The Liver Bird  

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Carroll Awaits Ex Team Mates

"Hmmm, still reckon i can catch that Callaghan..."

In what will surely be a tense tie at Anfield tomorrow all eyes will be on the £35million pound man Andy Carroll. After the Geordie left his boyhood club in January in such quick style it will be interesting to see the reactions he gets from the fans in black and white tomorrow.

Newcastle currently find themselves in a rather secure 11th place on 41 points. Their last three results have saw them hold an impressive goalless draw with title chasers Manchester United, a slim victory over Aston Villa and a draw with Ian Holloway's Blackpool side.

The Magpies are quite a formidable opposition at St James' Park but i can see them coming undone tomorrow at Anfield. With the form Liverpool are in at the moment, especially after that battering of Birmingham last weekend, Pardew will need to be weary if he doesn't want to travel back to the North East with nothing from the game.

Newcastle have doubts hanging over Kevin Nolan but the big man is hoping to start tomorrow after suffering a groin problem. Stephen Ireland is out for the rest of the season and Ben Arfa is also out long term after a breaking his leg. Best, Guthrie, Smith and Gosling are also doubts for manager Alan Pardew.

For Liverpool the man at the centre of attention Andy Carroll may not even feature at all. He's been spotted in training and even on a trip out with some of the other lads to Spain to watch El Clasico but there are still questions as to whether he will be risked by manager Kenny Dalglish.

Johnson has also been spotted back in training but the main consensus is that Jack Robinson will again take his place. Kelly, Gerrard and Agger are all still out and will probably not start again until next season. Add to this the man who has been nicknamed "Mr. Glass" - Fabio Aurelio and Liverpool are once again in the shadow of quite a long injury list.

Nevertheless the boss has made some fantastic decisions and with Spearing, Flanagan and Robinson all proving their worth nobody appears to have any qualms about them starting again tomorrow.

One thing i would like to see, especially if Andy Carroll is starting is the recall of Maxi Rodriguez, after such a great performance against Birmingham and a decent cross on him I'd love to see him on the wing again.

As for predictions I'm going for 3-1 with Meireles first goalscorer, if i can find a quid tomorrow that's where my money is going! Haha.

It's a special day for Jamie Carragher tomorrow who will make his 665th appearance if he starts. This takes him to joint second in the all time records with Emlyn Hughes and Ray Clemence. Standing above him though is Ian Callaghan on a massive 857 appearances.

Opinions on Carragher seem to have taken a turn over the last few seasons, many think the stalwart is already past it but i still think he's a vital component in our back four and is invaluable to youngsters like Kelly, Flanagan and Robinson who are now coming up through the ranks.

With three games left after this for the Reds, including a big game against Tottenham, it would be great to see Dalglish and the boys end the season with a surge, a sign of things to come in the 2011/2012 campaign.

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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Maxi Nets A Hat Trick In 5-0 Rout

Can't remember what game it was, think it was a terrible footy game on the Gamecube but i finally got to mimic the Japanese sounding commentator... "Joh-Coh-Gohlll!" ...

After recent fixtures against the Midlands side it was looking as though this one could be tough for Liverpool. The refreshing resurgence since the arrival of manager Kenny Dalglish has still seen us falter on a few occasions and Birmingham were ready to try to cause an upset.

An emphatic performance from Liverpool though saw them embarrass Alex McCleish's side in a 5-0 win without Andy Carroll who was in the stands and also minus a goal from Luis Suarez who put in more of an assisting role for a superb 90minutes.

It took just shy of 7 minutes for Liverpool to add a spark to the game. A stinging effort from Jay Spearing was parried away by Ben Foster only to come out into the path of Maxi Rodriguez, the Argentine made no mistakes and sent the ball into the Birmingham net.

Jay Spearing was yet again another representative for the Liverpool youngsters and another great performance from the midfielder has left most fans forgetting who Steven Gerrard is... Who needs the number 8 when you've got a little firecracker like Spearing running around ay?

Joining Spearing once again were Jack Robinson and John Flanagan, the clean sheet speaks for itself and the starlets were once again not phased by the size of the task in front of them.

