Saturday, January 20, 2007

Reds vs Blues Preview

It's that time of the year again. The over-hyped 'Grand Slam Weekend' is here with Liverpool vs Chelsea and Arsenal vs United on Sunday. I think most Liverpool fan will have to agree with me that we're pretty sick playing Chelsea every few months but always losing out unluckily, especially the last visit to Stamford Bridge which we played pretty well until Drogba's special was enough to see us off.

It's depressing to say that in the Rafa vs Jose battle, Mourinho's record is 5-0 if you count the league and if Liverpool really wants to take a step up to be among the big boys, this is the perfect chance.

Chelsea will have their custodian, Petr Cech, back for this game in his rugby scrum cap This is definitely a boost to Chelsea's defence, which hasn't been as watertight as it used to be in recent weeks due to the absence of both Terry and Cech.

But they will miss out on Claude Makalele due to suspension which means Jon Obi Mikel will deputise. Cashley Hole......Ashley Cole returns to the side after serving his suspension while Andiry Shevchenko is doubtful because we don't know whether he's really injured, Jose doesn't fancy him or he's throwing a hissy fit.

So, will we start the 3 pronged attack with Crouch, Bellamy and Kuyt? Or will Rafa revert back to his conservative 4-4-2 picking either of them. I personally hope we have a go at Chelsea because we're at home and we must come out and attack Chelsea. The 3-4-3 formation will be a risky one but sometimes, risk must be taken.

Drogballs' Prediction: Liverpool 1-0 Chelski. A optimistic prediction from a fan of course. With Cech still lacking match practice and raw while missing out on Terry and Makalele, perhaps we'll have a chance. Come on Reds!

Ladies + Football = .....?

True story from an Arsenal season-ticket holder

His season-ticket last year was an absolute plum seat half way up The Highbury main stand close to the half-way line. In other words, a TV camera style view.

Anyway, after the first few games of the season it became apparent that despite all the home games being sell-outs, the two seats on his left were always empty. This continued until just after Christmas when all of a sudden a guy and his young son appeared there.

After a few weeks of sitting next to this guy and his son, he decided to ask if the guy knew why the seats had been empty for half the season.

The response is legendary:

'Yeah don't even go there mate. The wife bought me and my son a season ticket but decided it would be a nice idea to give us them for Christmas. I was f***in' raging!'

They're pretty bright, aren't they? No offence!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Maybe They Should Do This...

Francesco Totti scoring a penalty with a back heel. A back heel! Look, England players can't even score it with their eyes wide open, this man can do it with his back facing the goal. Perhaps the England players should take a look and learn. At least they won't be bombarded when they miss it.

But please, Gerrard, don't try it at Liverpool...

Rafa A Win Away From Shanks Record

As Rafael Benitez prepares for his 100th league match in charge of the Reds he can justifiably look back with pride on a record that is superior to almost all of his recent predecessors in the Anfield hot-seat.

Rafa's first 99 Prem games
Won: 55
Drew: 18
Lost: 26

With 55 wins already under his belt, Benitez boasts a better record than that achieved by Bob Paisley (54), Gerard Houllier (49), Roy Evans (48) and Graeme Souness (40) over the same period, while victory over the Champions at Anfield tomorrow will see the Spaniard equal the tally of legendary Scot Bill Shankly (56).

By contrast Arsene Wenger won 54 at Arsenal and Alex Ferguson 45 at Manchester United.

Drogballs: It's hard to imagine a man so often criticised by the press is nearing a record which will make many managers proud. Comparing his record to Shankly's one is pretty one off especially in modern times, football have evolved and I believe it has became more competitive than in the past. But take nothing away from our great Bill Shankly. He's still by far our best manager in terms of impact made on the club. Forever our hero.

Wenger took over Arsenal with some pretty good players while Fergie's United isn't the best back in the 80s when he took over. Therefore comparing manager's record might not the a way to judge his ability but rather, I'll look at the trophies that the manager has brought back and by looking at Rafa, 3 cups in 2 seasons isn't too shabby although the Premiership title continues to elude us.

