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Post Bayer game: Where do we go from here?

I woke up early this morning, missed the whole game completely, but caught the post-match analysis and a bad feeling came when I heard "if only Owen took his chances" and I knew that I was in for a rude shock. I saw Xavier's goal, and I knew that they needed to score three to win. In fact, Bayer scored 4, but Liverpool was not disgraced over the 90 minutes. We were simply out-played. In the end, I saw the 6 goals scored by both sides, and Liverpool's defence, surprisingly were in sixes and sevens. Dudek conceded only 1 goal in his last 11 outings, and he let in 4 tonite. I am disappointed by the result, but I will go out and give a lashing to them. On a nite like this, when practically anything can happen, both sides gave an intriguing performance, at times shambolic defending or otherwise extremely well-thought attacking plays, in a game where most would have turned away from, given the fact that Liverpool will sit on the lead from the 1st leg. But it was exactly the opposite. Well done, Bayer Leverkusen. They thoroughly deserve to go through.

It is disappointing to see that some fans blamed GH for the defeat. I would not take away all the blame away from him, but seriously, on a nite like this, when hardly anyone shined, and Owen missed several chances, it is hardly the fault of a manager, sitting on the bench, with reserves in his disposal and little else left, to shoulder the blame. I can't say much about Hamann's withdrawal, but if GH has the reason for it, he has it. No doubt that Hamann might have played a poor game and Murphy had worse, but to solely put the blame on GH is a tad too cruel. We were 6 minutes to going through. 6 minutes, and GH would have been hailed as the saviour. 6 minutes is the difference between going through as a hero or going out as a dumped person.:(

Liverpool gave me the hopes and dreams of European glory. No doubt this season we did not progress as far as the last, but one must take stock in the sense that we are finally going places. The expectations from last season's 'plastic' Treble was high, but as much as I stay cautious about our chances, I can't help feeling that it would be good to see how far they progress. At every stage of the competition, even when we qualified by beating Haka, I hailed the team. It is the first step back to the arms of this great European Competition, transformed into some strange group stages while Liverpool were conspiciously absent. If it had been a straight knock-out competition, Liverpool could have done well. Ironically, we got out during the knock-out stages. It is strange waking up this morning to find that we are no longer in the Champions League and our title aspirations DO NOT lie in our hands. And the feeling of lost and emptiness sets in. But is it really so bad? On the hindsight, it does not. We have progressed in many areas. We have put the past of Roy Evans and Souness behind. This is GH's Liverpool. And we are only in the 4th year of the transformation. I would be utterly disappointed if one says that we are junk if we finishes 3rd this season. In all due respects, we might, but let's see how many points got us there. We are on 68pts now. Last season, we have 69pts (3rd) and the season before 67pts (3rd). Only in GH's first season, we chalked up 54pts, the lowest tally in years. And we have 5 games to go.

I am proud of this team. Barring a couple of new additions to the team, this team can go far for the next two to three years. As the season draws to a close, with EPL the only chance of any silverware this season, I do hope that we can overhaul Man U to finish 2nd. I honestly do not mind if we lose to Arsenal. But on the hindsight, if we have not lost to them at all this season, we would have pipped them for it.

YNWA

paw;)
 
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as far as im cocerned the blame goes on OWEN.

He has set his own standards and in 2002 he is a pale shadow of them.

you could blame the defence for just standing there and not pressing but they have done so much this season.

OWEN hasnt compared to many other strikers, yo ucould say the same of heskey too.

hard work means nothing if you dont score goals
 

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As far as I concern, it was the team to be blamed. Everyone has their bad day, so did Liverpool.

Anyway, it is a massive leap for Liverpool to be in the quarter final first year in CL after the long absence. I hope they will do better next season.
 

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Wonderful post paw!! :D (why don't I ever get to write these essays) :tongue:

Yes.. Owen could have scored his chances.. yes.. the defence could have..... defended!! yes.. Hamann could have been not substituted.. in the end.. we were out played.. and lost..

I personally am not one who wants to blame anyone.. I'm not into the blame thing anyway.. we win as a team (players, manager and fans).. and we lose as one too..!!

YNWA!! Just to know what that means.. and then blaming one player or one manager is shamefull..

I'm proud of the lads for getting as far as they did.. they had one tough group and another SUPER tough group where they were able to qualify from.. and they've made me proud to be a Reds supporter!! They always have..!!
 

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Just like we never lost heart in the 90s

we should not loose heart now...

In fact we should all stand tall...

Liverpool is not about losers or quitters... ...