The Reds were on the attack again when the ball landed conveniently after an attempted interception in midfield at the feet of Luis Suarez. A pacey run saw him reach the danger area in no time but his shot was saved by Foster. Once again the Birmingham keeper appeared to be having a bit of bad luck though when the ball again splayed out with Dirk Kuyt on the prowl.

The Dutchman did extremely well to even get the shot on target after having to angle his body with the ball behind him. A sweeping effort sent Liverpool 2-0 ahead.

Pepe Reina was relatively untroubled in the midst of all the Liverpool action. Some half chances from Ridgewell and an attempt that flew over the bar from Craig Gardner were the only real threats from the Midlanders.

Jack Robinson even had a pop at goal from a fair way out but unfortunately had to watch his effort go wide. Foster who would have been happy the chance wasn't on target was shortly after substituted due to injury and replaced by Colin Doyle.

Half time and no changes from either manager meant it was all systems go for the second half. For a slightly absent Birmingham side Keith Fahey had obviously used the break to his advantage and attempted to lift his side, several attempts from the midfielder temporarily troubled the Liverpool defence but before long the Reds were back in control.

Just after the hour mark and a preoccupied Stephen Carr who was more interested with Dirk Kuyt played Suarez onside and allowed a ball from defence to find its way to the number 7's feet. For a player not on the scoring side of things yesterday he didn't half put some work in for the side.

A lovely weighted cross sent over perfectly to an awaiting Maxi in the box meant the number 17 was able to hit it first time, scoring his second and Liverpool's third.

We were sailing, i know Birmingham aren't always a brilliant side but as mentioned before, we'd struggled against these a good few times but we were made it look easy yesterday.

McCleish after the third goal with no reply thought David Bentley may add something to the game for his side, Bentley replaced ex Arsenal player Alexander Hleb.

Maxi Rodriguez I'm sure couldn't believe his luck when with 20 minutes to go he scored another for the Reds and completed his first hat trick for the club. A shot originally from himself was saved, then took a deflection and came back out to him, he calmly slotted it low to the right of goal.

Birmingham who had toiled throughout the 90 minutes to get on the score sheet finally introduced in my opinion their ace card; Kevin Phillips. With only ten minutes left i think Alex McCleish missed a trick in failing to bring him on earlier.

Jonjo Shelvey was also brought onto the field of play at the same time, he replaced Jack Robinson.

Phillps in the short time he was on the pitch troubled Reina twice in quick succession but still the side from the Midlands were unable to find a consolation goal.

Liverpool made another substitution in the dying minutes after bringing on Joe Cole who replaced Raul Meireles.

Cole has been getting some stick from some of the fan base and ok he hasn't really been up to scratch or working off his massive wages but i think some people are being far too harsh. Cole may have added some questions to some critics after scoring Liverpool's 5th goal of the day in what was now an absolute rout.

It wasn't a spectacular goal but the winger could finally celebrate in style after his shot beat the keeper at his near post.

Maxi got an ovation from the Anfield faithful after Dalglish replaced him with Ngog with 2 minutes left to tick down.

A fantastic display once again and a real team effort. People keep talking about Dalglish and his ability to unify the players, well they aren't wrong. The celebrations and smiles are great to see and in a season where we could well finish 6th who knows the amount of grins we'll be seeing come next season with a fresh start.

Yet more encouraging displays from youngsters Robinson, Spearing and Flanagan (plus Shelvey's appearance) only back up Dalglish's choices to filter through and give the youth a chance. For a few seasons a lot of fans have been calling for this to happen, the mixture of the manager and the current league situation mean not only can we afford to risk the shake up but we can still supply valuable experience for this lads who will surely turn into stars, hopefully here at Anfield.

Let's not forget we're still mathematically in a race here so here's to the continued great form and goalscoring and a win over Newcastle next weekend.

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Friday, 22 April 2011

Birmingham Look For Win At Anfield

Flanagan will look to impress again...

Birmingham City are the guests at Anfield tomorrow as Liverpool look to break this drawing business with the Midlands side. The last time a win was recorded for Liverpool was a League Cup tie in the 06/07 season and even then only a 1 nil lead held them up.

Some interesting clashes in recent seasons including the now infamous "Ngog penalty" match mean tomorrow could be an interesting one for Dalglish and his boys.

