The Liver Bird  

Monday, 29 July 2013

Preston & LFC Tour

Perhaps the most iconic image from the tour...
Image: metro.co.uk

Liverpool kicked off their 2013/2014 pre-season with a match in memory of the great Bill Shankly at Deepdale. With some new signings under his belt Brendan Rodgers was able to put on show some of his purchases and it was Coutinho that got the scoring underway from the penalty spot for the Reds in a sunny Preston.

The next goal came from youngster Jordan Ibe (have you sussed the pronunciation yet?). Jordan showed real confidence in his first goal for the Reds and looked elated afterwards. Just after the hour mark Raheem Sterling added his name to the growing list of scorers with a quick break and a lovely finish. Finally Iago Aspas found the back of the net for Liverpool. Aspas's shot from just outside the area was superb and completed a confident 4-0 win for Liverpool.

Next Liverpool travelled to Asia for the first leg of their much awaited tour. First up were the Indonesia XI, some simply phenomenal support was on show in Indonesia, as seen throughout the tour but the poignant image at the top of this post really left a mark from the first game of the tour.

The first goal in this game for Liverpool came via Philippe Coutinho, a hint of luck allowed Coutinho through on goal and with a calm finish the Brazillian put Liverpool into the lead. There was no more action in the goals before half time and Liverpool would have to wait until 87 minutes for their second. Raheem Sterling again showing his form from last season and although it was quite an easy finish, the goal secured the Reds' win.

YNWA at Melbourne Cricket Ground: Sends shivers down your spine, it really does. SEE HERE

After another successful win in their pre-season Liverpool made to trip to Australia for the next leg of the tour. The rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone at the start of this game was simply immense. A win had to be knocked up after that show of report. After the rumours about Suarez this was his return to Liverpool Football Club and he did feature in the game, rumours are still rife today but importantly as this is being typed, Luis Suarez is still a Liverpool player.

The first goal of this game came from Steven Gerrard. A rolled pass from Joe Allen saw a typical drift into the box from Gerrard who finished powerfully. The 90,000+ crowd went mental, many of them probably have never had chance to see the iconic Gerrard in the flesh and so to see him score much have been a memorable experience for many an Aussie LFC fan.

Suarez entered the fray with about 15 minutes left of the match, most sports psychologists were trying to figure out what his actions meant or his facial expressions, was he staying? Was he going? I personally don't feel anybody can ever guess what Suarez is thinking so we may as well give up.

In extra time Iago Aspas managed to grab himself a second pre-season goal. Luis Suarez was heavily involved in the build up to the Aspas goal, fooling the Melbourne Victory defence with ease he managed to play the ball to Aspas for an easy tap in.

Friendlies don't tend to indicate the form for a season but it's always nice to see things going successfully and next up was a trip to Thailand for the Reds in their final leg of the tour.

Luis Suarez made another appearance from the bench in the Thailand game playing for half an hour or so and hitting the cross bar. Coutinho was the man to find the back of the net first for Liverpool though in this game, another calm finish from the ever impressive Philippe was encouraging for Liverpool fans to watch.  And another goal for Iago Aspas in the second half increased Liverpool's lead in what looked like a game they were taking in their stride. A gorgeous chipped finish from Steven Gerrard sealed the win for the Reds who could hold their heads high after the first half of pre-season friendlies.

Next up for Liverpool is Steven Gerrard's testimonial, very excited to be attending myself! As you will know as readers it's rare I get chance to get up to Anfield. After this game is Valerenga then Celtic and then the season starts! It seems to have come around so quickly.

I haven't decided yet but I will either group all three matches mentioned above together in a round up or I may isolate the Gerrard testimonial one and then group the other two. I will also add an update on transfers in the final pre-season post.

I hope you're all having a great summer!

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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Pre-Season Starts Saturday!

The heat is on...
Image: liverpoolfc.com
Have you ever been so excited to play Preston?! ...

In all seriousness though it's a very nice pre-season fixture for the Reds to be starting with as the match will commemorate a year that marks 100 years since the great man Bill Shankly's birth. Shankly spent over a decade as a player at Preston and was loved in Lancashire and of course he is a Liverpool managerial legend. On Saturday Preston and Liverpool will kick off their pre-season with a match in honour of the very special man.

The match on Saturday will kick off at 15:00 and it's available to watch on LFC TV. I'm off to the seaside on Saturday and so I won't be able to watch but I will be catching up when I return home as I love to get an idea of what the youngsters and new signings have to offer in pre-season. If you see anything special feel free to drop us a tweet!

After Preston, Liverpool are taking quite a big leap and they head off to Indonesia then Australia followed by Thailand. The Reds will then go on to face Olympiakos for Steven Gerrard's testimonial. Then they play Valerenga and finally Celtic before the season kicks off on August 17th.

I haven't fully decided yet on how I will be covering the pre-season on the blog but if you follow me on Twitter I'll keep you posted. Last year I did a sort of quick round up after sections of matches and so I will probably follow that suit.  In the meantime I hope you are all enjoying the summer! Here's hoping to a positive pre-season and also some more signings to blog about!

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Friday, 5 July 2013

Post On Behalf Of EAD Solicitors Looking For Hillsborough Witnesses


I was contacted recently by a group of solicitors who were looking to reach people that were present at Hillsborough or were witnesses to the unfolding disaster. I clearly stated in my response to the solicitors that I did not reside in Liverpool but I did have followers/readers from the city and so I wanted to help them if I could. I've always felt it of utmost importance to oust the truth about Hillsborough, especially as somebody living in an area where a lot of people are STILL unaware of the real story and so if this helps in any way possible then fantastic.

