Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category
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Just a recollection of how I felt when we won the 2005 Champions League. This was written at the time.
Well Wednesday night is one I will never forget!! It has to be the greatest football match I’ve ever witnessed and for those not interested in football I am very sorry for this. It was also the weird football match that gave me so much.
I experienced so many emotions in one football match that I never knew it was possible. The game started disastrously as we was 1-0 down within one minute and I was abosolutely gutted and after going 2-0 down I was nearly in tears i wanted to break everything in sight! then 3-0 down I did almost start to break things I was so close to tears it was unreal… To make it worse watching the match with no other real Liverpool fans didn’t help so know one knew how I was feeling they was saying it was alright but I knew it wasn’t, it was more than just a game.
At half time I need a few minutes to myself and I actually prayed for us to win the game, it’s the biggest game the club has had in 20 years and I wasn’t ready for them to lose!!
Second half introduction of Didi Hamann brought hope I was asking myself why didn’t he start the game someone who is a great shield in front of the back 4. I must admit Rafa the gaffer got it right! when Gerrard scored hope was now reality i believed we could to do and the two goals that followed fuck me i was screaming jumping and shouting, no disrespect to Milian who had given us a game I knew we could do it, this was it!!
Extra time penalties we did it, Anfield Heros and legends!!! I just wish I had some more people to experience what was one of the greatest nights of my life, I can’t decribe the feeling too well cause it was indescribable!!!!
You’ll Never Walk Alone!!
follow me on twitter @Arun_Chowdhury
I am certainly not someone who likes players getting injured. But then if a driver tries his hand at carpentry, the chances are pretty high that he might catch an injury. Similarly, if one of the better (or second best) Portuguese divers were to play football, I don’t think the injuries are huge surprises. While I don’t find injuries to players humorous, who said Nani is a player? Thought he was a world class actor. I can’t forget his role in the penalty earlier this year, and when cry babies really get injured, no one takes them seriously. Good onCarra that he apologized, though.
There is a picture going around facebook with what might have happened on the field. If it is true, I think it’s pretty petty of Stevie to have done what he did. I mean someone comes to your place to play and this is what you do?!?! So what if he brought the wrong toys! C’mon buddy…
What’s all this then some of you may question.
I would like to put aside the drama related to the transfer window. Enough has been said about Torres and his fraudulent move to Chelsea as John Aldridge put it. I won’t wish Torres good luck and have done my utmost to get him flushed out of my mind. He has betrayed the values that this club stands for, the Liverpool loyal way. We stick to a club during thick and thin, we don’t run away when things turn sour. Liverpool have been boosted big time by FSV or NESV if you may, and the injection of Dalglish and Clarke as Manager and Coach respectively has elevated the club to new heights.
Some argued that transfers were left for late, but you can’t fault the club officials for the delay; negotiations in January will always be protracted and lengthy and will undoubtedly go down to the wire. Suarez and Carroll are exceptional players and I say this with confidence. My only concern is Carroll’s injury which will keep him away for some weeks at a time when Liverpool need to score goals and win games. Here’s hoping other players step forward and come up with the goods and that most surely includes Suarez.
With his actions, Torres has relegated himself to the dustbin of history and Liverpool fans must look forward now to a new era, a yearning for a title-winning Liverpool side. We aren’t there yet, but the signs look tremendously promising.
Those who know me will tell you that music and Liverpool have been an integral part of my life. It is then not a surprise that I have always looked out for music bands with origins in Liverpool or in any way having ties with Liverpool FC. The first name which springs to mind is Gerry and The Pacemakers, the band which covered You’ll Never Walk Alone from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel. Gerry Marsden, a life-long Liverpool FC fan, presented Shankly with a tape recording and the go ahead was given for the song to be adopted as Liverpool’s official anthem. YNWA is what symbolises Liverpool FC and its fans, combining a spine tingling build-up to the chorus with lyrics which inspire a call to arms. The song has been adopted by other football clubs too including Celtic, Borussia Dortmund and the Kop has been featured on Pink Floyd’s Fearless singing the famous tune.
