Aston Villa 0 – 0 Liverpool – Sun 18th Mar 07

Every season, some pundit backs Liverpool to win the title or challenge. Every season, there is always a few Liverpool fan friends of mine who say “this is our year!”

They’re talking shit.

Liverpool will never win the Premiership, and this game today was a cameo why. Drab. Boring. Uncreative. Umabitious. No urgency. Bad attitude.

As Manchester United yesterday were tearing through Bolton quicker than it takes Britney Spears to say “number 1 all over please”, Liverpool played for a draw today. You can say what you like about patience and “controlling games” and being tactical; if your first and ONLY attempt on target comes in the 89th minute, you’ve either played for a draw, your tactics have been incredibly wrong, or you’ve played fucking atrocious.

Liverpool’s performance today was a combination of all three. This is a team that comprehensively outplayed Barcelona home and away a few weeks ago. But give us a bog-standard Premiership game and the players can’t be arsed! That attitude comes from the manager. This was like the Houllier days all over again!

I think Rafa is a great manager and I DO believe he is the right manager for Liverpool. But any Liverpool fan who thinks that this new American investment and all the money in the world will make us League Champions is DELUDED. At the end of the day, Benitez has ALREADY had a lot of money to spend! I’d say his signing-success is 50%, at best! So is there any guarantee that given more money he’ll bring in world class players with the right attitude? No.

Attitude is the problem. Liverpool already have a better defence than Arsenal and probably Man Utd, and probably Chelsea too. In Gerrard, Alonso, and Sissoko, they have a central midfield that is better than Arsenal’s, and in my opinion, United’s too these days (I’d take Gerrard and Alonso over Scholes and Carrick, but that’s just my opinion). Chelsea have Lampard, Essien, and Makalele…but I wouldn’t swap Gerrard for Lampard, or Alonso for either of the other two. The problem is up front.

Which of these names doesn’t belong? Rooney. Ronaldo. Drogba. Henry. Robben. Crouch. Bellamy.

Too easy? Anyone who thinks Liverpool’s attacking players would get into United’s squad is less intelligent than George W. Bush. I think Dirk Kuyt is a very good player and his workrate is impecable! But would he get into United or Chelsea’s first-team? Unlikely.

Football at the very top is about being adventurous, creative, and scoring goals. I’ve never known United to struggle for goals. Even last season when they were shit, they finished 2nd because they scored more goals than Liverpool, who finished 3rd, and had their best season. That’s the difference.

It’s painful to point out when Man Ure are good, but it needs saying.

Liverpool need three things to win or challenge for the Premiership:

1. Money and long-term big income (i.e. new stadium)

2. At least one striker and wide-player who will get 20+ goals a season.

3. A ruthless merciless determined attitude / arrogance to crush the opposition and score goals. And keep scoring. And then score some more.

Until this happens, and performances like today become a thing of the past, Liverpool will forever continue to challenge for 3rd-4th place at best.

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