The Liver Bird  

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Are Liverpool In For A Fright?

Kevin Davies Moans at Assistant Referee after hand ball was not given Bolton Wanderers 2009/10 Chelsea V Bolton Wanderers (1-0) 13/04/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom
Ok, you can take your halloween mask off now Kev...

Liverpool travel to Bolton tomorrow to face Owen Coyle's side in what could be an eventful clash. Bolton are in the top half of the table at the moment and going well. They've lost no games at home so far this season so could be hard to break down.

As for Liverpool well we all know where we are, in the bloody relegation zone. Liverpool are also yet to get an away win chalked up on the board so if the tides are beginning to turn in our favour after a pleasing Blackburn win then really we need to beat Bolton on their home turf.

Problem is, yet again, confidence is running low for me. Going on the Blackburn display i'd fancy us, but going on our recent collective displays... Well it's a worry.

Bolton have quite a big injury list and will be without Gardner, Davis, O'Brien and Samuel. Goal threats Elmander and Kevin Davies however will be available for Coyle.

Liverpool are still without Dirk Kuyt and Daniel Agger who are both still recovering from injuries. Glen Johnson also in the recovery process will however be subject to a late fitness test to determine whether he will feature.

Liverpool's last trip to the Reebok of course was a goal fest, Liverpool just about taking the three points after a 3-2 win.

It would be nice to see Roy field another decent midfield tomorrow, in other words leave Poulsen on the bench. It's just silly now, it's clear he's not fitting into the side and starting him is just ridiculous. Maybe, just maybe he can become beneficial as an "off the bench player" but at Liverpool i highly doubt he's going to make a name for himself starting in the centre.

I'd much rather see Meireles and Lucas in the middle tomorrow with Gerrard behind Torres. Would like to see Jovanovic start too, feel as though he needs it and his strength against Bolton could be a good card in our deck.

Don't know about you lot but i've got this horrible vision of Kevin Davies netting a header late on and taking a point off us. Don't know why, but let's just hope i've not suddenly gained an ability to see into the future!

Might have a punt on old Kyrgiakos tomorrow to net first i think too! Shall have to check me funds.

Anyway, lets hope tomorrow we get a treat and not a trick ay?

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Friday, 29 October 2010

This Is Anfield

So i know a few of my readers haven't been lucky enough to visit Anfield as of yet but i went again yesterday for the museum and tour. Thought it would be a nice idea to put up some of the snaps so people could have a look. Couldn't put them all up and apologies for some of the varying qualities and the picture sizes!

If you do have any questions to do with the photos or Anfield, i'd be happy to try to answer them, just drop us a tweet - @LFCKirstyLFC or send us an email -


Above: The Paisley Gates which are situated in front of the Kop End, 9 times out of 10 it's the first thing you notice when you get off the bus at Anfield.

Above: The famous statue of the man who changed everything at Liverpool "Bill Shankly" in his renowned pose he is situated in front of the Kop End outside the club store.

Above: This was a mural in one of the lounges, i took a photo because the tour guide for this section told us that the gap in the top right hand corner is where they are going to put Rafa.

Above: This was the view from my seat in the directors box. The chairs were super comfortable as to be expected.

Above: View of the Kop End from the directors box, i'm sure some people sitting here would rather be in with the Kop Faithful singing at the top of their voices.

Above: This is the press room, it was a lot smaller than i was expecting it to be to be fair. The main fact about this room though of course is that the press room used to be "The Boot Room". The tradition led by Shankly and Paisley was very important to them. They were said to be very superstituous and one thing the tour told me that i didn't already know was that Shankly and Paisley always insisted if anything ever happened to the boot room that Liverpool's football would suffer and i believe the boot room was changed in 1990 coincidence we haven't won a title since? I'll leave that one with you...

Above: Didn't want to put too many snaps of the dressing room up so put up the picture of Torres' shirt and where he sits. Liverpool's dressing room is very basic and pretty much unchanged since the Shankly days. Of course it is still better than the away dressing room though, with none slip floors etc haha.

Above: If you don't know what the above is then you can't be a Liverpool fan. The iconic "This Is Anfield" sign placed above the tunnel was the brainchild of Bill Shankly, it's aim to strike fear into the opposition, i have no doubt that even today the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal still line up and get shivers down their spine.

Above: View of Kop End from sitting in third row and looking back.

Above: View of Anfield from bottom left corner of Kop.

Above: First Division trophy which we have 18 of.

Above: 2 out of 5 European Cups.

Above: 2 more European Cups.

Above: The 5th from "one night in Istanbul".

Above: One of the match balls from the 2005 CL Final.

Above: UEFA Cup which we have 3 of.

Above: FA Cup which we have 7 of.

Above: Ian Rush - My favourite legend. And below the signature i got from him nearly 2 years ago, matches the posters one almost to a tee! He must have a generic autograph lol.

Above: New restaurant opened in the Kop End - The Boot Room.

Above: Pepe Reina's footprints and hand prints.

Above: The famous "Kop".

Above: Plaque on the gates by the Main Stand.

Above: The Hillsborough Memorial. Justice For The 96.

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Monday, 25 October 2010

One Small Step In The League... Still A Giant Leap Left For Roy Though...

Liverpool's Fernando Torres (R) celebrates with Martin Skrtel (L) after scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against Blackburn Rovers at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England, October 24, 2010.   REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER IMAGES OF THE DAY) NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE ++44 (0)
Skrtel celebrates with Nando after the number 9 nets the winner...

Liverpool yesterday managed to bring their games won tally up to two in the Premier League, finally catching up with the amount of court cases they have won in the last month. The 2-1 win over Blackburn still leaves a lot to be asked and there's certainly many more steps to clamber up on this elongating ladder, but there were many positives to be taken from the clash with Sam Allardyce's boys, mainly the fact it actually looked like a side that wanted to go out there and get three points.

Fair play to Roy, the side he fielded despite having injury problems was a good one. Gerrard was played in a preferred position behind Torres. Meireles and Lucas made the centre with Cole and Maxi on the wings. Carragher, Konchesky, Skrtel and Kyrgiakos made up the defence with Reina in goal.

Although Roy's choice of starting XI was pleasing, he's not out of my cross-hair's sight yet, i can't easily forget the worst start to a Premier League season i have ever seen at the club, i can forgive but as with any route of forgiveness, it's going to take a lot of proving your worth. Unfortunately, i still have my doubts but we'll see.

The main highlight of course from Roy's chosen line up was the missing Christian Poulsen. No offence to the lad, he's a professional and i'm sure some clubs would be happy with his services but for Liverpool? Well he just hampers our set up for me, he causes more bad than good just by being selected, whether he has a good game or not. So without turning this into an "I Hate Poulsen" narrative, i just thought it was important to notice that although it was a minor change, the placing of Poulsen on the bench was a clever move before the whistle had even been blown.

