The Liver Bird  

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Liverpool FC 2014/2015 Season Review

Month by month, if you seriously want to relive it, here is the season review.

*All images in this post are taken from www.guardian.com*

August


After finishing second in the league at the end of the 2013/2014 season but also losing their star striker Luis Suarez, it was always going to be an interesting season for Liverpool. The Reds appeared to get off to a good start in August as they managed to collect wins over both Southampton and Spurs.

A late goal from Daniel Sturridge sealed all three points against Ronald Koeman's side whilst goals from Sterling, Gerrard and Moreno secured the win against Spurs.

A 3-2 loss to Man City was difficult to take however Liverpool have often struggled at the Etihad. Brendan Rodgers took his side into September with optimism.

In the news...
- British actor Richard Attenbrough dies at the age of 90.
- Cristiano Ronaldo wins the UEFA Best Player In Europe award.
- Barack Obama orders an independent inquiry into the shooting of Michael Brown.

September


Excitement bubbled around Liverpool in September as the Reds prepared to welcome the Champions League back to Anfield. Steven Gerrard and Mario Balotelli were on the score sheet in the Ludogorets win and everything looked rosy for the time being.

In the League Cup Liverpool had to score 14 penalties after extra time just to get past Middlesbrough, it was an ordeal to say the least but the Reds were through and that was all that mattered.

In the League however, things didn't go very well for Brendan at all in the month of September. A loss to Aston Villa was hard to take as Liverpool failed to score, followed by a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Sam Allardyce's West Ham side.

To end September, Liverpool had to face Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield. Liverpool played well for the majority of the game and Steven Gerrard put us into the lead but Everton refused to give up and a sublime strike from Jagielka late on left Liverpool dumbstruck.

In the news...
- Oscar Pistorius is found guilty of the 'culpable homicide' of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
- Ban Ki-Moon announces an emergency mission to respond to the Ebola virus in West Africa which at the time had killed over 2,500 people.
- 20,000 people are evacuated from the island of Luzon in the Philippines as volcano Mayan erupts.
-The Liver Bird turned 6!

October


On to October. The Reds had two Champions League ties this month, one against Basel in Switzerland and one against Real Madrid at Anfield. In Basel, Liverpool lost for the first time in Switzerland and looked extremely lacklustre in the 1-0 defeat.

The Reds also lost to Real Madrid at Anfield conceding three goals. The biggest surprise though apparently was Balotelli choosing to swap his shirt at half time.

In the League Cup, after getting past Middlesbrough the Reds were faced with Swansea. Goals from Mario Balotelli and Dejan Lovren ensured Liverpool progressed to the next round.

In the League the Reds collected a win over West Brom to start with. In the game against QPR three own goals were scored but Liverpool were eventually victorious. A goalless draw against Hull completed the league fixtures for this month.

In the news...
- Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi share the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize
- The Euro 2016 Qualifying game between Albania and Serbia is postponed after a drone descends on the pitch promoting 'Greater Albania' creating a riot
- The San Francisco Giants win the World Series

November


By November I was already pretty darn frustrated with the way Brendan Rodgers was choosing to set up the Liverpool side. Even when we went on to have a decent streak later in the season we still didn't play particularly well.

November was a dismal month for the Reds, it began with a 1-0 loss to Newcastle followed by a 1-0 loss to Real Madrid. In fairness it wasn't like we expected to beat Real and we actually played pretty well, particularly Kolo Toure who showed the Spaniard's how to be a skillful defender.

A fixture against Chelsea at home also ended in a loss but Emre Can did manage to get on the score sheet in that game. Prior to the Palace game in November, Liverpool were dealt even more bad news about Daniel Sturridge who was set to remain out injured for another six weeks, little did we know that he would get injured again later in the season.

The game against Palace also ended in a loss with the Reds conceding three and scoring a consolation goal via Rickie Lambert.

A draw with Ludogorets for the Reds on the 26th meant they remained in the Champions League and Rodgers' side finally picked up a win against Stoke at the end of the month after that heroic header from Glen Johnson.

In the news...
- The Liver Bird was voted for by the fans as "Best Female Blog" at the 2014 Football Blogging Awards
- The official opening of One World Trade Center took place 13 years after 9/11
- Huge crowds gathered at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall
- The Philae spacecraft lands safely after bouncing on comet 67P - the first comet landing in history

December


December brought eight fixtures for Liverpool. In the Champions League Liverpool were knocked out after another poor performance against minnows Ludogorets. Upon hearing the teams in their group the Reds must have been confident of progressing but it all ended rather embarrassingly for Rodgers' team as they failed to get out of the group after being absent from the competition for five years.

The League Cup brought some positives for the Reds as they beat Bournemouth 3-1 to get through to the semi-final.

