Tag Archives: Anfield

Disappointing Downing

13 Aug

Disappointing Downing

 

Liverpool have offloaded winger Stewart Downing to West Ham after a disappointing career at Liverpool. Downing was signed by former manager Kenny Dalglish in July 2011 for a fee of £20 million in a summer of big spending for Liverpool.

 

But since Dalglish’s departure Liverpool’s owners have altered their strategy under Brendan Rodgers by reducing the wage bill. Rodgers had moved high earners on to pastures new and brought in new players on lower wages.

 

Joe Cole, Andy Carroll, Pepe Reina and now Stewart Downing were all big earners and have now been moved out.

 

Downing looked an exciting acquisition at the time, an experienced England international who played on the wing was the ideal player Liverpool were looking for at the time when they had very few wide men.

 

But Downing struggled at Liverpool and only contributed 7 goals in 91 outings for the club. It was a poor return for such an expensive signing who was reportedly on £80,000 a week.

 

Downing’s highlight during his 2 year Spell at Anfield was his man-of-the-match performance in winning his only honour with the club as Liverpool defeated Cardiff City in last year’s League Cup Final.

 

Far too often Downing would fail to deliver a telling ball into the opposition penalty area for Liverpool’s strikers. Even when Downing cut inside from the right flank to create a shooting opportunity on his favoured left foot, he very rarely hit the target, never mind score.

 

Brendan Rodgers criticised Downing shortly after becoming manager at Anfield and even started young Raheem Sterling on the wing in preference to Downing at the start of the season.

 

But Rodgers brought Downing back into the side later in the season, although he revealed in December that Downing could leave the club.

 

Downing became a regular for the remainder of the season, but not always in his familiar role on the wing, Rodgers frequently used Downing at left back.

 

In fairness to Downing his performances were much better last season than in his first season with the club. His work rate was impressive and he looked a more confident player. But for all Downing’s endeavour and new found confidence, Downing is a player that lacks “heart”, the heart to go in where it hurts to score a goal, the heart to not shirk a tackle, but most importantly for a player who plays on the wing, the heart to take a defender on and get to the bye-line, Downing never did this enough at Liverpool.

 

Liverpool never got their money’s worth from Downing and decided to cut their losses on an expensive failure with a costly weekly wage.

 

You can’t fault Downing’s effort but he just wasn’t good enough for Liverpool Football Club, and he now continues his career alongside another Liverpool failure, Andy Carroll at West Ham.

 

Brendan Rodgers is starting to shape his own team after transferring players that don’t fit into his style of play, and by bringing in players that do.

 

Rodgers has allowed another player with a wealth of experience to leave the club and Liverpool now have a very young squad with not many “old heads” in the squad, as Liverpool look to youth to take them forward.

 

Rome wasn’t built in a day but Rodgers is gradually building his empire with young, enthusiastic players that he hopes will take Liverpool back to where they belong.

 

follow me on twitter @theliverword

 

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spearing Leaves

9 Aug

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

Spearing Leaves

 

Jay Spearing has left Anfield for pastures new as he completed his move to Bolton Wanderers after passing a medical. Spearing was loaned out to Bolton last season and has now made the move permanent as he takes the next step in his career.

 

Spearing is a local lad raised in Wallasey, Merseyside, a graduate of Liverpool’s Academy. Spearing captained the under 18 side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2007. He has been involved with Liverpool since the age of seven and was promoted to Melwood in 2007 to train with the first team after impressing in the club’s Academy.

 

Spearing made his competitive first team debut on December 2008 coming on as a substitute in a 3-1 Champions League win against PSV Eindhoven. Spearing also appeared in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League.

 

In 2010 Spearing was loaned out to Leicester where he made nine appearances for the Foxes scoring one goal before returning to Anfield.

 

He was included in Liverpool’s squad for the 2010-11 season and started and played the full 90 minutes against Rabotnicki in a Europa League qualifier. Spearing made his first ever start at Anfield against Steaua Bucharest in the Reds’ opening group game which Liverpool won 4-1. Spearing enjoyed a good spell in Liverpool’s first team due to the absence of Steven Gerrard and out of favour Christian Poulsen where his performances rewarded him with inclusion in England’s under 21’s provisional 40-man-squad for the 2011 Under 21 European Championship.