If Rafa's men manage to beat Chelsea (very BIG IF), then Rafa should be proud. Recently, Rick Parry mentioned how Real Madrid, as sly and scheming as ever, tried to head hunt Rafa back in the summer but he chose to stay behind.

Now say, we love Rafa, together with me now!

A Player Who Earns 30k Per Week...

Caught Stealing Toilet Fittings

An England footballer has been given an on-the-spot fine for stealing bathroom fittings.

England defender Glen Johnson, who plays for Portsmouth on loan from Chelsea, and Millwall striker Ben May were caught at B&Q in Dartford, Kent, on Wednesday.

The pair were spotted by a security guard putting a toilet seat into a box with a cheaper price tag before they reached the checkout, The Sun reported.

They also avoided paying for a set of taps by concealing them underneath a sink at the checkout, the newspaper said.

A worker at the store told The S*n: "We all recognised Johnson. No one could quite believe a bloke like him, with all that money, would be moronic enough to nick a toilet seat. But that's what him and May were doing.

"They were spotted by one of our security guards, a chap of 74, and cops arrived as they were trying to leave.

"They seemed to find the whole thing funny and couldn't stop smirking even after they had been arrested."

A Kent Police spokesman said: "Kent Police arrested two 22-year-old men on Wednesday on suspicion of theft in Dartford.

"Both men have been issued with £80 fixed penalty notices."

Gary Double, Portsmouth FC's director of communications, said: "We won't be making a statement."

A Millwall spokeswoman also refused to comment.

Drogballs: I don't know whether to cry or laugh at him. Somebody spare him a toilet seat or something?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Rich Will Get Richer...


While the most expensive thing in the Premiership in years to come won't be Andriy Shevchenko's right foot or Jan Vanegoor of Hesselink's Celtic jersey but surviving in the Premiership itself. Reportedly, the Premier League has signed a lucrative deal in which clubs will now look to secure deals that will put 60% more money into their coffers in years to come starting next season.

Crowned champions will not only get the glory, but also the money. This is how money has start to stamp it's dominance and importance in football itself. The pot of £2.725billion will be shared among the clubs with the league leader winning up to £50 million while the bottom team gets £26 million. This is a far cry from last season in which Chelsea got £30 million and Sunderland, who got relegated, got £16million.

For people like us who earn peanuts compared to that deal, it's mind boggling that football has became a world-wide phenomenon in which money starts pouring in mindlessly. Footballers will get paid more and more while transfer fees will skyrocket in time to come.

As I've always believe, football is just a reflection of our society and to be honest, a very clear one. Just like the society where the rich will become richer and the poor gets poorer, giants like Chelsea and United will get even more money while the rest of the league will be left to pick up scraps left behind.

Is it a good sign? Of course not. We all love football for the passion, the skill and adrenaline on the pitch and not the external mechanics of the game. Money has turned from a cog of the footballing world's engine into the drive and motivation which makes players play. How many players can safely say they play for the love of the club rather than earning a living.

The impact of the deal is yet to be seen. But one can say that it'll revolutionise the game in a very different way. With all the foreign investments coming in and transfer fees flying around in the air, it's hard for one to love football itself already. And before you know it, people are waving the cash in the arms and buying success. No more the days where people have to work for what they deserve.

It'll change the face of the game and we all know that with more cash, it'll only speed up one's road to glory. We all like success, cups and wins. But have we cheapen the value of it? I for one, think so. Nothing we can do, though.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Neill Deal Off?

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has warned that he is ready to pull the plug on the Lucas Neill deal if he continues to stall over money.

The Australian was expected to complete a hassle-free switch to Anfield this January for a bargain price as his Blackburn deal ends in the summer.

But interest from West Ham has apparently seen Neill's representatives demanding more money - quoted at £30,000 a week.

