Monday, January 07, 2008

FA Cup 3rd Round: January 5-6

Pity Fabio Capello: he watched the same two games that I did this weekend. What an excellent introduction to English football.

Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

Ah, the magic of the FA Cup. 80 minutes of punting the ball aimlessly forward, interspersed with wondering why Michael Carrick was seemingly only capable of passing to a teammate if he was facing back towards his own goal. Followed by 10 minutes of the Rooney and Ronaldo show, plus a cameo contribution by Ryan Giggs, who up until then had been largely useless.

(Also, thumbs down to Ronaldo's new slicked-back 'do. It doesn't make you look cool, Ronnie. It only makes you look like more of a wanker.)

Luton 1-1 Liverpool

No 5-3 thriller this time, sadly. That was just plain shit.

Liverpool fielded a reasonably solid lineup that should have been good enough to win. I don't have a problem with Rafa for that. I do have a problem with him failing to recognize that the team wasn't getting the job done and shaking things up -- not to mention some puzzling substitutions. Ryan Babel, admittedly, had a bad habit of running into a mob of defenders and losing the ball, but the few times when he didn't do that, he looked like Liverpool's most dangerous player. So of course Rafa took him off, in favour of Voronin. If you need a goal, why would you turn to a plodder like that? Especially when you've already got Dirk Kuyt on the pitch, showing off his work rate but not much else. And then Mascherano for Xabi Alonso, who's probably not 100% fit and had picked up a yellow card, but was nevertheless way more effective than Lucas, who was getting pushed around way too easily. The whole team had that problem, actually: losing possession constantly, and not getting stuck in enough to win the ball back. So, yeah, Rafa let the game get away, but the team let him down too, because this one should've been over by halftime, not heading for a replay at Anfield.

1 comment:

weenie said...

Yeah, the scousers should have won the game against Luton - Kuyt, can't fault his workrate but he's not delivering the goods and as such, needs to go.