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Torres key to Liverpool hopes

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Phil McNulty | 15:43 GMT, Saturday, 27 September 2008

Fernando Torres spent almost an hour of the Merseyside derby frustrated and at odds with the world - then took just three minutes to demonstrate why Liverpool's hopes of ending their long wait to land a Premier League title rest largely on his shoulders.

Torres spent most that hour complaining to referee Mike Riley about what he thought, wrongly it must be said, was heavy-handed treatment from Everton's defence.

He eventually picked up a yellow card, but finally focused his attention on being a world-class striker again to make it three straight home defeats in the league for a bitterly disappointing Everton side.

Torres made the difference to a Liverpool side that looked in another class to Everton in terms of possession and movement, but threatened to waste their quality with a lack of a cutting edge until Torres stepped in.

It also ended a six-game barren sequence for Torres, who has struggled to hit top form since Spain's success in Euro 2008.

And once he had hit the target, the Torres of old returned and he should have had a hat-trick, only for referee Mike Riley to rule that Dirk Kuyt had pushed Joleon Lescott.

It allowed Liverpool to go on and win in a canter, and while Everton will rightly claim Tim Cahill's late red card was harsh, only a fantasist would claim it made any difference to the outcome.

Everton have told hard luck stories about derby games in the past. Not here - they were well beaten.

Liverpool have not hit top gear this season, and there have been too many false starts to announce yet that this is the campaign in which they will finally seriously challenge for their first championship since 1990.

torres438.jpg


This, however, was a ruthlessly efficient display illuminated by the brilliance of Torres in the last half-hour.

If this display is the catalyst for him to repeat his devastating form of last season, then his own confidence in Liverpool's title aspirations might be justified.

He believes if Liverpool are around the top of the table in January or February they can go on to win the league - but talk is cheap and so often their hopes have fizzled out in the face of the superiority of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Liverpool were highly impressive, with Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso ruling midfield, despite Everton boss David Moyes pushing Phil Neville into midfield in a vain attempt to reduce their influence.

Torres was helped by signs that Robbie Keane is sparking into life, creating the opening for his strike partner that finally turned Liverpool's dominance of possession and territory into goals.

And the most telling statistic of all - hardly designed to lighten the mood of Everton's increasingly despondent fans - is that Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina did not have to make a save all afternoon.

It was a realistic indicator of the difference between the sides, a sign of Liverpool's superiority and Everton's lack of guile and creation.

These are worrying times for Everton manager Moyes and his team. Three defeats in three home games is no harsh reflection on how they have performed.

Everton look some distance from the side that finished fifth last season, and too often their most potent weapon, Yakubu, was feeding off the scraps of a series of hopeful long balls punted in his general direction.

Moyes needs a result desperately in the Uefa Cup tie against Standard Liege next Thursday, but the brutal truth is that they have no chance of getting the victory they are likely to need unless they raise their performance level significantly.

There is a lack of inspiration on and off the pitch at the moment, with Moyes and Everton both needing a spark to ignite them. Both team and manager look down on their luck and that defeatist body language needs to change and fast.

Liverpool have that spark in the world-class Torres, and if he maintains the standards he set in the last 30 minutes at Goodison Park, the Anfield title flame may just keep burning.

Comments

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  • 1. At 5:07pm on 27 Sep 2008, dave wrote:

    Everton were shocking, Liverpool were simply dull. Torres is a great player, but all the top sides have quality forwards and better attacking options.

    I don't see enough in Liverpools squad to challenge Chelsea or Utd to the title. Nor do i see them over coming Arsenal for 3rd spot.

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  • 2. At 5:12pm on 27 Sep 2008, Robovers wrote:

    Torres was just class

    Everton are not the same team as they where last season

    i think they will be battling to avoid relegation this season

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  • 3. At 5:33pm on 27 Sep 2008, highthief wrote:

    It's starting the click for Liverpool. The goals are coming now.

    But Everton! Really odd to see them struggle so much this season - they've been a consistently good side these last few years.

    Maybe the Preston manager, who used to be number 2 at Goodison, was really the brains of the outfit and when he left, Moyes lost something critical.

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  • 4. At 5:38pm on 27 Sep 2008, Haythnasr wrote:

    Phill in the paragraph above the Torres pic, it should read campaign not camaign.

    Second typo you've made in a week. What's going on?

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  • 5. At 5:41pm on 27 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To Haythnasr...good spot and corrected immediately - but my name's only got on "L" so I'll hit back rather pathetically with that.

    What were your thoughts on the game?

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  • 6. At 5:56pm on 27 Sep 2008, reina's left foot wrote:

    Hey Phil, glad to see you pointed out that Reina never had a save to make - but this doesn't paint the whole picture. I'm a red, but if Cahill had rattled that chance he had in the first half with his left instead of trying to open himself up on his favoured right, we could be talking a completely different outcome. Saha came close at the end too so even though we dominated the possession, I think we need to be far more clinical in the final third. Don't get me wrong, delighted with the result! But we still need the ability to kill teams off. It's no good for my nerves!!! :-)

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  • 7. At 5:57pm on 27 Sep 2008, ianwarncken wrote:

    I thought myself that Cahill was sent off because as he walked off away from the referee that he told him to foxtrot oscar when he was told to come back.

    In the current climate of "respect", then I think it was right he should go.

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  • 8. At 6:02pm on 27 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    You're right about Cahill's chance, but that is ifs, buts and maybes.

    Over the whole game Liverpool were vastly superior and in their heart of hearts Everton fans will know it.

    Not sure Everton supporters will enjoy getting what almost sounds like sympathy from a Liverpool fan.

    I felt Cahill's sending off was very harsh. It was reckless, but he had one foot on the ground and it was not a red card in my opinion.

    Sadly, referee Mike Riley is too quick with the cards. He just did not let the game breathe today.

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  • 9. At 6:04pm on 27 Sep 2008, GreenTeaBags wrote:

    Talk of the title at this point in the season is just plain stupid.

    We had another good win today (away at Everton without Masch!) and that's about all there is to say about it.

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  • 10. At 6:07pm on 27 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    In fairness to Torres, he was asked and responded.

    I agree it is too early. Liverpool have given their fans false hope too many times in recent seasons.

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  • 11. At 6:17pm on 27 Sep 2008, redreach26 wrote:

    It was a very enjoyable win today. Riera is looking a good buy at the moment, far better value than the (i think) lightweight Downing would have been (at a much higher price). My only worry, and it is a big one, is the lack of cutting edge just behind Torres - we looked FAR better last year with Gerrard just behind him slotting in clever balls. It just seems a bit laboured and forced at the moment.
    With any luck as players find form (Kuyt is still way below par, workrate can only be goos for so long..) we can create more chances.

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  • 12. At 6:18pm on 27 Sep 2008, Anfieldofdreams wrote:

    one things for sure Phil, if Liverpool are to mount a serious challenge this year it wont be with help from referees!..what a decision at Old Trafford today.... on Torres, i thought he was harshly treated at times today...the tackle which led to his yellow was never a free kick.

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  • 13. At 6:19pm on 27 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    This is a point I've picked up from many Everton fans.

    How many of you feel that Everton are being affected by David Moyes' contract situation?

    He has one year left on his current deal and has yet to sign his new one, which I believe is worth £60,000-a-week.

    Is this creating an uncertainty that is transmitting itself to the players.

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  • 14. At 6:19pm on 27 Sep 2008, ray564k wrote:

    Yet again though Torres shows he can do it at home, but where are the away goals?

    I think last season he only scored 2 away from home in the league? Robbie Keane is a big signing for them, if Benitez would only use him up front!

    I see another false dawn for Liverpool, who will start dropping points before the halfway mark in the season. If Benitez cannot deliver a trophy or an improvement on 4th, he may well find himself under pressure at the end of the season.

    He's spent over 200 million and still hasn't delivered a title challenge.

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  • 15. At 6:25pm on 27 Sep 2008, G_is_God wrote:

    I am sorry, but how are Arsenal superior to Liverpool? Have many champions league finals, fa cup finals or how many premiership titles have they won since Rafa took charge?

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  • 16. At 6:28pm on 27 Sep 2008, dmrichkt wrote:

    Man for man Liverpool's defence are the best in the league. they're midfield can be and their forward line will be. So,title challenge? Of course.

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  • 17. At 6:30pm on 27 Sep 2008, panchopuskas wrote:

    I've always been a defender of Kuyt in the past: work rate and service and all that, but I'm now beginning to doubt his inclusion in the team. If you watch carefully, you'll see that he slows the pace of the attack down and, being technically limited, offers very little in terms of opening up chances in or near the box.

    You can't win the Prem with runners and workhorses like you could in the old Div 1. Times have moved on and you need quality players in every position.

    What Liverpool really need ATM is a Beardsley or Dalgleish type playmaker to create space. The goalscoring problem that was so evident against Stoke and in the first half today is the result of not being able to create enough CLEAR chances.

    Whichever way, it's time for Kuyt to be benched and players like Babel to be given a start.

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  • 18. At 6:32pm on 27 Sep 2008, Nicholls wrote:

    "Man for man Liverpool's defence are the best in the league. they're midfield can be and their forward line will be. So,title challenge? Of course."


    Thats the problem with liverpool fans. They have the best defence, midfeild, and attack, so why don't they ever win the league?

    Oh yeah because they don't. They have 2 decent players. None of the others would get into the man u or chelsea teams.

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  • 19. At 6:46pm on 27 Sep 2008, Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) wrote:

    Liverpool's start is good to see and I think a title challenge is more than possible. The only dampener on that is that Chelsea look very strong this year and I reckon they are the team to beat.

    As far as Everton are concerned, its difficult to believe that a decent side who finished fifth last term could become so mind numbingly mediocre. Was Lee Carsley so key to protecting their seemingly brittle defence?

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  • 20. At 6:52pm on 27 Sep 2008, !"£$%^&*()_+ wrote:

    ray564, did you know the game was at Goodison today ? so your point about Torres is way off.

