The Liver Bird  

Friday, 18 November 2016

Football Blogging Awards 2016 / Southampton Preview

So, I went along to Old Trafford for the 2016 Football Blogging Awards last night and, as always it was a brilliant night. For those new to the blog, I've been attending (sometimes winning the odd award too haha) The FBAs since they started back in 2012. The event has come a very long way since its humble beginnings in Stockport so Anthony the organiser must be praised for that.

I was sat on a table with some of the guys from the superb @AnfieldHQ and also a young up-and-coming Man City blogger/youtuber named Omar who runs @CitizensTelly so please do give them a follow!

One of the highlights of the night was the hilarity that ensued when Stevi Ritchie (bloke who was once on X Factor) began to sing You'll Never Walk Alone. I'd already had enough of seeing Fergie's face round every corner so blasting out a rendition of #YNWA inside Old Trafford was more than enough to cheer me up, absolute quality haha.

For anybody I got chatting to on the night, as always it was great to see you, for anybody I missed soz! For any newbies finding me here after the event for enquiries feel free to drop me an email - or drop me a tweet - @LFCKirstyLFC

A special congratulations to fellow Liverpool bloggers/content creators: Anfield HQ, The Anfield Wrap and Empire of the Kop. Well in!

Football Blogging Awards 2016 Winners

Best New Football Blog
Judges: The Football Lab
Fans: John James Site

Best Video Football Blog
Judges: Palmers FC
Fans: 442oons

Best Football Podcast
Judges: The Gaffer Tapes
Fans: The Anfield Wrap

Best Football Club Blog
Judges: I'd Radebe Leeds
Fans: Anfield HQ

Best Young Football Blogger
Judges: Jordan-Luke / TheSilvaLining
Fans: Matt Lynch

Best International Football Blog
Judges: Football Paradise
Fans: Phil Mac Giolla Bhain

Best Foorball Influencer
Judges: Guillem Balague
Fans: Stan Collymore

Best Football Freestyler
Judges: Andrew Henderson
Fans: F2Freestylers

Best Social Football Account
Judges: Empire of the Kop
Fans: The Sport Bible

Best Gaming Football Blog
Judges: Striker Less / Merry Guido
Fans: Spencer FC

Best Gambling Football Blog
Judges: The Sack Race
Fans: The Odds Bible


And now back to the football... I can't be the only one who hates international breaks? I just sort of sit around of a weekend twiddling my thumbs praying no Liverpool players get injured. Speaking of which... that went well didn't it?

The Reds of course are currently sitting pretty at the top of the league and travel to Southampton on Saturday for a 3pm kick off. The last time the two sides met was in March this year. A strong start from Liverpool saw two goals within the space of 20 minutes scored by Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge. Unfortunately for the Reds, our new favourite man Sadio Mane went on to score a brace and then Italian Graziano Pelle completely cancelled the Liverpool party after scoring the winner with seven minutes left of the match.

In the last six meetings with the Saints in the league Liverpool have won on three occasions, Southampton have two victories and there has been one draw.

Injuries for Liverpool have taken a big blow as Adam Lallana went off injured during the England friendly and rumours of Coutinho's fitness became true this week meaning two key players could be missing from Jurgen Klopp's XI on Saturday. For Southampton, they have doubts hanging over the fitness of Cedric Soares, Ward-Prowse and Long.

Southampton's manager has emphasised the importance of Charlie Austin this week and it's clear Liverpool will have to work hard to ensure they keep the forward quiet. The Reds on the other hand will be hoping that they can continue to find goals from less obvious places and Klopp figures out how to deal with some key missing attacking players.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Monday, 7 November 2016

Six One: Five Things We Learned

1) Goals are coming from all over the place

I expected us to beat Watford on Sunday and I expected us to concede but I never expected us to walk away with a 6-1 victory. It was a ridiculous performance from the Reds and what is most refreshing to see is the fact that the goals aren't just coming from one player.

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In the days of Suarez/Sturridge/Gerrard/Torres etc Liverpool only really had a couple of names at any one time as a source of regular goals. When one was injured or suspended we struggled. This season it doesn't look as though that is going to be an issue with Mane, Coutinho and Firmino taking regular goalscoring spots and people like Can and Wijnaldum popping up, we're looking extremely strong on the attack.

2) Karius looking stronger

Despite conceding it was clear to see the extra training regimes Karius has been put through have had an effect. He made three fantastic saves in a short period of time during the second half against Watford and his decision making also looked slightly better. Hopefully he can continue going upwards from here.

3) Lucas - God loves a trier

I love Lucas, it's hard not to, but even I was a tiny bit sceptical when I saw he'd been selected in defence instead of the likely Klavan. Lucas though to be fair has adapted well on the odd occasion when he's been called into a defensive role and Sunday was no different. The Brazilian looked confident and determined in the back four and he almost topped off his day with a goal too!

4) Those early fixtures were massive

I've probably mentioned this before on the blog (pretty sure I have) but those early fixtures away to the big boys at the start of the season have proved to be absolutely pivotal.

Many fans were concerned about facing those sides so early on but I took the opinion that we had to play them at some point, why not straight away? The Chelsea game now sticks out in particular to me because playing Chelsea so early meant Conte was still adjusting, the Italian now appears to have got his side up to speed and I feel they would be a stronger opposition if say we had to play them next week.

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Top of the league thanks to a 6-1 win and with only Manchester City and Manchester United from the big sides to face away from home? I am well and truly in delirium mode now. Poetry in motion tra la la la la!!!

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Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Italian Job

Walter Mazzarri is going to have to "blow the bloody doors off" if he wants to force this Liverpool side out of drive and into park on Sunday.

The Italian has got Watford playing some great football but in the bubbling Anfield atmosphere, only increased by the Reds' recent confident performances will Mazzarri be able to make the best of a difficult situation?

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Of course, he's got experience in difficult situations and is no stranger to taking a side to a famous or intense ground. Back in Serie A as manager of Inter and Napoli spanning five years he visited the cauldrons of the Stadio Olimpico, the Juventus Stadium and both the San Siro and the Stadio San Paolo as a home and opposition coach.

Walter was unlucky to be sacked by Inter, he did suffer from a string of poor results but was only five points off third when he left the club. He faired far better as Napoli boss securing a third place finish in one season, he also won the Coppa Italia in 2012 giving Juve their only loss of the season and took Napoli on a decent Champions League run. Since arriving in England he's been taken under the wing of Watford's Italian owners the Pozzo family who also own Udinese.

I feel Mazzarri has settled in well in the English Premier League both as a character and as a manager. His slight grasp of the English language at present works in his favour I feel as you're constantly having to second guess him.

In the league Watford are currently in 7th on 15 points. They have lost just one of their last seven games and are a very hard team to beat. Putting four goals past West Ham and three past Manchester United they can certainly switch on the attack when required but in true Italian style they can also defend and hold on to a draw if needs be. 

Liverpool of course are joint top and Jurgen Klopp will not want a slip up against Watford. The Reds in comparison to some of the other sides have a decent run of games as we head into the busy Christmas period and we need to capitalise on that as much as we can. We don't want to be left hanging off that cliff come 90 minutes... (*Sings self preservation society*)

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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