Saturday, 14 March 2009

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for Liverpool to be negative

When Liverpool demolished Real Madrid last Tuesday night, Benitez’ team played the brand of football I like to watch. When the opposition had the ball, Liverpool hassled, harried, pressed and pressurised the Spanish side. More often than not possession was stolen from Madrid, frequently by the dogged Argentinian, Mescherano. When the Anfield Reds had the ball, they pushed forward, purposefully, and attempted to score a goal. It is a style which suits Liverpool. They won 4-0.

Naturally I was delighted to see the team progress into the Champions League last eight. There was, however, a certain degree of frustration, having watched such a splendid performance, that Liverpool do not attempt to play a high tempo pressing game more frequently. Benitez is much more comfortable instructing his players to sit in deeper positions, ceding possession of the football to the opposition, particularly in European matches.

With his side facing Manchester United at Old Trafford this lunchtime I fully expect the manager to return to type. Although he insists his players will attempt to reproduce Tuesday night’s energetic performance, I would be surprised if Benitez does not encourage them to take a more cautious approach. It is a pity, because if the team plays like it did on Tuesday night, or even if it plays with the same committed, wholehearted style, United will realise that they have been in a match.

Benitez has seen Liverpool’s future. It is a positive, high tempo, pressing game. Today sees an archetypal battle of good against evil. It is a perfect time to show that he can be flexible as a coach.

1 comment:

bertmart said...

Didn't see the match, but the result doesn't sond a 'cautious' one...

Hard lines Nostradamus!