Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Thrashings, Predictions, the Cold War and Sir Ian McKellan… together at last

JJ here,

Well, what in the name of god can be learned from an 8-0 win against a side who wanted to leave the stadium after the first half hour? Last night’s game was a bizarrely dull affair where eight goals came with a disgraceful ease. Where does it leave Liverpool? It leaves them with some confidence going into the next few Premiership games at least but it had the air of a freak occurrence rather than a revival. A Houllier corner being turned almost.

Kevin Keegan’s last game in charge at Newcastle was a 7-1 defeat of Spurs which tells you that the odd thrashing can’t cover up a multitude of poor performances. In the end; the Yossi hat-trick, Crouch and Babel doubles as well as Voronin’s flick for Gerrard’s goal were nice but no one has changed their mind about this side overnight and many questions remain. How can Crouch be continually ignored in the league when he scores or causes trouble whenever he plays? Are Aurellio or Riise up to the job at either left back or left midfield? Why does Mascherano wait until the game is nearly up before he starts to actually pass instead of lumping it out of play or back to the central defenders?

The win only strengthens the argument that Benitez has no excuses for failure this year, he has an excellent squad but, for the most part of this season, he has used them incorrectly.


The really interesting result came in Spain where Ronald Koeman got off to a blistering start with Valencia. Actually replace ‘blistering’ with ‘piss poor’. The tubby Barca legend is an odd choice for any side that wants to play decent football – as myself and Mark have referred to on several occasions he’s managed some awful sides in the last few years – and last night was a horrendous result. A two-nil home loss to Rosenborg is about as bad as it gets for a top European side, which, under Koeman anyway, you suspect Valencia won’t be for some time.

Elsewhere it was a dull enough evening so despite my better instincts I’m risking ridicule with some predictions for tonight. I have to improve on the last time when I got one out of eight right… well maybe.

Barcelona v Rangers: Sterling effort by Rangers will result in a four-one defeat.
Fenerbahce v PSV: Meh. PSV to be inspired by losing the Koemanator. 1-2
Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow: Forza Inter, I still want them to win this trophy and hope they crush the Russians. On the subject of the Rooskies, for no reason other than to waste some of your work time here’s a flashback to the good old Cold War: 3-0
Lyon v VfB Stuttgart: Karim Benzema ( has got Lyon’s season moving in France and they should be too strong for the Germans. 2-0.
Man Utd v Dynamo Kiev: Not even a contest. 3-0. How is this being shown on TV? Show this 45 times instead (Wizard! You shall not pass!):
Slavia Prague v Arsenal: Hmmm… Cesc and Hleb left at home; Arsenal with a history of Eastern European slip ups; they have to slip up at some stage… well not here. Solid 0-1.
Sporting v Roma: Difficult. 8-9
Steaua Bucharest v Sevilla: Difficult. 8-10.

Right, til tomorrow when they come back and haunt me.


Mark said...

up to your old tricks again with the predictions, eh?

ok, i'll challenge u:

Barcelona v Rangers, home win, 3-0
Fenerbahce v PSV, draw, 1-1
Inter Milan v CSKA - home win, 3-1
Lyon v Stuttgart - narrow home win
Utd v Dynamo Kiev - 4-0
Slavia Prague v Arsenal - away win, 0-2
Sporting v Roma - 2-0
Steaua Bucharest v Sevilla - 0-2

JJ said...

Lawro in disguise. Actually slavia are 5-1 to win, might stick a fiver on them to add some, indeed any, tension to this evening's proceedings.

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