It’s difficult to know where to start on the negatives from this game, so let’s start with the positives.
There were four – Quashie, Reo Coker, Yossi and Kepa Blanco. Quashie and Reo Coker were the only two reasons we weren’t completely overran in the first half. Quashie’s first touch has improved and he and Reo Coker put in real battling performances. Yossi was all over the pitch and although he gave the ball away too much he is getting back to his best. For Kepa Blanco to score within two minutes of his debut was the biggest plus point from this game. But what’s the betting that Curbishley doesn’t start with him on Saturday? He and Bobby looked very sharp, with Bobby doing a great job of holding the ball up, something Cole and Harewood had failed to do for the previous hour.
It was astonishing that we were not behind at half time. Liverpool had not had a single shot on goal despite playing some super football and dominating possession. To their credit, the defence coped reasonably well with them but Carroll looked as shaky as ever. I am not a fan of Carroll’s but I was horrified to hear the crowd stary singing ‘There’s only on Robert Green’. Imagine what that did for Carroll’s confidence. Similarly, the shout of ‘One Alan Pardew’ was hardly appropriate (although I agree with the sentiment behind it).
We only ever looked dangerous when we upped the tempo. If you play at Liverpool’s speed you know what you can expect. The trouble is that Curbishley has sucked the flair from this team. He is clearly not a man motivator.
And now for the marks…
Carroll – 6 – One great save, otherwise shaky and lacking confidence
Dailly – 6 – Distinctly average
Davenport – 7 – Powerful at times. Liked his berating of Carroll. Showed passion and good going forward
Spector – 6 – Unremarkable
McCartney – 6 – Ditto
Boa Morte – 4 – Overweight, lethargic, did nothing down thw wing at all
Quashie – 7 – Strong, sprayed passes, held it all together
Reo Coker – 7 – Rediscovered his passion. Improved as the game went on
Benayoun – 7 – Ran his heart out
Cole – 4 – Crap at holding the ball up. Failed to win headers ad not a single shot
Harewood – 5 – Largely anonymous
Curbishley needs to bring in Mark Noble in place of Boa Morte if all Boa Morte is going to do is play centrally. And on Saturday I hope he starts with Zamora and Blanco up front.