Archive for April, 2011
Kick off today is at 4PM.
Jonjo is all fired up for the game more…
So is Martin Skrtel more…
(Bring them on)
And Andy Carroll is looking to score again at the Emirates more…
(Let’s do it)
Dirk Kuyt has signed a contract extension at LFC more…
The Kuytergizer wants to win trophies with LFC more…
(Let’s do it)
Kenny is happy that Kuyt signed up more…
The King reacts to a call for Knighthood more…
(He is King, why can’t he knight himself? :-) )
The gaffer also talks about Pepe Reina more…
(YNWA, great news)
David Fairclough has thanked everyone for their sympathy more…
(YNWA David to you and your family)
The young Reds beat United 6-0 more…
And according to a report Kenny will get significant funds to buy a world class player this summer more…
And finally some transfer news as Sebastian Larsson is being linked more…
On Twitter @empireofthekop
When players give more than their shift, when they show they want to be part of LFC and when they wear the Liver Bird crest with pride, than there is nothing more deserved than a vote of confidence in rewarding that particular player with a contract extension. Dirk Kuyt has been a Liverpool player since the summer of 2006 (part of Rafa’s inheritance) and now a few months short of his 31st birthday, has agreed a one-year extension to his present contract which will see him wear the Liverpool shirt till at least 2013.
Many things have been said about this tireless Dutchman! Highly regarded for his generous work-rate in each game he plays, he has also been criticized at times for this infamous ‘first touch’ and his at times dubious passing, which on many occasions made fans all over do ballistic. However, it was without a shadow of a doubt one of the best ‘buys’ by LFC of the last decade, hands down. I might be wrong, but I have the impression he has been the most utilized player in a Liverpool shirt since his arrival, perhaps bar Reina.
Brought in as a striker but mostly used out wide on the right, the Dutchman has managed to notch up 61 goals in 235 appearances, and I feel confident enough to say (without any statistic in hand) that he made at least three times that amount in goal assists in the same number of appearances. He may not be the rapid wide winger Liverpool may be looking for to add width, but his versatility and more importantly his passion for the Club makes him such an important asset, that the Club have awarded him and extension and possibly an improved contract.
On a personal level and as a fan I wish to congratulate the Club on yet another move in the right direction and also thank Dirk for hanging on in their even when times were not so good. He is one of those that have realized that the times ahead are all pointed towards a positive direction. A truly hardworking and loyal professional!
Damien, Pepe Reina up next please!!!!!!!
After our impressive mauling of Manchester City we travel down to London to try to break our duck at the Emirates.
A catch-22 situation puts us in a position of helping Manchester United win the 19th title, we are Liverpool FC and we always play to win, winning this game is more important for us than stopping United winning the league. We still have a good shot of European football so we can’t miss this opportunity and we have to give it all we have got.
Kenny still has many injuries to deal with, Stevie G & Daniel Agger are out for the rest of the season while Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly are still a few weeks away from returning to duty. I believe Kenny will go with the eleven that beat City on Monday.
Predicted Starting XI:
Reina, Flanaghan, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Lucas, Spearing, Meireles, Kuyt, Suarez, Carroll
Kick off is at 4PM BST
Follow On Twitter @empireofthekop
By Mayank Gupta
What a performance against Man City! Still browsing through the dictionary to appropriately describe my feelings. The closest I come to a word is ambivalent and elated joy. Continuing from my blog 2 weeks ago to the next formation of LFC in the upcoming season, I am going to give my take on the 4 – 4 – 2 formation.
In my understanding from the various internet resources and rumors site for the website, many of us are asking for new CBs.
The role of the CBs in this system is to hold the line tightly and mark the number 9 of the opponent team. If 1 CB marks the no. 9 tightly, then the other CB tries to restrict movement and space for the other forward. This system works best when the other team plays 2 CFs or a player behind the striker (VDV for Crouch). Understanding must be extremely good else the other striker can exploit the space left by the tight marking.
Else, when you want to hold the line, the players must be close and quick enough to overcome the agility and quick pace of the opposite forwards.
