Saturday, November 29, 2008

November Rain

What's with this occupational hazard?

When everything seems rosy, L'OM hurdles cleared, still at the top of the standing, suddenly........
Torres is out injured again. Maybe 2-3 weeks. That old thing hamstring again. Maybe it's a Liverpool curse. Owen had been plagued by it before and now Torres. Guess, speed merchant has a weak hamstring after all. Medical proof? Ain't got one but how can you explain the illness that only affects those blessed with winged feet. Never heard Carra got one before.

Hamstring aside, I know we have been winning matches without him but when he's in the team, we are certainly a better team. This kiddo got an aura about him. It's infectious to the whole team. A feel good factor to the fans as well.
Simply put it, Torres is indispensable to Liverpool's cause. So is Gerrard.

Liverpool will only get the chance to hammer West Ham on Monday after the dust has been settled. By that time, we'll already know the fate of Chelsea, MU and Arsenal.
A perfect position and timing to consolidate our position at the top should the other contenders faltered over the weekend or to keep up in case of a reverse.

Who's the saviour this time around. Gerrard again? Keane? Kuyt?
Do not care one bit even if winning ugly rear it's ugly head once again. 1-0 will do as long we are winning. Hope we'll be singing in the November rain.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Last 16

Gifted but pink boots?

Liverpool are through to the last 16 with a game to spare. Not an easy stroll though.

It was highly indifferent Liverpool tonight. Got the first goal through Gerrard and sat back, losing the midfield battle in the process and hung on to dear life at the end.
Marseille dominated large portion of the match and only some smart saves from Pepe and last minute intervention from Jamie Carragher denied the visiting team a goal or two.

However, it wasn't to be and Liverpool scrapped through. We are still sitting at the 2nd spot as Tico also won at home. It's a decider when we go to Holland. A battle to decide who tops the group.
No worry, we have won there before. The important point is we had qualified and can focus on EPL.

L'OM done. It's Hammer time next Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lets Get Gerets

Another big laugh tonight?

The penultimate game of CL, tonight against Gerets' L'OM.

A win tonight would see us qualified for the knock out phase. A win would also go a long way in securing the top spot ahead of Atletico.
Goal difference is pretty important too as Tico are ahead in that department.

Both are expected to win tonight. Again, it's going to the wire where both will play away to determine the No 1 spot.

First thing first. Let us overcome Gerets' boys and put CL at the back of our mind temporarily. Time to consolidate the position in EPL.
OM is no whipping boy either. They have players that can trouble us. Niang, Kone and Cana comes to mind. They even beat us 1-0 last year with that Valbuena's stinging shot.

That was last year! Guess we are stronger this term and Gerrard will be back for the Anfield faithfuls.

Forget Fulham and get Gerets instead!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mind Games

The chess exponent!

It has started. The verbal mud-slinging match between players and managers alike.

We are only 1/3 into the new season and if media reports are to be believed, 2 players namely Michael Ballack and shaggy haired Jimmy Bullard have issued statements or rather comments downplaying Liverpool's chances to the elusive title. Reversed psychology at it's best.
They're not accustomed to see Liverpool at the top hence the comments.

Ballack said it's a 2 horse race between MU and Chelsea while Bullard commented that Liverpool relied too heavily on certain individuals.
Admittedly, man for man, pound for pound Chelsea are much better equipped to last the whole 9 yards. The team still missing the likes of Essien, Drogba and Carvalho is at the top, a position they share with our beloved Liverpool.
On the contrary, it was team spirit that carried Liverpool through when the chips are down, when influential players like Gerrard and Torres were out injured. Of course these 2 are irreplaceable but the team prevailed.

That is why squad players are so important!
This is a 38 long chess game. Players will get injured or suspended, there's no doubting that.
When called upon, they must be ready to step up to the plate and not found wanting.

It is crucial that squad players like Benayoun, Babel, Lucas and Pennant to get real and start producing some actions that we can be proud of consistently.

I believe it's going to the wire. Liverpool and Chelsea, only.
Sorry Mr Ballack, you're dead wrong.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Move over, I'm not Brazilian!

Brazilian footballers are generally known to have nimble foot works, silky skills, deadly free kicks, step overs and all the niceties normally associated with Brazilian player.

