Posts

Showing posts with the label Alberto Aquilani

Reds Lacklustre In Turkey Friendly

Image
Daglish's side fell to a 3-0 defeat in the humid Turkish capital tonight. The 90 minutes were certainly no delight for Liverpool and despite substitutions, the Reds struggled from the onset to threaten Galatasaray.

Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson were left out of the trip to Istanbul but keeper Doni got another chance to show what he can do between the sticks. A mixed line up saw the likes of Joe Cole and Philip Degen in midfield, Flanagan and Kyrgiakos in defence and Andy Carroll chosen to start up front.

Galatasaray didn't take long at all to make clear their intentions, to the soundtrack of a raucous new home stadium the boys from Turkey were nearly off the mark in less than a minute courtesy of Milan Baros.

And it eventually fell to the ex Liverpool man to deliver the first blow. Some poor Liverpool defending after Kelly and Kyrgiakos were dragged out of position meant the Czech could put a neat little chance past Doni.

Liverpool appeared unable to compl…

Reds Lose 3-0 In Hull Friendly

Image
Aquilani sporting the new third strip...
After goals galore in Asia it was a wake up call for the Liverpool lads this afternoon at the KC Stadium. On display for Liverpool were all three new signings, goalkeeper Doni and midfielders Downing and Henderson.

Dalglish once again made the most he could out of his bolstered squad and 22 players featured within the 90 minutes. Unfortunately for Liverpool, no amount of reshuffling could stop Hull's momentum.

Goals from Koren, Simpson and Brady meant it would take a gallant effort from the Reds to get back into the game.

Happy of the game time more than anything though i think players such as Coady and Ayala relished their opportunity in front of the boss and once again proved how our youths are beginning to shine.

Many highlighted Aquilani's first half performance in their post match thoughts. He impressed against Guangdong and it was pleasing to see him follow through on that performance against a strong Championship side.

Rumours thi…

Liverpool End 09/10 Season With A Draw

Image
My player of the season for Liverpool...
It wasn't a superb end to the campaign nor was it necessarily entertaining and although it was disappointing, it just didn't seem relevant in the midst of the managerial uncertainty and financial situation currently faced by the football club we all hold so dear.
There were some positives to highlight but whist Chelsea were banging in 8 against Wigan and United still managed to net 4 against Stoke despite the fact they missed out on the title, it was another example pointing out the ever increasing gap between Liverpool and the current battle-axes at the top of the table.
Going into the game Liverpool were already aware that the best possible finish in sight was 6th, this was also providing that the Aston Villa result went their way, with that in mind, the lads had that and the prospect of finishing on a high note as the incentives.
It was a decent first half from Liverpool with some lively play and a few attempts at goal. Notable efforts …

Liverpool Fail To Beat Chelsea In Last Home Game Of The Season

Image
The only plus side to yesterday's result was how grumpy Fergie was...
The conspiracy theories were out yesterday and in full force after Liverpool lost 2-0 to Chelsea. With Steven Gerrard effectively setting up Didier Drogba with a poorly judged back pass to Pepe Reina and iron man Jamie Carragher insisting that he could not go on, the folks in Manchester were adamant that we had rolled over for the London side.
Just the typical characteristics of a Manchester United fan though isn't it that? Thinking we did it to spite them?
Fact is we just weren't good enough, not many people thought we would be able to do it anyway and with the minimal pressure on the Chelsea goal it was never going to be Liverpool's day.
Liverpool's only shot on target came courtesy of Dutchman Dirk Kuyt but it was the Aquilani screamer that almost had everyone jumping out of their seats.
A great speculative effort from outside the box from the Italian which clipped the top of the bar as the Chelsea…

The Dream Is Over

Image
Long may he prove his critics wrong...
Despite Liverpool beating Atletico Madrid 2-1 at Anfield last night and putting on a fantastic performance with every player giving 110%, that early goal from the first leg came back to haunt us after Atletico booked their place in the final on the away goals rule.
Due to injuries and a tactical decision by Benitez to switch Johnson onto the left side, the line up was as good as could be under recent circumstances. Masch was pushed into right-back position with Johnson on the left, Carra and Agger were in the centre and Reina in goal.
Kuyt lead the line with Babel and Benayoun on the wings. Aquilani, Gerrard and Lucas made up the rest of the XI.
Liverpool made a fantastic start to the game with immense tempo and urgency. Gaining 4 corners within the first minutes of the match, it was clear the attitude was there. Anfield was as vociferous as ever and the stage was set for a memorable night in Liverpool.
Despite the good start and the holding off of At…

