Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Five points to take away from Liverpool's sudden death win over Norwich

Five points to take away from Liverpool's sudden death win over Norwich
by rick olivares

In addition to “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” Liverpool should add “Never Say Die” to their creed.
There have been four matches this season in all competitions where Liverpool came back to grab a point or take all three.
West Brom 2-2 with Divock Origi scoring in the 90th minute
Exeter 2-2 with Brad Smith levelling in the 73rd 
Arsenal 2-2 with late sub Joe Allen striking at death’s door to rescue the point.
And then there’s the Norwich match where Adam Lallana scored in the 95th to lift Liverpool to a 5-4 victory.

Four come from behind matches to snatch a point or three. 

Furthermore, since Jurgen Klopp took over, Liverpool has scored seven goals after the 75th minute; the most in the league. That means they aren’t ready to roll over and die. The Reds may have a lot of deficiencies at the moment but the never-say-die attitude should serve them well.

Roberto Firmino is rounding out into a scoring force. 
Four goals in the last three matches. Not bad. That should really boost his confidence. With Christian Benteke struggling and Daniel Sturridge still out, Firmino discovering his scoring form is a boon to the goal-thirsty Reds.

Adam Lallana is a keeper.
Of the three Southampton players who signed with Liverpool following the 2013-14 season — Lallana, Rickie Lambert, and Dejan Lovren (and this past off-season, Nathaniel Clyne) — only Lallana seems to have gotten in the good graces of the fans. Lovren started well, fell off the charts, after which he found a rebirth of sorts under Klopp before an injury knocked him out. 

Lambert isn’t with the team anymore.

But Lallana has been a sparkplug supplying creativity, daring, and vision to Liverpool’s game. He came on as a late sub and fired up the team with his pace and derring-do. Not to mention his match-winner of course.

Now if Lallana, team captain Jordan Henderson, and attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho play in harmony to go with a real stud or two up front, they’ll be deadly. Real deadly. 

Two years running, two different managers, their inability to defend set pieces and porous backline have yet to be addressed.
All right. They are wracked by injuries. But I thought they should have plugged those problems by now. Clyne and Kolo Toure have been outstanding while Mamadou Sakho and Alberto Moreno have been inconsistent. Lovren was in poor form at the start of the season, played well when Klopp gave him a chance, but is now injured.

While they need is a top striker who is creative and has a good work ethic, high on the shopping list in this January transfer window is a defender or two. 

That Norwich match had me for the first time questioning what Jurgen Klopp is doing.
You would think following that loss to Manchester United, they’d break out like gangbusters. Instead, they started slow, had no pace, play shambolic defense, and looked like a lesser side. I wondered what kind of preparation they go through. Why did they have to wait until the two-thirds of the match had been played to make adjustments? It took the entry of Lallana to fire them up. 

I understand that keeping that high level of play consistent for the entire season isn’t easy. But how they blow hot and cold sure is mystifying.

All I can say is this team is a work in progress. Unfortunately, expectations are high as well. It never is any less since this is Liverpool. 


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