"We are continuing working on these things but we will not wait. If a player wants to come to play for Liverpool, he must say yes quickly," said Benitez in the Liverpool Echo.

"If he thinks about it for too long, maybe it's a signal it's time for us to look for other players. We have alternatives."

Drogballs: If he's really that 'greedy' then sorry, you're not welcomed aboard. We are looking for passionate players who are intelligent and hardworking. Now it just looked as if Neill is a thug who's greedy. Good luck, let's move on before it drags on further.

Who Supports Your Team?

Aston Villa - Prince William

Arsenal - Osama Bin Laden

Bolton - Vernon Kaye

Blackurn - Jim Bowden

Chelsea - Phil Daniels

Charlton - Jim Davidson

Everton - Sly Stallone

Fulham - Michael Caine

Liverpool - Samuel L Jackson/Agelina Jolie

Man City - Liam/Noel Gallagher

Man United - Mick Hucknall

Middlesbrough - Gary Glitter (ROFL LMAO LOLZ!!11!)

Newcastle United - Tony Blair/Robbie Williams

Portsmouth - Fred Dinenage

Reading - Leo Sayer

Sheffield United - Sean Bean

Spurs - Alf Garnett

Watford - Elton John

West Ham - Ray Winstone

Tuesday, January 16, 2007



*Please understand that all these are photoshopped and story might not be true

DIC & Mascherano

The takeover of Liverpool remains on course but is not expected to be completed until the end of the month or even early February.

The inspection of the club's accounts by the potential new owners Dubai International Capital (DIC) is continuing but Liverpool's directors have put off any idea of holding a board meeting until closer to the actual handover.

The due diligence process is now expected to be completed around the end of the month - meaning that the budget for any new signings for Rafael Benitez's side during the transfer window will have to be independent of any DIC cash.

Liverpool bosses decided against holding a board meeting on Tuesday and will wait until DIC have virtually completed the due diligence process before the directors get together to discuss the £450million takeover again.

Drogballs: So that virtually means we have not much money to spend this winter transfer window. Might be a bad news but of course nice to hear the takeover is still on course. I'll bring you the latest update.


FIFA's legal department are considering an appeal from Liverpool to overturn a ruling preventing Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano moving to Anfield from West Ham.

FIFA's rules state that players cannot appear from three clubs in any one year between July 1 and June 30 and Mascherano has already played for Corinthians and West Ham - but Liverpool have pointed out he has only played for the Hammers for six minutes since October.

FIFA are reconsidering the case but it will be a surprise if they overturn their own ruling.

Drogballs: Again, it's those useless rules and red tapes set by FIFA that makes it such a pain in the arse. Whatever it is, I hope we will get the benefit of doubt and sign him. If only they've set rules on players diving and cheating rather than how many clubs a player play a season.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Drogballs' Weekly Thoughts

Hey, I'm back! Tiring day I had but I'll continue to blabber on whether you like it or not.

All Things Liverpool, First

As you've read the previous post, the DIC's takeover is imminent and quoted from our CEO Rick Parry, he said it'll be done pretty soon and I think we should expect the announcement to be made within the next week days or perhaps over the weekends. Pretty much looking forward to it and with those fans still going on with the RTK (Reclaim The Kop), there is no worries about us being 'sold out'.

Wins For All Four

ManYoo, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all had a good weekend. But I predict there will be disappointments in the midst of celebration next weekend because....we're playing Chelsea while Arsenal host ManYoo. It has to be one of the biggest weekend in the English football calender and it might sound cliché, but this is sort of a make or break for all the teams.

ManYoo might be in cruise control, but they should not let up and let slip of the title, which I personally do NOT believe they will. But this is football and an odd anomaly will just hit you in the face and all the good works might be undone in a matter of weeks.