The Anfield Face Off

Image
Diego Forlan scores in the first leg...
Atletico Madrid welcome themselves to L4 tomorrow for the second leg of our Europa League Semi Final with the Spaniards. After all the hectic travel arrangements Liverpool suffered for the first leg, Atletico have had no such problems for the trip to England.
With the prospect of another European final for Liverpool and obviously the chance of silverware, Anfield should be buzzing tomorrow night, resembling that world famous atmosphere that footballing culture knows so well.
Liverpool were unlucky in a sense in the first leg when a scrappy goal from Diego Forlan found its way past Golden Glove contender Pepe Reina. The lads weren't playing at their best but the 1-0 still gives the Reds the upper hand tomorrow night.
As we are all aware, star striker Fernando Torres will not be fit to face his old employers, and the rest of the list of injuries still drags on pretty long.
Long standing injuries to Martin Skrtel, Emiliano Insua and Martin Kelly mea…

Gerrard Gears Victory

Image
Captain fantastic back to his best...
Steven Gerrard helped steer Liverpool to a 4-0 victory yesterday with 2 goals in 9minutes. The final result saw Burnley relegated but it was an emphatic win for the Reds as they cling on to slim hopes of that last Champions League spot.
The shock entry of Ayala into the back four was the only unsuspected addition to the line up from Benitez. With N'Gog injured it was Kuyt who lead the line. Fellow Dutchman Ryan Babel also started and Maxi Rodriguez was reintroduced on the wing.
The first half for Liverpool was a rather nervy one, Burnley appeared to be dealing with the likes of Kuyt and Aquilani rather well. They were looking strong against the Reds.
The 45minutes portrayed a bad outlook should Liverpool continue to play like that in the second half. Despite some speculative attempts from Gerrard and co, no real chances were created. Burnley also sprung Reina into making a save in the dying minutes, possibly indicating they were becoming comfortab…

Race For Fourth Meets Relegation Battle

Image
Will Yossi feature against his old club?...
With the introduction of a stand in chairman this week for Liverpool and the stories all reading that Hicks and Gillett are ready to sell up and move on, there was a very positive feel amongst the fan base.
Don't count your chickens though, with Hicks making suggestions that he will only accept stupid money despite the fact nobody will pay £600mil for a club some £250mil (roughly) in debt, it is not looking as bright as once thought.
However, it is no doubt a step forward, the key thing is though, this time out, our club needs to be handled with dignity and intelligence, no silly mistakes, the correct buyer, somebody with passion and the strive to support the team must be found.
So with all this going on off the pitch, can Liverpool beat West Ham on Monday night and keep themselves in an ever changing race for fourth?
West Ham have failed to win on the road since the opening game of the season when they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0.
Scott…

We Just Couldn't Take Our Chances

Image
Hillsborough... Never forget.
Liverpool's already unrealistic hopes of finishing in the top 4 appear to have almost certainly been shattered after Roy Hodgson's Fulham managed to hold the Reds to an eventful 0-0 draw at Anfield.
Yesterday's game was the closest game to the 21st anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Both sets of fans, managers, staff and players completed a solemn minute silence to remember the 96 Liverpool fans that lost their lives on that fateful day on the 15th April 1989.
Benitez's choice of line up was favoured by many with a very strong midfield and familiar defence. Fernando Torres was missing from the line up through a flaring up of a knee problem believed to have been causing him problems earlier in the week. Despite this being a blow it was an ideal XI played by Benitez.
N'Gog lead the line with Babel, Mascherano,Gerrard,Aquilani and Maxi making up the centre of the field. Agger was utilised at left back again with Carra, Soto and Johnson…

Reds Face Birmingham For Easter Sunday Clash

Image
Birmingham's top goalscorer Jerome is on a tally of 9 goals...
Liverpool go in to tomorrow afternoon's fixture looking to improve on the performance earlier in the season against Birmingham City which saw them leave Anfield that night with just the one point. It was a scrap to even come away with the 2-2 draw that evening, so Liverpool should know to be weary of a revamped Premier League style Birmingham.
Just to make things worse, Liverpool have not beaten the Blues since may 2004. Over the 6 meetings we have lost twice and drew on the remaining 4 occasions. Despite our head to head stats in the league, we have in the midst of all this beaten Brum in the FA Cup (remember the 7-0?) and also in the League Cup.
Benitez is not one to dismiss the ability of the recently promoted side either, he was quoted saying:
"They are doing well. It has been a very good season for them. They are a good team, with a good spirit who work hard for each other.
"You could see from their game …

