Bring on the Robots

Posted: March 9, 2010 by mcdonaldtaf in Post Game, Team Talk
Tags: , ,

Reading my latest T3 magazine (which is for us nerdy gadget guys) there is a section dedicated to robots and how close (or far) we are from achieving the ‘utopian planet living model’ (where robots do all the hard work). I couldn’t help but think how well it might work if robots replaced football players. Yes of course other clubs would still have more money to spend on their technicians, engineers and scientists, but at least there would be some consistency in results. Robots can repeat thousand of processes accurately and fluently so it would surely make sense that if you put together a team of robots, which according to the spec. sheets were better than the majority of other teams, we wouldn’t lose games like last night.

Whether it has been down to the tactics employed by Rafa remains questionable, but we have lost to teams this season that we simply shouldn’t have. Now to be fair other teams have had some strange results as well, but there have been too many for us. There is a real frustration about rising to the occasion against the top teams and then simply not performing and thus losing against the lower teams.

The players must shoulder some of the responsibility. The manager can only do so much, he can only take them to the white lines and then remain within the confines of the technical area. From there on in players must rise to the occasion no matter who we are playing. Say what you want about some of our tactics but the passion I saw against Tottenham at Anfield is intermittent and yet is worth ‘points on the board’ every season. I expect the passion will return against United next week but will it be there for Portsmouth and Sunderland?

We have had a terrible run of injuries this season but now star players are back and yet last night, if anything, things seem to have gotten worse. It is plausible surely that both Gerrard and Torres are actually too much of a focal point for the team. I know that sounds counter intuitive as they are undoubtedly our two best players and when they play well you feel like no one can stop us; the entire team is lifted and we win. Likewise though if one or both are having a bad game the focus isn’t shifted elsewhere and they slowly drag the rest of the team down with them. But what do you do? Gerrard or Torres, during a bad game, will still normally play as well as any one else on the pitch and retain that ability to find some magic. It is the effect on team morale and tactics that seem to be the worst hit though, and the biggest danger, when you see Gerrard’s head drop.

Whether you believe the answer lies in the Manager’s office (he must accept some of the blame), the decision on whether he should remain at Anfield next season isn’t even worth discussing at this point. I think it genuinely comes down to that fourth spot. Should he and the team be unable to secure it I don’t see him staying.  He made his own position untenable, subject to failure, when he made ‘that promise’. To be honest from what I’ve seen of the man I think he’ll resign. The only possible exception may be a fifth place finish and Europa Cup; maybe there would be enough in that season finale to treat this season as a blip?

Some people, as usual, throw the blame at the owners’ door but last night that just didn’t stick. Most of our key players were fit and yes it would be nice to have some more options but there was enough talent and skill at the Manager’s disposal. However it has been another season with a lack of financial commitment or ability from the owners, which has shown them up. It is becoming painfully obvious that they either don’t have the desire or resource to take us where we need to be. A scary thought when you look at the millions available to Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Man United.

It’s been a turgid season and the highs have been few and far between; my Brother summed it up best when he said ‘it’s been like swimming in treacle’. Looking back at my posts about the blame game earlier in the season I still believe everyone has to stand up and be counted at the end of season review. Simply put – the owners haven’t invested when needed, the manager has employed questionable tactics at times and the players have only truly risen to the occasion from time to time while our captain has failed to inspire and lead by example at times. If last season was a turning point for the better I fear this season could well be a U-turning season. Another shiver down the back when I realise how far ahead the likes of City or Spurs will get to with some Champions League football and income.

On the bright side. For in the future, when we’re watching the robots play in the Premiership, the most expensive one on show in my magazine was only $12m, a fraction of a Ronaldo or Kaka! Maybe we will be able to compete in the future.

  1. Rob says:

    For 30 minuts we played with fluency and dexterity going forward and then Gerrard forgot how to pass the ball, along with Lucas Leiva and we surrended possession, isolating Maxi, Yossi, Kuyt and Torres – although Kuyt didn’t deserve possession in the last 50 minutes of the game as he forgot how to pass or control the ball.

    Gerrard was woeful and looked like he didn’t give a toss, say what you will about Lucas’ performance – at least he was trying. By the time we made the change to get Gerrard and Lucas out of the middle of the park and get Masch, and later Aquilani, to show how to be able to retain the ball, the confidence we showed at the start had dwindled and any dexterity and fluency we showed going forward had completely dissapated.

    Tactics weren’t to blame, you can lay some blame perhaps on motivating and man management – but it’s the same thing every time, the players shirk off their responsibilty and shy away from the game when they’re most needed.

    On the plus side, Maxi is looking stronger every game and Aquilani came on and seemed up to the pace of it, but it was too little to late. Had Torres perhaps been a bit more match fit and taken one of his chances it may have been a different game, but i’m sick of the maybes and could ofs. The only reason we’ve had any consistency at any point this season has been down to Kyriagkos, Carragher, Skrtel and Agger as they’ve grafted at the back and we’ve been able to build on the defensive solidity. But when you’re attackers decide to gift the ball to the opposition in their own box there isn’t much you can do.

  2. Jez says:

    Good article. It is all a bit depressing at the moment, lots of cliches being used! However, I cannot believe for one minute that the players were not as pi***d off as most of us last night! The ‘state’ of the club is not good, which I think is due to the owners initially, but they pay the wages to the players that go on the park to perform and are not!
    The fact of not being in the Champions League next year, will the players stay, or is it the start of a downward spiral that has hit many other clubs who are still struggling to get back to the top of top flight football! I sincerely hope not and us, as the fans as hard as it is right now must support the club and its players in its true meaning!
    Liverpool FC is Liverpool FC, an institution and a world wide brand – we can always improve and a bit of luck (that we have not had any this year) will also go along way! The talent is there, the confidence is not – maybe Paul Mckenna is worth a shot!!

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