Archive for the ‘Opinions’ Category
Tuesday Dec 27Posted by: Guest Writer Comments Off
written by Jamie McLaughlin website at www.anfieldnews.com
With Liverpool drawing at Wigan through the week in a match the felt they should have won, it was back to Anfield for two home games in a week. A home banker on most peoples coupons with Blackburn in so much trouble at the wrong end of the table and decimated with injuries for this match not helping their cause. Liverpool looking to improve their home form with five draws at Anfield this season.
Kenny made one change to the side that drew with Wigan with Andy Carroll replacing Dirk Kuyt. Great news for the home support was the name of Gerrard included as a substitute. Maxi once again started on the left for Liverpool with Downing on the right and Adam and Henderson in the middle with the formidable defence remaining unchanged with Carragher once again having to play patience.
Not surprisingly Liverpool started the match attacking and Suarez went close with a free-kick in only the second minute before Adam brought out a save from Bunn. But apart from a few set-pieces it was a rather low key start to the match.
In the 19th minute Suarez fired a shot into the side netting from an acute angle before curling an effort wide from inside the box as Liverpool struggled to break down the Blackburn defence. The best chance of the first half came from an Enrique cross which fell to Carroll inside the six yard box but his prodded effort was superbly saved by Bunn.
Enrique and Downing were making good runs down either flank but the strikers were not getting on enough of their crosses. Carroll had the ball in the net in the half hour mark but it was ruled out for offside, then Maxi was brought down by Bunn and Liverpool thought they had won a penalty but the referee’s assistant once again saved Blackburn.
Then right on the stroke of half-time Liverpool were stunned when Charlie Adam diverted a Pedersen corner kick past Reina at the near post.
Liverpool came out for the second half looking sharper and moving the ball around quicker as they set about getting back into the match. After some sustained pressure they deservedly drew level when Maxi headed past Bunn from close range from a Skrtel lofted cross.
The home support was aroused from their slumber with the goal and roared their side on for more goals. Suarez and Carroll went close with aerial efforts as the pressure mounted on the visitors. Then Dalglish brought on Gerrard for Adam with 20 minutes remaining to try and inspire his troops and his first touch almost created a goal when his free-kick was headed by Maxi.
Then Suarez wasted a header off target from a Johnson cross. Blackburn almost stole it when Dunn danced into the Liverpool box but he lost his footing at the vital moment. The chances kept coming and going for Liverpool as they remained frustrated and in the final seconds Carroll prodded an effort from close range but Bunn made an unbelievable save and then from the resulting corner Skrtel’s header was cleared off the line as time ran out.
Once again I was left frustrated with the amount of missed chances. I was pleased to see Carroll starting and was hoping he would score but things are not going his way. He was very unlucky not to score. But we started off a bit lethargic in the first half as we never created enough chances, but the second half was far better and we should have won the match. Adam made a very poor mistake for the Blackburn goal and his passing was a bit off today. I thought Maxi, Downing, Enrique and Johnson made great efforts to get down the flanks, just not enough support in the box to meet their crosses. Surely we are due to hammer somebody soon but at least we are still in the running for a top four place so hopefully our form will pick up soon. Great to see Gerrard back and he looked pretty sharp to me, oozes class.
Man Of The Match- Enrique – it had to be one of the wide players and Enrique just edges it for me another superb performance.
Tuesday Dec 27Posted by: Guest Writer Comments Off
The return of the king to Anfield has brought back the memories of the golden years of Liverpool Football Club. Pictures of silverware being held aloft by Liverpool’s loved son are back in every fan’s eyes. The red men have reverted to the “Liverpool Way “, what they were best known for. We have dominated teams at Anfield, have the most miserly defence in the premier league. There is a renewed beacon of hope with the arrival of our new owners, The king and The Prince-Luis Suarez. Not long ago were we languishing at the bottom. There was an air of negativity around Anfield. The minnows-Blackpool, Wolves, WIgan came home and returned with a share of the spoils if not with everything. The Dark Age that saw us staring down the barrel has soon been forgotten.
One thing has not changed though. Anfield is just not a fortress any more. Sunderland showed the way to new boys Norwich, Swansea and the pathetic Blackburn, and it brings me to the title of this article. Despite the drastic developments at Liverpool in the last year, it seems to me that “This is Anfield” is not intimidatory anymore.
