Tuesday Mar 9Posted by: Sami Faizullah  16 Comments »

Realism or Optimism?

Well, first of all, I still havent come to terms that THAT Liverpool side could loose to struggling Wigan. Its almost embarassing now.

Hicks & Gillett are to be blamed for our current situation. I support Rafa- but he also deserves blame. But most importantly- the players deserve to be blamed.

H&G may have not given enough funds for players, and probably been the main cause for demoralizing the team on the field because of the situation off the field.

This season Rafa’s tactics havent been up to mark. Instead of attacking teams like we attacked Real, Manu, and Villa in that great week, we are seen playing defensively even at home vs poor opposition. Lets face it- our football is slow paced and boring.

But even still, no matter what tactics we play, or players we have, last nights Liverpool squad should have finished off Wigan. But that wasn’t the case. Our world class players were giving away the ball cheaply, whereas Wigans players predominantly from the Championship showed class. No one in our team could provide a meaning full attack. But Nzogbia was able to take on 3-4 of our players at a time on more then one occasion. Emerson Boyce- their centre back on one occasion (when Torres got a yellow card), got past some 2-3 players from his penalty area, and took it to the Liverpool half! It was rightly said- ‘every single player gave the ball way cheaply in yesterdays game.’

Lets not take anything away from Wigan, they deserved all three points. We got what we deserved. But that game was for us to win. We should have, but with that performance- it wont be fair to the opposition if we got even a point. The players were frustrated. Kuyt shaking his head in dissappointment (for the performance) after he got subsituted summed up everything. On some occasions Kuyt chased down opponents, but when the ball was far from his reach, no one else seem to chase down the opponents.

A few weeks back, when Gerrards performances were below par, people said that he doesn’t have quality players around him other then Torres. But even Gerrard wasn’t great yesterday. He too was frustrated. The time when he couldn’t get the ball into an attacking spot, and just passed it to Lucas and made a sort of gesture to say ‘ you do something, no ones going forward, I cant do anything’ just proved how frustrated he was. Torres falling on the ground after one of his missed chances showed his frustration. Atleast we know that the players are as frustrated as us. But we cant do anything other then cheer louder and louder. The players have to perform on the field. I cant get my head round why they arent. You look at our overall squad- induvidually its actually VERY strong. Why it hasn’t worked out this season beats me.

Anyway, I think I have gone away from the topic I wanted to speak about. I think we should take a long hard look at the table and decide whats going to happen. We can still remain optimistic and say- we will finish in the top 4. Throughout the season I have said it, and have always believed that we will finish in the top 4. But we are reaching the end of the season, we have 9 games left, and I think we are at a point in the season where we should kick-in some realism. Heres how the table will look if Spurs, Mancity, and Villa win their matches in hand:

 4. Man City- 55pts

5. Aston Villa- 54pts

6. Tottenham- 52pts

7. Liverpool- 48pts

That will mean we will not only be out of Champions League contention, but also the embarassment of being out of Europa League contention. Mind you, Birmingham can be 2pts behind us if they win their matches in hand. I think we should prepare our self for a worst case scenario. Not being in UCL is bad enough, but out of Europe??

My biggest concern right now is about our star players- im confident they will not leave. But they have to perform NOW for us to avoid embarassment.

I am a Rafa supporter, and always will be, but I think Rafa is more vulnerable to a sacking now then ever before. Im not sure how many fans will support him if we finsih outside the top 6. Wow, I cant believe ive actually had to say ‘finish outside the top 6’ in context with Liverpool. From last season which was suppose to be THE season, to this.

Something has gone horribily wrong, and someone has to fix it. This could be our worst season in ages. The Europa League is our biggest hope right now. We HAVE to win it.

I don’t think I have to say it, I know the fans still have it in them, but:

STILL keep the faith. We can get through this treacherous storm.

YNWA.

Tuesday Mar 9Posted by: Antoine Zammit  35 Comments »

Armageddon?

Once again let me remind all those screaming for Rafa’s head what the situation is.

The club is owned by Tom Hicks and George Gillett who are cheap and have not invested a penny in the club, the only thing they have done is burden the club with a huge debt (The debt was not caused by Rafa buying players as some have implied but by H&G when they purchased the club).

So if Rafa gets fired or walks away, who do you think H&G will get to replace him?

They will find someone who they can control, a “yes” man who will do whatever they say. They are not going to hire a world class manager.

We all heard the rumours how Man City were offering 100 million for Torres. Do you think Rafa will sell Torres? No, like he has resisted to sell Babel he will do the same because he knows that if he sells him he will not see the money from the sale to buy other players. If Rafa was to get the 100 million for the sale then I would probably be encouraging the sale of Torres. As much as I love Torres but 100 million can buy you 3 World Class players and be left with change. Remember we sold Xabi Alonso for 30 million and replaced him with Aquilani for 17 million, any other big club would have spent 40 million to get someone better than the player they lost.

