Thursday, October 26, 2006

Keep Chasing

Again we lost deservedly to Man Utd 2-0 over the weekend at Old Trafford. The Title had long gone in the most fans’ eyes. Yet, it’s only 11 games of the season & 29 more games to be play. Had we really out of title chase?

Alex Ferguson been so kind as he warned that Liverpool shouldn’t been written off the title. Even Steven Gerrard & Rafa Benitez keep saying that the title still can be won. We shouldn’t give-up so soon. Rafa even came up with the fact that last season we were trailing leader, Chelsea by 24 points in October. Now, with eleven games & eleven points a drift & still in October, our season not yet over…& it’s not too bad either.

Rafa gave few examples, like 2004/005 season when we won the Champion League. We were indeed playing our worst season at home…I mean EPL. We even lost to Burnley in F.A Cup. Only in Europe we prevailed. Even in Final in Istanbul no one give us a slight chance to beat AC Milan. Worst still we were trailing by 3 goals at half time. But we fought back & WON! & the match became one the of the greatest came back in our history.

Season 2005/2006 was another season to remember. We never had a good run in the league. We even lost to Crystal Palace in League Cup. But we won F.A Cup that year by beating Man Utd & Chelsea along the way. We even had a similar Final in Istanbul. We had to fight back to win the Cup. Everyone happy & it’s does gave the faith that RAFA BENITEZ is the man to bring us the Premiership title. Indeed, I believed again & again this is the ONLY trophy that we want & Rafa is always the man to do it.

When season 2006/2007 starts, we all do believe Rafa would do it this season. Who would deny? With the high profile signings like Kuyt, Bellamy, Pennant, Aurelio, Gonzalez, Palletta etc blending with existing squad (who had won Champion League & F.A Cup), we should be quite formidable. Beating Chelsea in Community Shield had even strengthen our believe.

Judging from the last 11 mathces in EPL, 4 mathches in Champion League plus 1 match in League Cup (not a priority, but won 4-3 against Reading), we are just not good enough. Again I stress here that I’m ardent Liverpool supporter. The fact is I haven’t seen them play like a champion…play like the old Liverpool we known. Rafa might had his way of winning. I don’t know. Some of us had already lost faith in him. Some still believe he can do it this year. To me, he might be the man to bring us to glory but he needs some time to get it right.

I remember when Gerard Houllier taken charge couple of years back. Many say he failed. Had he? I guess not. He did brought us joy by winning 5 cups in a season. He only failed in bringing the title to Anfield. But he is doing well with Lyon. Nobody can deny it. He had brought them the French Title & they are leading their league now. In fact the also doing well in Champion League. He is good, maybe just didn’t have enough time in EPL.

Rafa do had a very good squad. We should be able to challenge Chelsea & Man Utd, even Arsenal for the title. To do that, the players must have the believe. Once they believe, they play well. We always have faith in the team & Rafa. We’ll keep singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”...We’ll keep wearing the REDS jersey…

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Away to France

After the disappointment in EPL, The Mighty Reds travel to France facing Bordeuax in the Champion League. Facing Smicer's team never been easy. Worst still the Reds would be without their most influencial player, Steven Gerrard. With minor hamstring injury, Gerrard had been left at home to recover to face Man Utd this coming weekend. Also on injury list are Fowler & Agger. Though Sissoko & Kuyt are with the team they might not play any parts in the game as they are not fully fit.

Taking over in midfield should be by Bolo Zenden partnering Alonso. Gonzales should get his chances on the left with Aurelio covering on the left back. On the right, Pennant should keep his place even though I would love to see Garcia replacing him.

Bellamy & Crouch would be our main men upfront. Bellamy should maintain his good form by scoring some goals for us. I wonder if Crouch would score some as well. Finnan, Hyypia, Carra & Reina as usual would the back bone of the team.

With the team not performing well, Rafa had urged the established players to buck up rather than blaming the new recruits. He mentioned the back four with their outstanding records last season did not perform well this season. Does he mean Hyypia, Carragher, Finnan & even Riise responsibled for the poor form? His reluctant to put the blame on Reina amused me, seriously. Look, we are talking about the goal keeper who keep 27 clean sheet over 50 games last season but only 3 clean sheet over last 13 games. I believed is a team effort, the problem never lies on the back four alone. Poor defending came from poor midfield as well. If we looked through our teams during 70's or 80's, defending start even from the strikers upfront, even Rush admitted that they were asked to defend & never let the oppenents cross their half.

