Another frustrating day saw Liverpool draw at home again, versus Stoke. I did, however, get to see something unbelievably rare.
The moment came late in the game, with Rory Delap getting a chance to take a throw in close to Liverpool box. Everybody shaped up to defend it/attack it in the box, except for the majority of the Stoke players being back in their own half. Then something weird happened, Rory Delap took a normal short throw in. Confused me at first, and I thought I had maybe drunk too much but it had indeed happened Rory Delap took a short throw in, that almost confused his own team.
Is it possible that maybe Kenny Dalglish has the same sort of issues that Rafa Benitez had. Winning against the top teams seems to be less of an issue but we seem to struggle to beat the “lesser teams”. We seemed to be cautious from the off, and although we upped the tempo a bit in the second half it wasn’t anywhere near good enough. Is it our personnel, tactics or a mixture of the two?
To me playing at home against Stoke should not really be done with just one striker, particularly when that one striker is Dirk Kuyt. I think Kuyt is great in terms of work rate, and he does come up with some great goals but this was Stoke. They were always going to be defensive and we opted to throw one Dirk Kuyt at them? Now add to that the fact that we had 3 centre backs on the pitch as well… it just seems like we didn’t have a clue.
Of course it’s all very easy for me to sit here and say where it all went wrong, particularly with hindsight with me. However, is there anybody out there that thinks that starting squad and formation was going to be the one to unlock Stoke? To me Carroll needed to play this one. He needs to be getting games and if he’s not going to be our leading striker whilst Suarez is out then what does that say to him? It’s almost like we’ve committed to selling him, and if we have then hopefully it will happen soon, with a replacement being sorted out for him before the window closes.
It does, however, seem to clearly point to the fact that another striker is needed, and ideally a world class one. Either that, or Kenny has to start putting more faith in the likes of Carroll and Bellamy and let them start games like this that we should be winning convincingly.