Bits and pieces, and more….!

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What’s this insistence of playing Carroll upfront and using him as an end-of-long-ball-distributor? Clearly it is not working! The Reds look sluggish, wasteful, and frankly boring when they play this system. When Suarez and Mereiles came on in yesterday’s game, we played ‘our’ game. Quick one-touch exchanges with players moving into empty spaces and making themselves available constantly. We may have been lucky, but we earned our luck because we were all over them! At times Carroll seems to be looking for bearings. A mention for Henderson: perhaps we should realize it is a clear case of easing him into the fray instead of exposing him to the firing line from the onset. He is trying, but is he rendering?

I have a feeling Raul Meireles is a bit pissed off for not being played from the first minute. Fitness issues aside, I am just as pissed and I am just a fan! He seemed to have an attitude when the Reds scored both goals against the Gunners. He knew the cameras where on him, and he was not exactly smiling was he? Okay, I know about the middle finger / Lucas / Frimpong joke!

People keep asking: but why is Aquilani not selected? Aquilani is not in Kenny’s plans! The reality is that Alberto Aquilani wants to play in the Serie A, plain and simple. Kenny is an intelligent person apart from being hugely charismatic, and he knows that he needs players with their heart in it and that their talent alone is not enough. Juve backed off the deal, Fiorentina apparently did not fit the bill, but we could see Aquaman join AC Milan (the Italian Red Devils) either on a season loan with option to buy or as an outright sale. Whatever happens, we are bound to lose our butt financially on this one: purchased for Stg 20 million, handful of games the first season, out on loan the second and eventually sold to AC Milan for Stg 6 or 7 million max! This was not good business!

Did you people know that Mr Thomas di Benedetto, the Boston-based millionaire who recently purchased 60% of AC Roma for Stg 52.5 million (almost as much as Chelsea paid for Torres!) is a partner and shareholder of the Fenway Sports Group? Yes, that’s right! So it seems we could well have infiltrated the Serie A through this deal. Who knows if we will be seeing more future dealings on the Liverpool/AC Roma front in the future?

Now I am one who firmly believes that Flanagan is one for the future. One to carry the Gerrard and Carragher legacy, but Martin Kelly (thoroughbred centre-back or not) is the one for the present. He shows the intensity and passion that is nothing short of the Carragher mould! Strong, concentrated, confident. Definitely a candidate for the Liverpool captain’s armband five years from now!

I am sure most of us are rarely aware of what is happening in the background, but most of us, me included have a question: what is happening with Cole, Poulsen, Kyrgiakos, Degen, Insua, Jones, Pacheco, Wilson, Ngog and Shelvey! From this list only Ngog was a sub for the Sunderland game, the others never made the squad! News anyone?


  1. Andy Carroll needs to have his arms surgically removed above the elbow so he’s not punished for accidentally brushing a hand against a defender. Liverpool have been denied two clear goals already this season because of that. Until he does that, he’ll continue to resemble Peter Crouch who seemed to spend most of his time at Liverpool tutting at the referee and still hasn’t learnt his lesson at Spurs.

    1. You made a comparison with Courchie and I tend to agree. However, tall players like Carroll and Crouch tend to give refs the impression whey are either tugging, pulling or hanging on to someone or other. What we really need to do is understand that Carroll has a marvelously powerful left foot which is as good if not even better than his head! I will support the crosses, I will not support the long balls.

    1. Apologies in that case Jevon. Guess I only saw the dark side! :-) May I add that Frimpong was dangerous from minute one and he seemed to be the spitting image of Song, bar the mohican/fake blond swap!

  2. Di Benedetto is no longer a part of FSG – he had to sell his shares prior to buying As Roma as you might have a conflict of interest.

    1. Well I got my info this week actually and not from Wikipedia! Do you have a link to substantiate that so that I can correct my article?

  3. Good piece again Tonio, I thought I seen the dark side to the finger gesture too. Kelly will be a big part of us getting to no.19 really impressed just as long as that hamstring holds up. Enrique is just as good on the other side an hearing Dann is top priority before the window ends so with Johnson coming back the defence may be sound an I feel kenny will have a suprise striker set up as another option to play along side Carroll. The one thing about the arsenal game I noticed is the luck we got with the goals, apart from them being down to 10 men an suarez with meireles being introduced. The kinda luck other teams have had thats helped them take the prem. YNWA.

    1. Thanks Ste. Luck always rewards the brave. Man Utd always carry luck but we must admit they never stop trying!

  4. there is one thing you must understand here.the first half was a typical english game played on the pitch.the job was to hassle arsenal from possession.Meireles is a good creative player but lacks the stamina to perform the full 90 minutes.Kenny was just utilizing what he had.Players lack the mental strength to create chances when tired.that is why Kenny brought those two in the second half.with fresh legs and brains they killed arsenal off.You cant say that the starting 11 were bad.I agree it was boring and they were trying too many long balls.but football is about tactics as much as style of play. and the beauty of yesterdays game was that we saw two sides of liverpool that: 1, the typical english hassling, 2, the pass and move liverpool team.once both these styles are integrated well and the players gel, We will be unstoppable.

