Wednesday, 23 September 2009


Football - Liverpool v Blackburn Rovers Barclays Premier League
COSH NGOG: David Ngog was the matchwinner against Leeds

IT'S a sad state of affairs that no-one seems able to dig out any kind of positive from Liverpool's Carling Cup win at Leeds.

Granted it wasn't a classic. But it was never going to be.

Rafa Benitez giving his fringe players a run with Hull in the Premier League and Fiorentina in the Champions League on the horizon was as predictable as Old Trafford added-on time is long.

Benitez's big four counterparts did exactly the same thing in their third-round ties.

Just as predictable was Leeds giving it their all and coming close to knocking us out. They might be in League One but they are top and flying and boast a superb home record - 15 wins on the spin before Liverpool came to town.

Spurred on by a sell-out 38,000 crowd and with the well-documented echoes of what once was ringing around the stadium, their players could hardly have had more motivation.

As it was a string of missed opportunities and a wrongly-ruled out goal cost Leeds any chance of a giant-killing. They were unlucky.

But instead a Liverpool team largely made up of players with next to no match time under their belts won the match.

Positive number one.

Then there was the quality finish from David Ngog - a 20-year-old player snapped up for £1.5million who has now scored five goals in six starts.

Ngog largely fed on scraps throughout the game and his goal, at best, was a half chance. But he took it in style. Exactly what a top-class striker should do. And exactly what the much talked about Jermaine Beckford, rated at £3million, should have done on more than one occasion for Leeds...but didn't.

So Ngog's performance is positive number two.

And how about Jay Spearing?

Making his fully-deserved debut for the Reds, the Wirral-born midfielder didn't put a foot wrong all night, doing just what he has done so many times for the reserves - providing assured passing, finding space and making a mockery of the doubters who say he is too small to be a professional.

So positive number three.

And yet report after report screams crisis - again. Call it lucky, unconvincing and so on - but why do so many reports fail to offer ANY crumb of comfort for Liverpool fans?

As a fan myself, if I read a report I expect some balance - not sniping no matter what. And as I've highlighted, there were positives to take from the match.

I'm not saying no-one should ever write a bad word about Liverpool - but why the blanket negativity?

Read my guest article at This is Anfield here


Anonymous said...

Dont think that picture is from last night son! Unless Arbeloa jetted in to celebrate the goal then fucked off

Anonymous said...

Spearing didnt put a foot wrong? Erm what about the countless times he lost possession or shot when others were in a better position? He did alright but lets not build up the kid as if he was outstanding. He was slightly above average, and we all know he isnt good enough to ever be a regular and is here purely to make up homegrown numbers. Not opinion, fact.

Anonymous said...

jay spearing played an excellent game and is 10 times better then lucas

robbohuyton said...

Gary B via email:

Not even James Pearce wrote much positive in the Echo.

Am pleased for Ngog. No one seems to rate him, and although he’s nowhere near the finished article, he’s got 5 in 6 starts, as you point out. That’s not to be sniffed at, whoever you are and whatever the opposition.

I thought Degen did well too. Am not saying I want him in the team week in week out (chance would be a fine thing with his injury record) but the way everyone said he was shit last year after a total of about 80 minutes in the first team is ridiculous. I couldn’t possibly form an opinion of his form, just his fitness.

Thank god Spearing got a chance too. I rate him and hope he gets more chances to show what he can do, but the way some people go on, you’d think he was the next Dalglish and Liddell rolled into one.

As usual Rafa is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Had we lost, especially playing that team, he’d have been crucified. As it was, I heard a few comments of “whats he bringing skrtel on for, just because they’ve brought a striker on? They should be worrying about us not the other way round”. Erm, its called tactics. Rafa’s usually pretty good at them. No one moaned when he brought Sami on for the last 90 seconds v Chelsea last October, did they?

Anonymous said...

Rafa cannot win with plonkers like Collymore and Redknapp in the media. Consider too that a lot of the media are not Liverpool fans and often London based. Even, so called fans can whinge about a low priority cup match.

I think you summed up the match pretty well. If Leeds and this guy Beckford (who some Leeds fans think should be in the England team) are so good, why could they not score?