We'll be back stronger.... and Houllier will be the man to lead us back... ...

I am listening to the chumbawamba song - "tubthumping"
at this moment and I would like to say this to all true Liverpool supporters - "We get knock down but we'll get up again and nobody's gonna keep us down"

Lets hope Le Boss will finalise the signing of anelka and sign some other great players in the summer

You'll Never Walk Alone
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yasir, you can write this piece too, if only you have the time...:D

I do not wish to heap blame on anyone who played last nite. It was a courageous display by the lads, but in the end, our experience lost out to Bayer's, who have been in Champions League for years before us. What puzzles me perhaps is why did Liverpool not keep possession after Jari's goal. IMO, we could have gone through with that cunning strike. However, as what GH said, it was probably Bayer's dominance in midfield that unsettled us, despite the experience of Hamann, who most probably played his poorest game for months. No doubt it was an important clash, but he has done that before, against Arsenal, Alaves, but sadly not against Bayer. I am willing to let it go, his performance and the rest of the team. For every bad game that everyone had, we had 10 good games. You ask me to exchange for it, I would rather not. It is like playing Man U these days... It is no fun playing bridesmaid to Man U season in season out. I would rather lose to them every game and win EPL than the other way round. But at least we were better than Evan's days. We could not beat Man U then and we finish behind them. Always.

Strikers going through a lean spell are to be excused. But not for Heskey at the start of the season. All I ask for is to be fair to the players. Judge them based on the performance throughout the season, instead of just one game. Everyone says Henry is not a class finisher, but the truth is if he scores, that is what it matters most. I would go for three points anytime now. We could do it the 'ugly' way, we could do it the 'nice' way, but what matters is the win.

We did not win last nite. We did not qualify last nite. But what the lads did for us was probably a dream long before GH arrived. Now, the European glory days are back. And the least we could do is to back the team. Through thick and thin.

paw ;)
 

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well, it wasn't a great news but i could not even sleep after that.
if man yoo go through , i am in deep **** and there will be loads of sticks waiting for me from coleague's!

i would say we did our very best and jari gave me the moment , and i shouted all out when he scored even my mum was awake!

liverpool .........all the way!;)
 

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I doubt anyone blamed Houllier and only for what happened last night. At least not a Liverpool fan, some dude who learned what Liverpool is just because Dudek moved here should not really count as a fan as far as I'm concerned. He is learning though, and may Dudek be the reason he becomes a red! :)

Anyhow, I do think Houllier holds some responsibility over last night's performance, like everyone else. The Italian commentator said Hamann was injured but now I learned that is not the case. That was a very bad sub for various reasons. First of all because Hamann is the kind of player who never has a bad game, he has average games. His passing was hideous but he did do his usual job of shielding the defence and when he was brought out hell broke loose. Secondly, moving Gerrard to the defencive midfielder position resulted in us being completely unable to make a good through ball from midfield, resulting in us looking toothless and unable to take advantage of the space Smicer, Owen and Riise could have in a counter attack. Murphy cant pass and was given the role of someone who especially in a game where you need to his on counter attack you need a good passer. Moreover, Murphy was having a bad game so why not take him out?

Secondly, we saw a bad Liverpool yesterday. Bad in all lines. The defence was hideous and after they made it 3-1 we never seemed like able to attack with a plan and score a goal organised. We were just launching the balls up front (Murhpy as a central midfielder was useless - no passing game!) and only reason we scored a goal was due to Litmanen's individual brilliance- I honeslty did not expect us to score and I was reliefed when we did (I banged my head on the wall as celebration and it bleeded :embarass: ) and I honeslty did not expect us to concede one more goal.

Overal, scoring two goals on an away game is very good, but to put it simply, we were let down by our strong point: the defence. It was just one of those nights where nothing goes right. The defence holds responsibility, Owen does, and Houllier does for Hamann's sub and the inexistant game plan- it seemed to me we did not expect to have to attack today...

Moving on.
 

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AMOROSO! said:
I doubt anyone blamed Houllier and only for what happened last night. At least not a Liverpool fan, some dude who learned what Liverpool is just because Dudek moved here should not really count as a fan as far as I'm concerned. He is learning though, and may Dudek be the reason he becomes a red! :)

Anyhow, I do think Houllier holds some responsibility over last night's performance, like everyone else. The Italian commentator said Hamann was injured but now I learned that is not the case. That was a very bad sub for various reasons. First of all because Hamann is the kind of player who never has a bad game, he has average games. His passing was hideous but he did do his usual job of shielding the defence and when he was brought out hell broke loose. Secondly, moving Gerrard to the defencive midfielder position resulted in us being completely unable to make a good through ball from midfield, resulting in us looking toothless and unable to take advantage of the space Smicer, Owen and Riise could have in a counter attack. Murphy cant pass and was given the role of someone who especially in a game where you need to his on counter attack you need a good passer. Moreover, Murphy was having a bad game so why not take him out?

