Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hear, Hear!

Stumbled upon the Football365 forums after Chelsea struggled again. There's a Chelsea fan on board and look what he wrote!

Chelsea have an injury crisis with two of their biggest champions unavailable due to bad injuries. Also why was that Irish c**t never banned for his life threatening challenge of Cech. United haven't had a single injury all damn season and that is the only reason they are in such good form. I don't count this season personally I think we should rebuild in the summer and concentrate on the next campaign.

Topic? "The Premiership should be void this season". Wow, alot of managers will be happy to hear that...

Hard Fought Victory At Rain Soaked Lane

Luis Garcia Seals All 3 Points

English Premiership

Tottenham 0 - 1 LIVERPOOL

LIV - Luis Garcia (45min);


Liverpool weathered the storm just like the one that came down on White Hart Lane when they held on to a Luis Garcia goal just before half time to halt Tottenham's run of 12 games unbeaten at home record. Like many other Liverpool fans, I heaved a huge sigh of relief. For the last 15 minutes, we're bombarded left, right and centre by Spurs with their long ball tactics and we managed to dug in and hold on to the slender lead.

Jamie Carragher and his defence were commendable. They stood firm in face of the aerial threat that came from players like Dimitar Berbatov and Mido. The constant bombardment of long balls into the Liverpool penalty box were mostly dealt with properly although there were a few scares here and there.

Steve Finnan was forced to head against his own bar but otherwise, put up with a brilliant performance at the right back slot. He provided much width and I for one, thought his crossing ability has improved tremendously.

Earlier on, Mido spared Liverpool when he skyrocketed a one on one chance presented to him. Against a top side, it was a costly miss and soon, Liverpool punished them as they seemed to have learned their lesson.

Didier Zokora dilly dallied with the ball and he was caught out of possesion by a brilliant Steven Gerrard. He played a one-two with Dirk Kuyt and placed the ball in the path of Luis Garcia who didn't strike the ball cleanly, but managed to crept under the legs of Paul Robinson. That was an important goal just before half time and Liverpool drew confidence.

Liverpool controlled the first half well and restricted Spurs to only a couple of half chances. The passing was good with Gerrard and Alonso doing well in the middle and Craig Bellamy in his usual all out running style. Spurs meanwhile were sloppy in their passing and were caught out on a couple of times with Liverpool midfielders intercepting their passes.

Second half was altogether a different case with Spurs pinning Liverpool back into their own half. With Craig Bellamy withdrawn after picking up a slight knock, the team lacked the pace to trouble the Tottenham defence when we had the chance to counter-attack.

With Spurs bringing on the dangerous and on-form Dimitar Berbatov and former Reds player, Danny Murphy, they started to threaten. The sheer pace and power of Berbatov causes some problems to the Liverpool defence with Dan Agger struggling a bit with his body strength.

But somehow Liverpool remained composed, didn't lose concentration and held on to an important win which will take us to fourth place temporarily. This is what I talk about being able to bounce back from setbacks and this showing is an encouraging one. We showed plenty of character and resilience to hang on and defended together as a team.

Steven Gerrard was particularly impressive with his disciplined performance. He played as an attacking midfielder but tracked back diligently to stop the Spurs midfield. Perhaps being commended with the MBE (Member of the British Empire), he was inspired and put up a good show.

But to be honest, the whole team deserve the praise and we can safely say we deserved all 3 points. Hard earned it was in the rain soaked stadium. It was a good end to our campaign in the year of 2006 and we can look back and smile a little. But tough fights ahead and the players must remain focused.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Drogballs' 2006 Review Part 6 - New Season Beckons


McClaren Takes Over

Former Middlesbrough manager, Steve McClaren took over the helm of Sven as England manager despite the majority of England fan disagreeing with the appointment. Now you know why...

Then He Appoints Terry As Captain

Well, I can't tell whether is it a mistake or not, but just as I've objected the appointment earlier, I still think Gerrard would be the better choice. Whatever it is, I don't really give a damn...

First Silverware In The Bag

Liverpool secured the first silverware of the season by defeating Chelsea at the FA Community Shield. Riise and Crouch scored the goals for Liverpool while that 30 million flop Shevchenko managed to put one past Reina.

Flying The Kuyt

Well, his name is still pronounced as 'Kowt' if you wonder. The Dutch striker joined the ranks as a poacher and also a worker in the team. So far, he has been good and notched up some goals. But still need to do better in the finishing department.

Disappointing Start To The 06/07 Premiership

I remembered I was so excited to see the Reds (or yellow) running out for the first game of the Premiership. But all we've got in the end was massive disappointment. The tradition of Liverpool starting the season slowly came back to haunt us again. The fact that we're up against the newcomer, Sheffield United might sound like we're in for a walkover but it was certainly not so. As the new kids on the block, they tried their best to impress and wanted to show what they're made of. Liverpool were their victim and we drew 1-1 with a piece of luck.

Then it was Everton. The painful defeat at Goodison Park. 3-0 it was and the season looked bleak after only 3-4 games in. Every season we say 'this is our year' and every season we're disappointed.

Drogballs' 2006 Review Part 5


Old Is Gone. New Has Come

The transfer window opened during the summer and the 'Rafalution' continues. Players who couldn't make the cut like Fernando Morientes, Chris Kirkland, Djimi Traore, Jan Kromkamp made their exit while Dietmar Hamann left for Bolton and then to Manchester City. I personally still misses that German Kaiser and hoped that we could keep him longer. But apparently he's in search of new challenge and so it's better we let go.

Of course there are new faces brought in to the team. Craig Bellamy, Fabio Aurelio, Jermaine Pennant and Mark Gonzalez are the notable names. Not forgetting Gabriel Paletta as well.

New Kit Revealed


The beautiful home kit together with a hideous looking yellow one. The anticipation of the revelation of the new kit was at a high on certain fan forums and the designs seemed to have leaked earlier than expected.

Anyway that European away kit is a waste.

Liverpool To Haifa

In order to qualify for the Champions League, Liverpool had to play through the 3rd qualifying round because we finished third the previous season. Then the terrible news was we got drawn with an Israelian team. Maccabi Haifa it is and they proved pretty capable of creating an upset but Liverpool held on and progress through.

Those Wretched Friendlies

Remember the days when we're deprived of football and we're as eager as we are to watch the friendly matches even if they don't really matter. It started off well but then we got defeated a couple of times including this 5-0 thumping by Mainz. Perhaps the intensive training got the better of the players and that might be the reason why we started off so, so slowly in the Premiership.

Congrats Stevie..

Must have capped off a pretty good year for skipper, Steven Gerrard. He is rewarded for his service to the Great Britain when he receives the MBE (Member of the British Empire) today. Not really a knight and needing to call him Sir Steven but his name will definitely have a 'MBE' at the back.

Looking through the list, look who I saw.

