The Liver Bird  

Friday, 30 July 2010

Magic In Macedonia

July 29, 2010 - Skopje, FYROM - epa02266005 Liverpool's player David Ngog scores against Rabotnicki during the qualification soccer match for Europa League between Liverpol FC and FC Rabotnicki in Skopje, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 29 July 2010.
Ngog converts his first effort...

David Ngog led Liverpool to a secure 2-0 victory last night in Macedonia as Roy's first competitive game gets him off to a great start. The new manager perhaps took a big risk in leaving the likes of Reina, Carragher, Gerrard, Kuyt and many others at home to sit this one out, but it's safe to say the risk paid off and an unfamiliar Liverpool side were more than comfortable against the team from Skopje.

Hodgson fielded a very mixed XI, Cavalieri started in goal with Agger, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and Kelly making up the back four. Aquilani, Lucas, Spearing and new signing Jovanovic made up the midfield with Ngog and Amoo up front. Darby, Dalla Valle and Eccleston also made sub appearances.

It took just under 20minutes for Liverpool to make their mark on the game. An ever aware Ngog was on the chase after a defensive and goalkeeping misjudgement meant he was able to easily send the ball home and make it 1-0.

Liverpool could now lay off the pace a bit after the settling first goal and were strong in the remainder of the first half. With no real threat from Rabotnicki it was clear that the team Hodgson chose would be more than capable of seeing this game out.

Near the hour mark Liverpool capitalized on their stability with a second from the young Frenchman. Ngog was set up by a lovely cross from academy starlet Martin Kelly and his first touch finish was superb.

Ngog appears to be getting stronger each time i see him. He's definitely still learning the game and is constantly adding aspects to his own performances. Very proud of the lad.

With efforts from Aquilani, Kyrgiakos and Kelly it could have been an even better scoreline for the Reds but the comfortable 2-0 is a perfect result to take into the second leg on the 5th August at Anfield.

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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Liverpool V Rabotnicki

Can Roy go all the way to the final again this time with the Reds?...

Liverpool face Macedonian side FK Rabotnicki tonight in their first competitive game of the season. To get out the starting blocks in the Europa League it is still guesswork as to who Roy Hodgson will be fielding tonight in his XI.

Expect a lot of the big names to still be missing but perhaps players like Aquilani and David N'Gog who he has already utilised to start. Lucas Leiva is also strongly rumoured to be starting the game as captain which again indicates the likes of Reina, Carra, Gerrard, Torres, Kuyt etc etc will probably not feature. Some haven't even travelled over to Eastern Europe for the game.

It will be interesting to see how Roy sets up the side because although a win should be achievable comfortably, this is no match to be mixing and matching formations. However he sees it and whoever he plays i can't see this being a thriller though. Punt for a simple 1-0.

So who are FK Rabotnicki?

Well they were formed in 1937 and hail from the Macedonian capital Skopje.

They have won the Macedonian Football League three times, the Macedonian Republic League ten times and the Macedonian Cup twice.

The Macedonian League was ranked 40th in a list by UEFA in 08/09.

They play in all red whilst their away kit in mostly white.

They have previously made it too the third qualifying round of the Champions League and also have a decent record within the UEFA Cup/Europa League.

Aside from 5 Brazilians and one Croat their team consists of Macedonians.

Against a Liverpool side of any caliber this team should cause no threat, so let's hope the lads fielded tonight can go out and get a good result.

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Sunday, 25 July 2010

Kaiserslautern & Riera Loss + Tom & George Not Welcome Anywhere Campaign

Football - Liverpool v Chelsea UEFA Champions League Quarter Final First Leg - Anfield, Liverpool, England - 8/4/09..Liverpool's Albert Riera before the game Photo via Newscom
No-one's gonna miss that chin...

Liverpool's second pre season friendly ended in a 1-0 loss on Saturday. It was another typical pre season display for another unfamilar Liverpool set up but again, many positives from players such as Amoo, Kelly and David N'Gog could be taken from the match in Germany.