Secondly, we saw a bad Liverpool yesterday. Bad in all lines. The defence was hideous and after they made it 3-1 we never seemed like able to attack with a plan and score a goal organised. We were just launching the balls up front (Murhpy as a central midfielder was useless - no passing game!) and only reason we scored a goal was due to Litmanen's individual brilliance- I honeslty did not expect us to score and I was reliefed when we did (I banged my head on the wall as celebration and it bleeded :embarass: ) and I honeslty did not expect us to concede one more goal.

Overal, scoring two goals on an away game is very good, but to put it simply, we were let down by our strong point: the defence. It was just one of those nights where nothing goes right. The defence holds responsibility, Owen does, and Houllier does for Hamann's sub and the inexistant game plan- it seemed to me we did not expect to have to attack today...

Moving on.
Hey, it doesn't take a fan of many year's to realize who was a very selfish manager. Maybe it cost them, maybe not. But it would have been better not to have to find out how much his return affected the squad. For the good or bad.

Didn't care for the guy because of the Dudek and Polish NT crap he wanted to pull, and after this, he really is a big frog.
 

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Well, ManUtd did qualify tonight, so eymc, be strong :strong:, man! I know how it's like to be in your shoes, believe me. Just remember that you'll always be proud as Liverpool fan no matter what. That usually keeps me going ;).

paw, very thoughtful posts from you :star:.
I understand your devastation, I really do. It is exactly what I'm going through right now, in fact I still can't accept the fact that we actually lost that game. Why now? Why after we managed to get through this far?

Perhaps if we got kicked out of the competition in the previous stage I wouldn't be feeling this down.
Or if we lost in the semi I would be saying "At least we got to the semi" instead of weeping.
Perhaps if we lost to stronger team (no offense to Bayer) I would swallow the result more easily.
Perhaps if the team played better I would still say "At least we tried our best" (I didn't watch the game but I've heard and read enough).

I feel so angry, but I don't know what or who am I angry at. All I know is that I can't blame GH on this. 'Wouldn't be fair, would it?
He has contributed so much to the team. Yeah, of course he did several mistakes too, perhaps his "tactics" for the Bayer - Pool match was one of those mistakes... But come on, he ain't no saint. He builds the team, he gets us to where we are now, and that just ought to mean something. He deserves some credits , too.

As for what's next... Hmm, I'm still not through this loss yet, so it would be hard for me to think about what's next, but at least I will always be proud of Liverpool, no matter what :proud:.

Walk on, fellas... 'cuz you'll never walk alone ;).
 

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Barlinek said:


Hey, it doesn't take a fan of many year's to realize who was a very selfish manager. Maybe it cost them, maybe not. But it would have been better not to have to find out how much his return affected the squad. For the good or bad.

Didn't care for the guy because of the Dudek and Polish NT crap he wanted to pull, and after this, he really is a big frog.
It didn't take me more than a minute to know that u r not a fan
 

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B*O*S*H* said:


It didn't take me more than a minute to know that u r not a fan
Maybe that is the reason i can think with my head.;)

I have slowly become a fan as my favourite player tends goal for Liverpool. I didn't grow up a fan, so i can offer an unobjective opinion on a man's true personality.
 

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I was very pleased by our performance in the CL. We got further than Arsenal and they have been in it for a few years now. If we are in their position in a few years in terms of success in Europe, i will be very disappointed. Overall it was a bad performance by the team against Leverkussen, although GH has to take some blame as well. Hamann might have been having a bad game but there is no-one else to replace him.

The question: where do we go from here?
Up is the answer. If we finish above Man U it will be a great achievement and a first step to being a great team again. I would love it, just love it (as Keegan once famously said) if we won the PL. Not a lot of people want us to win it because of our playing style and i would love to rub their noses in it. I also remember at the start of the season we weren't many people's favourites because we had made no major signings. We have shown that the team has grown together and the future is looking goo.

We can reign again.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
From BBCSport

Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Liverpool still on course

BBC Sport Online chief football writer Phil McNulty reflects on the aftermath of Liverpool's dramatic Champions League exit against Bayer Leverkusen.

Gerard Houllier has been able to place total faith in two key elements of his Liverpool revolution - the safety of his defence and the marksmanship of Michael Owen.

