Monday, February 23, 2009

Gone To The Dogs

The last team to win the league

It's now official. The title chase is no more. The title is MU's again. The fat lady has sung.

3 down, 1 to go. Now the only realistic chance for a silverware is only the Champions League. Dumped out of Carling, FA Cup and now trailing 7 points off MU.

We needed to win tonight at all cost but only played well sporadically. Even Mighty Torres could not save us and we needed a lucky goal from Kuyt to save our blushes.
Tried as hard as they can but lack of depth in the squad finally took its toll. Deprived of SG and Xabi, the midfield was non existent and that contributed largely to the outcome.

Simply put it, we are not good enough to challenge for the title. We need Haile Gebreselassie's leg for the marathon run but sadly we have none. We relied too heavily on SG and Torres, it's becoming a cliche. Yes, we won some games without the duo but generally the the casts like Benayoun, Lucas, Babel, Riera and Dossena do not exactly set pulse racing.

Let's face it. The draws killed our hopes. We lost only once yet we are 7 points off MU.
It's water under the bridge now. No point harping on what could have been.

From now, it does not matter anymore if we are 2nd, 3rd or 4th as long we qualify for CL next season and we are safe in that department. It's Villa or Arsenal for the last spot.

So near yet so far.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sin City

Tango, salsa or chuhascurrria?

We needed a stoppage time goal in a thriller few months back. We ended up winner 3-2.
Now, the poor and rich cousin of Manure will visit Anfield. Poor in a sense that they're nowhere compared to MU and rich...yes they're the richest club on the planet. They planned to rob Kaka but fell flat on their face.

They are poor on the travels but so do Liverpool on home ground. Draws littered our home games. Fulham, Hull, West Ham, Stoke to name a few have managed to steal the thunder right from under our nose. That's why MU are 5 points clear! We lost only 1 league game to Spurs all season yet we under in this predicament simply bcoz we drew too many home games.

My heart says we will win the encounter this Sunday but only just. SG won't be around and so does Alonso. That left us with my favorite player Lucas and Masch to man the midfield.

Lucas to run the show? Can he lives up to the billing?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fight Club

How the game was won

I did not get to watch the Pompey game. Was away on official duties north of the border and was hoping that TV station will beam the game live. Freakin' mad. There was none but they carry a delayed Everton's game. Yes, I was mad. I've waited wearily only to be denied my dose of football.

Guess I was lucky not to have watched Babel missed an open goal. I've always consistent in describing him as not having a certain class to play for Liverpool or EPL generally.
I'm sticking to my judgment. Looks I'm not far from the truth.

In a way, Rafa was lucky. He fielded a strong squad minus Lucas to face Everton and lost in extra time and with tired players, he gambled with second stringers for Pompey. Had we lost, the gamble could have backfired dearly. 2 losses in a week? Dumped out of FA Cup and losing further ground on MU?
That would be kissing goodbye to the season bar Champions League.

Luckily, Torres saved Rafa and us. Yes, we are still in with a fighting chance.

And Babel? Choose your word carefully.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

10 Heroes and A Stupid Boy

Walaupun rupamu tidak kukenal tetapi you're rubbish!

Granted, SG's early exit made it difficult for the team but Rafa's fascination with Lucas made the task impossible.
He did the team at Wigan and now for a 'bapok' tackle on Lescott when he's already on a yellow. I would not mind the red if it was for that kind of tackle that broke Eduardo's legs into pieces but for a 'bapok', stick your leg, half hearted challenge begs question whether he's born a Brazilian or he was born to a foreign couple holidaying in Copacabana beach.

Guess, my toenails are more Brazilian than him for he cannot pass, tackle or score goals. Yet, he is preferred than Masch who silenced Ballack and Fatty Lamps just a few days ago.

Save Masch for Pompey? Pompey who?
Really, I cannot fathom or stomach this fascination about Lucas at all.
The midfield battle was lost due to Alonso had to cover him constantly depriving the former licence to roam around and spray passes like he normally does. That was the key.

Masch is a holding midfielder not Lucas. Period. Maybe for UPB-MyTeam if KJ likes him.

Sell him please, Mr. Rafa. It's an insult to the name Liverpool.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Comings and Goings Part 2

Bye Keane, see you in May

So the conspiracy theory did not materialise.

Keane is now gone but Lennon and Saviola did not make it to Anfield. Seems Rafa is satisfied the squad he has now, a smaller one minus Keane. With Liverpool are still challenging on 3 fronts, injuries could scuttle his plan. You see, LFC are a bit thin in the striking department with only Torres, Kuyt and Ngog to choose from. Maybe Babel too.

What is he going to do with that Keane money? Maybe he has none as apparently LFC still owed Spurs 6 months ago. Maybe we really need that Arab money afterall.

Touch wood, Torres would not get injured again till May.

A Friendly Derby - Episode 3

Same men, different outcome

Yes, tomorrow it's that small club again. This time in their own den, a walking distance from Anfield.

Twice in a space of 4 days, the neighbour fought gallantly to deny Liverpool much needed wins. Taking a point in EPL and then forcing a replay in FA Cup. What will be the outcome tomorrow?

Everton had played a big part in Liverpool's history. Many years ago, King Kenny walked out of Anfield after LFC lost to Everton in a FA Cup replay and incidentally started the rot many thought as temporary. Alas,Liverpool have never win EPL since that fateful day. Been 19 years now! You see, Everton are a nuisance.

