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 Pool 1 Trabonzspor 0

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Shankly Gates
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PostSubject: Pool 1 Trabonzspor 0   Fri 20 Aug 2010 - 11:14

Pick the bones out of that performance if you like?

When I saw the team selection I could only really reach one conclusion. Roy has learned from his last season with Fulham that the price you pay for success in the Europa league directly effects your eventual place in the Prem. And he has decided that price is too high a price to pay to risk a failure for us to finish a CL place this season. If you thought as I did that wholesale rotation of teams had gone along with Benitez than we were to be proved wrong. If you thought the Turks had come to defend you would also be proved wrong. They attacked us from the start and proved what a capable team they are retaining possesion and whipping the ball about the slick Anfield surface whilst our 11 were trying to find some understanding.

We were dire at times as Poulsen looked dreadfully short of match practice, Cole found himself constantly receiving the ball with his back to goal, not really his forte and it showed.

He did however combine well with Babel to play him in for a top class finish to score our only goal of the evening. Enough said about the first half.

Second half the players looked as though they had been on the end of some harsh words from Hodgson to the effect of they should still be good enough to finsih of this level of opposition. The reds put their foot on the gas and raised the level of the pace of their game and began closing down and as they should have been in the first half and moving the ball at a much higher tempo than they had in the first 45. And to be fair the Turks just couldn't live with us. 2 Penalties were conceded in as many minutes although the Ref only chose to give one of them.

Cole for me showed a complete lack of professionalism by seizing the ball to take the kick and made an awful job of it resulting an easy save by the dodgy Turk keeper.
Unless Cole was the nominated penalty taker he should never have been allowed to take this kick despite his eagerness to open his Liverpool account in front of the KOP. Unprofessional as for us to go 2 up after a good spell of pressure would have opened the floodgates allowing us to put the tie to bed.

Instead the game turned on this moment with us losing all of our impetus and the Turks gaining self belief. We made several more chances but couldn't finsih them against an extermely dodgy opposition keeper.

Positives? Poulsen got better and better as the match went on looking more comfortable and having a goal dissallowed for a foul on the keeper that wasn't. He did however look offside so nobody complained too much. Rodriguez was my man of the match, he never put a foot wrong and I was particularily impressed with the speed that he distributed the ball to set up attacks, rarely more than one touch. I couldn't help but make comparisons with Jovanovic on the other wing who seemed to need 3 touches for every one that maxi needed. I am really not sure about this guy. For the second leg we will have the City game out of the way and International break following the match so Roy can afford to field his strongest 11.

We may well need them as the turks showed enough for me not to be underestimated at home.

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PostSubject: Re: Pool 1 Trabonzspor 0   Fri 20 Aug 2010 - 11:30

Personally I don't believe he nominated Cole I think this is just good managment in trying to take the pressure of of Cole. Who really needs to calm down a bit. He is so keen to show the fans that he can be a success at Anfield but I feel he would be able to accomplish this more readily if he just kept a cool head. He is almost trying too hard. I can only hope it is another 13 years before he takes another one.


I chose Joe Cole to take Liverpool penalty in Europa League clash, says Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson confirmed he had handed Joe Cole penalty-taking duties before Liverpool’s 1-0 Europa League victory over Trabzonspor, despite the fact that the England international had never taken a spot-kick as a professional.

By Rory Smith
Published: 7:33AM BST 20 Aug 2010




Cole admitted he had not taken a penalty since he was 13, after failing to convert his attempt following Lucas Leiva's trip in the area by Serkan Balci.

"I scored that one," said the England international. "It was always pre-determined that I would take it if we got one, but it was a bad penalty.

"It is just one of those things, but I hold my hands up for that."

Hodgson had appointed Cole in the absence of regular penalty taker Steven Gerrard, as well as that of his deputy Dirk Kuyt, but the Liverpool manager acknowledged that the former Chelsea player’s failure to add to the lead given to the hosts by Ryan Babel in first-half injury time meant his side faced an arduous Europa League trip to Turkey for the return leg next week.

"I think we probably deserved more but we can only blame ourselves," he said. "We missed a penalty and if you do that you cannot blame anyone else.

"I told the players we needed more intensity at the break because we were lucky to be leading 1-0 at half-time. The first half was not as good as it should have been. With the second-half performance we deserved a second goal, which would have made the journey to Turkey more comfortable. Now it will not be comfortable at all.

"Whether the margin will be enough we will only know next Thursday, but it is good at least to be going with a lead and not having conceded a goal."

As well as Gerrard and Kuyt, Hodgson put out a side shorn of a number of regular starters - including Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel and the injured Daniel Agger and Javier Mascherano - and the 62 year-old, who also saw a goal from Christian Poulsen controversially disallowed, said he had deliberately rested players with Monday’s daunting Premier League trip to Manchester City in mind.

"They all played last Wednesday in international games," he said. "Then they played against Arsenal, then a tough game here and we have another on Monday, so it was important to rest players and to rotate the team. Fortunately the ones I chose did not let the club down."

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