Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool – Level Heads Needed

By Jonathan Carroll.

If Liverpool supporters thought things couldn’t get any worse this season they were sorely mistaken. In a game in which they started off very brightly in a 4-3-3 formation with Craig Bellamy, Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez spear heading a three-pronged attack, Liverpool have many failings to focus on. The Reds had a penalty appeal waved away for handball on the line before Andy Carroll rounded Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal and proceeded to fall to the deck. The big striker was booked for diving and signalled the start of a very frustrating afternoon for the former Newcastle man.

Alan Pardew’s men fully deserved the three points today and with a squad assembled for many millions less that their counter parts it looks like some astute business by all involved with the Toon. A Papiss Cisse double condemned Liverpool to their sixth loss in seven league games. There is a lack of belief, confidence and even more worrying for Reds supporters the lack of effort cannot be defended. Throughout Sundays game heads were seen dropping at every misplaced pass and refereeing decision. The worst part of this sequence of events, most of the heads dropping were on the shoulders of the more experienced pro’s who should be looking to summons more effort and energy to dig the team out of their current slump. Solutions to lack of effort are few and far between. Replace the under performer with a less experienced player? Put a youth player at risk of losing all confidence they may have after one bad performance with the first team? The answer in both cases is no. The more seasoned professionals such as Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher should be leading by example. Replace the under performer with a player of similar talent in order to bang home the message that such performances will not be tolerated, however Liverpool don’t possess a squad with enough depth to do that. The January transfer market came and went without action. The players are under performing but Kenny Dalglish isn’t blameless in all of this.

It was mentioned that at the start of the season that Jamie Carragher was glad his wife could talk with the other wives in English at team functions following Liverpool’s “Buy British” policy. That very policy has failed miserably and although Carragher’s wife may be glad she no longer has to delve into a Spanish-English dictionary the facts are there for all to see that this policy needs to be addressed. Dalglish deserves another season to get things right simply because knee jerk decisions aren’t the way to go, especially for this club. Another season without Champions League football and Liverpool sit of the edge of relativity to the modern game. A successful history is great but has little relevance unless you continue to write another chapter in the same book. Kenny Dalglish is Liverpool through and through and if he ever feels like he cannot do anymore he will leave for the betterment of the club he loves. One only has to look at Chelsea to see how a rotating door of managers does not guarantee success.

Most worryingly of all for those associated with Liverpool is the manner in the way the team imploded at Newcastle today. Carroll was substituted by Dalglish and endured a walk of shame as he received a torrent of abuse and seemed to mouth “I’m not having that” to Dalglish as both exchanged stares as the striker left the pitch. What happened in the tunnel following the big strikers departure remains speculation at this point but worse was to follow on the pitch. James Perch left his foot in on Pepe Reina as he collected the ball and the Spaniard moved his head towards the Newcastle player. No contact was made but the intention was there and a red card followed meaning Reina will miss the FA Cup Semi Final. Quite the weekend to be an Evertonian!

My previous analysis of Liverpool’s current slump has been brutally honest in the failings of certain players and the manager. The fact remains that the cravings for “instant-success” from a lot of younger generation fans sees them calling for Dalglish’s head after each negative result. Only fifteen months ago Liverpool were in the midst of a new long ball era under Roy Hodgson. Previously Dion Fanning of the Irish Independent had written an article just before Rafa Benitez departed Liverpool with the headline, “In six months the Benitez regime will seem like a golden age”. How right he was, but not many considered that statement to carry over to the Dalglish regime as well.

Regardless of how bad this season ends for the red half of Merseyside, the summer transfer market will be the most important ever in the clubs history. Get it right and possible improvement will propel Liverpool back to challenging for a Champions League spot. The stepping stone needed to get back to challenging for titles and European Cups. Fail again and risk being left behind as ancient history.

Newcastle United

  • 26 Krul
  • 05 Simpson
  • 06 Williamson
  • 14 Perch (Booked)
  • 04 Cabaye
  • 08 Guthrie (Gosling – 65′ )
  • 10 Ben Arfa (Santon – 90′ )
  • 18 Gutierrez
  • 24 Tiote (Booked)
  • 09 Cisse (Booked) (Sh Ameobi – 74′ )
  • 19 Ba

Substitutes

  • 35 Elliot
  • 03 Santon
  • 16 R Taylor
  • 31 Ferguson
  • 15 Gosling
  • 29 Vuckic
  • 23 Sh Ameobi

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina (Red card) – 4
  • 03 Jose Enrique – 4
  • 23 Carragher – 4
  • 37 Skrtel – 5
  • 38 Flanagan – 6 (Booked)
  • 08 Gerrard – 3
  • 20 Spearing – 6
  • 33 Shelvey – 6 (Booked) (Downing – 75′ )
  • 07 Suarez – 5
  • 09 Carroll – 5 (Booked) (Kuyt – 79′ )
  • 39 Bellamy – 4 (Henderson – 79′ )

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni
  • 06 Aurelio
  • 16 Coates
  • 11 Maxi
  • 14 Henderson
  • 19 Downing
  • 18 Kuyt

Match Statistics

Newcastle                           Liverpool

Possession                   52%                                   48%

Shots on Target              7                                        6

Corners                           3                                        6

Fouls                              10                                      11

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3 thoughts on “Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool – Level Heads Needed

  1. Pingback: Liverpool welcomes shaken Villa to Anfield | The Red Letter

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