Belfast Telegraph

Steven Beacom: Liverpool players Gerrard and Torres must take some of the blame

I thought it would be a long time before I watched a more pitiful performance than that served up by Northern Ireland last week.

How wrong I was!

Less than a week it took.

Liverpool were so desperate on Monday night in their 1-0 defeat at Wigan they made Nigel Worthington’s side look like the Brazilian 1970 World Cup winning team.

In a season filled with pathetic performances from Rafa Benitez’s men, the spineless show at the JJB Stadium took the biscuit, leaving no crumbs of comfort for Liverpool fans.

Not even from Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres who normally provide shining lights from underneath a blanket of darkness.

At Wigan, they were just as bad as the rest of the rubbish.

Torres spent too much time hugging the turf, moaning about being tackled. Defenders are allowed to challenge you, mate.

Where is the Spanish striker who got battered and bruised in his first season at Anfield, but won the battles by getting up, getting on with it and scoring goals?

Another question Liverpool fans will be asking is where has the best midfielder in the world disappeared to?

Unless I’m very much mistaken that wasn’t Steven Gerrard on Monday night, it was an impostor who couldn’t pass, couldn’t shoot and couldn’t muster a decent challenge — all of the things that the real Liverpool captain normally does so well.

The love of Liverpool Football Club oozing from Gerrard and

Torres is well known, but you have to wonder if they have finally succumbed to contempt for those around them who continually fail to inspire.

Maybe the pair of them have just run out of patience. Worse, they may have run out of hope, believing that whatever they do, in a season that started with so much expectation, it is destined to end in complete failure.

For the campaign to have any redeeming features, of course, it must be Gerrard and Torres who find form from somewhere and start delivering because shamefully the rest, bar maybe Pepe Reina and Jamie Carragher, just aren’t up to it. For that you have to look at Benitez, who thankfully after the Wigan defeat didn’t come out with all the usual excuses. For once he blamed his players telling them their attitude was appaling.

They aren’t playing for the manager at the moment, that’s for sure.

I know Rafa has been working in a circus because of those ridiculous owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, but that |didn’t mean he had to recruit a bunch of clowns to make the Reds a laughing stock.

Finishing fourth, a convenient get out clause for Benitez when his side should have been looking to finish first, looks beyond them, so there will be no Champions League football next season.

That is sure to lead to high profile exits.

The owners must go.

Or the manager must go.

Or some of the under performing players must go in order to start afresh.

Or maybe all three should happen in order to get the once mighty Reds back to something resembling a decent football team.

Belfast Telegraph

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