Sunday Jul 31Posted by: Antoine Zammit  4 Comments »

The Daily Antoine: 31st July 2011 – Liverpool F.C. News update

Stevie G is out until September more…
(NO, get well soon Stevie)

The U18 beat Shrewsbury 4-0 with Moli scoring a hatrick more…
(Excellent) 

Comolli is excited about the academy more…
(Rafa should be given credit for this)

Charlie Adam talks on how he will sacrifice personal glory to help LFC enter a new era of winning trophies more…
(YES, YES, YES, YNWA) 

Ngoo sat on the bench as England tied North Korea 0-0 in the U20 World Cup more…
(They should have played him)

Metro claims that Warnock and Enrique are still in our plans more…
(Humm) 

And finally Fiorentina’s president claims that the Aquilani deal is still on more…(Oh Boy, will this saga ever end) 

On Twitter @empireofthekop

Saturday Jul 30Posted by: Carden Hedelt  13 Comments »

….any time now, Jova and Poulsen

We’re about to head into August and we’re about two weeks away from our first Premier League match against Sunderland.

Milan Jovanovic and Christian Poulsen are still-STILL-on the squad. Certainly no Liverpool fan would have had it that way at the start of this summer.

Jova has had one foot out the door for the whole summer and it looks like his wages are a sticking point for teams interested in taking him on. His wages are currently £60k p/w and he needs to be honest with himself right now: There is nothing that he has done at Liverpool that makes him worth that. Nothing. I’ll give him credit for coming and giving a consistently high effort but all that effort was really without much quality. He’s just not a Liverpool player, plain and simple.

It’s harder to find Christian Poulsen’s wages but he’s probably getting paid something similar to Jovanovic. I can only hope it isn’t higher.

He was signed to be a replacement for Javier Mascherano and failed massively. He turned 31 last season and it seems as though the game has passed him by. We ended up doing Juventus a huge favor by taking his wages off of their hands and paying £4.5 million for him. We would have been better off keeping Damien Plessis in the long run, the man whose shirt Poulsen took.

Poulsen, too, has been linked with a few teams for a move away from Anfield. When his former club FC Copenhagen were interested in him, Poulsen’s agent Jorn Bonnesen said that there would be no move to Copenhagen and proclaimed that Poulsen’s future was at Liverpool.

No, it’s not. He’s not good enough. He could help at a team like Fulham but for a team that is pushing to get back into the Champions League in England, he just can’t bring anything to the table.

I would have thought that Paul Konchesky-one of Roy Hodgson’s worst deeds at Liverpool-leaving would have prompted the other two to switch. Konchesky realized that the payday was not worth rotting on the bench. If Jovanovic and Poulsen had the sense, and maybe an agent to give them a nudge, they’d realize the same thing.

Joe Cole and David N’Gog are different, at least to me. They can give us something. For Cole, it might be a little bit of neat passing and fresh legs as a sub, and he’s versatile enough to play a few spots. He’s not the star that we thought we signed but he could be a threat from the bench. David N’Gog has shown some promise as a 22-year old striker. Sometimes he looks the part, sometimes he doesn’t. His wages can’t be that expensive at this point and the position depth for less important games like early Carling Cup and FA Cup games would be beneficial for resting our starters. Adam Morgan might be another striker that we could use in this role but I would hate to see N’Gog go and finally realize his potential for another team.

Saturday Jul 30Posted by: Antoine Zammit  5 Comments »

The Daily Antoine: 30th July 2011 – Liverpool F.C. News update

Pepe Reina is expected to return on Monday more…
(Excellent News)

Milan Baros talks on how LFC will always be in his heart more…
(YNWA)

The Mirror is linking us with James McCarthy more…
(Humm) 

And there is more talk on Godin more…
(I like him)

And Dann more…
(And him too) 

AC Milan is now after Aquilani more…
(Oh Boy!)

