Today against Stoke it was one of those nights. Stoke are not the best team but they know how to get results. They won't win any trophies any time soon either and I'm not just saying this tonight because I am bitter, (I actually am at the moment, they are rubbish) but it is because teams with enough quality can beat them easily. Tonight Liverpool did not have this but we still dominated possession and created enough chances to at least draw with Stoke.
So why didn't we win? We lack the killer instinct and this has been the case for 2 or 3 seasons now. Suarez does miss his share of chances but there are numerous opportunities when the final pass has been elusive and this is an example of the AWOL killer instinct. Tonight, Downing and Suso showed promise and the drive to do something good but it never happened and even when Sterling came on our attacks were eventually snuffed out.
Stoke, on the other hand were always looking dangerous and they do it the way they know how. They win the second ball! Sounds like a Benitez thing to say but it was true. Both of Walter's goals came from knock-downs and I feel that the defence and Lucas should have been more aware.
Once we went behind, any game plan we had now played into Stokes tactics. Teams know they need to pressure us from the off and they did this which led to errors by us and we gave the ball back to Stoke. Please quote me, 'Stoke play like a Rugby team'. Their aims are to get the long punt into opposition territory and then use the line-out to score. Stoke worked very, very hard and the Sky commentators and pundits were orgasmic about this during the game too and too many Liverpool players couldn't handle this.
Tonight was one of those nights and it was very frustrating. On to the next one, we need some new players because at the moment we are aiming for 8th at best.
There is always next season.