THE ANFIELD NOISE

Post Match: West Ham - Liverpool (PL; 7/11/21)

Poor display from our lads. Really poor. We won’t win any title with that kind of inconsistency I’m afraid.

A long, long time to go obviously, but our lads need to get back to a form of consistency, otherwise there will be a lot of tears throughout the season.

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Well, that was shite.

Just the one change for the Tricky Reds today, as Robbo returned to the starting lineup after being rested against Atletico Madrid at Anfield earlier in the week. A bit harsh on Kostas Tsimikas, that, in my opinion; the Greek international has arguably been the better of the pair this season and had a cracking game against the Spanish champions.

A brilliant start for the home team, as Pablo Fornals swung in a corner from the Liverpool right. Ogbonna went up with Alisson and the ball was adjudged to have come off our bearded Brazilian and into the back of the net. The visitors were sure their stopper had been fouled but there didn’t appear to be too much wrong with the challenge and the goal, rightly, stood. 1-0 to the Hammers after four minutes.

Two minutes later, Cresswell could easily have been sent off for a scissor tackle on Henderson. Given that Mason Holgate had seen red for an almost identical challenge less than an hour earlier, in Everton’s goalless draw with Tottenham, it was a bewildering decision. A blatant corner that was incorrectly adjudged to have come off Mané wasn’t given; as usual, we would have to beat the officials as well as our opponents.

Ogbonna limped off and was replaced by Dawson just after the twenty minute mark. The Reds had all of the ball but couldn’t break down the massed ranks of the home defence. Henderson’s cross was nodded over by Jota just after the half hour mark and that was the visitors’ first attempt on goal.

The same combination almost connected again a few minutes later- the captain’s crossing on the right was far better than Robertson’s from the opposite flank- and Trent blasted over under pressure from Fornals. Mané tried to find Mo but Zouma intervened.

Mo was fouled on the edge of the D and Trent curled the free kick, after a short roll routine with Mo, past the stranded Fabianski. A top-class strike and it was 1-1 after 41 minutes. Mané had a shot blocked by Dawson as we entered six minutes of stoppage time; Antonio broke on on the counter-attack but couldn’t control and Henderson cleared.

Trent failed to clear a deep cross and Fornals skipped past him but Virgil was on hand to block Bowen’s effort. Soucek was then booked for a lunge on Jota as the Reds threatened to break.

As the players trudged off for their halftime oranges, the Reds could consider them comfortably the better side after hosts’ early goal but were finding it hard to break down the West Ham defence and had to be wary of the threat of Antonio on the break.

The second stanza started with the home side looking revitalised and they almost regained the lead when Dawson headed Fornals’ corner against the bar and over. At the other end, Sadio volleyed straight at Fabianski after Robbo’s cushioned knock-down; either side of the home ‘keeper and it would have been 2-1. Ox had a howitzer blocked by Dawson and then Salah blasted over.

The Reds then took control but couldn’t fashion any further openings and, when Mané lost control in midfield, Bowen released Fornals. His shot was taken early and low but Alisson should still have done much better. 2-1 to the home side on 67 minutes.

And it was 3-1 seven minutes later, as Zouma rose unchallenged at the far post to power a header past Alisson from Bowen’s corner. Once again, the Reds’ normally outstanding custodian did not cover himself in glory, seemingly distracted by Antonio and the other West Ham players in front of him and slow to react.

It was attack versus defence after that but, much as the visitors huffed abs puffed, they never looked like blowing West Ham’s house down. Substitute Divock Origi pulled one back after some smart control and a swivel to rifle home with seven minutes left on the clock but the onslaught never came.

Deep into stoppage time, Trent lifted a free kick to the far post and it was met by Sadio’s diving header back across goal, which rolled agonisingly about a foot wide.

And that was just about that. The home side clung on- they rode their luck but worked hard and we simply weren’t good enough on the day. Ground lost in the title race and our 25-match unbeaten run in all competitions brought to an abrupt end. And it was two of our most dependable stars who really let us down today- Ali was at fault for all three goals and Sadio dpurned two glorious opportunities. Robbo was also poor, in my opinion, and Kostas should get a run in the team now.

Next up is the visit of Arsenal to Anfield after the international break. Mikel Arteta’s merry men are unbeaten in ten games since a 5-0 drubbing at the Emptihad at the end of August; perhaps it’s time to remind them what happens when they face the very best teams in the country.