For me, Birmingham don't really have any star players but they work excellently as a team. With Ben Foster having a good stint in goal and being protected by the likes of Ridgewell and Carr it may explain why they've only conceded 6 goals in their last 5 matches, this included a tough match against Chelsea. Ok that's averaging more than a goal a game but for a side of Birmingham's calibre you can't fault it.

Players like Zigic will look to cause problems in our shaken defence but if the performance from Flanagan and Robinson against Arsenal are anything to go by they won't be phased by some lanky bloke in a blue shirt.

Kevin Phillips will be worth being weary of too for Liverpool, he's just the kind of player to be thrown on with ten minutes to go and grab his side the winner. For an ageing player, he hasn't lost any of his talent, his experience makes it harder to deal with him in the area.

Still injured for Liverpool are Glen Johnson, Martin Kelly and Daniel Agger. Hence the big change in the back four, Carragher after being knocked out cold last weekend will hopefully be back for tomorrow's match.

Back on the injury list is Fabio Aurelio who pulled up against Arsenal, a thigh injury will be assessed at Melwood. I do feel sorry for Aurelio as i have always liked him and since we've signed Carroll and don't have any real wingers i think he is the most natural crosser of the ball we have from the flanks, unless Gerrard is deployed on the right, speaking of which, the captain is out for the rest of the season.

With Kuyt on such a great scoring run i would fancy him to nick one tomorrow and of course with the deadly duo of Suarez and Carroll, Birmingham have a whole new Liverpool attack force to deal with.

A win would take us 2 points behind Tottenham and that Europa League spot but the Londoners have a game in hand. I realistically think we're gonna stay in 6th for the rest of the season, i predicted we'd end here last August and I'm fine with us finishing there, safe in the knowledge things are looking up for Liverpool and a fresh start for the 2011/2012 season is on the way.

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Monday, 18 April 2011

102nd Minute Penalty Grabs Liverpool A Point

Awful sight: Jamie Carragher out cold after collision with Flanagan...

Liverpool gave 110% yesterday in a hard fought battle at the Emirates. With the thoughts looming from some fans of handing United the title it was nice to see the lads were on the same wavelength as myself and were going to strive to get the better over Arsenal.

It's a shame some fans wanted us to hand Arsenal a boost because to be honest, Arsenal have been victims of their own downfall, if we drew, lost or won yesterday Arsenal have already made so many mistakes and will probably continue to do so.

The same side put out by Dalglish would quickly become disorganised for Liverpool as the bad luck continued injury wise.

Just 20 minutes in and an injury to Fabio Aurelio who has only just come back to fitness meant he had to be replaced with youngster Jack Robinson. The teenager made an appearance at the end of last season making him the youngest to ever feature in a Liverpool first team.

With John Flanagan playing as the other full back Liverpool now had a very different looking defence. For 20 minutes the back four along with inspired performances from Spearing and Lucas kept Arsenal from putting anything past Reina.

For fans looking on, especially neutrals, the constant attacks from Arsenal looked like they may begin to take their toll on the defence. But Flanagan and Robinson were fearless, getting stuck in and flying in for tackles, the Emirates couldn't believe it. At one stage Robinson even showed Walcott a taste of his own medicine after pumping some pace into a run that the Arsenal winger would be proud of.

Arsenal's best chance of the first half was a header cleared by the cross bar. The defence and Reina were beaten and this could have been dangerous had it given Arsenal the lead with Liverpool under the cosh.

Half time was a bonus for Liverpool who looked like they needed the fifteen minutes. As good as we were in keeping the Gunnars at bay we weren't providing much in terms of attack. Attempts to get the ball up to Carroll were sometimes more detrimental than beneficial.

Early into the second half and the Reds appeared to have rectified their problems in attack when an attempt from Luis Suarez was sent just wide.

An hour in though and things took another turn for the worse. Jamie Carragher was knocked out cold after a clattering with John Flanagan's head. Horrible to watch and very scary for any player. Thankfully the number 23 was ok and apparently appeared in the tunnel at the final whistle. Hopefully he'll be ready and raring to go next match.

