Saturday, January 31, 2009

Do or Die

When was this, Kuyt?

As much as I hate to admit it, the title is now MU's to lose should we lose to Chelsea tomorrow and MU win theirs against Everton. It'll be 5 points and could be 8 points adrift if MU win their extra game in hand.

8 points!! That massive? Yes, it's that massive.
To me, 8 is unassailable. End of story and LFC should try to concentrate on CL and qualifying for CL next season. Go all out in FA Cup as well to lessen the agony.

Liverpool are in a slump. Consider this, 7 draws in the last 10 league fixtures. That's 14 dropped points and yet we are only 2 behind MU. If half of that were won, we'll be sitting pretty atop the table challenging on all fronts but sadly........( I leave it to you to complete).

What started so brightly is now crumbling like a house of cards....but the boys can still salvage the season if they beat Chelsea tomorrow. It's still not out of their hands yet but every game from now on is a must win thingy. Even draws must be avoided at all cost.

Can they do it? Hopefully they can. They did it before and there's no reason why they cannot do it again.
That means every single players have to pull up their socks and be counted, Lucas, Babel, Keane and Kuyt included. Fail and I love to see those above leaving Anfield for good and seek a new paymaster somewhere else.
Admittedly, MU are far stronger in every aspect. They got better players all round and in cover.
What we've got is a spine in Reina, Carra, Gerrard, Alonso and Torres. The problem is the supporting cast did not do enough to complement the spine and that's why LFC is in the current predicament.

I shall not dwell further. It's do or die mission. Beat Chelsea and hope MU faltered against Everton. Too much to ask?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Black January

Bila nak menang ni?

Not a single win in January and from top spot to third in a matter of weeks. Stoke, the friendly neighbour and now Wigan. All teams that cannot be mentioned in a same breath as Liverpool yet the players failed miserably to register a single win. What went wrong?

Players? Not much of tinkering.
Gaffer? Still the same Spaniard who berated some grumpy old man who's now laughing wholeheartedly.
Tactics? LFC thumped Newcastle 5-1 playing 4-5-1 and Bolton playing 4-4-2.

Truth hurts but the reality is some players suck. Loss of form, injuries and over dependence on some players do play a factor too but let's start on the bad and ugly.

No one is greater than the club. Players come and go and admittedly it wont break my heart if we see the back of Babel, Lucas and Kuyt.

Babel was his usual self whenever fielded. Lost and confused. When was the last time his cross was turned into goal since Kuyt's against Liege? He was brought from Ajax, the football mill as a winger but amazingly his crosses were so poor. His awkward runs too. Looks tough courtesy of his built but he's so 'lembik'.

Lucas apart from his pass to Gerrard in that Newcastle game, blew hot and cold. He's neither here nor there in some games apart from consistently fouling opponents and receiving yellows. He cannot score goals too even from 3 feet away from goal and to see that coming from a Brazilian youth captain is unbelievable.

And Kuyt...what else you expect from a headless chicken? A sure first touch? A goal machine? A great crosser? Answer... none of the above but Rafa likes him a lot. We certainly cannot change his opinion about Kuyt but hey....I'm entitled to my opinion too. He sucks though he is a hard worker who chases lost causes all day long.
At the end of the day, the statistic of how many kms he runs in a game count for nothing when he steadily scuffs the chances that came his way.

Of course, we are disappointed to see this happening to our LFC. Not too long ago we were gloating about the superiority of LFC, now it's the turn of Manure to hog the limelight.

Unless the players pull up their socks, it will a case of 'so near yet so far' again for us this season.

Certainly not the January that Glenn, the Indonesian singer sung flawlessly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sri Liverpool FC

Hey, it was that man again (pic). The Aussie was certainly in his element to deny us again, for the umpteenth time. Everton played well. Their defenders like Jagielka and Lescott were awesome. Defending that is.

Possession never wins a football match, goals did and we lacked goalscorers to nail a close match. We had chances but as in every drawn matches this season, they fell to goal-shy, out of sorts players like Babel and Kuyt.
Liverpool relied too heavily on Gerrard and Torres to score. No other players it seems are capable to share the duties and whenever these 2 are heavily shackled, inevitably the goals dried up.

The omens are not good ha? Who else can score? Keane, Kuyt or Babel?
Keane was not even in the squad these days. Kuyt will score again next year. Babel has been disappointing whenever fielded, 2 years on after arriving from powerhouse Ajax. More like Ajax Fabuluso to me. Will he realise his full potential? On current form, the answer will be never.

This coming weeks will be busy for LFC. Tomorrow at Wigan, Sunday entertaining Chelsea and then the Cup replay at Goodison. A treat for us for sure but shudder to think if the trend will continue.

