Posts Tagged ‘West Ham’
Finally, after months of speculation, John Henry has given Kenny Dalglish the Liverpool manager’s job permanently. He couldn’t have timed it any better. Since Kenny took over I believed it was just a formality that he would get the job, although initially I thought it would be best to confirm this in the summer. However, with European qualification now in our hands and our last home game against Tottenham on Sunday, it will give the team extra impetus. It is ingenious timing and truly deserved. The King is back.
There is someone else who deserves a mention though. Steve Clarke epitomises the role of unsung hero. Quietly going about his business behind the scenes, he has injected some tempo into the training regime and has undoubtedly played a massive part in the team’s good run. This is the man who Mourinho fought to keep at Chelsea, ultimately signing his own death warrant in the process. When Scolari was in the hot seat and Zola tempted Clarke to West Ham, not only did Scolari beg him to stay, but after he left, Chelsea’s form dipped and the manager was subsequently sacked. The man is clearly a top coach and has earned the respect of some of the biggest names in football.
You can’t underestimate how valuable a good number two is to a manager. Just like in life where, to quote an old saying, ‘behind every great man, there’s a great woman’ it’s true for football managers and their assistants. All the great managers had loyal assistants working alongside them. And when they did have to cope on their own they struggled. When Brian Clough moved to Leeds without the long serving Peter Taylor he failed. After Rafa Benitez parted ways with Paco Ayestarán Liverpool failed to win a trophy. And when Alex Ferguson failed to replace both Brian Kidd and Steve McClaren at Manchester United they finished the season empty-handed.
It was a superb decision by Kenny to appoint Steve Clark when he took charge. They are both Scottish. And whilst a lot has been said about the Liverpool team historically having a home grown, Scouse presence; over the years there has been a history of Scotsmen at the club during our most successful years.
There is a great chemistry between Dalglish and Clarke and they are both integral to future success but it’s inevitable that Kenny will receive most of the plaudits. He’s already a legend at the club for what he’s done on and off the pitch. He’s possibly one of only three men who are more revered than Steven Gerrard. The other two, Shankly and Paisley, are both dead now, but they made the club great.
Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool go together like bread and butter. Liverpool’s bread and butter was always the league title. Can Kenny take the club to our 19th title? Let’s not get carried away but if anyone can, he can.
We never saw this coming did we?
We start positively, we have chances, we don’t capitalize on them, then we are punished and we struggle to pick ourselves up. How many times have we seen this happen this season, and last for that matter?
Skrtel was his usual self getting booked on his first clumsy challenge, then was wondering the the six-yard box marking no one when Demba Ba came in a struck goal number 2. Reina conceded a very soft goal off Scotty Parker, Wilson was too casual on the ball to my liking and then Kelly came off and we had to reshape the team.
Gerrard, Meirelles, Kuyjt and Suarez were meaningless in the first half. We were never inventive and always high predictable. We never really threatened and we quite frankly looked like taking an afternoon off. As usual, Jamie Carragher was perhaps the only one putting some passion into it. Cole came on late in the first half, but had barely any effect on the game. Our second half attempt to get back into the game was sporadic, disorganized and frankly unconvincing.
Through the confusion, Suarez invented some tricks and fired a shot across goal which Johnson pushed into the net with 7 minutes of regular time to go. Then another soft goal let in by Reina.
This is not the way to get to Champions League football. This is one almighty step backward! This seems like a déjà-vu from last season, we had the numbers to make it, but did not because we dropped too many points on the home stretch!
Yes this is all frustration, and I had to let off some steam. What a setback!
Both Stevie G and Luis Suarez start against the Hammers.
Starting XI : Reina, Johnson, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Wilson, Lucas, Gerrard, Meireles, Kuyt, Suarez
Subs : Gulacsi, Kyrgiakos, Cole, Poulsen, Spearing, Maxi, Ngog.
On Twitter @empireofthekop
In a previous article I had written how the Reds need to go to war and fight the enemy in eleven epic battles that will decide whether Liverpool will be playing Champions League, Europa League, or simply Premier League football come next season.
There are 33 points at stake, all of which are up for grabs and all of which are achievable by the Reds. The first battle theatre will be at East London more precisely at Upton Park, home of struggling West Ham United.
Let’s follow the Reds through the final home stretch and see, game by game, how many of the points at stake we will be able to obtain to reach our goal. They will all be hard fought matches, because each team we play against will have their own agenda, and also because it is always prestigious to beat Liverpool Football Club.
With Sunderland loosing at Everton, and Bolton ending the encounter with Newcastle in a draw, our 6th place remains intact. We need to get closer to Chelsea and Spurs in the hope that they suffer setbacks and drop points in the final part of the season.
Good Luck Reds!
Following our victory against Sparta Prague we head down to London for an early kick off against West Ham.
The Hammers have been struggling this year and are in danger of relegation however they can still be a threat. Former Red Robbie Keane will likely not feature due to injury however they still posses enough fire power to cause us some trouble.
As far as we are concerned Kenny now has Luis Suarez available while Andy Carroll and Steven Gerrard might also feature. I have a feeling that Daniel Agger and Martin Kelly will be both rested as they both took knocks last Thursday.
Pepe Reina, Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Jamie Carragher, Fabio Aurelio, Steven Gerrard, Raul Merieles, Maxi Rodriguez, Dirk Kuyt, Luis Suarez
We will also feature another contest to win a “Anfield is my church” shirt from the EOTK Shop. Instructions will follow later.
Kick off is at 1:30PM GMT
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