 

After ending the previous season a regular in Liverpool’s first team Spearing suddenly found himself down the pecking order when Kenny Dalglish signed Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing to strengthen his squad. Spearing found it difficult to feature in the first team with the new additions.

 

Not long after Brendan Rodgers’ arrival Spearing was loaned out to Bolton where he made 39 appearances last season. His performances have encouraged Bolton to make the move permanent.

 

Spearing leaves Liverpool after making 55 appearances for the Reds with an attitude that gained him much respect with his whole-hearted performances. Like most youngsters that come through the youth system Spearing found it difficult to play regularly after breaking into the first team. His hard working style of play which saw Liverpool use Spearing as a midfielder that plays just in front of the defence breaking up opposition attacks and protecting the defence, but Lucas seems the preferred player for this role for Liverpool, but unfortunately for Spearing the competition for places in Liverpool’s midfield is tough.

 

I think Spearing has made the right decision by joining Bolton although it must be difficult leaving your boyhood heroes, but to go to a great club like Bolton where he will get the opportunity to play regularly and possibly even be able to commute from Liverpool for training and games.

 

It is no good for any player who has ambition to sit on the bench with opportunities few and far between and Spearing loves his football and he is now at a stage in his career where he needs to be playing regularly and because he is a graduate from the Academy I think this saw him overlooked with manager’s bringing in their own players through transfers.

 

Spearing has never let Liverpool down when called upon and he will go to Bolton with the best of wishes from all concerned at Liverpool.

 

Liverpool have a brilliant crop of youngsters coming through at the moment with everyone connected to Liverpool anticipating great things from them. But will they play regularly for Liverpool ?

 

They will face the same problems that Spearing has faced with the competition for places at a club like Liverpool always tough. Clubs like Liverpool always bring in new talent through transfer dealings and this makes it even more difficult for youngsters to play regularly as managers always seem to play the players that they have paid money for.

 

It is happening at Liverpool just now with Jack Robinson loaned out to Blackpool and Suso being loaned back to Spain and Coady also being loaned out to Sheffield United. These 3 players have all experienced first team action and although the loan will benefit the players and give them more experience, it will be interesting if they will feature when they come back to Anfield, or be offloaded.

 

Wisdom and Sterling are the other two players who featured last season along with Suso but it remains to be seen how they will be used in the new season with the arrival of new players Aspas, Alberto and Toure who have strengthened the squad.

 

Jordan Ibe is another exciting prospect but at 17 it is a bit far fetched to expect him to play regularly. It would be tremendous if Liverpool’s youngsters can establish themselves in the first team similar to the team of youngsters that Manchester United were blessed with in the 90’s when Beckham, Scholes, Butt and the Neville brothers broke through. Those youngsters gave United the nucleus of a team that was to become more experienced with age and give them great success. So it would be great if Liverpool could see their youngsters mature and become first team regulars for years to come and not end up leaving Liverpool like Jay Spearing who had to leave Anfield for first team football.

 

 

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Gerrard’s Testimonial

3 Aug

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

 

Liverpool 2-0 Olympiacos Match Report

 

Anfield paid tribute and showed their appreciation to one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players Steven Gerrard in his testimonial match against Olympiacos. Goals from Joe Allen in the first half and Jordan Henderson in the second half capped a superb day for the Liverpool Captain.

 

The Team

 

Although the match was Steven Gerrard’s testimonial it was still an important match in terms of match fitness for Brendan Rodgers and his squad as they prepare for the start of the new season. Rodgers started a team that looked like the one that could start against Stoke in Liverpool’s first game of the season. Mignolet, Enrique, Agger, Toure, Johnson, Lucas, Allen, Coutinho, Sterling and Aspas started alongside the man of the moment Steven Gerrard.