As I previously stated, we do not need another CB. Skrtel seems to be robust and an ever dying servant of the team. He is the only player for Liverpool who has played in all the league games this season from the start. Besides, he has a great understanding with Carragher and Agger as his partners in this position. However, it is with Kyrgiakos where the problems arise in the CB pairing. But, in the squad we have players like Kelly (he is a CB although he has been deployed so far at RB only), Ayala and Wilson. I find it statistically improbably that at one point in time we will not have 4 CB from the possible 7 available. (including Krygiakos or his replacement).
For RB position, I prefer both Johnson and Kelly. Johnson has a natural ability to cross the ball and a fierce shot, so many of us want him to play at RW. Furthermore, his dribbling skills give him an added advantage as this permits him to drift inside towards the box. Kelly has raw pace and good crosses that provide him with ample time to cover back. As good as it maybe for defensive attributes, in a 4 – 4 – 2, I prefer a RB who can cramp the opponent defense and midfield in the box providing them little or no men forward for a quick counter on the 2 CBs. With a cross the players are more stretched leading to efficient tic-tac football or a quick counter attack where the defense could be outnumbered and risks a yellow card (in case of Kelly crossing from the wings). Most importantly, the full backs do not have as much influence on width in this system as this is natural 2 wings system who do the crossing.
We all know very plainly unless Aurelio miraculously overcomes his injury woes, there is a dire need of LB. I would prefer a LB similar to Kelly’s display this season on RB. This is mainly because many teams in the EPL have a very good and quick RW. (Nani for Man Utd., Lennon for Spurs, Adam Johnson for City, etc.) Such quick wingers on the opposition right flanks imperatively ask for a quick LB, a person who delivers the cross and runs back to only stop when he hears the crowd exalts in joy for the goal. Any guesses here?
Hopefully, Insua does come back and regains his fitness as he is also a perfect fit for a 4 – 4 – 2 where the full backs do not have to go forward quite a lot. In extreme circumstances we have already observed how good Johnson becomes at this position because of his restricted forward moment. Such a positioning with Johnson allows Aurelio to play forward along the line and deliver those menacing crosses inside the box for which we love him. (This cannot be a long term solution as Aurelio’s fitness is as reliable as the English weather).
When it comes to midfield, KK must be getting a real headache. For a DM, we have Lucas Leiva and Jay Spearing. Both of them are excellent players who can break an opponents play quickly. However, it is their scarcity in passing option that makes it a major concern for me. The ability to put that 40 yards pass on the flanks or the ball over the last line of opposition defense is an absolute must for a DM here. Javier Mascherano was a good tackler but never could put that ball away to change pressure into an attack. Hence, Charlie Adam (or even Chris Brunt of the first half of the season) is a must buy for me. The Scot can distribute the ball to any nook and corner from his feet at any range. It would be really useful in a natural wing system to stretch the opponent defense by sending the ball to the natural wingers. (I prefer only 1 DM in this position)
For the attacking midfielder we have our very own Steven Gerrard, Raul Meireles and Jonjo Shelvey. All 3 are class lads. One is a future legend, another a hero in the making and the last a great player in making. As tradition asks, the forthcoming legend must make way for a prospective hero and both must nourish the future player under their tutelage. If I were KK, I would not worry a lot here. We have seen what a player Raul Meireles is in this position. Stevie has injury concerns and has slowed down these days. Hence, I would start Raul Meireles as he is fast and quick and has the vision to run in those vacant spaces left in the wake of the opponents’ defense to slash in those amazing volleys. However, if he is unable to influence a game, bring on Stevie at 60 mins who will as always have respect from all of us and will give us the 30 mins of Istanbul again and again or the 14 mins of Napoli. Jonjo Shelvey can learn from the heroes and gradually be molded into a world-class player. Besides, both Meireles and Stevie have a good understanding with Lucas and hence, all the more reason and time for Shelvey to learn from the masters.
For the 2 wings, there is a huge amount of players being linked and talked about. However, ideally I would buy for RW with Glen Johnson as RB, someone like Maxi Rodriguez hard working attitude who can cross a ball. (Many would suggest Kuyt as hard working, but sorry I do not recollect a lot of images with Kuyt in our own penalty area). Maxi is hard working and a good player who will track back to cover up his back. However, he does not have the natural ability of a winger that is only possessed by certain wingers to put a cross that can split the defense. Aurelio has this ability to put a nice cross in the box that can break any defenses. With Kelly as RW the ideal package for me would be Adam Johnson as Kelly would do the covering back. Can we get him is the bigger question?
