Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea’
Phil Dowd will be the referee for the FA Cup final more…
The U18s beat Wolves more…
(Future looks bright)
Steve Rotheram has responded to Alan Davies more…
Aldo “Chelsea fans’ disrespecting of Hillsborough was a disgrace” more…
The LFC legend believes that Chelsea will be wary of Liverpool and they should be more…
John also urges Liverpool not to write off Carra more…
John W Henry returns to Liverpool to take care of some business more…
(Didn’t know that Fenway was celebrating 100 years)
Luis Suarez hopes for a change of luck more…
(Just can’t get enough)
Even Paul McCartney couldn’t get enough as he gave the Uruguayan a shout out in Montevideo more…
Kenny “We are not the finished article” more…
Our league game against Chelsea will be played on May 8th more…
(Twice in a week, bring them on)
Glen Johnson urges his team mates to stay focused on the league more…
Hamburg are also after Dirk Kuyt more…
(The Beatles, Kevin Keegan and now Dirk Kuyt? Ugggghhh)
There is more talk of Jackson Martinez being linked more…
(Humm, not too shabby)
Cruyff has rejected a link with us more…
Muamba can be back to playing in 6 months more…
And finally Balotelli is taking “Professionalism lessons” from Carlos Tevez more…
(Wow that is like John Terry doing marriage counselling)
On Twitter @empireofthekop
Our recent results have been inconsistent. There’s no doubting that. We just don’t score enough goals. Too many players seem to either not be up to playing for Liverpool or they’re taking a lot of time to settle in. Carroll still looks like he’s off the pace. Adam isn’t living up to what people expected of him when he signed for the club and even Enrique has struggled since January, losing the ball in dangerous areas on too many occasions. But we’re already guaranteed a place in Europe thanks to our Carling Cup victory and we have an excellent chance of getting to the final of the FA Cup.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been as frustrated as anyone watching us lose games against teams such as Arsenal, despite outplaying them. QPR is the latest example where we have dropped three points. And it isn’t good enough. But why do people keep calling for Kenny to go?
The man’s a legend. As a player, Kenny had more twists and turns than any title race. As a manager he’s experienced, loyal and he commands the respect of every player at the club. Maybe some of his critics are too young to remember Kenny the player. Because I doubt anyone who recalls his sensational first touch, magical runs and delicate chips in a red shirt would be so quick to call for his head.
We aren’t Chelsea. And we shouldn’t get into the habit of sacking managers every year. Unfortunately, it was probably the right time for Benitez to go. He was finding the situation with the previous owners intolerable and had become quite stubborn in some of his decision-making. Letting Alonso leave was a big mistake. Hodgson was out of his depth and should never have been given the job in the first place. But in Kenny we have a manager who has won the league with Liverpool as both a player and a manager. He even won it while managing Blackburn! Yet all I seem to hear is fans on phone-ins calling for him to be sacked.
The fact is, Liverpool’s squad isn’t good enough. I know some people will argue that Kenny, along with Commoli, bought many of the players but it’s hard to attract the best talent when we’re not in the Champions League. This was always going to be a transitional season and our best chance of taking teams by surprise in the league was ironically our lack of European football. Sadly the top four now seems beyond us for another year so we have to do our best, aim to win two cups this season and hope top players see the potential at the club. There have been lots of games during this campaign where the team has played the opposition off the park and we desperately need a goal scorer. Also, Suarez needs to add more goals to his game. A lot of people will jump to the defence of Suarez but I’m not slating him – his strike against Stoke was brilliant. I just think if we want to improve, get back into the Champions League and have a chance of winning the title we need all of the players to step up their game.
Messi has scored 54 goals for Barcelona this season. Now I’m not expecting Suarez to start scoring 50 plus goals a season but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a player of his quality to get 20. Torres (3 in 36) Carroll (5 in 31) and Suarez (10 in 36) have scored as many goals in a combined 103 league games as Messi has in his last 7. That’s phenomenal. Obviously Liverpool have no chance of signing Messi. Carroll is probably never going to be a twenty goal a season man. And I personally wouldn’t want Torres back. So we need Suarez to stay at the club and start scoring more. Thankfully he wants to stay. He’s still young and he will only get better. In him we have a player with similar qualities to Kenny – now we need a player alongside him with the game of Ian Rush. A young Robbie Fowler. That’s the level we need to get back to if we are to be up there challenging for the main trophies.
