The idea popped into my head for this piece when watching the Swansea game over the weekend. It was a comment made by the commentator when he referred to Sturridge’s pace. You know – the pace that hasn’t been there since early 2014. It got me thinking about common misconceptions that the media or football fans in general have had about us and our players over the years, there’s been plenty of them.
1) We were a One Man Team in the Gerrard years.
Credit to our writer Jimmy Pilnock who reminded me about this dreadful shout when I put this idea forward to the group. This is a shout we often heard during the heights of Rafa Benitez’s reign. It was a suggestion that wasn’t only disrespectful to Rafa, but to the squad as a whole. Take 2005 for instance, would we have won the Champions League without Gerrard? Probably not. Is he the only reason we won it? Definitely not. Gerrard missed crucial games away to Juventus and Chelsea in the run in to the final. That miracle year was a combination of a genius tactician in Rafa and a decent squad largely over performing. Liverpool wouldn’t have won the European Cup without Gerrard, but they wouldn’t of won it without Jamie Carragher, Xabi Alonso or Luis Garcia either.
This myth. Mignolet came to Anfield with a reputation of being a good shot stopper, a theory that was seemingly vindicated by his penalty save on debut and a wonder stop against Southampton in the early stages of 2013/14. Sadly, the more we’ve seen of Mignolet, the more we realise that, like dealing with crosses, shot stopping isn’t the Belgian’s forte. At one point in April last year, the Belgian had the worst shot-save ratio in the league, facing 98 and conceding an alarming 39.
3) Mamadou Sakho is poor on the ball.
A popular opinion amongst Sky Sports and Match of the Day panels. Sakho 9 out of 10 times will play a very good, positive, forward pass out the back when in possession. That one time however, anything can happen. Sakho could be about to play a 40 yard ball to the opposite flank to feet, but he never looks comfortable on the ball. Commentators jump on his gangly-ness and awkwardness and mistake it for lack of ability on the ball: an opinion which many Reds have spent the past few years arguing. It probably doesn’t help our cause when Sakho has two of his worst performances on the ball for us live on Sky Sports, against Watford (0-3) and Spurs (1-1) last season. It doesn’t matter much now as Joël Matip and Dejan Lovren are bossing it at present, but definitely a misconception from the media that has frustrated us over the last year or so.
The opinion that prompted this article. Daniel Sturridge had pace. About 2 years ago. Sadly the persistent injuries have left him either unable or unwilling to sprint as quickly as he used to. Off the mark he isn’t so bad, however over a 20-30 yard distance, he is a shadow of his former self. I saw a goal that LFC tweeted a month or so ago of his, at home to Palace in 2013. He picks it up on the break just inside their half, spins the defender inside out and smashes home. Sadly for Sturridge, those days are over. I can’t recall the last time he ‘skinned’ someone. He’s either damaged goods and cant physically run or he doesn’t feel comfortable extending himself for risk of getting another injury. He was dire for England out wide due to his lack of pace causing defenders no problems, yet still it’s hardly mentioned. A quality player still will the ball at his feet, however nowhere near as quick as he once was.
5) The Transfer Committee is the root of all Evil.
The words ‘Transfer Committee’ exhaust me now we’ve seen that much of it over the years. The infamous committee have been scrutinized and pulled from pillar to post, with the general consensus being that it hasn’t worked or produced the goods for us. Initially, it appeared that way. However, we are seeing the rewards of their philosophy of buying young now. The likes of Phillipe Coutinho, Emre Can, Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino and Alberto Moreno featured and largely impressed heavily for the Reds last year. Dejan Lovren has also recovered from a nightmare start and is showing us currently that he is every bit a 20 million pound defender. Certainly not the flawed system it is billed out to be.
Written by @JackMitchell_5