November 14, 1908
In the Liverpool camp the picture cannot be painted in such bright colours. When the season opened the Reds began promisingly, and were labelled “dangerous” for honours by the knowing ones, whereas the “young” Everton eleven, of whom I wrote in August, were voted as a set likely to reach only a moderate measure of success. However, sickness in John Cox’s home, and the breakdown of Alex Raisbeck and Tom Rogers, were at hand. These things, with minor injuries and mishaps, have greatly changed the outlook for the Livers, as they have also changed their circumstances in League life.
Apart from this the team, as a whole, has somewhat fallen from grace and effectiveness of late. The defence, apart from Sam Hardy, has been rather erratic, and the attacking line lacking in incisiveness and consistency. These have proved telling sins of omission. Of course, the club’s position on the chart this morning was in no sense a precarious one, showing as it did, a return of half the points possible. But one’s fear has rather been that this will not be continued unless the team stirs itself up again quickly to that sprightliness which was displayed in September.
However, with capital news to hand this week concerning the cripples and invalids one must hope for brighter days. Certainly the Reds have a stiff programme in front of them during the next month.
The Bristol defeat.
At Bristol, on Saturday, their defeat was by the smallest positive margin – this being a penalty goal conceded by Percy Saul in the second stage. Hardy, I am told, kept an excellent goal, and the general defence of the Anfielders was rather above recent standards, their halves also working hard and well against a side that was rendered hungry for points and goals in consequence of repeated preceding failures.
It was in attack that Liverpool chiefly disappointed us. The extreme wing-pair, Arthur Goddard and Cox, were surprisingly ineffective, and did not give their insiders those scoring opportunities which the latter had reason to expect. Both Robert Robinson and Joe Hewitt played perseveringly.
Much interest centred in the League debut of young Bertram Goode, the Chester youth, who has been showing to advantage all season in reserve team battle. He played good and spirited football for forty-five minutes, but then appeared to taper off somewhat. The lad undoubtedly has football in him, and I should like to see him tried in a home League match at inside right, his proper position.
Beyond all question, however, Ronald Orr was missed on Saturday.
(Cricket and Football Field, November 14, 1908)