The pre-season has come to a close, which is just fine by me because I’ve reached my saturation point for watching games whose outcomes have no meaning.
In what literally proved to be a hard-fought match, Liverpool drew with Feyenoord to the tune of 1-1. Sadly, this means we don’t win our first shot at ‘silverware’, as Porto will forever* be remembered as the 2007 Port of Rotterham Tournament champions.
(* in this case, ‘forever’ is defined as three days)
I’m not sure how you can really call a trophy proper ‘silverware’ when it only takes two games to secure it, but I suppose it would be better earned than a trophy after one game.
Tomorrow kicks off Preview Week here at Being Sven, so you’ll have plenty of preview-y goodness to look forward to reading. In the meanwhile, here are my ever-thoughtful observations on the final pre-season outing:
- Since Feyenoord must have been the home team and get to wear their red and white kit, we turned up in black tops, white shorts with white socks. Not a shabby look, except for the training tops. But, the more I see the black, my feelings on Liverpool’s sharpest secondary colors change. The equation now looks like this: green < black < white < yellow
- While Rafa certainly fielded a strong side, talk about him playing his ‘preferred XI’ didn’t fully pan out. Torres and Crouch, after featuring on Friday, gave way to Kuyt and Voronin. Finnan is rested as Arbeloa slotted in at right back.
- Kewell looked impressively sharp and moved probably as fast as I’ve seen him move in quite some time. An encouraging performance.
- Kuyt looked to be in overdrive early on. He had a few good efforts, with one close call (courtesy of a lovely Voronin pass) denied by the woodwork. Some say the ball came straight down and crossed the line, but I can’t say I concur.
- Pepe’s green goalkeeping jersey is impressively unattractive. On a more positive note, he’s gotten lightyears better at claiming balls in traffic. He turned in an excellent performance.
- Riise was at fault for the goal. He was caught out of position and let his man behind him on the through ball. Neither Agger or Carragher were in a position to clear, as that ball came off at the best possible angle for Feyenoord. But, the defence got caught snoozing. Lazy defending.
- Gerrard looks ready for the season with his second excellent goal in as many games.
- For whatever reason, Babel still doesn’t feel like he’s ‘our’ player yet. It’s not criticism, just this odd feeling as I’ve yet to stake him as one of our own. His time will come soon enough.
- There were too many defensive miscues for my liking. I’m not sure if it’s lack of concentration or plain laziness, but we made too many silly mistakes.
- Feyenoord’s Drenthe is only 20 and operated real well up and down that left hand side. He was a complete handfull all day long and is incredibly tenacious. Keep your eye on that one. He’s going places.
- The penalty awarded for the Arbeloa handball was sketchy at best. He went to ground to block a cross and the ball played the hand. But, guess who saved the PK?! Regardless, it wasn’t an acceptable outing for Arbeloa.
- The second half was a bit of a snoozer, at least until the game (and tempers) heated up in the last five minutes of regulation.
- I liked the scuffle. It was good to see this team wake up and stick up for one another. I was equally impressed the way both teams were completely cool when the whistle blew and shook hands. Way to leave it on the field, gentlemen.
Drenthe goal (44′)(via 101 Great Goals)
Gerrard goal (73′)(via 101 Great Goals)
The handbags in the final minutes
(it’s black for the first few seconds, but hang with it)