Liverpool began the game with a good tempo and straight from the off almost seemed filled with a brand new attitude. Maybe the relegation zone takes it's time to settle in to footballers heads but for whatever reason yesterday it was clear they were sick of hanging around down the bottom of the table and fancied a change of surroundings.

Raul Meireles was one of the first to make an impression on the game when his shot from inside the area was sent wide. I was bloody annoyed with Meireles! Don't get me wrong i was right pleased with his performance but he couldn't soddin' net one of his three early chances could he?! Took a punt on him for first goalscorer and didn't really fancy my chances to be honest, twas only for 12quid too but when he set up camp inside the Blackburn area i was already celebrating my winnings at one stage! Never mind ay?...

Quite surprisingly i thought Liverpool were allowed to continue their lively start without much pressure from Rovers. Being a Blackburn side managed by Big Sam you would have thought they'd of set out to get stuck in at Anfield but unlike in previous games against the Lancashire side where it was tough to break them down and get through the midfield, we found the total opposite.

Neither side managed to put one in the net first half but it was fair to say that the Reds looked the more likely to do so should they come out with a similar game plan second half.

All Blackburn had to fall back on in terms of efforts in front of goal first half was an off target shot from Givet, they didn't look a threat at all at this stage.

Liverpool made sure to capitalize on a poor looking Blackburn side 7minutes into the second half when Sotirios Kyrgiakos who had already come close from corners in the first half, sent one off his noggin into the back of Paul Robinson's net collecting a deflection on the way. Although the Greeks header would have made it 1-0 even without the interference.

For roughly £1million i think Rafa paid for him, there's no arguments here i think when i say he has been a bargain. He's superb in aerial battles, barely ever seen him lose one. Not too pacey of course but can read attacking players well and just like good old Hyypia can get you a decent goal tally if you push him up for the corners. Quality.

So something Liverpool fans had almost forgotten about... Joy. Anfield went berserk when the Reds finally put themselves ahead in the game.

As has been so predictable of late though, things were not going to stay so sunshine filled for too long at Anfield. Just under three minutes later and a rather embarrassing goal conceded would mean Liverpool were back to square one.

An attempted clearance ended up smacking Jamie Carragher in the face and then going into the net. Hilarious to look at but damn well irritating when you could just feel it all going wrong yet again for Liverpool.

Jamie Carragher of course wasn't too fussed with his goal, brings his tally up to a nice 7 now i think, second highest in the league and i think the most goals scored against Liverpool for him compared to any other player in the league at the moment. Not bad going that. Just another day at the office i suppose for the loveable scouse.

Thankfully Liverpool were not going to be kicked while they were down and the equalizer from Blackburn did not dampen anyones spirits. If anything it gave the lads another spark and just after 50minutes the Reds took the lead.

A good ball in from Joe Cole was met by none other than Fernando Torres who converted from close range. It wasn't a spectacular goal from the Spaniard but it didn't matter. For Liverpool fans just seeing him back on the score sheet was more than enough. As the Torres bounce echoed around Anfield, the boys still had 40minutes or so to hold out.

A lively period after the second goal was unfortunately not fruitful. The Reds were looking like a totally different side for a good 15minutes or so and with crosses being whipped in by the minute from the wings it looked like Liverpool might have a case for increasing their goal difference here.

However the lease of life appeared to fizzle out and before we knew it we had a dangerous few moments to deal with from Blackburn as Roy Hodgson looked to see out a win for only his second time in the league as Liverpool manager.

The boys made it to 90minutes and for the first time this season it was a deserved win and a fan pleasing performance. It's clear there is still a long way to go but i'll take anything positive after the last few months Liverpool have had. With Bolton up next away for Liverpool and then Chelsea at home, we definitely needed a win on the cards. It would be nice to chalk up another 3 points against Bolton in preparation for a likely Chelsea defeat but i still don't have much confidence in the side at the moment.

Here's to being proven wrong.

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Saturday, 23 October 2010

This One Has Draw Written All Over It

Feb 28, 2010 - Liverpool, UK - Premier League: Liverpool 2 v 1 Blackburn Rovers.Liverpool's STEVEN GERRARD scores and celebrates.
Let's hope we see similar pictures tomorrow...

Liverpool line up against Sam Allardyce's Blackburn tomorrow at Anfield. After a somewhat better performance against Napoli, more of the same would be appreciated tomorrow. Blackburn are a hard side to beat, not to mention the fact that Big Sam would absolutely love to kick the Reds while they're down, especially at Anfield.

For Liverpool we can recall the likes of Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Raul Meireles who were all left at home in midweek. Still injured is Dirk Kuyt and Glen Johnson who was hoping to feature tomorrow but it's looking like a no go for the England international. Daniel Agger is also said to be missing out which leaves a shake up to be made in defence. Perhaps meaning that Carragher will again be out of position.

Blackburn are without Samba who is suspended and Keith Andrews, Jason Roberts and Vince Grella are all out through injury.

The last time the two sides met it ended with a 2-1 win for Liverpool after goals from Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.

With Liverpool currently in such poor form it's difficult to see where we are going to get a win from here. In my eyes all directions are pointing to a draw.

The positive for Liverpool though is that Blackburn haven't exactly been convincing in their last two matches. A 0-0 draw with Sunderland in perhaps one of the most boring games of the season (to be fair they kept a clean sheet with 10 men though) and a 1-0 defeat to Stoke.

It's easy to predict that Blackburn will get stuck in and try to stamp their intentions early on in the first half. If Liverpool can hold out at 0-0 until the second half then hopefully we could nick a win by 90minutes. If Blackburn get the first goal though, that's just bad news all over for me, i've had no confidence in us being able to turn a deficit into a win this season.

Lose tomorrow and we're in deep trouble.

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Friday, 22 October 2010

No Goals In Naples

Nervous moment for the Reds as Konchesky prepares to clear off the line...

A different looking Liverpool side last night boded well against Serie A side Napoli in their third group game of the Europa League. Despite a lack of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, a good performance, namely from the youngsters meant Liverpool managed to gain a respectable draw at the Stadio San Paolo.

The side fielded by Roy contained the likes of Martin Kelly, Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey, just three of the players on the pitch out to prove themselves. Pepe Reina started in goal with Skrtel, Carragher and Konchesky making up the rest of the back four. Poulsen was in midfield with Jovanovic and Babel on the wings and David Ngog up front.

Napoli perhaps got the better of the starts from the two sides and were creative down the wings. Old friend Dossena was using his already imprinted knowledge of some of the lads in Red to his advantage and the Italians had a few early chances.

Despite this, a solid defence from Liverpool meant that the goal mouth was kept safe. Some inspiring play from Skrtel even after he carelessly got a yellow card showed a glimmer of that Liverpool passion that seemed to have disappeared in the Merseyside derby.