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  • 21. At 6:54pm on 27 Sep 2008, Fluidnevada wrote:

    who has the most points in 2008, liverpool.....

    so

    why all the criticism for a team who have picked up more points than any other this year...

    and apparently we are not even playing at full strength..

    picking up points with a lack of cutting edge...

    torres and keane need to gell as does Riera

    once babel has a more expansive role

    and we play to our best

    then realistically we are title challengers

    its not rocket science

    also please inform me as to exactly what areas chelsea are vastly superior to Liverpool





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  • 22. At 6:57pm on 27 Sep 2008, DarkMaulkin wrote:

    Torres was the key today, but we have to aknowledge that in the first goal, Riera, Keane and Torres were the ones making it possible. It was not an individual performance like we have seen with Torres last year.
    This could change our title ambition, playing like a team and not like a 2 men team.


    When talking about player, I think we have more than 2 players who have international class. Just to name a few, Skrtel, Mascherano, Alonso, and Reina are levelled with other team's player. Arsenal may have approached Alonso this summer for example.

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  • 23. At 7:02pm on 27 Sep 2008, Bokebeard wrote:

    Ray, fair play for coming on and sharing your views but that really is a shocker. Goodison's close but not quite home.

    I'd love this to be the year but nothing more than quiet optimism at this stage. Chelsea look the business and united will click at some stage.

    Main positive is the points tally without playing well so far.

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  • 24. At 7:03pm on 27 Sep 2008, LMA2442 wrote:

    Phil, in my opinion everyone is a little bit negative about Liverpool. I do think it's too early to talk about winning the title at this point. But Liverpool have shown they are very capable of doing so. This is the best start to their campaign they have ever had, Torres and Gerrard are proven fit and are scoring very decisive goals, they have already grinded a win out against Manchester United (the first time in 5 or something years), and they are tied at the top of the table with points and undefeated. Not to mention that they're defense is absolutely sound when they play with Pepe Reina. And they're not even "above 60% yet".-Benitez If I were to rate Liverpool so far I would have to give them an A+. I think that right now they have the best team since 1990 put together, and a big challenge that Benitez is facing is that he needs to keep his quality team on the pitch and have them work well together. And I stress the word together, because right now they seem a little distant , especially between Keane and Torres. Another challenge is the injury concern. If Torres or Gerrard get injured, where is their second replacement? I think in January they should look for just a few more options. Liverpool are a quality team, even though they always let down in the title hopes. But there is plenty of room for them to pick themselves back up. The only other thing is that Benitez needs to keep the team performance consistent throughout the season. If Liverpool played Stoke the way they did against Manchester United, the result would have been a thrashing for Liverpool. Best regards Phil, keep up with the excellent articles!

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  • 25. At 7:11pm on 27 Sep 2008, harbin91 wrote:

    Torres has got going, and although Keane hasn't started scoring yet, he will be a good player for Liverpool.

    If you play Keane just in front of Gerrard but behind Torres, goals will come, and so will Keane's.

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  • 26. At 7:15pm on 27 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    I thought Keane showed one or two signs of coming to terms with playing for Liverpool today.

    He has looked like he was trying too hard at times. I was surprised Benitez took him off because he might have got his first goal for the club in those last few minutes.

    He can be pleased with his contribution though.

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  • 27. At 7:16pm on 27 Sep 2008, JohnB25 wrote:

    One of my favourite football cliches - 'the referee's got a top pocket like an angry toaster' sums up Mike Riley's display perfectly. Never a red card but as Phil points out, it had no impact whatsoever on the result. Everton were awful. Worrying times indeed for the Bluenoses. On another subject, is anyone else slightly unimpressed with Dossena?

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  • 28. At 7:39pm on 27 Sep 2008, jam tomorrow wrote:

    Phil, outside this article can you let me know is Mark Lawrenson's title "Football Expert" tongue in cheek? I mean so far today he has predicted 3 winners out of 8, most weeks you could easily better his predictions by tossing a coin, I can only assume the BBC is having a laugh at his and our expense. Thank you.

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  • 29. At 7:45pm on 27 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    Mark Lawrenson is brave enough to have a go and put his reputation on the line by doing predictions. I wouldn't risk it.

    It's also a bit of fun - and one week he will get them all correct. Mark my words!

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  • 30. At 7:50pm on 27 Sep 2008, Ranbir wrote:

    The key huh? He misses a few games it's all over for them?

    Sounds about right.

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  • 31. At 7:57pm on 27 Sep 2008, kicker13 wrote:

    Torres is absolute GOLD, the best buy the premiership has seen in a while, Keane on the other hand is like RUST, the worst buy the premiership has seen in years, how can anyone value him at 20m unless your the seller.

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  • 32. At 8:11pm on 27 Sep 2008, AnfieldRocks wrote:

    very good article Phil. I think it was very immature of Wayne Rooney and co to rule Liverpool out of title race this season. As Rafa said rightly after the match today, he wouldn't mind Keane's goal draught as far as he gives goal assists and the team wins. I think this is liverpools best start to a premiership season in six years. 18 cups and 18 years wait for the next title.. sounds like liverpool are destined to win EPL this year.
    I totally agree to your view that Nando's form should be the key to liverpool's title hopes. Now that they have more quality wide men and StevieG to attack through the middle assists shouldnt be a problem. Keep us dreaming you redmen!

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  • 33. At 8:23pm on 27 Sep 2008, Jabonski wrote:

    It really does make me chuckle when you read comments like if Torres and Gerrard get injured Liverpool will struggle. If you take the best two players out of any of the top four they would struggle, except possibly Chelsea. Man UTD have been missing Ronaldo so badly, and that is just one of their two best. Same can be said certainly about Arsenal. Why is it always Liverpool singled out for this comment? name another team bar possibly Chelsea that wouldn't struggle to replace the equivalent qualities Gerrard and Torres bring, maybe not so much over one game as we proved against Man U but for a longer period of time. Fact is virtually every team would.

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  • 34. At 8:24pm on 27 Sep 2008, RelaxedSteak wrote:

    I dare say the best buys the Premiership have seen over the past few years have been Fabregas for a freebie and Ronaldo for what now seems like a ridiculously cheap £12.4m. Torres was already an established forward in a big league, everyone in Football knew what he was about.

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  • 35. At 8:26pm on 27 Sep 2008, Jabonski wrote:

    A few Everton fans were saying to me the other day they reckoned Torres "Had been found out" and was "A one season wonder" they were deadly serious not joking. I have tried to call them today to see if they still believed that comment but for some reason their mobiles are switched off, just can't put nmy finger on why though any thoughts!!!

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  • 36. At 8:28pm on 27 Sep 2008, ndp1971 wrote:

    Liverpool may or may not make a challenge but given they have not played exceptionally well but have beaten Man U at home and Everton away its a decent start.

    Its early but they look much better balanced with Riera on the left who has surprised me thus far with decent performances.

    One question is why not try Babel on the right given he is right-footed ? I suspect that given Babel has been to the Olympics and is still relatively young Rafa is letting him re-charge and he will have an important role to play as the season progresses. He could also cover for Torres should the unthinkable happen and he is injured.

    As for key players being injured its the same for everyone - are Man U the same without Ronaldo or Ferdinand / Vidic ? What are Chelsea like without Terry, Cech, Lampard and Arsenal without Fabregas, Adebayor ?

    Liverpool need key players to be fit as do the rest and whilst I agree the attacking options for Man U in particular look better I would have to say Liverpools look much better than for a long while - Torres, Keane (who will create,score and come good), Babel, Riera, Gerrard will create and contribute and even Kuyt and Benayoun will offer something.

    Doesn't mean a title challenge is imminent but the possibility of it happening is far higher than in recent years.

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  • 37. At 8:33pm on 27 Sep 2008, jam tomorrow wrote:

    Phil, thanks for being courteous enough to reply, I think Mr Lawrensons bravery is based on a public pay cheque, he was a good player but a biased and average pundit.
    Your article opens a good debate, in my opinion Liverpool don’t have the squad to challenge Man Utd and Chelsea, they have three world class players in Torres, Gerard and Reina, take them away and Liverpool look ordinary and over a season that isn’t good enough to break that 18 year duck.
    Rafa knows that and is why he keeps is players fresh later on in the season for Champions League games whilst Utd and Chelsea battle on multiple fronts.
    Thank you.

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  • 38. At 8:44pm on 27 Sep 2008, lucasmcp wrote:

    At 5:41pm on 27 Sep 2008, Phil McNulty - BBC Sport wrote:
    To Haythnasr...good spot and corrected immediately - but my name's only got on "L" so I'll hit back rather pathetically with that.

    Sheesh... and 'one' is spelt O-N-E... the articles alright tho !

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  • 39. At 8:46pm on 27 Sep 2008, DarkMaulkin wrote:

    @Bluedefence:Why is Mascherano so much underrated?!! He IS world class player!

    I really think he is a key player for Liverpool, could prouve to surpass other midfielder in consistency and will. He really wants badly Liverpool to win every game and trie as hard as possible.

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  • 40. At 8:50pm on 27 Sep 2008, Nigol66 wrote:

    Comment #1 is a joke, right? everton Shocking and Liverpool dull? come on!! I didn't see the game but I've read the reports and we beat everton in every position. You either bring it or you don't and everton brought nothing today.

    There's a long way to go and IF we'd beaten stoke last week, we'd be sitting prettier tonight than we are. It'll be an interesting season with so many teams playing well and can effect the EPL. Just look at what Hull did today!! awesome! You've gotta love the Premiership.

    Just need Lewis Hamilton to win tomorrow and the weekend will be complete :o)

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  • 41. At 8:52pm on 27 Sep 2008, eirebilly wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 42. At 9:00pm on 27 Sep 2008, joaquin21 wrote:

    The whole argument of 'take Gerrard and Torres away' is totally futile.
    It just goes to show not only how naive some people can be, but also the fact that they clearly acknowledge that this is perhaps the best duo in world football at this moment in time.

    Liverpool do not miss them as much as United missed Ronaldo (ONE player), as was seen at Anfield and most of their games so far, however they are vital, nobody can deny that.

    Liverpool are winning games, perhaps not with the style of Arsenal, but winning games.
    Arsenal are looking too hot and cold for me, much like Liverpool early last year. Liverpool seem more consistent to me than ever before under Rafa.
    Torres will no doubt be key as Phil highlights, however I think Rafa will be the real key. If he can fire the players up for EVERY game, and sacrifices nothing for the Champions League as he has in previous seasons then Liverpool do have a chance.
    The balance of the team has also impressed me a lot, and this is largely down to Riera. I, like many Lpoll fans would also prefer Babel to Riera, what are your views on that?