On came Sotirios Kyrgiakos and now the only one left in the regular back four set up was Martin Skrtel, Arsenal probably thought they would be gifted a goal with this much of a shake up but Soto is experienced and he continued as did the other 3 to block out Wenger's boys.

Just ten minutes later and Andy Carroll had seen enough, an awkward landing earlier in the match saw him twist his ankle and i think as a precautionary method Dalglish replaced the number 9 with Jonjo Shelvey.

Shelvey was now the fourth youngster on the pitch who last season wouldn't have stood a chance but all the lads put in a spectacular display alongside the regulars.

Wenger brought on Arshavin and Bendtner with 20 minutes still to go in an attempt to strengthen Arsenal's quantity in attack with the hope of some quality.

As we all know Arshavin quite fancies a goal against Liverpool but even with the fresh legs Arsenal still struggled to make a real impact in open play.

It took until the 7th minute off added time for things to change. A penalty decision after a clumsy Spearing tackle gave Arsenal a glimmer of hope. Van Persie sent his effort low to the right of Pepe Reina and the Arsenal fans thought for sure they had just bagged 3 very important points in the title race.

With the time added on after the celebrations and the booking for Van Persie removing his shirt though Liverpool had other ideas.

A free kick on the edge of the box from Suarez saw the ball remain in the area, Lucas received the ball and after a push from Eboue Liverpool were unbelievably handed their own penalty.

Some people think it was a penalty, if I'm honest i don't think it really was but the fact is Eboue had no need or reason there to even go anywhere near Lucas was what swayed it. Lucas was running away from goal and the chances of us whipping in a threatening ball after going 100minutes without any real chances was low. Eboue should have left it and just the slight push plus the way he fell on top of Lucas was enough to encourage the referee, on another day though i could see that case being denied.

Dirk Kuyt, the man i popped a quid on stepped up for the penalty. A confident strike saw Liverpool grab a point and left Arsenal wondering where they went wrong.

Emphatic celebrations from the whole team was great to see once again. At this stage i had jumped off my chair in the pub, bouncing up and down with some quality fans who were near the big screen with me. We felt vindicated after shouting all sorts at the tele when Arsenal had their penalty.

It was a penalty i thought but there was no way after grafting for 97minutes that Liverpool deserved to lose.

Somewhat unfortunately but hilariously at the same time the highlight of the game appears to be the clash between Arsene Wenger and Kenny Dalglish at the end.

Wenger already moaning as he walks over to Dalglish prompts a reaction from the Reds manager. Still approaching each other it appears Wenger makes another comment, i assume about the penalty decision to which Dalglish waves his hand in the air and apparently shouts "Piss off".

I personally thought it was hilarious and as the man said himself, we shouldn't get so worked up over what managers say to each other.

All these people on Twitter bringing up the slating Rooney got, well that's just ridiculous, for a starters Rooney swore directly down a camera after scoring a hat trick. A time when you are supposed to be happy, Dalglish swore at another manager after a disgruntled approach. I'm not saying swearing is right, of course it's not and I'm sure Dalglish is regretful but people are making a mountain out of a molehill.

If he's punished fair enough, those are the rules but I've seen the likes of Ferguson and Warnock just to name a couple of examples swear at managers and officials on an almost match by match basis so all of you that think otherwise can piss off!

Roll on Birmingham!

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Saturday, 16 April 2011

Can Liverpool Break Their Emirates Curse?

Carragher helps reveal the new Liverpool away kit...

Liverpool are off to London tomorrow to face slim hopers Arsenal who are still in with a chance of grasping the title, more so mathematically than realistically but nonetheless the Gunnars will be looking for all 3 points.

Liverpool have never won at The Emirates but we've collected plenty of draws in the past. After the brilliant performance against Manchester City on Monday night it would be brilliant to finally bust the trend and turn Arsenal over on their own turf.

The emotional Hillsborough service yesterday will surely have taken it's toll on the players and also manager Kenny Dalglish but hopefully the lads have had chance to clear their heads and I'm sure they are up for the challenge tomorrow.

Injuries for Liverpool mean we are still without captain Steven Gerrard who was seen on crutches at the memorial service yesterday. Also with him was Daniel Agger who is out for the rest of the season after a knee injury. Martin Kelly is also still unavailable and so too is Glen Johnson recovering from a hamstring problem.