Gerard Houllier (OBE)

Oh god, he's an officer? Take Diouf and Diao along as your knights, will you?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Drogballs' 2006 Review Part 4: The World Cup


The World Cup

Well, any football fans will look back at 2006 for non other than the FIFA World Cup held in Germany. It attracted attention of millions of people all around the world, gathering football fans and non football fans alike. It was a month where things outside football seemed to come to a standstill and everyday (or night for us Asians), we stuck ourselves to the TV watching matches, re-run and analysis. I personally covered almost all the matches over here in this blog and it can be found in the archives.

It was definitely a better World Cup than the previous one held in South Korea. Although refereeing decision are still controversial in some games like the one during Australia vs Italy, but overall the quality of the football was good and one thing that struck me was that the competition epitomizes the term 'defence is the best way of...defence'. Well, we saw great goals overall but the defenders now stood out instead of the strikers.

Fabio Cannavaro was collosus throughout the competition and that won him the FIFA Player of the Year award and the Ballon d'Or as well. Thinking back, there wasn't any strikers that catch my eye other than Lukas Podolski, David Villa and Fernando Torres. I might have missed out some, but there seriously isn't any striker that was on red hot form.

It started off with host, Germany, facing off with minnows, Costa Rica. It didn't take long for the European giant to draw first blood when Phillip Lahm scored the first goal of the World Cup and it was a belter! Germany went on to win the game 4-2.

Then there was the clash between USA and Italy. It was literally, a clash. Brian McBride got booted in the face and was bleeding profusely and Daniele De Rossi was sent off.

England, who have won their last World Cup 40 years ago, went to the competition without making any major impact other than the last game where it really got everyone talking about it. Rooney's intentional/unintentional stamp on Ricardo Carvalho's crown jewel was penalised and myth has it that Ronaldo got him sent off. Truth or not, only the United pair know.

They stumbled their way into the quater finals even though they struggled to beat the likes of T&T and Ecuador. Goals were rare while Rooney was rushed back to soon. Michael Owen then found himself injured and will start another new line of 'Gone In 60 Seconds' when he got injured against Sweden 1 minute into the match.

July 9 was the final between France and Italy. Much was anticipated as to how Zidane will put on his one last dance before his retirement and it went alright in the beginning when he put France ahead with a cheeky penalty. But hero turned zero in a matter of moments when he headbutted that a*sehole Marco Materazzi and got himself sent off. A sad way to see off his career and it was later reported Marco insulted his sister. Oh that Italian b**t**d.

All in all, a pretty good World Cup and I missed the days (or nights) when I stayed up the night watching football and not worrying about anything other than football. It will be another long wait for the next World Cup in South Africa. See you, then.

Drogballs' 2006 Review Part 3 - The FA Cup & More


Macca To Succeed Sven

Obviously after the 'fake sheikh' affair, Sven is never going to have any future with England. His decision to resign after the World Cup made the English FA scrambling to find someone to succeed the Swede. It soon turns out to be a farcical appointment with various manager going for interview and the English players wanting an English manager for a change. An easy peasy decision took them around a month to complete and appointed probably the worst choice among all, Steve McClaren of Middlesbrough.

Robbie To Stay

Robbie Fowler was rewarded for his pretty good display since his return in January with a 1 year contract. It was all cheer for Liverpool fans to see their idol getting the nod and to another year of stay at his spiritual home. I was in agreement that he worked hard for the contract and deserves it fully.

Reds Finished Second

Disappointing to say the least, Liverpool finished the 2005/06 season in third place despite a 3-1 win over Portsmouth. Man United clinched second place and ahead by just one point. But the thing to be happy about is the fact that Liverpool broke the record for being the team that finish with the highest amount of point for a 3rd place team. Overall, a pretty good in the English Premiership.

Moment of the Year: Reds Lift Pretigious FA Cup

Without a doubt, this is definitely the hightlight of both Liverpool and their fans for the year of 2006. Proclaimed the 'best FA Cup final in history', Liverpool defeated a risilient West Ham Utd on penalties despite trailing 2-0 at one point. Then when the clocks ticked away and West Ham looking to complete a giant killing feat, Steven Gerrard came up with an absolute cracker to equalise and bring the game to extra time.


He spoke aboout how he would've kept the ball instead of shooting IF he wasn't having a cramp. Liverpool went on to win the penalties with Pepe Reina being the hero with him saving 3 penalties as well as a goal bound header earlier on. Typical from zero to hero story.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Drogballs' Year In Review Part 2

Well, these few days life has been slow to almost a stand still. Due to the recent earthquake in Taiwan, the underwater cables over there got screwed and we over here in Singapore got affected indrectly as well. Telecommunication was affected and I connection to the network has been slow as snail.

Anyway my attempt to finish off the review before New Year has been affected by this unforseen circumstance. But I'll still continue anyway.


"Is Robben Alright?"

A phrase made famous by Rafa Benitez after Liverpool 2-0 defeat by Chelsea. The game was marred by a controversial dismissal of Pepe Reina after he was sent off from the match after he was adjudged to have 'slapped' Arjen Robben in the face. Who could've forgotten Robben's theatrics.


Former Liverpool player and manager, Graeme Souness, was sacked as Newcastle United's manager after some really poor results. Good player, sh*t manager.

Luis Garcia, He Drinks Sangria

A last gasp goal by Luis Garcia helped Liverpool to a hard fought 1-0 win over Arsenal at Anfield. The result was much welcomed after a patchy run of form with 2 defeats by Charlton and Birmingham.

Mickey Mouse Cup

They might be on their way to the Premiership this season, but it's hard to forget Man Utd. won the Carling Cup last season.

Reds Edged A Step Into FA Cup Glory

It's just pure joy to beat United in the FA Cup tie at Anfield, isn't it. The match was of course marred by the injury of Alan Smith, who went in to block John Arne Riise's shot and twisted his knees instead of both the BBC blockheads that said Riise's shot hit him in the leg and got fractured. Anyway, Peter Crouch headed Liverpool to victory and a step nearer to the FA Cup.

Liverpool Down, Momo Out

In the last 16 of the Champions League, Liverpool was defeated 1-0 by Benfica and that was not the only lost. Momo Sissoko was nearly blinded by a challenge from a Benfica player and missed quite a number of matches before he make it back safely. Two weeks later, Liverpool's hope of retaining the Champions League was all but over when they're defeated by Benfica in the 2nd leg 2-0, surprisingly.


Goal Crazy

After the disappointing defeat to Arsenal and Benfica, Liverpool bounce back to beat Fulham 5-1 with two scousers scoring goals. Firstly, it was Robbie Fowler's first goal since his return. Then Stephen Warnock scored his first goal for Liverpool as well.

Gaol Crazy Part 2

5-1 was nothing when you compare it to the result a few days later. A result that I think will be in many fan's mind will be Liverpool 7-0 Birmingham City. It was the first time I felt sorry for an opposition.

"Beating Them With 10 Men Was Funny"

Jamie Carragher recently said that in his recent Q&A session. Liverpool beat the bitters, Everton, at Anfield 3-1 despite being down to 10 men when Steven Gerrard got sent off for a rash challenge. He will definitely not forget that he wore the '08' behind his back as an ambassador to the Liverpool 2008 campaign.


End Of Alan

Alan Shearer, England's best striker of our time, retired after he got injured in the match against arch rivals, Sunderland.

