More Mersey misery
Paul Merson is sad about Liverpool's atrocious season - and says it will get even worse at Stoke.
Last Updated: 16/01/10 2:16pm
When Arsenal get beat I usually get a text off Phil Thompson and when Liverpool get beat I usually send him one.
Well, Thommo texted me after the Reading game and said "Has it got that bad that it doesn't even warrant a text?" I just didn't bother texting him on Wednesday. It's just got sad for them now.
Liverpool are a big, big club and things have got seriously pear-shaped. I thought they'd win the FA Cup because they'd try harder than everyone else, but now they're out of everything. I feel for the Liverpool fans because they know their football and they're getting put through a nightmare at the moment.
It wasn't even a smash and grab by Reading. Sometimes a team gets one shot, scores one goal and causes an upset in the FA Cup. That's what the Cup is all about, but Liverpool were just atrocious on Wednesday.
It's not that long ago that Reading were getting smashed to smithereens at Plymouth. They're not a top Championship team, far from it, so it was a shocking result for Liverpool.
I've said it all season, there's too many players that are fortunate to be playing for Liverpool Football Club and on Wednesday we saw they are not good enough.
I know people say Rafa Benitez has brought a lot of money in to the club, but he has still had a lot of money to spend - and he hasn't brought in players that are better than the ones he's sold. Peter Crouch, Robbie Keane and Xabi Alonso would all get into that team today.
And a top club like Liverpool can't be playing two holding midfield players. Nobody does that, even Portsmouth, or any of the teams at the bottom.
It would be a mini miracle if they got in the top four, it would be like winning the league for them now. That Champions League spot gets bigger and bigger for them every week.
I thought they were going to go on a run after that good result at Aston Villa, but then they went to Reading and were lucky to get a draw. Steven Gerrard admitted that afterwards.
The other night Benitez said he didn't agree with that statement and I just wonder what game he's watching sometimes.
There's a lot in the papers about Benitez's future, but I don't think they've got the money to get rid of him. If they did I think he'd be long gone.
So I can't believe the odds for this game. The home team were as wide as 4/1 to win and that is a real disrespect to Stoke City. I can't believe they're not favourites.
I cannot for the life of me see Liverpool winning this football match. Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are injured and if you take them out of the equation I cannot see what they've got. Full stop.
David N'Gog wouldn't get in the Stoke team. Tony Pulis definitely wouldn't swap him for Tuncay and I wouldn't swap him for James Beattie or Ricardo Fuller either.
The odds are very disrespectful to Stoke because I can only see them winning it.
Home win - I can't see anything but a Stoke win. If they play like they did in the first half against Fulham then it will be a nightmare for Rafa. If they play like they did in the second, you never know, but I'm going for 2-0 to Stoke.
MERSON'S MAGIC MAN
Ricardo Fuller - I do like Ricardo Fuller. He came on against Fulham and I thought he was very good. He's unpredictable, he's got bags of skill and I think he could be the one to spin Liverpool's heads.