Easily the most impressive player forward of the defence line was 18 year old Jonjo Shelvey. It was clear at first that he was thriving off adrenaline in his efforts but when i expected to see the match grate on him and him begin to falter, he just got stronger.

Some pin point crosses and a good passing nous were just two of the cats in his bag. Along with some chances at goal and even some top tackles when tracking back, it's clear that the lad has some talent.

It was refreshing to see somebody play with such desire and back it up with a good performance. Unlike some of the eleven who made the start at the weekend.

Liverpool very nearly let all their hard work go to waste at the stroke of half time when a shot from Hamsik who was a key player for Slovakia in the world cup, saw his shot cleared off the line by a thankful Paul Konchesky.

Other than that nervy moment i think for once Liverpool could feel content with their first half performance. Whether we would be able to improve and come away with a win would be a different matter but at least there were some positives to note.

Second half for Liverpool began steadily, with the ever increasing threat from Cavani to deal with, i think even after the blow of losing Carragher, the defence again coped well, now with Kyrgiakos in the centre.

For once Liverpool themselves could shout about some chances with a decent few attempts on target from the likes of Ngog, Jovanovic and Babel. Unfortunately only Jovanovic out of the three i felt added enough to the game as a whole to be excused for not converting his effort.

Annoyingly, Milan set up Babel twice within the match with two lovely balls through but as is often the case with Mr.Potential, he couldn't quite get to the finishing touch.

As for Ngog although his hold up play was as good as always, it just wasn't his night in front of goal, possibly due to a lack of supply but when the ball was delivered he could have perhaps done better with a couple of chances.

As we got closer to the final whistle, game time was given to Aurelio who replaced Konchesky and Joe Cole who replaced Babel.

Some positive and forward pushing play towards the end made it seem like Liverpool may just nick a 1-0 win over the Italian side, unfortunately the lads couldn't quite get there.

Still top of the group and a performance we can talk about positively i would say makes last night acceptable. It's still miles away from where we want to be but it's a step in the right direction. I just hope that with Blackburn on Sunday we don't take a U-turn because Roy Hodgson and the rest of the lads are no where near out of danger yet and a loss on Sunday would be devastating.

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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

"Buona Fortuna."

Napoli's pitch was apparently vandalised this week but is said to be in ship shape now for tomorrow's game...

Liverpool travel to Italy tomorrow for a clash in Naples with Serie A side Napoli and as the title suggests, they will be in need of some "good luck". The third tie from our Europa League group somehow seems a world away from our problems within the Premier League. With no losses recorded at all so far for us in the competition, just 2 goals conceded and a return of 11 scored, things couldn't be in more of a contrast at the moment for the Reds in and out of Europe.

Liverpool will be without the injured Glen Johnson and Dirk Kuyt. Also unavailable through sickness is Daniel Agger (Really beginning to worry about Agger, reports from Denmark recently claiming he may be forced to give up football due to his constant back problems and now him missing a game through sickness, it just doesn't seem right. Wish him a quick recovery.) who did not travel with the side to Napoli.

Christian Poulsen is said to be back (forgive me for holding the fanfare) and players such as Wilson and Shelvey have also travelled. Gerrard and Torres are being left behind so that they are both ready for a big game against Blackburn on the weekend (because as we all know, we need a soddin win!). Carragher and Reina have also made the team though so some of the spine is still remaining.

Napoli are currently sitting in 4th and have won 3, drawn 3 and lost 1 in Serie A. In the Europa League their last group game against Steaua ended 3-3 and their game against Utrecht ended with no goals.

Napoli may not be a familiar side to some fans but they certainly have a familiar face. Andrea Dossena who will always be remembered at Liverpool for his goals against Real Madrid and Manchester United. He has been in Italy since January so has had time to settle down.

Roy Hodgson of course has familiar memories of Napoli too after they defeated his Inter Milan on penalties in a Semi Final of the Coppa Italia in 1997.

Liverpool i feel with a slightly weakened side will first of all perhaps not be able to produce a convincing win but also won't necessarily be looking for anything spectacular anyway. I'd like to think a nice 1-0 would suffice but i don't have a lot of confidence in the side at the moment. Hopefully somebody like NGog who hasn't had many league starts can come up with some more Europa League magic and give Liverpool fans something to cheer about.

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Monday, 18 October 2010

Was That The Merseyside Derby? Or Did I Tune In To A Sunday League Game?

Is Time Running Out for Roy Hodgson Manager Liverpool 2010/11 Everton V Liverpool (2-0) 17/10/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom
Times up?...

Absolutely abysmal is probably putting it kindly but for Liverpool yesterday it was impossible to think of a positive word to say, unless of course your name is Roy Hodgson...

For a merseyside derby to be so lacking in passion from the red side was truly shocking. The poor performance would have at least had a silver lining if it looked as though the lads even gave a toss. The only player i personally felt deserved credit for yesterday was Steven Gerrard and as happens far too often, the pressure was piled on the captain to sort out the mess that the others had caused.

The starting line up to begin with made me feel some praise would be needed for Roy who appeared to have spotted his mistake and dropped Christian Poulsen, however i later found out that he was missing due to a family bereavement.

The rest of the side however, were more than capable of putting in a decent fight against Everton. More to the point, the sides fielded throughout our league campaign so far by Roy do not resemble a team sitting in 19th.

The excuses from many that it is solely down to the players performances, i just beg to differ. It's more than obvious that the side are under par at this moment in time but i've seen Liverpool sides a lot worse than yesterdays go out and put in a good 90minutes, in my eyes, the link up between players and manager is clearly not working.

Hodgson's tactics appear to still be a little too defensive, as we saw in his Fulham days (when he had to enforce that style of play) he seems to have brought it straight through and attempted to instill it into a Liverpool side who although under Rafa Benitez were sometimes defensive, were needing strength in attack yesterday and in several games gone by.

I find myself in a real difficult situation here with the whole current saga. Being a fan through the Houllier and Rafa days means i have never witnessed such a poor start, i've witnessed poorer sides but i've never witnessed such a dismal display in a merseyside derby and although i hate feeling as though i am fully against a manager, i am running out of patience and running out of praise. All i can bring myself to say about Hodgson at the moment is that he is a "nice man". Which i think we will all agree, is not going to make a brilliant Liverpool football manager.

Hodgson no doubt about it would be perfect for several other sides in the Premier League, but as i've said so many times now, he's not "Liverpool" it's clear he's not working and whether the side are up to scratch or not i can't see a quick progress route with him still at the helm.

The excuses of the side too baffle me because fair enough performances in Europe haven't been spectacular and some of the opposition have been poor but how can Roy manage to get the best out of a supposedly bad bunch in a 4-1 rout over Steaua Bucharest but then lose at home to Blackpool with barely a chance to shout about?

It's just not washing with me. I can see the players need to improve but i think in order to do so they need a different manager. For a starters Roy's constant praise of terrible performances is doing no one any good. And for Liverpool fans watching the press conferences, it's embarrassing.