In the league Liverpool picked up three wins this month, a 3-1 win over Leicester, a 1-0 win over Burnley and a confident 4-1 victory over Swansea. Draws were picked up against Sunderland and Arsenal.

The Arsenal draw was a particular high for me as I had a quid on Skrtel last goalscorer and a quid on the scoreline to be 2-2, I ended up winning about £40. If only I'd have put the bet on as a scorecast!

In the news...
- Typhoon Hagupit makes landfall in the Philippines
- A storm hits Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England leaving 14,000 people without power
- Air Asia Flight 8501 crashes in the Java Sea after experiencing trouble during a thunderstorm

January


January was another very busy month for the Reds with four league fixtures, two semi final fixtures against Chelsea in the League Cup and two fixtures in the FA Cup.

In the league on New Year's Day, Liverpool threw away a 2-0 lead over Leicester and picked up just a point. The game against Sunderland ended in a win after one goal separated the sides scored by Lazar Markovic.

The Reds also won an away tie against Villa with both Lambert and Borini finding the back of the net. The final January league fixture against West Ham also ended in a win with Sturridge scoring on his return.

In the FA Cup, a Gerrard brace gave Liverpool the win over AFC Wimbledon. Their second FA Cup tie of the month against Bolton though ended 0-0 forcing a replay for February.

In the League cup semi-final first leg Liverpool picked up a draw against a boring Chelsea side who did nothing but net a penalty. Unfortunately for the Reds, the second leg didn't end well either, despite holding out until extra time, Ivanovic found a late goal for Chelsea and Liverpool were knocked out of the competition.

In the news...
- Gary Anderson wins the PDC World Darts Championship
- Two commuter trains in Mequita Brazil collide causing the deaths of 158 people
- Gunmen attack the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, 12 people were killed and 10 injured

February


February saw Liverpool enter the Europa League, gaining a place after dropping out of the Champions League. The first leg against Besiktas was a win but it will forever be remembered for an apparent "controversial penalty" which had no reason to be controversial in my book.

The second leg saw Liverpool knocked out of yet another competition as Dejan Lovren missed an all important fifth penalty for the Reds.

In the FA Cup Liverpool managed to get the better of Bolton in the replay after a simply stunning goal from Philippe Coutinho. The following FA cup clash was against Crystal Palace, they'd been a tough side for Liverpool in recent meetings but this time the Reds won the game with goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana.

In the League Liverpool picked up a 0-0 draw in a drab Merseyside derby. An 83rd minute goal from Mario Balotelli ensured Liverpool secured all three points in the Spurs game (possibly my favourite moment of the season) and finally a 2-0 win over Southampton enabled the Reds to close in on fourth.

In the news...
- Côte d'Ivoire win the Africa Cup of Nations
- A large meteorite falls in the north of New Zealand
- A new world record is set in ski jumping with Anders Fannemel from Norway jumping 251.5m

March


March was a quieter month for the Reds with just the FA Cup to worry about outside of the league.

March began in brilliant fashion with a win over Man City thanks to two fantastic strikes from Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho. This was in the midst of a period where the Reds appeared to be on the ascendancy but as mentioned earlier, for me, there were still far too many problems tactically.

A win over Burnley followed in the league but things quickly began to take a turn for the worse whilst I was enjoying myself in Mexico. I watched the Swansea game in the centre of Cancun relatively pleased with our 1-0 win over Swansea. Eager for the United game I was convinced we would be able to at least pick up a draw but in a game that saw Steven Gerrard given his marching orders after just seconds on the pitch, it just wasn't to be for Liverpool.

Fortunately, the Reds still managed to keep their FA Cup dreams alive, just about, as they forced a replay with Blackburn after a 0-0 draw.

In the news...
- Russian politician Boris Nemstov is assassinated
- A supermoon was visible on March 20th
- Germanwings Flight 9525 is deliberately crashed into the Alps in Southern France, 150 people lost their lives
- A 7.7 magnitude earthquake is recorded off the coast of Papua New Guinea

April


Two FA Cup ties in April for Liverpool eventually saw them knocked out of the competition. The Reds made it through to the semi final after a Coutinho goal sealed a win over Blackburn, Rodgers' side would now face Aston Villa.

Liverpool were very poor against Villa and had no real excuses as they had to watch the Midlands' side head to the final.

In the league, Liverpool lost a lot of ground on that precious Champions League spot after losses to Arsenal and Hull. A 0-0 draw with West Brom didn't help matters either and the only win the Reds managed to notch up was against Newcastle.

In the news...
- The 26th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster is remembered with a memorial service at Anfield.
- Jerry Brown the governor of California announces mandatory water restrictions as the state suffers its worst drought in history
- Many Clouds wins the 168th Grand National
- Nepal suffers a 7.9 magnitude earthquake causing the government to announce a state of emergency, the death toll exceeds 8,000 people

May


May saw Liverpool end the season in 6th. A 2-1 win over QPR with a goal from Steven Gerrard started the month well but this was soon followed by a draw with Chelsea.

