Obviously Liverpool fans will disagree with me, they wouldn’t be fans if they didn’t, but the Liverpool first 11 is no where near as good as the Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal first 11’s. They’d compete with the City and Spurs 11 though. And that’s why Liverpool won’t win the league this season – they aren’t good enough.
However on any given day, on once off occasions, derby games, cup ties and backs to the wall stuff, good enough doesn’t always win – the team that wants it most does, the team with more passion and will on the day wins. That’s what happened this past Sunday.
Liverpool, having gone on a 4 game losing streak, were looking at there worst run in over 50 years if they had lost to United. Rafa may have got his tactics and team selections wrong on a number of occasions so far this season, but the team he put out on Sunday was the right one. They not only wanted a win more, they needed one. The chances are that, media speculation aside, Rafa would not have lost his job had Liverpool lost again, however with the turmoil that is the Liverpool board room, you couldn’t count that out. The players played for their manager that day, but more so they played for their club and its fans.
The much maligned Lucas is a great example of this. The Brazilian midfielder gets more stick and criticism from his own fans then he does elsewhere. Many can’t fathom why Rafa keeps picking him. His general displays suggest he isn’t good enough to play for Liverpool, but then again you don’t win a Brazilian player of the year award without knowing how to play. He’s constant fouling saw him lucky to escape unpunished by a referee who let the occasion get the better of him, but his break up play, passing, positioning and bossing of the midfield shone through. He stood out against more talented players like Scholes and Carrick, and Mascherano beside him. With summer signing Alberto Aquilani nearing fitness Lucas playing time may be limited in the coming months, but on this day he stood above others.
Like Lucas, Jamie Carragher has come in for criticism this season. His form has been shaky and not up to his usual standards, but when his team needed him the most, he delivered. Like Lucas he got away with a few key fouls that could have changed things, but again, like Lucas, there was no denying the passion, will and want to win in Carragher.
United simply were beaten by a team that wanted it more on the day. That’s not saying United didn’t want the win, of course they did, but with Liverpool having their backs to the wall and being written off by all, one team just played with more will.
In Gerrard and Torres Liverpool have two world class players, who on their day can be the best in the world, but they don’t have the players to compete with United, Chelsea and Arsenal for the title. But sometimes, on certain days, that doesn’t matter. Sunday was one of those days. Passion and will, commitment and want, sometimes overcome skill.
pic from teamtalk.com