Friday, July 27, 2007

Former Red Steals The Limelight

James The Hero In Penalties

Barclays Asia Trophy

Portsmouth 0 - 0 Liverpool
(Portsmouth win 4-2 on penalties)

Once a custodian for the Liverpool side back in the late 90s, David James faced his former club over at Hong Kong at the Barclays Asia Trophy and pulled off a strings of saves to stop the Reds from claiming the cup, which they probably deserved a little more.

Prior to the game, James spoke about his disappointment as to how he left the club but turned on style to help Portsmouth edge out Liverpool in a thrilling game which was concluded by penalties.

Asian Liverpool fans were given a treat on Tuesday night as the Reds managed to beat the home side, South China FC while Portsmouth defeated Fulham 1-0 to set up a mouth watering encounter.

The Hong Kong Liverpool fans turned up in droves and flooded the Hong Kong National Stadium like a sea of red. Their passion was never in question as they screamed in awe when the tannoy announces the starting line up. Captain, Steven Gerrard, probably got the loudest cheer of the night as he made his way into the field in the closing minutes of the game.

But it was the small portion of fans in blue that gone home a little happier as the Barclays Asia Trophy finally ended with an anti-climatic feel to it.

Despite dominating and carving out a couple of clear cut chances, Liverpool were unable to finish the game off just as how it has been all of last season. Finishing was poor at times and the Reds were punished albeit being only just a friendly cup that matters little.

But one has to wonder what effect it has got on newer players such as Yossi Benayoun and most importantly, Fernando Torres, who will assume the role of a goal getter for Liverpool in the upcoming season.

Both mentioned missed penalties and the effect on their morale could affect their confidence.

Yet if the others managed to bury their chances earlier on, it could've been a totally different outcome. Dirk Kuyt had a hosts of chances to put Liverpool in the driving seat but his finishing was once again a suspect while David James was constantly tested yet stood firm.

Portsmouth did well to neutralise Liverpool's attack while they themselves did carve out one rare chance for themselves which was probably the best chance of the game.

Gary O'Neill's late run from midfield caught the Liverpool defence static and with only Reina to beat, his shot hit the Spanish goalkeeper's leg and missed a wonderful chance to put the team from south coast ahead.

First half was fast and furious as Liverpool pressured Pompey high up the pitch and David James was nearly caught out by the alert Ryan Babel, who pounced on the goalkeeper's poor first touch but was unable to capitalise.

As the match wore on players started to tire out and fatigue seeped in. The game lost its pace and rhythm despite fresh legs brought on from both sides. It was probably due to the marketing campaign in which the players had to embark on as an ambassador from the club.

It's always disappointing to lose a game but it's a friendly cup game after all. Still, there are room for improvement and finishing is one such aspect which Rafa Benitez will have to look into.

Martin Tyler commented about he can't see where the goals are coming from and that's probably one big reason why we're struggling in the league.

But there are some promising performance from Momo Sissoko, Steve Finnan, Jermaine Pennant and Xabi Alonso. Sissoko's energy, passing and movement for this game is excellent and probably silenced those obnoxious 'fans' who booed him on Tuesday.

Xabi Alonso's passing has been up to the mark in recent friendlies and hopefully bringing his form into the upcoming Premiership season. Finnan is solid as ever on the right back position while combining well with the player ahead of him, Jermaine Pennant.

It's probably a disappointing outcome for most Liverpool fans there but probably, success comes off the field with all the media spotlight and attention all on the club. As Liverpool embark on a new journey towards winning the Asian market, the tour could prove to be invaluable in the days ahead.

One small step but it could mean something big regardless of the results on the pitch.

Another Shot Of New Anfield

Well, I just got this picture from icLiverpool site and after close study and comparison, I think the pictures that were leaked few weeks back was indeed the exact design of the stadium.

The one below is the artist impression:

Then these were the ones leaked back in late June:

Yes, they are both the same, as pointed out by our reader, Nick. While searching for the interview with Rick Parry, I stumbled across this video and it was sort of like a tribute to Anfield. It's guaranteed tears and mucus after this video.

Indeed brings back a lot of memories, especially to the older generation. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Carlos Tevez's Contract

Well, it has been going on for quite awhile now and it's really getting a little tiresome. Just when various parties are taking each other to court, I've received a photocopy of the contract of Carlos Tevez.

Seems like MSI will be fighting a losing battle....

Haha! Credit to the Football 365 forums.

New Anfield Revealed!

Sorry for the late, late post. I wasn't at home but was excited to see the new design of Anfield. I know you've seen it but let's take a look at it again.

Wow man. JUST WOW! I was so afraid it's going to turn out like your typical prototype of a modern stadium that looks like a toilet bowl made of metal but this is what I'm talking about. This is what we deserve, after years planning and I'm sure Shankly will look down from above with a smile.