    1. Carroll was ridiculously bad. He was flim-flamming around with no clear ideas.The header he made on goal that the keeper saved? Did you notice Carroll simply calmly turned away showing no emotion whatsoever as if he was in a simple training session? I am convinced that this guy was a waste of money. Where is the passion and drive? Nowhere! Compare that to that shown when Meireles and Suarez arrived on the pitch – enough said…….

    2. Adam. When Rafa came to Anfield Stevie’s game was touchline to touchline, penalty area to penalty area. Mereiles was the player that covered most ground hands down in the Premier League last year. He did have stamina issues I agree, but I’m sure Kenny can give him a role and a territorial area of the pitch he can control and command. Even so, the long-ball system, with or without Carroll, is not our game. We play that we are boring and inconclusive, we play our game and we send opposition in panic mode.

      1. i agree, toni.i would certainly love to see the pass and move game we had back in 2008-2009/ much as we would want that to happen, the starting 11 payers we had yesterday mostly comprised of the sort of players that would play a typical english game.even downing was a little to selfish for my one instant, he couldve passed the ball for carrol to set loose a left footer in the box.but he chose to shoot wide.I believe carrol is too a fantastic worked for him in newcastle and had plenty of goals last season.but for the game yesterday, any player wouldve been frustrated when decisions go the opposite way.i say he needs a few more games with suarez+kuyt+meireles. i do believe Kenny aint done ticking. YNWA toni

        1. Thanks Adam. I think that now with Downing, Carroll, Adam and Gerrard (when back) we have some fantastic shooters of the ball and that is an aspect that will be exploited for sure.

  5. I have my doubts about Carol, when is he gonna start scoring on a regular basis? Suarez came on and scored. Meireles should have started if Kenny is not careful he could lose him. I agree long ball up to Carol is not working.

      1. Sorry Antoine i have to agree with Marco. We seem to have a diffrent team from when Carrol is on the pitch compared to when Suarez is on.

        When Carrol is on, the play is scrapy long ball play. When Suarez is on its short sharp play. I think KD needs to play them both together. It will provide more options to the lads in Midfield.

        But its early days and were still not fully match fit. Im sure it will all click in to place.

        On the plus side were all ready 3 point better of than last season. YNWA.

        With regards to the dead wood at the club Tonio. It cant be good for morale in training to have all these sulking players who are not getting picked. We havent got European football this year yet we have this huge squad.We dont need it. There is only 10 days untill the transfer window. I havnt even heard a rumour apart from Degan to QPR.

        Id say cut our losses and start releasing players.

        1. Sean, I really do not like the ‘dead-wood’ cliche. For me personally, these remain capital assets and current expenditure and I worry more from the financial side than them sulking in training. I believe players can still be loaned out after the window closes anyways.

          1. Even Sunday league players sulk when there not getting picked and it does create a bad atmosphere in training.

            After last season we need to keep morale strong. We need a team of players that support each other.

    1. Marco, someone here will confirm that Crouchie took 18 games or so (if i remember correctly) before breaking his duck. Carroll has done that. It’s a question of synergy and gelling the team to make the most of his aerial and shooting power. That is what we need to work on.

  6. Would love to see Carroll do well but the same images seem to crop up again. When Carroll was on there seemed to be more crossing from the flanks and long balls. No rhythm in our play in the final third. The match seemed lacking in any excitement. Once Suarez and Mierles came on it all changed in to pass and move. More easier on the eye and produced the winning goals. Admittedly we had an extra man but the difference for me was all too clear yet again.

  7. What’s with negativity after won the last game? Stupid! While Andy not perfect but deffo he’s better than crouchie handling the long ball (what I mean of handling is got the long ball with his head and successfully pass to his teammate)and stronger. You can’t be blind to see how hard working the Arsenal defenders were to kept him busy. It’s not he’s bad but the defenders were quite good. Arsenal (at least in the first half) was good at defense, very good indeed and that’s the reason why we can’t get a goal at the first half. It’s not Carroll fault or any players fault. We played at Arsenal home, the last time we won before at Arsenal home was 2000 (11 long years). The crowd was loud unlike Anfield when we faced Sunderland and Valencia (unusually quiet, complacency or nervous, perhaps?).

    The game was intense unlike Sunderland games (it’s not because Sunderland played really good) and Valencia game (It’s not because Valencia played better) when we played bad, but the opponents were worse. Arsenal played good but we were better this time.

