Friday, June 01, 2007

You Don't Say.... Part One

After every season, we look back to the things that happened and we sometimes, laughed at it. Sometimes, we cry about it. Good goals make us feel a little happier inside but the best thing to do especially after a season is none other than looking back at the quotes made by various players and managers.

Nothing better to look back and see who had their faces dirtied by eggs or got fat because of too much 'humble pie'.

* "A select group? The champions will come from a select group of one" - Peter Kenyon

* "I haven't laughed so much since Ma caught her tits in the mangle" - Ken Bates responds to Chelski's accusations of racism.

* "That's what he said. We wouldn't make it up" - The Leeds United website, after hacks phoned up to ask if Bates' quotes were accurate.

* "Makelele is not a football player, Makelele is a slave - Jose Mourinho's verdict on the Chelski midfielder's France call-up despite his 'international retirement'.

* "He reminds me of the sort of players 15 or 20 years ago. He looks like a Seventies player with his haircut" - Chris Coleman hails Jimmy Bullard, just days before everyone's favourite midfielder was ruled out for the season.

* "If there was a possibility of signing Titus Bramble, I would do it right now. He is a quality defender" - Jim Magilton

* "I had a bust-up with Schmikes (Peter Schmeichel) once. He was towering over me and we're eye to eye. I'm looking up and thinking 'If he hits me, I know I'm dead'. The other players were almost covering their eyes" - Sir Alex

Stay tune for more on 'You Don't Say'.

24: Steven Gerrard vs Sheffield Utd

A classy finish from the skipper. Once again, a product of a good move down the middle and he delicately tapped the ball past the onrushing Sheffield Utd defender before firing past Paddy Kenny.

Top 25 Liverpool Goals of 06/07

Here we go again, after the end of my seasonal team review, it's time we look back on some of the great goals from the 2006/07 season. It was a bit of a lacklustre season but still, I managed to dig out 25 top class goals throughout the season.

So do stay tune and follow the countdown to number 1, daily!

Here's a start, the number 25 goal of the season is...

25. LUIS GARCIA vs Aston Villa 28/10/06 (3-0)

A well worked team goal and finished brilliantly from Little Luis. The movement of the forward line in which Crouch and Kuyt pulling defenders off, allowing Gerrard to thread the pass for Luis Garcia to finish calmly under the body of Sorensen.

So do stay tune tomorrow for number 24!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

On The Backfoot Again

The day when ManYoo clinched the deal of Owen Hargreaves, Anderson and Nani for a total cost of 50million GBP, Rafa speaks about being excited over the double swoop...... of two Hungarian youngsters nobody heard of.

The constant preaching from Rafa Benitez about how we should seal off deals as soon as possible seemed to have fallen on deaf ears and I as a fan, am getting impatient. I do not know whether they are just waiting for the right time or letting their incompetency affect the entire club.

Rumours of Rafa Benitez handling in official resignation is probably just one of the many rubbish you'll hear all summer but as it stands, maybe even Rafa himself is can't stand it anymore. Is the cash promised still not released? Are we still talking to players but not doing anything?

We do not know how it works in the boardroom but seriously, if all we can get excited about is 2 Hungarian youngsters, then I think it speaks volume about the ambition of the club. After years of signing second or third choice players, can we afford to waste further time and fall further behind?

Is it another summer where we speculate about David Villa, Carlos Tevez and Fernando Torres and all we'll get is Darren Bent and Kevin Doyle? Are we going to sign Matthew Taylor instead of David Silva or Simao?

I'm sick of this already. If this is what we want, then prepare for another few barren years. Not as if we had enough. Please sort it out.

Hmmm.. So....

Is the American government going to meet Her Majesty to discuss about the rowdy ManYoo fans and complain to UEFA?

Then UEFA releasing a report about how 'this is how English fans behave' and it must be 'Liverpool's fault!'.

I think so!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New Poll Is Up

Alright, after all the seasonal team review, it's time to make your decision on who has been Liverpool's best player this season.

I'll put it up for 2 weeks and will do a conclusion at the end of it. Have fun!

Rafa's Best Signing Is....

Well, the poll has ended and the you have voted XABI ALONSO as the best player Rafa Benitez has signed since his appointment back in 2004.

Out of the 347 votes, ALONSO holds a whooping 116 votes, which is 33% of the total while PEPE REINA is close behind, with 62 votes and 18%.

Other results:

Daniel Agger 51 votes/15%
Javier Mascherano 40 votes/12%
Dirk Kuyt 39 votes/11%
Peter Crouch 27 votes/8%
Momo Sissoko 6 votes/2%
Jermaine Pennant 6 votes/2%

Thank you guys for the participation! Greatly appreciated.

Post Season Team Review Part III

After reviewing the defence and midfield components of the team, it's time to focus on where the goals come from and that's the forward line.

With the inclusion of Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy last summer, Liverpool were looking to include more options upfront to support Peter Crouch and after a season, the views of both the players seems divided.

So here's my take:

9. Robbie Fowler

Signed from Man City last season during the winter transfer break, it was to boost the rank of the Liverpool strike force back then, when hitting the back of the net seemed pretty tough. It was also to give the fans something to cheer about as Fowler never really had a chance to bid his goodbye to the Anfield crowd properly.

Rewind it forward to 2007, he has had a decent season although it appears that his chances are limited due to the arrival of Kuyt and Bellamy.

But when he was called upon, he seldom fails to deliver. Yet the injuries over the years and that pair of old legs seemed to have taken a toil on the man they dubbed the Anfield God.

He made 6 starts and 10 substitute appearances for Liverpool this term and yielded 3 goals which is an impressive statistic. But if you're not aware, the 3 goals all didn't come from open play.

