XI Conclusions: Carling Cup Final – Liverpool 2-2 Cardiff City (3-2 Pens)

Chris Wright

27th, February 2012


By Chris Wright

1. First of all, with the North London derby thrown in, what a fantastic day’s worth of football Sunday was. Thoroughly enjoyable for the neutrals!

2. Congratulations are due to Liverpool; they enjoyed most of the meaningful possession and were the better footballing side, though not by much. For all Cardiff’s dedication, discipline and steadfastness, it was the Premier League team that carved out more than enough decent chances to win it in normal time. On another day, it could have been 3 or 4-1 by half-time had opportunities not been lost like tears in rain.

3. Liverpool’s central midfield definitely needs work. Both Charlie Adam and Steven Gerrard sit deep and ping 50-yard balls out for throw-ins in lieu of any central link to the forwards and Jordan Henderson doesn’t seem to know or understand what he’s on there for. Lucas is sorely missed.

4. Tom Heaton, Kevin McNaughton, Alan Hudson and Andrew Taylor all deserve a mention, and Kenny Miller and Joe Mason deserve a nod for the sublime opening goal, but Cardiff centre-half Ben Turner played. Like. A. King.

5. How England’s Stewart Downing won ‘Man of the Match’ I’m not entirely certain. Proof, if proof were needed, that the MotM award is almost completely pointless. Martin Skrtel and all five of the Cardiff defense put in chest-swelling performances over the course of 120 minutes and Dirk Kuyt cameoed for the last 15 and almost won the game for Liverpool on two counts, while Downing conjured up the sum total of diddly for the most part.

6. John W.  Henry’s wife is, as they say, a lovely bit of crumpet.

7. Malky Mackay reckoned that Cardiff lost “with dignity.” Darned rootin’ tootin’ they did. Despite being out on their feet, they took an established Premier League side to the wire and fell only at the ‘coconut shy’ stage. Nothing to be ashamed of.

8. Kenny Miller will be replaying that chance in his head today and for the rest of the week.

9. Didn’t you just get the feeling that Deadly Dirk was going to score when you saw him emerge on the touchline. Something about that majestic gilded linguine that he calls hair just screamed ‘winner!’.

10. Andy Carroll wasn’t that bad. He got his head on a few things which he had no right to, and brought down two or three hoofed long-balls from the ionosphere that would’ve otherwise gone begging. Yes, he didn’t score, but he didn’t really have a decent chance to do so all game. It’s not like Luis Suarez fared any better.

It’s clear to all and sundry that he’s a header-er not a footer-er. It’s his main/only weapon. Why not stick a few decent, flat balls in at head-height instead of slinging unreachable daisy-cutters five-yards in front of him? *ahem* Stewart Downing *ahem* *ahem*. His movement (or lack thereof) was being chastised by Lawro on commentary yesterday whereas the fact that the service to him was continually unsuitable didn’t seem to be an issue.

11. Many will still jibe Liverpool for celebrating their win so fervently yesterday – it’s ‘only the Carling Cup’ after all – but, while it’s not the most prestigious of trinkets, it can only be beneficial for a club so desperate for success to get a taste of real, free-range, hand-picked and organically reared victory again – if only to get the taste of ‘trading on fading glory’ out of their mouths.

Any thoughts people?

Posted in League Cup, Liverpool, Opinion, Top 10s & lists

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  1. Lunga says:

    They won’t win anything for the next 10 years. #SmallClub

  2. Phiwe says:

    Downing wasn’t that bad, Chris. He was Liverpool’s best attacking threat with Suarez falling over and Carroll doing fuck all. He didn’t deserve MotM but he had a great game

  3. nicko says:

    I would agree with all of that.

  4. budki says:

    I think Downing was better than usuall. It was still shit anyway

  5. Mikey J says:

    Surely the most obvious conclusion to draw from the game is that Liverpool’s midfield consisted of one world class player and three woeful championship players? For the life of me I have no idea what anyone sees in Henderson, Downing and Adam. They’re all incredibly shit.

    If Liverpool would have started with Maxi and Kuyt or Bellamy as wide players the game would have been sorted in normal time, but Kenny insists on giving the opposition a chance by playing his useless signings.

    He should just accept that the vast majority of British players are incredibly crap.

  6. Wolf Haley says:

    I agree with Mikey J. If you watch the football we play when Bellamy, Kuyt and Suarez are on together its more pass and move, shorter incisive passes that force the opposition defence to commit to tackles and open up spaces around the box. Without these three its play it down the wing to aim a woeful cross at Carroll. We need more technically gifted, intelligent players rather than overpriced Englishmen who just run in straight lines.

  7. Richard Dunne says:

    Great Article Chris,

    Its true that they maybe overcelebrated, but I was glad to see that. Its worth mentioning the teams they beat on the way. Chelsea away, stoke away, Mancity away(1-0). I think yesterdays pictures, the crowd, the stadium, the drama will make john henry think that the Carling cup is a lot more prestigeous than it actually is, which hopefully results in kenny getting more money for as @wolf Haley says more technically gifted players

    Downing probably had his best game in 2012 but he was still mediocre, Skrtle deserved MOM without a doubt. Henderson wouldnt get on for Cardiff and struggled in big games for Sland so I think Kenny is losing patience with his poor performances, as is Kuyt, judging by his comments yesterday.

    Hopefully this gives us a big taste for the FA cup!!!

  8. Ron says:

    Don’t you mean:
    6. John W. Henry’s wife is, as they say, a lovely bit of cannoli.

    Wait, Liverpool is now owned by an asshole Red Sox fucker? Man, I don’t even follow baseball but their fans are so obnoxious I hate the entire organization. Going to be very hard for me to cheer for Liverpool at all, but I do like Deadly Dirk a whole bunch.

    And as for Pizzuti – a real estate development degree from MIT? Surely there is NO WAY MIT offers such a degree. I know a few dudes who like to smash down forests and put up strip malls and they never went to college and surely not MIT. That’s weird.

    Didn’t manage to see this match, but sounds like a good one. Thanks for the write-up!

  9. Ron says:

    And great, John Henry made his money as a trader during the 1980s in the U.S. I’m SURE he honestly earned all of that money and never did anything fishy…

  10. tim says:

    any type of degree from MIT isn’t too hard to look up and verify.

    hats off to Cardiff.

  11. mike damone says:

    it’s ‘only the Carling Cup’ after all

    tell that to last year’s Arsenal squad who blew the final last year, or the myriad other teams that haven’t won crap in way more than 6 (or 60) years.

  12. Marvin says:

    Sure they celebrated…It gets them European football. If the FA cup goes to a non champions league team and Cardiff had won this, Liverpool could well have missed out. Again.

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