    At least, in these two games became evident to proved that Enrique and Downing are quality signings. Adam and Henderson, not so, but well give them 5-7 games.

    I don’t know about you but the season has just begun (only 2 games so far), and there’s plenty opportunities for the rest of the team, including Aquilani to start and proves he’s worth.

    This is what the big club used to. Have big team members, a lot to choose for, and isn’t that just good for the team? Plenty of option on midfield and attacking system (long ball versus latinos style / etc) give us creativity and element of surprise for the opponent.

    1. Hey Henry! No negativity dude, we just express our thoughts based on what we see. Vermaelen had a field day with Carroll but not because Andy is not up to it, its because that system is not our style of play. You need to forget Aquilani friend. He will end up in the Serie A whether we like it or not. We need to be better and play our game.

      1. I agree with Tonio. It’s just that everybody can see that this long (and high)passing is definetely not our style. I think I may be right when I say that we hope Kenny and the players can see this as well.

        And I think Meireles has the stamina to play 90 minutes, or at least longer than yesterday. He gives the forwards good contribution. His passing quote seems to be better than Adam’s and he’s also capeable of playing exact long passes like Adam. Prove: Watch his assist to Carroll’s stunning goal against ManCity last season.

        1. Do not mistake objectivity for negativity. I am a realistic person and having supported the Reds since the mid-70’s I don’t tend to get easily carried away! There is much work to be done and lest we forget we caught Arsenal on the wrong foot. I write about what I see, not copy what other’s write.

          1. neg·a·tive (ng-tv)
            a. Expressing, containing, or consisting of a negation, refusal, or denial: gave a negative answer to our request.
            b. Indicating opposition or resistance: a negative reaction to the new advertising campaign.
            2. Lacking positive or constructive features, especially:
            a. Unpleasant; disagreeable: had a negative experience on his first job.
            b. Gloomy; pessimistic: a negative outlook.
            c. Unfavorable or detrimental: a negative review; a negative effect on the child’s development.
            d. Hostile or disparaging; malicious: ran a negative campaign against her opponent.

            Now, you can see that this post contain negativity. I’m not saying that it’s bad to be negative, but it is negative nevertheless. :)
            As a constructive criticm, a little bit negativity is needed. :)

  8. When I was younger I remember Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan buying big names. But they had to spend a bit of time in the reserves and come into the first team gradually. Now that was introducing players into a winning team where you had the luxury of time. Nowadays we want (need?) a bit of success much sooner and so we start out season with four new signings from the start. Realistically what are the chances of all of them gelling from game 1? It’s going to take time if we do it this way. We just have to accept that. We also have to be patient with our youngest players. We as fans need to “nurture” them and give them the support and encouragement then need. Just as you would a family member.

    From what I have seen of JH there is potential there. He is young, fit and full of energy. Many of his further strengths haven’t developed. I did feel he looked a little in awe of the BIG game scenario both yesterday and in the opening match. For that reason it might be an idea to give him some time in the reserves then on the bench and then into the team. I’m sure he’ll come good.

    Carroll is another young one with a huge price tag. Yes it was more than he was worth and perhaps yes it was slightly a forced hand after FT left us but he’s here now. The first thing he needs to do is keep himself out of trouble, which seems to be the case. Then he has to start thinking on the pitch. Yes he’s a big lad but hes not too shabby in a 10 yard sprint and he’s strong on the ball. He needs to believe that he can take on a player turn move etc. Not just a target man. He has people around him to learn from :Kuyt, suraez etc so hes all set.

    Let’s see….One thing I do know is that KK knows far better than me so if anyone can get the best out this team he can. Yesterday proved that.


  9. Hi there Tonio,
    Great read and very much to the point. I am still on cloud nine, went to the match yesterday and it was simply fantastic to see the look of utter pain & anguish on the Arsenal fans’ faces & I don’t normally get a kick from this other than with manure.
    These cocky fucking jokers ( some of my friends included ) have been looking down at us as more of an irritation than a threat for a number of years even singing “boring boring Liverpool”!! So it felt really good to stuff them in their own ground.
    You are absolutely right with Andy on, one did not really get the impression that we would be getting much more than a draw, the whole dynamism changed with LS & RM coming on, we looked like the Liverpool of late 70s & 80s (quick interchange, pass into space with players coming onto …..)- Shame it was only for s short time.
    I hope & say;
    1 – I hope RM does not leave, he is a very clever player, the runs he makes off the ball are not picked up by the TV cameras, you only see those when you watch a live match.
    2 – LS is world class and I guess the fitter he gets the more minutes he will get, shame we cannot get his compatriot Forlan on loan ( a ready made pair on the same wavelength ).
    3 – Henderson as you say needs to be gradually introduced, there are others out there who currently perform better.
    4 -Freakpong should have been done for GBH for his tackle on Lucas which was a straight red. In any case he should have been off for TWO yellows prior to his sending off!
    5 – As for the rest of the squad players you mention I hope their professional pride would drive them to look on other pastures and not simply collect their 90-110k weekly pay package whilst the rest of struggle to pay the bills including going to matches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    1. Hey Sharde, lucky you! :-)
      It seems to me that Dalglish and Clarke are still trying to find the right recipe. What we must avoid doing is taking risks which lead us to draw games at home against the likes of Sunderland. We need to win our home game and be consistent away. Winning games against the likes of Arsenal at The Emirates is what makes the difference in quality and what brings you nearer to the honours. I am sure you agree!