Benitez's Boys Face Benfica

Image
Oscar Cardozo - Benfica's top goalscorer...
As we continue to progress through the lower tier of European competition it is starting to get towards the business end of the procedure. With some more of the big names now being left in the pot, it is only ourselves and Fulham representing the British force.
Tomorrow we start the tie in Portugal and return to Anfield the following week. Benfica are an unfamiliar opposition for this current Liverpool side. Sometimes not knowing what to expect can be a good thing, although it also implies that the line up will be cautious ready for a more threatening side for the home leg.
Benfica are currently perched nicely at the top of the Portuguese league. 6 points clear of their nearest rivals. Despite their league not being up there with the best in the world of football, their run is nothing to be shunned.
Quite a few people are expecting Benfica to be a difficult team to beat, and i agree that it will not be an easy ride. But looking at some of t…

Revenge Is Sweet

Image
Some things are best forgotten...
(Image link.)

After perhaps the most bizarre highlight of our season at The Stadium Of Light back in October when a giant Liverpool beach ball helped Darren Bent fool Pepe Reina and seal a win for Sunderland, Sunday marks the day for appropriate revenge and a fixture where a much needed three points should be collectible.

Liverpool have hit a wall somewhat after being so fluent in their goalscoring with 3 against Lille and 4 against Portsmouth, Manchester United posed a threat and the goal rout was limited to just the one from Fernando Torres in a 2-1 defeat.

The game against Sunderland will be a true marker of the current character of the players, the manager and the team as a whole. The Liverpool we know will turn this around and make it a winner for the Anfield faithful, but the not so familiar Liverpool side we have seen sparks of throughout the season could make it a difficult one and allow Steve Bruce's boys to walk away with a token for their e…

Liverpool Poised To Turn Tie Around

Image
A deflated Liverpool after defeat to Lille.
Liverpool are set to welcome Lille to Anfield tomorrow on the back of a 1-0 loss in France. After the emphatic victory over Portsmouth on Monday night can Liverpool keep things going with another win in the Europa League?
Liverpool lost the first leg after conceding in the 84th minute of the game, something which has been a frustration for Liverpool in many games this season, letting in silly goals very late in a match.
However after being uplifted by the 4-1 rout over Pompey, Liverpool can quite easily turn this around and continue their venture in the Europe.
The incentive and target is still the same as it was if we had of came away from Lille with a 0-0 draw, score at least one goal.
Forcing extra time or winning outright, it doesn't matter which outcome, Liverpool can complete this task with ease if the tactics are right and the lads work as a team.
After the positive boost Aquilani gave the team in a more attacking Liverpool side it is …

Food 4 Thought

Image
Aquilani relished his first Liverpool goal.
Just as we thought our ship was about to sink, captain Steven Gerrard and the rest of the boys pulled something special out of the bag last night against a team fighting for their life in the Premier League. But is this a sign of things to come or just a one off result?

Many people will quickly jump to the old "oh well it was only Portsmouth" but as Liverpool fans we all know how much that victory meant. We all know how valuable those 3 points were and we all know after being beaten by Portsmouth earlier on in the season, this was no fluke.
It was an early goal from Fernando Torres that started off the Liverpool rout.
When Steven Gerrard closed down Pompey keeper Jamie Ashdown, i don't think anyone was expecting the last ditch attempt to be fruitful, however when Gerrard managed get a foot to the clearance, the ball kindly fell to Maxi Rodriguez, he kept himself composed and swept the ball to our number 9 who put the ball in the b…

Liverpool Hope To Start Europa League In Style

Image
Benitez has promised to treat the Europa league with respect and just like the fans is hoping that we can have a good run in the competition. Despite the disappointment and realisation that we do not find ourselves in an elusive Champion's League clash this week but a Europa League one, excitement and an atmosphere appears to be building up for Thursday nights clash.
Unirea Urziceni are unfamiliar opposition to Liverpool to say the least and very unfamiliar in particular. They are a Romanian side who play in Liga I. Strangely enough their nickname is Chelsea de lalomita roughly translated to "The Chelsea of Lalomita", Lalomita being the county of Romania whey they are from.
If they are anything at all like Chelsea on a European night at Anfield then it could prove quite a tasty fixture.
The majority of their team are Romanian born although they do have Brazilian and Argentinian players. Perhaps their most prolific players are long term servers for the club: Marius Onofras a…

Can Liverpool Shoot Down Gunners?