It will be to Houllier and Liverpool's eternal regret that these reliable parts in Liverpool's machinery developed faults in the Champions League quarter-final against Bayer Leverkusen.

The previously impregnable Liverpool rearguard sprung leaks in a variety of places in the face of Bayer's imaginative attack.

And the normally lethal Owen found his radar off beam at a point when just one more goal would have sealed Liverpool's place in the Champions League semi-finals.

It was a night of bitter disappointment for Liverpool as hey lost 4-2 to Leverkusen, but not one which should deflect Houllier from his belief that his team have made massive strides in the past three seasons.

Houllier rightly pointed out that on another night Owen would have had a hat-trick, adding that lack of protection for defenders rom midfield led to the uncharacteristic sight of Sami Hyypia and Stephane Henchoz in desperate straits.

All the more surprising then, that Houllier removed his most effective defensive screen in Dietmar Hamann with the score at 1-1 and Bayer needing two more goals to qualify.

A puzzling decision maybe, but it should still be remembered that after it was taken Liverpool were only six minutes away from winning the tie.

Houllier will analyse that decision, as he does all decisions, and maybe if he had his night again he would do things differently, but he was clearly dissatisfield with Hamann's contribution.

Liverpool, in brutal truth, probably fulfilled their potential in reaching the last eight of the Champions League.

It is a true reflection of their current standing in Europe - on the fringe of the elite but not quite ready to gatecrash it completely.

This in itself is a tribute to the work Houllir has done at Liverpool since he took sole charge.

Liverpool have made more progress than Arsenal and Manchester United in the last three seasons - and that is because they had to.

Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson were able to add to established squads, whereas Houllier had a massive rebuilding job on his hands.

Houllier inherited a talented but wayward squad, "The Spice Boys" as they were known.

He removed free spirits such as Steve McManaman and David James and simply shoved Paul Ince out of the door.

He set about establishing a reliability, consistency and discipline which has flourished in the shape of men like Hyypia, Henchoz and Hamman.

It is a policy that has continued successfully with the addition of Jerzy Dudek as replacement for Sander Westerveld.

It has led to the constant cry that Liverpool are boring, but the simply reality is that Houllier's side had to learn to walk before they could run.

True, their desire to play the percentages in Europe may have been an accident waiting to happen if, as in Leverkusen, they were caught out defensively.

But once the disappointment has subsided, it will become clear Liverpool are steering the correct course under Houllier.

And when he makes further additions this summer, which he will with his usual ruthless approach, Houllier's Liverpool may well be ready to run.
---
When it comes to writing about Liverpool, I usually do not come to cut-and-paste actions. But this article is too good to be missed and I hope that everyone can enjoy what the analysis means to all.

To Barlinek and other doubters out there (there are, no matter how well we do), all I wish for is for you to judge GH and the team fairly. When Liverpool wins, GH is a hero. When Liverpool loses, GH is a thoughtless frog (or any unkind remarks to that state). Surely, the fickle mind of football world hopefully does not imprint such thoughts on one's mind. But it does. We win as a team, we lose as one. YNWA epitomises that spirit. We would never have gotten here if we had stayed on with Evans. The transformation is not complete yet, but we have at least smelled the sweet success that comes with it. The next thing (logical, I must add), is to get our hands on greater things next season.

paw;)
 

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Well I've stayed away from this subject until now, my pain has been too great to even think about writing about this.
Now my emotions have started to settle and I can start to think a little clearer, I can see we had a bad day, a day where nothing really went right. On another day Owen would have had a hat trick, the defence surely will not play a game as bad again.
Yes over 2 legs we didn't deserve to qualify, all credit to Bayer. Was it us playing bad or them making us play bad? Probably a combination of both.

So where does this leave us now?

Well it leaves us with the small matter of battling manure and the Arse for the title. We must improve on last season's final tally. If we end up 3rd with 6 more points than last year I'll see it as an improvement, likewise if we finish top with 1 point more it'll be an improvement. The Irony is we need manure to beat the Arse and another point dropped to have any chance of the title.
Realistically I expect us to finish 2nd, but there is the possibility of 3rd or champions. The team needs to dig in now and overcome this dissapointment. I'm expecting them to rip into Sunderland this weekend, at least that's the attitude I expect from them, and I'll be dissapointed if there is a poor display this weekend.
Overall it's been a good season so far, maybe it'll become an awesome one at the end, we don't know yet.
But for that poor spell we'd have been champions already.

As GH says "Aim for the moon, and maybe you'll land amongst the stars!"
 
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