Milan Jovanovic also got his chance to shine after he was selected to feature by Roy Hodgson, his first minutes in a Liverpool shirt were somewhat promising and we can expect to see much more from the Serbian in the coming games i should imagine.

Kaiserslautern fought a hard game and it was Tobias Sippel who got them thier perhaps deserved winner. With our first competitive game up next against FC Rabotnicki in the Europa League, the lads fielded will look to add some improvement to fine tweak their encouraging display.

In other news, camp unsettler and lover of talking Mr. Albert Riera has sealed a move from Liverpool to Olympiakos. I was a big fan of Riera when he showed up at Anfield, some fans weren't convinced but i always thought he was vital to that missing width we seemed to have in the season before he showed up. I was always first to try to defend him.

However after his "sinking ship" comments at exactly the wrong time, his selfish attitude along with the unveiling of that academy incident, i could no longer support him. I still feel he's a good player but we are a lot better off without him now then we would be with him.

I'll be decent enough to wish him good luck, but most of me still hopes he regrets what he did in his time at Liverpool and i hope he realises what he's passed up.

To end on, in case you aren't aware, supporters union Spirit Of Shankly are holding a campaign on their website entitled "Tom & George Not Welcome Anywhere". The idea is super simple and they already have a lot of backing but after submitting my own photo yesterday i think it's about time i let you lot know about it.

I realise i have a wide variety of readers, Liverpool fans from all over the world, i can tell this just from looking at my flag counter, so what better way to show your disgust at what those two parasites are doing to our club than simply taking a photograph of yourself with this poster in the place you live.

Some of you may be like me and live in the most little known and un exotic of places, whereas others may live in some beautful countries, point is, it doesn't matter, the idea is to show that Tom and George are not wanted anywhere... In Liverpool, in Birmingham, London, Texas, South Korea, New Zealand... anywhere.

Here is the current gallery -> http://www.spiritofshankly.com/gallery-15.html

So get taking those snaps and send them over to this email address - notwelcomeanywhere@spiritofshankly.com

And I'll tell you what, if enough of you get round to doing it and you would like to, send your pictures to my email too - lfckirstylfc@hotmail.co.uk and i shall do a special blog post on the worldwide kopites. The only catch being that if you haven't sent it in to Spirit Of Shankly, it won't be featured in my blog post.

Get snapping!

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Friday, 23 July 2010

Grasshopper Result & Danny Wilson Signing

Is it not risky to parade your new signings at such heights?...

Liverpool's first friendly of the season after the game against Al Hilal was cancelled ended in a 0-0 draw. Hodgson's first game against old employers - Grasshopper was an average display, typical of a pre season friendly filled with youngsters and untested players.

By no means though was this a reason to raise fault at the unfamiliar looking Liverpool side, with academy starlets such as Eccleston and Amoo shining and also causing problems for Grasshopper, the fielded XI have nothing to be ashamed of.

The team was captained by Lucas and it was fellow regular Alberto Aquilani who had one of the most promising chances for the Red's who were showing off the latest third strip for the shop window. (Might i add the best option of a black strip for Liverpool FC this year is the alternative one, don't line their pockets! www.ourclubourshirt.com).

So a hard fought and promising 0-0 if ever there was one, shall look forward to seeing some more of Liverpool's lesser known players in the near future.

In other news, Liverpool have completed the signing of Danny Wilson from Rangers. The 18 year old was praised massively by Rangers and they were more than happy to keep him on, the youngster however had made his mind up and opted for the move to Anfield.

Listed as a centre back it will be interesting to see whether Wilson will get an immediate start, with such competition from the likes of Carragher, Agger, Skrtel and Kyrgiakos in that position the lad will have to do a lot of hard work to make any real impression.

Still learning his trade though and clearly filled with potential... Danny Wilson - Welcome To Anfield.


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Monday, 19 July 2010

Joe Cole - Welcome To Anfield

Jan. 27, 2010 - United Kingdom - Football - Chelsea v Birmingham City Barclays Premier League - Stamford Bridge - 27/1/10..Chelsea's Joe Cole.
I knew he was pacey but jeez...