For Arsenal they have a long list Bartley, Fabianski, Vermaelen and Mannone are all injured. There is a doubt hanging over Almunia who picked up a knee injury and so it will probably be Lehmann in goal. Sagna and Song are both doubtful too. Szczesny, Denilson and Djourou are also believed to be unavailable for manager Arsene Wenger.

After Andy Carroll got off the mark against City you have to fancy him to get a goal here. As he highlighted himself, he has already scored at The Emirates this season, so a repeat perforamce would be perfect. His link up with Suarez is also going well and the skills and surprise factor from our Uruguayan will be a first for most of the Arsenal players.

If Lehmann is in goal, yes he's experienced and he knows what he's doing but this is definitely a set back for Arsenal and a positive for Liverpool. Andy Carroll with the help of his human shield (or boyfriend? haha) Martin Skrtel in the box should be causing problems tomorrow.

I personally can see us nicking a 2-1, it's a long time coming and even with injury problems in defence, if we attack like we did Monday night we'll fluster Arsenal.

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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Carroll Brace In 3-0 Win For Liverpool

A minutes silence before kick off to remember the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough and also to remember a soldier who recently lost his life in Afghanistan and ex super sub David Fairclough's wife. The silence was impeccably observed by both sets of fans.

A Liverpool side stricken with injuries yesterday managed to pull out all the stops and confidently beat Manchester City whilst maintaining a clean sheet. Three goals for the Reds were the result of a strong attack from kick off. Considering the midfield also had a major hole in it after the absence of Steven Gerrard, the lads could have fooled anyone into thinking we had drafted in Iniesta to look after the place for 90minutes.

Most fans looking at this fixture were fearing the worst. City are above us in the table and can pack a punch when their stars are up for it. Last night however Mancini's side only backed up my opinions about them, it's ok spending millions on top class players but you can't just buy big names and assume it's all going to click. City don't look like a team, they don't play like a team, they play like a selfish bunch, sometimes that works to a tee but against this Liverpool at Anfield, it just wasn't going to happen.

Weakened side put out by Man City? Yes, maybe you could argue that but we were suffering ourselves and I'm not having any excuses from people saying we didn't deserve all three points last night.

It took Liverpool just 12minutes to get off the mark. I don't know how many more games it would have taken for people to start to get worried but Andy Carroll began his goal scoring in a Red shirt in style! An absolute smash from his left foot saw the ball fly into the back of the net before Hart even saw it coming.

The chance outside the area fell just right for our number 9 and he wasn't going to miss this opportunity. An emphatic celebration afterwards showed how much it meant to him and it was fantastic to see him get his first goal.

Shortly after the Liverpool goal City suffered a set back when Carlos Tevez had to be substituted after what looked like a hamstring injury. Balotelli took his place... That was a good sub, haha!

Meanwhile youngster John Flanagan was quietly getting on with the massive task of playing right back in this game. He wasn't afraid to get stuck in and some early challenges including a slide tackle from the academy starlet proved the enormity of the occasion hadn't got to him. A superb 90minutes from Flanagan who didn't put a foot wrong.

Dirk Kuyt found Liverpool their second goal just after the half hour mark. A goal created after a string of attempts from the Reds after City's defence struggled to get the ball out of the danger area, saw Aurelio provide an assist for Kuyt who from just outside the area slid his attempt past a now very annoyed Hart.

Just over a minute later and Liverpool were at it again, a lovely ball in from Raul Meireles gave Carroll the edge in an aerial battle. The big man had scored a fantastic brace which perfectly highlighted what he can bring to a team.

City were well and truly being put to shame and it wasn't even half time.

In the second half the highlight wasn't on goals for Liverpool but on the midfield pairing of Spearing and Lucas. The Reds were still attacking and Pepe Reina was once again rarely called into action but i don't think we can ignore the shifts put in by those two in midfield.

Spearing i must admit for the first few occasions seeing him play i thought lacked confidence and to me being confident is a massive part of your game, however, with Dalglish at the helm, he can instill confidence into anyone.

For such a small guy he doesn't half have such a big presence, he's certainly not afraid to push forward and with the pairing of Lucas sitting behind him holding the fort it was a tactically sound move last night from manager Kenny Dalglish.