Youth Cup In Our Hands

Emulating the success of the 1996 bunch that included Gerrard, Carragher and Owen, Liverpool's Under 21 team won the FA Youth Cup. The final aggregate was 3-2 and the future looks bright for the Reds with players like Hobbs, Hamill and Anderson.

Reds In FA Cup Final

The senior Liverpool team didn't let the fans down as they advance into the FA Cup final after defeating Chelsea 2-1 at the Cardiff Millenium Stadium. The 2-1 victory was only our 2nd win over Chelsea and it was sweeter to know the fact that we've kicked them out of 2 major competitions in 2 seasons. Luis Garcia and John Arne Riise were the scorers. So Liverpool went on to meet West Ham in the FA Cup Final. David vs Goliath with a twist in the story, eh.

Chelsea Retain The Premiership

Despite the disappointment of going out of the FA Cup, Chelsea went on to retain the Premiership for the second time in consecutive seasons as they defeated Man Utd 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Stevie Gets Award

Skipper Steven Gerrard was awarded the PFA Player of the Year award. It was decided by fellow players and Gerrard deserved the award fully with his leadership and his performance. That is also BEFORE he did what he did during the FA Cup Finals.

Last Home Game...

Liverpool ended their season at Anfield with an emphatic 3-1 win over Aston Villa. But to put the icing on the cake, Steven Gerrard scored one of the most outrageous goals you'll ever see. It rounded up a pretty good season.

And that sums up the review for today. Stay tune for more if you like looking back and reminiscing.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

McCarthy Punishes Liverpool

Reds Rue Missed Chances

English Premiership

Blackburn 1 - 0 LIVERPOOL

BLA - McCarthy (49min);


You just can’t understand how Liverpool didn’t manage to put a dozen into Brad Friedel’s net. This match epitomizes the term “you’ll get punish for not finishing teams off when you have the chance”. I have long feared this problem when we played against both Charlton and Watford where we have chance aplenty but failed to put it into the net until late in the game. To be fair, they’re weaker opponents and therefore, we’re let off.

Not this time.

Benni McCarthy was on hand to punish Liverpool for their wastefulness as Blackburn claimed a famous victory over the Reds for the first time since 1996. They fought and closed down Liverpool well and held on to the 5 minutes added on time with valor. Although guilty of some time wasting, Blackburn deserved the victory through their clinical finish and also the turn around after the first half.

Liverpool dominated the first half although playing away from home. Blackburn suffered a humiliating 6-2 defeat by Arsenal last week and looked a wounded animal, short of confidence but always ready to pounce.


Peter Crouch and Craig Bellamy had a load of chance to put Liverpool ahead but squandered them all. Crouch’s height might be ad advantage but heading is never his forte. He went into great positions but failed to punish Blackburn for their slack marking. Bellamy meanwhile, showed what Blackburn was missing with his constant running into channels and causing the ageing Andy Todd big time problem.

Passing was crisp. Just didn’t finish it. Well you thought it’s a matter of time before Liverpool takes the lead. But disappointingly, it didn’t came at all. Even with the 5 minutes added on, they had absolutely no space to work and Blackburn defended brilliantly.

With the combative Robbie Savage and Tugay in the middle of the park, they managed to shackle Steven Gerrard and limited him to a virtual spectator of the game.

In the end, a lapse of concentration from the Liverpool defence cost them dearly while players on the other side of the pitch failed miserably as well. The failure to finish games has finally come back to haunt Liverpool and now, the run has ended and Liverpool only had themselves to blame.

Drogballs' Thoughts: I must say I'm pissed. My fear was confirmed today, that we still cannot finish teams off early when we have the chance and it's not good at all. In football, the most important thing is score goals and we didn't do it. We screwed up. Big time.

First half was impressive. Finnan putting in quality crosses for Crouch, who must've thought he's part of the Blackburn defence, heading the ball tamely back to Friedel. With Kuyt and Bellamy forming a good partnership, Crouch must have felt his place under threat and when he's put on by Rafa to show what he's made of, he didn't impress and from his body language, he was utterly disappointed by himself.

Bellamy had a good game but just didn't put the ball in the net. His pace was causing problems but as Blackburn sat deeper and deeper, he found it really difficult to get into the box. Alonso was doing well in the first half with his crisp passing while Gerrard had a disciplined performance.

But after half time, they lost the momentum and when Blackburn scored, Liverpool fell apart while they drew confidence. They sat out to frustrate Liverpool with your reknown 'parking bus' tactics and we found it difficult to break them down.

I think there can be no excuse with things like this. It wasn't a bad performance at all, but we just got punished for not doing what we're supposed to do. It's worrying and we have Spurs up next. It'll be a tough game and I don't know how much this will affect the players but hopefully, we can bounce back. Wound up and pissed we might be, but it's not a time to wallow in self pity but to do something about it.

Now we screwed up the chance to cement our place in the top 4. The league title is already out of sight and now, if we're not careful, Champions League might be too before we know it. Bolton and Portsmouth are having a time of their life and if Liverpool doesn't take a step up, it might be a terrible year ahead before it has even arrive.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Drogballs' Review Of 2006

Soon, it's another year and all we can do is look back at this year. The year of 2006. Year of joy and jubilation. Year of disappointment and sadness. It's always full of emotion when it comes to sports and honestly, those memories stays with us forever. From the moment Zinedine Zidane head-butted Marco Materazzi to Steven Gerrard's 30 yard volley which handed Liverpool the prestigious FA Cup, they will forever etched in our minds.

January 2006:

First Win

Liverpool got off to a great start in 2006 with a slender 1-0 win over relegated (now we know) West Bromwich Albion with Peter Crouch scoring the winning goal. Tomasz Kuszczak putting up with a fine display of goalkeeping.

Then Drew At The Reebok

But the 10 games winning streak was soon over. A visit to the cursed Reebok Stadium saw Liverpool drew 2-2 with Bolton with Luis Garcia on hand to rescue the Reds. El-Hadji 'Spitter' Diouf was on the score sheet as well. So much for being the all time Liverpool number 9 who scores the least number of goals. There was also accusation of Steven Gerrard stamping on fellow scouser, Kevin Nolan, who quickly dismissed it as accidental.

Reds' First Signing

Liverpool's first signing for 2006 was Paul Anderson from Hull City. It saw Academy star, John Welsh, moving the other direction.

Dutch Delight


Second signing was Dutch internation, Jan Kromkamp, who promptly left in the summer (sorry for the spoiler!). He was to be a back up for Steve Finnan and also another alternate solution for the right wing problem.

Liverpool Defeat Luton In FA Cup Classic

Another hightlight of the season will be coming back from 3-1 down against lowly Luton Town and defeat them 5-3 with Xabi Alonso scoring two wonderful goal, one being from the halfway line. It was an FA Cup classic with much passion and unpredictable ending. But the defence had an off day and was to be blamed for the near embarrassing performance. Even captain, Steven Gerrard felt that he might have incurred the wrath of Rafa Benitez and fumbled during the interview.