Don't know about you but a footballer who thrives on constantly being told he's doing well is not a real footballer in my eyes. Footballers need constructive criticism, so in the next game they always have something to build on. This is just yet another reason why i feel Torres is under performing, there'll be no video playbacks and suggestions on how to turn the defender from Roy, there will just be sympathy and that is never what Fernando wants or needs.

As for the game, well for this report i shan't be talking about much, partly because i can't bring myself too but also because there wasn't much to mention anyway.

A poor start allowed Everton to capitalize on their early belief. The Blues came at us with determination just as a Liverpool side would usually do to their opposition. What Everton lacked in talent they made up for in effort and it paid off in the end.

As Liverpool struggled to even get near to Everton's 6 yard box, crunching tackles and strength from the likes of Yakubu and Distin left Liverpool spinning.

Everton punished just after the half hour mark when a nice ball in from Coleman was met by none other than Tim Cahill, a lovely finish high into the net, nothing much that Reina could do. His traditional celebration of punching the corner flag could have perhaps been put to better use by doing the rounds on the boys in red who stood back totally bemused as to why they had conceded.

Despite an utterly atrocious first half performance luckily Liverpool avoided any other first half damage and had chance to change their attitudes within half time.

The want and need was clear in the faces of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher but when the captain can back up his passion with quality and talent unfortunately Carragher's stalwart approach was all he could offer being out of position at right back.

Maxi Rodriguez was looking ineffective on the wing. Gutting to say but Lucas who i always jump to support was having a bit of a poor game. Some flashes from Cole and Meireles were ok but less than acceptable and although the defence were not technically at fault for the first goal some worrying moments from the likes of Kyrgiakos did not help with the confidence levels watching second half.

Barely a chance to get a breather in the second half and Everton popped up with another goal from another fan favourite: Mikel Arteta. The shot from just outside the penalty area did well to make its way through a stream of red and blue shirts and was another nice goal for Moyes' boys.

Despite a rather desperate last gasp attempt (if you could call it that) in the dying minutes from Liverpool they didn't even get close to getting a consolation goal let alone one of those famous comebacks... Remember those?

Full credit to Everton as much as it hurts me to say so, they played well and fought hard.

Question is now, sitting in 19th with a rather poor excuse for a goal difference, where do we go now? What do we do?

With the uplifting news of the new ownership (worth mentioning that Henry & Werner probably had a horrid time yesterday, so well done for the welcoming present) we now have at least one aspect sorted.

The next issues are clearly to strengthen the squad and look at the managerial position.

As mentioned earlier, from never experiencing this i don't know how long we give Roy (even if we give him any longer). Some people still fully backing him say give him a chance to steady the ship but in comparison to when i always used to say give Benitez more time, Benitez never even got close to having this much of a bad start and as much of a Rafa backer i was i can't say that himself, Mourinho, Hodgson or even Shankly himself would ever be safe from my target after such a poor start.

It's just not acceptable, i can't sit back and hope when there is nothing to hope for anyway. We all started the season knowing it was quite possible we may even finish outside of 7th but we were all beginning to come to terms with that, as long as we finished in the top half and kept key players, that would have been fine.

However as we sit in 19th and stare up at teams like Everton, Wigan, Blackpool and West Bromwich Albion, the brutal reality is that these new owners are going to have to put a stamp on the club immediately, although the actions may come across as cruel and untimely, i'm afraid to say i think it's time for Roy to go, before it's too late.

Here's hoping Liverpool can pull something out of the bag against Blackburn, although i can't personally see it. As the camera will surely be panning to and from the new owners in the directors boxes my eyes will no doubt continue to draw to the man sitting with them.

We all know him, we've all witnessed his magic on the field and we've all seen his footballing knowledge displayed in a managerial position. He's the only man if i am honest i feel we could appoint, he's the only man that even if somehow things did get worse would surely not be slated for trying, therefore realistically i feel he is our only move.

Our next step?...


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Saturday, 16 October 2010

Grind It Out At Goodison

Feb 06, 2010 - Liverpool, UK - Premier League: Liverpool 1 v 1 Everton.Everton Manager DAVID MOYES.
"Why won't you work when my players kick you?!?!"

After some brilliant news yesterday for Liverpool fans, we look for a continuation of the feel good factor tomorrow when our boys face bitter blue neighbours Everton. Liverpool's record against the toffees is of course very good and the lads also did the double over Moyes's boys last season but after a poor start to our Premier League campaign and a loss at home to Blackpool to shake off us, well tomorrow's fixture could be a difficult one.

The plus side for Liverpool is that usually form can be thrown out the window in a game like this and everybody knows the Merseyside derby is always the one to watch. There's no doubt in my mind that someone at some point will get sent off and we could therefore be relying more so on luck and refereeing decisions rather than our performance.

Fernando Torres has passed fit for Liverpool which is a massive boost, in form or not i'd rather have Nando featuring in the derby than him being unavailable. Another player back from injury and one we could benefit from using i feel is Brazilian Fabio Aurelio. Would be nice to see him feature over the next few games.

Dirk Kuyt could be out for up to a month after picking up an ankle injury when on international duty. Daniel Agger's back problem has also sprung back up so he will probably not feature tomorrow either.

For Everton they are without some big names in Pienaar and Saha. Youngster Jack Rodwell is also unavailable along with Anichebe and Jagielka. Not stated on their website too is Fellani but David Moyes on Sky Sports News yesterday was adamant he would be out for a few weeks.

Everton have only 3 wins out of the last 12 derbies at Goodison Park. Liverpool can claim 8 wins and there has been only one draw.

If one thing is predictable it's that there will be goals the last 0-0 between the two sides was in the 06/07 season at Anfield.

Will be tough for Liverpool tomorrow but i think it would help if Roy was to field a decent side. We need pace down the wings and with Kuyt out (i know he's not famed for pace) who usually loves netting against the blue noses, i think the best option is Cole and Jovanovic on the flanks. Jovanovic's strength will be a nice asset too.

Midfield for me needs to be either Gerrard and Lucas or Gerrard and Meireles, failing this, Lucas and Meireles with Gerrard behind Torres. Of course its pointless me saying this because Hodgson will start Poulsen... Let's just hope he has a bloody good game!

One thing's for certain, now the off field situation has finally been sorted, people who were using that solely as an excuse now don't have anything to fall back on. For three years those two upstairs had been the root of the problem but we'd always analysed managers decisions and players performances too.

For the lads, now is the worst time to be finding themselves in a dip in form, same goes for Roy because although usually a draw tomorrow would be respectable, after the start we've had, we simply must win.

A big ask, but it's do-able.

(Isn't it nice to be talking about football again?)