The great Liverpool sides won at home, drew away and that brought us our rich haul of silverware. The present is in stark contrast to what it was then. Liverpool could be excused for the fact that the team needed a couple of months to gel and develop an understanding, then there has been the misfortune of being denied by the woodwork, and shoddy refereeing. We are into the festive period now and there are simply no more excuses to cling onto. A poor return of 11 goals in 9 home games is unacceptable for a team with ambitions of champions league qualification. The stats are made to look worse when you consider that the teams in the relegation zone have scored more. In all these games, we have started with a high tempo, putting the opposition in the backfoot. The domination that seems to last until half time doesn’t seem to pay dividends though. Poor finishing have cost us more than 15 points. We have not maintained the same intensity throughout and that has given the opposition to get back into the game and take away valuable points.
The new acquisitions-Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam for all the opportunities given to them have flattered to deceive. Adam has faded away after a few promising performances in his partnership with Lucas Leiva. He has not had the same impact in the holding midfield role left vacant by the latter. He has been lumbering around, misplaced passes, slow movement, fantasy through balls that are not read by his team mates and aimless long shots describe his performances best. His trademark free kicks and precision corners are a thing of his Blackpool past. Far too inconsistent in the red shirt, he seems to have the infinite trust of Kenny, something I fail to understand considering his poor form in the last 4 games. If Andy Carroll doesn’t find a place in the starting XI due to poor form, so should Charlie Adam.
Stewart Downing reminds me of Ryan Babel( Not just because he wears the same number as the former Liverpool man did). His stats of zero goals and assists in 19 games don’t tell the entire story. The man has made numerous runs in either flanks but seldom has he beaten the full back to deliver a pin point cross. He has been a picture of inconsistency and flattered to deceive. Henley the 17 year old Blackburn fullback bossed the English international, condemning him to another unimpressive performance in a red shirt. However from time to time there have been flashes of what he is capable of. With a bit of time in the bench, hardwork in the training let’s hope he overcomes his dented confidence and starts repaying Liverpool the money they paid to land him.
Finally, I can’t help but accuse the new acquisitions of lacking the passion and desire that a Liverpool player must have. They have to work harder to prove that they have it in them or else they will end up in the list of baggage that LFC has carried for the last decade. It was the pride, passion and desire of Steven Gerrard, Carragher, Xabi Alonso, even Riise and Smicer that won us the Champions League at Istanbul, that won the game against Olympiakos, or the Fa cup final against West Ham-(doing the impossible). The present squad has more quality than it ever had in the last decade. But it seriously lacks those qualities that define Liverpool FC. Any amount of support and assurance from Kenny doesn’t convince me on this.
A word to our owners and Damien Camolli- Analytics, Sabermetrics, Money ball can evaluate effectively the quality, ability and potential of a player. But it does not measure the amount of pride, passion and desire he has.
These qualities have been conspicuous by their absence in the Anfield atmosphere. There were glum faces at Anfield on Monday. The performance did not inspire any cheers. As much as the fans need to get behind the players, the red men owe a performance of hard work, pride passion and desire to the fans.
Let us make Anfield an intimidating fortress again. There is not long before we move to newer pastures in search of long term success.
I reiterate my faith on our players and King Kenny. With a little more of hard work at Melwood we shall soon start watching the exciting display of the beautiful game that our club is known for.
T T Raghuveer
Follow me on twitter: @TweetTTR
And we dropped another two points at home yesterday more…
(Gutted, we really need to get our act together)
Kenny was frustrated with the draw more…
(So is everyone)
Kenny backs Andy more…
Kenny also doesn’t understand why refs have it out against Craig Bellamy more…
(Yep they do)
Houghton believes that we need to score more goals to make top four more…
On Twitter @empireofthekop
Liverpool minority owner LeBron James got his share of Christmas spirit in the NBA season opener as a guy dressed up like Santa heckled him during free-throws.
Captain Fantastic returns to the Liverpool lineup as he starts on the bench.
Starting XI : Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique, Maxi, Henderson, Adam, Downing, Carroll, Suarez
Subs: Gerrard, Kuyt, Carra, Doni, Shelvey, Kelly, Bellamy
Follow Live On Twitter @empireofthekop
Monday Dec 26Posted by: Guest Writer Comments Off
By Nadeem Akhtar
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez has had a very tough week. There’s no doubt about it, from the newspaper headlines to blogposts and broadcast media he has been branded a racist. What is no doubt a very harsh punishment has been welcomed by the FA, the PFA and even SAF himself. I have yet to decide what I think would have been a fair punishment however I prefer to wait for the facts. I wish the media had done the same but as we all know quality jounalism and non-opinionated reports are hard to come by these days.
