Friday, May 11, 2007

'I'll Carry Owen Back To Anfield'

Out of the mouth of Newcastle Chairman cum Pie Eater, FFS.... Oh Freddy Shepherd.

Right on the day he questioned Owen's loyalty and commitment to Newcastle. Okay, I guess they both deserves each other..

Lucas To Liverpool?

Well I guess those who have played the last two installments of Football Manager wouldn't be too unfamiliar with the name, Lucas. Yes, that Brazilian wonderkid at Gremio. According to some sources from Portugal, he has signed for Liverpool for £4.5m.

No official word yet but if that's true, it's probably a brilliant news. He's the youngest every player in the Brazilian league to win the player of the year award and is currently the captain of the Brazilian U-20 squad.

A bit of mix between Gerrard's grittiness and Alonso's gracefulness on the ball, he is one to look out for in the future. But could this mark the end of Alonso or Sissoko's career at Anfield? Stay tune to find out.

The only English source

Fowler Not Given Contract Extension

Robbie Fowler's Liverpool career will come to an end this weekend against Charlton Athletic after the former England striker was informed that he will not be offered a new contract. Rafael Benítez met Fowler this week and confirmed that his one-year deal would not be renewed when it expires next month.

Fowler has scored 183 goals in 368 games in two spells with the club, establishing him as the fifth most prolific forward in the Reds' history. The player will explore his options and Bolton, whose manager Sammy Lee coached Fowler at Anfield, could represent one potential destination. Jerzy Dudek will also bid goodbye to Liverpool against relegated Charlton, with the Polish goalkeeper out of contract next month.

The Guardian

All the best, Robbie 'God'. I guess nobody expected him to return to Liverpool after that fall out with Gerard Houllier but it all seemed like a fairy tale from my perspective. To come back and play for Liverpool once again must've been a dream come true from the man whose tear dropped the day he left Anfield.

I shall leave the tribute to him to later on and let's hope he gets the winner at Athens! That'll probably be the best farewell gift, from God.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fanbantas' One Minute Of Silence

Now I came across this from Who Ate All The Pies and thought it's pretty funny. I've never been to a live football match, let alone experiencing the one minute of silence. But I think this is probably what's going on during the one minute of silence.

It's a new website and sign up if you're interested. It's Fanbanta.

Christian Vieri !!!

He used to be one of the most feared striker in world football and if I'm not wrong, he's still amongst the top 10 most expensive players of all time.

His wonderful left foot and charisma on the pitch has been missed after age caught up with him and the former Inter and AC Milan man is currently at Atalanta, if you're not aware. Only recently, he scored this absolute scorcher:


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Valdano Bitchslaps Iberian Duo

I know I'm seldom a whiny person that goes around complaining what people say but it's just going worst. It's getting on my nerves.

Maybe jealous, maybe a little sour grapes. But Real Madrid legend, has came out blasting Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez for their team's extremely boring game at Anfield last week.

But I personally thought it was uncalled for and the man clearly doesn't understand that football is no longer what he think it is now.

Yes, we all could tell that it wasn't the best game on TV all season long and when Chelsea drew Liverpool, everyone probably went 'oh no not again'. It was a game of two extremely organised and disciplined side, going head to head and it was about finding the right opportunity, pouncing on opposition's mistake and punish them.

But how insulting it is to go on and say the Anfield crowd will probably cheer even if a stick with a sh*t hanging out of it? He probably needs to come down to Anfield to actually experience it himself or he's just outside looking in.

Does he not know what is the passion of football all about? Does he think that football is all about skills, flicks and tricks? Absolutely not.

Because we know in this age, money has flooded into the game and the financial implication of a loss in cup games is a huge undertaking for clubs, especially at the top level. Losing is probably never an option so teams set out to try and not lose games. It's understandable.

In Europe, you can risk and play football the 'beautiful' way and get punished. How many teams can tell you that? Ultimately, people remembers the winners, not the losers. Barcelona plays better football than Liverpool to be honest, but it's the result that matter at the end of it.
And this is of course, out of the mouth of a sporting director of Real Madrid, of all places. They've tried to build the 'galaticos' and play beautiful football but how the mighty have fallen. When was the last time they won the league 'beautifully' with all the money spent?

