Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Ian Rush : Liverpool Lack Of Creativity

Ian Rush won quite a few trophies with Liverpool during his time with the club in the 1980s. At that time, the Reds swept all before them at home and, prior to the ban on English clubs after the Heysel disaster, in Europe.

Ian Rush: Liverpool Lack Creativity

Rush, an instinctive and prolific goalscorer, played a huge role in that success, so it's fair to say that he has a good idea about how teams go about winning things. When he points out that Rafa Benitez's current Liverpool side lack creativity, people should probably listen to him.

Speaking today after last night's draw with West Ham United, Rush was fairly clear as to where he feels Liverpool's problems lie.

"Liverpool may have gone top of the league last night but it was another very disappointing display and it’s clear there are problems with the team just at the moment," he said.

"Last night there wasn’t enough urgency and certainly not enough creativity on show.

"And that’s why despite overtaking Chelsea, there are concerns and criticisms around from quite a few people and pundits today.

"The Reds struggled to find the cohesion and flair which was on display earlier this season – and again we failed to break down a team we were expected to beat without too much fuss."

And although Rush gave West Ham credit for their defensive performance, he also felt that Liverpool should have exploited the opportunities that did come their way. After all, the Hammers didn't line up like Stoke City and play entirely defensively at Anfield.

"You get chances to play your football against a team like West Ham – but we played in fits and starts last night," Rush continued.

"We had spells and I know we could well have scored from some of the opportunities, but there was never really the belief out there or a real confidence that we were going to outfox them and break them down."

Rush was also baffled as to why Benitez didn't change his tactics when his original plan clearly wasn't working.

"Another frustration was that when Plan A wasn’t working," said the former Welsh international, "we didn’t seem to have a Plan B to unlock West Ham. A couple of changes were made with Ngog and Babel coming on, but last night it didn’t really seem to have the impact we were all hoping to see."

Rush was not pessimistic though, and rather urged Benitez and his squad to show character and pull together through the rough patch. After all, they are still top of the table, despite Manchester United slowly gaining ground on them.

"It’s when things aren’t going well that you learn most about your players," Rush added.

"You see those who refuse to shrink and stand up to the challenge. So we’ll find out now who the big men and big characters really are in this squad. And let’s hope that’s all of them.

"Liverpool are top but no one’s happy. That’s because we are better than this – the team has proved it with other results and performances this season."

And Rush ended with a rallying cry for the Reds:

"Forget last night now. There are important games coming up and points to be won so let’s go out and start getting them, instead of letting them slip."

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