When the double header was played earlier, Liverpool were coming off a draw against Stoke. Captain Gerrard was denied by the goal post in the closing minutes. It was devastating and needless to say, that sets further draws against Everton (twice) and Wigan.
The club was mired in Keane situation then. Torres was a little rusty coming back from injuries. Everton had an unbeaten run in 7 games or so. They were on a high then.
So many factors worked against Liverpool.

Now, it's different. We thumped Chelsea and Everton got beaten narrowly by Manure through a debatable penalty. The opposite had happened. Timely too.
Tomorrow, Everton will pack their defence as normal and Liverpool will try to sneak a goal or two. No doubt, Everton will be wary of a wounded lion and in Torres, we have a fit, eager matchwinner. If not for Alex's heroics last Sunday, Torres could have five to his names. That was how dangerous he is these days. You could almost see him breathing fire when he took the entire Chelsea defence and he was victorious at the end. How fitting.

Tim Howard would do well to collect the ball from the net a few times tomorrow.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cometh The Hour, Cometh The Rabbit

He is lovable, my pet rabbit

Here the theory goes.

Keane will return to White Hart Lane and in comes Aaron Lennon as makeweights.
Rafa will get the width he badly wanted with speedster Lennon, of course not related to his namesake John.

Kuyt will return to his favoured position of understudy to Torres or paired together in a 4-4-2 style. Hey.. we are still short of one striker with the departure of Keane. So who comes in?

The answer is The Rabbit, Javier Saviola currently employed by our next CL opponent Real Madrid. He's not going to play much for Les Meringues now that they have Klaas Jan Huntelaar.
Saviola previously with Barca is apparently wanted by Spurs to ease their injury worries. Seems like they have a done deal.

Now they've got Robbie, Spurs in return will let Saviola go in opposite direction, again as makeweights to lure Robbie.

How's that theory? Seems Rafa is a genius. Kill two birds with a stone. Got Lennon and solve the right wing problem and also got a poacher who's willing to bide his time. He aint complaining as he is a sub with his current employer. Harmony within the squad.

Make no mistake, this little fella is potent. Good addition to the squad.

Going, Going..Gone

The Irish eyes are weeping

Think we had seen the last of Robbie at Anfield. Dream move, wrong club.

He was previously a focal point wherever he has played save Inter but in Liverpool, its the reverse.
He has to settle quickly into a foreign style of play. Liverpool are build around Gerrard and Torres. No question about that. LFC is Gerrard and Gerrard is LFC. Torres to a certain extent.

Is he a bad player overnight? Certainly do not think so. He is a victim of circumstances caught between a rock and a hard place. Caught between Rafa and the Yanks. Rafa wanted Barry but got Keane instead. The club got him said Rafa. I thought it was Rick Parry's hands that got Keane just to placate the fans that wanted big name players. Barry was lost after several months, even after the lad was transfer listed by Villa and Keane was brought to cool the fire.

He is devastated of course but to a certain extent he has only himself to blame. Preston was the last straw that broke the camel's back. He was presented with so many chances but failed each time. His finishing that fateful day was comparable to Kuyt's or Lucas'.

He is a victim of circumstances also being continuously compared to Torres's amazing 1st season.
What Torres did was outta this world being different kind of animal. Keane in all fairness has other qualities that Torres does not possess.

I'm sad to see this. If Kuyt, Babel and Lucas can stay, why not Robbie? Those 3 stooges will never scaled his achievements in scoring department. I wonder what he will bring if he is allowed to stay a little bit longer.

Now, poor old Robbie will be remembered only for the wrong reasons.

Who's the Boss?

Mike Riley is comical. Fat Lampard did not deserve to be red carded. It took the gloss off Liverpool's win.
Sure it dented Chelsea's chance but on the balance of probability, Liverpool would win it anyway.

It Fatty's card was bad enough, Old Mike certainly was blind not to see Bosingwa's kung fu kick at Benayoun. Or is he suffering similar ailment like Wenger's eyesight?
That was a blunder and I hope he's investigated by Referees Committee. If Beckham was shown the door for touching Simeone, then what Bosingwa did warranted a ban for serious dangerous play. It was like trying to hammer a snatch thief!

Old Mike was comical really but Bosingwa is man enough to admit his mistake and has since apologised.

Did Old Mike apologised for his antics?

Heat Intensified

Have we turned the corner ? Not thoroughly convinced as yet.

Yeap...Chelsea were pummeled alright (see Droggy's face) but it need a late, late special intervention by Torres to save LFC yet again from embarrassing stats of controlling the match but did not score.
Apart from Torres' goals, Cech was not severely tested. Lucky wins? Perhaps but it was well deserved....LFC just need to it more often on regular basis against all comers, small clubs or otherwise.

2 days from now, it'll be Everton episode 3. Win at Goodison and you have me convinced.
Sure it's a little distraction from BPL but Rafa has no choice but to play his best 11. Lose and the confidence will dip. Momentum lost and all sniper pundits will train their guns at LFC again.
Surely Rafa and us, the loyal fans do not want that, I mean the confidence thingy. Critics are nothing to Rafa.

Confidence is sky high now, Rafa. Just play your best 11 presumably minus Robbie. You have nothing to lose though it's only FA Cup tie. It's Everton for God sake. That little club.

Go on son, make a statement.