MOTM: Jean de Roquefeuil. No, not an up and coming defensive midfielder but the vineyard manager at 1er Cru Chateau Rieussec in Sauternes. The wine is noticeably fresher and more lively since he took over the helm and, frankly, it’s an absolute bargain at current prices. Definitely one to add to the Christmas shopping list.

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I can take an away loss to westham. But the manner of it rankles.

And yes. We miss Gini. There. I said it.

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Our squad is too light to challenge on all fronts, as everyone said over the summer. Ox shouldn’t be anywhere near our first team and (apart from a rare Origi goal) our bench offers nothing.

Ah well, still plenty to play for.

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Couple of times recently we haven’t played with enough intensity until it’s too late.

We also look like we’re lacking a plan B when things aren’t going away.

Should finish in the top 4, but I can’t see us winning the title at this rate.

Great finish by Origi. There, I said it.

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Klopp sent the wrong message by starting Robbo over Kostas, too much faith being shown to players who have been blowing more cold than hot for some time now. We will always be thankful for their performances in the past but if they aren’t performing they shouldn’t be starting.

Defensively we are all over the shop, Van Dijk on that list of players needing some time out of the line up to refocus. Some hard decisions and hard work needed to get us back to a team which was hard to score against. We just capitulate with 1 easy pass.

Corners dogshit at both ends, god knows what is happening.

Complacency has crept in and this shitting the bed if we don’t get a few decisions is pathetic.

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Think it’s a challenge top 4 and CL for us this season.

Not good enough and those aimless flicks that sent about three or four attacks going for Westham will give me nightmares

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Mane with the big chance to take the lead. Anywhere other than hitting it straight at the keeper and it’s a goal. Ali with a rare off day, which happens, and it’s a recipe for disaster against a well drilled team.

But I still didn’t like the tactics today of constantly allowing TAA into the centre, with Henderson leading the press from the right. This left Ox doing the Gini role, which he hasn’t the nous to do as well as our former key cog in midfield. A base of Fab and Henderson with Ox being the advanced role would’ve giving more protection against a solid WH midfield.

This tactic also meant Salah was positioned wide right hugging the touchline many times, rather than making runs towards goal.

Felt the WH second goal coming when Klopp delayed the sub. Thiago messed up big time with giving the ball away, but I still feel him coming on at 60 mins for Ox at 1-1, would’ve seen us see out the game.

It’s one of those days where the game could’ve finished 3-2 to either side. One point from two games after the high of beating the Mancs. Now it’s the international break.

We are still more than capable of going on a 10 match winning run. It’s what we need to do.

Feels weird. We shipped three goals, but VVD was the best player on the pitch for miles. So calm in most cases. Great tackle in the area.

Hendo would be my second vote. Some of the best passing came from him.

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Great goals from Trent and Divock. Really enjoyed those moments a lot. The rest I’ve already forgotten.

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Can not defend a corner, keep saying Alisson needs protection there was the proof he gets so easily sucked into to the physical nonsense. The second one was pityful.
To be honest we are our worst enemy we try stuff that isn’t on when too many players are pushed forward, oh and where is Matip?
Then our defense gets pulled out of position too easily. We need a defensive coach :cry:

I thought we played well then just made the fatal error.
West Ham look like Chelsea with a Burnley edge.

I will give Thiago a pass today as he has just returned. But Ox, he should be benched once Thiago and Jones fully recover.

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How many times is that, we’ve scored 2 or 3 goals in a game and dropped points because we can’t defend?

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West Ham might be flying at the moment,

and we didint look like we were at our best

but if Alison hadnt played like he’d been out on the pish last night, we would have won.

thank fuck we dont have another game for 2 weeks

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Actually, at least a colander yields a tasty meal. Don’t want to eat what came out of our defense today.

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I am not close to giving up our title hopes yet. Too early, not big enough gap to 1st for that. Even so, it is not looking good. Inconsistency and we are not really close to the high level of our title winning season. But maybe it can change. I hope so and it is possible. Since I am a fan, I will continue to have some faith we can do it for now.
But of course, we have difficult rivals like Chelsea and City, so cannot really afford many games like this.

That is all, I feel no need to write about individual performances because so many were sub par, including our usually excellent keeper and our usually excellent striker, Mane; along with loads of other players.

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An off day against a good opponent in the PL you can losse on such a day.

Move on it is still a long were anything can happen

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A beautifully instinctive scuffed finish placed purposely into the corner after a sublime initial swivel take down.