‘The Rival Perspective’ 5 Things I noticed – Chelsea v Liverpool
Terry Defending Stats: (55/59 successful passes, 1 interception, 3/4 tackle, 6 clearances), Carragher Defending Stats: (23/33 passes, 3 interceptions, 1/3 tackles, 4/5 clearances,2 block).
Its hard not to admire men like Terry and Carragher for their deeds on the pitch, old school English defenders who have helped make the Premiership what it is over the past 5 years and so. Their performances against the top European teams have marked them out as some of the most resolute centre-backs in the business and its a shame that the latter of the two has never received the recognition he deserved for facing the best in the business and doing a more than respectable job.
His issue has always been and he’s been one of the first to admit this and ironically its reflected in today’s stats in a way, that whatever Carragher brings to the game of football as a defender, Terry brings it that bit more and does it with extra class. His ability in possession is far superior to that of Carragher’s, not to mention before the injuries, he always had a fair bit of pace to go with his exceptional aerial game. Carragher has had to make do with being the poorer relation in terms of the international and domestic scene, but then again he’ll always have Istanbul whereas John Terry … well he can have Moscow, no, no I insist JT.
A little word on David Luiz, whilst the aforementioned pair are coming to the end of their careers and a shadow of their peak selves, Luiz at the age of 23, has a decade at the very least to enjoy at the top of English football, the question is in what position will he make his name as?
He came on today as a defensive midfielder, a position he initially began his career in as a youngster at Vitoria before starting at left-back for a while at Benfica, before finally making himself a star at centre-back. Its perhaps prudent for now to stick him in as a defensive midfielder whilst he gets used to the pace and intensity of the league, throwing him in alongside Terry could prove counter-productive and undermine the new signings confidence before he’s had the chance to settle.
Personally I think he has a touch of class to him, that much was certainly evident today, so going forwards, as a DM he could have more to him than the likes of Ramires and Mikel who can be a tad conservative, but as for his future ambitions to be a leading centre-back and heir-apparent to Carvalho, that remains to be seen.
5. The future and what it possibly holds..
This is my chance to be Mystic Meg and hazard a guess at the future of both these sides and whether or not they will remain serious threats to our club for this season and beyond. Liverpool for me are genuinely on the up, some will have you believe its a false dawn and whilst they will undoubtedly enter poor form under Kenny this season, what with the lack of real depth in their squad, I think they’re a better team for losing Torres and Suarez/Carroll have the makings of a great partnership, not to mention I rate Dalglish highly as a manager.
As for Ancellotti, I’ve never really understood the fuss about him as a manager, never impressed me in the way Cappello, Lippi, Von Trapp have, old school Italian tacticians always looking to change and introduce their own philosophy. Carlo is too hands off for me and he takes an age to fix problems, he is content with leaving things as they are and have changes enforced upon him. Not my kind of manager and I don’t think Roman will persist with him too longer if this deep malaise continues. They need a brand new cycle of talent and I would argue they also need a new coach, one who is young, dynamic and attack-minded. Still same old Chelsea for me whereas Liverpool have finally got the right man in charge and I’d predict are headed for a pretty exciting future.
Barclays Premier League – Match Facts
Score: 0-1Venue: Stamford Bridge Date: Sunday 6th February Kick-off: 1610 GMT
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Ivanovic, Cole, Mikel, Essien, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Torres. Subs: Kalou, Luiz, Malouda.
Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Lucas, Merieles, Maxi, Gerrard, Kuyt Subs: Poulsen, Aurelio.
Raees Mahmood follow me on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/redrae7