A loss to Crystal Palace and then an embarrassing 6-1 defeat at the hands of Stoke in Steven Gerrard's last game for the club was pretty hard to take. I can't put a shine on what was a terrible season in my opnion and whilst some will disagree I place the blame at Brendan's door almost 100%. I hated his set ups from the off and this only got worse when Daniel Sturridge was unavailable which ended up being for the majority of the season.

Not to mention some of his substitutions in vitally important games. Who brings on the likes of Glen Johnson when you need a winning goal? I've just been mega, mega frustrated this season and I hope, whoever ends up at the helm, they can take us forward in 2015/2016.

In the news...
- May 29th marked 30 years since the Heysel disaster where 39 fans at the European Cup final tragically died.
- Football remembers the 56 fans that lost their lives in the Bradford fire.
- Mayweather beats Pacquiao with rumours immediately circulating of a re-match
- Arsenal win the FA Cup final

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Monday, 25 May 2015

Stoke Put Six Past Liverpool

telegraph.co.uk
Liverpool fell to an embarrassing defeat on Sunday as Stoke utterly demolished the Reds on the last day of the season. It wasn’t a pleasant sight seeing Steven Gerrard lose his last game in a Liverpool shirt but thank god the captain managed to find a consolation goal.

Prior to kick off and before we’d seen the starting XI I was pretty convinced we were going to lose this game and so it was no real surprise that we failed to take any points from the game. What was surprising was the manner in which we lost the game. We were a shambles at the back and we had no striker on, not even Raheem Sterling was playing as a forged striker today because he’d been a naughty boy and had to simmer on the bench.

To be honest I’m not sure how I felt about leaving Sterling on the bench. Part of me thought we should teach him a lesson but the other part of me realised that we needed him on the pitch in order to have any real hope of winning the game.

Watching the game live, it felt as though we had crumbled a lot sooner than we actually did as Stoke had to wait 20 minutes for their first goal. Liverpool had created no real danger in the first portion of the game and they wouldn’t offer much prowess in attack once Stoke started scoring either.

Stoke’s first goal of the game came via Diouf who was quick to spring after Mignolet saved a shot from Charlie Adam but parried his effort directly in Diouf’s path. It was an easy finish for Diouf to put his Stoke side ahead.

Just four minutes later and Diouf had scored again. This time via a lovely strike from the edge of the box. It was far too easy for Stoke who were breaking through the defence, particularly on Can’s side like it was nobody’s business.

Liverpool had no time to regroup, they looked completely flummoxed and struggled to create anything on the break due to having a slapdash set up with no striker. Some would disagree but to me, any striker is better than none at all. It has frustrated me the whole season this problem and it was no different on Sunday.

Another four minutes passed and another goal appeared. A cross from Stoke fell to Can who headed the ball almost directly to Walters. I have no idea what Can was thinking here but it was too late, he’d set up Walters who scored after an initial save from Simon Mignolet.

The Reds managed to find ten minutes of breathing space before Stoke returned once again. This time it was the midfield faltering as Lucas lost possession. Charlie Adam saw his chance to strike from outside the box and put his side 4-0 up. It was truly embarrassing, and we still had more to come before half time.

Again, just four minutes after their fourth goal, Stoke had found a fifth. This time it was Nzonzi who had a great game for Stoke who scored  a fantastic effort to put his side 5-0 up.

I had resorted to laughing by the time this goal had gone in because it was just pathetic. There’s no excuse for that performance, it was just shambolic.

The second half saw Brendan Rodgers bring on Jordan Ibe and Kolo Toure. I can see why he made both of these substitutions and Ibe certainly improved our performance but I still didn’t get why he didn’t just chuck Rickie Lambert on, we’re already 5-0 down, it could hardly get much worse?

It was no surprise to me about 20 minutes later when Lambert was finally brought on that we did find a goal. Yes it’s easy for me to say I told you so but I honestly feel in a lot of games this season we would have benefitted from having a proper striker on. Just because they aren’t world beaters and don’t move around like the Sturridges of the game, it doesn’t mean they can’t help the team get a result.

Rickie’s assist put Gerrard straight through on goal and there was no way the captain would be missing his chance to score here in his final game in a Liverpool shirt. His strike went low to the right of Begovic and gave Liverpool at least something to cheer about. The Stoke fans cheered too to be fair to them!

Despite the goal Liverpool just couldn’t stop the rot and at 85 minutes the home side had found yet another goal. Peter Crouch came on as a sub and managed to find a record breaking 47th headed goal.

And that finally ended the misery for Liverpool who must have been over the moon to hear the final whistle. The result ensured that Liverpool would end the season in 6th place with no silverware and no Champions League.

