I just couldn't bear to write my thoughts after the Wigan game. We played reasonably well for a period of time during that match, got the equalizer, and a goal that should have stood, which probably would have seen us go on and win. Once the ref disallowed it we lost our way. Then Wigan went ahead and we never really looked liked getting back into the match. We completely lost the fight.
Sunday’s game against Newcastle was on odd one. I thought we played quite well at times, looking more dangerous than our hosts, especially in the first half. Our passing was decent, and Shelvey was very lively. He wanted the ball, got his head up, beat a few people and we looked up for it. Gerrard was not his normal self, however it was great to have Craig Bellamy back in the side. Craig was creating problems but his final pass let him down a few times.
We had some great chances in the early stages. Carroll was wrestled to the ground on a cross that was a clear penalty, Shelvey had a shot that was barely deflected over. Bellamy had a great cross that Krul tipped onto the post and over. Then Carroll went on a great run, headed the ball to himself, skipped past a defender, went round the keeper and then for some reason went to ground. This was the only decision Martin Atkinson got correct all day as Carroll was booked for diving.
Then Carroll bundled the ball towards their goal and the man on the line had his arm outstretched holding the post. The ball clearly struck his arm clearly and it should have been a red card and a penalty (which we probably would have missed) but we should have been playing against ten men for 75 minutes. Newcastle scored from their first chance of the match and we were chasing the game.
Liverpool continued to look lively, again with Shelvey pulling the strings effectively. We went into the break trailing 1-0 but that was harsh on us. In the second half we did not play very well, Carroll was left alone and the only lively player was Suarez. Gerrard was worse in the second half, our record since he has come back into the side is quite alarming. I have said it before and I will say it again. He is not a centre midfielder. He might think he is... and in certain games he can do the job for us in that position, but his best position has and will continue to be playing off the front striker. The only manager who has figured that is gone.
To his credit, he didn't have a good game but he did play on the right in a three man midfield, in the centre in a two, back out on the right in a four and then at right back so he probably struggled to find any rhythm in the match.
Newcastle secured the three points with a second goal that was a mile off-side. I have watched the replay and regardless of whether it was touched (passed) by a second Newcastle player he was still off-side, from the first pass he was a mile offside, from the second pass he was a yard offside. Another huge decision that went against us. Suarez should have pulled one back about 3 minutes later but with only out players to beat he hit the shot to close to them and they cleared the danger.
The game was then over for sure when Martin Atkinson sealed the game for the home side. Perch kicked out as Reina went by him after he caught a ball. Reina stupidly went back and confronted him. Reina motioned his head towards Perch, Perch went to ground without being touched. Straight red for Reina because regardless of contact was made the intent was there. Two yellows for Perch, first for the kick out, second for the dive. So the ref chose to ignore one of them...Then fast forward to the 92 minute, game over at this point. Perch gives the ball to Suarez and Perch clearly grabs him back and Atkinson gives the foul. In any day of the week in any game that is a clear second yellow. While it would have no bearing on the outcome of the match it just shows how bad he was (and always is).
The inept referee performance and poor second half display have now placed us in our worst run of results since 1953. Our confidence and form is all but gone. We can't score goals, we are having trouble defending and every decision and the posts are going against us. At times the football is decent, miles better then under our previous manger, but at the end of the day this is a results business and we are not getting them. Our new buys look to be a major disappointment, even Enrique is starting to get on my nerves for failing to pass the ball quicker, We are just in a complete rut at the moment and Kenny needs to get us out of it. I would start by going back to basics. Play Gerrard behind the striker (Suarez) and play Spearing in the middle with Shelvey with Downing and Belamy or Kuyt on the sides. The back is pretty solid with what we have been doing but since the league is over for us it might be a good time to give Coates a game. I would certainly have Sterling on the bench for all of our home games.
We should appeal Reina's red card regardless of what we think about the decision. What does it matter 3 or 4 or 5 games. Makes no difference. Perhaps they will only give him two games, after all that was not violent conduct. He didn't touch him!