Liverpool won with a team who have not really played together as they had the quality to do so. Notice that when Gerrard came on, the number of chances increased - just think what would have happened with the first XI out there.

robbohuyton said...

@Anon 1: Hahaha - nice one, caption duly amended, serves me right for trying to write a blog while trying to keep an eye on the footie for work!

@Anon 2: Not opinion, fact? Erm, quite how is that a fact? I didn't use the word outstanding. I said he was assured and did well on his DEBUT. To write him off now is a bit premature don't you think?

@Anon 3: I wouldn't go that far.

@Gary B: I agree re Spearing. I don't think he's a world beater, just a decent player, neat and tidy, good passer. He reminds me of Danny Guthrie, who I also thought was decent.

@Anon 4: Good point. As has been pointed out in the past there must be more pundits who have played for LFC than the rest of the clubs put together. And what some people don't seem to realise is half of them will say something controversial for the sake of it, to get noticed and to get another pay cheque.

Anonymous said...

We can't expect any good news stories in the press regarding Liverpool, there is no good will coming our way. Ngog is showing he is a player, along with Degen, Babel and Spearing. Spearing looks like a Danny Murphy to me and is good on the ball, I want to see Pacheco as this kid is awesome on the ball and plays like 'Kaka' the way he carries the ball at speed.

Anonymous said...

How can we expect positive media reports about Liverpool when the supporters are so overly critical? More supporters need to be like robbohuyten and get behind the team 100%!

Neil said...

I thought Spearing gave a quiet and assured performance and didn't try anything stupid. When Rafa pushed him forward in the 2nd half, his forward passing became one of the more effective features of our play.

Degen had a decent game going forward and I thought Ngog deserved a lot of credit for feeding off scraps - it was a big physical challenge and he held his own.

Overall, it was one of those results that I'm happy to take - a few lads got minutes under their belts, we rode our luck at times but we got through. I totally agree that some of the reports and comments in the media were overly negative, but let's face it: 'Leeds cheated by rocky Reds' makes a far more interesting angle for the average British reader than 'Job done for Rafa'...

Ian L said...

It's surprising the Echo didn't write a positive piece, considering it's an extension of LFC's press office.

I'm not Rafa's biggest fan, as some of you may know, but the way he approaches the league cup is spot on.

Play the kids, play the fringe players and let's see what they can do.

He should do it for the FA Cup as well. He got loads of stick when he fielded a weakened team against Burnley in 2005.

Then the Manc & London sports mafia came out with all that 'he doesn't understand the majesty of the FA Cup', 'it's not like the Copa del Rey' etc and all that boll@cks.

Stuff em. I don't care about the league and FA Cup - our focus should be on the PL and CL. If we happen to win one of those other trophies, all well and good.

At the end of the day, I suppose there's a simple way to cut out all the nonsense written about Liverpool in the national papers - stop buying them. And the Sundays as well.

It feels strange as first but you soon get used not being spoon-fed garbage from journalists with agendas.

Kirsty_LFC said...

Hey, great post couldn't agree more myself. Spearing seems to be getting alot of hack especially considering the lad is only 20. He still has bags of time to improve on the potential he's already showing. As for him making up the home grown talent numbers, i disagree considering he's been on the bench since the start of the campaign and that this "homegrown talent" rule is not enforced until next season.

Rafa isn't a man to just put somebody in the squad to make himself look good, if your not wanted you won't be on the bench end of. Rafa obviously feels as though Spearing can bring something to the game.

Please take a look at my match report if you get chance, would be very grateful.

Thanks again,


Anonymous said...

the media (Manchester or Manchester United affiliated)here and in Ireland have been giving
LFC biased reporting for too many years for my
liking,and the closer we get to Red Nose the more bitter it becomes,i was utterly gobsmacked at the piece written by Harry Harris?? for non other than espn(Man U division)only last week(Rafa out,Mourino in),i would call on ALL LFC fans who like me have had enough of biased reporting to consider boycotting ALL the media responsible until such times as we get FAIR and FRANK reports on anything to do with LFC.
we could ban Manchester based papers and Irish based United supporters who clone as sports media,what do you all think.