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Friday, 15 October 2010

Takeover: Status - Complete

John W Henry from the New England Sports Ventures (NESV) who are proposing to buy Liverpool soccer club, leaves the offices of a law firm in London October 14, 2010. Liverpool's ownership battle rumbled on on Thursday as the High Court ruled against Tom Hicks and George Gillett, only for the American pair to demand the club's chairman be jailed for contempt of court. A High Court ruling on Wednesday had set up Liverpool to be sold for 300 million pounds ($479.8 million) to NESV, before Gillett and Hicks obtained a temporary block in a Texas district court. REUTERS/Luke Macgregor (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER BUSINESS CRIME LAW POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Welcome to Liverpool FC...

Despite another desperate attempt this morning from Tom Hicks to keep a hold on Liverpool FC, thankfully this evening New England Sports Ventures made the announcement and they are now the new owners of Liverpool FC.

In a deal believed to be worth £300million this will mean that debts owed to Royal Bank Of Scotland can now be paid off and the threat of administration and the docking of 9 points is now gone.

NESV headed by John W Henry (@John_W_Henry) should be thanked for their patience in this very long and testing week for the future of our club. The fact that he and his colleagues didn't walk away speaks leaps and bounds and his comments after the statement show good signs.

Of course Liverpool fans are extremely happy to see the back of Tom Hicks and George Gillett who for three years had a strangle hold on England's most successful football club. At the same time, fans are cautiously optimistic about our new owners. I think it's important that we instill some confidence but of course we will look for the actions from NESV and not rely upon their words.

I think it's also important that we thank the hard work of Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre who have fought hard for Liverpool FC. We should also thank supporters union Spirit Of Shankly (@spiritofshankly) who were first to help supporters organise a victorious fight against the two American parasites.

Adding to my massive smile after hearing this news i also had a small claim to fame when Simon (didn't he used to present Blue Peter?) from Sky Sports News read out my email just after the announcement...

"Liverpool can now finally after the weeks soap opera breathe a sigh of relief. Anyone who was showing signs of sympathy to Tom Hicks and George Gillett will now surely have seen their true colours. I am so happy that their greed filled life sucking rampage of our once proud football club has now ended. John W Henry is a welcome new addition and although i think i speak for all Liverpool FC fans when i say we are cautiously optimistic, if he continues to talk to and work close with the fans and follow through on promises, he can't go wrong.

Thank you to Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre for working so hard along with John W Henry and NESV.

And thank you to the brilliant work from fans organisation Spirit Of Shankly.

Here's to a fresh start!


As Hicks tries to claim damages of up to $1.6billion, i'm sure you will all join me in laughing.

Don't know about you folks but i've already had one drink, very tempted to go and make another one.

It took us a good while folks, but us fans as a unit i think can take credit for the part we played, so here's to Liverpool starting back on the long path towards the top again and YNWA!

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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Update: Current LFC Sale Situation

(Above) Hicks & Colleagues pictured outside Dallas court last night...
(Just can't soddin' kill him off can you?!?!)

Folks, forgive me if this is confusing but it's rushed and being typed by somebody who is slowly going insane.

If you were on your laptops/PC's last night as myself from 8o'clock awaiting for a positive outcome from the board meeting, things were going well to start with... John Henry had turned up, Broughton and Co still had beaming smiles from the victorious battle in High Court earlier in the day... It all seemed too good to be true...

That it was. Because just as we all thought we'd got rid of Mr Hicks, like an unwanted smell he reared his ugly head. With the backing of a Texas court and Dallas judge he filed a temporary injunction against the other board members, effectively stalling the sale to New England Sports Ventures.


So after just a nights sleep, we all wake up again this morning, waiting to read the latest saga and what do we have? Hicks apparently has sold his 50% share of the club to Mill Financial who already own Gillett's 50% share, so theoretically, if this is true, Mill Financial will own Liverpool FC by default if they pay off the debt owed to RBS.

I have no idea how legal systems work but if Hicks himself went off his head after half the board tried to sell the club almost from under him (although lawfully so) then surely he's being extremely contradicting by trying to shift his shares without letting any of the other members know and not now expecting them to take a fight to court.

Court seems to be a bloody popular word at the moment surrounding LFC and at 2pm today Broughton and the boys will be back there to try to overturn this temporary injunction preventing them from selling the club.

What i don't know is what happens next. If Broughton & Co win will they still be able to sell to NESV if Hicks has now apparently sold his shares to Mill Financial? Along with rumours that Mill Financial will be selling their 100% to another party this truly is impossible to follow.

Hopefully we get some more answers after 2o'clock and i shall try to return with a more readable and less confusing update.

Hang on in there folks! One way or another we've got to have the last laugh!

Press Association are reporting that Hicks has NOT sold his shares to Mill Financial. The plot thickens...

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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Don't Open The Champagne Just Yet!

Liverpool fans celebrate outside High Court as the three victorious board members leave the hearing...

But be sure to go and find the cork screw.

Liverpool fans today can breathe a sigh of relief after the court ruled in favour of RBS and therefore in favour of Martin Broughton, Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre. Credit given when due, despite the past and problems we've had with some of the board members, i think we have to say "fair play" to the boys for going through this gruelling process and ultimately getting to the preferred outcome.

Of course after all Liverpool fans have been through in the past few years we know to be extremely cautious when welcoming our new owners, whoever they may be. But if they talk to the fans and work with us, our trust can be earned.

As things stand it seems likely that the bid made by New England Sports Ventures (Follow @John_W_Henry on Twitter) will be accepted in a board meeting planned for tonight at 8pm. However not to be ruled out is the rival bid made by Singapore business man Peter Lim who is said to be trying his best at the moment to urge the board to reconsider.

One thing we at least now know for certain is that Tom Hicks and George Gillett's life sucking, greed filled rampage is coming to an end. No more crippling debts, no more lies. We start a fresh.

What makes all this even more sweet to the tooth is that Hicks and Gillett have also been ordered to pay the court charges believed to be between £250,000-£500,000. As we have learnt with these two, they don't have feelings, the only place where they feel pain is when they are hit in the wallet, so how's about that for a nice big slice of karma?

You didn't have to try to stop the deal going through, and therefore didn't have to be involved in a court case so pay your fees, don't bother saying goodbye, and i just pray that you NEVER instill this anger, pain and damage onto another sports club and its fans again.

Don't know about you lot folks but if something is sorted at the board meeting tonight i will be having a nice drink to celebrate! (Cautiously of course.)

It's worth mentioning too that without organisations such as Spirit Of Shankly, Save Liverpool FC, fan movements such as the alternative shirt, well we wouldn't have got very far. The pressure put on particularly Purslow by such groups but also ensuring the message was clear to the owners means that we can claim success for fan power.

In the meantime folks, sit tight, start to look at the positives and hopefully i'll be back with an update post on the new ownership and a match preview for the Everton game by the end of the week.

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Monday, 11 October 2010

Three Years And Still No "Snoogy Doogy"...