As for Brendan Rodgers? He surely must be worried about his position? I’m never one to call for a manager’s head because I just hate it however I’m seriously struggling to defend Rodgers and I personally have been so frustrated with his tactics the whole season long. Not to mention some, if not nearly all of his transfer buys.

I’ve said this on Twitter recently, I’m willing to give Rodgers one last chance but I can’t say I would be sad if I woke up tomorrow to see he had been sacked.

We certainly have an interesting summer ahead whatever happens at Liverpool. Thank you all so much for reading the blog again this season, it’s not been the most exciting but I have enjoyed covering our games as always and offering my opinion.

A season review will appear on the blog over the coming weeks and some special posts no doubt over summer so keep your eyes peeled for that. Back sooner than you think! – Kirsty

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Saturday, 23 May 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Stoke V Liverpool

Image: anfieldchat.com
In a week that Raheem Sterling's agent decided to call Jamie Carragher "a knob" I fear this match preview may be pretty pointless. As we spiral into an ever expanding transfer saga with one of our most talented yet egotistical players I seriously wish I could just skip the endless weeks of rumours ahead.

As we stand, Aidy Ward is saying Sterling will not sign, even for a billion quid a week or some bollocks. In the meantime, Brendan Rodgers is adamant that Sterling will see out his contract, either way it's going to be a crap situation for the club to be in. He leaves? We're all pissed off about the manner in which he has left and the real possibility of him playing for a rival team. He stays? We're pissed off because he's been a bit of an arsehole and he seems incapable of mending the wounds he has created.

I'm sick of it all to be honest, he's not even that good a player. He's clearly brimming with potential but he only flourishes when he has stars around him. Most clubs who are after him will not support him like we do here at Liverpool, he won't start anywhere near as many games at some clubs in my opinion and he risks ruining a likely glittering career.

So, there's my two pence.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are unable to call upon Jon Flanagan, Daniel Sturridge and Mamadou Sakho (late fitness test). Mario Balotelli has also picked up a knock but it's not like he'd get a start anyway...

For Stoke, manager Mark Hughes has Moses and Krkic out, with Ireland also due to undergo a late fitness test after suffering a back problem.

The last time the two sides met was in November last year. Games against Stoke aren't usually that memorable but I'll never forget this one when Glen Johnson appeared out of nowhere with a heroic 85th minute diving header whilst getting kicked in the head to secure Liverpool all three points. It is easily the best thing Glen Johnson has ever done.

The Reds last meeting at the Britannia was also one to remember as Liverpool won 5-3. An own goal from Ryan Shawcross kicked off proceedings for Brendan Rodgers' side followed by a Luis Suarez brace, a Gerrard penalty and a goal from Daniel Sturridge.

Our record against Stoke on their home turf is a bit hit and miss and to be honest I can't see us winning tomorrow. I am hoping that Gerrard can stamp some magic on the game in his final appearance for the club but I honestly think it'll be a draw tomorrow.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have scored just 51 goals this season which is 48 less than they amassed last season.
  • Stoke have lost just one of their last six matches in the league.
  • Steven Gerrard will make his 710th appearance on Sunday against Stoke.

Usually no matter what has happened in the season you manage to find at least some excitement for the final game but I'm really struggling to be honest, I've just been pissed off the whole season haha! I'll probably have a few bets on the game though so keep an eye on my Twitter.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching and pop back on Monday for the final match report of the season! 

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Not Quite The Perfect Ending


It wasn't quite the fairy-tale ending that Steven Gerrard would have dreamt of at Anfield on Saturday evening but the Liverpool captain was given an overwhelming reception from his supporters, his team mates, opposition fans and admirers all over the world. It was an emotional day for the captain but unfortunately the Reds couldn't pick up a win to complete the number eight's last performance in front of the Kop.

It was a poor performance from Liverpool who began the game under building pressure from Crystal Palace. For the first 15 minutes or so the Reds had some decent bouts of possession but they were failing to create anything meaningful with it.

Crystal Palace on the other hand were looking more and more dangerous with Bolasie at the head of their attacks. At 25 minutes though against the run of play, Liverpool had found the back of the net thanks to Adam Lallana. Lallana remained strong in the build up and for me it looked like he'd taken the ball too far however the ex Southampton man was confident and finished well to the top left corner putting Liverpool into the lead. Lallana immediately ran to Gerrard to celebrate.

Liverpool didn't fully capitalise on their lead but Brendan Rodgers' side did begin to create some more chances from the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling. For me, even being ahead in the game I still found myself wishing Rodgers would play some strikers but today was about Steven Gerrard, I didn't have time to run my usual moan about the tactics and line up.