But in Liverpool, we have a Brazilian who has none of the above. Meet Lucas Leiva!
Supposedly the one for the future as claimed by Senor Goatee. In many matches that he played so far in Liverpool colours, I've never seen him putting a decent enough performance to warrant him a spot in Liverpool's bench let alone the first team.
Maybe, that game against Inter in Milan last term. That's the exception.

What is it in him that pleases Rafa that we don't see?
The Fulham draw was concrete evidence that this un-Brazilian guy is not an EPL material. Just look and compare at Denilson at Arsenal, Santo at Chelsea, Robinho at Man C who are about the same age with him.
They're a class above him and performing all things Brazilian that people all over the world crave for. Is he Brazilian after all?

Offload him in January? Do not think he'll make the grade here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fulham Flame Part 3

Two to tango but Lucas is a poor dancer!

It was kinda weird night for EPL. As fate would have it, the top 3 all drew their matches yesterday. My buddy, the man from planet sigap said, no need to ponder much about Liverpool's failure as the other 2 also failed in their quest. The other 2 are of course Chelsea and Man U, Arsenal is already out of the equation.

Me, kinda different. In my earlier posting, I have pointed the Fulham game was a chance to reclaim the top spot should Chelsea falter against Newcastle. They did but so did us. The chance went to the drain. Disappointing.

Admittedly, I saw this one coming. When ESPN announced that Lucas and Masch to play together, I was dumbfounded. 2 defensive midfielders to supply ammunition to Keane and Torres? Carling Cup lineup but EPL?
Masch is no Marcos Senna. The new Argies captain is great at snapping others' heels but never a forward passer. He's a sideway passer king. He's needed alright but with Gerrard or Alonso, not with him calling the shots. That's an impossible task for him.
Lucas? hhmmm ....he's neither here nor there kinda guy.
Guess Alonso should started the match. Yeah..maybe he was tired after Spain's midweek match. Maybe Rafa got his rotation formula wrong this time around. The wrong team for a right opponent.

So the strikers were bereft of their supply of sublime passes, through balls and the team suffered throughout. The midfield was non existent. Persona non Grata. The drab, scoreless affair is probably right for a poor, pathetic home performance. Everybody said the home game against mediocre teams is important but here we are dropping points like nobody's business. Then Stoke, now Fulham.

And Keane? Time to show him the bench. Partner Torres with Kuyt and bring back Pennant to the right.
The flame were doused by our own doings......

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fulham Flame Part 2

Bullard who?

Here's another chance to reclaim the top spot from Chelsea should they falter against Owen & Co.
It's another mid table team in the form of Fulham, a small club from London.

Some order will be restored tomorrow with Arbeloa coming back into the side following his suspension. Torres scored for Las Rojas in midweek and looked very sharp for a striker who did not play for almost 2 months. Keane has recovered from his "injury" while Gerrard was really injured after all. Benitez and Capello were both "right" on their respective assessment on Gerrard's groin.

In the absence of Gerrard, Alonso and Masch will patrol the midfield in a 4-4-2 formation. Reminiscent of MU game.
It's Anfield of course. No way for a lone striker. It will be Keane and Torres up front.

Fulham, guess would not bring the team bus into the stadium. They have two potent strikers of their own in Zamora and Johnson. Bullard against Masch. Mouthwatering prospect.

It's not a walk in the park, surely. Fulham will provide a stern test to Liverpool's title credentials. They're not going down without a bruising fight.
That's what will make this tie all but a dull match. It's dogfight till the end but clearly only 1 winner and that's you know who.

Wailing Wall of Anfield

Amidst international friendlies and run up to Fulham game tomorrow, suddenly Benayoun( pic) voiced out his frustration at limited first team opportunities and threatened to leave Anfield if status quo remains.

Benitez cannot pleases everyone while having a winning formula. Never change a winning team, a cliche really. Hence the limited appearances for the likes of Babel, Pennant and Benayoun this term.
OK, Benayoun scored a couple of hat tricks last season but truth is, he was never a first team material. He is a squad player....even with West Ham, his former club. A substitute when some other player was taken ill or when rotation is the order of the day.
My take...he is a consistent player.....consistently underperformed.

What the heck is he complaining? Maybe he thinks an Israeli captain deserves a better treatment. Go on son, prove yourself on the pitch.