Spade in the ground within 60days? Yet another lie...

So, unless you don't have a television, have been unable to access the internet and don't know what a radio is then you must have been bombarded in the past week or so with Liverpool news left, right and centre. Of course it's all good that we're finally being updated but when the news reports contain words only somebody with an English degree would understand and when the levels of business mentioned would only be understandable if you were in one of Lord Sugar's tasks, well it can all be pretty darn confusing.

No business head myself i have therefore attempted to provide an update on the current situation...

New England Sports Ventures (NESV) are headed by John W Henry & Thomas C Werner. Current owners of baseball team "Boston Red Sox", as well as Fenway Park (Red Sox Stadium). Also under their financial wings are the New England Sports Network, 50% of Roush Fenway Racing (a NASCAR team) and Fenway Sports Group which owns a minor league baseball team.

The offer made by NESV was said to be £300million, meaning of course Liverpool's debt owed to the Royal Bank of Scotland would be paid off. Hicks and Gillett therefore stand to lose close to £150million... But please forgive me for not giving a toss.

The deadline day for the loans to be repaid to RBS is Friday 15th October. Here is where one of many problems lie. If Liverpool fail to complete the takeover then RBS will step in, with administration and a 9points deduction a real threat, Liverpool obviously will want to avoid this option.

Some experts claim Liverpool would avoid a points deduction because the administration of the holding company that owns Liverpool Football Club (Kop Football Holdings) would not affect the actual club.

However, we have differing examples of this from football already...

West Ham avoided a points deduction when they were sent into administration because it was the holding company said to be causing the problems and being "insolvent". But when Southampton tried to pull the same stunt, it was judged that their holding company was too linked as one economic entity.

So from what i could find...

If the football itself is insolvent meaning which we'd be unable to meet the day-to-day financial obligations, then the 9points will be deducted. If it's found only the holding company is insolvent (Kop Holdings) then we avoid the points deduction. In honesty i'm no legal advisor and the ins and outs of this are baffling but i have tried to do this post in Layman's terms.

After a football club such as ourselves have come this close to administration with it being a real possibility and after so many other clubs have already faced it, it does pose the question: Why are leveraged buy outs of football clubs still a legal process? With the problems Liverpool and Manchester United are currently facing is it not time the Premier League put their foot down?

So after Liverpool fans earlier in the week tried to come to terms with the possible takeover mixed in with possible administration, Hicks thought it was the perfect time to open his gob...

Hicks referred to us Liverpool fans as "Noise we're dealing with." (Just can't realise when it's time to shut up can he?). Forgive me for missing something out here but when have you ever tried to "deal" with us, you've never even had the common decency to speak the truth to the fans of the football club you own, so you "dealing" with our "noise" which clearly appears to be hitting a nerve... well i'll sit back and wait to see how exactly you "deal" with this mate.

Hicks of course clearly annoyed at the increasing reaction from fans not only to their ownership but to his own recent stunt of causing a boardroom civil war...

The legal battle came about after a split decision from the board. Martin Broughton (Chairman), Christian Purslow (Managing Director) and Ian Ayre ( Commercial Director) all agreed that the sale to NESV was adequate and therefore voted for the club to change hands. Tom Hicks and George Gillett however voted against and both sides have sought legal action to either help a sale of the club go through or in H&G's case retain a stubborn hold of a financial abyss that they have created themselves. Nobody wants them here, their investment (leveraged might i add) was always a risk, after all this is business but their greed and anger filled plight means they still wish to desperately cling on to our once proud football club.

It's remarkably similar to that age old example of children and toys isn't it? For three years these two have been proud holders of their shiny new "football", knowing it is in their hands and nobody else wants to play with it well then that's all fine and dandy despite whether they are looking after it or letting it gather dust. The split second however that anybody even hints at wanting a kick, despite the fact they have neglected this football, not looked after it for years, well it's all systems change isn't it? Suddenly the football is wanted again.

It's petty, it's childish, it's pathetic and downright embarrassing. Two grown successful business men who can't stand up to their mistakes and take a loss for the risk they took and the poor ownership they enforced.

So what does Hicks do? Try to sack two members of his own board and bring in Lori Kay McCutcheon (a colleague) and son Mack Hicks. Yeah... Cause the last time one of your family members tried to interact with the fans he was very tactful wasn't he? "Blow me f*** face." Ring any bells?

Of course Broughton & Co were shocked at Hick's attempted reshuffling of the board and also felt legally, he was not obliged to do so. Hence the High Court being in charge of our future this week as we patiently await an outcome.

With Liverpool all of a sudden so popular in the media it appears everybody is an expert, everybody wants a say. Some have been fantastic, articles from journalists who i usually constantly disagree with have written superb pieces and made fair comments on how and why Liverpool are currently in this situation, others however have just shown how naive and uneducated on our club and our problems they are.

Recent columns from the likes of Harry Redknapp (bearing in mind what paper he writes for, any regurgitated quotes from Sky Sports etc were read with caution) and Piers Morgan just make me laugh.

Perhaps they are literally that desperate for readers? How anyone who claims to be a "football fan" can sympathise with two Americans who have spiralled a great English footballing institution into such debt, who have blatantly lied to Liverpool fans, failed to follow through on such huge promises, brought shame upon Liverpool FC... Well it just baffles me.

Liverpool fan or not it's easy to see that Mr Tom Hicks and Mr George Gillett are as much to blame as the managers and the side. All i would say to Wheeler Dealer and Slimy Piers is that when you find yourselves with a problem, do you not when trying to solve it look for the root of the cause before you manage to fix it?

My fella's handbrake was pulling up too far the other day, the mechanic didn't check the wipers and the passenger airbag, he went straight to the handbrake cable and suggested me other half bought a new one to replace it.

In my eyes it's quite clear Liverpool need a new handbrake cable...

So where does all this leave us?

Aside from the fact that it still leaves us nailed firmly down in the middle of a media storm, it means that within a week or so we should know our fate.

At this moment in time with NESV supposedly wanting to pull out of a deal if we go into administration it appears there are only two options...

By next week Liverpool could have completed a sale to New England Sports Ventures and fans will no doubt cautiously look forward to learning more about our new owners...


We could still be mixing words at boardroom level with the two parasites, in administration and possibly facing a 9point deduction.

The only plus side we can really take from all of this is that one way or another Hicks and Gillett's reign is coming to an end, i don't think i've ever met or even seen two men similar to themselves, they clearly are ruthless characters with no emotion and if they had even an ounce of sympathy then surely they wouldn't of caused so much hassle in their final weeks at Liverpool FC.

It's been an extremely dark period for us as fans but i think it's safe to hope for that golden sky...

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Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Dear Mr Hicks

With the international break on folks there isn't much to blog about during the course of this week/weekend...