Agger Do For Liverpool


Danish international defender, Daniel Agger, who has been wooed by Rafa for quite a long time has officially signed for Liverpool. He's only 21 and already played for the Danish national team including the humiliation of England previously. Touted as the new Alan Hansen, he's comfortable on the ball and not afraid to shoot from distance. A great acquisition as a backup for ageing Hyypia and the ever-present-but-will-retire-one-day Jamie Carragher.

Kewell Special

Some of you might have forgotten him for now. But he scored a wonder goal against Spurs in their 1-0 defeat.

Heartbreak Old Trafford

I think many Liverpool fans felt the same. It was almost the last kick of the game and Liverpool were holding on for a goal less draw. Giggs then floated in a perfect free kick for Rio Ferdinand to head pass Reina, who had a hand on it, but couldn't keep it out. My heart sank and seeing Gary Neville doing his 'sex-wee' pisses me off. Bugger it. I remembered Liverpool playing well in that match but couldn't get any out of them. Tough luck.

Sven To Quit Over 'Fake Sheikh' Scandal

Not that important, but quite funny actually. Sven Goran-Erikkson was set up in the News of the World plot which he promptly fell into. He revealed plans on how he will bring Beckham to Aston Villa and other rubbish. NotW then published it and then under pressure, he released a statement that he'll quit England after the 2006 World Cup.

Return Of The 'God'


Robbie Fowler, 'God' of Anfield, re-sign for Liverpool sensationally after leaving the club in 2001. Under Gerard Houllier, Fowler found little opportunity to show what he can and moved on to Leeds United. It was emotional for him and he didn't make much impact for Leeds or later, Manchester City. Injuries hampered his career but still managed to score against ManYoo in ManC's 3-1 win over the bitter rivals. Celebrating the goal, he held up 5 fingers which many believe to be a slight dig at ManYoo as Liverpool have won the European Cup for 5 times.

I remembered that I was awake 4am in the morning playing game. Decided to check out the official site and saw 'Interview with Robbie Fowler'. I thought 'Why on earth are they interviewing him for?' before I saw the 'Reds re-sign Fowler' headline. Chuffed. Totally chuffed!

Road To Cardiff: FA Cup

In the FA Cup, we drew Manchester United in the 5th round. That is after Liverpool defeated Portsmouth 2-1 at Fratton Park. Goals from Steven Gerrard and John Arne Riise sees off the challenge.

That concludes the first part of the review. Stay tune for more.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Rafa Loves You!

Wherever you are celebrating this festive season, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyal support during 2006 and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Being manager of Liverpool Football Club continues to be a great honour for me and I can assure you that I, along with my staff and my players, am still driven by total determination and hunger to bring more trophies to Anfield.

Over the past twelve months we have brought two more pieces of silverware back to the club after beating West Ham in an incredible FA Cup final back in May and then lifting the Community Shield in August.

We know this club is all about winning trophies and making the fans happy and that is why we are all so pleased to have again enjoyed a successful year.

The job now is to ensure we keep moving forward and to keep improving as a team and as a squad. I remain convinced we have a better set of players now than this time twelve months ago, but we know there is still work to do to reach the level we are aiming for.

We have brought in a number of new players during the year and I am confident they will all have an important role to play in our quest for honours in the future. At the same time, a number of players left us during 2006 and I continue to wish them all the best with their new clubs.

As you will all know, there is much talk about the future of the club with reports that an investment deal is looming. I have remained focused solely on football and on my team while all the talk has been going on, but I am sure David Moores and Rick Parry will make the right decision in the best interests of the club and I look forward to being a part of what I am sure is going to be a very bright future at Liverpool.

As always, you will have a massive role to play in that future. I’ve said it before and I will say it again; you are the best fans in the world and I can promise you all that we’ll be working as hard as possible to bring you more of the success you truly deserve.

I hope you all have a great Christmas and a fantastic 2007.

Best wishes.


HI People,


Enjoy yourself, have fun and stay safe.

(If you drink, don't drive. Or I may lose a reader)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Reds Sting Hornets

Liverpool Win Despite Poor Performance

English Premiership

LIVERPOOL 2 - 0 Watford

LIV - Bellamy (47min), Alonso (88min);

Match Highlights:


A brilliant Xabi Alonso strike and excellent vision from Steven Gerrard were the only factors that separated Liverpool and a hardworking Watford team. During the match preview, I have pointed out that Watford is a hardworking team who are not afraid to get physical. The match proved my point and Liverpool were well stifled by Watford for most part of the match.

The Liverpool squad was almost the same as the one facing Charlton and it seemed that Rafa has already gotten the message that is constant changing and chopping is not going to work in the Premiership.

But Watford came to Anfield with point to prove. They’re a steadily improving team which set out to frustrate Liverpool and bombard the Red’s penalty box with long balls. When desperate times call for desperate measures, they even threw defender, Danny Shittu, up front.

They did cause some problem for the usually rock steady Liverpool defence. The usually reliable Carragher was caught out a few times and Reina nearly did the ‘Paul Robinson air-kick’ when he mis-kicked a Gerrard back-pass. With defence shaky, the attack wasn’t of any better as well.

Dirk Kuyt dropped too far into the midfield and there was a congestion in the midfield area, rendering Gerrard and Alonso with almost no space to weave their magic and thread their passes. Bellamy was left up front all on his own and was caught off-side far too often.

But Liverpool hit back instantly after the break. Gerrard found acres of space in between Watford’s midfield and attack, he took the ball calmly and as everyone held their breathe in anticipation of a Gerrard’s long range rocket, he instead, place a wonderful ball for the unmarked Bellamy, who had the composure to wait for Ben Foster to be on the floor before slotting it home.

Then Liverpool struggled to gain any momentum and then the match went monotonous. Couple of bad decisions from players caused Liverpool the chance to go ahead while we must applaud Watford for their never-say-die spirit. They kept trying and bombarding the penalty area with long balls. It was frustrating but it did cause some problem for the Liverpool defence.


The game was all but over when the subdued Xabi Alonso fired in a sublime shot into the top corner. One must appreciate the technique needed to fire that and the beauty of it when it went past the brilliant Ben Foster, who has denied Liverpool on couple of occasions.

So Liverpool started the festive season program with a not so well deserved win. But the only disappointment for us Liverpool fans would be Jamie Carragher’s effort saved by the ManYoo loanee, Ben Foster. It would’ve be an icing on the cake. Watford, meanwhile, should take heart from this defeat as they’ve tried their best and worked extremely hard.

Drogballs' Thoughts: Terrible match to watch as a Liverpool fan. It was frustrating and infuriating at times particularly by Luis Garcia. As consistent as he is at screwing up the easy stuff, now he can't do anything right at all. I can't really recall him passing the ball to someone in the red shirt and the chance he miss at the end of the match was not very easy but for a player of his calibre you'll expect him to at least work Ben Foster.

But of course luckily, Liverpool won and I must say it wasn't a very well-deserved victory. Players looked sloppy and were caught out a few times especially the defenders. Reina being his very rash self, rushing out mindlessly and lacked composure. I can understand that the weather is cold and chilly over there while the ground is pretty hard.