Image
How punditry can change within the space of... A month?
December was a pretty shoddy month for Liverpool, heads were hanging, confidence was low, we'd been knocked out the Champions League, beaten by Portsmouth and beaten by Arsenal. With things beginning to hit a new low it was Arsenal who were on form winning 5 out of their 6 Premier League fixtures that month.
Now were into February though it appears the tides have turned.
Arsenal are now showing the poor results including a draw with Everton (pah!), loss to Stoke and they have failed to beat either of their big rivals in Chelsea and Manchester United.
Even looking at our own season we can still say we have beaten United, beaten Stoke and also got a draw. Not to mention our double over the bluenoses, yet it's Arsenal who's decline continued to be ignored, pundits remained confident that they would still find themselves in a title race despite all the warning signs.
Warning signs such as their inability to defend pacey counte…

Kuyt Strikes Again

Image
Liverpool collected 3 points yesterday along with a clean sheet and a huge sense of accomplishment as our unbeaten run continues. Despite the performance again perhaps not being as fluid as many people may like, crucially, the result was welcomed by all.
Benitez fielded a very strong XI, to the surprise of quite a few fans, he opted to start both Aquilani and Steven Gerrard, he also opted to play Kuyt behind David N'Gog, as opposed to the option of lone striker. It was a rather unfamiliar layout, although it worked.
In defence it was the same four lads from the 0-0 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Agger only just coming back from a knock, he was named on the bench but it was Insua, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos and Carragher who made up the back four.
Lucas had to settle for an appearance from the bench as Mascherano was chosen to partner Aquilani in the heart of the midfield and Riera made another appearance on the left wing.
For the majority of the first half we appeared to have carried …

Britannia Could Be Brutal

Image
With the rather pitiful defeat to Reading midweek, the re-immersion of calling for Rafa's head, injuries to Torres, Gerrard and Benayoun, Ryan Babel stirring on Twitter, countless articles highlighting our terrible run of results, papers bigging up talk that we will "do a Leeds" and almost every member of the Liverpool faithful struggling to find an upside to this downward spiral, the trip to Stoke is not exactly looking to be a lifeline.
The Britannia Stadium for a starters is not a nice place to go, one of the noisiest grounds in the country, Stoke fans with their own chants and no doubt jibes for the Liverpool side will be in their element at kick off on Saturday.
With an injury list full with key players, it makes you wonder whether we can pull off a win with such a different looking side.
However, to try and look at things positively, Mascherano is back from suspension, Aquilani will no doubt be given another chance to impress, Maxi Rodriguez has been named in the squ…

Why Villa Are Just The Pushers

Image
So after a 2-0 victory over Midlands side Wolverhampton Wanderers on Boxing Day can Liverpool go to fellow Midlanders Aston Villa tomorrow and come away with another 3 points?
Aston Villa, widely regarded as challengers for the top 4 are set to be there or there about again this season. With their current form sustaining their current 4th spot and their points tally reading 5 better than Liverpool, it can sometimes be a cause for concern.
However, i just don't think Villa, Spurs or City will continue pushing, not this season anyway, and although Martin O'Neill has no doubt done a fantastic job i can't help but think that his 4th spot ambition is just a dream and nothing more. Even on the back of some terrible Liverpool results which have totally opened up the opportunity he and the team have not taken a full stranglehold on the chance.
Just by looking at last year it is clear to see that there comes a stage when the pushers push too much and the steam just runs out.
Aston Vi…

An Insider's View

Image
Right, for those of you that don't know already i am a Liverpool fan who lives in Wolverhampton. After growing up with a brother who was obsessed with the Red's and a Dad who supported Wolverhampton Wanderers but not enough to rub in the tradition my love for Liverpool began. At a pretty young age with my brother's room full of posters, magazines etc etc and him constantly watching Liverpool games on the TV i soon began to pick up things and learn about the club until i was old enough to follow them properly, make my own views and buy my first Liverpool shirt, from then on i have stuck with the lads ever since and will never turn back, unlike my brother (now 30) who switched to supporting Wolves when he was about 19, how he did it i don't know but anyway...
Your probably thinking, why on earth did you just tell me that paragraph of what was seemingly nonsense? Well i felt that was the first bit i should explain before then explaining how i came to work at The Molineux.…