Away to Birmingham was a game that I never expected Liverpool to collect the full three points from and a draw at St. Andrews isn’t necessarily a poor result given it is now 17 games since Birmingham have experienced home defeat in the league which would be an extraordinary record for almost any club in the premiership let alone one that was only promoted last season. The big disappointment for myself and I imagine many Liverpool fans was just how clueless the team looked with the notable exception of Pepe Reina.
Were it not for the exceptional form of Reina who despite making the odd mistake continues to impress consistently for a side looking devoid of anything special the score could have quite easily been 2, 3 or even 4 – nil. The delivery from both flanks of Birmingham was absolutely flawless as too were the heroic displays of Roger Johnson and Scott Dann at centre half, Torres looking to return to the ways of old was left damning their workrate and if form doesn’t improve quickly then this season could be just as disheartening and worrying as last.
For all the praise Birmingham deserve, it was clear that Liverpool also had a large hand in their own shortcomings. On top of Torres looking weary there was also the hopeless pairing of Lucas and Poulsen in midfield. For two midfielders deployed in deeper holding roles it is a huge concern that they got over ran so frequently, Poulsen especially looked staggeringly slow and lacking in any enthusiasm or class. Jovanovic and Rodriguez looked distinctly average and were for the most part to deep or too far inside field to look at all threatening to Birmingham’s defence and in general the side failed to excite or inspire even the smallest glimmer of hope.
I think during the game what really stood out for me was when Paul Konchesky got injured, and Martin Tyler remarked that it was a ‘disaster’. It screamed just how low the club have sank, Konchesky is by most peoples standards a fairly average left back but it is a sad day when his injury can be described as a ‘disaster’ and really tells the story of just how average many of the teams players are performing and just how average many of the players are full stop. Individuals need to start helping eachother out and pulling their own weight, if this happens then maybe Liverpool can make something of the season. Heaven knows there is a great deal of time left to make this happen but changes need to occur and the club needs to start pushing forward as soon as possible or the days of being feared throughout the league as a top side could soon be coming to an abrupt end.
Written by Robert Riddell