Some of the other players either have to dramatically improve, settle for being squad players or need to move on. But for me the only place Kenny should go is back to Wembley when he lifts more trophies with us.
There’s no doubt that we over paid for Carroll. Even his most ardent supporters would have to concede that. Eighteen months in Newcastle’s first team, only six of them in the Premiership, just didn’t deserve such a big price tag. Some people say money shouldn’t come into it, but sadly it does. When a player is bought for £35m, people expect instant results. Not potential. Unfortunately, I think Andy Carroll has struggled to live with that burden on his shoulders. Every game he plays, there is pressure on him. The media hype the situation up. Even Liverpool’s own website leads with headlines such as ‘Carroll starts’ on match days. This wouldn’t happen if we had paid say, £10m for him.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m very much of the opinion that modern day players should cope with the pressure. They are paid wages that are beyond the dreams of most people. They become instant millionaires and enjoy all the benefits their wealth brings with it, so they should handle the media attention. But it’s not Carroll’s fault that the club decided to splash so much money on him.
Personally I don’t think Liverpool should have bought him. I especially don’t think they should have paid anywhere near what they did. I’ve heard people say the club had no choice but to buy Carroll as they needed to appease the fans because of Torres’s departure. Apparently it was a statement of intent by the owners. They wanted to prove to fans that, unlike Hicks and Gillett, they were going to invest in the team. Well fair play but there were a few alternative ways of doing this during the January transfer window. They could have bought players in other positions, such as quality wingers. They could have bought a different striker, one who was proven. Or they could have refused to sell Torres until the summer. I hate comparing us to Manchester United but Ferguson sells players when it’s right for him and the club. Cristiano Ronaldo for example. I know Torres wasn’t playing well, but had we told him he could go if he wanted to in the summer and played him with Suarez for the last five months of the season he may have come good. Let’s not forget, Carroll was injured for most of his time with us last season anyway. Replacing Torres in the summer would have allowed us to take our time and buy the right player without being held to ransom.
Of course, this is easy to say in hindsight. I’m not having a go at the owners. I like them. I think they have a genuine vision of how they want to run the club. They are hungry for success. And they have proven track record of being successful. I just think they made a panic buy and it hasn’t paid off. In my opinion, Carroll isn’t worth £35m and he never will be, even if he starts scoring. But I believe there’s a difference between supporters and fans. And I believe we should be supporters.
I think Carroll’s performances in his last few games have been much better. He has a better goal to game ratio since he came to us than Torres has at Chelsea. He got an assist in the game against Manchester City, another in the one against United and he scored at Wolves. And although he missed a glorious chance to score against Tottenham, was his overall performance bad? I thought he finally showed that he can control a ball and was constantly putting the Tottenham defence under pressure. He was also unlucky not to score when he turned sharply in the box but was unfortunate to slip.
Andy Carroll will probably leave in the next transfer window. And based on his performances so far he should. He doesn’t look good enough for Liverpool. But I don’t think the club can afford to take a big financial hit on him. I know we got £50m for Torres but if we sell Carroll on the cheap then whatever way you look at it, we will have wasted that money. Unfortunately that has been the case for years. We let McManaman join Real Madrid for nothing a year after Barcelona had bid £12m for him. We let Owen go for £8m plus Nunez because we allowed him to run down his contract. And we sold Robbie Keane back to spurs for £12m six months after paying them £20m. A club is never going to thrive if it continues to lose money like that.
I’m just curious as to whether the majority of Liverpool supporters have already written Carroll off completely. I mean, if you were Kenny, would you sell him, even if we only get £15m for him? Would you really be prepared to lose £20m on him? Do you think he should be on the bench? Is his lack of form down to the fact that Downing hasn’t been putting quality balls into the box and until recently Gerrard was injured? Or do you think he deserves his place in the team ahead of other players who also haven’t performed great this season?
Carra captains the Reds as we take on Chelsea in the Carling Cup Quarter Final.