Riise is looking forward to returning to Anfield more…
(To play against us)

Jonjo talks about Lucas more…
(YNWA)

The Malaysian FA has apologised over the abuse Yossi received more…
(Will the fans learn however?)

And finally Jurgen Klinsmann has been appointed US National coach more…
(Remember how Hicks & Gillett tried to get him to replace Rafa) 

On Twitter @empireofthekop

Friday Jul 29Posted by: Brian Reece  22 Comments »

Defending Anfield

Defending Anfield
by Brian Reece
twitter @oldfattoad

We have been blessed over the years with some of the best defenders this country has ever seen, but right now we are in trouble, the problem lies in the lack of quality cover, what would happen if Agger, Carragher and Skrtel get injured or suspended, what reliable, quality alternatives do we have.

The answer is none really, yes we have Wilson and Kelly both good young prospects but not able to deal with the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City as a partnership, Kyrgiakos is simply an accident waiting to happen but cannot be criticised for willingness or effort, so what can be done with only two weeks away from the start of the season, as much as we all have are own preferences of who we would like to sign, the fact is it may not happen until January.

Why? Well we still have players who we cannot sell or are making life difficult for the club to sell them due to their unrealistic wage requests, personal terms demands, or just plan stubbornness to move on, it may sound resentful towards players like Jovanovic, Cole, N’Gog, Aquilani, El Zhar and Polusen but we need to move these players on so that we can go back into the transfer market and obtain a good quality Central Defender also a top quality Left Back.

If Liverpool could sell at least 2 or 3 of the above players we could realistically buy the required defenders we need, Scott Dann is a good prospect especially now that Birmingham’s financial situation has been exposed and are vulnerable at this moment in time, Newcastle’s left back Enrique is also another good prospect both of these are proven in the Premier League, there are others just as good or better that play in the Premiership, but not all are available at present, or does Dalglish take a chance on a foreign player with no experience of the English game, hopeful that they adjust to the Premiership quickly.

The fact remains that our defensive frailties has the potential to cost us dearly in our pursuit for a Champion League spot, Liverpool’s past success was built on defensive superiority and stability, building from the back, Hansen & Lawrenson were the prime example of a defensive partnership that had perfect understanding because they constantly played together and were not subjected to a needless rotation policy, it didn’t matter if it was a League Cup match or a regular Saturday afternoon game, there names were the first on the team sheet.

If we are to achieve our aim of a Champion League place then we have to have quality Central Defenders and full backs, and a regular, stable line up, we need to look forward, Jamie Carragher has only two seasons at best left in him, Agger is injury prone and Skrtel does not pair well without Carragher or Agger, so we have a dilemma that needs addressing now, am sure Dalglish and FSG are fully aware of this situation and will confront it at the nearest opportunity both when financial and player availability is right.

If we wait until January to bring in new defensive players then sadly it could be too late for a realistic shot at a Champions League place, we may on the other hand be well placed if we can keep a stable back four and escape injuries, when Dalglish sets out his plans to Defending Anfield he needs to address to current players he has and act with speed, he must try and resolve the current issue of selling unwanted players and securing our defensive line.

Friday Jul 29Posted by: Guest Writer  17 Comments »

Galatasary 3 – Liverpool 0 Match Report

MATCH REPORT

Liverpool’s pre-season schedule took them to Turkey for a much tougher fixture in the build up to the new season. Turkey don’t do friendlies and this would be a good test for Liverpool as they move ever closer to the new season. Liverpool have fond memories of Istanbul and tonight they would face one of their heroes from that memorable night in the shape of Milan Baros.

THE TEAM

Kenny opted for a very young looking side with Flanagan, Kelly, Robinson and Shelvey starting the match complimented by more experience with Cole and Poulsen and Kyrgiakos acting as captain for the night. Andy Carroll starting up front in his build up to match fitness with newly returned Insua and Degen also starting alongside new signing Doni keeping goal.