Or else go wailing at Anfield wall....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fulham Flame

So Spurs' mini revival were snapped by Fulham...and we are meeting them next. Anfield for the last league match in November.
Fulham are now in 10th position aided by goals by Andy Johnson, the former Everton frontrunner.

Managed by much traveled Roy Hodgson, the Cottagers also paraded other notable stars like Bobby Zamora, Jimmy Bullard, Mark Schwarzer and former Kop darling Danny Murphy (pic).

Have they got the belief to thwart Liverpool, seemingly at ease at the top of standing?

Belief yes, talent yes but Liverpool will be too big a test for the Cottagers.
So the marauding run continues.....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Catch Me If You Can!

Dynamic duo!

It could have been 6...if not for some woeful finishing. Liverpool dominated the 1st half before Bolton gave a good account of themselves in the 2nd. Liverpool were living dangerously before a killer goal by Steven...and Bolton were deflated and finally defeated.

In between, Keane and Gerrard missed from 3 feet away. Astonishing miss!
Torres back from injury, hit the post before Lucas contrived to miss another sitter at the very end...and Kuyt who got the first goal smacked the woodwork before his opener.

At times, I could sense a dejavu, similar to Spurs game where Liverpool missed a host of gilt edged chances after another before fell to to a sucker punch. Mind you, Bolton were threatening at the start of the 2nd half. However, it wasn't to be and Liverpool walked away with another 3 points. Not walking alone though.

That precious win sent Liverpool back at the top, set the tone for the weekend, contenders and pretenders alike. Catch me if you can!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Juicy Jussi

Remember that famous freaky goal?

Even Gerrard was embarrassed to see a seemingly harmless shot turned to goal by the Bolton net minder. Thought the "act" could make an interesting display in Bloopers Museum, behind Peter Enckleman's miss kick of course.

Tomorrow Jussi will entertain a hungry bunch of goal-getter again led by mercurial Torres at the Reebok.
Bolton has always played straight forward football since God knows when. Route 1 football, from keeper to Kevin Davies. Little fella with a good leap. Some teams failed to cope, some nullified them. Liverpool rarely had any problem dealing with those punts. Nowadays, they seem to mix it on the floor. With good effect? Good, if you are of Gary Megson's standard.

Apart from Spurs' fiasco, we were excellent on the road thus the dizzying heights in the standing.
Could Nolan & Co cause some trouble tomorrow? Could be but not to the extent of denying Liverpool another 3 points and a brief lead at the top of the table. Brief...WBA to hammer the Blues? Of course not.

Torres came through unscathed the other day so he'll be the 1st name to be penciled in Rafa's eleven. Those direct runs...aahhh, 7 games without him. We missed you dude!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Been a while since my last posting. That solace thing pushed me into a cocoon.

In tune with everybody else, there wasn't a single mention of Carling Cup tie with Spurs. It's BPL that matters. Now that we are defeated, it could be a blessing in disguise for that elusive title., being a die-hard fans, the pain is still there. It'll be hypocrite of us to just dismiss this 2nd defeat.'s a 2nd loss in a space of 2 weeks at the hands of Uncle Harry. Second stringers and all. A defeat is still a it with any other name, it still sucks, Carling Cup notwithstanding. A case of the postman always rings twice.

Cannot bear to read "Malay Mail" headlines today. It screams Spurs roasted Liverpool. Roasted? Who's that editor please? Either he's a Man U fan or is it a testament to the current Reds' pedigree that everyone starts to hate us?

Arsene "Hassan" Wenger loudly proclaimed earlier this week that it'll be a tightest race ever. Who are you kidding with Hassan? It's a 2 horse race between Liverpool and Chelsea.

I dedicate this posting to my eldest, Aliff. Another Liverpool budding fan. He scored 5A's in UPSR exam today. Not to be seen as bragging, certainly he inherits the same passion for the greatest team in the world from his father. The brain too.....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Baggies Bagged

Another monkey off my back!

I must commend West Brom. They did not come to Anfield to park a bus. How refreshing for a team languishing at the bottom of the table just above Spurs to come to Anfield to play some football. For that alone, they must commended for their part.

As for me, I've found my solace. A big quantum of solace. The team showed a big character to bounce from Spurs' heartache. Though the win cannot be categorised as big as Chelsea's effort, satisfying it was. The pace was not high, understandable after Tico's exertion in midweek.