It was evident though that Liverpool were once again struggling to find a final product. In the meantime Crystal Palace grew more and more confident. At 42 minutes Alan Pardew's side were awarded a free kick in a dangerous area. Jason Puncheon was the man to step up, hiding his conversation to fellow team mates by putting his head in his shirt. His ploy worked, Liverpool were left dumbstruck as Puncheon's perfectly placed free kick put Palace back in the game.

As the second half began Crystal Palace were quick to put Liverpool on the back foot once again, scoring after just 15 minutes. Zaha had only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds but he converted easily for his side. For me, it was an offside goal but we couldn't really complain too much I felt as early incidents in the box involving Skrtel could have easily led to a Crystal Palace penalty. Palace were the better team as well and so it was only going to be a matter of time before they found another goal.

Rickie Lambert and Lucas Leiva entered play at 65 minutes for Liverpool as Rodgers opted to push Gerrard forward. Gerrard obviously would of been desperate for a goal in front of the Kop and whilst the move did improve the run of play for the Reds slightly there were still no meaningful chances.

At 90 minutes Crystal Palace sealed the deal. A challenge from Lucas on Zaha lead Jonathan Moss to award a penalty. The only problem was that the foul was outside the box, it wasn't a peno. Glenn Murray converted for the away side as they secured all three points.

It was hard to think of anything other than the departing Gerrard in this game but you have to feel disappointed with yet another poor performance from Liverpool. I'd pretty much given up several games ago but the more I dwell on our performances this season, the more I worry about next season. This transfer window needs to be absolutely spot on and if Brendan Rodgers remains in charge he needs to field a team to their strengths and remove some of the stubbornness that has plagued this campaign.

The final game of the season for Liverpool is at Stoke.

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Saturday, 16 May 2015

Steven Gerrard: A Career In Number Ones

Seventeen years Steven Gerrard has been at Liverpool Football Club. Why not take a look at some of the number ones from that era? (Warning: Some of them are absolutely terrible haha!)

Debut 1998



Season Start 1999



Season Start 2000



League Cup Win 2001



FA Cup Win 2001 and UEFA Cup Win 2001



Season Start 2001



Season Start 2002



League Cup Win 2003



Season Start 2003



Season Start 2004



Olympiakos Goal 2004



Champions League Win 2005



Season Start 2005



FA Cup Win 2006



Season Start 2006



Season Start 2007



Season Start 2008



Season Start 2009



Season Start 2010



Season Start 2011



League Cup Win 2012



Season Start 2012



Season Start 2013



Season Start 2014



Last Ever Appearance At Anfield



I couldn't leave this one out could I?

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Friday, 15 May 2015

Oh You Beauty


Steven Gerrard.

The mere completion of his name generates countless memories, moments of sheer genius and warrior like fight as he stood as captain of the football club he idolised so much.

A legend. A talisman. A hero.
A dreamer. A captain. A leader.
A WINNER.


Steven Gerrard has remained a Liverpool player for 17 years and 708 games (710 hopefully). I'd just turned nine years old when Gerrard made his debut against Blackburn Rovers and whilst I can't claim to fully remember his cheeky face and slim frame, I was beginning to find my love for football. Little did I know I was watching a man I'd love more than football itself, a man who I would grow up with.

There aren't many footballers in the world that can have such an effect on a fans' life. Players come and go for millions of pounds, you don't relate to that, it's unfortunately the norm. Gerrard however is the diamond in the rough, he's just a regular person like you or me. He chased his dream and made it a reality. He mesmerised fans with his cross field passes, his long range goals, determination, tenacity, his refusal to ever give up.

As I grew older it became clear what an important figure Steven Gerrard was to Liverpool Football Club. There are many poignant moments in Steven Gerrard's career and many moments that went unnoticed in the grand scheme of things. It is hard to do his career justice in a short blog post.

In 2003 Gerrard was given the captaincy by Houllier, a manager who the captain openly admired. I was 14 by now, Steven Gerrard posters beginning to plaster my walls. The adoration had quickly become an obsession. Who was this youngster from Liverpool, setting alight the starting XI, every single week?

By 2005 I was besotted. Under Houllier, Gerrard was moulded into both the man and the player that he is today. Under Rafael Benitez? He flourished. Scoring 104 goals in 292 appearances, this is arguably when Steven Gerrard cemented his everlasting presence. Certainly in my book, my fondest memories of Gerrard are when he was playing under the Spaniard. Perhaps aided by a team of talent such as Mascherano, Alonso and Torres. Gerrard really shined in this era for me.


That Istanbul final gave younger fans like myself a taste of the glory days, a glimmer of the success that could become a reality once again at Liverpool and it was all thanks to Gerrard. Throughout the whole Champions League campaign Gerrard carried his team, refusing to be beaten when everyone else had let the flame die out.

His stunner against Olympiakos to get us to the final just wasn't enough for the captain. Down and out looking at the Ataturk scoreboard to see his team losing 3-0 at half time, Steven Gerrard didn't cave in. He'd worked too hard, through sweat, tears and a phenomenal Kop end goal, he'd dragged his side to Turkey.

