Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cottage calapse

Balls. When I saw the team sheet on Saturday I got very worried. 3-1 was the final result after a 1-1 draw at the break. We actually played well enough in the first half and things might have been different if Yossi had of scored rather than hit the bar in the first half. The defence we started was Insua, Carragher, Kyrgiakos and Degen which has a combined cost of £2.5m. Insua is having a poor time of it now and didn't cover himself in glory here. None of them did at the back. Degen was unfortunate to see a red and it may be rescinded on appeal. Then Carra went for a second yellow and we were down to 9. Laughable stuff. The only bright point was a stunning strike by El Nino.Lyon say that they're wary of the Liverpool threat. That threat has been lessened by the massive injury list we're suffering. The latest news is that GloJo and Aurelio aren't fit enough to travel. They will join Gerrard, Skrtel, Kelly, Riera and Dossena in the physio room. The more positive news is that Agger, Aquilani and David N'Gog have travelled. The big questions for me are who starts at right back as Degen isn't registered and dare we risk and Aquilani start? Darby may have to fill in for Johnson. It's either that or play Carragher there which hasn't worked at all recently. Starting Aquilani would be a big risk and I suspect it will be a case of him coming on for 20-30 mins at the end if he's needed. I'd love to see him start but I doubt he's ready for it. I'm really worried about this one. I think we'd win with our first team but we're far from that. A draw might be doable but I can't see us winning.

Dossena is being linked with a Jan move to Napoli. He's not playing much and will want to get some game time in to secure his world cup place. I wouldn't be too surprised to see him go if Rafa is assured he'll get to reinvest the funds. Spanish defender Mikel San Jose looks like he'll return to the Kop after a pointless spell on loan at Atletic Bilbao. We could be looking at a boost to our Hungarian community with Vladimir Koman who's currently playing for Bari. He's 20 and plays on the left wing and could cost us up to £4m.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Carling cup knockout

Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool was what the scoreboard displayed at full time. We were treated to two stunning strikes in a really open and attacking game. Both Insua and Merida provided goals to savour. We played quite well and could have won it. Arsenal carved us open a few times but they took their chances. Babel in particular spurned a glorious chance when he failed to connect a few yards in front of goal. That could have changed things.

Dirk was captain on the night and did his best to gee the lads on to victory. Cavalieri didn't really impress and I would worry if Pepe gets injured. The real surprise showing on the night was Degen who rampaged forward from right back showing great pace and attacking ability. It was heartening to see and we have some proper cover and right back now between him and young Marty Kelly.

All eyes were on Alberto when he came on near the end. He showed great touch and ability with one sublime raking ball to Degen on the right standing out. He might have won a penalty at the death when an overhead kick hit Senderos on the arm. Might have been soft but you do see them given. That would have been a dream debut for the little Prince.Now it's back to the league and we face a tough trip to Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon. Hodgson is doing a great job there and they've gone from being a shambles to a well organised team. I fancy them to blockade the goal and frustrate us, which is their right. We'll need to keep concentration on set pieces and hope that Torres & Yossi can carve them open.

Tony Barrett in the Times exposes the brutal truth behind life at Anfield under Rafa the cold and heartless dictator. Good lad Tone.

The Telegraph reckon we're after Juan Mata of Valencia. With what money? The Guardian say that we're offering Pepe a new deal. Sign him up quick smart. Best keeper in the league for me.

Click here to watch Jan Molby's legendary goal against Utd from 1985. It was thought lost for years but is now availabe to view online. Classic goal from the days before his butt was bigger as his talent.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Sweet, sweet victory. Any win would have done considering the run we were on but a 2-0 win over the Man Ure where we dominated and destroyed them was very satisfying. Top marks to the team, it's hard to pick a poor performer among them. Rafa out anyone? The managerial obituaries will have to wait for a while yet.

Lucas and Masch were superb and totally bossed Scholes and Carrick. This was the Brazilian's best ever performance for us and humble pie will be selling out in many quarters. N'Gog did well and took his chance very maturely. El Nino was only 80% fit but still managed to give Vidic and Ferdinand a torrid time. He made dirt of Rio for the opener. Don't think I'll ever get tired of watching that. Rumour has it that kids on Merseyside are going to dress up as Torres for Hallowe'en and call over to Vidic's house. No doubt he'll be in a quivering mess when he answers the door. That's a hat trick of red cards when he's faced Torres in the league. Lovely.

Check out this happy bunch. You almost feel sorry for them. Almost.Fergie was up to his old trick of trying to blame the ref for his own team's inadequacies. Retired referee Graham Poll is having none of it and says the ref got his decisions correct. Eat that Slur Alex.

Rafa says that Aquilani will get some minutes against Arsenal in the Carling Cup but isn't ready to start. Kyrgiakos and Dossena will return to the squad and I wouldn't be surprised to see either start. I expect that we'll see a similar team to the Leeds match with a mixture of squad and reserve players. I have to say that I'm not too bothered if we miss out at the Emirates. Fulham is a much more important fixture and Gerrard won't be considered until that one.

Pennant sets us straight about Rafa in the Guardian. This man is a genius and clearly set for a long and successful career in management. Let's appoint him player manager now.

Lyon's full back Cissokho says he'd like to play for us someday.
Not a bad player at all.