If Rafa wants the team to perform better, I think it's time for him to be sure of his first eleven. He is a good coach & a good tactician. He brought us thropies & always believed he'll win us the premiership. In fact he can be a legend & put himself at the level of Paisley & Shankly. The only things that sometime bother me is his prefences towards Spainards. Seem like Alonso, Reina & Garcia always his favourates.

Anyway, just hope the team play well enough to top the table to advance to the next round. Hope that Rafa won't play defensive for a draw. Even though a draw is a good result, winning is always better.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Well, Reds resume EPL challange with a set-back. I can understand how frustrated the fans are at the moment. See, loosing the 100% record with a draw to Blackburn at home never a good sign. On paper, we should win the game & narrow the gap on the table. Now after 8 games, with 8 points behind & sitting unconfortable 10th in the table, the title challange seem faded away.

Looking back before the season start, Liverpool is up there to challenge Chelsea for the title. In fact, beating them in Community Shield making us the challanger above MU & Arsenal. With poor away form & questionable form at home, Liverpool seem to drop-back as the title pretender again this season.

Where did it when wrong? Failed rotation system? Again & again Rafa Benitez believed there's nothing wrong with the rotation (95th time). The fact that he had proven it with Valencia in winning La Liga against the teams like Barcalona & Real Madrid. And he did believed that's the only way he'll bring success to Liverpool.

The players brought in by Rafa never really perform yet. Kuyt only managed 2 goals & now he is injured (might play against Bordeaux on Wednesday on Champion League). Bellamy just got his first premiership goal in the Reds shirt after 700mins of play. Crouch with his hot & cold performances never stamp his mark as a good striker. Mark Gonzales even though had scored few goals still didn't manage to get into the team proper...the fact Rafa still prefer Aurelio over him still a big puzzel. Pennant with his speed & crosses, & though he did played some good games, his overall performances still way below par.

Injury also dent Rafa's intention to field the strongest team. Agger did show some steel in defence & look positive in replacing aging Hyypia, but he injured. Momo Sissoko played his top form this season but injury prevent him to provide his service. Injury also prevent Robbie 'the God' Fowler to make a great comeback. Palleta haven't really get his chances yet.

Player like Garcia quality should start the games more often than just being subs to the team. I believed he play better than Aurelio. He always bring pace & create better chances. The fact he can play left, right or even out & out striker made him a valuable asset to the team. He scored some important goals last season & I believed if given enough chances he'll bring success to Liverpool.

With reluctant & goals shy strikers, venerable defence & shaky midfieders, the title challange this season look bleak. I'm truly Reds fan through & through. Frustrated? Yes, but I never loose faith. I want Liverpool to win the EPL Premiership more than any other trophies. Believed me, ask any Reds fans, they'll give you the same answer. We had been crown King of Europe in Istanbul & prove we can win the domestic challange as well by winning the FA Cup last season. Premiership is the only ONE eluded us for so long but we'll achieve it one day.

If not this season, we can wait...till the title come to Anfield! Let's this be Rafa's Era like Shankly's or Gerrard-Crouch-Carra's era like Dalglish-Rush-Hansen's. One thing for sure we never back out from the team when they slump...still proudly wearing the Reds jersey...still sing the song "You'll Never Walk Alone"...

Walk On...Walk On...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Taming of The Three Lions

The taming of The Three Lions in Zagreb. Yep, England suffered the first defeat to Croatia. Going in to the game with the record 3 wins 1 draw against Croatia seem a marvelous record. But then again history never repeat instead Croatia maintain their unbeaten record at home.

So what's when wrong for England. Shifting the formation from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2? or simply because the players not performing to their highest level? McClaren admitted his mistake by saying 3-5-2 formation didn't work out to the team. I believed such statement is merely to protect his players & take the blame for himself. Whether 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 formation, I believed players like their quality shoudn't have difficulty to adopt. If we looked back at the game again, McClaren push A. Cole & G.Neville up to act as a winger. These tasks had gone on for awhile, even when they use 4-4-2 formation. In fact they should have strength in their defence, which they have extra player in Carragher.

Slaven Bilic, the Croatian boss might point-out the flaw in 3-5-2 formation against them. By given his strikers Da Silva & Petric some extra space. But I do believe if Rooney did take his chances well before Croatia had their first goal, then the game might go to England's way. To me changed of formation never a reason for Three Lions down fall, but the performanced of the players was.

Let start of with strikers. Well, Rooney is not at his best at the moment. His frustration transfer to the bad form. The more he tried the harder for him to perform. I guess Gasgoine was right when he advised Rooney to enjoy his game & play with smile before the game. His temperament never change. It can be seen after the game when he had a go with the fans. He might be young but he is a senior in a team now. He should change his behaviour & take more responsiblities if he want to succeed in the international level.

