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:









Thursday, December 14, 2006

Liverpool Christmas Party Bash!

Honestly, I don't know who got all these pictures. Saw them over at Dirty Dan's and then found them over at Red and White Kop's forums. Interesting pictures I must say.

Skipper, Steven Gerrard!

Bellamy (I think he deserve the best dressed award)
Bolo Zenden as Captain America
Xabi Alonso as.... Xabi Alonso...

Robbie 'God' Fowler as Sadam!

Jerzy Dudek as Darth Vader!

Jamie Carragher as Spiderman

Steve Finnan as I don't know what....

Harry Kewell showing his Ozzie pride

Mark Gonzalez? Or Nabil El Zhar??

Luis Garcia da PIMP!

Sami Hyypia as Zoro?

Pepe Reina!

Stevie Warnock

He knew he looks like Wayne Rooney, John Arne Riise

WTF, Jermaine Pennant?!

Super, super Dirk Kuyt

Daniel Agger

Last but not least, the one that attracts all attention and makes the world goes round......

Peter Crouch the parrot!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh my god. I'm sure they had fun. Such an early Christmas for the lads, eh. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Misread Quote Of The Day/Week/Months

"We stick together through thick and thin and when the chips were down on Sunday, we came back and we came back strong." - Cashley Hole

We should assume that the chips were with Frank Lampard.

Now You Should Know Why...

We Asians don't really care about whatever 'Asians Champions League' or 'Asian Cup'. It's done to death about how we could improve Asian football with the help of the press yada yada (last night on Football Focus). You want to know why we don't support local or even Asian football? Well..

Now you know why....

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Drogballs' Weekly Thoughts

Another round of Premiership gone and this time with a bang. A Manchester derby, a London derby and a couple of cracking goals. Not forgetting the man who showed his loyalty but got the almighty axe (or hammer in this case) befalling on his head. It's none other than Mr Alan Pardew.

Drogballs on the West Ham/Pardew Issue:

If I'm a West Ham fan, I'll be mightily pissed. Two weeks back Eggert "Egghead" Magnusson said Pardew will get his full backing after completing the takeover of West Ham. And then one alright result followed by a mauling by Bolton means Alan Pardew got the axe. To me, it's a terrible decision by the new board and I really hope this is not what foreign investors do to the clubs. With news surrounding Liverpool about the impending takeover, one will have to sweat over the fact that these investors wants to see results instantly and has no compassion over whether the fans loves the manager or not. No results to show, out you go.

He showed incredible man-management and determination to bring West Ham from the depths of the Coca Cola championship to the peak to FA Cup Finals, where they narrowly lost to a very plucky Liverpool. He stuck with them, got them promoted, faced with the prospect of losing his big name players, over-achieved in their first season in the Premiership. Getting the boot now is a little premature and honestly, unfair.

But the turning point would have to be the signing of THAT two Argentinians. No, they aren't terrible footballers or some former great player's grandson. Mind you they are full Argentine international. But they just failed to click with the team and there was some uneasiness surrounding West Ham constantly. With this in mind, expectations heaped on Pardew and his boys (literally). A young squad full of prospect now got unsettled by this two big time players who sticks out like a sore thumb. Two of the thumbs actually.

Nigel Reo-Coker's rubbish form might also be one of the reasons. Arsenal had a last day bid for him before the transfer window closes and we can be quite sure this current West Ham skipper was not the one we saw last season. Out of sort, out of form and his heart? Out of West Ham. He's not the only one of course, but as a captain, he have to bear the heavy responsibility.

Now, Curbishley will be the ideal man for the West Ham job, I reckon. He's English, which fits the principle of West Ham, an academy of football. Bringing in a continental manager would be quite contradicting and who knows some Swedish (coughs) might bring in some big time charlies and forgot about the production of youths.

Anyway, all the best to West Ham. I've got a soft spot for you Hammers.

Weekend's Winner:

There's is little doubt that over the weekends, the biggest winner would have to be ManYoo. A victory over their bitter rivals is enough to make them in the bracket. The performance wasn't the best but they managed to sweep Citeh aside just shows everyone why they're currently the favourites to dethrone Chelsea. Just touch wood and cross your fingers Giggs, Cronaldo, Saha or Roonster gets injured. Or it could become quite ugly...

The clash between Chelsea and Arsenal also ensured ManYoo being the big winners. As they say, let the opponents kill themselves off and then we go for the remaining, Arsenal truely gave ManYoo a big hand and Chelsea letting themselves down at times. The result means ManYoo now holds a 8 points lead over Chelsea. It's game on....but only for two teams.

Chelsea, Drogba & Lehmann:

Well, now it's clear to see what a busybody owner could do to a team. It's alleged that Andriy Shevchenko hasn't been able to gel with the team (in terms of the on & off the pitch stuff) and that he hasn't got much friends. His best friend being...Roman Abra himself is quite a problem. Because I wonder who picks the team nowadays. Jose or Roman? Because looking at their performances, even a git could tell 4-4-2 just doesn't suit Chelsea and Sheva just looked so out of place.

