It’s Mid-September But We’re All Going To The Beach

September 20, 2011 · by Steven McMillan · Capital One Cup, Match Preview

I'm taking my ball and going to Brighton...

It’s going to take a little time before the thrashing Liverpool suffered at the hands of Spurs on Sunday can finally drift off out of our collective consciousness and into the twisting nether of forgotten matches and humiliating childhood moments. Step one is always to accept that nothing you can do will change the past and we’ll need to do just that, albeit with an almighty kick up the bottom, against high flying Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday as our search for silverware in any shape or form continues in the Carling Cup.

Is it ok if I call it the “Carling Cup”? Some people seem pretty hellbent on this League Cup moniker and I know that Carling is nothing short of piss water but to be fair, so is this competition. Maybe I’m being a tad harsh and should rephrase before the fine people at Carling decide to sue little ole us for defamation instead of sponsoring our collective alcohol addiction appreciation society. Did I get off track just then? Probably did.

With the Seagulls soaring high near the pinnacle of the Championship, this test may be a touch more on the stern side then our stroll through the park against Exeter only a few weeks back. In form striker Shamir Goodwin has now scored an over the top 10 goals in their last 6 matches but the ‘Gulls aren’t just flash up top with their defence holding a steady line to keep their goal difference to a  respectable +6. Although it’s hard to imagine us not turning them over, on their own pitch or not, there are still some lingering doubts hanging about.

Kenny Dalglish will be looking for an immediate turn around after we got smacked all over the pitch at the weekend and tomorrow will give us a good chance to get our season moving in the right direction. There are some serious questions hanging over the squad with somewhere in the region of £55mil worth of talent under performing in a big way. Both Charlie Adam and Martin Skrtel will be serving their one match bans after they both picked up red cards against Spurs on Sunday. In most cases, a regular first teamer being out of the squad  could raise some concerns but after the collectively wretched performances their last times out, their absences will do more to placate the jitters than contribute to them.

Not only will the forced exclusions of Adam and Skrtel give us a chance to shake up the squad but it will also make room for, if the starts line up, two local boys. Gerrard has been tipped to make his return at the Falmer Stadium while young John Flanagan, demonized after his only poor showing in a red shirt, could also pop up in the starting 11. Formations, tactics and substitutions have all been hot topics of conversation in the wake of our second loss on the trot as well as not so much who was on the pitch but who wasn’t. Slice it however you’d like to because your opinion should mean more than anyone’s but it’s hard to argue that it’s easier to keep momentum then gain it.

Tomorrow, we have an opportunity to pick up the pace and roll into the weekend with the wind at our backs. Some our big names and a few players who are looking to make a name have something to prove; even the untouchable manager will have a hard time saving face if, god forbid, things go sour. I expect a win, nothing less will do.

-steven.

 

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