I'm no preacher of the negative direct football of both Jose and Rafa but I don't think anyone has the right to criticise a certain style. Formations and tactics move on with times and we no longer see the 3-4 forwards, which was commonly used back in the 60s.

We've got to understand that football tactics have evolved and with so much at stake, it's understandable as to why certain managers are more careful with their formations. As cliche as it sounds, a team usually is a the direct representation of their manager. So why is it wrong?

And the last part of it was the worst when it became a personal attack on both Jose and Rafa. He mentioned as to how both of them failed to make it big in football, as if ridiculing them for not being able to make it as footballer while he himself is a World Cup winner.

Thing is, winning you the World Cup doesn't give you the right to have a right pop at people with their style.

Probably yes, their failure previously made them who they are. But I do not think he is in any position to criticise how people should and should not deal with their team. I do not love Jose and I do not really want to defend a t**t but there's always a bigger one out there.

Yes, it's hard to watch. But welcome to 2007, where every win matters and every lost is probably something more. And I for one, can't stand what he said about our fans. We have the right to sing and be passionate about so why take it away from us?

Saying that is questioning the intelligence of the fans. We do not need some obnoxious, ignorant, self righteous and high on pedestal person to preach to us how to play football.

I hope that keeps his mouth shut, World Cup winner. But hey, even Kleberson is one!


As I was reading Soccernet's article, I came across this one on the top 10 flops of this season. Absolutely aghast to see a certain Gabriel Paletta within that list. What are you thinking, sir?

I have to admit that his performance this season hasn't really set the world alight and he was part of the defence that leaked a grand total of 9 goals 2 miserable games against Arsenal (right?).

But for God's sake, this is only his first season at the club and as an Argentinian, there's a certain learning curve for the young defender before he can actually excel. Just look, how many Argentinians actually made it big in the Premiership?

As I've mentioned, he's a youngster. Although Rafa Benitez did bigged him up before he signed, claiming he can be as good as Carragher, there was little expectations from the majority of the Liverpool fans because we know he'll have to work his way up and past the likes of Carragher, Agger and even Hyypia.

Proof came earlier with the 5-0 pre-season defeat to Mainz

Taking an example from a pre-season friendly just makes you wonder about the credibility of it all. Everyone played crap perhaps including a few key players so why highlight only him?

Rafael Benitez has numerous reasons to be grateful for Jamie Carragher's dependability and fine fitness record. The prospect of Paletta deputising ranks high among them.

You've forgotten a certain Sami Hyypia, eh?

Putting Paletta alongside major flops like Khalid Boulahrouz and Andriy Shevchenko is in some ways, laughable. To me, they are in totally different echelon and should not be even classified together because some came to England, already with huge reputation and steady career while why picked on a young Argentinian centre half who is here to learn and ply his trades?

And a certain Emile Heskey didn't even make it to the list. How ridiculous.

Drogballs' Weekly Thoughts

Chelsea Falters, ManYoo Crowned Champions

A part my soul will die after typing the following line.

Congratulations, ManYoo, for winning the title and you guys deserved it 100%.

Ouch. Okay, back to point. With the heat of the race heating up over the past few months, it was finally extinguished at The Emirates Stadium on Sunday after Chelsea failed to get all three points and effectively ending their title chase.

Since Abramovich bought over the club, Chelsea had never played the chasing pack until this season, with ManYoo in their best and all Chelsea could do was to keep chasing and at times, it looked like it was hanging by a thread.

There were times when it looked like ManYoo could do with the biggest cock-up in the history of the Premiership, surpassing the great Newcastle team back in 1996, managed by Kevin 'I'd love it!' Keegan. But they showed character and were were unfazed by Chelsea's constant harrying. With the Blues hot on their trail weekly, they made it to the finish line with some poise.

And to finish the race right at the backyard of their most bitter rival must have made Fergie smiling like an idiot despite knowing that Chelsea still COULD delay the celebrations. But deep down, he knows it. Just that gut feeling from the wily old manager who ply his trade longer than I am on earth.

That's why he probably didn't watch the Arsenal-Chelsea game and was having a whisky, playing golf as he said.

Perhaps that sort of attitude made ManYoo who they are today. The little bit of arrogance yet with some style. You see it in Ronaldo, don't you? His rise to stardom was much helped by the farce during the World Cup and since then, he was different gravy from the rest.