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  • 43. At 9:01pm on 27 Sep 2008, jam tomorrow wrote:

    39, Fair point, Kuyt, Keane, Alonso, Carragher and Reira are also very good players. I hope Liverpool can mount a real challenge and I would be happy for them to win the Premiership.

    Good luck.

    Thank you.

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  • 44. At 9:09pm on 27 Sep 2008, m1santhrope wrote:

    "Torres was already an established forward in a big league"

    - he had never won a trophy
    - he was playing for the man city of la liga
    - he averaged 15 goals per season
    - he had never played in the champions league

    hardly 'established'.

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  • 45. At 9:19pm on 27 Sep 2008, 5thstar wrote:

    I love fans, so hilarious if footy was based on pure logic the top 4 would waltz over most teams in the league...bt its not tht simple as tht, as Hull result at arsenal earlier.

    Last weeks performance wasnt bad against any other team in the league to fashion 17 chances with possesion of 73% you'd usually walk away with 3 pts. All of those jumping on the band wagon saying we arent title challengers is some what premature.

    Being a realistic fan Im sure come may time we will not be 1st but thus far this season progress has been made and im happy.

    We havent really been breathetaking thus far bt are getting results atm which is great! Riera has offered alot of balance to the side and our defence is resolute as usual.

    The sooner people realise the media have to create interest in topics that really bare no signifcance in the grand scheme of things the better!

    6 games in no manager should be questioned this early into a season let alone a manager who has his team 2nd (level on points with chelsea )of the pile and has come out on top in the seasons 1st top 4 clash

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  • 46. At 9:43pm on 27 Sep 2008, 2009_is_the_year wrote:

    can someone explain to me why we always resort to ......when babel comes on....when babel develops.....he strikes me as a good player sure, but inconsistent....great emerging players are doing it already at a tender age.....masch, Torres, Cesc etc etc......truth is we are B+ in this department, Babel, Riera.........Pennant....... don't even go there. Would any of these guys get into the top 10 EPL teams?

    Agree with some of the above comments - 2009 is the year to really GO for the PL. and who knows those awful yanks might be done sooner than we think, credit crunch and all that...... (and no I am not drunk I just don't touch type)

    Excellent to stuff the Toffeemen today - who's next up? Come on let's have them one at a time. And when the **** are 'ski playing someone half decent??

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  • 47. At 10:46pm on 27 Sep 2008, tapemonkey___ wrote:

    this is another joke. this game should be swept under the carpet as it's a poor advert for the english game. mcnulty, seriously look up two words 'sycophancy' and 'perspective', i think they might help your journalistic integrity.
    the reds stumble over a very poor Everton side and you're going to win the league.
    Once again we send out a side that don't look up for the derby, once again the reds do. This is a blue problem not a sign of the reds sorting out their long term issues.
    Today's game highlights three things; Everton need to work on how to play against liverpool again; the FA don't know what they're doing - Riley isn't fit to ref 5-a-side kids games. felliani yellow, felliani shot, cahill red, reira no yellow, carragher no yellow ... you know just one derby without feeling like we never stood a chance would be nice; the hyperbole spewing from reds after beating a poor side indicates their delusions of grandeur are alive and kicking despite reality kicking back for the last 18 years.

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  • 48. At 11:53pm on 27 Sep 2008, jw2034 wrote:

    more BBC liverpool bias. suppose torres is now the missing piece in the puzzle for winning the league? and not scoring against stoke (or since the opening game) is the mark of a world class striker and possible league champions?

    torres is a good player surrpounded by average dross. kuyt, keane, skirtel...need i go on.

    torres isnt even the key for liverpool to secure 3rd place - wenger's stubbonness in the transfer market will hand that to you.

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  • 49. At 02:10am on 28 Sep 2008, AxeMinion wrote:

    Ha ha - I can't help but laugh at the title of this blog. About 12 hours ago I was reading another one on BBC that read something like "Gerrard key to the derby" where people banged on about the boring "Gerrard is everything for Liverpool" thing. Which by the way is complete tripe.

    Now our "hopes" rest entirely on someone else's shoulders, apparently.

    Anyway the point is we're a one-man team. Got it.

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  • 50. At 03:04am on 28 Sep 2008, amscouser wrote:

    i believe he is the one man to revive liverpoolfc back to win the premiership. u are a hero......

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  • 51. At 03:23am on 28 Sep 2008, el-nino84 wrote:

    Iv never heard so much rubbish being said by so called football fans.

    Lets start with a few facts about the derby.. Liverpool completely dominated the game from start to finish. Riena didn't have a single save to make in 90 minutes. The ref was completely awful for both sides not just for Everton. Seems like same old story for Everton fans blameing the ref all the time instead of putting there hands up and saying they were completely out classed.

    Now as for Liverpool's Title chances for once arn't over before October's set in. Ye were not playing at our best but were getting the results. I think we have a strong squad and Gerrard and Torres are key to us putting in a good challange to the title just as are Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez for Utd, Fabrigas and Adebayor for Arsenal and Terry, Lampard and Drogba for Chelsea but no one ever mentions these players. I think progress is being made and lets just see how were doing in December before we all start getting excited.

    And as for Everton fans i think instead of looking for an excuse and blaming everyone else for the defeat you should maybe start looking at your 15 million pound record signing who cost 3 million less than MASCHERANO and looks like screech from saved by the bell and wounder what on earth moyes seen in him to pay 15 million pound on... iv haven't seen such a shockin central midfielfer since salif diao. But ah well im sure thats someone elses fault as well

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  • 52. At 03:25am on 28 Sep 2008, LiverpoolsNumber9185 wrote:

    All these people syaing Liverpool are nothing without Torres and Gerrard. Watch the United match. They both didn't start, and Gerrard was largely ineffective for the half hour he was on.

    The progression of Mascherano to a world class player (at least in my eyes), Skrtel and Carra creating a very solid partnership at centre half, and Riera adding width means we are no longer as reliant on one and two players as we were in seasons gone by.

    We by no means are favourites for the League at the moment. But if we can keep up the consistent performances, and not let European and Mickey Mouse cup matches get in our way, then we may still be in the title race at Christmas. Then we can start to dream

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  • 53. At 03:35am on 28 Sep 2008, Dudes R Us wrote:

    The Professional Foul

    The fouling player dives in and traps the fouled player's leg or legs between his own in a scissors movement. The fouling player then twists his legs, so one leg trips the fouled player while the other pushes him over. If the fouled player's studs stick in the turf the result can be broken bones as his foot is unable to follow his body weight.

    Watch the replay and you'll see this is exactly what Cahill did. It was a red card even before the dissent.

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  • 54. At 03:38am on 28 Sep 2008, Dubbylfc08 wrote:

    I'm sorry, but at the risk of sounding out of the loop, I'm going to fiercely debate the point that Skrtel is not a world class defender. For me, hes made one mistake this season, or one mistake that has had any form of impact on a game.

    You can tell me that a back four is not world class standard, but fact of the matter is we have conceded one goal all season. And that was down to Skrtels mistake in not getting tight on Tevez.

    Any player that can hold off a challenge for a starting place over Daniel Agger, has to be half class as well. Sure, he had a bad start to his EPL career, but ever since then, he has been playing superbly.

    I'm not saying that Liverpool will win the league. All I'm saying as people who say we have three world class players and that Skrtel is a mid table player, I'm not so sure.

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  • 55. At 05:20am on 28 Sep 2008, 5xLJT77 wrote:

    Mcnulty, your far from the greatest reporter to express your opinion on this current Liverpool side but don't you think that considering we're only 5 games into the season that perhaps you should give us the benefit of the doubt. Your have the journalistic talent of Clarke Kent. Watch you back!

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  • 56. At 07:03am on 28 Sep 2008, alanborky wrote:

    Everyone keeps saying Cahill's red card was harsh, but watch carefully what he does.

    He goes flying in against Alonso with a raised leg, which is definitely yellow card stuff, but then aggravates this by deliberately maintaining his leg high in the air.

    That surely demonstrates malicious intent to exacerbate an already bad tackle.

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  • 57. At 07:20am on 28 Sep 2008, !"£$%^&*()_+ wrote:

    Why can't Liverpool win the league ?
    Only lost 4 games last season, and still unbeaten thus far this term.
    We draw at home to Stoke and the media tell us title winning sides do not draw at home to the likes of Stoke....ermmm Chelsea at home to Spurs....United at home to Newcastle...and as for Arsenal..
    Already a 6 point swing on United from last season.
    We have a core of excellent players..Reina, Skrtel, Carragher, Mascherano, Gerrard, Torres..as good as any in the premiership. We are no more reliant on these as United are on Ronado and Rooney..take these 2 away from their team and they are average.
    Liverpool hardly ever lose...turn some of the 0 - 0s around being a little more positive, and I hope for a sustained challenge.

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  • 58. At 07:48am on 28 Sep 2008, David wrote:

    Reina seems to make errors like when the ball went over his head yesterday, Skrtel who?

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  • 59. At 09:46am on 28 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    The argument about Liverpool without Torres and Gerrard is total nonsense.

    You could apply that to any team in the Premier League.

    Where would United be without Ronaldo? Where would Chelsea be without Lampard and Terry?

    The fact is Liverpool have got Torres and Gerrard - two world-class players who would be welcome in any other side in the league.

    As for the allegation of Liverpool bias - more nonsense.

    I will happily open the debate for any Everton fan to come on here and make a case for why they deserved anything more than what they got yesterday.

    And the argument will fail miserably.

    Everton fans are sensible people. They will know they were well beaten by a better side yesterday.

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  • 60. At 10:18am on 28 Sep 2008, tenzone86 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 61. At 10:29am on 28 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    Liverpool do rely on Torres. And I have not criticised them for it. They signed him when many others (including Manchester United in the past) tried and failed.

    Liverpool, in fact, are to be praised for having such a great player in their ranks.

    They rely on him the United rely on Ronaldo and Chelsea on Terry and Lampard. It's not a crime and my comments were not a criticism.

