Straight to the point today and last night’s 1-1 draw at home to Wigan has surely ended any glimmer of hope Liverpool had of challenging for the title this season. The Liverpool Daily Post this morning describes ‘œan under-par Liverpool [who] pressed the self-destruct button to leave Anfield jeering at the final whistle.’
The local paper goes on to conclude that the fans are becoming impatient and have accepted the Reds’ title race is over for yet another year.
And given the funereal manner in which the home supporters slunk out of the ground long before the end, the Anfield fans appear to have accepted the fact.
Andy Hunter for The Guardian sums up the utter disappointment with a game where anything less than victory was unacceptable.
Anfield could not disguise its mirth when the Wigan hordes sang “There’s only one Titus Bramble” last night. The laughter ended when the centre-half whose name has become a byword for defensive calamity left Liverpool as cold as the Siberian air blowing across Merseyside.
The Times’ Oliver Kay similarly writes about the severe disatisfaction creeping around Anfield.
The final whistle was followed, not surprisingly, by jeers from the home supporters. Liverpool had little or no margin for error after defeats against Reading and Manchester United last month, so, after a frustrating draw away to Manchester City on Sunday, nothing less than a victory would satisfy their supporters. A 1-0 win, courtesy of a Fernando Torres goal early in the second half, would not have done too much to lift the spirits of the home crowd, but after the late goal from Bramble, a player once synonymous with crass defending, the mood turned from meagre satisfaction into one of depression.
Aside from last night’s result, The Times reports in its transfer gossip column that Liverpool are lining up a Â£6million bid for Chelsea left-back Wayne Bridge.
The left back, 27, whose appearances at Stamford Bridge have been limited since the arrival of Ashley Cole from Arsenal, has already turned down the chance to switch to three top-flight rivals, but he may view the chance of resurrecting his career at Anfield more positively. He is one of the leading targets for Rafael BenÃtez, the Liverpool manager, after a failed attempt to sign Gabriel Heinze, the former Manchester United defender.
Bridge’s prospects at Chelsea dipped almost as soon as the transfer window opened on Tuesday, when the club lined up a deal for Branislav Ivanovic, of Lokomotiv Moscow. The Serbia defender is expected to complete a Â£10 million move in the next few days.
Whilst last night’s Manchester Evening News suggested that Peter Crouch may be offered as part of a swap deal for Manchester City‘s highly rated England Under-21 internationals Michael Johnson and Nedum Onoha.
And finally, away from all the doom and gloom of last night’s result, here’s something that will bring a cheeky smile to your face today. Alex Ferguson has blasted Manchester United’s fans for creating the atmosphere of a ‘œfuneral’ at Old Trafford recently. The Guardian reports:
“The crowd were dead,” he complained. “That was the quietest I have heard the crowd and it’s disappointing because we needed the crowd today. We have come through a difficult period of game after game and in moments like these we need a lift. But it was like a funeral out there.”