 

The Match

 

Steven Gerrard was welcomed by a guard of honour formed by both sets of players prior to kick-off and a standing ovation from the Anfield faithful as they saluted their hero.

 

Liverpool enjoyed plenty of possession in the early stages with loud cheers every time Gerrard received a touch of the ball. Joe Allen flashed a shot wide in the game’s first real effort.

 

Moments later Joe Allen pounced on a sloppy pass from the visitors before releasing new signing Aspas but the striker’s effort was blocked away.

 

Gerrard had the crowd excited when he lined up a long range drive but his effort was off target. Then Gerrard had a joke with referee Hasey when the unfortunate referee intercepted one of his passes.

 

Next Aspas showed a lovely bit of skill when he cleverly beat his marker before shooting into the side-netting with Joe Allen again providing the assist as his attacking runs forward were providing a big threat to the Greeks.

 

Liverpool continued to attack with Sterling and Coutinho combining in a counter-attack before Sterling’s weak shot was easily saved by the keeper.

 

Then Liverpool should have taken the lead when an extravagant flick by Aspas found Allen in the centre of the penalty area but the midfielder side-footed his volley over the bar.

 

But Allen made no mistake moments later in the 23rd minute when Joe Allen tapped home an Aspas low drive across the face of goal to give Liverpool a deserved lead.

 

Liverpool looked to be enjoying themselves with the goal encouraging them even more and next it was Glen Johnson to try his luck from long range but his strike just missed the far corner.

 

Brendan Rodgers continued with the same eleven players to start the second half and Liverpool continued to attack their visitors as Coutinho glided past a couple of defenders before shooting towards the far post but Olympiacos goalkeeper Megveri saved comfortably.

 

Then the lively Sterling curled a shot wide as he continues to impress this pre-season, before watching his lob go agonisingly wide of the post before the Anfield crowd showed great appreciation towards the introduction of Luis Suarez and Jamie Carragher.

 

Jordan Henderson also made his entry for Joe Allen and within seconds he made it 2-0 for Liverpool after finishing off a move involving good work from Raheem Sterling.

 

Henderson almost scored his second goal moments later but he shot straight at the keeper. Jose Enrique was thwarted by the keeper in the next attack after finding space in the box.

 

With 15 minutes remaining when the Kop saluted a former favourite when Robbie Fowler was introduced, and the crowd was on its feet when Gerrard slipped the ball through to Fowler but his quick strike was deflected wide for a corner.

 

Then with 6 minutes remaining Steven Gerrard was replaced by Jay Spearing to a standing ovation as he left the field and end an emotional day for the Liverpool skipper.

 

The match finished 2-0 in another impressive performance for Liverpool, but the day was all about Steven Gerrard.

 

Summary

 

The Liverpool supporters paid their respects with a tremendous turn out at Anfield for Steven Gerrard for his testimonial. But Liverpool treated the match seriously as they showed great energy and commitment from the start as Olympiacos were pegged back for most of the game. Rodgers started the match with eleven players that will probably start the match against Stoke and he gave them an hour before making the expected substitutions. Aspas looked lively up front and Sterling is showing great confidence in his play that lacked at times last season. Joe Allen was very impressive as he starred in an attacking midfield role and should have scored a hat-trick in the first half, but it was good to see him score and get into forward positions. Lucas is looking back to his best as he thwarted countless Olympiacos attacks. Great finish by Henderson after just coming on and he could be an important player for Liverpool this season as he looks more confident. Overall it was a good performance by the team and a special day for a special player Steven Gerrard.

 

 

 

 

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No Way To Treat Reina

31 Jul

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

No Way To Treat Reina

 

Reina came out the other day in an open letter to Liverpool supporters to explain his leaving of the club and express his displeasure at the way his move was handled by the club. Reina explained that he was happy to stay at Liverpool and fight for his place and would even have been happy to extend his stay at Liverpool.

 

But he claims that his loan move away from Anfield to Napoli was conducted without his knowledge. Many people believe Reina was trying to instigate a move to Barcelona earlier in the summer, but that fell through when Victor Valdes announced that he was staying at the Nou Camp.

