09 May 2010

Liverpool 0-0 Hull

Mascherano Carragher Kyrgiakos Agger
Gerrard Lucas
El Zhar Aquilani Babel

Good riddance, 2009-10.

It took 35 minutes to find an internet stream that actually worked, and other than an El Zhar shot saved, it doesn’t look like I missed much. Of course, I wouldn’t have missed much had I not seen any of it.

Even though a win would allow the team to start three weeks later thanks to Villa losing to Blackburn, a relegated Hull in front of its own fans was the only side with any impetus. We saw more passion from Liverpool during some of the preseason friendlies.

The away side only looked themselves in the final seconds of either half, hitting the frame of the goal in the 46th and 91st. Even though, depressingly, Hull were the better side for long stretches, and Pepe earned the clean sheet which sees him finish the season level with Cech (winning the Golden Gloves for the fourth of his five seasons), those two opportunities should have seen Liverpool undeservedly win. No such luck this season. Duh.

Right before the intermission, Aquilani hit the crossbar, moments after Kuyt’s center narrowly missed an on-rushing Agger. The makeshift left back toed the rebound for Aquilani’s shot embarrassingly over from eight yards. Right before the final whistle, Gerrard hit the foot of the post after finally trying to finish a trademark run forward. But in between, Hull “took” the game to Liverpool, as much as Hull could.

Their young players – Cairney, Cullen, and Atkinson – had a point to prove, while Mendy was excellent. But the home side was mostly limited to a couple of scary crosses (usually Mendy), a few dangerous free kicks not good enough, and a shot from distance straight down Reina’s throat.

It was evident that a fair few senior players couldn’t be bothered for long stretches today, especially since the best and only chances came near at the close of the halves, like a switch was flipped. Pacheco (for Aquilani in the 74th) and Robinson (for Babel in the 88th) both came on, but that the youngsters had more to play for should have seen them on sooner. If we’re going down in flames, go down in style. At least Robinson takes Owen’s name out of the record books for youngest league debutant. If Liverpool’s as bad off financially as we think, the 16-year-old might get a few more games next season.

We’ll have lots of time to fully eulogize and dissect this piss-poor season during the coming weeks. I'll probably roll out the usual end-of-year stuff over the next couple. For now, suffice it to say that it certainly wasn’t good enough – just like today's display – and I couldn’t be happier it’s over. Any writer who had guessed this team would finish 7th would have been laughed out of the press room, and I'm not the only idiot who thought they'd have a chance at the title (but I am still an idiot). Yes, Liverpool looks to be on the precipice of mediocrity – at best! – if matters don’t change off the field. But even after eight months of disappointment after disappointment, I’m still adamant there’s a real team in there somewhere.

Let’s see what the next step off the pitch entails before we start covering the coffin with dirt.


Marc said...

Yeah, I couldn't find a stream and then gave up.

I really, sincerely believed we'd know by this game if Benitez was staying or (I thought for sure) going. The fact that we can't even get clarity on that simple yet massive decision illuminates how poorly run our club is. We're a long-term joke 12 months after finishing with the same point total Chelsea just collected to win the league.

Mike Georger said...

FWIW, I just read on the LFC site that the record was actually held by Max Thompson, not Owen. I had thought it was Owen, everyone else did too it seems. Never heard of this guy, seems it was the only game he ever played for us too!

drew said...

Not the season I had in mind for my year in Liverpool. C'est la guerre.

Glad Pepe got the clean sheet, honestly wanted that more than a win since he's the only one in the side who really deserves rewarding after this season. And it looked really doubtful there for a while, except for Cullen's comedic ineptitude from one yard out.

vinnie said...

this season is somewhat both surprising and not surprising from my prediction at the conclusion of last season. even though we were struggling with scoring goals for a few matches that lead to a few 0-0 games too many, it was the most consistent season in recent years from memory; i was really really frustrated as i strongly doubt we could be as consistent as last season. the slight inconsistency other top four also saw them overtaking each other on the top spot briefly until united survived the onslaught eventually. i knew we blew the precious chance last season

consistency among other top 4 this season is much worse than last season, to my surprise, obvious from the same amount of point from the winner as the runner up last season. but i wouldn't have guess we'd be displaced from top 4 if you asked me before the season started