Liverpool today confirmed the signing of Joe Cole. Believed to be a four year deal the ex Chelsea player has agreed personal terms and will be having a medical within the next two days or so.

A skillful player and a respected one by many football fans. Personally as somebody who rarely respects/appreciates many footballers from other clubs... Joe Cole has always been a player I have liked, right from his West Ham days, I've watched him mature and improve and I'm delighted he has chosen a move to Anfield.

A minor concern which i can totally understand from some fans though is the fact he is rather injury prone, depending on how much we are forking out for his wages and how well he holds his fitness, of course this could have been a gamble, but in my eyes, a gamble well worth the risk. I just hope it pays off for whoever signed him, was it Roy? Roy had talks... but hang on isn't Purslow controlling transfers these days? Or did he have a day off?

As i have been ranting on about all day if Purslow thinks this is going to take my mind off the fact he is wrongly playing god at Anfield then he has another thing coming! But to remain on the positive that Liverpool have signed a great addition to the squad, lets have a look at some stats about the Londoner.

He's 28 years old and was born on November 8th.

He has only been at two football clubs previous to Liverpool: West Ham (Came up through West Ham youth academy) and Chelsea. He can score goals but as proved by his appearance v goals scored he's not a machine...

West Ham (Apps) - 126 (Goals) -10
Chelsea (Apps) - 183 (Goals) - 28

One thing not to disregard though of course is how much he brings to the table in terms of assists. Countless amount of times we have seen him whip in crosses for both Chelsea and England so expect him to be a useful supply for the likes of Fernando Torres.

DYK?: Joe Cole came 4th in the Independent's list of Britain's happiest people. (2006)

With Benayoun leaving a hole on the wing and also a massive gap in terms of boots filling our "skillful" players section i feel Joe Cole will be a great asset to Liverpool. A likable chap too who could have quite easily have chosen a more simple and perhaps more lucrative move to the likes of City or Arsenal, I'd like to think he will fit in nicely up North.

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Saturday, 17 July 2010

Liverpool V Al Hilal

Roy's first game in charge...

It's back! The football season is back! Praise the lord. The minute the World Cup ended all i wanted to see was Reina back in that goal! Of course tomorrow's team probably won't feature many of the regular faces, some are still on holiday/injuries etc but it will give us a chance to see Roy Hodgson's style and i am hoping to catch a bit of Milan Jovanovic too.

Al Hilal are a Saudi Arabian side, relatively unknown to the footballing world. So what do we know about them?...

Well they hold the most trophies out of all the Saudi Arabian teams. Their captain "Deayea" holds the world record for most international appearances. The team was formally known as Olympic Club but received a name change in 1958.

Eric Gerets middle name "Maria" (don't laugh!) was their manager. The former Belgian defender however has very recently taken a move to Morocco leaving Al Hilal in an awkward situation.

So with those few rather useless pieces of information i am afraid that until we start to play more familiar opposition, is what the previews will be like. Usually i would comment on how i think we'd do, maybe predict their style of play etc etc but i just can't, i have no idea who or what to expect.

So stick with me! Things will pick up again, i'll be back to my old ranting, moaning self after the Arsenal game. But until then enjoy Liverpool's first game as much as you can. It does all seem less exciting what with the current situation surrounding the club.

What makes it worse is that playing somewhere like Saudi Arabia would usually be a great chance to publicize the club, but the thought of more Saudi's purchasing official merchandise and helping out Parasite A & Parasite B upstairs really makes my stomach churn.

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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Standards Corrupted


Yes that's right folks, there is no better way to describe it, Liverpool FC's standards have been corrupted. Why? By whom you say? Well look no further than Mr George Gillett and Mr Tom Hicks, wherever they may be at this moment in time, point is, they just don't care.

The financial abyss that these two supposedly "trustworthy" custodians of our club have got us into is now beyond descriptive paragraphs. I shan't sit here and try to spurt out facts and figures because we've all read the articles, the paperwork, the lies.

I for one for these reasons, along with many others am finding it extremely difficult to justify why i should fork out nearly £50 from money i haven't really even got to get me a nice brand spanking new Liverpool shirt this season.