Chelsea finally plays chasing pack after setting the standards for such a long time. They had a terrible time dealing with Cech and Terry's injury while unrest was set about in the squad. Now it is time for Jose to show his man management skill and bring the players together again.

We will have to shrug off the 'wanna-bes' tag by finally beating the top team in the league. We have been suffering from inferiority and this mental block needs to be put right. Also, with tough games like Barcelona and ManYoo coming up, a slip up will cost us the European place especially with Bolton and Pompey still hot on our heels.

Arsenal, meanwhile, can build on their impressive run with a victory over United again. That result at Old Trafford was a fantastic one to say the least and if they can snatch another 3 points from ManYoo, who knows, they might be THE ultimate downfall for ManYoo.

The race is heating up although title race is restricted to only 2 teams. With 2nd and 3rd place all to play for, it's now or never.

Relegation Strugglers Struggles

Surprise! Watching the Premier League highlights and seeing how they manage to blew their chances is not surprising but rather, amusing. Charlton, as usual, was a shower of sh*te and managed to lose heavily at home to 'Boro. The defending was comical and even with Carson in goal, nobody could save them. Might be too early to say but I don't see them staying up.

West Ham, how the mighty have fallen! With Yossi Benayoun finally decided to turn up for the game and rediscovered his form of last season, his team mates went to 'drunkard' mode and managed to self destruct. Firstly, Bobby Zamora turned from hero to zero with that unnecessary sending off. Then they conceded a very soft equaliser in the 90th minute. The defending was horrendous throughout and do they actually know how to deal with aerial threats?

But they have Sheffield United to thank for, as the Blades managed to blew it as well. Holding on to a precious 1-0 lead over Portsmouth, Claud Davis managed to screw it all up when he had a huge misunderstanding with goalkeeper, Paul Gerard and in the end, both of them were made to look liked utter buffoons. You could imagine the dressing room after the match with Neil Warnock......

Spurs Spurns It

I don't know why but I think I should have a go at Tottenham after watching them lost to a Newcastle youth team. It was puzzling. It was bizarre. With the Geordies defence made up of some 19 year olds and a right winger, Tottenham piled on pressure but was thwarted time and again by the brilliant Shay Given.

In my humble opinion, he has to be one of the best goalkeeper in the league and to me, he's like who Casillas is to Real Madrid. A bunch of scare crows in front of him, he had to do the majority of the defending albeit his lack of height and commanding presence.

That's beside the point. Spurs took the lead. Then soon found themselves leveled when Paul 'Ate the pies' Robinson decided to hand them an early Valentine's Day gift. How he's still England's number 1, I'll never know. The faster Ben Foster or Scott Carson takes over the better anyway.

Spurs then predictably took the lead again but began a sequence of self destruction. Martins scored with perhaps a shot which was meant to break the net while Butt scored from tight angle. Like how they did Liverpool, threw Dawson on as striker and began their long ball bombardment tactics.

Is it me, or do I find Tottenham a team who goes around buying players just for the bloody sake of buying? They seemed to buy 5-6 players every time the transfer window opens and they're all youngsters (preferably English midfielders). How on earth does Jol managed to keep them all happy is still quite a mystery, but his constant tinkering is costing his team while the press hasn't been hard on him as they did to our Rafa Benitez.

Ashley Young for 10million? Go on! Because I can't remember him completing a single pass in the game against Liverpool. And you wonder why they 'under-achieve'.

Biggest Cock Up By Far

Liverpool close to £156m takeover
By Mihir Bose
BBC sports editor

Liverpool Liverpool are on the verge of agreeing a £156m takeover by the investment arm of Dubai's government.

The club's board of directors will discuss the final proposals by the Dubai International Capital Group at a meeting on Tuesday.

The deal, which will net chairman David Moyes more than £75m, is close to bring completed, but is not expected to be finalised until next week.

Moyes, who owns 51.6% of the club, made an initial investment of around £10m.

Please, don't mix up our chairman with that blueshite gollum. MY PRECIOUSSSSS!