Dave Molyneux said...

Spot on skipper

‘Wash’ is coming along nicely, lets just hope he doesn’t get sent out on loan for some bizarre reason

As for the negative ‘experts’ including my personal favourite Paul ‘I’m deffo off the coke mate’ Merson, how the fuck can anyone employ this fucking idiot to comment on a game of football that doesn’t involve the mancs or his beloved Arsenal. If he were commentating on either of them he would be wanking himself silly under the desk at Sky Manc Sports!! Fucking prick.

I didn’t have the (mis)fortune of watching the match so I was flicking between Deadliest Snatch and Sky Manc News and I have to be honest here: Merson had absolutely fuck all positive to say about us. He was rattling on about us being a 2 man team (Gerrard & Torres) and Benitez being ‘under pressure’ and that Leeds looked more ‘hungry’ than a Liverpool team costing way in excess of £50m!!!!! same old, fucking same old. Then, (as I pointed out to you the othere day skipper) they cut to the guy presenting the show and he said “after the break, more on that amazing Manchester derby”

If there were ever an example of Sky being bias towards anyone else apart from Liverpool, that was it!! Quite sickening

robbohuyton said...

It's no excuse that 'Leeds cheated by rocky Reds' is a more interesting angle - it's just lazy journalism. It's supposed to be a match report - so report on the match. Ngog and Spearing doing well is part of the match.

And if it's the case that it's a more interesting angle simply to stir the shit, where are the stories about Crouch or Keane being unhappy on the bench at Spurs as they apparently were at Liverpool?

There's deffo a bias going on, but, seeing though the newspaper industry is currently paying my wages, I couldn't possibly condone a boycott!

Anonymous said...

Ngog scores 5 goals in 6 starts but nobody in the press give a toss, If he played for the Mancs or Arsenal you would never hear the end of it. The lad has it all, yet all we hear is that we need a £20m striker, yeah like Keane?. The young lads are coming on for sure and doing well but they need time, we have a player like 'pacheco' who is brilliant and will make Wilshere look like a donkey.

robbohuyton said...

@Ken 08 - I did see that Harry Harris piece on ESPN, I commented on the end of it. Absolutely bizarre. It seemed like he had no real tangible reason to have a pop at Liverpool - so he just wheeled out the Mourinho link. Very poor.

@Anon 8: Exactly. Already there are Welbeck for England stories emerging on the strength of one performance. Arsenal's kids are always brilliant. But ours? Well they are an example of an "alarmingly threadbare squad".

Anonymous said...

I was watching the match build up of the game and Jeff Stelling asked Gary mac whether he felt that Rafa was de-valuing the competition with playing fringe and young players. In fairness Gary Mac replied that this gives the fringe and the youngsters a chance to show what they can do. I just find the hypocrisy astounding, how can Arsenal and Man Utd get praise for playing the kids and Liverpool get criticised for de-valuing the competition ...

Dave Molyneux said...

When it comes to the League Cup (or anything actually), in the eyes of the media, Rafa really can’t win

He fields a team of fringe players and Merson & Co jump on his back and says we have a shit 2nd string blah blah blah

If he plays the likes of Gerrard & Torres he gets shit for having a thin squad and no youth policy

It’s quite pathetic

As for The Daily Manc on Thursday, they did a 2 page spread about Danny Fucking Wellbeck being ‘groomed’ for England one day just because he scored in a 1-0 outstanding display against a shite Wolves 2nd team!! The favouritism they and Sky show towards The Mancs is quite astonishing and very very laughable

Another thing that gets my fucking goat about watching the English teams in the champions league and England internationals is the damn right biasness they show towards them. It’s a fucking really sad state of affairs when a lot of people actually believe in the old adage that Lampard & Gerrard can’t play together just because they’ve lost a few penalty shoot outs!!!

Impartial reporting = don’t make me fucking laugh

sportsbook mobile app said...

lately I have wondered what happened to the Benitez's winning team?? is anything still left in the club?? Liverpool needs, must get back to its victorious path again, we all deserve to see our favorite and only club becoming champion of the Premier League

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