Torres had his chances but couldn't help Liverpool to an away win...
A rather drab display from Liverpool last night meant the Reds could only come away from the Stadion Galgenwaard with a 0-0 draw. Despite looking at the positives with the clean sheet and unbeaten run continued, plus the fact a draw away isn't exactly a terrible result, it all just seems unworthy looking at the poor display from the boys. We can only ride luck for so long and if these dismal displays start to become a regular occurrence, we could find ourselves in real trouble.
Roy fielded a strong XI aside from the rested Steven Gerrard. Pepe Reina was between the sticks and with Martin Kelly at left back it was Skrtel, Carragher and Johnson who made up the rest of the back four. Cole, Kuyt, Lucas, Poulsen, Meireles and Fernando Torres made up the rest of the side.
The first half for Liverpool in honesty was pretty darn poor. At times it was nice to see the ball being played through the midfield, the old pass and move was lovely on the eye but it didn't appear to be effective in getting the ball to the final third and vitally to Fernando Torres.
Several occasions early on an eager Torres almost found himself on the end of a chance but supply was low and crosses were weak.
Some of Liverpool's best chances (if you can call them chances) in the first half were shots sent wide from both Joe Cole and El Nino. The skillful boys were making the most of the fast paced surface but again when it came to the crunch call Liverpool couldn't quite deliver.
On the other side of things Utrecht were confident and were all over us for the first half. Players like Mertens and Wolfswinkel were causing several problems meaning Pepe Reina had to stay alert.
Things didn't really improve for Liverpool in the second half and if it wasn't for a goal line clearance by Raul Meireles, the lads could have found themselves behind. Along with a late penalty call after a challenge by Jamie Carragher it could have been a bit of a disaster for the Reds but luckily we managed to hold on to the point.
Second half and again despite no real change in performance we still saw Roy be very patient and cautious with his substitutions. Not making his first until after 77minutes and in fairness i thought he switched the wrong player. Joe Cole off for Rodriguez is not only like for like but it's ineffective in my eyes, fair enough Maxi as i mentioned before is the type of player who can send in that precise ball and cause a late problem for a tiring opposition but Joe Cole was still looking lively to me out of a group of poor performers it was himself and Raul Meireles who i thought certainly deserved to stay on the field.
I would of perhaps subbed Kuyt who had a poor game for me, or Poulsen who again was just a pointless addition to the side if you ask me, he didn't have too bad a game this time out but i just can't get my head round him, he doesn't fit in.
I hate to fall back on comparisons but Rafa was famous for his late substitutions and some of them were completely daft but i think if you were to weigh it up you'd see his subs were sometimes risky and in purpose to change the game. Roy is just beginning to worry me, i mean he could have quite confidently put Ngog on who has had a stormer of a competition but he opted for safety. Gonna have to keep our eyes on this sort of thing i fear.
Don't get me wrong, it was the performance last night that let us down but when your players aren't delivering you then look to the manager and i'm afraid he didn't deliver himself last night.
Not to mention his worrying post match interview. Since when was a draw for Liverpool acceptable? Through the managers eyes anyway? You should never be pleased as manager of Liverpool FC with a draw, whether it was a respectable display or not, playing "nicey nicey, everything is fine" with the media, as he did after the Sunderland draw doesn't wash with me.
He must be being tactful because if he was truly pleased with that performance in his dressing room talk then no wonder there is no fire in the players bellies.
Once again we have collected a result but in by no means a Liverpool stamped standard. Things need to change and quick. Torres looks as though he's getting there but without a decent performing side around him too, well, it'll be a long wait.
Always one to look on the positives though so let's not get all depressive here, as mentioned we're still unbeaten and going strong in Europe, worryingly though it's back to the Premier League on Sunday and usually what i'd write down as a dead cert against Blackpool at Anfield, well, let's just say confidence levels aren't exactly high at the moment.