Tottenham 0, Liverpool 5 – 15th December 2013

Well, it doesn’t get much better than that does it? From someone who was fortunate enough to be in The Kop for the famous 7-0 victory against the Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa revitalised Tottenham back in 1978, the victory yesterday was up there with the 7-0 in terms of Liverpool’s overall performance and dominance.

The big question really is, how was it only 5-0? Liverpool absolutely battered Tottenham from start to finish. Our first half performance was brilliant and really our 2-0 lead should have been 4 or 5 at half-time. So many candidates for man of the match but that accolade quite rightly went to Jordan Henderson, who arguably had his best game in a Liverpool shirt.

I’ve been saying all season that Henderson should play the central role in the middle three in midfield as he has the legs to get box to box. Yesterday’s performance clearly showed his incredible work rate and in the absence of Steven Gerrard, he seemed to thrive on the added responsibility of bossing the game. He dominated the midfield and was ably assisted by Lucas and Allen in the middle along side him and in front of him Suarez, Coutinho and Sterling. The interchanging and the fluidity was incredible to watch at times. A good friend of mine is a Sunderland fan and he is always asking how Hendo is playing as all Sunderland fans still rate him very highly and want him to do well at Anfield. He said to me once that a Sunderland fan he knew said that 70% of the earth is covered by water and that Henderson will cover the rest.

Maybe lost in the fantastic attacking display was the fact we managed to keep a clean sheet. We have been leaking some daft goals recently but it was just as satisfying to see Simon Mignolet and the back four in front of him repel anything that Tottenham attempted. A special mention to young Jon Flanagan, who gave another solid defensive display and chipped in with that brilliant finish for our third goal. And didn’t he just enjoy scoring that goal. Well done, young Jon!!

Much has been made of the three tough December away fixtures and make no mistake White Hart Lane is a difficult place to go to so to negotiate the first of our three massive away fixtures so emphatically puts in good stead for first Cardiff at Anfield next Saturday, then a visit to the free-scoring Man City at Eastlands, followed by a trip to Stamford Bridge.

If we can get to January still in the top four then a few astute signings in the January transfer window will make things very interesting indeed.


The Season So Far – The Reds Wobble In November

Only three league fixtures again due to quite meaningless friendly internationals. Our return from these three fixtures was an under par four out of nine. We registered a comfortable 4-0 win against struggling Fulham, where again Luis Suarez came up trumps with a couple of goals.

However it was in the games against the so-called big teams that we struggled in one and grabbed a late equaliser for a point in the other. With massive away games coming up against Tottenham Hotspur, Man City and Chelsea in December we really need to be looking for a decent return of points against our closest rivals if we are to have any realistic thoughts of a top four finish.

The 2-0 defeat to Arsenal was very disappointing in that we were in truth we were totally outplayed for large parts of the game. We did have a smattering of chances and half chances but you got the feeling that if we did get a goal then Arsenal would slip into a higher gear and put daylight between us again.

As ever the Merseyside derby was a feisty, full-blooded affair with both sides really going at it and both feeling that they deserved the victory. On reflection a draw was a fair result and even though Liverpool led on two occasions, the draw was a point gained rather than two lost as Daniel Sturridge’s 89th minute headed equaliser ensured that we did not come away from Goodison Park empty handed.

Make no mistake this is one good Everton side. Roberto Martinez has not unsurprisingly got them playing a very attractive brand of football and his transfer dealings in the last hour or so of the last transfer window was absolutely brilliant. To get Romelu Lukaku on loan for a season was a masterstroke.

Anyway, we are still within touching distance of the top places but we do have a very daunting looking Christmas schedule with those tough away games. Let’s hope we can pick up some points from our main rivals and move into January, when the transfer window opens, still in the top four.


The Season So Far – October Sees Us Continue Impressive Start

Only three games in October due to internationals. We managed to get seven points out of a possible nine, but really it should have been nine out of nine. Ignoring the fact that Newcastle were down to ten men for much of the game, the normal lethal Daniel Sturridge missed a gilt-edged chance near the end. A chance he would normally put away with ease. A peach of a ball from Stevie G was perfect for Sturridge to finish the Geordies off but he got himself into a right tangle and the chance was gone.

The other two games in the month returned maximum points. Home games against Crystal Palace and West Brom provided us with a 3-1 and 4-1 victories respectively.

The West Brom game in particular provided all Liverpool fans with yet another episode of the Luis Suarez show. Sure enough he was well out of order in the summer with all the transfer shenanigans but once he returned to the fold he has certainly stepped up to the plate. Some pundits and observers thought (hoped!!) that his heart wasn’t in it and his head was elsewhere and that he would turn in “Torres-esque, won’t try a leg performances.” How wrong has everyone been though. Suarez has been absolutely magnificent.

The West Brom game saw him score two astonishing goals that quite frankly only he could score. Now, not unsurprisingly, he subsequently went on to complete his hat-trick in the second half.

The big beaming smile on his face also suggests that he is now a player enjoying his football and enjoying the platform that he is performing on. Long may it continue!!

Liverpool vs West Bromwich 4-1 Luis Suarez Superb Hattrick! 26-10-2013Liverpool vs West Bromwich 4-1 Luis Suarez Superb Hattrick! 26-10-2013
Liverpool vs West Bromwich 4-1 Luis Suarez Superb Hattrick! 26-10-2013.

 

 

The Season So Far – September At A Glance

The month of September was a bit up and down in terms of results overall. However up and down it was though amongst the “ups”was a tremendous 1-0 victory against the old foe from down the East Lancs Road – Manchester United. Yet another Daniel Sturridge goal on 1st September saw us maintain our 100% winning start to the campaign, but more importantly than the statistics, registering a win against Man Utd is always special.

Maybe just as significant as the victory was witnessing how ordinary Man Utd looked. Over the last few years the Man Utd juggernaut has had an air of invincibility about it with their side littered with so many stars and match winners. This current Utd side however does not seem to strike too much fear though. Only time will tell how their season is to pan out. Was Fergie right to bail out when he did?

We then had the international break followed by a trip to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City. Now, what is it about former players facing their previous clubs? Step forward one Jonjo Shelvey.

I know it happens to most teams but when it happens to your team it seems to stick in your mind more. For instance, I remember Graeme Souness selling Dean Saunders to Aston Villa during the week before we played them at Villa Park. And sure enough it was scripted for “Deano” to score and score he did as we went down to a 4-2 defeat with Saunders scoring two (don’t mention “Rocket Ronnie” Rosenthal’s sitter that he missed!). Saunders also scored against us at Anfield at the Kop end in the next game against Villa. Like many players nowadays he did not celebrate scoring against his former team out of respect for his former employers.

Well against us Jonjo Shelvey initially came back to haunt us then proceeded to become our chief provider as he gifted two goals. He opened the scoring for Swansea to record his first competitive goal for the Swans but then his back pass straight to the lethal Daniel Sturridge and his nicely weighted pass to Victor Moses presented us with a 2-1 lead. We didn’t get a kick in the second half and it was no surprise when Shelvey was involved in the equaliser. A 2-2 draw – a point gained or two points lost?

Next up was Southampton at Anfield. The best we can say about a 0-1 reversal is that we were awful, Southampton were good and full value for their win.

Any game against Man Utd is a big occasion, but our Capital One cup tie against them at Old Trafford (are they ever drawn away in Cup matches??) had an extra edge to it as it saw the return of one special player….take centre stage Mr Luis Suarez. We lost the game 1-0 but ask any Reds fan if he would swap the Cup tie result with the three points we got from in the league and the answer would be an emphatic “No”, give us the three points every time.

Sunderland away on the 29th September really did herald the return of the mercurial Luis Suarez as we ran out comfortable 3-1 winners. Suarez grabbed two goals while, no surprise, Daniel Sturridge scored the other.

Although the season is still in its infancy we have already seen enough to suggest our campaign may well be a lot better than last season. Tougher tests ahead but suffice to say we are looking a more polished, accomplished team and seem to have the desire and hunger about us that all successful teams should possess. We are so lucky to have the goal threats of both Suarez and Sturridge but lets not forget the impact of all of the other members of our squad, in particular Simon Mignolet who seems to have more “proper saves” as I call them in two months than Pepe Reina made in three years. Sorry Pepe, not really having a go just pointing out that Mignolet for me is a far better keeper.

Anyway, onwards and upwards to October……

The Season So Far – A Review Of How We Fared In August

The month of August saw the completion of our pre-season friendlies when we took on Olympiacos, Valerenga and Celtic. All three games resulted in victories thereby completing a very successful pre-season campaign where we played seven and won all seven.