If you feel as though you can help EAD with their enquiries or you know somebody that can then please do not hesitate to contact them. The following section of text is from EAD Solicitors



The Hillsborough Stadium Disaster is something that provokes strong emotions in the heart of most Merseyside citizens, if not the whole of the UK. However, it is an event that has yet to have a clear truth confined to the history books.   

The influx of supporters flooding into the cramped pens at the Leppings Lane end saw 96 fatalities with a further 766 injured.

After the original inquest the 96 lives that were so tragically lost were labelled with the verdict of ‘accidental death’. Those 96 men, women and children held the tag of ‘accidental death’ for over two decades.

For 23 years the people of Merseyside have rallied together in a tireless effort to see the verdict overturned. Thanks to years of refusing to be unheard, on the 19th December 2012, the families of the 96 saw the High Court quash the verdict which they had fought so hard to see dispelled.

Since then a new coroner has been appointed and a new inquest will commence in due course.
EAD Solicitors represent some of the family members who lost a loved one at the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster. EAD is appealing to anyone that was in attendance that day to come forward and provide evidence.

We want to know more about the scenes building up to the event right through to what happened afterwards. No matter how significant you believe the information you hold is it all pieces together as vital evidence and provides us with a clearer picture about what happened that day.

EAD understand that the survivors of this terrible event will never forget what happened, and that’s why we implore you to come forward to provide evidence so that we can obtain justice for the 96.

If you think you are able to provide evidence then call us on 0151 735 1000 and ask to speak to a member of our dedicated Hillsborough inquest team. Or alternatively email us at Hillsborough@eadsolicitors.co.uk.

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Monday, 1 July 2013

Transfers For LFC So Far...


I'm sure you've all been keeping an eye on that transfer window so far this summer and hasn't it been interesting? Usually as a Liverpool fan you end up sitting around bored at this stage of the season until some relatively unknown youngster forces the L4 transfer window open and we finally see a bit of action. It's different this year though, there's been a hell of a lot of talk and a decent amount of action and below is a round up of the ins and outs at Liverpool Football Club so far...

INS

First in for manager Brendan Rodgers was the out of contract Kolo Toure. After finishing up with Manchester City the 32 year old seemed keen to continue his career at a top level and whilst some people have been having digs at the signing I think for a free transfer Brendan's done a savvy deal there. With the missing experience of Jamie Carragher, Toure even if he doesn't play week in, week out will bring some wisdom to the dressing room, an invaluable asset in my eyes.


Next up on Rodgers' radar was Iago Aspas and despite a deal looking as though it had been settled it was fellow compatriot Luis Alberto that was first to appear in front of the Melwood media holding his brand new Liverpool shirt. Luis Alberto was signed from Sevilla for a reported fee of just over £7 million. I'm never one to lie and act as though I know a player inside out when I quite evidently don't but from what I've researched about Alberto he seems like an exciting young player. Luis is quite versatile and can play as a forward or in midfield, he's played on the left wing before too despite being right footed. For the price paid I feel this is another encouraging deal, I'm certainly looking forward to seeing him play in a Red shirt.


Next on the list for Liverpool was the aforementioned Iago Aspas, again, this isn't a player I know a lot about but the club were very persistent in their pursuit of purchasing the Spaniard and eventually they sealed a deal spending just over £7 million again. From what I have learnt about Aspas I'm aware that he too is also versatile and can be a generous or selfish player depending on the set up required. If needs be he will score goals but when required he will also provide the crosses and through balls that forwards will need. Aspas bagged 12 goals in 34 games for Celta Vigo last season.


Finally on the list (SO FAR) for the Reds is goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and this is a man I obviously know a fair bit about having seen him play several times in the Premier League for his former club Sunderland. Sunderland paid in the region of £1-£2 million for Mignolet when they signed him from Sint Truiden in 2010. Liverpool have spent £9 million to bring the goalie to Anfield and most would agree that's a big fee to spend on a keeper, however we've all seen how good Mignolet is and with rumours rife that Reina could well be on his way I think Brendan has done another bit of good business here to prepare himself and his side for all eventualities.

(Lloyd Jones a 17 year old defender has also moved into the first team from the Liverpool Under 18s side)

OUTS


The first major exit from Liverpool this year was obviously the immense Jamie Carragher, I've sung his praises a lot on this blog and he was my favourite current if not all time Liverpool player so I'm on the look out for a replacement for the current favourite title this season. We aren't without Carragher for long though, despite retiring the stalwart defender has signed up as a pundit for Sky Sports.


Andy Carroll is the only player to leave Liverpool so far and bring in some cash. West Ham paid just over £15 million for the striker which if I'm honest is a lot more than I thought we would be able to get. I never had anything against Andy and I liked the different angle he supplied to our game, he offered a plan B but he wasn't a clinical finisher and so I'm glad that we can utilise the funds raised in order to improve our side.

Danny Wilson the 21 year old defender was also allowed to leave the club, he's moved to Scotland to play for Hearts on a free transfer. In a similar fashion goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi has also left Liverpool Football Club on a free and is playing for Red Bull Salzburg.

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I for one have been pretty pleased with the level of movement and interest in this transfer window and with plenty of time left we could still see some ins and outs. It's vital that Liverpool try to keep hold of Luis Suarez and with the Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan heavily linked with the club there is bound to be more news in the coming weeks. I shall update the blog accordingly in another post if and when more transfers are completed. Hope you're enjoying the summer! Not long until pre-season folks!

~~~All images in this post are taken from www.mirror.co.uk and www.liverpoolecho.co.uk~~~

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