But the praise would have to go out to Rafa and his team for moulding and making Anfield a fortress once again. Remember the last defeat at Anfield? It's beyond painful, but that was 14 months ago. Goals has been coming in as well although it seemed that we lacked the cutting edge today, 2 goals were added into our tally which is 13 goals in 4 matches and 0 conceded.

Bellamy seemed to be on fire right now but Kuyt's form seemed to have dipped a little. But he still continually works his socks off (I have been saying this since he made his debut for Liverpool) and never gave up. His attitude and passion is commendable. I'm sure he'll move on quickly from the low point and then continue to bring in the goods.

Our curse of hitting the post once ever game is still on with Crouch coming on as substitute and his brilliant shot was hit against the post with Foster stranded. It's perhaps the 14 or 15th this season and it's time lady luck begin to bless us with that little bit of luck.

Anyway, it's a good start to the festive season period where we'll be playing 4 games in 10 days. Packed schedules and bad weather are going to be something to be overcome by the Reds if they're to continue their good form. It's Blackburn next and hopefully, no one break their leg at Ewood Park again this time round.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Video That Makes Me Weep Again...

It's John Aldridge in the commentary box, I think. Brings back nice memories and how beautiful football can be, sometimes.

Reds vs Hornets Preview

I'm doing this fast before rushing down to town for last minute Christmas shopping again. Haha I've been busy and I think most readers are as well.

Anyway it's easy to forget that during this festive period, the Premiership is still buzzing with life. In fact, it's the most busy period in the fixtures list with Liverpool having to play 4 games in 10 days. Now you know why they're paid the big bucks.

In the last 3 games, Liverpool have scored a total of 11 goals and conceded zilch. It's a wonderful record for a team that has started the season so terribly and when the season looked so bleak at first, things have started to open up and the form and morale of the team has been tremendous recently.

With Rafa tinkering less, the team looked more stable and consistent. They seemed more gelled and the understanding was there. Kuyt and Bellamy's partnership up front has been immense just like Kuyt-Crouch or Crouch-Bellamy. It's a problem for Rafa, but a good one.

Two left sided players are back in contention for this match. Liverpool-born Stevie Warnock has completed his comeback in the Liverpool reserves defeat by Bolton. Fabio Aurelio had a nice run out last week at the Valley and might slot in the left midfield position if required.

Watford, meanwhile, has been improving in terms of defence lately. They have not been conceding goals as much as they did earlier in the season. This would mean that they might come to Anfield with a 'parking the double-deck bus in front of goal' tactics and plans to frustrate the hell out of the Reds.

Drogballs' Prediction: Liverpool 1-0 Watford. In a cold, winter afternoon, playing against a pretty physical side is not the best choice. But Liverpool have the edge in terms of quality and home support. A narrow win for Liverpool.

John Bishop's LFC Blog

This man is beyond funny. His scouse-ness is just unique and he looks like Jamie Carragher's long lost brother. He is Liverpool's very own comedian and a damn fine one.


No idea why they won't let us embed the player but I'm kind enough to give you the link. Happy holidays guys. I won't be updating as much for the next few days but do drop by and wish each other a nice Christmas.

Have fun!

Carra's Christmas Awards 2006

Player of the Year?

There are obviously a few candidates. Stevie got Player of the Year last season for what he did in the Cup final. Momo Sissoko (left) was also outstanding in that Cup final but people forget that because of Stevie getting the two goals. I think it's a tie between them two but I'd probably give it to Momo because Stevie's got enough awards anyway.

Young Player of the Year?

Daniel Agger would come into that category or even Momo, but I'd probably say Daniel because he's come in very strong this season and done very well.

Most Improved Player?

I don't know. Whoever I give it to I don't think they'd really like it to be honest! Probably Crouchy, not that he was that bad at the start but he went a long time without scoring and now his record this year has been brilliant. The goals to games ratio has been as good as anyone's - there's been a massive improvement.

Unsung Hero?

It used to be me that, didn't it? It would probably be Finn. I think I gave it to Finn last year as well. He plays pretty much the same every week and doesn't get much applause. He's just happy to be in the team, doing his job, and he's been consistent again.

Honorary Scouser Award?

This is the first one of these, isn't it? It would have been Didi if he was still here but obviously he's gone. We'll give it to Pepe. He speaks very good English and tries to throw a few scouse words in every now and then to me and Stevie. He's a bubbly character so I'll give it to Pepe.

Have you been teaching him?

Yes, but only swear words!

Goal of the Year?

Probably Stevie's second one in the Cup final. Agger's against West Ham at home was an unbelievable one as well but I think I'll go for Stevie's because it was the Cup final and we were desperate to get that goal. It's probably one of the best goals in a Cup final of all time so it's a great one to win the prize.

What about Crouch against Galataseray?

Yes, I forgot about Crouchie! I'll have to put Crouch up there and give him a mention but I just think Stevie's is the winner because there were only about 40 seconds left of the game and to have a strike from 30, 40 yards out, I'll have to give it to Stevie.

Hardest Liverpool player?

In a fight or tackle? There's not many tacklers in the team really, probably only me and Stevie. In a fight? I think I gave it to Pepe last year but I'm going to give it to Momo, he takes some stopping. He's not too bad at the moment with the shoulder injury, I'd probably take him at the moment.

Player who's most desperate for their own song?

Finn. It used to be me for a while, they only started giving me one a few years ago.

Is there anyone in the dressing room who moans because they don't have one?

No, nobody really moans but I think Finn deserves one. As I said, though, he's not that kind of player, he just gets on with it. He's not that eye catching, he just does a good solid job every week. I think the crowd should sort something out for Finn but maybe it's difficult with the name and hard to make it rhyme with things.

Best trainer?

Stevie and Alonso have got the best quality in training, they're good trainers. Hardest worker is probably me because I'm not that good! There's a lot of good trainers really. Didi was the worst but he's gone now so it's quite good. Robbie can be bad some days but he's a great finisher so if he's having a bad session he can just pop a few goals in the back of the net to get him out of trouble.

Funniest player in the squad?

I'd probably say Robbie. He likes a laugh and a joke, it's great to have him back to create a bit of banter in the dressing room. He's always on the internet looking for funny stuff to stick on the walls, like look-alikes. The reserves have got their pictures on the internet saying what they like and their hobbies, stuff like that. They were probably trying to get girls or something. Anyway, he stuck them up. That was funny.

Funniest moment of the year?

The other day Pepe kicked a ball and it hit the manager on the back of the head and he went to the floor, so that was quite funny. That was off the field, on the field it's always funny beating Everton isn't it? Obviously they beat us this year which was a big disappointment but we can win the return. Beating them at Anfield with 10 men was quite funny.

Nicest member of the squad?

There's a lot of nice lads really. Jack Hobbs, I know he's only one of the reserves but he's the nicest in the world. Probably too nice. Bolo's a nice fella, he speaks to everyone really and he speaks a few languages so he mixes well with the different nationalities. He's good to have around.

Who is the ideal room mate?

Someone who'd run round after you I think, a young lad! No, we try to mix it around a lot so that we have different roommates and get to know each other better. At the moment I'm with Stevie and I can't ask him to do much because he's the captain so he's not the best!

