Last night I witnessed one of the worst Liverpool performances I have ever seen. Undoubtedly we’ve been going through a sticky patch recently and results have been pretty poor but I was unaware of how bad things actually are. The whole team lacked any sense of purpose and all of them looked nervous in possession – with the exception of Yossi Benayoun (who was far and away the best player on the pitch). The squad that Benitez has assembled in 5 years at the club is simply not good enough to win the Premiership and has no hope of making an impact in the Champions League. In this time he’s brought in 68 players and somehow from this number Lucas still manages to be getting in the starting line up!
Not since 1987 have Liverpool lost four games in a row and our next game against Manchester United on Sunday offers little hope of change. Some voices from within Anfield are talking up this game as the best opportunity to bounce back from a bad spell. Honestly, on last night’s performance I can’t see how this would be possible. Insua looked horribly out of his depth and was tortured all night, it was obvious within the first 20 minutes that he wasn’t up to the task. Yet Benitez lacked the courage to give him the shepherds hook, keeping him on the field for the full 90 minutes. The most baffling decision of the night came 10 minutes from time with the scores level – Benayoun was hauled off! It is decisions like this during matches (as well as his ineptitude in the transfer market) which must cause his position as manager to come under real scrutiny in the next few weeks. Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail summed it up well when he said..
Tuesday must have been a miserable night to be at Anfield but the really sad thing is that few would have been surprised by what they saw.
To be honest I was surprised by what I saw – there was an absence of desire in many of the players and the manner in which we were so easily turned over by Lyon really shocked me. It was a toothless performance by a very ordinary side who lacked any drive or imagination. The off-field boardroom uncertainties at Liverpool are nothing in comparison to the on-field hesitancy I witnessed first hand last night. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong and maybe Graeme Souness is right (which would be notable in itself!) when he says of the Utd game…
if we turn them over, this result will be forgotten.