If you’re into 90s British rock music and haven’t heard of the band Cast, then you’ve got some catching up to do. The band formed primarily by John Power, ex-bassist of the band The La’s famous for the hit single There She Goes, has had three albums of notable success, All Change definitely the best of the three, Mother Nature Calls and Magic Hour. John Power, a big fan of the Reds was recently at the forefront to release a version of the song Fields of Anfield Road to commemorate he twentieth anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. The Kop Choir was formed, featuring Phil Thompson and Bruce Grobbelaar amongst othesr, and the song released in April 2009. Power co-wrote the final verse which specifically mentions the Hillsborough tragedy. Worth mentioning a couple of songs which make up my Cast favourites: Alright (a piece of which was used in the documentary, One Night In May which tells the story of Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League triumph), Tell It Like It Is, Walkaway, Live The Dream, I’m So Lonely and Alien, the last being the best effort in Cast’s repertoire, again in my humble opinion.
Rewind back to the late 60s, 70s and a big name, fan of Liverpool FC which can’t be left out of this review is Elvis Costello. Born in London and raised in Liverpool, Costello will be remembered for songs like Everyday I Write The Book, Accidents Will Happen, (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea – a fitting song in this eventful period -, Watching The Detectives. More on Costello’s affinity with Liverpool FC here http://www.elviscostello.info/articles/h-l/liverpoolfc.html.
Less known to me before 2005 is a band spearheaded by another lifelong Liverpool fan, a certain Wayne Hussey, frontman of The Mission (The Mission UK for our American readers). Two songs I have learnt to appreciate are Butterfly On A Wheel and Like A Child, however it was the song Draped In Red from the album God Is A Bullet that brought this band to my attention. The song is a tribute to Liverpool’s Champions League triumph in 2005. Mention is also made of Gerrard’s unwillingness to leave the club after such a big victory.
Another name attached to Liverpool FC and which most of you will know from the song The Lady In Red is Chris De Burgh. His daughter, Rosanna, winner of Miss World Competition for Ireland in 2003, is equally involved in the World of LFC. Incidentally, De Burgh’s parents worked as British spies in Malta in the 1950s.
I’m sure I’ve missed other notable music characters (former BBC Radio 1 presenter DJ Spoony comes to mind!) and if anyone of you can point more out, please do so. Worth mentioning also are bands that have their origins in Liverpool and The Beatles would surely be the first to get mention. Others include, China Crisis, Dead Or Alive, Black, A Flock Of Seagulls, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Lightning Seeds, O.M.D (top band), The Teardrop Explodes and Wah!
Anyway, drifting off at a tangent from football matters. It’s Stoke tonight and I’m looking forward to watch the Reds in action. Torres has been, by now, extinguished by his own bombshell and unnecessary comments on joining Chelsea (referring to the big club bull). I can predict a battle against Stoke and I’m confident of a Liverpool win.
See you next time.
Where is the consistency?
So Liverpool seem to be having a see-saw season this time, normally a good is result is either followed by defeat or a draw. It seems that Liverpool are struggling to get the win away from home, the major worry is the standard of play in the away games compared to that of the way we play at home.
Now many would have thought going in to the game against Newcastle on the back of a 3-0 win against Aston Villa the team would perform to a similar level and would come away with another win but this was far from the truth. I don’t think anyone envisaged a Newcastle win, as this is a team that had earlier in the week sacked their manager to replace him with a new man. Also Newcastle had failed to win in their last 5 games and where on the back on 3-1 defeat to WBA the week before.
Many have questioned Hodgson’s record away from home and rightly so, it had seemed like on Saturday evening that the Newcastle team would struggle to win after the depart of Hughton and Pardew’s appointment. Was it down to a failure of Liverpool failing to take chances that were created? Was it down to the manager’s tactics and the mindset that he applies to the team?
Hodgson’s record has been far from brilliant both home and away. Based on the manager’s last 55 games both home and away, Hogdson has a win percentage of 59% at home and just 7% away from. Also the lack of goals away from home is worrying too. Now just quickly analysing the game against Newcastle.
It was strikes from two Merseysider’s that effectively settled the game, with Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton both on the score sheet for Newcastle with Andy Carroll grabbing a late third. The goals conceded would have upset the manager as these could have avoided and it was down to defensive errors that Liverpool ended up losing the game.
