Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Well, whaddya know? It's Aurelio

Another interminable international break is upon us, but that doesn't mean the fun is going to stop. It's still "Liverpool Pulls a Rabbit Out of Fratton Park Appreciation Week" for me here at Match Pricks. Today's moment of reflection upon Saturday's heart-stopper focuses on Fabio Aurelio, the talented left back who often is overlooked at Anfield because he's injured so often.

Well, he used to be just a left back, but after Saturday, I guess he's a left back/attacking left-side central mid. Wow, I really had no idea what Rafa was going for with that 3-4-2-1, putting Ngog upfront with Benayoun and Babel cutting in with support. It didn't really work as he envisioned (because Babel is awful), but Mascherano hung back in front of the three defenders and Aurelio was the only force forward through the middle. Never, ever would've guessed that'd work anywhere except on the training ground against the reserves. But Aurelio really was an effective worker Saturday in that new role. Ngog wasn't experienced enough to pull some of the flick and turns he tried, although he showed promise, and of course, Babel has the first touch of a 15-year-old in a dark corner at the junior prom. But still, Aurelio made some things happen and they controlled the first half.

During the comeback, Aurelio banged in the brilliant close-range indirect free kick because of Crouchy's horrible back pass to David James and the thrill of the month was on. Amazing.

I'm not saying Rafa should stick with this in a really big match (*cough, cough* March 14), but it was a blast. It was a lot of fun, Aurelio. I've watched the final two goals again today on DVR. I don't think it'll ever get old.

1 comment:

Darrell Balzrina said...

I love your comment about Babel being a dark 15 year old in the corner of a prom...priceless! Maybe Babel should go back and play at a pot smoking country to help ease him into the pressure...

March 14 will be rowdy