I was predicting a 3-0 scoreline and Keane to open his account , yet again I was right.
His goals were sublime. A huge monkey off his back. I've never doubted his ability, guess he was trying too hard to score before tonight. Sometimes he was fielded as a lone striker, a task not suitable for his style of play. He is most deadly in a pair, 4-4-2 formation. Expect more goals from him now that the floodgates had been prised open.

Torres did get some actions towards the end. Hope Rafa will field him in Carling Cup against of all team, Spurs again for him to regain match fitness.
How sweet revenge it would be if we can stuff the boys in white. That defeat still lingers painfully.

Ohh I forgot...Arbeloa's stupendous curler. A collectors item.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bagging The Baggies

Tonight's the time to rekindle the spirit. Time to unleash the beast. Time to roll the juggernaut again.

It's WBA and it's Anfield. Torres will be back after an enforced 6 games hiatus. Perfect setting for a goal feast.

On the count of chances created in the last 2 games, Liverpool deserved to win them. Both opponents were peppered with shots all over the place but the ball just wasn't going in. Word work, last ditch body blocks, wayward finishing, you name it. It were there for all to see. Chances were aplenty.

I'm pretty sure given the circumstances, the boys will buck the trend today and go back to winning ways.
Reclaim top spot and hope Chelsea got unstuck with Incey's Roy of Rovers.
How's that for a quantum of solace?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Seeking Solace

Joy for Liverpool, Tico heartbroken!

It was a turbulent week for all of us, hardcore Reds triggered by that Spurs thing.
We called it unlucky, undeserved and many other non printable quotes.

Undeserved for Spurs?

How about the draw with Tico just now? Thot it was undeserved for both Tico and Liverpool.
With seconds remaining, the referee gave a questionable penalty to Liverpool as if to atone for his earlier mistake for not awarding a penalty when Peres handled in the box.
That penalty decision will haunt this Swedish bloke when he watches the replay on his IKEA sofa. That too could see him demoted to some meaningless game, maybe InterToto cup. I'd like to see that. He was horrible.

So too were Liverpool. The strikers, Keane in particular look like schoolboys missing chances after another. Agger when presented with 3 clear chances, fluffed all them, goal gaping et al.
Babel and Ngog, please train harder. You lot were pathetic.
In the end, SG belted the undeserved penalty with gusto. Salute him for keeping his composure.

The Reds reunion wasn't a happy one.

I'm seeking my solace. Perhaps West Brom could provide me with a little quantum.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Reds Reunion Part 3

Optimists said the Spurs loss the other day was just a blip. A blip on a long march towards May.

I'm not one though, rather more extremist. One who would experience mood swing every now and then. I'm talking about Liverpool's performance here, nothing else. Euphoria and then sulking minutes later.

Tonight, ermm tomorrow's early hours really, we'll be glued to the idiot box again. It's another table top clash between the Reds and Tico. Again, the main talking point would be whether Torres biting his lips in the stand or orchestrating Tico's fall.

He did not make it to the 1st reunion game. In fact he has missed the last 5 games and we badly missed him too. With K&K somewhat blowing hot and cold, it's not rocket science to tell how the kiddo was labeled as the missing link between a creative midfield and a goal shy strikers.

Can Liverpool recover from that unlucky loss? Let's hope for the best.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

An Even Dirtier Harry

Comeback soon!

Hard to fathom this loss to Spurs. Started so brightly yet failed to kill off the match and subsequently fell to a sucker punch. Many chances went begging. The woodwork also came to Spurs' defense at least twice.

This made Harry looked exceptional. Is he? Think he's bold though. Rafa for one was out smarted by the wily old fox. His substitutions early in the 2nd half made all the difference.

Rafa responded by taking off Robbie Keane, putting on Babel. Results? Domination went downhill. Babel failed miserably to lead the line or provide link up play done to perfection by Keane. Benayoun too failed in his role.
The defense were put under pressure and finally cracked.
Thought a more cavalier approach should have done the trick as Spurs were playing 2 strikers towards the end. This is where Rafa failed. His extras too, it must be mentioned.

Hard luck and clearly we missed a certain Spanish hitman. Comeback soon kiddo.