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  • 62. At 10:42am on 28 Sep 2008, tenzone86 wrote:

    Fair enough Phil, but all the other players I mentioned are going to be just as key, so it seems a bit unfair on them to single out Torres.

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  • 63. At 10:45am on 28 Sep 2008, eirebilly wrote:

    Why did you send my comment to moderation Phil? I just simply stated the fact that you are a fickle commentator. 1 day you make quotes like "Gerrard is the key to Liverpools sucess" and then after Torres scores 2 goals you change it to "Torres is the key to Liverpools sucess"
    Very poo indeed, well done.

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  • 64. At 10:50am on 28 Sep 2008, Capital(RED) wrote:

    I thought that Cahill sending off was justified. Sure, it would have been harsh to send him off for the tackle, that justified a yellow card, but the lack of respect he showed Mike Reily, who remember was criticized for not sending off Ashley Cole last year, as he walked away from the ref even though he called 4 or 5 times was another yellow card and resulted ina red.

    I thought for once Mike Reily actually had a good game, he didn't really let the game flow, but I think most of his actions were justified, including the yellow for Torres.

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  • 65. At 10:54am on 28 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To eirebilly...not guilty on that one. All comments are moderated to check for anything that may contravene house rules, although free and fair debate (as well as complete disagreement) is totally acceptable.

    I did not actually see your comment - but there was obviously something in there that alerted the moderators.

    Worth reminding people again that, as you can see, I am more than happy to engage in debate with anyone, but check house rules every now and again just to make sure what you are posting falls within the acceptable parameters.

    Let the debate continue!

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  • 66. At 11:02am on 28 Sep 2008, tarquin wrote:

    Everton were so bad, Liverpool got away with playing quite poorly themselves - merseyside derbys are almost always a difficult and tense affair - this was a walkover for Liverpool

    but people say that like it's a bad thing - what is it hansen always says? it's not about winning when you're playing well, it's about getting the points when you're not - liverpool's key flaw last year was when they let smaller teams nullify them and get a draw, whereas United and Chelsea always got the 1-0 when they didn't really turn up, the stoke game at anfield worried me slightly but fingers crossed

    as for Cahill's card, I think considering Riley's pernickety attitude yesterday I think it had to be a red or it wouldn't have been consistent - he also walked away from the ref (pity he's in my fantasy team tho)

    and once again - let's "respect" these blind idiots like riley and styles shall we - I think the campaign is actually doing more for the refs more than players now because instead of people picking up on players being foul mouthed they're criticising the awful decisions that don't deserve respect

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  • 67. At 11:04am on 28 Sep 2008, budgiekenny wrote:

    I agree with Eirebilly, but it's not just Phil who's fickle. Out of the top teams Liverpool have been the punters punching bag for the last few seasons, except for the atrocious media treatment of Martin Jol which led to his sacking. I watched the game on Sky yesterday, and the negativity in the commentary was unbearable, until surprise, surprise Keane links up with Torres and the tone changes completely.

    I also understand how important Torres is to our side, as any top class striker is, but you said it yourself Phil; 'with Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso ruling midfield', you know we're not a one man team. Mascherano wasn't even on the bench!

    My last point is, all the talk of Liverpool winning the title has been created by the media to sell papers. So, obviously when we slip up it's the same old "they won't challenge for title playing like that'. I think if you asked most Liverpool fans, they'd say that the team has improved, but hasn't got the same quality and depth of Man Utd and Chelsea. I just fear that if Liverpool have another bad run, the media daggers come out, which turns some fans against their team, and people get their marching orders.

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  • 68. At 11:28am on 28 Sep 2008, nefariousnilbog wrote:

    I think people are being far too harsh on Kuyt. Not many of you seem to realise that it was his presence in the box pulled the defender away from Torres. He never stops and this work rate whilst not always producing something in the final third harries the opposition into making mistakes often.

    I'd have babel playing on the right for home games but Kuyt for away games that were tougher or more physical.

    Oh and I love how Riera nicked the ball for the first goal and sent Keane on his way.

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  • 69. At 11:49am on 28 Sep 2008, jamietmarshall wrote:

    it was not a harsh red card, that tackle was a leg-breaker. Alonso was lucky to get away unscathed, a similar tackle from lampard broke his ankle three years ago.

    If Torres can get anywhere near the form of last year, and if Benitez stops being so bloody cautious all the time and sends the team out to destroy other teams rather than not get beaten, then we have a genuine chance at the title - we are not playing well and still getting results, and we still have a few more gears.

    The wait is nearly over!

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  • 70. At 11:50am on 28 Sep 2008, Titus Bramble, goal scoring machine wrote:

    well duh!

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  • 71. At 11:54am on 28 Sep 2008, Wot Kuyt 'e did wrote:

    "47. At 10:46pm on 27 Sep 2008, tapemonkey___ wrote:

    ... - Riley isn't fit to ref 5-a-side kids games. felliani yellow, felliani shot, cahill red, reira no yellow, carragher no yellow ..."

    And you left out - Torres, 3rd goal disallowed...

    I do think Everton should have had a peno, too, which Riley chose not to see, And Cahill should only have had a yellow.

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  • 72. At 11:56am on 28 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    Everton fans very quiet on here.

    Let's here from you about what you thought about your team's performance and tactics? And how do you think £15m new boy Marouane Felliani is settling in?

    And what are your feelings about how David Moyes' contract negotiations may be affecting the current performances of the team?

    Standard Liege is a massive fixture. By next Friday Everton's hopes of silverware could be restricted to the FA Cup.

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  • 73. At 12:13pm on 28 Sep 2008, Stang69 wrote:

    I think it's way too early to be talking about winning anything - Liverpool have definately improved since last year and out start proves it, playing poorly but grinding out results when it matters, except for Stoke when we should have breezed that one! As Torres said yesterday, come February if we are still in there with a shout then who knows? United arent playing well, neither are Arsenal, Chelsea are - so we just have to play our game and make sure we keep winning - let's not worry 'bout what the other teams are doing, let's focus on our own campaign in the PL and CL.

    Definately a red card for Cahill though - if not for the awful tackle then for the blatent dissent to the ref afterwards, and complete lack of apology to Alonso who he had just wiped out - he deserved to go...

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  • 74. At 12:26pm on 28 Sep 2008, foggyman9 wrote:

    hey good blog

    I'm a red and i think we dominated the game but its just the fact that we don't make enough chances to score enough goals.

    If you see the highlights of the Arsenal Hull game (great result btw!) Arsenal had so many chances to draw/win the game

    Liverpool need to make those chances and with Torres, Keane, Gerrard etc. they will be flying in left right and centre

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  • 75. At 12:52pm on 28 Sep 2008, el-nino84 wrote:

    Ah Evertons new 15 million wounder signing....what is there really to say about this lad other than shocking.

    Its funny how every single person in the media said Mascherano was a waste of money at 18 million pounds, yet Everton spend 15 million pounds on a player who plays in the same role and no one says a thing. Mascherano in my view is the best deffensive midfielder in the league without a doubt. He cost the same as Carrick and Hargreves but no one said they were a waste of 18 million did they... strange that aint it.

    As for Evertons new buy i think Moyes did a bit of last minute panic buying and bought him off the back of one good display against Liverpool. The lad clearly isnt a premiership player and i think moyes has made a massive mistake with Screech from saved by the bell!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 76. At 12:54pm on 28 Sep 2008, Benitez606 wrote:

    Why does it need to be an article citing the important of a single element as if everything depends on him?

    It's all part of the usual strategy...at times it's Gerrard...now it's Torres.

    About 3 weeks ago...Liverpool were ruled out completely by pundits ...I do remember article by same author....is this a way to define a little exception to get out of the mess?

    In reality nobody can tell how the premiership will unfold at this stage.
    Man U are potentially 4 points behind top, Chelsea and Arsenal are there...Aston Villa doing fine....etc.. no need to try to be prophetic to face problems later.

    If there's a team which is one-man-dependent...it's Man U. No C Ronaldo = no chance.

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  • 77. At 1:15pm on 28 Sep 2008, Vox Populi wrote:

    I'm sorry but I don't see this Liverpool team as a title-winning side. I don't think they have enough quality compared to other clubs. They've made a great start but they've had a nice fixture list, apart from Man Utd (at home) they've played some weak teams and met Everton while they're on a bad run. I just can't see Liverpool finishing above Chelsea, Man Utd or even Arsenal.

    And as for the comment above: what a load of rubbish. Any neutral football fan can see that Liverpool are HEAVILY dependent on Gerrard and Torres.

    Whereas while Ronaldo may stand out as he's such an oustanding player, Man Utd have some exceptional individuals - Rooney, Berbatov, and Tevez are superb players while Vidic, Ferdinand and Evra are excellent at the back. Neither can you discount players like Scholes and Giggs, aging though they may be. I think a certain amount of ignorance and self-delusion has to go into that statement that Man Utd are more of a 'one man team' than Liverpool.

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  • 78. At 1:18pm on 28 Sep 2008, MarabouStork wrote:

    I`ve stopped reading newspapers two years ago and so far it`s one of the best things I`ve done, I read some blogs in here but.
    We in Liverpool know about the neverending envy from London towards us. Nothing new is it? London based football teams all put together don`t even come close to the achievments of those in Merseyside. It`s only for Arsenal that some trophies are there.
    As for our key players, everyone is a key player over the course of season, you`ll see, we`ve only just kicked off.

    We`re loving this so far whatever the performances in the park.

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  • 79. At 1:37pm on 28 Sep 2008, tom wrote:

    "Yet again though Torres shows he can do it at home, but where are the away goals?"


    Well two of them were at Goodison yesterday. What a muppet!!!

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  • 80. At 1:48pm on 28 Sep 2008, loansam wrote:

    How come we can't sign in on a Saturday? The BBC is obviously controlled by ****.

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  • 81. At 1:54pm on 28 Sep 2008, Dipo83 wrote:

    It's right that Torres gets the headlines, but some fans are still knocking the inclusion of Kuyt. If you want to know why Kuyt is in the team, then you need to watch both goals again. Who made the run to the near post to create the space for Torres? Kuyt. Who made a nuisance of himself to create the second goal? Kuyt.

