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.