After a season which has been hugely hampered by our leaky defence – conceding well over half as many as we conceded in the whole of last season (27, average of 0.7 goals per game) in just 13 games (20, average of 1.5 goals per game) – you’d expect a clean sheet in a Merseyside derby, and a second inside a week, would be greeted with praise.
Photo from fOTOGLIF
Not by all though, instead the good old media prefer to criticise Rafa Benitez for, as Mark Lawrenson put it on Match of the Day 2, “reverting to type”. Lawrenson moaned we had pretty much 7 defenders in the starting 11 today.
Let’s see, Liverpool have been conceding goals at a faster rate than at any other time under Rafa Benitez. Maybe Rafa’s rationale for deploying a defensive minded team has something to do with that fact? Maybe, just maybe, he is thinking to keep it tight, maybe get a goal at the other end and if not have plenty of creative players on the bench to win the game late on when Everton are tiring (our bench had Benayoun, Riera, Aquilani and El Zhar on it).
There’s a huge reason why Lawrenson and other pundits are exactly that, pundits, and not coaching themselves.
You honestly have to wonder if the likes of Lawrenson ever played the game, never mind played under some of the greatest managers Britain has ever seen.
Stick to the sofa Lawro (and others who will no doubt join you in the morning papers), and ill stick to trusting a manager with more tactical nous than you could ever dream of.