Gerrard's header at 54 minutes is possibly the most iconic goal I'll ever see. Collecting the ball, still faced with a pessimistic team backed by optimistic fans his arms began to pump. We're not out yet. The remainder of that anecdote writes itself.

Gerrard's sheer determination is just one of his many irreplaceable attributes, there are too many to name, too many to discuss but when your team are on a run of poor form or in a cup final with no hope left, the Steven Gerrard factor is simply priceless.

Life without Gerrard at Liverpool Football Club is a curious prospect to think about. Let's not forget he's our top goalscorer this season and his influence on younger players, his ability to command the midfield and captain the team is unrivaled.

Liverpool can only dream of another like him, his loyalty will never be matched.



As I risk dribbling on to a rather emotionally fueled recap of Gerrard's whole career, I think the man's words this week sum up perfectly: "We have dreamt together, chased those dreams together and achieved most of them together."

Gerrard, It's been a wondrous ride.

You'll Never Walk Alone.


___________________

Crystal Palace Preview

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are still without long term absentees Jon Flanagan and Daniel Sturridge whilst Mamadou Sakho will be subjected to a late fitness test. For Palace manager Alan Pardew has a practically full squad to choose from for Saturday's game.

The last time the two sides met was on Valentine's day this year, the Reds picked up a 2-1 win in the FA Cup tie with Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana on the scoresheet. The last meeting between the two sides in the Premier League was in November 2014. It was another poor result for Liverpool against Palace as the home side put three goals past us with just Rickie Lambert on the score sheet, netting after just two minutes.

Prior to this was of course that heartbreaking 3-3 draw which I won't even bother going into, you know the story there.

Stat Sandwich
  • Steven Gerrard has scored 185 goals in all competitions for Liverpool.
  • Crystal Palace have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 12 matches in the league.
  • Liverpool have only scored seven goals in their last seven league games.

I'm starting to hate playing Crystal Palace to be honest but I am hoping that the Reds will pull it out the bag tomorrow with the help of Steven Gerrard. Palace are on a poor run at present and I think it will be too much for them at Anfield on Saturday.

Here's hoping Steven Gerrard can find one last goal in front of the Kop!

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Monday, 11 May 2015

Gerrard Scores In Chelsea Draw



Liverpool managed to pick up a draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon in what would have ordinarily been a good result. The Reds though needed a win to stand any real chance of sneaking back into the top four and the one point just won’t be good enough for Brendan Rodgers’ men.

There was no start for Mario Balotelli in this game, despite the fact he was fit. Instead Rodgers opted to play Rickie Lambert up front with Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling in support.

The game got off to a bad start for Liverpool when Chelsea managed to find the back of the net before the game was even five minutes old. It was a defensive mess from Liverpool who allowed John Terry to score but I still found myself wondering why Rickie Lambert was marking one of the most serious aerial threats? It’s a daft policy in my book! It happened recently with Mario Balotelli, I can’t remember the exact game (memory like a sieve) but he was deffo marking a strong header of the ball.

Of course players like Balotelli and Lambert should be able to deal with these situations but you’re just asking for trouble in my opinion. Let strikers mark the zone not the man?

Anyway. Thankfully, going down so quickly in the game wasn’t actually disastrous for the Reds and we continued to dominate in possession. Mourinho’s decision to field a weakened team was really showing and Liverpool ensured they took their opportunity to boss the midfield.

The issue though as always was that final ball, that final product. Some great play from the likes of Coutinho and Sterling would create flashes in attack but then they’d have no where to go, destined to either strike wide in a rash attempt or struggle to find Lambert. This is another reason why I wish we’d bloody play four four two but I won’t go in to all of that.

Liverpool had picked up three bookings in the first half but things began to even themselves out when a bad challenge on the edge of the box came from Branislav Ivanovic. He was shown the yellow.

The free kick was in a dangerous position and it was Jordan Henderson who whipped the ball into the box. An unmarked Steven Gerrard was then allowed to head home the Liverpool equaliser and at least momentarily silence songs about him slipping over.

It was fantastic to see Gerrard score, yeah so it doesn't really mean anything but as he edges closer to LA, every last moment becomes more and more special.

The second half was more of the same for Liverpool as Chelsea just couldn't seem to keep hold of the ball. Eden Hazard arguably one of the best players of the season was looking lost as the Reds continued to try and find a winner.

Half chances from the likes of Lallana and Coutinho made it look like a win was possible for the Reds but time was ticking by and Rodgers was running out of options. In the run up to the 70 minute mark Rodgers opted to bring on the youngsters as Sinclair and Ibe replaced Lambert and Lallana respectively. To be honest I'm not sure I would of replaced Lallana however it is always nice to see Jordan Ibe given a chance, his work rate is top notch.