Hicks & Gillett do not care about trophies all they want to do is hold on to L.F.C. as long as possible as the value of the club appreciates. Even if L.F.C. does not win a single trophy the value of the club will still appreciate as more of Asia tunes into the Premier League the TV proceeds are due to increase.

Remember that for the cowboys not being in the Champions League might actually make more economic sense as the amount of money you need to spend to compete outdoes the amount you bring in.

And that is my opinion and I am sticking with it.

Y.N.W.A.

-Antoine

Tuesday Mar 9Posted by: irfaan  Comments Off

VIDEO : 2 Good 2 Bad

Tuesday Mar 9Posted by: Guest Writer  7 Comments »

What is happening to LFC ?

Kaustav Bose

Liverpool Fc Fading ..”Top Four” Class..No More..??

Wigan 1 Liverpool 0, “Benitez: We Deserved to Lose” ..One result, One
honest confession..both extremely dissappointing..yet undeniable
facts..Just after the Man City match..Liverpool legends like Rush and
Collymore put forth their notion that Liverpool had the easiest
run-in..and that could take them to top four..Given the club Liverpool
fc are such comments were very comforting for the fans..however in all
probability, after this match the Top  four spot spot looks far from
reality for the REDS..

Sometimes it really is baffling to understand why or how a team that
showed such top form only last season can go through such a rough
patch…What could have gone  wrong? The players are mostly the
same..The coach is the same..Yes, the investment of other teams have
increased, true..but still such a deplorable plight still remains a
mystery…
I say this simply because when you see the players on the pitch now
and every attribute of their play..you have to feel how could they
have ever played the way they played last season..They just don’t look
hungry enough..but Why ?
Some may agree that we needed Alonso and we miss him…that would be
the silliest answers to this gaping problem..Manchester United sold
out Ronaldo..and still they manage to fight for the top honors..Thats
what makes a great club..how hated a rival they may be, those are the
things that makes fans proud of their team..Sorry, the Reds haven’t
quite shown that mettle..
Rafa’s tactics too have been very debateable and very defensive,
however that did work for the first two months this year (or for the
most of it)..at least..

There has been injuries to players, bad luck and a host of other
factors..but if that meant Liverpool loses to the likes of Wigan or
Portsmouth(the way they have played this season..)..something is
wrong..terribly wrong..

Its time that the Reds fans start fearing a lot of things. With the
Top four spot now realistically out of their own reach and down to the
rest of the teams in the league to do them favors and too often..the
chances of CL play almost looks over..(some fans may think Why at all
did Rafa refute the play-offs..a top seven was a manageable option at
least)..
Some fans may also belive that our key players may well be sold
of..Well, I hope that don’t occur..but anyways the world is not bereft
of footballing talents anyway..

However, not getting into that..one thing is pretty sure that,
Liverpool fc really have deserved this state of affairs, going by the
poorest of poor performances..and yes, the team doesn’t that cannot
handle relegation contenders can never be expected to ward off CL
rival teams..and after this Wigan performance even the Lille match
would seem very very tough..At least Lille has more stars..

The pro-Rafa supporters are losing out on steam and that is
expected..The only way to respond to critics would be by giving out of
the skin performances and that has been thoroughly missing..Whether
the players are already thinking of the World Cup or whatever..the
club is performing as a team deserving a mid-table standing..and thats
how it stands now..

May be Winning all the matches now on ..could secure some respite from
crtitics..but even such a feat (which is quite unimaginable at least
the way they are playing now and moreover with Chelsea and Manchester
united games left..) will not power them to a top four unless the the
other contenders for the spot show that they are way ahead in throwing
away matches..

Its really a tough time, and frankly waiting for 14 months at least
for a champions league berth is highly likely..and within that period
a lot has to change at Liverpool fc and for the good..even if it means
revamping a major part of the outfit..
Some of them look sadly past their prime..and even though once great
servants to the club, LFC should be able to find better talents
replacing them..It’ll be tough..but the Reds need it..along with
investors to come to their aid..however performances like these could
affect that too in some ways..
The once “mighty” REDs are really fading away and even if top four
spot is not won at the end of the season as is seemingly
likely..Liverpool fc could still win some hearts by their displays in
the matches to come.. Reds fans like us deserve to see more efforts
put in by the players and even after such a disgraceful
performances..the only bright thing left for fans is that.. The coming
performances could and should only be better or else very few if
forced out of the club (and that includes Rafa too) will be missed..