      1. Absolutely agree, just watched Bolton V City and I guess City fully execute the point you raise
        Thanks for taking the time to write your article & please keep it up.

  10. very good article Carrol seems to be better off crouchie when we had him but we all know that once carrol is up there the style gets too predictable and as we all know that many centre halves in premier league are thoroughly trained on how to nullify long balls in the air as some clubs style of play is hoof and puff the ball..if we wanna be successful we should adopt one quick pass and move the ball then if tactics needs to be changed in the second half we can start those long balls but not to start the game with or maybe kk is doing to preserve the strength of the players in the first half..carrol needs to adapt himself to the quick pass and move,Adam was woeful yesterday he’s deliveries was rubbish he’s positioning was poor in the middle of the park hardly reads the game well and was anonymous at some point i think Adam shouldnt be the only player taking set plays i give credit to Lucas for his commitment and energy he’s really grown in stature and i could see him turning into a top class player,Henderson worked his socks off but not an intelligent player that could play right behind the striker no creativity imagine if we were a goal down and we were chasing the game i am not gonna see anyway he’s input could unlock the opponent defense either by scoring himself or creating for the striker..i m saddened to read on espn that Aquilani had admitted he’s close to joining Ac Milan its a big shame we are loosing a player of his quality i think KK should have done better in terms of retaining him but reverse is the case,when Torress wanted to leave KK tried his best retaining him although Torress was fans favorite and i believe if KK persuades or convinces Aquilani to stay we would be a force to reckon with.Raul Miereles isnt match fit yet so he cant start games till he’s fully fit but i sense he’s sulking maybe because of his wages or otherwise..

  11. I think Carroll’s (and the teams) problems start with the midfield. Way too often we lob the ball forward from the center third – that’s on the midfielders. They get the mentality that we must score from Andy’s head, instead of just trying to create the best chances.
    The reason we looked to great when Carroll came off was because Suarez came on and the mentality changed. With Luis the idea is always to get it to his feet and that suits our style much better.
    Of course there is no reason that we can’t do that when Carroll is in the game as well. Crosses are fine from the top of pitch, but the bulk of our build up should be quick pass and move.

    1. Cia it’s really not about the mentality in this case but about the way we play. The tendency from what we have seen is that when Carroll is on, everyone is looking for him, our opponents know that and he is given a relentless marking. Eight times out of ten, Vermaelen anticipated our big lad yesterday! With Suarez on and Carroll off we give our game more tempo and leave less reference points for our opponents, making it a tad easier to break their defence.

  12. Hey Tonio, I think the biggest problem with Carroll is he’s not particularly mobile. He does well with ball to feet or attacking it in the air, not running onto it. Vermaelen’s anticipation makes up for his lack of height as a centre back, you mix the two and the result is yesterday’s underperformance. Carroll will have better days, but for the moment, if the defence are going to keep lumping it to him, best concentrate on knockdowns and layoffs. If he’s getting proper service and support from midfield, that is his time to shine!

  13. Ah Tonio. My fav columnist. Why don’t you write more often? Love your articles. Anyway, I believe it would work better if Carroll is played just behind Suarez and Kuyt. I don’t think he’s comfortable leading the line coz the attention will be focussed on him. Hence, the predictability of crosses coming in. It’s also unnecessary to play Carroll week in in week out in the first eleven. He could come in as an impact player. It all depends on tactics and type of opponents faced. Never mind his price tag. He had no control over that. The most important thing is to play the right players at the right time.

  14. The fact is kenny wants to get rid of most of the players disturbing his british craps excluding suarez and jose,,,how on earth wud u sell RM and AA this time around…listen fans when SG is back hendo wil still be in the 1st 11 squad{may be r.w}….ITS A TOTAL DISGRACE THAT WE ARE SELLING QUALITIES AND WE ARE LEAVING CRAPS LIKE J.C,C.P,J.H in the first team…do u guyz think hendo is better than jay,aqua,raul,kuyt and maxi?…. MR KENNY DAGLISH THIS IS UNFAIR TRY AND GIVE AQUA A CHANCE

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