    Football is a team game, and if one player is doing well, it is a complement to the efforts of his team mates.

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  • 82. At 2:16pm on 28 Sep 2008, Oasisedup wrote:

    What's this? You're arguing Torres is hugely important to Liverpool's title hopes?

    Now THAT is insight.
    You should demand a pay rise.

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  • 83. At 2:19pm on 28 Sep 2008, Benitez606 wrote:

    ...and I state it again... the real one-man-dependent team is Man U. Results prove it.

    Berbatov is a great player but he is too slow to be part of what Man U do best up-front. So it's a matter of Man U changing the system to adjust to Berbatov. How wise is that? I wonder. Then let's face it... Scholes and Giggs are not getting any younger, while Nani and Anderson will never manage to fill their football boots as the footballing/tactical brains are incomparable. It is very likely that come January, we will be listening once again about Ronaldo being on his way out.

    Man U have already over-achieved last season. ( They even had the key match against Chelsea on Chelsea's darkest week, right after Mourinho left. ) Arsenal will suffer from the inexperience just as last season and Wenger knows that the problem with such a young squad come when they are no longer flying on the wings of enthusiasm. (Listen carefully to the post- Hull match interview).

    The genuine title contenders this season will be Chelsea and Liverpool.


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  • 84. At 2:32pm on 28 Sep 2008, Hot Butter wrote:

    I agree United are the team who depend on 1 man.

    Hence, 'One Man Utd'.

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  • 85. At 2:37pm on 28 Sep 2008, mightyredgiant wrote:

    Yawn, yawn.... state the obvious...

    Of course Torres is a key player and I am so sick of journos pointing out that Liverpool depend on someone!

    What a surprise, it used to be we depended so much on Stephen Gerrard, now it's Torres or Gerrard or both!

    Funnily enough we won a very important match against Mancester United without either, although Gerrard did come on in that match late on when it was already won...

    Hey, guess what - Manchester United depend on Ronaldo I believe and have been struggling without him! He in fact is the key to their season....

    You cannot sustain a challenge over a season in any of the big four clubs without the presence of your key personnel. It is obvious that in such star lineups there will always be a stand-out player.

    Torres just happens to be the one at Liverpool, but that my friend is not different to Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea imho.

    Although I just have a feeling that this season come May, Robbie Keane may have twisted that view somewhat and we'll have another key player to discuss.

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  • 86. At 3:08pm on 28 Sep 2008, Helmslee wrote:

    I'm not sure what Moyes was up to during the summer. He regularly states he is the manager and has to take responsibility - and somehow this gets him off the hook. Everton do not look like a team who have been prepared properly for the season. This has happened before when we finished fourth then lost everything over the first couple of months of the following season. Finishing well does not allow one to get complacent - big mistake Mr Moyes.

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  • 87. At 3:10pm on 28 Sep 2008, U10891573 wrote:

    Excuse me mightyredgiant, I think you'll find Liverpool are the only club dependant on one player.

    8 different players have scored for Chelsea this season,
    9 different players have scored for Arsenal this season and 6 different scorers have scored for Man Utd this season,
    compared to only 5 different scorers from Liverpool.

    So If I were you, i'd get your facts straight.

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  • 88. At 3:31pm on 28 Sep 2008, redno19 wrote:

    Just one question- how well have United done with Ronaldo being injured? yep, i thought as much.
    If any team relies on on man it's surely Man United, sure enough as soon as he's back and diving for pens United start winning games again.
    Nobody denies that Liverpool need Torres and Gerrard if we're to mount a serious title assault, but United have proved this season, and last season for the first few weeks, that without Ronaldo they're seriously limited. You can talk about all the talent they have like Rooney and Berbatov, but it's not like they've set the world alight so far this season is it?
    Early days for United i know, but early days for Liverpool too. And maybe we won't win the league this season, but most reds would be happy just making a challenge this year

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  • 89. At 3:36pm on 28 Sep 2008, redno19 wrote:

    Excuse me CFC_MM91, i think you'll find that if 5 different players have scored for Liverpool this season they're reliant on 5 players and not 1?

    So if i were you, i'd try and understand what im tallking about before writing because your comment just contradicts itself

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  • 90. At 4:09pm on 28 Sep 2008, Aah tea wrote:

    Yes, Torres is a good player and if he reaches the standard he played to last season, his goals will be very important to Liverpool.

    That said, Gerrard apart, Liverpool again look flattered to be in the top two. What I've seen of them they should be between 6th and 8th just now, and it is a sad reflection on the likes of Villa, Man City and Blackburn that none of them are above this fairly average team.

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  • 91. At 4:14pm on 28 Sep 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    As a Liverpool fan I have been frustrated by a total lack of a left side for the past umpteen seasons. The only 'problem' perhaps with our left side against Everton was a poor choice of studs by Riera, due to the OVER-watered pitch at Goodison, and maybe the trio, Dossena/Riera/Keane getting in each other's way! Almost all of the Liverpool impetus came down the left hand side. Taking into account that all 3 of the afore mentioned 'trio' are new to the squad and still settling, still GEL-ing with their team-mates, and I can see much to be optimistic about. Title challenge?? Well with Man Utds problems in midfield, Chelsea losing Essien, and Arsenal with a total lack of depth, and/or experience, and a title challenge surely is a must. Win it? Who knows! Should be a hell of a ride finding out!!!

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  • 92. At 4:17pm on 28 Sep 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    As for depending on 1/2 players for our goals, we've only scored 7 goals (or so) this season so far, so the fact that they have gone to Torres and Gerrard doesn't bother me! If the same is true after 20-25 goals, THEN I may be a bit concerned!

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  • 93. At 4:18pm on 28 Sep 2008, Roger_the_Pessimist wrote:

    I seem to be the only person in the country who thought Cahill deserved to go. And I'm a neutral. It was a late, two-footed challenge with the studs showing. I thought the rules state that a two-footed tackle merited a straight red?

    Last weekend's 0-0 with Stoke at Anfield said more about Liverpool's title chances than yesterday. They have to win those games and let the big games take care of themselves.

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  • 94. At 4:19pm on 28 Sep 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    I really wish that LFC fans would just enjoy the current form/position quietly, Man Utd and Chelsea deserve the repect they have earned, and silly attacks on their players will only serve to make those on the attack look foolish when they click, and they will! The title will most probably come down to the wire! Just hope that we're there at the death!

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  • 95. At 4:20pm on 28 Sep 2008, class_act_singh wrote:

    Phil, If your the chief writer for the BBC sport, then god help the BBC. Why does BBC make it out Liverpool are just 1 man team to 2 man team, as someone had said earlier in the blog, 5 different players have got their name on the scoresheet this season for 'england's mosts sucessful club' Liverpool. We have never been a 1 or 2 man team from 1890s to date. 11 players on the pitch for a single side creates a better achievement. Have you not ever heard of what TEAM means? Together Everyone Achieves More.!

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  • 96. At 4:22pm on 28 Sep 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    In the Australian media Cahill's tackle was shown for what it was. A terrible, over-the-ball two footed scissor type tackle. And we all love him here!!! The fact he had just been fouled by Arbeloa, and the referee was there when Kuyt pulled him away from a silly mistake moments earlier, only left the ref with one thought, that it was a dirty 'payback' type tackle, and he definately deserved to go! Shame I love him!

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  • 97. At 4:23pm on 28 Sep 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    lol... No 'I' in team...


    But you'll find there is most definately an 'I' in wIn!!!!


    Love that one.

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  • 98. At 4:29pm on 28 Sep 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    Why are Liverpool sitting 2nd although not attacking well???

    The defense.

    One goal from Utd, before we switched on fully.

    One wonder goal from Boro's Egyptian magician.

    That is all we've conceded.

    So belittle our current attacking frailties all you like, but it's one the bedrock of the goalkeeper of the year for the past 3 seasons running, and a solid backline that out title challenge, successful or not, will be built!

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  • 99. At 4:35pm on 28 Sep 2008, paul hewson wrote:

    Been here before!

    Liverpool are top and going to win the league at the start of the season, then their "final piece of the jigsaw" is lost down the back of the sofa in April and they come 4th.


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  • 100. At 4:41pm on 28 Sep 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    apsp... don't disagree.

    Thus the need to enjoy quietly.

    Let the others talk of titles.

    Let 'pool continue on quietly, hopefully for once consistently.

    And THEN, come February/March, see how the ladder looks. Quiet humble champions, like Torres. THAT is the way to go about things!

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  • 101. At 5:28pm on 28 Sep 2008, ArmchairPro wrote:

    Your articles are normally good but this one suggests bias or laziness.

    Reina may have not made a save but Everton had the 2 best chances of the 1st half and only Carragher's goal line block kept the score at 0-0.

    Torres took his goals well but Everton were at fault for abysmal defending on both goals. The game was generally scrappy and the result, whilst fair, hardly came as a result of a slick, dominant Liverpool performance.

    Riley's decision to send off Cahill was appalling and he should be held accountable and the card rescinded.

    Try to take your red glasses off before writing such articles. Liverpool will need to play a lot better than this to beat the best teams in the league (or even Everton in a less lacklustre mood).

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  • 102. At 6:20pm on 28 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    No bias at all. I agree Cahill's red card was wrong, especially as Arbeloa's wild kick at him was not met with the same punishment.

    Sadly, I do not think Mike Riley will rescind the decision.

    Yes, Everton's defence was poor for the first goal in particular, but Liverpool took advantage of that and in my opinion controlled almost the whole game.

    And Carragher's goal-line block did not keep the score at 0-0. The referee had already blown up for a foul on Pepe Reina by Marouane Fellaini.

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  • 103. At 6:22pm on 28 Sep 2008, mark wrote:

    "You cannot sustain a challenge over a season in any of the big four clubs without the presence of your key personnel. It is obvious that in such star lineups there will always be a stand-out player.

    Torres just happens to be the one at Liverpool, but that my friend is not different to Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea imho."

    Sorry, I have to disagree, Chelsea did just that last season.

    Cech, Terry, Carvalho, Lampard, Ballack, Drogba and Joe Cole, who are all first team shgoe-ins and form the backbone of the team, missed over 150 games between them last season. Kalou and Mikel were also away for over a month at the African conf, yet the title challenge only failed on the last day.

