Saturday, 18th August 2001
From the off the 4-4-2 injury ravaged line up looked reasonably well balanced. Each player seemed to know his role and what tasks they were expected to perform, There was plenty of neat play in midfield with Di Canio dropping deep to orchestrate attacks. Though we failed to create many chances we did have plenty of possession and restricted a lacklusture Liverpool to few chances themselves. As Roeder said, Michael Owen was the difference. Two quality goals undoing all Song and Dailly's sound defending.
Before Owen's opener we were rarely troubled. Shakas save early on at the livewire strikers feet inspired confidence. The penalty for Toddy's tumble may have been harsh but it was the only thing Fat boy Winter gave us all day. Our shaven headed mad mans chip over Peggy Mitchell was a joy to behold. Well not really because from the other end it looks like he's miskicked the ball.
1-1 and few could argue that was the way it should have finished. 'We're gonna win the league' sang the away fans waking up Anfield Library. The Kop was that quiet throughout.
We continued to get behind the boys. Sensing the lads looked up for it
there were early cries of 'Roeder give us a wave', to which the new man warmly responded. Good to see him marshalling the troops from the touchline but had to laugh as he reminded me of Alan Partridge with his bow legged stance along with the fleece top and grey strides.
All the familiar scouse mocking medleys were aired including a new
variation of the blue flag. 'Stick yer Lampard up yer arse. Bit harsh I feel, all the anti-Lamps stuff is a bit over the top. There's a few short memories out there and he most certainly is not another Paul Ince.
So, we suffered the annual Anfield defeat but gained a moral victory. We avoided the anticipated hamering and provided Glenn gets those 3 or 4
quality players in we should be okay.
Back at Lime Street station I came across Mr and Mrs Hayden Foxe emerging from Burger King. They travelled up to support the lads and agreed we deserved a draw. . The strapped up fingers Foxe confirmed that 'All the boys are really happy mate with Glenn and Goddard and are 100% behind them mate'. Something that this display left the leaving Liverpool Irons fans happy to agree with.
Player thoughts and ratings:
Hislop (7) - Early race from line to gather at Owen's feet inspired confidence all round. One or two flaps but solid enough start for the man with a point or two to prove.
Schemmel (7) - Assured gritty display. Very busy up and down the line in the first half. Never afraid to get stuck in.
DAILLY (9) - Assured performance. Gone are the curly locks and so may
the Boleyn boo boys if he continues like this. Swept up well and made some last ditch tackles.
Song (7) - Encouraging. The new white goatee bearded Cameroonian also made many last ditch blocks. Still erratic at times , did a good job if unable to stop Owens excellence.
Winterburn (6) - Uncharacteristic under par performance from the veteran. Beaten for pace a few times, sloppy clearance led to first goal. Almost repeated it soon after. Will he get found out in a flat back four every
week I wonder?
Sinclair (7) - Great to have back bringing balance and drive to the right flank. Made plenty of tricky inroads in the first but faded a little in the second.
Moncur (7) - Typically tigerish display from our midfield old head. Picked
up his customary booking, perhaps the only deserved one.
Carrick (7) - Impressed the Anfield crowd with his composure and array of passes.
Cole (6) - Not as adventurous as I would have liked. Maybe still working his way back to full fitness.
Di Canio (7) - Involved a lot mainly when he dropped back to try and make things happen. Cheeky cool penalty. Had a real rant at the woeful Winter after his late booking. He'd just been blocked by three defenders and somewhow the Teeside tosser spotted a tug from Paolo.
Todorov (6) - Did okay when dropping off but not able to get many chances on goal.
McCann (6) - One or two neat moves but gave it away a few times when trying the one touch stuff. Very left footed.
Courtois (5) - My first glimpse of the Frenchman. Looked out of his depth
but then again it was only a brief glimpse.
Defoe (6) - Plenty of darting runs but not quite able to get beyond Hyppia
West Ham United: Hislop, Schemmel, Winterburn, Dailly, Song, Carrick, Moncur, Cole, Sinclair, Di Canio, Todorov
Subs: McCann (Moncur 70), Defoe (Todorov 72), Courtios (Cole 79)
Liverpool: Arphexad, Babbel, Henchoz, Hyppia, Carragher, Biscan, Hamann, McAllister, Murphy, Littmanen, Owen
Subs: Risse (Babbel 46), Barmby (Biscan 56), Redknapp (Murphy 72)
Goals: Owen (18, 78), Di Canio (pen 29)
Booked: Dailly (dissent 37), Moncur (cynical foul 45), Todorov (foul 50), Sinclair (throwing ball away 53), Carragher (foul 73), Di Canio (kicking ball away 84)
* Want to submit your match reports to KUMB.com? More details here ...