision to replace N`Zogbia with Milner went down like a fart in a spacesuit, ditto bringing Steven Carr on. By the end the usual array of grey plastic seats was testament to what happened on the day.
Overall? I can`t honestly see Mort, Ashley et all being pleasantly surprised with anything that went on today. The lack of a Sky interview from Allardyce until fans were safely away from the ground sums up the delicacy with which he is treating the situation. However his stubbornness in persisting with Smith and Geremi, and the shite long ball tactics have got a hell of a lot of people`s backs up. The clock is definitely ticking now.
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Date:Saturday November 24 2007
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|6. West Ham||12||5||3||4||4||18|
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