    I don't think people realise just how many injuries Chelsea had to their key personel last season. It seems to be a similar story this year. Drogba, Essien, Deco, Carvalho and Joe Cole already out, yet they are still top of the table.

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  • 104. At 7:12pm on 28 Sep 2008, mattyrobuk wrote:

    All the fuss about Cahills' card (right or wrong) makes the suggestion that the referees should talk to the cameras after the game sound more sensible.

    If Riley had come out after the game and said 'Cahill was sent off for a dangerous tackle' or 'I sent him off for dissent, I called him back 3 times and he ignored me' then a lot of the debate and controversy would be dead in the water!

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  • 105. At 7:14pm on 28 Sep 2008, agger do do do wrote:

    Phil,

    I think most of Torres frustration was due to the fact that when ever he was being physical with the Everton defenders Riley was blowing up for a foul, but Torres himself wasn't getting the same sort of protection.

    Riley had an awful game in my opinion. He never let the game flow and made some odd decisions.

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  • 106. At 7:33pm on 28 Sep 2008, AlawKopite wrote:

    Sorry if someones already mentioned this but..

    Although the Liverpool players are playing at a more consistant level this year, I think a huge difference has been the addition of Sammy Lee. People always talk about Benitez's priority being the champions league (which may or may not be the case) but theres no chance that Lee will be allowing the players to have one eye on europe. I think having Lee back at the club could be the difference between a title challenge and 4th spot finish.

    Great win against the Blues, especially with the fact Torres and Keane looked to click.

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  • 107. At 7:48pm on 28 Sep 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    Riley is a spineless referee who basically waits for the players themselves or his assistants to make the majority of decissions for him.

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  • 108. At 8:00pm on 28 Sep 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    No-one has mentioned Lee... And it's a terrific point. He is well respected as a coach, and given a lot of credit for Sam A's success at Bolton. His influence over the defensive setup at free-kicks seems obvious. Not to mention attacking ones.

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  • 109. At 8:05pm on 28 Sep 2008, Rob3108 wrote:

    Quite funny Phil, to have these people caling you Liverpool biased, when I have found myself seething at some of your articles around the start of this season!

    And so easy for people to take pot shots.

    I think the point is that Liverpool perhaps rely more heavily on him than Man Utd on Rooney/Tevez/Berbatov and Chelsea on Drogba....

    I think it is a point not lost on LFC, but Torres is a class above, similar to the importance of Henry in the Glory year/(s?) at the gooners. Didn't stop them going unbeaten!

    Just hope that whichever deity Torres prays to is happy with him, and the 'Pool!!!!

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  • 110. At 8:05pm on 28 Sep 2008, lpool85 wrote:

    I have to disagree Phil about the Cahill sending off. He fully deserved it - not necessarily for that particular tackle but for his overall behaviour. He repeatedly ignored the referee when he was calling him to come and speak to him which must have annoyed annoyed the ref. the tackle was definately worth a yellow card as it was a typical thuggish tackle by cahill. but he showed no 'respect' for the ref throughout the game and riley must have decided that enough was enough.

    cahill should understand that only chelsea or man utd's england players can get away with that kinda behaviour in the premier league and should have shown the ref a bit more 'respect'.

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  • 111. At 8:14pm on 28 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    It would be so much easier if referees came out and explained decisions.

    I am not talking about every incident in the game, but contentious sendings off and contested decisions are worth explaining.

    Would not Rob Styles have won more respect if he had just come out at the end of the game and said: "Sorry - I've dropped a big one there. I got it wrong and I apologise to Bolton"?

    He may not be forgiven completely, but at least there would be a level of understanding and perhaps even sympathy.

    No-one would ever pretend refereeing is easy, but this code of silence is not helping.

    And would it have been so hard for Mike Riley to give a simple explanation for why he sent Tim Cahill off?

    I have been part of a press pack who have tried to ask referees about decisions in the past.

    I won't name names, but there are certain referees still refereeing today who have brushed past the media as if they are totally above being questioned about decisions.

    Better communication all round would help.

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  • 112. At 8:26pm on 28 Sep 2008, lpool85 wrote:

    It's interesting how people want to liverpool a one/two man team when the same applies to other top teams. Take out Adebayor/Fabregas from Arsenal's line and they are not the same force. The same applies to Rooney/Ronaldo at Man Utd or Drogba/Lampard at Chelsea.

    People are intellectually challenged enough to ignore that last season Liverpool were probably the top scorers in all competitions in the PL and that as well as Torres/Gerrard we had babel, benayoun, crouch and kuyt reach double figures.

    How many from utd aside from ronaldo/rooney/tevez reached double figures? or aside from lampard/drogba at chelsea? or adebayor/fabregas/v persie at arsenal?

    Before jumping on the bandwagon, bother to look at the stats first and use your (somewhat limited) brains!

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  • 113. At 8:33pm on 28 Sep 2008, lpool85 wrote:

    Phil, i totally agree about better communication. Referees are not above having to explain themselves and should be made to have a quick chat with them media to answer petrinent questions.

    Styles has a history of mistakes - last season I remember him awarding a penalty to Chelsea after Malouda tumbled in the penalty area on his own and none of the Chelsea players appealed for a penalty! I guess stupidity like history has a tendancy of repeating itself!

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  • 114. At 8:36pm on 28 Sep 2008, AlawKopite wrote:

    I think we should take it as a compliment that people think we are a 2 man team. And in a way they are right, if Gerrard is injured whove we got to replace him?? Nobody because theres nobody in the world as good as Gerrard in that position. The same probably applies for Torres. You cant replace the finishing of El Nino. But its not about getting players in who can replicate the way they play. Its about working to other strenthgs when they are missing, which we did against United.

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  • 115. At 8:51pm on 28 Sep 2008, lpool85 wrote:

    As for the increasing hype about Liverpool becoming a force this season - this is premature. If you have watched the games this season then it is clear that there is still some way to go for this current team/manager. We do pass the ball well and control games at times but when it comes to the final third we have lacked guile and composure in a number of games this season. In most of the games the performance has been dire while in a couple (Man utd, Everton) the team have shown promising signs.

    In the dire games, we have relied on individual ability or sheer dumb luck to get us through. Some say that is the hallmark of champions but this usually applies for a few games in a season. The addition of Riera seems to be positive as we crying out for width and some skill but big question marks remain on Robbie Keane and Dossena. They will take time to settle in but the question is can we afford to give it to them? At the prices paid for them, particularly Keane, they should have hit the ground running.

    While Alonso has proven Rafa wrong this season, his long term future remains uncertain. In terms of touch, technique, passing ability and vision he is lightyears ahead of Barry. What has been missing since his first two seasons is mobility and he has added that this season - but maybe at the cost of his shooting ability! Him and Gerrard do not work well together in centre mid before the latter leaves huge gaps in his surges forward. Macherano would be a better partner as he is a tenacious tackler who has improved his attacking game so much.

    If Rafa decides to put Gerrard in his place, literally and figuratively, then we have a good chance this season. But if he bows to Gerrard's unreasonable wish to play in centre mid at all costs then my worry is that we have lost the league already. There are rumours that his pursuit of barry and keane were driven by Gerrard's desire to play in centre mid. Like most Liverpool fans I am hoping that this was not the case.

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  • 116. At 8:53pm on 28 Sep 2008, lpool85 wrote:

    AlawKopite, thats a good point. We actually played our best football this season when the two were injured. It is a positive sign that the team take on more responsibility when their two heroes are not around. Now if they decide to that in most games then there is potential to win the league. Without that we will once again be focusing on cups before the year is out.

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  • 117. At 9:02pm on 28 Sep 2008, HollynPoppysDad wrote:

    Nice article Phil (have you mellowed since the Echo/Post era?)

    Consistent performance of the team, not only Torres' form, will be key to how Liverpool fair this season and for me this would be positively influenced from consisitency of team selection (providing injuries allow).

    That's not to say rotation should be scrapped just not to the extreme extent that Rafa has applied it in previous seasons especially in the Premier League i.e. Carling Cup - Rafa feel free to rest key players if required. The logic of rotation in past seasons was to be strong in the run in problem was the impact of the changes meant Liverpool lost too much ground (in the Premier League) in the meantime. This year lets target staying in contention first then see what happens.

    Saying that early Liverpool performances have been unconvincing (Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Villa and Stoke) so far this season but results have gone our way and performances do seem to be improving perhaps through growth of understanding between the players given limited player change so far and no change in starting 11 from Stoke match to Everton.

    I hope Rafa allows the same team to gel, even if I do have reservations over current leftback and right midfield positions, which undoubtedly does have a strong spine over a longer period.

    It's far too early for reds to be bullish but the season does look interesting lets hope we're still saying that at the first milestone around Chrimbo....

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  • 118. At 9:03pm on 28 Sep 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To lpool85...good point about Alonso and Barry.

    Do Liverpool fans feel they would have been that much better for the arrival of Barry and departure of Alonso?

    I make no bones about that fact that I think Liverpool paid way over the odds at £20m for Robbie Keane, but he is still a good player and just showed signs of getting to grips with being at the club against Everton.

    Got to say I still have doubts about Dossena. I am not sure he is better than Aurelio, but Aurelio picks up so many injuries.

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  • 119. At 9:58pm on 28 Sep 2008, lpool85 wrote:

    Phil, I think a number of them did judging by what is written on liverpoolfc.tv forumns. Some of it stemmed from 2 largely mediocre seasons from Alonso combined with this ridiculous obsession with having 'english talent' in the team. I do rate barry as a player, has got a number of very valuable attributes but not at 18m and not at the cost of Alonso.

    Keane may too much quality to fail or a great track record in england but is not even close to being worth 20m. I mean what that money we could have easily signed Samuel E'to - who is a truly world class talent. He has been a top 5 striker in the world for a number of years now and is younger than keane with more pace, better heading and more deadly finishing.

    A problem for Keane is the system we play and his lack of understand with torres/gerrard. The former has been changed to accomodate him (which I think is a foolish move) while the latter is improving and will come in time. My reservation is that Torres works best as a lone striker (shown at Madrid, last season and in Euros) with someone like Gerrard supporting him. Keane can play this role but for that to happen Gerrard will have to play in centre mid (bad idea) or right mid (where he flourished a couple of seasons ago).

    dossena needs to lose weight, learn how to cross and keep things simple. i really rate aurelio, who I believe has all the attributes to be a top class fullback. if he stays injury free he should be first choice as a fullback and for setpieces.