Rooney, said to have a disappointing season by some of the press, replied them by scoring a grand total of 21 goals. Maybe too much expectations heaped on the shoulders of the scouser but I don't think anyone expects him to score 40 anyway. Although overshadowed by his enemy in Gelsinkirgen, he's still a integral part of the winning team.

Do I still need to mention Giggs, Scholes and Neville? Their experience probably got United through the last stage of the season when so much pressure were on the team and all the focus and spotlight of the world are probably on them.

Comparing Chelsea's injury this season to ManYoo's, it's a far cry to be honest. You could say that ManYoo were pretty 'lucky' with it but towards the end of the season, you could see the injuries started to pile.

Although their results went a little awry in some cases like the one against Boro and Portsmouth, they still managed to scramble past the finishing line .

Chelsea on the other hand probably paid the price for their 'luck' that was shown to them in previous seasons. Cech and Cudicini were out for a period of time and how unlucky is it to lose two key goalkeepers in the same stretch? Tells you a story about how even with two goalkeepers, it's never safe.

They have tripped and bungled in certain parts of the season especially towards the end when it seemed vaguely possible for them to catch up with ManYoo, failing to capitalise on two or three occasions. Newcastle and Bolton comes to mind.

Lightning don't strike the same place twice but Chelsea's downfall could probably be plotted back in February when they lost to a certain team that kicked them out of the Champions League recently.

Whatever it is, the news is out and although we'll have to get some earful from our fellow ManYoonited fans in the coming months but truly, it's hard to argue as to who are the real winners this season. From day one, they steamrolled past everyone and ground out the right results when necessary.

Well done. (I'll probably write more about this in another separate post because I really have a lot to say!)

Charlton Relegates, West Ham Hanging On

It's quite a surprise as to how West Ham, despite having a really indifferent season, are still hanging on for survival in the Premiership to this day and dragging on the relegation battle down to the wire.

But perhaps just, by the skin of the teeth. But it might also just be a delayed judgment from the London club.

With the title sealed, signed and delivered to ManYoo, there is still one thing that hasn't been confirmed and that's the number 18th spot in the Premiership.

And no, it's not a nice place to be.

Financial implication aside, how painful is it to see a long time regular of the Premiership losing their top flight status? Charlton for example, was relegated last night after failing to win at the Valley. And what an apt name for them, anyway.

They've been made the model of any promoted club that wished to stay while Wigan and West Ham were probably the opposite. They had a fairy tale first season in the Premiership and then went on to crash and burn in their second. How did they do it? Well, it's quite easy when complacency creeps in.

When Mascherano and Tevez signed for West Ham, big things were expected from the Argentinian duo. As a losing side from last season's FA Cup Finals, lots of expectations were heaped on them to do well and go a step further that is Europe but they faltered.

Wigan, meanwhile, has turned from a club that drew lots of attention to the club nobody cared about, even their fans. A rugby town by nature, the 'fans' aren't probably long time supporters and is it any surprise that they all left when Paul Jewell's Wigan lost 3-0 at home to fellow strugglers, West Ham.

They sold some influential players like Jimmy Bullard and Arjen De Zueew in the summer and they never looked like the Wigan last term. Heskey is back to his 'causing his club to relegate' shocker while Henri Camara was a spectre of his former self.

Wigan will face Sheffield United away next while West Ham will visit Old Trafford. Who has got the easier game? Answer is probably none because both are tough teams to beat especially away. And if West Ham thinks that Fergie might play his reserves against them, then they might be in for a shock because I believe they're in for a celebration and would love to put up a good show for their fans before their celebratory finally takes off.

In all, their destiny is in their own hands and it'll be interesting to see who stays up. My heart tells me West Ham, though.

All Results:

Man City 0-1 Man U
Everton 3-0 Portsmouth
Fulham 1-0 Liverpool
Newcastle 0-2 Blackburn
Reading 0-2 Watford
West Ham 3-1 Bolton
Wigan 0-1 Boro
Villa 3-0 Sheff. Utd
Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea
Charlton 0-2 Tottenham

Why Are We So Nice?

Liverpool's probably your nice kid in the class who doesn't attract much attention and does his work on time.

To be honest, too nice for the good. Toughen up a bit lads!