Sunday Mar 30Posted by: Guest Writer Comments Off
Today’s afternoon kick-off sees Liverpool welcome Tottenham to Anfield for what is, for Brendan Rodgers’ men, a chance to take pole position in the Premiership. If ever there was a must win game for LFC, then we’ll be seeing it come 4pm this today. After yesterday’s results, Liverpool have the top spot there for the taking and if the team is going to have any hope of lifting the title this season, then this is the chance to get one hand on it.
The weekend could not have gone any better for Liverpool upto now. Chelsea were done over 1-0 by a hungry Crystal Palace side who are fighting tooth and nail to remain in the top flight. Manchester City faltered at Arsenal in a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium. I remain positive. I don’t believe Tottenham or Tim Sherwood have what it takes to overturn Liverpool or Brendan Rodgers. Before Tottenham’s win over Southampton last week, they hadn’t won since the 1-0 home victory over strugglers Cardiff. The fact that all of the games since then and last week have been against what you’d generally call “Quality” opposition (Chelsea, Arsenal and Benfica), it’s only natural to conclude that Tottenham struggle against this type of opposition. The type in which Liverpool one can definitely count Liverpool.
Tactically, it’s almost a given that Rodgers will start with the same side that’s been doing so well since the turn of the year. The only change I can see is perhaps Raheem Sterling starting in place of Philippe Coutinho but then, that’s something I’ve expected for the last few games and it hasn’t come about. Expect the home side to press high up the pitch and pressure the Spurs midfield. Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger will have to be at their combative best and obviously, avoid the individual errors that have cost the team goals in recent weeks. The right tactics though, are only one element of what is required.
I recall the ex-Liverpool winger John Barnes being asked in an interview “What is the secret for Liverpool’s success?”. Barnes’ response was “Well firstly, we have the best players and secondly, the Gaffer just tells us to go out and enjoy ourselves”. So for a start, Liverpool don’t have the best players. Perhaps the best strikers and one or two midfielders arguably, but in defence certainly not. Thus Barnes’ first point is irrelevant for the current team. However, what they can do is to go out tomorrow and enjoy themselves and I’m glad that Rodgers has put that point to the team ahead of tomorrow’s match via the Liverpool Echo.
Nobody knew that the team would be where they are at the beginning of the season. As underdogs for the Premiership – which they undoubtedly are – they shouldn’t be feeling the pressure. That’s the job of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenall but not Liverpool. They’re in the mix and clearly have a chance but I’m not convinced that Liverpool will win the title. Mainly because there’s no depth in the squad. All it takes is a 2-match yellow card ban (Steven Gerrard), an injury to Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge or indeed Gerrard, and then the title challenge will likely be as over as Austin Rover. The squad is right now four or five key players – not squad players – short of being genuine title material and Rodgers knows this.
The bottom line is, Liverpool FC have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The apparent nervousness on Wednesday against Sunderland from both the team and supporters should not be. In reality, we’ve got to be happy we got this far. Surely that’s worth celebrating.
Follow me on Twitter: @Mrbengreen
As we all know today is a huge day for Liverpool football club, on this very day 30th March 1964, Liverpool played Tottenham at home and won 3-1 to go top of the league, we went on the win the league…. is this an omen?
Right let’s be the stat man,
Liverpool vs Tottenham in the league, the last 6 games between them has seen Liverpool win 33%, Drawn 33% and Tottenham winning 33% so something needs to give, At home Liverpool have won 50% of the last 6 between the clubs with Tottenham winning just 17%.
Liverpool at home are very strong, in the last 15 games at Anfield Liverpool have won 13, drew 1 and lost only 1 scoring 44 goals in the process. Liverpool are unbeaten in 12 games and winning the last 7, Tottenham are unbeaten in 1 game.
Liverpool have been winning at both half time and full time in 11 of their last 12 home matches in the Premier League.
Liverpool have scored at least 2 goals in their last 12 home matches in the Premier League.
Liverpool have won 11 of their last 12 home matches in the Premier League.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 11 ofLiverpool’s last 12 home games in the Premier League.
Make Us Dream
You’ll Never Walk Alone
Written by Alex Sales (@BeastTimeVIP)
It’s on, isn’t it? It is well and truly on. It is gloriously on. With just seven games to go, the title is in OUR hands. No depending on anyone to drop points. It’s up to us. Win our remaining games, and we win the title. That is the prize at stake. That is the prize we haven’t seen for a while now. I know Brendan has asked us to stay calm, but I can’t sit still in a place for more than 5 seconds. Sleep hasn’t been forthcoming since both Chelsea and City dropped points yesterday. I can’t imagine what I will put my body through if we beat Spurs tonight to move clear at the top.