Is it Jose who insisted on playing Sheva every game or is there some dark politics? The 4-5-1 that had been implemented so successfully over the last 2 seasons was taken apart and the arrival of Ballack & Sheva over the summer is questionable. It's clear that once Chelsea reverts back to 4-5-1 (Robben & SWP providing width), they looked so much threatening and showed more urgency. And playing Sheva as the one on top is suicidal. Ballack just don't look he give an arse with his hands on his hips most of the time, you gotta wonder again.

Anyway it might looked funny and you can laugh about it, but the LehmannDrogs antic (see video below) is just embarrassing. Do you see rugby players do that? Nowadays nobody takes football serious anymore because there are jokers like this on the pitch. Clean up the act, punish those fools.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I Can't Help But Laugh

Yesterday during the London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea, not only did Cashley Hole caught the attention, Mad Jens Lehmann and Didier Diver Drogba did their best to impress as well.

They really have problems staying on their feet. But seriously, they should be stand up comedians instead.

The Old Ajax....

Watch them play:

Look at the speed at which the players spread the ball to the flanks and then attack from there. It's watching Arsenal's build up and ManYoo's clinical finishing. Great to watch.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

MATTHEW TAYLOR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

England's left side problem? Seriously the answers are everywhere. Just that McClaren don't know where to find them. Gareth Barry and of course, Matty Taylor!

Reds Kop The Cottagers

Four-midable - 4 Goals, 4th Place

English Premiership

LIVERPOOL 4 - 0 Fulham

LIV - Gerrard (54min), Carragher (61min), Garcia (66min), M. Gonzalez (90+3min);

Match Highlights:

4 goals. 4th place in the Premiership table. Liverpool is slowly but steadily moving up the table as they gradually recover from their early season slump. With their previous win away from home, Reds drew confidence and went on to beat a spirited and defiant Fulham side by 4 goals and will now move into fourth place.

The first half was very much one way traffic with Liverpool with the lion share of possession but the lack of killer touch and cutting edge continued to frustrate the players and fans alike. Even with DIC (Dubai International Co.) representatives including their CEO present, Liverpool failed to spark into life and nearly went behind when American striker, Brian McBride managed to turn beautifully and strike the ball on target on a volley. But Pepe Reina produced a fabulous save to continue his consecutive clean sheets.

The insipid and lethargic performance was then turned into a great match with Liverpool showing their clinical side and brushed Fulham off with ease in the second half.

And I wondered what Rafa Benitez said to the players during half time.

Kuyt, who had 2 previous hand ball claims turned down, finally got it his way with the third and up steps skipper Gerrard. His initial penalty was saved by Jan Lastuvka but he managed to score from the rebound. Relief for Rafa’s men.

Then the goal that everyone has been awaiting finally arrive. Not one from 80 yards out, but a tap in from Kop’s much beloved Jamie Carragher. It was his first goal since 1999 and it was pure joy as the team ran and hugged together and showed their unity and appreciation for a man who seldom scores but does so much otherwise.

Luis Garcia then added a third with a superb looping header before Mark Gonzalez puts the icing on the cake with a peach. The last kick of the game, 20 yards out and he dispatched the free kick into the bottom right corner, out of Lastuvka’s reach.

An outstanding second half performance from Liverpool compared to the first. But credits to Fulham especially in the second half. They defended well and were compact as a team. They denied Liverpool space in the midfield and did string up some good moves which caused some problems for the Liverpool backline.

Drogballs' Thoughts: Great performance although the first half was frustrating as ever and I was fearing that it would not be out day again. I wished we had put up with this sort of performance earlier in the season. It might be a little too late, but better late than never!

It's nice to see us scoring another 4, keeping another clean sheet and of course, CARRAGHER ON THE F*KING SCORE SHEET! I mean, I don't think anyone will ever bank on him to score again and there he was, sliding in from the far post. Pure striker instinct from his part and I was pleased to see everyone going over to give him their appreciation and Gerrard being so overjoyed for his scouse pal.

Kuyt and Bellamy both played equally well albeit not as outstanding as last week. They worked really hard and Kuyt was unlucky on several occasions but got us a penalty which turned the game in our favour. Bellamy worked the channels well and his pace caused some problems.

The midfield was brilliant though, I must comment. The second half performance from the middle men was awesome with Gerrard imposing himself and Alonso doing what he does best. Luis Garcia had a really quiet and ineffective afternoon scored a beauty! I was ranting to my friend about him and Rafa should've changed him already. Right the next moment, BANG!

Even Pennant showed some promise. His touches still sloppy but he now dares to run at defenders and the quality of his crosses are improving over time.

Defence was solid but there were a few hairy moment in which Reina saved wonderfully from McBride. Agger had a good game back and front, Finnan back to his imperious best and Riise always running back and forth.

A fantastic win and I'm happy with this. I'm sure Sheikh will be well pleased that this is the team he is going to acquire and that the team is in good hands. Even after such a disastrous start to the season, we still found ourselves in the 4th spot level on points with third place Portsmouth.

Hopefully we can now go on a roll just like we did last season at this point of time. With the confidence back up, good news of investment rolling in and doing away the away day blues, I'm sure Liverpool can now march on and put up with their best from now on till May.