This magazine is a must for all Vidic fans. He gives the lowdown on his status as Fernando's bitch.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The aftermath

Just when I thought we were out, they pull us back in. Crap. That was not what we needed. To break it down:

  • Kelly was brilliant at right back. Fantastic performance from the teenager and we disimproved when he came off injured. A star of the future.
  • Agger looked better in the middle but still a bit rusty. How we've missed him bringing the ball out of defence. He's the one we can trust not to hoof it, losing possession. Far too much of that from Skrtel and Carra at the moment.
  • Pepe was in superb form again, as he has been all season despite a ropey defence in front of him. His saves in the lead up to the equaliser were fantastic but there was only so much he could do before one of them went in. He needed a dig out by one of the defenders.
  • N'Gog started well enough but faded badly in the second half. He's improving but he's not really ready to step into the Torres breach just yet.
It now looks like we'll need to win our remaining games to qualify from the group and may need to beat Fiorintina by more than 2-0. Big ask to be honest but we've completed similar escape acts before.

So now it's the Mancs on Sunday. Bad timing. It looks like GloJo will be back but it's still touch and go on Torres and Gerrard. I don't fancy our chances without them. The team is short of confidence at the minute and we need our totems back. We've had such shit luck with injuries this year. International football has a lot to answer for here.

This article by Paul Tomkins should be required reading for all Reds. It details his four hour chat with Rafa at Melwood. Amazing stuff but I'd love to read the off the record version.

Those at Prenton Park for Liverpool's reserve match v Sunderland on Tuesday were treated to some crazy skills from Alberto Aquilani, no less. It was great for him to get a run out and I suspect he may get some game time in the carling cup match v Arsenal next week. But the problem for Alberto is that the expectations for him are increasing as our results get worse. If he's not Pirlo, Del Piero and Totti all rolled into one, he'll be declared a flop.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


I didn't think we would do well here given the injuries and team we put out. However, I didn't expect us to beaten by a fucking balloon. In fairness, we played shit and deserved to be beaten regardless of the beach ball.

A 1-0 loss was disappointing but not entirely unexpected given the spine of our team was ripped out by international football. I considered backing Sunderland but didn't get around to it. Rafa went 3 5 2 and it was good to see Agger back even if he did look a bit rusty. Spearing and Lucas in midfield didn't really work. The Brazilian wasn't 100% after returning from South America the night before the game. It was a tough match for Spearing to make his league debut in and it didn't really go that well for him. Hopefully he'll learn from this and improve. Rafa wants him to become our new midfield anchor. They are big boots for the small man to fill. Next up we face Lyon in Anfield on Tuesday. Pjanic will be the dangerman, so I hope he doesn't have the impact that Jovetic did a few weeks back. I'm hoping that we'll have our players back for this one. Lyon are a good side and we'll need to win this one if we want to get out of the group. A loss here would send the knee jerkers and phone in shows into panic mode. They're not far away from that now.

Jamie Carragher has admitted that he's not happy with his own form. He hasn't been at his best this year but neither has Skrtel. Now that Agger is back, I can see him putting the two of them under pressure.

Didi Hamann is back at Liverpool, coaching the youths at the Academy with Frank McParland. I wonder if he is giving them betting tips and teaching them how to get away with a sneaky smoke?

Here's Nemeth in action against the Italian U20 team, doing well and scoring two goals. Hungary were knocked out in the end but it will have done the kid well to score and compete at this level.

Yossi's agent says he's happy at Anfield and isn't interested in a move to Man City. I would hate to see him leave after the past year he's had. He's one of our most dangerous players these days and who we look to after Gerrard and Torres.

Check out Paul Tomkins blog, the Tomkins Times. The Cascarino article is great.

The Mirror reckon we're after Vasco de Gama striker Nilton in January. I'd be surprised as it doesn't seem like Rafa has any cash to spend. Chris Bascombe paints a grim picture of the state of affairs in the NOTW.

The guardian interviewed Riera in their small talk section. He seems like a decent sort. Bit surprised he doesn't pay for his music often given the amount of money he earns.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Building bridges

It may sound hard to believe but we played pretty well in our 2-0 defeat in Stamford Bridge. I thought it was really even until we conceded the first goal. After that we over committed numbers forward and were caught on the break. To be honest, I thought our defence played really well bar the slip up at the end for the second goal. The midfield punched their own weight but neither Dirk not Riera gave great service to Gerrard and Torres, neither of whom had much impact. But our performance level was much the same as it was last season, the difference being that this time we didn't get the result. I wasn't too disheartened afterwards, just a bit pissed off that we have to wait two weeks to get things back on track.Ahead of the match, El Nino had an interview in the Guardian where he opens up on fatherhood and how he loves living on Merseyside. Sure the city is lucky to have him.

Carra says we're facing into a massive week after the international break, and he for one is ready. We face Sunderland away first up followed by Lyon and Man Utd at Anfield. Let's remember that Sunderland drew at Old Toilet, and only missed out on a victory by a cruel deflection off Anto Ferdinand's leg. This will not be easy and our defence will have to be on top of their game to deal with Bent playing as good as he ever has. Himself and Jones are a real handful. On the plus side, we might have a fit again Daniel Agger in the squad as he came through a reserve match last week. Aquilani is progressing well but is still about two weeks away for fitness.

Paul Tomkins doesn't pull any punches in his slating of Tony Cascarino and his ilk. Give's 'em what for.

Ian Ayre has some positive spin on the new shirt sponsorship deal on the BBC site. It sounds like they've done well on the commercial side, the downside being that the money will probably end up in the pockets of George and Tom, despite their protestations. You can read the full transcript of Gillett's interview with SOS here.