The first goal came from a Joey Barton free kick sent in towards the head of Andy Carroll at the back post who easily beat Martin Srktel in the air to nod down for Nolan to slot home the ball from close. You’d have thought they would have sent Kyrgiakos to mark Carroll as he is much better in the air. Liverpool pressed hard for an equaliser Sotirios Kyrgiakos had a shot saved by keeper Krul and Raul Meireles saw a deflected effort cleared off the line by Jose Enrique.
Liverpool could have gone in to the break further behind as Meireles gifted the ball to Ameobi whose shot took a deflection and went narrowly wide. Liverpool was pressing hard and Kyrgiakos had headed wide just before the break.
Liverpool came out in the second half and a touch of good fortune gifted the ball to Kuyt whose deflected effort went in the back of the net which renewed hopes for the Reds. Moments later an inch perfect ball from Meireles fell to the feet on Torres and the Spaniard shot straight at the goal keeper.
Newcastle made a change and this revitalised them and the substitute quickly got in to the game out muscling Srktel and shooting just wide. The Second Newcastle goal came with Carroll dwarfing Lucas winning the initial header looping it towards Ranger who just outside the Liverpool penalty box then flicked the ball on through the defence went missing to allow Barton to steal in and slot the ball past a helpless Reina.
The main thing is down the lack of consistency that we’ve seen this season and it’s down to this that there has been huge pressure placed on the shoulders of the manager. Now his record for games away from home has been mentioned but it isn’t only that, it’s the body language that we seem on the bench. Roy rubbed his face which was highlighted on Match of the Day which was something similar to what I would do in the morning when I wash my face.
There are also signs there that he doesn’t seem to have a back up plan or not really sure of what do to when we are in a losing position. Also throughout the game it was clear to see that we was very narrow and got bullied off the ball, i thought out centre backs were poor in particular Srktel. The team also lacked any real width and struggled to string passes together and the lack of support to the strikers where evident.
Now the away record only teams in the bottom three have a worse record than Liverpool at the moment in terms of goal scored. It’s clear to see that we do sit back in away games rather than put in performances like we did at White Hart Lane, I thought we played very well but was unlucky not to get the win and again it was down to chances missed.
Credit it where it’s due Newcastle had a very good game, they looked like a team with something to prove and in the end it was that desire and a lacklustre display from Liverpool that saw them again drop points away from home. It’s also pain to see that this season has been very unpredictable.
What is it that is contributing to Liverpool’s homesickness? Well the last nine away games of last season resulted in one win, four draws and four defeats. This has been their form from the end of last season so it can’t be all placed don’t to the current manager. It may be a mental issue that Liverpool have with away fixtures.
How do Liverpool turn from an attacking team at home that presses and harasses the opposition team in to one that that seems completely different away from home, now I’m all for being cautious away from home but there is such a thing as being over cautious and I feel under Roy Hodgson this is what is happening as the defenders are sitting too deep and there is no one really making the run from midfield looking to get beyond the front man and this is what is costing us when we are attacking as the lack of movement is not giving the player on the ball options.
I don’t want to highlight Roy’s signings either but it’s clear to see that Liverpool had and have got player better than the ones he’s bought in namely Poulsen, and Konchesky but this has been done so what Liverpool really need is to look for players of a higher quality.
It’s evident that the manager needs to change something as the away form is leaving alot to be desired and his overall win percentage in fixtures is far from inspiring but I can’t see the owners making any changes at present but it may change if Roy doesn’t change something and gets a level of consistency both home and away.
So after the performance versus Chelsea hopes were raised of Liverpool fans after a dominant display versus the champions. The hope that there would be some form of consistent attacking football to ensure that Liverpool would continue to pick up the points that are needed to keep climbing up the table. However we had two away games on the bounce and this had lead to a draw at Wigan and a defeat at Stoke. It seemed that an over cautious defensive approach had held us back and continues to do so especially when we play away from home.
This was followed by an international break which saw captain Gerrard ruled out for 3 weeks starting with the victory over West ham on Saturday after a hamstring strain sustained while playing for England. Liverpool where furious that Gerrard was on the pitch for longer than the agreed hour when Barry and Ferdinand were taken off as injury precautions both of which returned to play this weekend. Only thing that I took from this is the importance of the Liverpool skipper to both club and country.
