If supporters want to understand why we have fallen so abruptly from one of Europe's elite to one of the Premier League’s upper mid table teams just look at our two centre midfielders on display on Saturday.
Both Henderson and Shelvey had decent games, both want the ball and have a good engine on them. One of them, Henderson, is terrified in the final third and the other one is only playing in his 5th or 6th league start. Just a few years ago Liverpool boasted about Mascherano and Alonso and now we have Shelvey and Henderson.
Dalglish finally played Gerrard further up the pitch but it didn't really work because the midfielders failed to get the ball to him on a regular basis. Stewart Downing went on one great run and provided a fantastic cross to Kuyt, who made solid contact with the cross. The ball seemed to cross the line but it was very difficult to tell from the reply. Other than that, Downing did nothing. I mean nothing... well that is not totally true, he did try and make one pathetic tackle on Heskey who shrugged him off with ease. Downing proceed to walk after Heskey. Shocking stuff.
Jose Enrique, worryingly also had a very poor game again. He seems to take too long to give a pass. He has a fantastic engine on him but fails to pick out players in a red shirt on a regular basis.
In saying all this Liverpool completely dominated the game against Aston Villa from start to finish. Just to show how bad the league is this season, we were pretty poor for 70 minutes but Villa were even worse, yet managed to have a one goal lead from their only shot of note. The comedy of errors that the referee provided were quite unbelievable. He missed two obvious handballs by Villa in the box, the most remarkable when Kuyt chested a ball past his marker.
The Villa player had his hands straight out. The ball struck his arm and Kuyt lost the ball. Somehow the youngest ref in the league did not give it. Suarez was fouled in the box, as clear as day, and nothing given. Flannagan was completely shoved off the ball, a foot outside the box, nothing given. Suarez was later booked for diving, when replays clearly showed his foot was stood on. It's frankly becoming a joke and while I hate to see how United and Chelsea surround the referee when decisions go against them I think we need to start doing this on a regular basis. Liverpool are just too nice.
The Reds also had their own moments of madness. Somehow Kuyt turned Gerrard's shot over the bar from two yards when it was easier to score then to miss.
After 70 minutes Liverpool had complete control of the match as Dalglish took off the hopeless Downing and the poor Enrique along with the tiring Shelvey. On came Carroll, Bellamy and Agger , with the latter proving the difference. Agger gave us something more and it would not surprise me to see him at left back against Blackburn.
Agger won more headers in the short spell that he was on the pitch than Carroll did. One of the headers he did win resulted in our equaliser as Suarez couldn't miss from on the goal line. Carroll should have scored to win it but as per usual his header was directly at the keeper. I believe it was the only moment of real value form him, except for taking up positions inside the box during corner kicks.
A 1-1 draw was a cruel reflection on this match, but our inability to put the ball in the back of the net hurt us. The awful ref and his assistants also did not help. I would not play either Gerrard or Suarez or Bellamy at Blackburn. I hope to see some of the kids getting a game.