Loyal acolytes of King Kenny will claim that the Reds were unlucky yesterday because of the second Carroll "goal" but that would miss the point entirely. It took Liverpool 60 minutes to turn up and it was only when Chelsea started to tire that Dalglish's assorted mercenaries came into their own. Up until then the gulf in class was almost embarrassing. And remember, this is a Chelsea team in decline!
As a neutral, I was fascinated watching Lampard and Gerrard. The conventional wisdom is that Gerrard is the better of the two, but head to head, Lampard looked much the better player to me. Stevie G is like Scotty Parker in a West Ham shirt, with added goal scoring potential. His energy levels and commitment are undeniable but the whole team is secondary to Gerrard and his desire to be everywhere at once means that others simply piggy back in terms of effort. Liverpool fans will scream in protest, just as West Ham fans screamed when I said Parker was part of the problem, but jettisoning Gerrard may be a vital first step in moving forward. Clinging to the past is no way to progress, as the appointment of Dalglish proves.
From an England perspective, Carroll's performance was encouraging. His potential is undeniable and as controversial figure as he is, the next Liverpool should be built around him rather than Gerrard. And as John Barnes says, Henderson must also be given his head now. There's talk of spending another chunk of John Henry's money but as Pardew has shown at Newcastle, spending huge sums is not necessarily the secret of success. Finding a team shape and a team spirit are more important and, in recent years, Liverpool have been too preoccupied with punching big in the transfer market thinking that if they can outspend Man Utd, they will outperform them. No chance.
It's time to break with the past. For Liverpool to move forward, both Dalglish and Gerrard need to be shown the door. It will be painful, there will be tears at the parting of the ways, but as they say in the Financial Services sector, past performance is is not necessarily a guide to future performance.