Firstly, it makes me sick to the stomach knowing i am funding the parasites rampage. Secondly, when we all have a long hard think about it, doesn't it make you realise how bloody expensive football shirts are these days!

I purchase the shirt to show my support, but here i am purchasing a shirt supporting nothing but the downfall of the club i love.

What should i do? I hear you say. What should we do? What can we do?

It's unbelievably simple, firstly put aside £20 for the shirt and a couple of quid for the p&p, secondly punch in http://www.ourclubourshirt.com/ to your address bar. When you reach the site select the pre-order tab and insert your details to register your interest, when you receive an email back you can complete the payment and you will have yourself a fantastic piece of design from the hard work of several people.

Not only this but most importantly, most crucially, by wearing this shirt you are not abandoning or disowning your team, those boys on the pitch are still being supported, with the influential and iconic Liver Bird and the significant five stars, nobody is forgetting the football, we are simply protesting against what is killing it.

The shirt is purposely black mainly to signify the mourning of our club but also in relation to finance (out the red and into the black etc etc). It is made by VIGA a professional brand who already supply other sportswear and i think it looks superb.

My name is down on that list and yours should be too. Don't be a pawn in the Yanks game, this isn't a business, this is our club.

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Thursday, 8 July 2010

Milan Jovanovic - Welcome To Anfield

Serbia's Milan Jovanovic jumps over an advertising board as he celebrates after scoring a goal against Germany during a 2010 World Cup Group D soccer match at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth June 18, 2010.        REUTERS/Howard Burditt (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP IMAGE OF THE DAY TOP PICTURE)
I wonder how he'll celebrate his first goal? ...

Liverpool today made the signing of the Serbian official after paperwork was finished at the clubs training ground Melwood.

Jovanovic has already had a claim to fame this summer after scoring the winner against a fantastic Germany side in the World Cup.

He was quoted today saying: "It is an honour for me to sign for one of the biggest clubs in football."

Jovanovic has had only four previous clubs, the 29 year old started his career at FK Vojvodina who are the second oldest club in Serbia. He then moved on to Shaktar Donetsk for one year before again moving on to Russia.

He spent 2 years at Lokomotiv Moscow and made just three appearances. It is his period at Standard Liege though that reignited interest in the striker. After signing in 2006 he scored 52 goals in 116 appearances... Not bad going even in the Belgian league.

His international career reads 10 goals to 29 appearances. From what he put on display in the World Cup i think it is fair to say that he is clearly a very strong and dominating forward, Jovanovic appears to be a bit of a mystery to most pundits because as mentioned before, analysis is usually based solely on his time at Standard Liege, however i think Rafael Benitez's farewell gift as it were will be a good asset to our ever thinning Liverpool side.

I for one can't wait to see him play.

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Monday, 5 July 2010

Roy Takes The Anfield Hot Seat

Best of luck Roy YNWA...

Bit slow with keeping up with the latest news it may seem but fear not, i was aware Roy Hodgson was unveiled last week as manager, just couldn't find time to do a post so here it is.

Hodgson has left behind a Fulham side who have believed to have been paid a compensation fee in the region of £2million and stepped into as he called it "The biggest job in club football..."

Of course he's right, Liverpool pushing aside the enormous parasite sucking on the club at the moment which is the case of the ownership, is still, and always has been a very lucrative job in club football, and as Roy also highlighted we are still "Britain's most successful football club."

Unfortunately under normal circumstances a new manager would be met with extreme excitement and the fans would be filled with hope. However, this time out through no fault of the manager, the fan base simply cannot get excited, firstly because they know the harsh reality that until the owners are ousted, whoever is in charge will not be able to run things properly, but also for some fans it is because Hodgson is simply not the big name that they wished for.

Of course, most fans were intelligent enough to realise that we were never going to be able to attract let alone afford a big name but some, the majority of which who wanted Benitez out half expected to see Mourinho walking through the Shankly gates... Dreamland.

So Hodgson it is, Liverpool will be the 16th club he has managed so there are no arguments against his experience.