Moving out of Anfield will be an emotional one yet it was necessary to compete especially in terms of financial strength. ManYoo's Old Trafford is hitting 80k while Arsenal's Emirates is also a newly built and both clubs are earning much more than Liverpool in a long run.

Design wise, it's still pretty inconclusive at the moment because it doesn't look like the ones that were leaked a month back but I like the look of the Kop, which was supposed to be like a orchestra stage and the fear of the stands being too far away from the pitch is stamped out as it looked pretty much like Anfield's.

Anyway, more updates to follow include photos and videos. Now, I need to get some sleep so good night guys. I'm looking forward to the future!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reds Into Finals

Barclays Asia Trophy

South China FC 1 - 3 Liverpool

LIV - Riise, Alonso, Agger

I have to admit that even though the match time is perfect for people here in Asia and it's in the prime time 8pm slot, I still didn't manage to catch the match until the final 10 minutes. There I was a little confused as to why a blond wearing a number 4 is playing in central midfield. And who's that familiar looking partner of his.

Then I realise it was Sami Hyypia and Alvaro Arbeloa playing in the middle of the park after some minor injuries to captain, Steven Gerrard, and also some passport problem for new boy Lucas Leiva.

Well, can't be too bad to win a trophy prior to the 07/08 season and we'll be meeting Portsmouth next in the Barclays Asia Trophy final after the men from the south coast beat Fulham by 1 goal to nil.

Riise got the ball rolling with a thunderbolt special from him. After scoring against Werder Bremen in similar circumstance, he seemed to be on a roll.

Xabi Alonso then tucked in a second from the spot after Andriy Voronin was adjudged to have been brought down in the box.

But South China proved that they aren't pushovers by hitting one back against the Reds. Li Haiqiang from a long way out, bent the ball towards the top corner of Scott Carson's goal. It was a true beauty and hard to fault Carson as it looked destined for the net.

But Daniel Agger continued his good goalscoring form by blasting in Liverpool's third. It was started off by he himself and Voronin's deft first touch that sets him up was pretty impressive. Good team goal all round and it must've pleased the fans.

Liverpool should've put the match beyond doubt in the final few minutes of the game after Pennant and Voronin both found themselves presented with chances but finishing was sadly, not good enough.

Stadium Plans To Be Announced Today

This is SO exciting, I tell thee. After years of speculating and hoping, here is the moment of truth. 11am GMT, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, together with his architects, will unveil the plans for the purposed New Anfield, which is set to be completed by 2010.

The pictures I've posted a few weeks back have caused some commotions on various indie Liverpool FC forums and I can't guarantee if the new plans will bear any resemblance of those.

Stay tuned to find out more. Exciting times ahead.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Reds Beat Auxerre

Pre-season Friendly

Auxerre 0 - 2 Liverpool

Gerrard, Agger

Despite playing below par, Liverpool still manage to keep their unbeaten record in the friendlies to 4 after defeating French first division side, Auxerre.

It was a lethargic and probably lacklustre display from the Reds as many fans moaned about wasting out 90 minutes on a match where chances are few and far between.

The match started out brightly with Liverpool doing most of the attack but soon, it turned into a scrappy affair with both sides misplacing simple passes and that hindered their offensive abilities.

But just when we're expecting half time, skipper Steven Gerrard was on hand to prod the ball into the back of the net after a wonderful play set up by Steve Finnan and Ryan Babel. It was unexpected and it took Auxerre by surprise.

As they say, Babel did the best thing on the field that day by not touching the ball. It seemed like most of us agree that he still needs more time to gel with the team and needs more training to get his fitness up because he seemed a little off-paced.

Yossi Benayoun, though, looked more lively as he continuously switch flanks with Babel and probably deserved a goal as well.

As usual, Rafa sent out an almost entirely different team for the second half but it didn't change the overall standard of the game. Probably due to the training prior to the game, they looked sluggish and a little tired.

The introduction of Moroccan, Nabil El Zhar, was a bright spark to the match. His movement down the left was pretty good and had a fantastic header saved.

But from the resulting corner, Liverpool doubled their lead with Daniel Agger powering the ball home, totally unmarked from 6 yards out. He does certainly look like a goalscoring defender we've been longing for years.

Auxerre did tried to push Liverpool and tried to play on a counter attack to hit the visitors on the break but the Reds held firm the high line that they play. There were a few scares but a combination of bad luck and appalling finishing means the French have lost their first friendly this season.

It was a good run out for the Liverpool lads and good to see the new signings settling in. Fernando Torres looked extremely lively and hardworking. It was unbelievable to see him running around for lost causes just like Dirk Kuyt always does.

He even had a great 1 on 1 chance saved by the goalkeeper. Let's pray that he'll keep up his fitness standard and be ready for the start of the season.

Peter Crouch still need to work on his header as he missed a total sitter and doesn't look very sharp.

But the rest of the players looked pretty much ready for the season and with some fine tuning in terms of tactics and movement, I think we'll be well prepared to face Aston Villa in the opening match at Villa Park.