Southampton, our opponents this weekend for anybody living under a rock, seem to be a team in disarray. Fans refuse to redeem their season tickets, Schneiderlin, one of their few remaining key players, refuses to play, and to make matters worse they look close to signing Shane Long for £12.5million.
Soton, a side that finished 8th last season (under the guidance of Pochettino, who has chosen to take on the managerial challenge that is Tottenham, who we weren’t interested in for once by the way), just 8pts behind apparent title challengers United, have sold the likes of Lallana, Lambert, Lovren, Shaw & Chambers, whom excluding the latter, contributed massively to their successful 13/14 campaign and their incredible journey from the depths of the football league which should not be forgotten, and replaced them with Graziano Pelle (£9m), Dusan Tadic (£10.9), Ryan Bertrand (season loan), Saphir Taider (season loan) & Fraser Forster (£10m).
I just can’t see any outcome where they leave Anfield this Sunday unscathed, especially after our impressive dismantlement of Dortmund a few days ago, who, although fielded a weakened defense, had pretty much their best attack on show (bar Reus, fuck I said Reus) and we still kept a much needed cleansheet, perhaps due to the debuts of Lovren & Manquillo who were solid to say the least. In attack, Sturridge, Coutinho & Sterling were sharp as hell, the link-up play between the three, for a friendly was incredible, for the first time this summer we looked like the team we were last season, it couldn’t have come at a better time.
It sounds as though the deal to bring in Moreno won’t be concluded until tomorrow or Friday night, however I doubt he’ll feature anytime soon with up-coming fixtures of City & Tottenham where Rodgers may favor a starting XI with more experience facing those sides, at least in defense.
I think we’ll line-up something similar to what we saw against Dortmund on Sunday (Mignolet, Manquillo, Skrtel, Lovren, Johnson, Gerrard, Can, Coutinho, Henderson, Sterling & Sturridge) and we should win comfortably. I have a feeling I’ll be saying that a lot this season, but we should be, we should win every single game at Anfield, and it doesn’t matter who. Last season we lost this meeting and we have a chance to rectify that from the off. , with back-to-back away fixtures at City & Tottenham getting off to a good start is imperative. I’m going with a repeat 4-0 win at home.
In today’s transfer update Chris gets rather animated about Liverpool finalising a £12 million fee with Sevilla over the transfer of Alberto Moreno AND you get an exclusive look at the first edition of the RMTV Times!
Only a handful of men are as representative of their clubs. Maldini grew up supporting Juventus. Baresi was from Brescia. Giggs’ isn’t Manc, Raul came through at Atletico and Cruyff left for Catalonia. All football fans have a team they adore. You, the reader should think of your team and imagine a player coming through your ranks.
He’s made it to the first team and it’s such a wonderful thing because he’s from your city and grew up loving your club. His family history is entwined with the sorrows of the club and it’s as though his talent and progress is invariably fated.
He’s passionate and tackles with admiral aggression; like you would if you could. He’s also elegant and strokes diagonal passes like Rembrandt caressed his paintbrush. You hope he stays at the club because deep down you know he’s too good right now. And he does. And he becomes captain, and he wins the European Cup. And it portrays everything good that football has to offer.
It was a moment that bypassed petty rivalry because it was the greatest spectacle of all time. Jog on Scorsese, Kubrick, Welles – you three couldn’t have written it. He did, and he scored. And he tackled, and he fought with the spirit of a fan, against a team packed with legends.
He’s came a long way since his skinheaded-crunching days. He’s an attacking threat now, his first transformation. What a talent. Yes, his head was turned by a club representing the three evils of football: gluttony, wealth and profit. But he stayed – they’re nothing like us – he’s a better type of person.
Then he plays behind a striker who is so much like him it’s romantic. Two born winners. This new boy was from the gasworks of the murky river bay. He’d also represented his club – another fan in a shirt – but they had a selling mentality and he has a winning one. For a while they were Europe’s best double act. The best – remember that. Together they conquered the Bernabeu, silenced the San Siro and emptied the Emirates. But the club is taken over by a couple of profit crazy yanks, western capitalists who care nothing for you the fan. Rome was destroyed in a day. The blonde boy left for ‘that’ club and in his place stepped with The Pistol as old western saloon doors flapped menacingly behind his entrance.