A friend suggested that Malaysian version of LFC should be called 'Sri Liverpool' FC for Liverpool are now a draw specialist. How apt?

Wigan should be the perfect fodder to dispel the tag.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Last of The Yanks

Lets face it. Wealthy owner brings bucketful of cash and it means club can compete in the ever increasing transfer fees.
We've had bickering Yankee owners for a couple of years now who apparently do not know much about football or soccer as it is called in the Obama's land.

Much had been read about Rafa's frustration when dealing with the owners and we haven't had big name players either except for Torres.

Suddenly, hit by the credit crunch, the Yanks are now hellbent on selling their prized asset to some Middle Eastern family. Yeah... those filthy rich mega billionaire Arabs. Just read HERE
Just look what happened to Manchester City? After so many years in hibernation, suddenly they bid for Kaka. Never mind it did not happen, that's the power of Arab petro dollars. It certainly can do wonders.

I'm all for it if the acquisition can propel Liverpool to a new heights, buying new star players and build a new stadium. After all M&A are nothing new in business, even in Malaysia.

Maybe this is a new dawn for Liverpool. Maybe we are seeing the last can of Carlsberg on the player's chest.
Arabs don't drink, do they?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tim Ca'hell'


He broke our hearts and MU will now stay on top for the time being. Frightening thought?
They are even on points but stayed top on goal difference. An extra game in hand though.

I thought we could hold on to Gerrard's solitary strike but it wasn't to be. 1-1 at the end was cruel but Everton played well. Enough to deter Liverpool claiming the bragging rights.

We'll meet again next Sunday in the FA Cup. Chances are they will field the same players. Dunno what Rafa thinks but some players could be rested. Keane especially, he was not playing though fielded as back up striker. There's no chemistry between him and Torres, all plain to see. Maybe he's a dud after all. Duh....

Stoke it seems took the sting out of Liverpool play. Okay, it's still a long way to go but really, Tim Ca'hell' broke our hearts.

My heart goes to Gerrard.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Friendly Derby

Actually it's everything but friendly about the match up between Liverpool and Everton tonight.

A must win for Liverpool. Drop point and we'll be chasing MU, perhaps till the end as they have 1 extra game and they're not seemingly possible to drop some stupid points either.
They had won all their latest game with a series of 1-0, some with a very, very late goals but who cares? It's 3 points that matters. Somehow their strikers managed to score even in a tight game be it Berbatov, Tevez, Rooney or the cocky faced Ronaldo. They have match winners in abundance.

We clearly lacked match winners apart from Gerrard and Torres. The others are not dependable to score, a case in point Kuyt and Lucas last week against Stoke. They had chances but blew it. In a match as tight as that, every opportunity counts and yet they failed to nail it so chances went begging. 0-0 at the end.

Everton without a striker in their line up present a big chance to the Reds to correct what went wrong last time out. Nothing else matters except 3 big points to overhaul MU at the top.

Nothing else matters.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Devil and His Bulldog

Scene at Anfield?

So many of us got fumed. Chelsea were butchered by the Devil and this morning it's Wigan's turn to return home empty handed. It's only 2 points separating us and them with an extra game in hand.
Bloody hell and they will be top before Everton's visit next Tuesday morning.
Thought Bolton is just making up the numbers.

Now, the pressure is cranking up. While they were winning 1-0 in the last few weeks, we were dropping points like nobody business. Kuyt and Lucas are among the culprits last week, missing gilt edged chances against wily old fox Stoke. Thought the lads were brilliant one day and then turned into a 3 legged mouse a week or so later. DNA modifications?

Now, the dropped points against those lowly opponents at home will haunt the players and definitely us, poor castaways. Everton will provide answers whether the players can live up to the billing.
Let's just see if the answers will be right.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Going Potters Part 3

The picture says it all!

In all fairness, Stoke played well. Well enough to deny Liverpool a much needed win to stay clear of the chasing pack.
Their brand of football certainly not pleasing to the eyes but alas it worked. Liverpool were held again 0-0, enough to stay at the top but to us, it's frustrating.

Rafa fielded more or less the same 11 with the same formation who annihilated Newcastle but it did not work this time. Stoke were resolute in defending and even could have won the game with their set plays, their only form of attack.

Lucas and Benayoun were clearly rattled by the physicality of the match hence their ineffectiveness. Some of the tackles or body checks were indeed questionable but that's Stoke. Only the tough will persevere and even Masch was bullied in midfield.

For now, whatever happens tonight, we'll be on the top but for how long? If MU win all 3 extra games, they will lead by 1 point and that could be sooner than later.