Quotes From Brian Clough

He led Nottingham Forest to their European glory and considered one of the best British managers. He sadly passed away 2 years back but his legacy lives on

Especially with quotes like these:

If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he'd have put grass up there." On the importance of playing football on the ground.

"Manchester United in Brazil? I hope they all get bloody diarrhea." On Man Utd opting-out of the FA Cup to play in the World Club Championship.

"I can't even spell spaghetti never mind talk Italian. How could I tell an Italian to get the ball - he might grab mine." On foreign players.

"I bet their dressing room will smell of garlic rather than liniment over the next few months." On the number of French players at Arsenal.

"Who the hell wants fourteen pairs of shoes when you go on holiday? I haven't had fourteen pairs in my life." On Posh Spice's missing luggage.

"I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one." On success.

"On occasions I have been big headed. I think most people are when they get in the limelight. I call myself Big Head just to remind myself not to be." On his nickname.

"At last England have appointed a manager who speaks English better than the players." On the appointment of Sven Goran Eriksson as England manager.

"If he'd been English or Swedish, he'd have walked the England job." On Martin O'Neill.

"Anybody who can do anything in Leicester but make a jumper has got to be a genius." On Martin O'Neill.

"The ugliest player I ever signed was Kenny Burns." A compliment to Kenny Burns.

"Stand up straight, get your shoulders back and get your hair cut." Advice for John McGovern at Hartlepool.

"Take your hands out of your pockets." Advice to Trevor Francis as he received an award.

"The Derby players have seen more of his balls than the one they're meant to be playing with." On the streaker who appeared during Derby County v Manchester United.

"I only ever hit Roy the once. He got up so I couldn't have hit him very hard." On Roy Keane.

"Walk on water? I know most people out there will be saying that instead of walking on it, I should have taken more of it with my drinks. They are absolutely right." On his alcohol problem.

"I'm dealing with my drinking problem and I have a reputation for getting things done." On his alcohol problem.

"Don't send me flowers when I'm dead. If you like me, send them while I'm alive." After an operation.

"Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes." On England's exit from Euro 2000.

"We talk about it for twenty minutes and then we decide I was right." On dealing with players who disagree.

"I want no epitaphs of profound history and all that type of thing. I contributed - I would hope they would say that, and I would hope somebody liked me," On how he would like to be remembered.

"It was a crooked match and he was a crooked referee. That was a tournament we could and should have won." On the 1984 UEFA Cup semi-final Forest lost to Anderlecht.

"I'm sure the England selectors thought if they took me on and gave me the job, I'd want to run the show. They were shrewd, because that's exactly what I would have done." On being rejected for the England manager's job.

"You don't want roast beef and Yorkshire every night and twice on Sunday." On too much football on television.

"If a chairman sacks the manager he initially appointed, he should go as well." On too many managers getting the boot.

"I thought it was my next door neighbour, because I think she felt that if I got something like that, I'd have to move." Guessing who nominated him for a knighthood.

"For all his horses, knighthoods and championships, he hasn't got two of what I've got. And I don't mean balls!" Referring to Sir Alex Ferguson's failure to win two successive European Cups.

"I like my women to be feminine, not sliding into tackles and covered in mud." On women's football.

''That Seaman is a handsome young man but he spends too much time looking in his mirror, rather than at the ball. You can't keep goal with hair like that." On England goalkeeper David Seaman.

"I've missed him. He used to make me laugh. He was the best diffuser of a situation I have ever known. I hope he's all right." On the late Peter Taylor.

"He's learned more about football management than he ever imagined. Some people think you can take football boots off and put a suit on. You can't do that." On ex-England player David Platt's first season as Forest manager.

"He should guide Posh in the direction of a singing coach because she's nowhere near as good at her job as her husband." On David Beckham.

"Barbara's supervising the move. She's having more extensions built than Heathrow Airport." On moving house in Derbyshire, England.