Liverpool Starting XI : Reina; Kelly, Carra, Coates, Enrique, Henderson, Spearing, Lucas, Maxi, Bellamy, Carroll.
Subs : Doni, Suarez, Kuyt, Downing, Adam, Skrtel, Flanagan
Chelsea Starting XI : Turnbull, Bosingwa, Alex, David Luiz, Bertrand, Lampard, Romeu, McEachran, Lukaku, Torres, Malouda
Subs : Hilario, Ivanovic, Ramires, Mata, Ferreira, Kalou, Anelka
Follow the game live on Twitter @empireofthekop
The headline is somewhat ironic seeing as Liverpool have had two main problems this season and one of them is not finishing the chances we’ve created. I keep reading about how we’ve made an impressive start to the season. Unfortunately we haven’t. We’ve made an okay start to the season. I know it’s much better than the last couple of years and we are a work in progress at the moment. This isn’t a criticism. It’s just my opinion based on what I’ve seen.
Of course we’ve had some good results, notably our 2-1 win away to Chelsea last weekend. However, it’s fair to say they were in the middle of a bad patch at the time, just like Arsenal were when we beat them earlier in the season. Now it’s true that we can only beat the teams we come up against and they were both valuable wins, but think how much better off we could have been if we had taken our chances. Games against Sunderland, Norwich and Man United at home – we really should have won. In all three of those games we were the better team but we could only manage 1-1 draws. And when we played away to Stoke we were also the stronger side but we slumped to a 1-0 defeat, while United and Chelsea both grabbed draws against them, despite poor performances.
One of the characteristics of a title winning side is grinding out results when you have an off day. Another is getting vital goals when you come up against a stubborn defence. These are things that Kenny Dalglish will be trying to instill into the players and it will take time. We have added a lot of new faces over the last twelve months and they will only get better the longer they play together. For some of them, they are starting to realize that they are expected to win every game and maybe they haven’t been used to that at their previous clubs. This isn’t arrogance on our fans’ part. It’s ambition. I’m always amused when rival fans accuse Liverpool supporters of living in the past. Of being unrealistic for hoping that we win the league. When you start settling for second best and don’t aim to be as good as you can be, that’s when you’re guaranteed to fail. And that’s why, without going overboard, we should celebrate our successes but aim to iron out our failings.
As I’ve said, one of those failings is not scoring enough. Suarez is pure class but he isn’t an out and out goal scorer. He’s more of a Kenny Dalglish than an Ian Rush. That’s not a bad thing but he could do with someone else to take the burden off him. Carroll is taking time to settle and isn’t that goal scorer. Kuyt, whilst bringing vital energy to the side, isn’t prolific in front of goal. Bellamy causes teams trouble with his pace and is perhaps unlucky not to have had more minutes on the pitch. But football is truly a squad game and we could do with another striker in January. If only we had a young Robbie Fowler, someone who has a knack of being in the right place at the right time. That’s the type of player we need to recruit to help us continue our improvement.
The other thing we need to address is conceding goals from set pieces. Countless times we have been caught out by headed goals when the opposition had no right to score. When we played Norwich, Holt beat Carragher, Skrtel and Reina to head home. And against United, Hernandez was left on his own with a free header. This isn’t a new problem, it’s been a weakness of ours for a while now and it does need addressing.
Football is a simple game. If we score more and concede less than the opposition then we’ll beat teams. Against Manchester City tomorrow we’ll have to be at our best to win. And if we do prevail, back-to-back victories against them and Chelsea could be a springboard for our season. But whatever the result, we should continue to be ambitious and crave the glory days. With United and City seemingly in a two horse race contesting the league, there are only two Champions League places left and we face stiff opposition from Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal for those places. So it’s not how we’ve started this season, but how we finish the rest of it that matters.
Great win yesterday more…
Kenny was happy more…
(I love to see Kenny smiling)
Charlie Adam dedicates the win to Luca Jones more…
(And so did Glen Johnson and Lucas)
One BS rumour is linking Dirk Kuyt with a move to LA more…
(Yep Los Angeles, I don’t Dirk is ready for Hollywood yet :-) )
Rio taunts us on Twitter more…
(Oh Shut Up!!)
On Twitter @empireofthekop
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