The question is can they handle Chelsea tonight? They too need points badly.
My take, the game will end in a draw, maybe 1-1.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Going Potters Part 2

Attention! Park the bus at your own risk!

Amidst the hype surrounding the double derby clash, somehow Stoke is put on a back burner even by the Brits media. A case of lost hope for Stoke?

Like to think so but with the game to be played at their stadia, Stoke could be a potential head turner yet again despite their lowly position. Man U just scrapped through, helped by the sending off.

Okay, their football is sickening to watch, more like rugby than football but to a certain extent it worked. They had secured a draw at Anfield earlier, parking 3 buses in the process.
A repeat on the cards? Do not think so.

This time at their own backyard, surely they will open up and this is where Liverpool will capitalise. I've confidence that history will not be repeated with Gerrard-Torres partnership to make sure it'll be 6 points ahead by the time Man U entertain Chelsea.

Talking about putting pressure, both will kill each other and the game end up in a draw.
Wishful thinking folks?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Double Whammy

Who's afraid of a small club?

And the prize for beating Preston?

It's double header against bitter rival, the blue half of Mersey. It's Everton, my folks on Jan 24/25 at Anfield.

The best part is we'll have to face them on Jan 19 for the league reverse fixture. That's 2 home games against Everton in the space of 5 days. What a prospect? Cards galore, crunching tackles and surely some goals.
We never had it easy against them, do not expect these 2 games to be a walk in the park either.

This January is a busy month. Apart from these 2 games. we'll visit Wigan on Jan 27 and then Chelsea on 1st February (Hari Kuala Lumpur) at home.
Sure it will be a selection poser for Rafa to name his side for so many games within such a short space. He is the master, he'll do wonders I'm sure. The players too are on the ascendancy by the look of things.

On current form, Liverpool will stampede Everton just like what we did at Goodison Park earlier. No real concern. They are only a small club, aren't they?

Not So Keane

It was a right end after all. Not like some blue team which got stuck at the South.

There were highs and there were lows.
Thought fielding Gerrard was a masterstroke to help him overcoming non football matters and he was rampant befitting his status as Captain Fantastic. Liverpool toyed with Preston, continuing the same dominance over Bolton and Newcastle. Chances were aplenty but......

Keane missed all of them. Dunno what to make up of his performance. It's blowing hot and cold but the misses at the weekend were unbelievable. It's alright if it was saved by the keeper but he made no contact with the ball whatsoever. Total miskick.
He was not alone though in my bad book. Babel too played like shit for a player labeled as the next Titi Henry. More like Titi Camara, the Reds old flop.

And Torres was back, scored his 1st FA Cup goal courtesy of Gerrard of course. This is bad news for Keane, looks like he'll have to warm the bench more as the old partnership of Gerrard-Torres was rekindled.

Gerrard's pass to Torres was a masterpiece. DVD stuff. Like to see more of these in days to come.

Stoke, beware. We'll come to get you.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Right End?

I grew up watching The Road to Wembley. I'm sure Khan too. Who can forget that unmistakable and catchy tune?
In the days of yore, that's the only decent live footy on telly besides Copa Mundial and the Euros.

Ohh Big League Soccer came earlier but aired a few weeks after the games were already played. Results known, goals highly anticipated by the purists.
No Premier League highlights and certainly no Nokia Football Crazy either.
Source of info would be The Malay Mail on Monday and it costs only RM0.50 then. A chunk of lunch budget gone to satisfy the other hunger.

That was then. This is now.

Tomorrow we'll visit Preston North End, a Championship side in the 3rd round. Championship? Yeah, they're in the same league as Barnsley which dumped us last year in injury time at Anfield of all places.

This is a potential banana skin. Playing at their territory, rapturous crowds rooting for team currently anchored at 7th in the Championship. Not bad huh? They're certainly not bad but this is FA Cup, everybody is gunning for an upset.

In the aftermath of Toon massacre, I dare not predict Rafa's team anymore. He is the Master, try to name his side at your peril. Chances are you'll be dumbfounded by his moves.
Pretty sure though there'll be rotation again. Maybe returning stars like Skrtel and Torres will be given playing time to regain match fitness. Maybe rested stars like Alonso and Keane too.

Rafa has the depth to tinker now but whoever is selected, hope they're up to the mark.
I do not want Premiership alone. I want Champions League. I want FA Cup as well. I grew up watching them. I want all of'em.

Time to be greedy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

To all friends, commenters and LFC fans out there, I wish you all a Happy New Year.

My only wish is to see LFC winning the Premiership after an 18 year hiatus. Is that too much to ask?