Who would be a nightmare roommate?

It was Josemi before he went, he just didn't sleep. He'd be up all night watching videos or on his computer. A nightmare would probably be someone who's into their music, I'm not a big music fan.

Who would you want on your pub quiz team?


Who wouldn't you want on your pub quiz team?

Who's thick? [Laughs] I think Pennant's quite thick!

Who's the biggest moaner on the team?

Me. On the pitch I just get wound up if things aren't going the way I want them to or people aren't doing the things I want them to do. I wish we had a few more moaners actually. Bellamy's a bit of a moaner, he's the worst in training.

What does he say?

He just complains about anyone who doesn't put the ball on a sixpence for him really! But I like that in a player, he's a winner and he wants to do well.

Worst hair cut?

It used to be Harry Kewell, I think that could count because he had that at the end of last season. At the moment…Riise just dyed his hair blonde from ginger. Who've I missed? Gonzalez has got a bad one, coming up to a point or something along those lines. Alonso when he lets his grow long looks pretty bad.

Last year you had Crouch down as the worst dancer. Have you changed your mind?

The worst or the best?

You had Pongolle as your best

Oh yes, I remember him dancing at the Christmas party. Crouchie's upped the ante from last year though. No I'll stick with Crouch. He's probably the best and worst to be honest. He's got some great moves and he's got the robot and stuff now as well so that's put him up there as one of the worst again.

When did he first do that?

He did it at Beckham's party before the World Cup. I think he did it to the cameras on the dancefloor, messing around because the party was getting filmed. I remember he was worried 'cos it was getting shown on TV a few days later and of course once it was captured it just took off. It was hilarious.

Best dresser?

Well you always think yourself or you wouldn't buy those clothes but Stevie's always quite smart. No, there's not many. Me and Stevie have probably got similar tastes I'd say.

Worst dresser?

Cisse (left) popped in the other day, what he had on was unbelievable. He had moon boots on. Bellamy's got some dodgy gear like leather coats, that's pretty poor.

Vainest player?

Oh, there's a few of them. Crouchie lately, he's been putting a bit of gel on his hair. Stevie as well, he probably thinks nobody's noticed but he's been messing with his hair. He's got a bit of a quiff now, he has to put gel on or mousse or whatever it is. Obviously the foreign lads all love themselves don’t they? But it's pretty poor that we've got two English lads up there.

The player you'd least like to introduce to your parents?

I think if you asked anyone else they would say me to that question. Probably Bellamy, you wouldn't want to take him round to your mum. He swears a lot and he's got a constant frown on his face.

Best taste in music?

Luis Garcia's had his ipod on in the dressing room the last few weeks and that's not too bad. I don't know what he had on because I'm not really into my music that much.

And the worst taste in music?

It used to be Cisse. Probably Pennant or Sissoko, someone like that.

A player you can't understand?

Paletta can't speak much English at the moment. He's getting there but he's finding it tough. He's only young so he's got a lot of time but I find it hard to understand him. He's probably saying the same about me as well.

Who'd be in your Liverpool five-a-side team from the players in the squad?

Pepe in goal, me as captain, Stevie, Robbie up front to get a goal. We'll have a Scouse team plus Pepe. We'll have Warnock as well. Four scousers and one half Scouser.

Toughest opponent of the year?

Saha's good. Who else? We had a good defensive record last season. Andy Johnson was tough this season, he's very quick and he causes a lot of problems, so I'd probably say him. He was very good, played very well against us.

What's the best chant you've heard all year?

I can't think of any but I remember the banner 'Momo is Boss'. That was a proper Scouse one from home. That was a good 'un.

Best away fans?

Ours, wherever we go! Whenever we go to Europe the fans stay behind. Whether it's PSV or Bordeaux, the fans always stick around when we're doing the warm down. Any European fans create a great atmosphere.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Neill Nailed On?

Liverpool will sign the Australia international defender Lucas Neill in a cut-price deal from Blackburn Rovers next month with the Merseysiders' manager Rafael Benítez aware that the anticipated transfer funds from the takeover of the club by Dubai International Capital will not materialise until the summer.

Neill, who is out of contract at Ewood Park at the end of the season, will complete his move to Anfield having almost joined on deadline day in August only for the clubs to fail to agree a fee at the last minute. Blackburn had explored the possibility of taking the Liverpool full-back Stephen Warnock in part-exchange, but they are close to signing a replacement with the Dynamo Kiev defender Andriy Nesmachnyi in Lancashire and due to take a medical last night. Rovers will hope to raise around £1.5m from the sale of Neill.

Benítez's move for the 28-year-old Neill reflects the reality that DIC's proposed takeover is unlikely to be completed until nearer the end of January, thus denying him a chance to exploit the winter transfer window. The state-owned private equity firm is still scrutinising the books at Liverpool with both club and company confident that a deal can be struck which will see the chairman of 15 years, David Moores, sell his 51.6% stake at Anfield.

Company takeover law then dictates that DIC must make an offer for the rest of Liverpool's shares, an offer which would remain open for 60 days. Should they ultimately secure a stake of 90%, they would be able to make the club a private business, in the same way that West Ham were recently bought by Eggert Magnusson, though Moores and the current chief executive Rick Parry are likely to retain roles at Anfield in the future.

Benítez still hopes to benefit from significant transfer funds in the close season though, having met the chief executive of DIC, Sameer al-Ansari, after the recent victory over Fulham, he is aware that he will not be offered a blank cheque to plunder the market. As Parry and Al-Ansari have been at pains to insist, DIC's interest in Liverpool is considered an investment - such as their recent purchase of Madame Tussauds and the Travelodge chain of hotels - with the group attracted to the club partly because the playing squad would not require a radical overhaul.

Drogballs: To me, he's a reasonably good defender who had a wonderful World Cup and then a decent Premiership season so far. A tough tackling, no nonsense defender who can play across the back line, his versatility will be invaluable. We have been in search for someone to challenge Finnan's right back spot for quite some time and both Josemi and Kromkamp wasn't up for the scratch.

I just think he will be the man. Experienced but not without problems. Temperamental and often rash in challenge. I think before he could enter Melwood, he would have to go apologise to Carra. Remember he broke Carra's leg few seasons back. I think that underlined Neill's approach in games. But he might have 'matured' and now named as captain of Blackburn, he is given new responsibility and nowadays, you seldom hear of him conceding stupid penalties or getting a red card.

He'll be a pretty good signing I reckon.

The FA To Punish Liverpool Players

For kicking the balls at the people along the sidelines and referee in protest of their decision to cancel the match.

Just kidding, of course.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

How Football Was Invented

To the Germans at least.....

The Hole - video powered by Metacafe

Premiership & Music

Done by this Gooner bloke at Arsenal Vital Football site.

ARSENAL- Like the Arctic Monkeys. Young, cocky, brimming with promise. Show all the hallmarks of stadium Gods, but time will tell as to whether they can achieve their obvious promise.

