Sunday, January 20, 2008

Villa vindicated

Well it finished 2-2 but you won't see a more one-sided match. We battered them for 70 mins and then they scored 2 goals, the second of which was a flukey deflected OG. But it's been a recurring theme this year that we dominate teams, but don't turn our chances and domination into goals. We need more top class players to do so. Kuyt had a great first half but was dire in the second. Yossi did well for his goal and had a decent match. We were so in control at the start of the second half that it seemed a question of how many would we win by. But then the defence seemed to go to sleep and Harewood hooked one in after the ball was headed back across goal. It really shouldn't have been allowed to happen and I'd imagine that Rafa went apeshit when he saw it. The second goal was a freak occurrence when a shot rebounded off Aurelio and went in past Pepe. The team were in shock for a minute but then stepped it up again. Skrtel came on for the injured Arbeloa and did well enough. Crouchie came on and put himself about. He did well to finish from a cough angle, through a crowd of players. Well done big man. He obviously had his nachos.

Javier Mascherano was immense last night. Stevie had something of a quiet night but El Jefe made up for it and was the driving force in midfield. At times it looked like Villa couldn't get past him, no matter what they did. He is absolute quality and was always available. We really need to buy this guy in the summer. But given the current board situation, I wouldn't hold out too much hope.

The mighty Havant and Waterlooville visit Anfield on Saturday. My pulse is definitely not racing. Hope we see some of the kids getting a run out. This would be one to watch with the sound down to avoid the endless cliches of magic of the cups, David v Goliath, Giantkillers etc.

The boardroom saga rumbles on. Dion Fanning had a fantastic article on it in the Sunday Indo. Talk over the weekend suggested DIC are about to launch a bid for somewhere in the region for £350-500m. But then Hicks said that he doesn't want to sell his shares. This may mean that Gillett will decide the future of the club. Al Ansari, the CEO of DIC is a lifelong Liverpool fan and often attends games at Anfield which is a good sign, I suppose.

It looks like we've failed with a £400000 bid to sign an 18 year old Croatian player called Vida. He's decided to stay in Croatia and play for his club rather than sit on the bench with us. Fair enough. Sure he might change his mind in a year or two.

Of interest to Irish reds is the news that Steve Finnan is to retire from International duty. I suppose that it's good news for Liverpool as he won't be going away during international breaks and will get more rest. It is definitely bad news for Ireland though.

There were rumours that Leto and El Zhar might be on their way to Racing Santander for the rest of the season. It now appears that they will both be staying here. It's hard to know if either has a future with us in the first team. Probably not.

Let's get DICed.


Thomas Kelly said...

Mal, I read today that both Inter and Milan are in for Mascherano given that Liverpool are not going to buy him. Losing JM would be a disaster, there's no other defensive midfielder they could sign who could do anything like the job he's done. And with Sissoko off to Juve the 'pool will be very short in the centre of the park. What do you make of all this?

Mal said...

Momo going is fine. I think that he's stagnated since his injury last year. Javier leaving in the summer is a disaster. He's the best in the world at his job in my view. The American owners don't seem big on investment so I wouldn't be surprised if they let him go in July. It's all falling apart and it's very depressing. In the unlikely event of DIC buying us in between, I'm sure that they'll listen to Rafa and snap him up. £17m is a bargain for a player of his class compared to the likes of Hargreaves/Carrick etc.