Tuesday Mar 9Posted by: Antoine Zammit  1 Comment »

The Daily Antoine 9/3/2010 LFC News Digest

Woke up this morning and “No it was not a bad dream” we did lose to Wigan last night.
Horrible performance by most of our players, It is really going to be difficult to get to 4th place and we might not even get the Europa spot either.

Rafa blasts the lack of character from the players more…
(I do not understand how they were able to make so many mistakes, every single player gave the ball away cheaply at some point in the game yesterday.)

Stevie G in the meantime is in hot water
more…
(I hope he does not get a ban)

Blackburn are still at it, now Grella gets involved more…
(We beat you, get over it)

And finally here is a good read by Mr Paul Tomkins more…
(Spot on)

Tweet of the Day
EOTK : Lineup vs Wigan http://bit.ly/cae5ME #liverpool

Tuesday Mar 9Posted by: Amanda Musch  Comments Off

Third time lucky?

It was a frustrating Monday evening at the DW Stadium when Liverpool lost 1:0 against the, we have to admit, better side of Wigan Athletic. The Reds started well with a fantastic Steven Gerrard action in the first 10 minutes of the match but then the air seemed just to blow out. Wigan took the control and pushed forward every single minute of the game, the Reds had to struggle to get the ball into to the opponent’s side, which didn’t really work, regrettably.

Wigan knew to take her chances and to benefit from Liverpool’s horrible mistakes and the guest can really be happy about only one goal they got in. Without Sotirios Kyriakos’ and Glen Johnson’s, who returned after his injury, brilliant saves the score could look different.

Apparently, the saying “Third time lucky” wasn’t valid on this evening. Fernando Torres made three great efforts on Wigan’s goal but the ball seemed to be cursed. It just didn’t want to get in! Anyway, there isn’t really much to mention from Liverpool’s point of view. The team played bad, as bad as we didn’t see it play since a while. There was no spirit, no ideas, no … substance.

“We didn’t show the right attitude and even though we worked harder in the second half, we played without game intelligence,” complained the Liverpool manager after the match.

“We didn’t do anything in the first half. The attitude was much better in the second half but it wasn’t enough. It is difficult to explain because we prepared for the game properly. We knew Wigan would play in this way but there were too many things from us that I cannot understand,” he added.

I could write much more about how bad the match and Reds’ performance was but I won’t. Instead, I’ll list some tweets which some of the fans tweeted during and after the game:

@paul_tomkinsTorres’ attitude was poor. We weren’t great without him & Gerrard when they were out, but at least everyone seemed to be trying & focused

@paul_tomkins RT @VerbalKint27: ‘Pundits’ spent 20 mins slagging Rafa. Didn’t mention the individual errors or the amount of times the TEAM gave ball away

@paul_tomkins 4th place looks pretty much dead and buried. Almost everything that can go wrong this season has gone wrong

@paul_tomkins Maybe tonight was down to bad tactics – but good players were making horrible mistakes and misplacing easy passes. Almost all of them

@paul_tomkinsStruggling for even minor positives – can give Masch praise & Aquilani finally looked ‘up to speed’. Gerrard+Kuyt woeful, others anonymous

@robbohuyton No excuses from Rafa. “We did not play well. We knew Wigan would play like this. It’s difficult to explain.”

@TheKidTorres Termino el partido, un partido muy malo por parte del Liverpool.           Wigan 1- 0 Liverpool. atentos a la crónica

@LFCTVA disappointing night…

@Liverpool_FC RT @ben_tyson: @Liverpool_FC The big players just didn’t turn up (again). The ones who did simply aren’t good enough

@Liverpool_FC: Biggest disappointment for me is the lack of fight. I don’t even know why Gerrard bothers putting an armband on.

@Liverpool_FC Good news from the game. Apparently four of our kits aren’t that dirty and probably don’t need washing

@Liverpool_FC So, I’m off to cut off my own head and boil it in a pan of water. Should I leave the water in for anyone else?

@Liverpool_FC it almost looks deliberate they are so bad ^JD

@CJPLawleyCan honestly say I enjoyed twilight more than that tonight. And i’d rather set fire to my balls than watch twilight again

@CJPLawley An absolute fucking disgrace. Not just the result, but the performance. And it been coming for weeks.

@CJPLawley I need a large chocolate cake with lots of cream to cheer me up.

@CJPLawleyI’ve know goldfish with more awareness than insua

@empireofthekop I should have stayed in bed

As for me, I’m happy we ended without injury but I’m neither happy with the result, nor with the performance. I think I also do need a big chunk of chocolate to feel a bit better.

Before I go, here’s a tweet which says it in the best way @kopidol76 CROCK. OF. SHITE.

YNWA

-Amanda

amanda@empireofthekop.com