ASTON VILLA- Are A-Ha. Big for a small period in the eighties, hinting at a comeback, though you're not really sure where they've actually been for the last twenty years. You've been vaguely aware of them without ever feeling their presence.

BLACKBURN ROVERS- The Kaiser Chiefs. Typically Northern, stoic, formulaic. A couple of big hitters, but really you suspect they are punching above their weight.

BOLTON WANDERERS- 50 Cent. Seemingly devoid of any talent, completely misrepresent the genre. Yet somehow achieve huge success. Really you just wish they would go away.

CHARLTON ATHLETIC- Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Went up the spout when the talented one left.

CHELSEA- The Sex Pistols. This one sticks in the craw because I love the Pistols. But the comparisons are irrefutable, possessed of a moral arrogance that grates with everyone except their fans. You suspect they are bound to fizzle out as quickly as they arrived. Managed by a pretentious, self absorbed tosser.

EVERTON- Debbie Harry (Blondie). Much more attractive in the eighties. Nevertheless, you have to respect their achievements.

FULHAM- Rod Stewart. Trendy for a time in the seventies, before they became substanceless playboys. Nowadays quite content with where they are with no further ambition.

LIVERPOOL- The Rolling Stones. Huge for about twenty years, but you cannot really tell why they're around anymore. Happy to dine out on their illustrious past but still have a huge fanbase. With the odd exception have produced nothing since 1990.

MANCHESTER CITY- The Foo Fighters. Inoffensive, some talent in evidence, but largely irrelevant. Fronted by a bloody nice bloke who made waves in the early nineties, which kind of prevents them from being annoying.

MANCHESTER UNITED- Oasis. Glorious heyday in the nineties, a few dodgy years thereafter. Ultimately you cannot deny their status amongst the all time greats.

MIDDLESBROUGH- James Blunt. Of absolutely no interest to anybody whatsoever.

NEWCASTLE UNITED- U2. Sickeningly full of their own self importance. Nothing to say yet popular, had a half decent hit in the mid nineties, but why they are considered such a leviathan is a complete mystery. The only difference is that U2 play to sold out stadiums.

PORTSMOUTH- ELO. Criminally under rated. A talented front man who really does not get the credit he deserves.

SHEFFIELD UNITED- Take That. Out of their ten year hiatus and back woth the big boys. You met their return with dread and horror, but really not as bad as you thought they were.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR- Guns 'n' Roses. After a little success in the early nineties, they are now generally a complete laughing stock. Dozens of line up changes, yet nothing approaching success. Strangely still believe that they are great. Have been promising a comeback for years- it's never materialised.

WATFORD- Bruce Springsteen. You feel sympathy for them because they are a little misunderstood, but barring a decent output in the eighties, you feel they're not really up to scratch anymore.

WEST HAM UNITED- Chas 'n' Dave. Unpretentious cockney troubadours, kind of likeable but a little too much Tottenham runs through them.

WIGAN ATHLETIC- Jet. Uninspiring, bland new boys on the block. Thye really bring very little to the party that you haven't seen a thousand times before, but you grudgingly respect their ability to ween success out of limited talent.

Messi Speaks Out

Barcelona winger Lionel Messi reckons Liverpool will be scared stiff going into their Champions League clash with the Spanish champions.

The 19-year-old, who is targeting the fixtures for his return from injury, believes his side are firm favourites to progress into the quarter-finals.

"Any rivals are dangerous in Europe at this time but Liverpool are a team that can be beaten by Barcelona. Lyon are the most difficult today," said Messi.

"I expect an open game because the English play without defensive caution and with a style similar to Barcelona.

"Sincerely, I believe Liverpool are worried about playing against us because we are the champions of Europe and that strikes fear in any rivals.

"I desire to travel to Liverpool with much work done and holding an advantage to qualify for the next round.

"A 2-0 or 3-0 score will be perfect for Barca.

"Always, we need to not concede a goal in Camp Nou to avoid problems at Anfield."

The Argentinean admits having a Spanish contingent could work in Liverpool's favour.

He said: "The Reds are a peculiar team. They play in England but the style of the coach and many of the players is nearly Spanish. This will be an extra problem for Barcelona."

Is it me, or does anyone lost a little of your respect for that little winger. Yes, he's currently one of the most promising star for the future and the closest thing to Maradona in that long list of 'Next Maradona'.

Well I guess you have to play us before you learn to respect us. Thinking about us being pushovers and that might just be the first step into oblivion. In a war, once complacency seeps into the team, it might just be the catalyst of the failure.

So now, I'm looking forward to this match even more because of comments like that. I hope Gerrard & Co. prove them wrong, big time.

2-0 or 3-0 will be a perfect score for Liverpool. COME ON!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What A Match!

Okay, not really.

Over here in Singapore, 48 hours of torrential rain and flooding up to waist level in some areas. Over at Anfield, seemed like the water over here condensed and floated it's way there and the match got cancelled. For fans halfway round the world like us, it's the most disappointing thing because waking up at 3.30am is no easy feat and to find out the match got cancelled is a big disappointment.

Whatever it is, what a sight! Ever seen Anfield so misty before?

Credits to GettyImages

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Reds vs Gunners Preview

It's Carling Cup time and we're matched up together with Arsenal, the team which inflicted our last defeat at the Emirates earlier last month. The 3-0 defeat was a painful one for Liverpool fans to bear but the third goal was also the last goal Liverpool conceded and we're currently in fine form. The argument between Riise and Gerrard seemed eternity after some fine displays including our last 3 games which read 11 goals scored and 0 conceded.

Good news for Liverpool would be the fact that it'll be played at Anfield, a modern day fortress. The last time Liverpool lost there was another painful 4-1 defeat by Chelsea, October last year. As a twelve men to the team, the presence of the Kopites will be a boost for the Reds.

But Arsenal are no pushover. Despite another disappointing home draw against Pompey last week, their away performance against Wigan was what everyone expected them to do which is to grind out results. Arsenal will be without captain Terry Henry, WIlly Gallas, Abu Diaby and Freddy Ljungberg. But as we've seen, Gilberto makes a better captain while Emmanuel Adebayor is on fire at the moment.

The only problem for Benitez would be to guess what team Arsenal are going to put out. They have always started youngsters for Carling Cup tie but today at Anfield, the principle might change and Wenger might be tempted to field a strong side.

Drogballs' Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal. We're pretty strong at home and they struggle a bit away from home. Let's hope we advance and win the god-damn mickey mouse cup!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Drogball's Weekly Thoughts

Another great weekend for the Liverpool fans and also the title race looked to have blown wide open suddenly. ManYoo seemed to have ran away with it but just a weekend that doesn't go their way, the tide is turning in favour of Chelski, fast.

Hammered By The Irons

ManYoo's loss at Upton Park might be quite a significant one and IF United really screws up big time and hands the title to Chelsea again, then Sir Fergie will surely look back to this week and think about what it could've been. Curbishley, the man appointed to assume the helm of his fallen counterpart, Alan Pardew, ended his Charlton career losing to ManYoo @ Old Trafford but won his first game in charge against the same team and getting a totally different result. As I've opined earlier last week that he IS the one to bring West Ham forward, it's looking good for the Hammers. But still early days, because a long and tough Christmas period is ahead and if the Hammers couldn't push on, they might find it too little too late, too soon.