The early signs were that our new signings, Simon Mignolet, Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto, Kolo Toure had settled in well, especially Aspas who managed to find the net on a regular basis.

The league season started in earnest on 17th August when we took on Stoke City in our season curtain raiser at Anfield. In previous seasons, Stoke have proved to be difficult opponents. This season was no exception. Liverpool managed to secure a narrow 1-0 win courtesy of a Daniel Sturridge strike in the first half at the Anfield Road end, and a last minute penalty save by new signing Simon Mignolet in the same goal. The penalty save was greeted by euphoric celebrations normally reserved for goal winning exploits.

Onto Villa Park next on the 24th August, where again a Daniel Sturridge virtuoso strike and more Simon Mignolet heroics ensured another 1-0 win. So far, so good with six out of six points. The purists were not overly excited however as the football so far was not the free flowing, exciting brand that has become a Brendan Rodgers template.

But no-one was complaining though as one of the criticisms levelled at Liverpool in recent years was their inability to “win ugly”. How many times have Man Utd and other successful teams not played well but still managed to grind out a 1-0 win.

Early days, but the first impressions are encouraging without getting too carried away.

Next up was a Capital One Cup encounter with lower league opposition Notts County from Division One. On paper this should have been a formality, but how many times have we felt that only to come unstuck. Again it was a case of “will the real Liverpool please stand up!!”

We coasted to a 2-0 lead with some great football to boot but then, the not so unexpected, when again we seemed to implode against a lower league club and to their great credit, Notts County pulled it back to 2-2. However, two extra-time goals by Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge saw us make a safely (ish) passage into round three.

Although the season was still in its infancy it is already clear that Daniel Sturridge looks as though he will carry on where he left off last season…scoring goals!!

As many have said, all he ever wanted was to be at a club where he was appreciated and given a fair crack of the whip. He has certainly been given a chance at Anfield and he is most definitely appreciated and hasn’t he repaid that faith shown in him with some quite stunning performances and goals. There is clearly a lot to come from young Daniel and it is fair to say that our gain is most definitely Chelsea’s loss.

Onto September where two fixtures stood out from the others. Two games against our old foes from down the East Lancs Road….Man Utd. What will September bring us??

On This Day – 4th July 2007

The day after Luis Garcia departed, Liverpool introduced fellow Spaniard, Fernando Torres as their new £20.2m striker. Torres signed from Atletico Madrid and soon became a Kop icon with his goal scoring exploits. He scored 33 goals in 46 appearances in his first season, followed by 48 goals in 94 games over the next two and a half seasons before Torres moved onto Chelsea in January 2011 for a remarkable £50m. Here is a short video of his goals in a Liverpool shirt…….

Fernando Torres - Best Goals | Liverpool 2007/2011Fernando Torres – Best Goals | Liverpool 2007/2011 Fernando Torres – Best Goals | Liverpool 2007/2011 Presented by Irakliy Beraya: http://www.youtube.com/user/IrakliyBeraya Song: Coldplay – Charlie Brown.

On This Day – 3rd July 2007

Fans favourite Luis Garcia (“he drinks Sangria…he came from Barca to bring us joy. He’s 5 foot 7, of  football heaven, please don’t take our Luis away!!”) leaves Liverpool to rejoin Atletico Madrid. He joined Liverpool in August 2004 as one of Rafa Benitez’s first signings for £6m. He not only went onto become a fans favourite but also one of Rafa’s key signings.

Who could forget his winning goal against Chelsea in the never to be forgotten Champions League semi-final at Anfield in 2005. And a year later against the same opposition, his stunning volley at Old Trafford in the semi-final of the FA Cup.

Thanks for the memories Luis…..no doubt all Kopites will raise a glass of Sangria to salute you and what you achieved for this club!!

Luis García - The MemoriesLuis García – The Memories
A small video about everybodys favorite red spaniard Uncut version: https://vimeo.com/46493585.

 

 

On This Day-2nd June 1957

Today’s Match Of The Day pundit and former Reds classy centre-half, Mark Lawrenson was born in Preston. He signed for Liverpool from Brighton for £900,000 in 1981. Lawrenson would go on to win many honours while at Liverpool, including and perhaps most significantly, the European Cup in 1984, when Liverpool beat Roma in their own stadium, the Stadio Olimpico.