He started his managerial career in Sweden with Halmstad and took them to the title twice. He also took Malmo FF another Swedish side to the title and seemed to create a liking towards the Scandinavian football scene ever since.

He also had two periods at Inter Milan, in one of which he managed to take them to the UEFA Cup final. After losing however the Italians had little patience with Roy and were vociferous with their anger.

He had a successful time at Copenhagen where he took them to the title and also the super cup.

His next real and perhaps now most respected successful managerial period was with Fulham. As Liverpool saw last year Roy managed to take the London side all the way through to the Europa League final, something the boys from Merseyside narrowly missed out on themselves. He has also taken Fulham to their best ever finish within the Premier League and at the end of last season picked up the award for the LMA Manager Of The Year .

Hodgson as a manager has also had his bad times, notably one of which was his short time at Blackburn Rovers, he spent a lot of money when it is put into finance perspectives of the 1990's and was sacked after his second season when Blackburn were at the bottom of the table in December.

Roy may not be what i simply refer to as "being Liverpool" but i have full confidence in his capabilities, he's no nonsense, traditional and should be okay in the transfer market, with no mega bucks to spend anyway this does not worry me too much.

I feel he offers quite a different feel and managerial style to Benitez which at this stage i am thinking, if we are going to have a change lets go the whole hog.

The main thing that does worry me is his ability to keep hold of players like Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, people have been throwing the likes of Javier Mascherano into that mix but to be perfectly honest i think that one is already a goner, Mascherano is a superb player, arguably the best in the world at what he does but he's a player that doesn't always have to fit into your plans as a manager, whereas i feel as a manager with Gerrard and Torres in his hand, you can't afford to not play them.

I don't expect Roy to create a miracle, and nor should anyone else, a realistic aim of steadying the ship which is a phrase being spurted by many a Liverpool fan at the moment would be fine. I think the highest we can hope for is a 4th place finish and even this seems a major task for the new manager.

The only real downside to Roy as pointed out in a brilliant article by Dion Fanning recently with which i totally agree is that he won't speak out. He is the perfect man for the job from the boards perspective because unlike Benitez he will just get on with it, Rafa knew that he could afford to tell the truth and have a public fight against the way the club was being run because he knew the fans were behind him and he knew that he would still have a job offer waiting at the door should the board eventually have had enough and pull the plug, which they did.

Roy however will just go along quietly, he will answer the media's questions with exactly what they want to hear and won't dare question who is in control of his transfer budget or why he hasn't been able to spend the profits from a player sale. In Roy's eyes this is the opportunity of a lifetime and in order to keep within a job he has probably been dreaming of and in fairness deserves, he will just keep to the rules.

That's okay though because the fans will not let the board or the owners sit back, relax and buy some more time, Roy, as long as he tries his utmost and keeps a good bond with the fan base will be fine, i hope you all join me in wishing him the best of luck.

Roy Hodgson - Welcome to Anfield.

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Spirit Of Shankly Independence Day Success

WE ARE THE CLUB...

The 4th of July is a massive holiday across the pond but yesterday was not a day to celebrate the Independence Day with fireworks and over the top celebrations, no, it was a day to celebrate the independence wanted from the two Americans who are in control of our beloved football club.

With guests on the list such as Karen Gill (Bill Shankly's Granddaughter), John Aldridge, John Bishop and Peter Hooton, it was a fantastic event put on by the supporters union.





Opportunities to listen to influential speeches and the chance to learn and stand and fight against the owners made the day universal, it didn't matter whether you were already a member of Spirit Of Shankly, the rally was set to help educate the unaware and hopefully encourage more people to become members and help save Liverpool FC.

With some of the stars on the guest list also joining the union and the rally having clips on Sky Sports News along with many news articles, it is sure to have spun up some good publicity.

Gutted that i was unable to attend the event but would like to say a massive congratulations to Spirit Of Shankly.

Hopefully Mr Hicks & Mr Gillett have been made aware of the rally, whether it will have any affect at all on the stubborn pair who knows but as SOS have proved sitting back and doing nothing results with the same outcome - nothing. When you unite together and get your voices heard, anything can happen.





You can join Spirit Of Shankly here.

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