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  • 120. At 10:22pm on 28 Sep 2008, mightyredgiant wrote:

    In reply to CFC_MM91...

    How many games have Man U won this season so far whilst Ronaldo has been absent?

    Those are the kind of facts I'm interested in.

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  • 121. At 08:32am on 29 Sep 2008, CantonasCollar79 wrote:

    All this talk of who would win what matches when the best two players are injured are redundant - Anderson and Park have been fit all season!! :)

    From a nited POV, I think Liverpool have one of the world's best strikers in Torres, one of the world's best midfielders in Gerrard, but little else to worry us, and this season particularly, Chelsea. There's a lot to be said for having been in a title fight before when March turns into April, traditionally now labelled 'Squeaky Bum Time'. There'll be strange results flying around, CL knock-out matches, F.A. Cup games coming thick and fast. It's the period where leagues are won, and right now is not even a period where they are lsot for United and Chelsea, as both sides have demonstrated in recent years that they have the capacity to come back from uncertain starts.

    Everton looked most uncertain, both on the pithc and off it. I think the derby was lost before kick-off when Moyes (as he often does against the big teams) picked a 4-5-1 formation, which sent his team out with a back-foot mentality. Of course, Cahill had a chance (the one thing you get against L'pool is always one of those chances.) but Everton should have started with Saha upfront with Yakubu. Give the other team something to think about. Look at Hull. They played a 4-3-1-2 against Arsenal and it had them worried, if your men occupy the opposition half intelligently and in dangerous areas, you can worry any team.

    Liverpool should stay in the upper eschalons thanks to their victory against us. But unless Benitez has an Evra or clichy lined up for January as well as a Joaquim-type for the right-wing with genuine penetration, 3rd at best.

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  • 122. At 09:37am on 29 Sep 2008, AlawKopite wrote:

    "From a nited POV, I think Liverpool have one of the world's best strikers in Torres, one of the world's best midfielders in Gerrard, but little else to worry us"

    So the fact we managed to beat you without these two players doesnt worry you?

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  • 123. At 09:42am on 29 Sep 2008, fabianc wrote:

    Great result and easier than the score suggested. Obviously it was great to see Torres back on the score sheet. Unfortunately, even as a commited Red, I can't see us winning the title, it will still sadly be between the usual 2 pretenders, with Chelsea looking much better than last season. Riera has improved our options and I'd like to see Rafa show a little more faith in Babel, whilst he may not have the incredible work rate of Kuyt, he does have the ability to beat people Kuyt doesn't. We should be in the mix for longer this season, which in itself will ne a huge improvement. I'd like to see us with our hopes still alive after January, but 3rd is my prediction

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  • 124. At 09:50am on 29 Sep 2008, CantonasCollar79 wrote:

    AlawKopite - no, it doesn't worry me that you managed to beat us without those two players. It was a one-off in terms of our fixtures, considering our recent excellent record against Liverpool, and the fact that it was only two shocking individual errors that led to our demise on the say.

    Beating us in one match does not consitute a worry as far as the unlikely proposition of Liverpool having the consistency to overcome us over the season. As United have proved over the past fifteen years, how you react to each result in the league is what makes you champions come May. And whilst we pulled our socks up and almost beat Chelsea , in your next match you drew at home to Stoke - exactly the sort of result that has prevented you picking up a single Premier League title since its inception. And a result that immediately lessens the impact of your victory over us.

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  • 125. At 10:40am on 29 Sep 2008, MPS7 wrote:

    He is not the best at Liverpool.But different from the rest.

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  • 126. At 10:52am on 29 Sep 2008, Strings wrote:

    Having been a lifelong red, I have watched the start of this season unfold with interest. A home win against United is something of a rarety, but a pleasant suprise. 14 points from 6 games is a great start and we are showing some good signs. The defence are beginning to show signs of what they have learnt in Europe over the past few years. The midfield are beginning to bully, rather than be bullied and I do think that Torres will gel with Keane, and Keane could push into Torres' place in the event of injury to Torres.

    All that said.... We are SIX games in and consistency is the key. Last season we managed 4 points from a possible 18 against the 'Top three'. Our acid tests will be if we can improve that to somewhere in the region of 12! Then we can start talking ourselves up as genuine contenders.

    Great result against the Toffees. Let's see what the next 6 games bring, and I will post again... MAYBE with a little more excitement in my tone. But maybe not... We have seen some false dawns in the past 18 years. I hope this isn't another one....

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  • 127. At 11:00am on 29 Sep 2008, tapemonkey___ wrote:

    from the first kick in that game we had no chance, because we turned up without the right attitude. however what you can't seem to understand and no red on here can either, is that we never seem to stand a chance from the officials in these games. the accumulation of fouls and cards are never equally represented. riley sent off cahill after deciding arbeloa moments before was fine to drag his studs down another players heel. you can see gerrard have a nice little word there too. carragher spent the entire game (again) screaming at the ref, again failed to be punished. felliani was punished for a foul on reina when he had a shooting opportunity, he fluffed it but the point is the foul was given for nothing, which reflects the attitude of the officials. alonso took out arteta once again and escaped punishment.
    you can dismiss this all you want, and i know you will, as being immaterial as we were rubbish, and we were. the point remains however that the derbies keep getting played out with atrocious inconsistencies by officials that always affect the Blues more than the reds. how many of our players have had gerrard's studs through their knees or privates without so much as stern look from a ref? but cahill does what alonso did to arteta and he gets a straight red (forget about your red arguement about dissent, it was a straight red, not two yellows).
    but what's the point, bbc sport and match of the day is the realm of the redlovers. mcnulty, green, lawrenson and hansen you give yourselves the air time, and column inches to bang on about your beloved because time and time again they fail to do it on the pitch; even with the referees help.

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  • 128. At 11:24am on 29 Sep 2008, AlawKopite wrote:

    CantonasCollar79...

    Almost beating Chelsea doesnt make a difference, you still only get a point for a draw. The same as we did against Stoke. We almost (and would of if the goal stood) beat Stoke. It doesnt change the fact we only get a point.

    And what teams have done in the past 15 years is not gonna change what happens this year. Us beating United doesnt mean we are gonna win the league now but it does show we have more about us this year. Its well known that Liverpool get better after january and so if we can stay around the top four like we are now, then theres every chance we can be challenging at the end of the season.

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  • 129. At 11:43am on 29 Sep 2008, Richard wrote:

    I agree with those who say that Cahill's wilful and blatant ignorance of Mike Riley's request to 'have a word' contributed to his dismissal. I would wager that RIley was going to show him a yellow but when Cahill walked away despite Riley's clear and repeated calls to him, he decided to make it red. Fair enough IMO. Cahill does not come across as the most pleasant of characters.

    Everton fans chanting 'what a waste of money' at Keane should take a look in their own back yard because if Fellaini is worth 15m, Keane is worth 30!

    I'm not a supporter of either club, btw

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  • 130. At 12:50pm on 29 Sep 2008, lpool85 wrote:

    tapemonkey___, lets not talk about referees shall we. The season everton beat liverpool 3 nil, two of your goals were scored AFTER our players were fouled in the build up. First one i remember the scumb@g Cahill - and yes he is a scumb@g - got alonso in a headlock and dragged him to the ground. for the second one i believe it was arbeloa who got taken out on the touchline before the goal was scored.

    all this nonsense about refs favouring us points back to last season when we received two penalties and everton were red carded twice. well both were blatant penalties - first because gerrard was taken out when through on goal and hibbert was last man. yes gerrard did have a word with the ref but he merely pointed out something in a polite manner. it wasnt the blatant abuse or crybaby behaviour that terry and co. or a number of man utd/arsenal players normally throw at referees. the second was a clear hand ball by neville on the goal line. yes you can point to a possible penalty for carra on lescott but it just evens itself out and it wasnt even stonewall penalty.

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  • 131. At 2:29pm on 29 Sep 2008, RealityStrikes wrote:

    Is Torres key to LFC’s aspirations – undoubtedly, along with every other player on their books. Torres has found his shooting boots while simultaneously finding LFC neck and neck with Chelsea, albeit despite him. Torres had a good spell against the Toffees, but his first half performance was below par. For me, this doesn’t yet warrant the clear declaration that he has returned to form. Maybe in another couple of games when he has 2 or 3 more goals to his tally and he looks sharp for most of the time he’s played?

    Talk of a 1 or even 2 man Liverpool team from any quarter sounds bizarre when you consider that Benitez is notorious for tinkering with his side and has received ample ridicule for doing so, even after winning and winning well. Rafa has never shied from leaving Torres or Gerrard on the bench before, or substituting them as he did with Gerrard in a derby last year, much to the puzzlement of Reds fans and commentators alike.

    Title talk is premature, but Liverpool’s title hopes are understandably raised this season after their run of results to date. LFC are not normally this close to the top after just 6 games in. United, Chelsea and Arsenal (along with most neutral observers) won’t see this as anything special, Liverpool are only currently enjoying what the other top teams do every year.

    To improve on last year’s record haul of points (enough to have won the PL title in previous years) Liverpool need to be able to take more points from their nearest rivals in order to stand any chance of being in contention come May. So far they have won 3 points against the champions compared to getting none from them last season, a real six pointer. It matters not a jot if this is down to Man Utd starting the season badly, winning the title is simply about points on the board, and so far, Liverpool have been able to peg more on the board than normal without playing on the top of their game.

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  • 132. At 2:49pm on 29 Sep 2008, kEITH wrote:

    Come on Everton, you really can't blame a bad ref for this result. Liverpool turned up, Everton didn't!
    Yes, Riley was bad. However, he was equally bad for both sides!

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  • 133. At 3:12pm on 29 Sep 2008, low_lie_the_fields wrote:

    everton were woeful.

    liverpool were not much better. until torres showed his brilliance, we had no penetration in the last 3rd.

    kuyt was rubbish as usual - my 9 yr old nephew has good work rate but he's not playing for liv.

    why is babel not playing? he's got great potential at running past defenders - a bit like ronaldo 5 years ago. benitez is destroying his confidence the same way he was destroying crouch.

