Up to before the last two games, we had the best defence in the whole football league. This is no mean feat and is something to be rightfully proud of. The knowledge of a strong back line helps to propel players forwards and allows players to relax and get into positions which they couldn’t have been in. Defence is the start of every attack.
The thing is, having a good defence only gets you draws, worth 1 point. The big points are only available to teams who win games. This is where the midfield has to kick in. This is where I feel all the problems are at Liverpool right now.
I could analyse this for a week and not come up with an answer. The thing about the Bolton game wasn’t loosing. Teams will always have to face loosing. It’s part of the game and of life. It was about the way we played the game. The lack of spirit was also reflected in the following comment from ‘jumpingpolarbear’ on my last post.
‘My father is a huge Liverpool fan and talk of players like Steve Heighway, Alan Hansen and Kevin Keegan with a glimmer in his eyes. The match against Bolton just gave him a sad look on his face. Not because of the result, but the lack of spirit and willingness to bleed for Liverpool FC.’
‘That seems like a true observation. At the end of the day, the one thing which is left is the pride and desire to play for your club. Like you say, there just wasn’t that spirit there. I would rather get beaten by any of the top sides by a good margin but play with pride, desire and commitment, than even winning by playing poorly or with a lack of desire. Winning just isn’t enough in football.
Maybe a good old fashioned kick up the arse is required? : ) This is why Jamie Carragher is my football hero. The guy bleeds Red red blood. His example is legendary. This needs to be transmitted to the others sharpish.’
Very few teams can win consistently and if you are not one of these teams, you have to be able to fall back on pride, commitment, hard work, desire etc, otherwise there is no point in playing. The best result is the combination of both winning and the traits listed above.
Another quality is to play good football, even if this doesn’t always get you the desired results. Arsenal are a good example. For years after they won their last league title, Arsenal were lauded for their attacking and skillful football. Most neutrals had Arsenal as their second team, if only for their approach to playing beautiful football, full of quick passing and moving, individual moments of extreme brilliance, a commitment to technical foundations and a controlled spending policy, with a focus on bringing youngsters through the academy into the first team. This is how football should be. Barcelona employ very similar techniques but are just more effective.
This obviously high level of quality did make up for their years of trophy drought up to a point and even the harshest critics couldn’t begrudge their failings, because they made up for it by being the best footballing side in the Premier League. I hope King Kenny can hold against the tide and transmit the desire into this team.