On the left wing, it is a simple choice of a player who can cut inside or make the crosses. The linked names – Ashely Young and Sylvain Marveaux both – seem to be a good choice although Marveaux prefers to move in and not cross which would be a bad thing with Caroll as no. 9. The LW is one of those positions in the world of football which if mastered makes you a living legend. (Bale, Figo, Ronaldo, etc.) The left half of the pitch is the major concern for LFC in the past 2 seasons that have to yet be mastered. However, a scarcity of natural left footed players makes it extremely difficult to be fulfilled completely.
As for the 2 forwards, they need to play for, with and off each other. Strectching defenses for each others’ run, making spaces for tic-tac movements and most importantly creating spaces allowing the midfielders to barge in their wake. Caroll and Suarez are the ideal for this with Kuyt and N’gog (who can only learn from Suarez).
Hence, I do not think we need an overhaul of the team or even the squad, our squad is as good as anyone only lacking width. Next season we should be bold enough to accept Stevie starting on the bench and back KK in this decision.
PS – Goalkeeper, no worries, after watching Reina as a mere spectator again today, I am pretty sure even my grandmother can be a good keeper for LFC next season if KK remains in charge.
(Author note: I prefer the term football over soccer, but when comparing American football and European football the terminology can be confusing in context, so for this article I will refer to European football as soccer.)
The World says America does not understand the “Beautiful Game.” American athletic polls insist the sport is growing, but the soccer world keeps saying, “When?” Well I will tell you when, as soon as the media and corporations let you know the sport is already flourishing. Bottom line American financial interests stands to lose too much of your money if soccer grows in the United States.
How you say does America lose money at soccer’s success? Lets us a ponder a fictional random match up of the NFL.
When the New England Patriots travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys, or any team for that matter a team, coaches trainers, and staff board planes to fly across the Country. This make the airlines money. If it is chartered it still makes airports, crew and manufacturers money.
When Liverpool travels to London to play Arsenal the US makes no money, well maybe a tiny bit if they provided some sort of sale of the transportation, but that is minuscule.
When the Patriots play in Dallas 100,000 people pay money and taxes to enter the stadium and buy shirts, hot dogs, beer and pretzels. Then toss in some hotels for traveling fans, limos, security personnel for the players, and the media. America is making tons of money. And don’t forget who built that 1.3 billion dollar tax cow they are piled into, American unions.
When 45,000 people cram into Anfield to play Manchester City the US probably makes a few bucks flying some tourists to the game. American dollar is very sad that profit is in someone elses pocket.
When the Patriots play in Dallas on Monday night all kinds of people make money on advertising, tv rights, radio rights, newspaper and magazine sales, satellite and cable tv subscriptions, NFL TV subscriptions, you name it every medium makes wheelbarrells of money here. The dollar is raining from the sky when football is on tv, and not only in America we sell it around the world.
When Liverpool plays Newcastle a few people do make money in America. The satellite and cable companies have their respective soccer channels, and the matches do sell advertising to companies. But the outlets also pay the Premier League for the rights to air these games, so while there is money being made, a percentage of that is also money going out for the opportunity to make profit.
When the NFL airs the Superbowl the entire Country tries to make a fortune. Advertising is crazy, the tie-ins for food, featured soft drinks, official beers, prefer chips, clothing, stupid commemorative coins and books, and even the local Chinese restaurant is thrilled to deliver as late as you will keep calling.and giving them your credit card number.
When Liverpool played in Istanbul the US probably profited only from the sale of branded US manufactured Adidas wear.
And that brings me to my final point, the only companies with US interest making any money in European soccer leagues are companies like Adidas and Puma who do push the product to Americans, it is the media and corporations who have you believe it is a “boring” or “uneventful” sport and overshadow the truth.