Hilariously with ten minutes to go, Mancini decided to make a substitution, Baoltelli who came on himself as a sub was taken out of the action. I seriously don't know what's amatta with that bloke but jeez he ain't half miserable and he's no top class striker.

I laughed when he was dubbed the next Fernando Torres but the more i think about it perhaps that was a good prediction... Sulky, can't score, complains all the time when it's his own fault... Hahaha.

Times are good at Liverpool FC, we may be in 6th but who cares, the only way is up! Now roll on Arsenal.

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Sunday, 10 April 2011

Injury Woes For Liverpool Means A Tough Task Against City

Carroll searches for his first Liverpool goal...

Manchester City make the short trip to Anfield tomorrow night in what should be a decent game for the home crowd. After suffering a 3-0 defeat earlier in the season under Roy Hodgson Liverpool will surely be looking to gain some dignity back and also a needed 3 points after the disappointing loss at the hands of West Brom last weekend.

Liverpool have been hit hard with a bout of injuries. Daniel Agger has suffered another set back and will be out for the rest of the season. Glen Johnson is also out with a hamstring injury so Liverpool are facing some problems in defence when you throw in the fact that Martin Kelly is also still unavailable.

The news that Steven Gerrard has undergone surgery too backs up all the circulating rumours that are now confirmed; the captain will be out for the rest of the season too. Obviously this is a major blow but at least this gives Dalglish the opportunity to mix it up a bit in the midfield and Spearing will surely be given some more chances to prove his worth.

Fabio Aurelio is a doubt for Liverpool and so too is Jonjo Shelvey. Both are coming back from injuries and have been out of action for a considerable amount of time but a bench position wouldn't be out of the question.

Manchester City are without Boateng, Given and Micah Richards. Mancini will also be without the option of starting Kolo Toure due to the Ivorian being suspended.

The Reds are unbeaten in their last 6 matches at home and Machester City haven't won at Anfield in their last 7 meetings with Liverpool.

I personally can see this one being something like a 2-2 draw. With the set up City have got i expect goals coming from them but i can also sense Suarez enjoying the chance of flaunting his skills against a quality side.

It would be nice for Carroll to get his first Liverpool goal in a game such as this but importantly, supply to the big Geordie needs to be sufficient and of good quality.

I'm sure some of you have seen on Twitter or read this week the stat about Maxi Rodriguez, apparently he's created 31 scoring opportunities for team mates this season without any of them resulting in a goal. For me, even though the latter half of the stat is disappointing, Maxi needs to start. The pairing of Maxi on the wing and Carroll up front has seen only 110 minutes out of a possible 450 minutes since we signed the number 9. Maybe we could benefit from Maxi starting the game tomorrow night?

A win tomorrow of course would help us create a bigger gap between ourselves and Everton. If our realistic hopes of 4th and 5th have gone, nobody wants to see the Toffees sneak up and leap frog us by the end of the season.

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Saturday, 9 April 2011

Justice For The 96

Ian's actual match ticket for the Leppings Lane end...

For this year's Hillsborough anniversary i am proud to say that i have paired up with Ian from PassionatelyRED (@Ian_LFC) to make a blog post. At this surely emotional time i would like to thank Ian for bringing up this idea and helping me make a post which will hopefully reach a few people and help educate them about the disaster. Without further ado i shall hand you over to Ian...

It is an incredible twenty two years on but it still feels like yesterday to me.  I was one of the lucky ones; I survived the hell that was Hillsborough Disaster.  Meanwhile ninety six fellow football fans died on the Leppings Lane terrace.

I was there – you can read about that here PassionatelyRed – Still Hurting After all These Years . But the focus of this blog, on which Kirsty has kindly agreed to collaborate with me, is to continue the call for justice for the people lost and their families.

That nobody has been prosecuted for their failing to prevent a tragedy that was so utterly preventable cannot and should not be tolerated.  It is important that the message is passed from people like me who were around at the time to younger people who may not have even been born in 1989.

I know through following @LFCKirstyLFC on Twitter, and through her blog, that she is as passionate as me about Liverpool Football Club and the injustice of Hillsborough.  The fact that she is not from this city, nor was she born at the time of tragedy, is totally irrelevant.