 THE MATCH

No friendly atmosphere for Liverpool inside the Turk Telekom Arena which I’m sure came as no surprise to the Reds as this new stadium opened in January is in the Guinness Book of World Records for  generating the loudest noise at a sports stadium.

Galatasaray fired up by their passionate support almost scored inside the first minute as former Red Baros stabbed a shot just wide of Doni’s post. Moments later Turan looped a header just wide of target as Liverpool were under intense pressure from the off.

It was no surprise that Galatasaray took the lead on 8 minutes when Baros slammed home a low cross from the right with Liverpool’s defence all over the place. With the hosts totally dominant and Liverpool trying to keep the score at 1-0 they could only muster a wayward long range effort from Carroll as an attacking threat.

Doni then had to make a good save from a Baros header as the home side continued to threaten. Then on 36 minutes Kelly missed a glorious chance from 6 yards out after a good header by Kyrgiakos, the linesman’s flag spared his blushes.

Doni had to make another good stop turning a Turan shot round the post. But Doni was helpless as Baros made it 2-0 four minutes before the break when he headed in at the back post after a near post flick from a corner. It was just what the home side deserved from their dominant display. Shelvey was unlucky with a long range effort as the half ended.

Dalglish rang the changes at half-time bringing on Jones, Kuyt and Aqualani and Liverpool responded with a better start to the second half with Carroll having a headed effort saved by Ceylan. Aqualani was unlucky with his shot being well saved by Ceylan after good work from Kuyt down the right.

Liverpool probed throughout the second half without looking threatening as Galatasaray’s pace dropped from the first half. Galatasaray capped off a fine win when former Bolton striker Elmander volleyed a stunning goal from the edge of the box with four minutes to go.

SUMMARY

The team selected for this match had me worried and my fears were realised inside ten minutes of the match. I can’t criticise Dalglish for giving everybody in the squad a chance to prove themselves this pre-season, but with only a couple more fixtures to go until the season starts I think he should be playing his first team and getting those players match fit. The likes of Degen, Insua and Poulsen are just not good enough unless he was using them in a shop window last night, but I think any customers would be put of with that showing. Never mind its only a friendly and I am sure Kenny will get it right when the season starts and we will see a different team on Monday night in Norway.

Man of the Match – Kuyt –  made a big difference in the second half as he tried to lift the side and created a few chances. Such an important player for us.

written by Jamie McLaughlin  website at www.anfieldnews.com

Friday Jul 29Posted by: James Barlow  6 Comments »

BRING IT ON, OH HOLD ON, NO CARRA COVER!

Here we go again, pre-season games that show us nothing of what’s to come. Everyone is wondering who will play, how we will play and who we are yet to buy.
Kenny strengthened the front line midway last season and I liked this, because even though we had an ok defensive record, our goals to shots ratio was abysmal. We glimpses of the plan I think, which would be one up with 2nd and 3rd striker/attacking midfielder, playing left and right of THE TARGET MAN! But what happens when Carrol is not fit, do you go like for like or adjust to not having an ariel man? Personally with the players we have, I don’t think it matters if we have Carrol there or not, the fluidity Kenny brought back to our attack has already proven a good key to unlocking defences, so I would stick with the Target and two supports.
My main worry though is the defence, are main weakness being central and this down to depth in the squad. As we know defenders mature later, so yes there may be a kid or two knocking about but we will have to wait a while for them, so in the mean time Kenny needs one big money centre half and a couple of decent above average backups. Our wings are covered, thanks to players brought through last season, not only can they defend, they can attack too.

Midfield is very confusing, new signings established first teamers, could be anyone’s guess, considering that in my thoughts two of the attacking midfield contingent could playing up front, then there is actually space in the middle for another 3 central types and that’s because we have attacking full backs. Whoever does get the nod, at least one should be defensive and not two!
Anyway fellow Livers, My twins will be here on the 18th of August and fingers crossed their first season will be with honours.

YNWA