So the game on Saturday allowed the Reds fans to see their team play in dominant fashion against a West Ham team who failed to turn up in the first half and where barely able to string two passes together.
However credit where it’s due, the team played well and stuck to their task of ripping part West Ham in the first 45 minutes with good performances all over the pitch. Even the much criticised Christian Poulsen had a good game which forced a save from Green just after moments earlier Fernando Torres rattled the cross bar in the second half.
However in terms of Poulsen, I think the opposition helped him there as West Ham did nothing in terms of creating chances and it was more like watching a training session at times attack versus defence, Green pulled off some good saves to ensure they didn’t lose by more. You can only beat what’s in front of you and Liverpool did that and although the opposition wasn’t great Liverpool can take positives but the worrying thing is that we don’t seem to be scoring many goals in the second half.
Now I see this as worrying as if we are in a loosing position and we are not scoring in the second half then we won’t pick up points where we may be able to nick a draw or even later go for the win, a good example of this is Manchester United coming back against Aston Villa to draw 2-2. Another thing we need to look at is sometimes another goal helps to seal the win. A good example of this would be Arsenal’s capitulation on the weekend versus Tottenham, has they scored one more goal I doubt Spurs would have gone on to beat the Gunners.
Back on to Liverpool much has been made of the worrying statistics about Roy Hodgson’s form as a manager away from home, as a manager in the Premier League. Roy Hodgson has been manager for 105 away games in English football. He has only won 13 of those games.
This is a particularly worrying statistic as throughout his whole managerial career in English football what it boils down to is this Hodgson has won the same amount as Liverpool won in just 19 games in 2008/09? 13 games, this is a shocking statistic and it is not real wonder to see why we struggle away from home.
So looking at some other facts about the current Liverpool manager is another one that is truly shocking prior to Liverpool, 713 career games, 311 wins. 43.6% win rate. So these statistics don’t lie about the manager. It shows that he does adopt a defensive approach and goes for draws in certain circumstances rather than wins the game against Manchester United shows that.
Hodgson has also not been happy with the lack of creativity in the squad, it’s plain to see that he got rid of two of our most creative players last season now out on loan. Aquilani was top assist-maker in the Premier League in first half of 2010. Insua was top assist-making full-back for the period between Aug-March and these are two players who he has let go on loan. He replaced these players with the likes of Konchesky, Poulsen and Miereles.
We do have a solid defence none of which are really confident on the ball and our midfield is very narrow too, also there’s not much support for Torres at the top end of pitch for many games this season he has been subjected to chase down hopeful long balls. After watching him play it’s clear for the fans to see that this isn’t the service he thrives off. So how the manager doesn’t understand this it’s not really clear.
It’s clear to see that the club doesn’t really have a vision in where it’s going and the style of football that they should be playing. The club firstly needs to establish a style of play before signing players. All teams have a style a philosophy of how football should be played. Two good examples of this would be looking Arsenal and Barcelona who look for players with certain characteristics within players to put in to their team.
This is what Liverpool need to find again a sense of direction and individual style to their play and the best way to do that is by finding that style with the current players at the squad, It’s is clear that they need a new model that will be adaptable for senior players as well as the youth and reserve teams.
I feel that doing this will give Liverpool a solid base then they will be able to get the right staff in order to get the team playing in the way they are expected to play. Once this footballing philosophy has been set up then it would be appropriate to find a manager who will implement this as Arsene Wenger has done at Arsenal.
For much of the season fans have been critical of Hodgson even though I am one of those people i do feel that some of the criticism has be brought on to the manager by himself. I think from comments around the squad that Benitez left to bemoaning the lack of creativity as mention earlier he has not helped him self.
Now things was never so bad under Rafa and it was actually evident that we improved under Rafa but under Hodgson it looks like we will be stuck in mid table obscurity, it’s strange that we find ourselves in the situation we do, Hodgson record to date isn’t even as good as Rafa’s at his worst and it doesn’t even match up to his own record at Fulham.
It is clear to see that we need a manager who has the ability to adapt ot different situation and a forward thinking approach because it seems that even though we took a step forward versus Chelsea overall we are going in a backward motion at the moment and it could take time to build the forward momentum again.
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