Ibe offered pace and strength for the Reds and created a new problem for Chelsea to deal with. Liverpool still couldn't find that all important goal though and now Rodgers decided to take off Gerrard and replace him with Lucas. It was brilliant to see a standing ovation for Steven and even more brilliant to hear his post match slaughtering of the Chelsea fans haha! However, taking off our top goalscorer when we needed a goal? I was a bit miffed to be honest.

The Reds fought for the last ten minutes but it wasn't to be. It was a good result to be fair and for once a decent performance however the gulf between Liverpool and Chelsea has never been so apparent. It is a worrying time for the Reds as they look to close a forgetful season and focus on what could be an even more forgettable transfer window.

Next up for the Reds is Crystal Palace, come back for a special Steven Gerrard match preview!

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Saturday, 9 May 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Chelsea V Liverpool


Blue versus Red... doesn't that sound overwhelmingly familiar after Thursday? But hey, I'm not going to start talking about politics on the blog, I don't want to lose half my readership haha! Whether you're feeling glum at the result or rather pleased, come and take your mind off it all as I provide one of the last match previews of the season!

Injuries for Liverpool have not exactly improved this week as the club have now confirmed Daniel Sturridge will be out for several months after undergoing a hip operation. The Reds are also unable to call upon Mamadou Sakho who won't quite make fitness for the game it seems. Positively though Mario Balotelli and Lucas Leiva could be back in contention.

For Chelsea who have already secured the Premier League title, they are without Oscar who has been ruled out and there are also doubts hanging over Diego Costa. Mourinho may choose to field a very different team though as he has nothing to play for but pride.

The last time the two sides met was in January this year when Liverpool suffered defeat thanks to a 94th minute goal from Branislav Ivanovic. Liverpool don't have a fantastic record on the whole at Stamford Bridge however the Reds won at the Bridge in 2011 in the Carling Cup quarter final. Liverpool also beat Chelsea just nine days earlier at Stamford Bridge in that season.

Over the last ten meetings there has only been more than two goals for one side on one occasion. This was a 4-1 win for Liverpool at Anfield in 2012.

Stat Sandwich

  • Liverpool have only won once in seven fixtures against teams in the top four so far this season.
  • Chelsea have kept 17 clean sheets so far this season, more than any other side in the league.
  • Simon Mignolet has kept 13 clean sheets so far this season with only Forster matching him.
The biggest talking point of this game is apparently the guard of honour, as annoying as it is that we happen to be the team that have to provide this to Chelsea, it's just part of showing respect, something Mourinho knows nothing about. So we will show respect and then hopefully by some miracle we can pick up a result.

For me, the real story of this fixture would be Liverpool actually managing to pick up a win. With a weakened team likely to be fielded by Chelsea, the Reds should aspire to collect all three points after all their record against the top four this season has been diabolical. Not only that but another three points adds pressure onto Manchester United, while there is still a numerical opportunity Liverpool need to fight to the wire.

However, I don't think we will fight to the wire, I think Brendan Rodgers will choose a daft team and make daft substitutions. Chelsea have one of the best defences in the league so playing a lone striker simply won't be enough in my book. Perhaps the pace and skill of Sterling and Coutinho will create some exciting moments for the Reds but I'm not sure that will cut the mustard.

I suppose we will have to wait and see. I will almost certainly be having a quid on Skrtel to score at some stage and probably some ridiculous scorecast so follow me on Twitter if you want to join me in throwing some money away haha.

Enjoy the match folks wherever you are watching!

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Sunday, 3 May 2015

Captain Fantastic Heads Home The Winner

Image: express.co.uk
I must admit when I sat down to watch us play QPR on Saturday afternoon, I wasn't expecting it to be the most exciting sporting moment of the day. However after watching a relatively dull "fight of the century" in a snorefest atmosphere last night, having stayed up for close to 22 hours for the privilege... It was rather nice to celebrate an emphatic Steven Gerrard winning header!

I would just like to take this opportunity to pay my respects to Rio Ferdinand and his family. Rio's wife sadly passed away after a short battle with breast cancer. Both teams wore black armbands.

The game started with a pathetic fly over banner from the extreme "Rodgers Out" brigade. Whilst I'm not personally Rodgers' biggest fan at present, not by any stretch of the imagination I do find it embarrassing that some Liverpool fans (allegedly) have gone to the extent of paying for a plane to fly the message "Rodgers Out, Rafa In". I love Rafa too, but lets get real here ay? Seriously embarrassing stuff.

Thankfully Rodgers didn't take any notice on Saturday and eventually led his side to a 2-1 win.

QPR had Liverpool fans on tenterhooks very early on after a corner in the first minute looked like it had led to a goal for the away side. The ball was in the net but it had left the field of play from the corner.