I dreamt of Rafa Benitez last night for some reason. He was the first manager that forced me to think about football. As a younger Liverpool fan, though I started supporting us in the Houllier era, I am almost indebted to Rafa. For making me actually love football. More than the trophies, it was always the class of our club that he portrayed. That set the bar for all Liverpool managers I saw subsequently. He taught me, subliminally and outwardly, what it meant to truly support and love a football club. Even Roy Hodgson, so blatantly obviously wrong for the Liverpool job, had my complete support.
A day away from administration, docked points and possible relegation under Hodgson and here we are now, just four years later. Seven games away from a league title. This feeling is brilliant, isn’t it? I can see what Jamie meant when he said what one title with Liverpool would mean more to Stevie G than ten with Chelsea or United. This is what he has been waiting for all these years. I’m certain he can smell it. It’s so close now. Just seven games away. I’m certain Jamie himself will be kicking himself. “Just one season more!” is probably what he would be shrieking to himself in his shrill ring. No matter what happens in these last seven games, this season has been a massive success. But we now have the opportunity, a very REAL opportunity, to make it a legendary success. The kind we will be telling our grandkids about 50 years later. The kind that will be written about in footballing legend and folklore. This is your time to make yourself heroes, Liverpool. Do it for Steven Gerrard. Do it for Jamie Carragher. Do it for Rafa Benitez for calling out those snakes and sacrificing his job for it. Do it for everyone who got in touch with Mill Financial, the Macquarie Group, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, Barclays Capital and of course to dumb and dumber. Do it for the absolutely fantastic Spirit of Shankly. Do it for Anne Williams and Margaret Aspinall. Do it for the 96.
Bring it on.
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Sunday sees Liverpool host a Spurs side looking to average their pre-Xmas mauling at the hands of the reds. Ahead of the game Chris and Paul are going Live via Google Hangout to preview the game!
Friday Mar 28Posted by: Chris Hutchins Comments Off
With every transfer window, comes new transfer headaches. The squad is delicately positioned, only tweaks, not a massive overhaul is required.
An expensive flurry of signings could tip the balance the wrong way. Champions League qualification will grant Liverpool FC access to a higher caliber ‘elite’ group of players, this poses a huge risk for Brendan Rodgers.
What we have to consider is where do Liverpool Football Club really need to strengthen, what is the priority and what can they realistically get? Will FSG provide significant funds or a budget that’s nothing more than reasonable?
Defense seems to be the obvious place to start, however solutions are already available to Rodgers. Sakho cost a cool £18m and certainly should be starting games, he’s athletic, strong and good with the ball at his feet. Skrtel has proven to be a reliable centre back and these two should form the long term central defensive unit, backed up by IIori, Kelly, Wisdom and maybe Agger (although he may leave in the summer along with Coates and Toure)
I would expect to see a left back come in, Luke Shaw is a quality young full back, but is likely to end up at Chelsea, the team he supports. There are a number of other realistic options available to Rodgers, more likely an import from Europe. It is pretty clear Cissokho will return to Spain and Enrique will find himself as a back up next season or at the very least fighting for his place. Jon Flanagan is the long term solution at right back, this is more than likely going to see Glen Johnson move on in the summer, contract talks or not.
Yann M’Vila has been strongly linked, he could indeed be a useful addition to the squad for the right price, he fits the FSG model and provides cover in numerous positions.
Liverpool do need a creative midfielder to add depth and variety. Konoplyanka provides the quality required, if a deal can be done, then it needs doing quickly. He will be desired by many clubs, both in the Premier League and wider afield. He offers creativity in midfield and attacking positions and would be an ideal signing, especially after being scouted for so long and being so close in January.
If as expected, Aspas returns to Spain at the end of the season, a new striker will need to come in. This is regardless of whether Borini returns. This is a position that will be crucial if Liverpool want to compete on all fronts next year. A player with experience in the Premier League would be the best fit, Bony at Swansea would be ideal and could provide great cover and a genuine threat to Suarez and Sturridge if they drop in form.
Finally as much as Brad Jones is a likeable guy, he’s simply not any competition for Mignolet. What Mignolet needs is someone who could push for his place, he’s too comfortable. A top quality back up goalkeeper is a must. It does not need to be for big money, but certainly someone credible. Shay Given was linked at the beginning of the season, this is the type of option that would have at least made Mignolet think.
So all in all, maybe 4 or 5 new players are needed, coupled with the return of Borini, Suso, Ibe and IIori. This would be the tweaks needed to push on again.
As Liverpool have done previously and Spurs more recently, spending £100m doesn’t buy you a thing if spent poorly. £50m on the right players and building a team is the right way to go.
Let’s see how the crazy post/pre season plays out, it is certainly a pivotal time for Liverpool Football Club, if the right players come in, it really could be the start of something great, and a sustained return to the elite of English and European club football.
By Chris Hutchins
Follow me on twitter @hutch2111