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  • 134. At 3:22pm on 29 Sep 2008, simon hogan wrote:

    delighted with the win but am still cautious about title talk. Everton were AWFUL. I cant help feeling that Liverpool only seem to be scoring two types of goals Gerrard/Torres or accidents.
    i also cant understand why babel hasnt been tried on the right. he is right footed. playing him on the left slows him down and with reira not looking too bad it seems like it should be tried.
    i actually think babel would be very useful playing behinf Torres. He has bags of pace a fierce shot and is not a bad finisher (better than kyut anyway)
    I still has this nagging feeling that we will drop too many home points with teams coming and parking the bus e.g Stoke

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  • 135. At 3:36pm on 29 Sep 2008, MOYESYSIDE wrote:

    McNulty

    Over the whole game Liverpool were vastly superior.


    You sound like RS McNulty, the usual over exaggeration that they like to use (such as a player cannot just be a good player if he plays for Liverpool he is in fact the best in the world at what he does).

    Everton played negatively for most of the game and this snuffed out most of LIverpool's attacking play. We may not have achieved much going forward but time after time either Neville or Hibbert or whoever got a foot in and ended the Liverpool attack. Unfortunately we just hoofed it back and the cycle repeated itself.

    Liverpool had to rely on mistakes we made, and i wouldnt even say the mistakes were made under pressure or because we couldnt handle their pace.

    To suggest a vast difference when both sides played quite badly is misleading. COmplete lack of quality all round.

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  • 136. At 3:40pm on 29 Sep 2008, MOYESYSIDE wrote:

    I refuse to believe that other than Gerrard's decent performance, a player I am loathe to credit with anything usually, Liverpool fans could in any way be satisfied with their team's overall contribution to the game. To even mention titles on this game would be foolish. I would say they are struggling for goals right now. Wheres the nice moves that got you goals last season? You're relying on individual efforts mostly at the moment.

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  • 137. At 3:40pm on 29 Sep 2008, quiggydavid wrote:

    The key to both Liverpool goals was Kuyt. His run to the near post took Lescott with him and made the space to Torres to score the first. And the second was a run by him into the box and when he was dispossessed the ball fell to Torres. I like Kuyt, I think he didnt have a gud season last year and I think he was affected by his dads death. He's played on the right and without a great deal of pace he does a brilliant job. He's clever on the ball and as every1 says his workrate is immense. For Liverpool to mount a title challenge this season (which is very much possible) we need Rafa to play our strongest team as much as possible, especially at home. I understand you can't do this all the time but we need to turn over the likes of stoke and teams that are gonna cum to Anfield and put 10 maybe 11 men behind the ball. If you looked at the points we lost at home last season that we should of won we could of won the league.

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  • 138. At 3:43pm on 29 Sep 2008, MOYESYSIDE wrote:

    quiggydavid

    i would say rather than guile from Kuyt being the reason for the goals it was naievty on the Everton defenders part. Plus there was no defensive cover from the midfield for either of those goals. It was poor. You shouldnt give credit where its not really due mate, thats how false reputations are forged.

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  • 139. At 3:45pm on 29 Sep 2008, quiggydavid wrote:

    136. At 3:40pm on 29 Sep 2008, MOYESYSIDE wrote:

    I refuse to believe that other than Gerrard's decent performance, a player I am loathe to credit with anything usually, Liverpool fans could in any way be satisfied with their team's overall contribution to the game. To even mention titles on this game would be foolish. I would say they are struggling for goals right now. Wheres the nice moves that got you goals last season? You're relying on individual efforts mostly at the moment.





    INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS - IM GONNA BY THE YAK A MOBILE SO HE CAN SPEAK TO THE REST OF HIS TEAM.

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  • 140. At 4:32pm on 29 Sep 2008, CantonasCollar79 wrote:

    why is this thread not letting me post? others are - annoying! sort it out Beeb!

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  • 141. At 4:37pm on 29 Sep 2008, CantonasCollar79 wrote:

    Alaw Kopite

    Sorry - did want to respond earlier but this site seems to be having problems...

    This is a bit diluted now, but I don't have the time to type it all again. Essentially, I think our draw at Chelsea is better than your draw at home to Stoke and will be borne out by way of your result at Stamford Bridge and our home tie against the Potters.

    I don't see Liverpool and arsenal having nearly strong enough squads to overtake us and Chelsea, who have to have a good chance this year purely becasue only one side has won the league three times in a row in the last twenty-five years - us, between 1999 and 2001. The likelihood of it happening again with the comeptition so strong is rae. If L'pool or Arsenla finsih above us, I would be surprised. If either team finish above both us and Chelsea, I would be staggered.

    Champions!

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  • 142. At 4:52pm on 29 Sep 2008, Bergysdeftflicks wrote:

    Quite right Phil.

    Torres could 'do a Ronaldo' for them. If he does it will be a minor miracle for them to win the title as they really aren't anything like a good side.

    Everton are a shambles and i think Mr Moyes may just start now to believe he has gone the distance with them.

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  • 143. At 5:33pm on 29 Sep 2008, tapemonkey___ wrote:

    lpool85, last years derby was ruined by a ref who favoured liverpool in every little and big decision, if you argue against that then you don't know what you are talking about.
    gerrard changed the mind of the ref, it is not his place as captain to do that; yet he did the same with arbeloa on saturday. the ref's to blame as he should warn gerrard over his words, not gerrard's place to referee the game, it's ther referee's and if he'g going to consult the captain, he should consult both. also gerrard is a diving scumbag (your choice of words) who like terry is overlooked by the fa and media for every dirty thing he ever does. surprisingly for you reds, barely anyone else likes him, cos they see what he does. he's a dirty cheat, who dives constantly for penalties. he dived for the one where hibbert clipped him, didn't need to dive, but he did. he's on his way down before he's even touched the ball that scumbag. he's a disgrace to the english game, him and your manager and your ratboy forward.
    the 3-0 at goodison, i wondered when that would be brought up, you got outplayed for the entire game and moan about 2 little fouls, one of which i would give you, but the other a red was also fouling a blue in the penalty box at the time, so evens out.
    we had 2 stonewall penalty shouts last season and got neither, finnan on lescott in the first half and carragher on lescott in injury time. carragher who screamed at the ref all game, who put his studs through arteta as well, and only got a yellow for a different offence. he should have been sent off but wasn't. we should have had 2 clear penalties, and got neither. kuyt tried to cut neville in half, both feet in the air (very high), got a yellow. you can't compare grievences.
    what about the derby where mcallister moved the ball 15 yards forward in injury time and scored from it and you won?
    what about the derby where westerveld kicked the ball against hutchisons back and the ref blew as it was going in, disallowing a goal that would have given us a draw?
    what about the derby where gerrard tried to remove naysmiths wedding tackle and got away with it? completely intentionally.
    what about the derby where gerrard stood on carlseys knee? completely intentionally.
    as i said from the beginning, we were poor, worse than some seasons, but capable of a draw. you were poor, had a ref giving you everything (again) and ended up winning. woopydo. clap clap, give them the league now eh?
    it's not a level playing field when we play, you have a 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th man in the officials. we never stand a chance. unfortunately like on saturday we can still play so badly we don't deserve a chance either.

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  • 144. At 5:55pm on 29 Sep 2008, Arctic wrote:

    Talking about challenging for the title is not the same as talking about winning it.

    I think Liverpool can challenge, unfortunately there never seems to be enough consistency in the squad from year to year for us to win it.

    With players continually being sold and bought, it means every season another 3 or 4 are getting used to the Premier League or getting used to Liverpool's system or getting used to Rafa's tactics.

    That's why we do well in cups but not in the league. When Liverpool finally get a squad of players that only needs 1 or 2 alterations or additions each season, that will be when we finally turn from perennial challengers to winners.

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  • 145. At 6:03pm on 29 Sep 2008, lpool85 wrote:

    tapemonkey___,

    your name says it all and i dont need to respond to that crap that you just wrote. your team sucks, your manager sucks and you supports suck. and you always will. this buy one get one free tesco plan to build a new stadium will not make you a bigger team and you will always be the third team in merseyside after liverpool and liverpool reserves!

    all this blaming gerrard and claiming that he is not liked or that this kid is not really his is typical of a number of you bluenose filth. hardly surprising that the unemployment rate is super high in liverpool as is the crime rate. go back to school to learn how to write properly and make reasoned arguements before coming back to a public forumn.

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  • 146. At 7:55pm on 29 Sep 2008, univershally wrote:

    143 "what about the derby where mcallister moved the ball 15 yards forward in injury time and scored from it and you won?"

    Corker!

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  • 147. At 10:39pm on 29 Sep 2008, Jamie Stewart wrote:

    If anything, Everton are a weaker team than they were last season.

    Torres is the man Liverpool need to keep fit, as with Gerrard they are the only two top drawer players they have at their disposal who can win them games that would otherwise be draws.

    Once Keane comes good Liverpool will be a much more potent attacking thread, I feel.

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  • 148. At 11:04pm on 29 Sep 2008, tapemonkey___ wrote:

    lpool85, my name means nothing to anyone but me, so try harder if you're trying to get a rise.
    judging from your name however i can guess you're a whole lot younger than me and everything you write reflects that.
    i didn't mention anything to do with gerrard's kid so don't bother to bring it up. seeing as you did, i hope you were condemning all the liverpool fans singing abuse at Carlsey last year for his daughter were you? or those that attacked Phil Neville? or those who were mocking Lescott's traumatic head injuries? no i think like everything you only see and hear what you want, which is usually only a fraction of the story/game.
    that's excellent english by the way, it must take a lot of thought to chose 'suck' as much as you did, but when you can't spell, make a coherent argument or use more than one inappropriate and foreign adjective; i don't hold out much hope.
    school's out boy, you failed.
    ps. nice touch slating Liverpool as a city and people, that really underlines your worth in this debate.

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  • 149. At 2:14pm on 08 Oct 2008, shushuzhu wrote:

    i don't think liverpool have this ability to win the champions this season.if they want to win the champion,they must bless some lucky.

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