He’s a player more in tune with the club this Pistol. A fighter, desire, win, win, win. The fan loves him and our player does too. But he’s changed again, evolved; this is the third side of the triangle. He sits deeper and passes like a quarterback, always to the front foot, controlling the ten men around him. Bayern wants him, yet he says no. They win the European Cup too, without him.
Look at him, look at his name. You hate him? Why? He stayed at the club he loves, isn’t football a sport full of mercenaries you say? He isn’t, wasn’t. He could have won so much more in his career had he been. He hasn’t. Look at what he represents; that ancient cliché of loyalty. Wouldn’t it be such a dream if he played for your club? Came through your ranks and represented your city; your country? The time has come to acknowledge how, with every passing season, he continues to breathe the freshest air into this ‘premier’ league. When Rome fell the only man left standing in the ash burnt rubbles was Totti. When the corporates sunk their dirty money into the English game, killing loyalty at your club, only one man rebelled, his heart as big as the city.
The last of an innocent generation;
Paul is at Anfield with latest LFC Transfer News including Liverpool’s reported free transfer move for Samuel Eto’o and Kolo Toure on his way to Trabzonspor..
After Luis Suarez’s departure to Spanish giants Barcelona for a respectable £75mil; Liverpool need someone to step up to the plate during pre-season, it seems Phillipe Coutinho has done just that. During our tour of the states, the Brazilians performances were quite brilliant. Maybe he realises that this is his chance to really show the world what he can do; he’s no longer in the shadow of the genius that is Luis Suarez and that might just propel him onto greater heights.
Rodgers clearly rates him too, the Liverpool Echo have reported that the Liverpool boss is ready to offer him a new long term contract. And in a recent interview said that he’s the “Brains of the team”, which considering Coutinho has only had 1 appearance for the senior national side, his high praise indeed for the 22 year old.
Coutinho isn’t the fastest physically; but he’s always one step ahead of everyone else. Most players develop game intelligence as their careers progress; but it seems that he’s just born with it. He plays the game 5 seconds ahead of everyone else, and when he’s on form and playing well I think he’s just as entertaining as anyone else in the Premier League.
The problem Rodgers has is where to play the little magician. At the start of his career, he was deployed as a left winger where he enjoyed cutting inside onto his favoured right foot and interchanging with the other attacking midfielders. But in my opinion, his best performance for Liverpool so far came at Anfield against Arsenal when he played in a central position. Not only did he showcase his deadly through balls and his ability to glide past the opposition almost at will, but he pressed the Arsenal midfield tirelessly.
However, in the recent pre-season friendly against Borussia Dortmund; Coutinho was deployed in the left wing position and was absolutely sensational. He was pretty much given a free role and kept finding spaces around the Dortmund midfield. Once in these areas, he pretty much always used the ball efficiently and there was a real maturity to his game. His assist for the Sturridge goal was truly breath-taking, he wasn’t even looking the right way and he managed to play the ball into an area that Daniels speed was able to exploit.
The main difference between our squad this season and last season is the options Rodgers has at his disposal. Last year, we practically had a squad of 14 players who were good enough to be at the club and then 6/7 players who contributed next to nothing. But this year, our defence is looking much stronger already. The signings of Emre Can and Adam Lallana will boost the midfield, whilst the signing of Lazar Markovic combined with the introduction of Jordan Ibe to the first team and Suso recalled from his loan means that we’re in a better position in terms of squad depth already.
And it doesn’t really matter where Coutinho is played; he has the intelligence to play practically every midfield and forward position which must be brilliant for Rodgers, but I’d like to see him start in a central position. This could be in a 41212 diamond formation behind the strikers or in a 433, next to Henderson with Gerrard behind those two.
It seems that the situation is perfect for Coutinho this season. I think a lot of players will thrive in the absence of Suarez; last season everything went through the Uruguayan. But this year the emphasis will be on the team as a unit rather than getting the most out of the brilliant SAS combination, which is excellent news for the likes of Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge.
Brendan Rodgers has come out and said that Liverpool have received ‘no bids for Daniel Agger’ and Lovren speaks to the Echo about his hopes for the season…
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