Not pitch wise anyway but one thing i urge and ask you to do is view the below video directed by @mikejefferiesL4 and including a host of famous Liverpool fans, bloggers etc. The video is to help raise the awareness of what Hicks And Gillett have done to our club, how they have sucked all life from a proud footballing tradition without even an ounce of sympathy in their greed filled rampage.

Please, if it's the only thing you do after visiting my little old blog here, watch it, retweet it, facebook it, tumblr, msn, just spread it like wildfire.

The latest news of two apparent bids should not be putting you off the real aim here, until both those Americans have stepped foot onto their flights back home we must keep fighting for our club. Our Liverpool FC.


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Monday, 4 October 2010

Liverpool Remain In Relegation Zone As Pressure Rises For Roy

Mr George Gillett and Tom Hicks Co Chairman share a joke before the start of the Match Liverpool 2008/09 Liverpool V Arsenal (4-4) 21/04/09 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International

No. It's not a dream folks, Liverpool after 7 games are in the relegation zone. Perched in the very undesirable 18th position above Wolves and West Ham with just 6 points despite having played beatable opposition in terms of Birmingham, Sunderland and now Blackpool.

Fernando Torres leaving the field spelt bad news for the Reds from the start but the lack of heart from the players, the unworkable set up from Roy, not to mention his forced move to use Carragher as a left back meant Liverpool in the end didn't deserve to win. Blackpool played well and i think it's important that we don't just highlight our poor display but give them credit.

Roy's XI was a bit of a mixture this time, as mentioned with all out natural left backs injured and usual recovery man Agger also out, he opted to push Carragher out to the left. Glen Johnson was on the right with Skrtel and Kyrgiakos in the centre and Reina in goal.

Midfield was made up of Meireles on the right (?), Joe Cole on the left, Gerrard and Poulsen in the middle with Kuyt in a position just off Torres. Torres of course only made it to 8 or 9minutes and was replaced with David Ngog.

Liverpool's first half was similar to several so far in this Premier League season, slow, lack of chances, just silly mistakes leading to loss of possession. We did get in some attempts namely a blocked chance from Joe Cole and Dirk Kuyt but in all fairness we weren't doing enough to take the lead.

Blackpool however on the opposite end of the scale, where Liverpool faltered in passing and movement, Blackpool were on the money first half. And again in contrast to Liverpool, they had just the one decent chance but it was their determination and constant threat in the final third that lead to their first goal.

A poor, mistimed and frankly stupid tackle from Glen Johnson meant the Seasiders had themselves a penalty. Charlie Adam's shot was almost stopped by an aggravated Pepe Reina but the Spaniard couldn't prevent Blackpool from getting on the score sheet.

By now i was worrying, the prediction made in my match preview about the game having a strange aura about it and Liverpool perhaps being subject to a kick in the teeth... Well for once i was being proven right. Shame it doesn't work that way with my score predictions!

Liverpool couldn't seem to change their fortunes as the players continued to dot around the pitch showing no real passion. Pepe Reina was called into action twice in quick succession at one stage when he had to make two saves after a Crainey and Campbell shot.

Blackpool got their second on the stroke of half time and it was clear the defence were more concerned with their half time Lucozades and Jaffa Cakes rather than an imposing Luke Varney. The player who was taken down by Johnson for their earlier penalty sent Blackpool 2-0 up. Reina again frustratingly got something on it but it wasn't enough to stop the inevitable.

Blackpool were all over us the first 45minutes, even if that Luke Varney goal hadn't of gone in, i wasn't fancying our chances in the second half.

It was clear the set up wasn't working. Roy's option to field Merieles on the right was a big mistake, despite the lad showing flashes it was clear he was struggling in an unfavoured position.

Carragher through no real fault of his own was having a nightmare on the left although a world first shocked the hell out of me when the commentator said the words "Carragher" & "Offside" in the same sentence!

"Any further up and he'll be getting a nose bleed." As my fella kindly added whilst watching the highlights last night.

Kuyt was as always giving his all but some sloppy passes and poor tackles meant he was becoming ineffective. Kyrgiakos and Skrtel were caught fast asleep on several occasions and it was easy to see for any fan that something needed to change.

Forgive me for seeming like i am making a scapegoat but the man who was adding no improvement what so ever was clearly Christian Poulsen. Now don't get me wrong, as a player to come on from the bench and shore things up within a winning scoreline, then yes, he'd be fine. But causing more trouble than good in midfield against a threatening Blackpool side when we're 2-0 down, whilst forcing one of our most lively players out of position (Meireles) well it's just not happening for me.

Liverpool's goal didn't really add any positives to the game either after we had to have a free kick given to create it. Clearly wasn't a free kick but the air of desperation at the time meant i for one didn't care.

Steven Gerrard with a quick chipped cross into the area meant a storming Kyrgiakos could bash a header into the back of the net. Fantastic goal from the big Greek.

At this stage i didn't really care how shite he went on to play because unlike the other lot on the field, this man had just took one step to prevent us from being humiliated at home to a side who were supposed to be relegated from the Championship at one stage last season, not promoted.

All credit to Gerrard for the quick thinking too but the rest of his game, just like the others could have had improvements. The captain wasn't free from criticism for yesterdays game. Nobody was.

Hodgson at the hour mark was man enough to see one of his mistakes and took Poulsen off to bring on Jovanovic. At first glance i was very pleased but unfortunately Jova was very ineffective, i recall at least two of his balls into the box being a total waste and he just frustrated the hell out of me in the dying minutes. Nonetheless the switch freed up Meireles.

Liverpool were still looking slow and clearly becoming tired as the clock ticked down. The introduction of Maxi Rodriguez at 87minutes was too late to change things and we had to wait until literally the last moment for a respectable chance.

Kyrgiakos with another powerful header from close range was denied by Blackpool keeper Gilks and as the sound of the referees final whistle echoed around Anfield, fans began to try to take in what had just happened.

We all knew it was going to be a tough old season, but as tweeted by me yesterday, i thought i was prepared. Being absolutely desperate for a draw at Anfield against Blackpool is not something i was expecting.

As we sit in pit of the league it's hard not to begin to ask questions...

One thing i must make clear is that if you can't see by now the ominous effect that Tom Hicks and George Gillett are having on our club, namely off the field but clearly filtering on, then you are living in a dream world. How much longer fans can sit back, hide from the truth and watch their football club crumble before their eyes i do not know but if you do want to fight, join Spirit Of Shankly, buy the alternative shirt. It all helps send a vital message across - Tom & George are not welcome here and the sooner they leave, the better.

From the owners we trickle down to the managerial appointment and the shipping out of a perfectly capable manager. I stand by the fact that i do not want to jump on Roy's back because i seriously can't see what help it will do at this moment in time but i'm losing my rag. I can't stick up for a manager who's played his part in this Liverpool start. Never have i seen such dismal performances and results in the start to a season, admittedly i have only been a full on fan through the Houllier and Rafa days but i can recall some far worse players than Roy has and somewhere along the line, bad player performances or not, he has to take some of the blame.