Crouch. He when in to Macedonia game with a record of 10 goals in 11 games. Marvellous! But, he is firing blank again (2 games, 0 goal). Some might arguethat his effort count more than the goal score. The same argument been shared by Liverpool's coach, Rafa Benitez. They might be right. But for a striker, only goals count! His partnership with Rooney was toothless...Or rather he never had a support from midfield of Gerrard quality? Put aside the support, he never the Lineker, Shearer or even Michael Owen standard. Nothing personal, I'm Liverpool supporter, but he never my favourates. Just can't see him replacing Fowler or Owen in a near future. Nice lad but only in certain games.

Deploying Lampard, Carrick & Parker in midfield seem a disaster. Lampard never in his top form. Carrick though have a good vision & few good passing still raw in the international level. Parker never in the game. The game did change, once Shaun Wright-Phillips & Richardson came in. It when bit faster on the flank but bits too late to make a come back. It might be different if McClaren use either player in the first half for more attacking mindset.

To remain an injured A. Cole (he is limping...) was a huge mistake. His poor marking couple with Terry wrong judgement allow Da Silva (shortest & sandwhiced) scored Croatia's first. The second goal was the talk of the night, really! See, G.Neville never score in England's shirt...when he did scored is an OWN goal!!! Pity that the media & the fans put the blame on Robinson...If not for him, England would have conceed much more goals especially in the first half. Just because the back-pass go awry, he missed the ball because of the booble doesn't made him a bad keeper. He is still a better keeper these recent years and many years to comes. To me, he still the safe hands for England.

We can't change a result. England need to look forward. Being the next qualifier game on March next year away to another unbeatean team (13 games) at home, Israel. Never an easy game but McClaren should have enough times to strengthen his team. By then, Rooney might get back in-form with his games to Man Utd. Micahel Owen might ready to make a comeback (always thought he is badly needed). Hargreaves, Lennon, Andrew Johnson & Ashton would recover to give a cover. Gerrard would be back after his suspenension. Or maybe...maybe McClaren really need to recall BECKHAM!!!

For a team ranked 4th in FIFA world ranking to miss Euro 08 is unthinkable. I believed the Three Lions will roars once more & show the world what the quality they have. A setback maybe, but it's better now than it's too late. There's always a room for improvement & I still believed McClaren is the right man to carry England through as a great team.

Let's wait & see.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No. 1 Shaker of the Kop - King Kenny

Name: Kenny Dalglish
Years at Liverpool: 1977 to 1990
Position: Forward Date-of-birth: 4/3/1951
Birthplace: Glasgow
Signed from: Celtic (August 1977)
Games: 529 Goals: 172
Honours: First Division Championship (1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86), European Cup (1978, 1981, 1984), FA Cup (1986), League Cup (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984), Charity Shield (1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986), Super Cup (1977), PFA Player of the Year (1983), Football Writers Player of the Year (1979, 1983)

There can only ever be one King and the man who’s earned the right to take his place on the Anfield throne is the one and only Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish. Regarded by the majority of Liverpudlians as the club's greatest ever player, his all round stunning brilliance has been deemed to have shaken the Kop more than anyone else. When he joined the club in August 1977 it was hard to see how Liverpool could top their first European Cup triumph of the previous season but with the highly influential Dalglish in the team the next 13 years were to bring a succession of untold riches. Unlike many Liverpool signings of this era, Dalglish was already a household name when he made the switch from Parkhead to Anfield. His deeds in the green and white hoops of Celtic had made him one of the most sought after figures in the British game and it required a record £440,000 fee to secure his services.

The Scotland international was brought in to replace the recently departed Kop idol Kevin Keegan, who'd moved to Hamburg earlier that summer. If any player could step into Keegan's illustrious boots it was Dalglish and fears some Liverpudlians may have harboured over their new purchase were quickly laid to rest. Dalglish found the back of the net within seven minutes of his league debut for the Reds, against Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park, and followed that up by hitting the target again on his first appearance in front of the Kop three days later as Newcastle were beaten 2-0. He slipped seamlessly into the Paisley's all-conquering red machine and achieved the seemingly impossible by helping them move up another gear or two. The new King of the Kop crowned his first season at Anfield by topping the club's goalscoring charts and chipped in with the only goal of the 1978 European Cup Final against FC Bruges at Wembley – a delicate dink over the keeper that was quite simply perfection personified.