It would take the Reds a while to completely settle into the game after such an early threat but at 18 minutes Philippe Coutinho netted a lovely goal for his side. A break from the Reds left Lambert on the right wing in possession, the forward spotted Coutinho and played a lovely pass which the Brazilian controlled wonderfully, his resulting finish was perfect leaving goalkeeper Green with no chance.

It was a lovely move from the Reds and it was nice to see Rickie Lambert heavily involved. I do feel though that Lambert on the whole was left somewhat lost in the system, we know by now how I feel about a lone striker and I honestly feel he still required a lot more support yesterday but that's it, that's my negative out the way.

For the remainder of the first half QPR failed to make an impression on the Liverpool defence. Odd bouts of possession would result in little danger and the Reds remained in control going into the second half.

Early in the second half Jordan Henderson created a beautiful long range cross which drifted nicely into the box for an encroaching Raheem Sterling. The youngster though missed an absolute sitter sending his strike wide to the left of goal. I have no idea how he missed that one.

Ten minutes later the Reds created another decent chance after Steven Gerrard sent a long range shot agonisingly close to the bottom right of goal. Jordan Ibe who had replaced Adam Lallana was involved in the build up for this attack.

A resulting corner from the Gerrard effort nearly saw Dejan Lovren send home a header but the Reds at this stage just couldn't find a second goal. QPR in this period saw their chance to punish the Reds , during a confident spell the away side earned themselves a corner. Joey Barton whipped in the cross as Leroy Fer connected well and put QPR level, he was given far too much space by Liverpool who should really have had this game tied up.

At 78 minutes Liverpool were awarded a penalty after a foul by Onuoha on Martin Skrtel in the box. If there's one man you'd bet your house on to net a peno it's Steven Gerrard but he soddin missed. I was certain this would be 2-1 but the Reds were left still searching for a winner with just ten minutes to go.

A couple of minutes later and Onuoha made a very silly challenge on Jordan Ibe as he was breaking down the wing and was given his marching orders. It was a daft decision by the QPR man because his side were still very much in this game but the ten men definitely aided Liverpool.

At 86 minutes the Reds finally found their winner and what a winner it was. A corner from Philippe Coutinho was met by a rising Steven Gerrard who with a fantastic header, smashed home Liverpool's second of the game securing all three points.

You wouldn't think there could be such an emotional goal in a home game against QPR when you are effectively destined to finish 5th in the league but this header was special. The instant realisation that this could be Gerrard's last in front of the Kop was enough to send Anfield into a frenzy and I'm so pleased for him.

At 88 minutes Gerrard was subbed off receiving a standing ovation from the fans. He may have dipped below par this season and of course he's not the Gerrard he used to be but it's games like this that make you realise what a talisman he is. There is not a single player within our team at present in my opinion that is able to bring the fight and passion that Gerrard does, it is simply unique.

Next up for Liverpool is Chelsea away, wouldn't it be nice just to spoil a bit of the party by absolutely battering them? ... We can dream.

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Friday, 1 May 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V QPR

image via irish mirror
Liverpool face QPR on Saturday afternoon in what could easily be another disappointing result for the Reds. QPR are currently sitting right in the middle of the relegation zone and with time running out, three points are absolutely essential.

Injury news has brought more woes for Liverpool as we were informed that Jon Flanagan is likely  to be out for another nine months. I just feel gutted for the lad, from the little we have seen from him he looks like a great talent, a confident defender, I seriously hope he gets another shot.

Mario Balotelli also is unavailable for the Reds after picking up a knock against Hull. Sturridge is also still out and has travelled to the States for treatment, also missing is Mamadou Sakho.

QPR are also struggling injury wise with Traore, Doughty and Vargas all out. Zamora, Zarate and Ferdinand will all be subject to late fitness tests.

The last time the two sides met was in October last year. It was a high scoring game which the Reds won 3-2 thanks to two own goals and an effort from Philippe Coutinho. The last time the two sides met at Anfield, Coutinho was on the scoresheet again in a 1-0 win for Liverpool.

The last time QPR notched up a win in the fixture was in March 2012. A quality goal from Sebastian Coates was not enough for Liverpool that day as Rangers scored three goals late on to win the match 3-2.

Stat Sandwich
The Reds haven’t found the back of the net in their last two league games, the last time they went three games without doing so was in 2005.
QPR are unbeaten in their last two away games in the league.
In games where Liverpool were behind at half time, the Reds have failed to win any of those matches this season.

I hate to admit it but I’ve almost given up with this season now, it’s such a downer at the minute and I hardly expect things to change tomorrow either. It will be interesting to see who Rodgers decides to field with new injury concerns and some complaints about his tactics in recent games but I honestly think some of our players have already got their minds on a holiday. They just don’t seem bothered, QPR meanwhile are scrapping for their lives so we’ll see if Liverpool can tough it out on Saturday.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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