By Eric Beard
To all Liverpool fans, I really am sorry. I love watching the in-form Reds when they put it all together, but last night’s display against Atletico Madrid was nothing short of abysmal. While I do not want to take anything away from Atletico and their 1-0 home victory, the truth is that the Spanish side has been in horrible form losing three consecutive La Liga matches (3-0 away to Espanyol, 1-2 home to Xerez, and 2-1 away to Villarreal). I know that there was a volcano and all that forced Rafa and the rest of the Reds to travel on the ground to Spain, but there’s no excuse for not getting a shot on target. Seriously, this is Liverpool Football Club. You are supposed to be merciless and ruthless when going forward, not simply allow players to run at you freely. I’m confident that things will be sorted out at Anfield, but with the current set-up I just do not enjoy watching this club, which is not something I am happy to admit.
Anyway, Diego Forlan capitalized early, and while I, along with most football fans, see Liverpool reaching the Europa League final via a win at Anfield, the club has done nothing to deserve it. Call me a bellend, but I believe Liverpool are too big of a club for the Europa League. Form is temporary, class is permanent, but trophies are based off of form. I watch the Europa League to see the underrecognized play exquisite football, and that is exactly what Roy Hodgson has been able to do with Fulham. The Cottagers look slight favourites to progress to the Europa League final after holding Hamburg in Germany to a nil-nil draw, thanks greatly to a brilliant display from Mark Schwartzer. The “total football”-esque style of play Roy has his London lads playing is nothing short of breathtaking. Dominating possession and downing the likes of Shakhtar Donestk, Juventus, and Wolfsburg sounds like a great run by a side going far in the Champions League.