His superb ball control was complemented by a world-class footballing brain. He may never have been the fastest in terms of pace but if speed of thought had been an Olympic event Dalglish would have been a record gold medal holder. Plying his trade south of the border mean his talents were given greater exposure but, never one to seek the limelight, he was loathe to take credit for his heroic actions and remained typically modest despite his increasing superstar status. In 1979, his supreme individual ability was recognised by the football writer's of England who voted the canny Scot their Football of the Year. It was a fully deserved reward for a player whose every touch had Kopites purring with delight.

A selfless team player who brought others into play, he was an on-pitch visionary who could spot an opening that the naked eye of most would never see. David Johnson, in the late seventies, was the first grateful recipient of this but it was Kenny's strike partnership with Ian Rush that was to fire the Reds to greater glory during the eighties. With Rush taking over the mantle of chief goalscorer, Dalglish became the undisputed creator supreme and if assists were recorded back then, he'd have been the first name on everyone's Fantasy Football teamsheet. In the real world he was a priceless commodity and the role he played in the club's ongoing success was vital.

A double footballer of the year in 1983, he was without doubt the finest British-born player of his generation and rightly spoken about in the same tone as such world renowned stars from this era like Maradona, Zico, Platini and Rummenigge. With the ball at his feet he was a pure genius and of the 172 goals, he himself scored, it's hard to recall one that wasn't a classic. From the aforementioned European Cup winner, to sublime curlers at Highbury, Portman Road and Goodison, a mazy dribble through the Man United defence at Maine Road, a stretching volley in the League Cup Final replay versus West Ham at Villa Park and title clinchers against Tottenham and Chelsea. There are countless more memorable strikes and everyone will have their own particular favourite. The one common denominator in all the goals he netted was the famous Kenny celebration; a quick turn, arms aloft and a beaming smile that would have lit up even the murkiest night sky over the Mersey.

The adulation showered on him by the Kop could be described as hero-worship at its most fanatical. He was loved at Anfield like no player before and the feeling was mutual. His name was the first the fans would sing and many a bed sheet was converted into a homemade banner paying homage to him. In the aftermath of the Heysel Stadium disaster he was a surprising but popular appointment as player/manager and fears that his new role would result in him spending more time on the touchline and less on the pitch were initially unfounded. It was on his return to the side during the run-in to the momentous 85/86 campaign that Liverpool embarked on an unbeaten run that would see them clinch a coveted League and FA Cup double and how fitting it was that Dalglish 'the player' scored the goal that secured the title.

Gradually, but inevitably, his appearances became less and less over the next few years as he concentrated more on the managerial aspects of his dual role but there was still the odd flashes of brilliance to revel in as the master sought to teach his apprentices. What Dalglish went on to achieve as Liverpool manager cemented his legendary status but that is for another series. He did more than enough during his playing career to be rightfully hailed as the greatest player in Liverpool history. Kenny, we'd walk a million miles to have you in our team again.

Long live the undisputed King of the Kop!

Sold to: Retired (May 1990)
Claim to fame: Scoring the winner in the 1978 European Cup Final
Did you know? He had an unsuccessful trial with Liverpool as a 15-year old in 1966, playing in a 'B' team defeat to Southport
Where is he now? Working tirelessly to raise funds for his wife's breast cancer charity
Jamie Carragher on Kenny Dalglish: "For me he's not just Liverpool's best player but probably Britain's best ever football person if you like. We're the most successful club and he's the best player so I don't think anyone beats him."

-the material above are from

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dissappointing Reds

Over the weekend, indeed it's a dissappointed weekend for the Reds Army. Playing for respectative countries with a discouranging results. Crouch with 11 goals to his belt expected to add the tally firing blank against the organised Macedonian defence. The fact Steven Gerrard rattled the post doesn't help as well. Worst still, been handed another yellow card & exclusion from the team against Croatia added another problem to the Three Lions.

Kuyt lasted only 16mins on the pitch with twisted ankle for Holland was another blow for our striker. If that's not bad enough, his striking partner, Bellamy had the worst nightmare after being named captain for Wales by loosing 5-1 to Slovakia. The skipper armband that supposed to build up his confidence ended up in disaster! Would it affect his performance this weekend against Blackburn still a big question.

Another heavy lost experience by our player is Finnan. Playing for Ireland with the lost 5-2 to lowly Cyprus seem unacceptable. Reina & Alonso had to look from the bench even though Garcia did came in as subs for Spain lost to Sweden 2-0. Hyypia & Agger's team only managed a goaless draw.

Will they prevail this coming Wednesday for another fight for their countries?