Add to this of course the clear lack of heart from some of the lads, shown quite prominently yesterday, well it's almost as if some of them have given up. It's like they don't want to play for Roy and that is never a good attitude for the team to have, especially when you are lurking around in 18th with a massive game against Everton coming up.

As the famous line goes : "When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high." unfortunately the storm appears to be a supercell and my head appears to be weighed down with disappointment, fear, disgust and several emotions, but we'll get through. Somehow.

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Saturday, 2 October 2010

Seasiders Ready For Battle Of The Pools

Will it be a sweet ending for Liverpool tomorrow?...

Premier League new comers Blackpool would usually be a blessing to read on the fixture list for Liverpool, especially at home. But after the Reds worst start in the top flight since the 53/54 season, all of a sudden confidence appears to be low.

In your head you still like to feel as though Liverpool will be down for a set win here, pop it on your accumulator it's a no brainer right? I hate to say it but tomorrow has a very strange aura about it and it feels as though if the Reds aren't careful they could be in for a kick in the teeth.

An almost fully fit Blackpool side missing only Alex Baptiste will be well up for this kind of game, along with the character and passion of manager Ian Holloway, if they can get an early goal who knows.

Of course we shouldn't and can't forget the mauling Blackpool received from title challengers Chelsea in a game they lost 4-0. Chelsea back in 08/09 were a team we were fighting with, now however it seems they are a million miles away. Making comparisons between the way Chelsea have played in the start of the season and the way we have... Well, it's a worrying realisation.

Liverpool have even more things to be concerned about with an ever growing injury list. Captain Steven Gerrard will be back after being rested for Thursday night but doubts looming over Martin Kelly and Daniel Agger, plus the injuries to Konchesky and Aurelio mean there is a serious problem concerning the left back position for tomorrows game.

It's easy to guess what will probably happen if all of the above players are unavailable and my prediction would be Carragher pushed out and Kyrgiakos drafted in, of course though this isn't a favourable set up and could cause problems.

Midfield tomorrow needs to be different i feel, why this Poulsen has been starting i seriously do not know. Meireles is looking good and when you can instruct Lucas to attack or be more defensive then why not utilise them as a pair in midfield?

All eyes will again be on Fernando Torres tomorrow as fans and football critics alike will look to analyse his next move. His last goal against West Brom was perhaps helped by the lower caliber opposition, what i fear now is that even if he does score tomorrow, world class goal or tap in, fans and the media especially still won't be satisfied and use the old "I could score against Blackpool." line. Either way i don't care, a goal will do the lad good.

Marlon Harewood is top goalscorer for Blackpool and will probably be their most consistent threat throughout the game.

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Friday, 1 October 2010

Decent Result, Drab Performance

Utrecht's Alje Schut (L) challenges Liverpool's Fernando Torres (R) during their Europa League group K soccer match at Galgenwaard stadium in Utrecht September 30, 2010. REUTERS/Michael Kooren (NETHERLANDS - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)
Torres had his chances but couldn't help Liverpool to an away win...

A rather drab display from Liverpool last night meant the Reds could only come away from the Stadion Galgenwaard with a 0-0 draw. Despite looking at the positives with the clean sheet and unbeaten run continued, plus the fact a draw away isn't exactly a terrible result, it all just seems unworthy looking at the poor display from the boys. We can only ride luck for so long and if these dismal displays start to become a regular occurrence, we could find ourselves in real trouble.

Roy fielded a strong XI aside from the rested Steven Gerrard. Pepe Reina was between the sticks and with Martin Kelly at left back it was Skrtel, Carragher and Johnson who made up the rest of the back four. Cole, Kuyt, Lucas, Poulsen, Meireles and Fernando Torres made up the rest of the side.

The first half for Liverpool in honesty was pretty darn poor. At times it was nice to see the ball being played through the midfield, the old pass and move was lovely on the eye but it didn't appear to be effective in getting the ball to the final third and vitally to Fernando Torres.

Several occasions early on an eager Torres almost found himself on the end of a chance but supply was low and crosses were weak.

Some of Liverpool's best chances (if you can call them chances) in the first half were shots sent wide from both Joe Cole and El Nino. The skillful boys were making the most of the fast paced surface but again when it came to the crunch call Liverpool couldn't quite deliver.

On the other side of things Utrecht were confident and were all over us for the first half. Players like Mertens and Wolfswinkel were causing several problems meaning Pepe Reina had to stay alert.

Things didn't really improve for Liverpool in the second half and if it wasn't for a goal line clearance by Raul Meireles, the lads could have found themselves behind. Along with a late penalty call after a challenge by Jamie Carragher it could have been a bit of a disaster for the Reds but luckily we managed to hold on to the point.

Second half and again despite no real change in performance we still saw Roy be very patient and cautious with his substitutions. Not making his first until after 77minutes and in fairness i thought he switched the wrong player. Joe Cole off for Rodriguez is not only like for like but it's ineffective in my eyes, fair enough Maxi as i mentioned before is the type of player who can send in that precise ball and cause a late problem for a tiring opposition but Joe Cole was still looking lively to me out of a group of poor performers it was himself and Raul Meireles who i thought certainly deserved to stay on the field.

I would of perhaps subbed Kuyt who had a poor game for me, or Poulsen who again was just a pointless addition to the side if you ask me, he didn't have too bad a game this time out but i just can't get my head round him, he doesn't fit in.

I hate to fall back on comparisons but Rafa was famous for his late substitutions and some of them were completely daft but i think if you were to weigh it up you'd see his subs were sometimes risky and in purpose to change the game. Roy is just beginning to worry me, i mean he could have quite confidently put Ngog on who has had a stormer of a competition but he opted for safety. Gonna have to keep our eyes on this sort of thing i fear.

Don't get me wrong, it was the performance last night that let us down but when your players aren't delivering you then look to the manager and i'm afraid he didn't deliver himself last night.

Not to mention his worrying post match interview. Since when was a draw for Liverpool acceptable? Through the managers eyes anyway? You should never be pleased as manager of Liverpool FC with a draw, whether it was a respectable display or not, playing "nicey nicey, everything is fine" with the media, as he did after the Sunderland draw doesn't wash with me.

He must be being tactful because if he was truly pleased with that performance in his dressing room talk then no wonder there is no fire in the players bellies.

Once again we have collected a result but in by no means a Liverpool stamped standard. Things need to change and quick. Torres looks as though he's getting there but without a decent performing side around him too, well, it'll be a long wait.

Always one to look on the positives though so let's not get all depressive here, as mentioned we're still unbeaten and going strong in Europe, worryingly though it's back to the Premier League on Sunday and usually what i'd write down as a dead cert against Blackpool at Anfield, well, let's just say confidence levels aren't exactly high at the moment.

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