Last year for instance when Russell Hawker made his ill judge slur blaming the tragedy on the fans on Twitter Kirsty fired off a well constructed e-mail detailing the error of his ways.  She didn’t need to but she’s a fan, she cares and like the rest of us she wants to see justice and the truth.

The Taylor Report...

Together, young and old, we should ensure that the debate is high on the media’s agenda and of those in government to ensure that action is taken through educating those who do not know, or do not want to want to know, THE TRUTH.

For my part I wrote to members of parliament and gave evidence to police at the time of the tragedy A letter from 20 April 1989  I continue the call for the truth and justice but thankfully others like Kirsty are continuing the fight….

Now i'm not here to offend anyone and I realise the fact I don't even come from Liverpool may be an issue for some readers, I truly apologise if this causes a problem but as a Liverpool fan I feel it is somewhat my duty to ensure Hillsborough is never forgotten, to fight until justice is done.

As Ian (@Ian_LFC) said in his paragraphs above, it is of vital importance that both us younger fans and older ones work together to make sure people know THE TRUTH about Hillsborough.

I was born 7 months after the disaster, I don't know anybody who was there, or personally know anybody who was involved. I have spoken to several people online who were there or who had family members present but I simply can't comprehend the hurt they must feel, the pain they must suffer when time and time again journalists and even politicians drag the Hillsborough Disaster through the dirt due to not knowing the FACTS.

Match preview from April 11th in The Liverpool Echo...

For those of you that haven't already seen it, I urge you to watch my short video at the end of this post that I made to try to help educate people about the disaster. It's frustrating to see Liverpool supporters blissfully unaware about such a poignant moment within the clubs history so please take the time to view it.

I understand totally that some young fans haven't learnt about Hillsborough yet, I was there once. I also understand that sometimes if you live on the other side of the world or across the pond it is harder to stay in touch with a club you love so many miles away, but in a fight for justice; passion should prevail. As Liverpool fans we can all unite and provide a family, a support group for those still suffering the consequences of Hillsborough.

Stories like Ian's (please take the time to read his linked articles) only highlight the effects Hillsborough has on people and it's vital stories like his that should continue to be passed through generations of Liverpool fans.

As a fan growing up after Hillsborough it took me a long time to truly understand the scale of the tragedy. In this day and age it is hard to believe that such a disaster could happen within the 20th century and even harder to believe that nobody has been held accountable after such poor organisation, so many fatal mistakes.

However, as a young supporter looking back on the videos pre and post Hillsborough, I feel proud.

Photograph of the many flowers, scarves and gifts left at Anfield after the Hillsborough disaster in a special issue of The Liverpool Echo...

Proud of the unity of the Liverpool fans, the Liverpool players and the Liverpool manager and for me, that's what Liverpool FC is all about.

It will have been 22 years on Friday April 15th since the disaster and still justice has not been done. In spite of this, young and old continue to fight together, for those 96 angels who will never walk alone.

Hillsborough: Never Forget
*Justice For The 96*
Don't Buy The Sun

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Sunday, 3 April 2011

Hodgson Gets Last Laugh Over Liverpool

Hodgson and Daglish shake hands before kick off...

A tough game for Liverpool from the onset after injuries meant a complete reshuffle of the defence early on. Skrtel put the Reds in front but the talented Odemwingie just back from injury was fit enough to cause several problems for Liverpool's back four and West Brom took all three points with two conversions from the penalty spot.

Hodgson isn't the kind of man to set out for revenge but if i was him even i would be smiling sweetly tonight. Perhaps we put elements to our own downfall but there is no denying the Baggies played well and Roy must have learnt something from his time managing at Anfield because his set up did the trick today.

An early Kuyt header saved from close range by Scott Carson set the tone for Liverpool who would have few chances and be unlucky when they arose. Luck wasn't on our side either when two injuries within the first twenty minutes meant Glen Johnson had to be replaced with Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Daniel Agger with Danny Wilson.

With Carragher already out of position at right back, this was a mish mash of a back four to say the least but the job was still more than doable.