Perfect case and point and proof soccer is growing in America. Regardless of how you feel about the MLS it does very well in the US, but judging by non-soccer media it appears to do depressingly horrible. Did you know Seattle continues to average 36,000 fans a game? Do you realize in America only the NFL draws more average fans than 36k? And across the world only the Bundesliga draws more average fans than 36k regular fans. Now this is not an entirely fair assessment due to stadium size and poor teams with bad draw, but it does show that a MLS team can perform better then average attendance rates of major sporting leagues. But if you want raw numbers, no NHL or NBA team drew 36,000 in fact they can’t, the stadiums are to small, but if we are just talking draw how can you not say they are performing to a high standard when the Boston Celtics draw 23,000 sell outs and they say it is impressive. A sport that can by size outdraw the MLS is Major League Baseball, but in reality only 10 of the 30 teams (33%) drew more than the top drawing MLS team. Want more, the MLS continues to grow every year not only adding teams, but fans. Only 3 teams saw a decrease in 2010 in fan attendance, while 3 teams also saw 10% fan growth with the NY Red Bulls drawing 47% increase in fan attendance.
If the MLS is doing so well then why hide it? Why do they want still want soccer to fail?
Because if MLS does well, then fans naturally will progress to the EPL, SerieA, La Liga, etc. America can not afford to allow the EPL to creep in on the market corner of the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and NASCAR. The major sports of America are such a financier of big buildings around the country, tax incentives, tourism, merchandise sale and salaries for thousands of workers why would they want a sport from another country coming in and dipping into their profit share.
The simple sad truth is that it comes down to money. I see people at the bars, I see the jerseys, hell when America hosted the World Cup in 1994 they would had you believe there was nothing better, but when the profits go overseas, you might as well be asking for a pardon on election day.
Soccer is growing in America, but this is a grassroots movement by fans introducing new fans. Next time you see that fan in a Red Bulls jersey, don’t heckle him for liking the MLS, nod your head. Approach them and talk about the upcoming match against your home city, or ask them who they like in “your league.” Talking about soccer in America is the best way to draw people into the conversation and drawing them into watching the next match.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Follow me on Twitter @ObiWanCanubi
Liverpool, NE Revolution & Roma Supporter
Saturday Apr 16Posted by: Guest Writer Comments Off
By Emily Cooke @Emily_C_B1ondi3
15th of April 2011 a day like any other to many but for those who are aware it’s a day of almighty significance. Today marked the 22nd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster of 1989. Where at 3:06 pm on a beautiful sunny day tragic events rippled through Sheffield Wednesday’s home ground. An estimation of 20,000 fan of Liverpool hoping to see their mighty reds victorious instead though it’s become iconic in all our hearts as the day our brother and sister never came home.
The match was a FA Cup semi final fans all buzzing with anticipation and excitement at watching their heroes in action. The match was scheduled to kick off at 3pm but due to unannounced road works many fans we late getting to the stadium causing a build up at the smaller Leppings Lane end of the stadium. This in its self was an issue as it had been previously assigned that Leppings Lane being the smaller end would accommodate the Liverpool supporters regardless of them having a larger following than than of their opponents on the day Nottingham Forrest. So as the build up grew and the bottle neck began to build up the problem began as those who had been refused entry could not get out to leave and those trying to get in could not proceed. The police officer in charge then ordered the opening of a gate that had been meant as an exit that had no turnstiles to be opened causing a huge flow of fans entering the stadium. There was no officials or officers to redirect fans from the already over flowing central pens and so the huge force of people went they only way they could see to into the tunnel and the full pens. At 3.06pm the match was stopped because of what many thought was pitch invasion but as players approached fans who had gotten on to the field they were faced with what the fans told them the chilling words of “there’s people dying in there”. The aftermath of this day lead to a boycott of the Sun newspaper for its foul and slanderous claims. And also to a fight that has so far lasted 22 years in getting those at fault named as responsible for the tragic events of that day the South Yorkshire Police for who failed to manage the crowd in in opening that gate. In total 96 lost their lives that day brothers sisters fathers sons mother daughters cousins nieces and nephews never to return home.
The anniversary of the disaster is a very sad day for not only Liverpool fans but unites most of the football community. Today watching the memorial I was reminded of just how united as a team and fan base we stand in our quest to ensure no lives ever be lost again by mistakes of those who should no better and should be capable of dealing with situations they are said to be trained for.
Today showed great solidarity as players past and present and fans old and young stood together shed tears for those lost and maintained our willingness to keep on fighting for the justice of 96 angels gone too soon. 96 who should never of died. 96 who we will never forget.
Page 10 of 24« First«...89101112...20...»Last »