But his real contributions did come in the domestic cup games while off the pitch, he'll always provide the players with his experiences and also his presence in the dressing room helps the team in some extent.

Although his farewell match didn't turn out to be a fairytale story, it just wouldn't change our mindset of one of the club's greatest striker. Thank God for him.

Grade: B-

15. Peter Crouch

Who would've thought that when Liverpool goes through another round of 'Rafalution', the beanpole striker will manage to hold down a spot in the team and becomes an integral part of it?

Not me, and I don't think you do too. But what an amazing turnaround for a so called journeyman football, who has gone through the ups and downs, switching clubs and ended up playing for Liverpool, FA Cup winner and CL finalist.

Ridiculed for his build, he has since silenced many critics including me myself. Looking back, that 7million GBP paid for him seemed justifiable since English player's price always seemed to be inflated.

His stats shows 19 starts and 9 goals. That is an impressive return for the forward and also not discounting his 8 assists.

And from the mentality of 'let's not start him upfront' to this season's 'start him, Rafa, he'll deliver', it's amazing how the big man with good touch has managed to change our views of him. Memorable moments including that 'perfect hat trick' against Arsenal and his double scissor kicks in the league against Bolton and in the Champions League against Galatasaray.

Grade: A- (Nominee for TRC's Player of the Year)

17. Craig Bellamy

The Welsh striker is brought in to provide Rafa Benitez an alternative option for his strikeforce. For years, Liverpool have had a dearth of pacy strikers and that has limited us to pretty one dimensional football at times.

With the forward's speed and acceleration, it no doubt struck fear in the opposition defence and with his previous season at Blackburn being rather decent, Liverpool fans expect something from him.

But with only 7 goals in 23 starts, it was rather disappointing from the front man as he squandered bucket-loads of chances earlier in the season before hitting a high just about the right time and then slid downwards again towards the end of season.

If he's the answer to Michael Owen, then we're sadly mistaken and that he doesn't seemed to be featuring in the future plans of Liverpool after Rafa was promised a transfer war chest by the American owners. Expect his departure sooner rather than later.

Grade: C+

18. Dirk Kuyt

A long time transfer target of Rafa Benitez was signed last summer and he impressed the fans with his debut appearance against West Ham in the Kop's 100th birthday.

A 'modern day Mark Hughes' they called him, his work ethic and attitude on and off the pitch is something that many Liverpool fans love about him but that's not all.

He was brought in to be the worker up front for Liverpool while his ability to get goals are never in doubt. His goal record in Holland's Eredivisie speaks for itself.

But this being his first season at Liverpool, scoring 12 goals from 27 starts isn't that bad from the Dutchman although some feel that he could do better. His future at the club seemed certain and that he'll have a part to play in Rafa's Liverpool for the coming seasons.

Grade: B+ (Nominee for TRC's Player of the Year)

Alright, that wraps up the team review for the season but look out for more in the future as there'll be a vote for the best Liverpool goal for the 06/07 season. But for now, do vote for who you thinks deserve the TRC Player of the Year award.

Do drop a comment if you please.

Transfer Gossips All Round

Alright guys, sorry for being so slow in updating as I'm taking a breather since the English football season is now officially ended and now, it's time for the tabloid newspapers to do what they do best.

Speculate about transfers. You'll hear the regular Henry to Barcelona, Lampard to go Juventus but deflected its way to Barca as well, Rafa wants to join Real Madrid and Gerrard still going to Chelsea.

Oh and Owen Hargreaves to sign for ManYoo tomorrow, which is...well tomorrow!

But here are some players linked with Liverpool strongly in recent days and here, I'll filter out the usual suspects and give you the actual updates of what's going on around the transfer market.

Apparently, Rafa is now in Portugal. Whatever for, we do not know. Visiting Jose and his dog? Or perhaps sealing Simao's deal? We can only sit back and wait for it to develop while I'm sure I won't be late to give you the latest news!

Well, on various forums, we've heard of things like Simao and Tevez are close on signing and you just got a feeling the two players mentioned will be there and about in this summer's whirlwind of speculations.

Liverpool CEO, Rick Parry, actually admitted that Liverpool are considering a move for Simao which might involve Djibril Cisse moving the other way. Whether he'll be the makeweight for the deal is still unknown as Olympic Marseille are said to be interested as well. But with the resources, you just got to think Rafa will want to seal Simao's signing finally after chasing after the Portuguese winger for the past 2-3 seasons.

Speaking about wingers, how about Florent Malouda? I for one, will be pleased to see him don in the Liverpool jersey. Although the asking price seemed a little steep, 10 million GBP above that is, the French winger proved that he could perform at the highest level in last summer's World Cup, in which I was pretty impressed by his style of play.

With Bolo Zenden and Mark Gonzalez both out of the squad already, it is pretty obvious that a left winger will be one of the top priorities for Rafa this summer. The French winger himself said that he would like to move abroad for new challenges and wants his future sorted out as soon as possible.

With players coming in, the Anfield exodus is believed to not just end here. Ambitious Aston Villa are apparently in the race to sign both Harry Kewell and Craig Bellamy. I personally think the two players are just about what Villa need at the moment and the two players will be class acts for Villa as they continue their revival.

Then you have the usual news about Gabriel Millito, Carlos Tevez, Amauri, Kim Kallstrom and Morten Gamst Pedersen. I promise to keep you lads updated and..

Oh yes, the seasonal review will be up by tomorrow afternoon. Cheers people.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

New Away Kits For 07/08

Okay, I know. It looks photoshopped and all but it does look like the real deal.

Sorry for spoiling the news!