The first goal of the match came in the second half for the away side. The Reds took full advantage of their corner with a good ball in from Raul Meireles. Skrtel from inside the box with a fantastic header put Liverpool in front and it's fair to say i don't think anyone saw that coming.

Of all the players on the pitch, no offence to Skrtel but you wouldn't have put money on him scoring. Whenever Skrtel gets a chance he always seems to fluff it but for a fairly difficult one he did well, so fair play Lurch!

It's alright having your defenders scoring goals but it's worrying when they are struggling to fulfill their actual job description; defend. For Kyrgiakos who also fancies the odd goal now and then he certainly appeared to be struggling.

He just wasn't on it today, a player with bags of experience but the first incident involving himself i feel he has no excuses for. It was simply a bad challenge and a penalty was in my opinion the correct decision.

West Brom equalised from the spot just after the hour mark. Chris Brunt got the Midlander's underway and their confidence began to build from here on in.

Joe Cole entered the field for Liverpool at 85minutes and replaced Dirk Kuyt. This raised the discussion again about Liverpool's width. Everybody appreciates Kuyt's efforts but he's not really a winger is he?

A forward moulded into a role in the Rafael Benitez era who is reliable and will get you a goal but he's not exactly the best crosser of the ball is he? Joe Cole is more of a natural in this area but even he seems to be having problems settling in.

At the moment for me, Fabio Aurelio is the best supply from the wing for the likes of Andy Carroll but one he's injured and two he's technically a full back so can't always be used in a more forward position. In the transfer window Liverpool desperately need a talented winger.

The second penalty decision again involved Odemwingie. Maybe I'm being a bit bias here but i thought it was a bit harsh. I can't seem to decide whether Reina's leg was an intentional movement but either way i think West Brom were given a helping hand. Some people would class it as a stone waller but i think there may have been a cause for an argument.

Brunt scored again from the spot to seal the deal for West Brom and the game ended 2-1. Usually a result like this and I'd be livid but in all honesty, does it really matter? A bit frustrating due to Spurs dropping points but realistically i think this 6th spot is where we're going to stay.

Don't get me wrong i want us to win every game but after our season I'm happy to know we're safe, never mind worrying about the Europa League. Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, finish the season within the top 7 and that's ok with me for now, in the knowledge that we now have good owners, a top class manager and also the resources to compete in the transfer window this summer.

Now bring on City!

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Friday, 1 April 2011

Liverpool To Face Hodgson's New Side


And we're back. Don't you hate those pesky international breaks? Not so bad when Carroll and Kuyt get a goal each though i suppose. Anyway, with minimal damage in terms of injuries Liverpool are up against Roy Hodgson's West Brom this weekend.

The clash at The Hawthorns could be an interesting one for the Reds and Hodgson will surely be out to attempt to prove a point. I think after experiencing Hodgson's managerial style for ourselves he won't try to outwit the opposition he will simply defend against it. I can see a strong back four being the key to Hodgson's plan tomorrow.

King Kenny on the other hand will surely be out to show Hodgson who's boss. With Carroll and Suarez fast becoming the most feared front line in the league the relegation battling West Brom side will certainly be worried.

Injuries for the Baggies mean they are without Graham Dorrans. I personally think he is one of their best players and feel they will miss him as a vital link in their midfield. Doubtful is Vela but Odemwingie and Mulumbu are both back from injury.

Liverpool are still without Martin Kelly who has unfortunately suffered a set back in his recovery. Also doubtful is Fabio Aurelio who although has been seen in training is still believed to be unfit. Steven Gerrard has made a faster than expected recovery but manager Kenny Dalglish earlier in the week made it clear he would not risk the captain unnecessarily so it could be a start from the bench for our midfield magician. Jonjo Shelvey is also not available for selection.

West Brom have never scored against us in the Premier League. In all fairness i can't see tomorrow being any different if Liverpool play to their strengths. It would be nice to go out and smash them 3 or 4 nil but I'm not certain we're at that stage yet. However if we're going to get into the swing of things for the end of the season what better way than to turn West Brom well and truly over.

Without being too horrible to Hodgson, it would be nice to show him that the side he left behind (okay with two key new additions) ain't half bad. Well... when it isn't being told to park a bus in front of Reina that is.

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