The initial uproar surrounded two words, one or both of which were allegedly used by Suarez – ‘negro’ and ‘negrito’. Then came the backlash against Liverpool for supporting Luis Suarez, a “convicted racist”. To this I would respond with a quote from the LFC official statement on the matter:
“It is key to note that Patrice Evra himself in his written statement in this case said ‘I don’t think that Luis Suarez is racist’. The FA in their opening remarks accepted that Luis Suarez was not racist.”
And that’s the end of that debate, Luis Suarez was not being racist when he insulted Evra but has been handed down a hefty ban- one which (by its length) implies that Luis Suarez WAS racist towards Patrice Evra. This is the reason LFC and Luis Suarez feel aggrieved by the decision and this is why LFC have responded in the way they have. Whether you like it or not, LFC are entitled to defend their players especially when they firmly believe he has been unfairly treated.
Being part of an ethnic minority myself, i’m a strong proponent of tolerance and harmony between races and cultures. I can understand the need for perspective in this situation. I didn’t jump to conclusions when the reports began, I decided to do some research and make my own mind up.
What I discovered is “negrito” is not a derogatry term in any way and in fact it doesn’t always refer to someones colour. As demonstrated by Dani Pacheco (Liverpool), Thiago Alcantara (Barcelona) and Chicharito (Man United), It is used in Spanish speaking countries openly when referring to friends (whether they are black African or not).
Next up was the term “Negro”. At first i thought this was blatantly referring to the colour black. And although it is an acceptable way of reffering to a black person in Spanish-speaking countries it is clearly a step up from “negrito”. However, Luis Suarez isn’t from Spain so we have to consider the dialect of Spanish that Suarez speaks. “Rioplatense” Spanish is that dialect, and surprisingly one in which “Negro” does not refer to a persons skin colour. Bare with me while i attempt to explain. The most notable example i could find was by football teams in Argentina unveiling banners reading the words “Fuerza Negro” in support of Fernando Caceres who was hospitalised after being shot in a carjacking.
I am not Spanish so I don’t know the literal meaning of the phrase (although I’m told it has something to do with strength) but i do know that Caceres is not Black African and this is clearly not a racial term in Argentina. I understand why it would seem that way even to people from Spain and Mexico, it is, after all a completely different dialect. But whenever i mentioned this to anyone they claimed “Negro” was racially motivated and these banners were from Argentina not Uruguay or Spain. However Rioplatense Spanish is a dialect used in Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and URUGUAY.
After seeing those banners I was convinced Suarez MAY have a case, so I decided to see how common the term is. I did a quick twitter search, (considering the time of year and my extremely limited spanish vocabulary) for “Feliz Navidad mi negro”. The results are plain to see. Its very clear how openly this term is used by many hispanic users when referring to family and friends of which in most cases neither the sender nor the recipient was Black African.
The FA, I am sure knew all of this. It didn’t take long for me to find all these examples but the FA took over 2 months to make the decision to charge Suarez. They did so “Coincidently” just 2 hours after Sepp Blatters handshake comments. Now I am not saying Evra has done anything wrong. I don’t know how true the reports are about Evra’s own insults towads Suarez but it is generally accepted that their conversation took place in Spanish. I am assuming Suarez must have been speaking in Rioplatense, Evra must have learnt Peninsular Spanish (European). Words were used that were offensive to Evra and just a bit of banter for Suarez.
The FA first had to decide whether or not Suarez was racist, as stated by LFC, they decided he was NOT. Then they had to decide whether or not he abused Evra with mention to his colour. From the screenshots above it would seem not, the FA disagree. They have clearly decided Evra, a Frenchman speaking Spanish to a Uruguayan in an English Premier League game was referred to as a black man. Suarez understandably must have been dumbfounded when the allegations of racism were made. I will end with a quote from Tim Vickery, in an article he wrote for the BBC.
“The Round against Racism” was nothing of the sort. In reality, cynically and opportunistically, it was the “Round against Blatter”.
The English FA has now left itself open to the same accusation of cynicism. What Suarez is alleged to have done is wrong, to draw attention to the colour of someone’s skin in a manner that could be construed as pejorative is not acceptable in our reality.
There is a clear case for punishment as part of a process of education. BUT the eight-game ban would seem to go MUCH further.”