As well as this major triumph, Lawrenson also won five League titles, three League Cups, two Charity Shields and one FA Cup during his glittering Anfield career.

Although born in Preston, Lawrenson played many times for the Republic of Ireland by virtue of his grandfather being born in Waterford.

You can read more about Mark Lawrenson below…..

Mark Lawrenson
Mark Thomas Lawrenson (born 2 June 1957) is a former professional football er, a defender in the Liverpool and Ireland football teams of

He had a short, unsuccessful spell in football management when he managed Oxford United…

Oxford United F.C.
Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson was named as Oxford’s new manager, but was unable to prevent relegation to the Second Division

Although he will be best remembered as a classy centre-back in that formidable pairing with fellow Match Of The Day pundit,  Alan Hansen, Lawrenson also played in midfield or at full-back on occasions. Take a look at some of Lawrenson’s best moments in a red shirt….

Liverpool Legend - Mark LawrensonLiverpool Legend – Mark Lawrenson
Liverpool Legend – Mark Lawrenson.

 

 

 

 

Luis Suarez-What An Insult

This latest Luis Suare can only have one outcome it would seem and that is the imminent departure from the Fields Of Anfield Road for the Uruguayan international. His comments that the club has not supported him is quite staggering and as the article below suggests, an insult. Only a few weeks ago he was pouring out his love for everything Scouse, while still being on Merseyside at the time of course. No sooner he steps off the plane back in his homeland and he is jumping in front of the cameras telling the world how he has been let down etc…etc…

Why wasn’t he man enough to sit in front of the cameras on LFC TV and say the things he said yesterday. We all know why don’t we. It is because he is not man enough. The club’s initial “Not For Sale” is obviously just a front for PR purposes. I would imagine that there are plenty of people within the walls of Anfield who were just as staggered as all fans were yesterday with his public declaration of “nobody loves me” and “no-one supported me”.

The club and the fans have bent over backwards time and time again….and time and time again…

All Liverpool fans I spoke to yesterday were all of the same mind. Get rid of him as soon as we can and use that money sensibly for a further team rebuild. £40m will come in very handy, if indeed the fee will be £40m. We may get more. If Real Madrid “officially” come in with a bid, then it would be great to ask for a player or two in part exchange. Wouldn’t it be great to get Xabi Alonso back.

As for replacements, we can test Real Madrid to see if we can get Benzema or Higuain. For me though, as Chelsea still owe us £15m for Torres apparently, I would ask them for Lukaku. That would still leave us with the £40m Suarez money (or £30m if we get Alonso…or what about Modric..in part exchange.

Well thanks for the memories as a player Luis. There is no doubt he is one of the best players ever to grace the Fields Of Anfield Road, but it is now time to see the back of him.

Luis Suarez: An Insult to Liverpool Football Club | CaughtOffside
http://www.caughtoffside.com/
Uruguayan’s behaviour in marked contrast to the adoration expounded towards the striker from the Anfield faithful. Check in to Transfer Window: Done Deal.

 

Happy Anniversary-Istanbul 25th May 2005

Was it really 8 years ago? Where has that time gone. Like so many Liverpool fans today I have swapped “Happy Anniversary” text messages as we all remember that sensational night at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul. Mind you, let’s not forget the 1977 European Cup Final as well as it is the anniversary of that stunning win as well.

So, what has happened to the stars of that incredible final….the link below provides some information…

@livlova

Istanbul 2005: Where are they now? – Liverpool FC http://t.co/txQCQGZSwV via @lfc

You can never tired of watching the highlights again…and again…and again….can you?

Champions League Final istanbul 2005 (25-05-05) Milan -Liverpool YNWAChampions League Final istanbul 2005 (25-05-05) Milan – Liverpool YNWA

So many Liverpool fans had sore heads the following day…or should that be days!! The celebrations not unsurprisingly were wild….

Istanbul - May 2005 - Liverpool v Milan - The Day After - Taksim Square Pub .mpgIstanbul – May 2005 – Liverpool v Milan – The Day After – Taksim Square Pub .mpg
The Day After.

A truly great final and a truly great day overall. Let’s hope it’s not too long before we enjoy another day like this one.