When they showed Stevie with this pained expression for what felt like at least five minutes straight, I think we could all sympathize.
- I think our Lazarus-like chance of making that fourth Champions League place is finally dead and done. As I said at some point around the time Suarez got banned, if we missed out on CL qualification this year it wouldn’t be beacuse of any poor results that we might have in Suarez’s absence (or afterwards), it will be because of our incredible ability to draw at home to lower table teams in the fall. Winning against Arsenal would not have helped us achieve fourth; it would have helped certain segments of fans to resurrect the idea that it was an achievable position in the table, but it would not have delivered fourth. I like to think that’s a realistic, rather than a pessimistic, attitude.
Sub-point: can we at least concentrate on the FA Cup now? Because I’d like to win that if we’re going to finish seventh anyway.
- As per usual, we dropped points at home due to our inability to finish, despite dominating the game for vast stretches and Arsenal not really doing much of anything all game. I’m so thrilled! But, as has happened in numerous other games, Arsenal show their ability to take what few chances they have and capitalize on them; we take our multitude of chances and fail on all of them.
This is also where I reiterate that finishing is a team problem and that it’s easy to blame all the new expensive recruits because they’re fun and easy scapegoats that don’t force us to look at blind loyalties to old favourites, but for the love of god this isn’t just a problem for Stewart Downing (who played fine yesterday), Andy Carroll (who rode the bench), Jordan Henderson (who also played well), etc. Everyone has a soft spot for Dirk Kuyt (as do I), but he fails to impress more often than not this season. Suarez is not exactly a goal scoring machine this season and must be at the top of the list of players who do not convert their chances. But we don’t like to talk about Suarez or Kuyt because that would mean that not everything is Stewart Downing’s or Andy Carroll’s fault.
Also: can Dirk Kuyt please learn the offside rule? Because the man is never onside.
- Charlie Adam.
When he first picked up the ball after the penalty was called, the entire pub went “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Not that Kuyt taking it was any better. (See above.)
- File Szczeney under “Keepers Who Have Great Games At Anfield.” His save on the rebound on Kuyt’s penalty was excellent.
- Also the penalty? Oh my god, the drama on behalf of ESPN. I’ve never, ever seen the analysis of a penalty taken to 4000x zoom, JFK “back and to the left”-like proportions. Anfield is not a grassy knoll, ESPN.
- My Daniel Agger kit finally came in the mail this week, so naturally he is out with a cracked rib for several weeks. Do my kit choices curse the players or do the players curse my kit choices? Who can say.
- [Insert thoughts on Stevie playing 120mins in the Carling Cup final and then starting for England on Wednesday before coming off injured. Insert other thoughts on how even though it was stupid for him to be started for England maybe Stevie is an adult who can make his own choices about whether or not he should pull out of pointless friendlies after what happened on Sunday. Insert thoughts on how Stevie is inexplicably a tireless servant to England despite them apparently not returning the favour. Insert my sadness on not being able to blame Fabio Capello for any of this.]
- I know that we had other players who were likely tired due to Wednesday’s international friendlies, but did we seriously have to wait until Too Late O’Clock to make some substitutions? Kenny’s substitution timing/choices may actually be my biggest complaint this season, more so than any of the other criticism levelled at him and the club.
- So, how about we give Sebastian Coates a run out now in lieu of Jamie Carragher? Because our fear of Coates making mistakes in big games could not be any worse than Carra actually making mistakes in big games.
- Stevie looked dapper when he brought out the Carling Cup to wave around at the start of the match. I do like it when players wear the sweater or cardigan under the jacket, it does delight me so.
- I brought my knitting to the pub both this weekend and last and it’s nice to have something to do before the game starts besides refresh Twitter and Facebook repeatedly. I think I would like to make myself a custom Liverpool scarf. There’s a deplorable lack of fan craft in this sport.
Silver linings: someone googled “biceps of enrique” to get to my website, so my work here is done.