Chelski Gets Upperhand

United's lost, Chelski's gain. They've beaten a hardworking Everton team at Goodison Park with some outstanding goals scored to spare the reigning champion's blushes. The absence of John Terry might be a significant one as to how Chelsea will cope without their captain. Khalid Boulahrouz lived up to his reputation as a 'Cannibal' with his constant 'man-handling' of the Everton players and giving away a needless penalty.

His push on Andy Johnson went unpunished and that incident allowed Mourinho's verbal diarrhoea to work up again. As predictable as ever, went on to rant about how Johnson dived and such. Well, it's a hypocritical world and we know, there are kettles and pots around. Just that some are the bigger pots.


For the second week running, he scores a brilliant volley. This time round past Mad Jens Lehmann. I don't have to hint McClaren more, eh.

Footballers Acting Like Man Shocker

The incident happened when Wigan's Lee McCulloch planted his elbow into Sheffield United's Chris Morgan's eyes. Firstly, commendable for Lee to go up to Morgan and said 'sorry' to him. As they say sorry seemingly the hardest word to say (especially as a footballer), it was very nice of him indeed. Then you have the victim saying he forgives Lee for his action and not take it to heart. Reminds me of the Pedro Mendes vs Ben Thatcher incident. It's nearing Christmas and let's forgive and forget, shall we?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Reds Put 3 Past Lacklustre Charlton

What Happened To Dirk Kuyt?

English Premiership

Charlton 0 - 3 LIVERPOOL

LIV - Alonso (PEN 3min), Bellamy (82min), Gerrard (88min);

Match Highlights:

Liverpool’s revival continued as they thrash a lackluster Charlton side 3-0. The score didn’t really flatter Liverpool and could’ve been more if only they were more clinical in front of goals with Dirk Kuyt squandering a few chances.

Charlton couldn’t have wished for a worst start when former Liverpool defender, Djimi Traore gave away a penalty. His decision to plant his foot into Pennant’s head cost Charlton dearly and Xabi Alonso stepped up to score from the spot. It was only 3 minutes into the match and already behind.

Sometimes, it’s bad to score too early, just like what Benitez said on many occasions. The players showed the hunger to go for the second but the lack of urgency was a problem. Shots rained at Thomas Myhre’s goal but many of them were off target. Pennant could’ve added a second but Djimi Traore redeemed himself with a excellent goal line clearance.

As Kuyt & Co. missed the chance to add a second, Liverpool players were clearly frustrated. Charlton then took heart and began to believe that they have a chance to score the equalizer. They start to take control and caused a few hairy moments for Liverpool’s backline as Bent, Hreidersson and Ambrose all missed the chance to break Liverpool heart.

But they got the sucker punch as Bellamy sneaked in behind their defence and scored from tight angle. It was all but over for the Addicks, as the goal took away all the belief they had earlier.

Steven Gerrard than put the icing on the cake as he scored a brilliant curler. He evaded the defenders and puts it past Myhre beautifully. It caps a brilliant performance from the captain who had a great game together with Xabi Alonso in the middle.

Another couple of goals scored away from home and Liverpool will now move to 3rd place for perhaps a few hours. Liverpool were just too good for Charlton, who looked distinctly average at times and are very much in danger of relegation. Liverpool’s failure to actually put the ball in the back of the net saved them from further blushes.

Drogballs' Thoughts: First win in that f**king yellow jersey! Haha! Anyway the score could've been much, much more if only Kuyt was luckier/more clinical (pick your choice). There were a few moments where doubts start to creep into my mind on whether we could hold on to the 1-0 lead especially after missing so many chances. "Are we going to be made to pay for all those misses?" I thought.

But Bellamy once again with a brilliant tight angle finish. I think he's more suitable to play when we're away from Anfield with opposition giving him so much space. The fact that Charlton's defence being terrible was another plus point for him to thrive on.

Gerrard and Alonso should always start as our first choice central midfielder even with Sissoko back. They gave a lot of tenacity and balance to the side. They both had an equally good game with Alonso finding his radar of passing and Gerrard doing the dirty jobs, protecting the back four while providing some flair as well. Both were rewarded with goals apiece.

Other than that, other players performed quite well with Pennant showing a little bit of quality we've hope for. Riise got a few problems with Dennis Romedahl's pace as he was outpaced on some occasions.

Overall, the performance was good just that we were not clincal in front of goals. If we're more clinical, it could've been much better and already, this result is much better than the one last season. There goes our away blues, I hope.

Charlton vs Liverpool Preview

Now, let's put aside the fact that "WE STAND NO CHANCE AGAINST BARCA" and "BEING REALISTIC". Here's the realistic chance to push further forward up the table with the clash against Charlton. I remember the painful 2-0 lost against them last season and I'm still gutted.

Last week, both teams were involved in 4 goals thrillers with Liverpool tonking Fulham 4-0 while Charlton got smashed 5-1 by neighbours, Tottenham.

Awful, awful time for Charlton.

Addicks' goalkeeper, Scott Carson, is a loanee from Liverpool and therefore ineligible for tonight's game. Thomas Myhre, the former Everton keeper, is set to deputise.

And Liverpool 'legend', Djimi "One Champions League Winner" Traore will return to the squad following an injury earlier this season. Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink is fit for the game as well.

This game will be a hotly contested one especially after certain newspaper quoting from Steven Gerrard's autobiography of his disrespect for Charlton manager, Les Reed. There's no easy game, but Liverpool will have to take all 3 points.

Drogballs' Prediction: Charlton 0-2 Liverpool. Avenged for last season's defeat, please. Away form is important and I'm sure the belief is there after beating Wigan 4-0 at the JJB a fortnight ago.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Liverpool Draws Barcelona In Knockout Round

Ah, the team that nobody wants to draw got drawn with Liverpool. Barcelona from Spain, playing as the Champions League defending champions up against England's very own Spanish armada led by Rafa Benitez, the very man who pipped Barcelona and Real Madrid during his time at Valencia.

Initially, it was a shock. "What? BARCELONA?! OH MY GOD!" Indeed, but I personally feel that Barcelona is very beatable and that if we're going to win it the 6th time, we must face them sooner or later. Obstacles are always in the way but I hope the players will put up a fight just like David against Goliath. We're going to be the underdog for this game and we have always revelled in that role.

Of course everyone would've hoped for easier draws but we can only play what's ahead of us and since it's fate that we're to meet the Spanish champion, then let's show what we're made of.

Rafa himself knows the Spanish game at his finger tips and I'm sure he'll be happy with the draw. On paper, of course, Liverpool will be the weaker team. Samuel Eto'o is on long term injury and that might be a huge boost. But even without Eto'o, they'll have a Ronaldinho, Messi, Deco and many other top class players.

It might be a tough draw but we have prospered when we're against the odds. The fact that we'll have the second leg played at Anfield, this will certainly help us a little with the Anfield crowd cheering and the re-enacting of the past European nights.

Come on you reds!

Other Draws: