Sunday, May 17, 2009

Baggies burst

A 2-0 over the baggies marked their demise from the league and an end to our away campaign with just the spurs match to go. West Brom were clearly more "up for it" than we were and started the match at a ferocious pace. Not surprising given they were fighting for their lives. It took us a while to get up so speed but a gift from the home defence allowed Gerrard to pounce and score yet another league goal. It got easier after that. Dirk added the second after a fine pass from Stevie. Dirk has been in superb form this year and this was his 12th goal, equalling his best ever league haul. Even more impressive is the fact that they've all been from open play. Dirka dirka. Lucas put in a good shift in the middle with Xabi starting on the bench. When Javier came off injured the basque took his spot.

The fact that Utd had wrapped up the league yesterday did make this something of a damp squib. Arsenal took points from them but alas it was too late to matter. This did have the feel of a dead rubber but with Chelsea winning we had to make sure of second and the extra cash that we'll receive for it. Second place gets 30% of champions league revenue while third place only gets 15%. Big difference.

Carra explained that his bust up with Arbeloa was over trying to keep a clean sheet, with the aim of securing yet another golden gloves award for Pepe. Some people might be pissed off with it but it never bothers me seeing players have a go at each other. He shouldn't have raised his hands as he could've been sent off but I've no problem with keeping high standards through fear. Keane used to regularly bollock players at Utd, Gary Neville was on the end of one particularly savage tirade. It's been a great week for Steven Gerrard who was named Footballer of the year, the first Liverpool player to win the award since John Barnes in 1990. Here he is celebrating the 4-1 win at Old Toilet this season. He said in an interview today that he's matured in recent years and it's been obvious this year. He does appear less selfish now. His conversion to an attacking midfielder has helped to make the most of his qualities. John Giles said he was a worthy winner of the award. Much better choice than Giggs who won the PFA award despite barely playing or scoring. His 16 goals and 9 assists are a fantastic return. If only himself and Torres had been able to start a few more games. 13 starts together wasn't nearly enough.

Piet Hamburg is leaving the Academy this summer. This has been expected for a while as he seems to have been Rick Parrys man. He will be succeeded by Jose Segura who previously worked at the Barcelona academy. In other staff related news, Rafa has been praising Sammy lee saying he is close to perfect as a number 2. Is that because he no longer has ambition to be a boss after his failed attempt at Bolton?

Dossena is returning to Italy with Milan the likely venue according to channel 4. David Silva's agent says that there is interest from clubs and there are reports that we've offered £15m for the Valencia winger. Xabi's agent says he's going nowhere which must come as a great relief to us all. I still fear that he might be off if we receive a massive offer from Real Madrid or somebody else. Hope I'm wrong. Cadiz youngster Jesus "Suso" Fernandez is on his way to Anfield for talks according to the Mirror.

How would you feel about going to watch a match in the Carlsberg stadium on Stanley Park? While there might be emotional issues surrounding naming rights, the financial reality of our predicament means that we're going to have to sign up some partner for the stadium. Carlsberg have been decent over the years and wouldn't be a bad choice. Given the international money markets, it's a moot point at the moment.

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