 

Reina has been Liverpool’s number one goalkeeper for a very long time and has arguably been rated as the best Liverpool goalkeeper in the club’s history. Reina has been the perfect professional during his stay at Anfield during such turbulent times with a change of ownership and a revolving manager’s door. The Spaniard has showed superb consistency during his spell at Liverpool although his standards had slipped slightly in the last couple of seasons.

 

Reina has been Liverpool’s Player of the Year, he has captained the team, and has broken records for the Reds.

 

But after eight years service, Reina claims Liverpool shipped him out behind his back and he feels, in his words, he “deserved better than that.”

 

The alarm bells were ringing when Liverpool paid big money for Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet. Brendan Rodgers claimed his signing was for competition for the goalkeeper’s jersey. But Liverpool don’t have the money to pay big money for a back-up goalkeeper and it was obvious Reina was going to leave.

 

In fairness to Rodgers he didn’t want to be stung again like last summer when he was left without many strikers after loaning Carroll out to West Ham at the end of the transfer window. Reina was rumoured to be looking for a move back to Spain and Barcelona in particular, and Rodgers was making sure that he was going to bring in a goalkeeper before losing one. I don’t agree with Rodgers’ reason for buying Mignolet as competition for the goalkeeper’s position, Rodgers and the club should have been honest and explained that they wanted to cut the wage bill and they should have showed more respect to a tremendous servant to the club.

 

But with Reina’s move to Spain falling through Rodgers was left with two top class goalkeepers and one had to go, no way could it be Mignolet after his recent big money arrival, and Reina was reportedly Liverpool’s second highest earner at Liverpool and Liverpool’s recent managerial strategy is to cut the wage bill, so Reina had to go.

 

 

It is strange how Liverpool have treated a man like Reina who has never let the club down so badly, while they are basically pleading on their hands and knees to keep Suarez who has never been out of trouble since his arrival to Anfield.

 

Both players have great values, but only one seems worthy of fighting for, disappointingly Reina was surplus to requirements for all his ability and sevice to the club. But Reina’s exit from Liverpool deserved to be more dignified.

 

Liverpool are looking for loyalty from Suarez, where Reina looked for loyalty from Liverpool.

 

One thing is for sure Reina will always have a place in the hearts of Liverpool supporters.

 

 

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Liverpool’s Best Signing

16 Jul

Liverpool’s Best Signing

 

Liverpool made their biggest signing of the summer this week when Steven Gerrard put pen to paper on a contract extension. Forget about the signings of Aspas, Mignolet, Alberto and Toure, Gerrard’s signing is the most important one.

 

Gerrard has been a figure head for the club for as long as most Liverpool fans care to remember and his contract extension will probably tie him to the club for the rest of his playing career. Gerrard is such an important player for Liverpool, he is the captain of course, and of England. His ability is renowned across the globe, but it isn’t just his ability that is admired, but his leadership and inspiration to galvanise Liverpool when they are looking beat. He has inspired Liverpool to many amazing comebacks over the years, that amazing goal against Olympiakos in the Champions League, the Gerrard Cup Final against West Ham where he produced 2 stunning goals, and the first goal in Istanbul to start the unforgettable comeback to win the Champions League in 2005.

 

Gerrard is getting on a bit now and is in the twighlight of career but his importance is still unparalleled by any other squad member. Last season Gerrard played in nearly every Premier League match for the Reds and proved that there is plenty miles left in the tank.

 

With the loss of Carragher through his retirement from football, Gerrard’s experience and importance has never been more needed and his contract extension hopefully sets an example to others that he is still as determined as ever to help his beloved Liverpool.

 

His loyalty to the club will influence other players who might be thinking of moving away and could also encourage new players to sign who might have been undecided on coming to Anfield, the rest of the summer will prove if Liverpool can attract more new players, but if they do, then I’m sure Gerrard will be a big influence in tempting them.

 

Liverpool have many youngsters breaking into the first team and Gerrard has helped them along the way by setting an example in training and now he can help continue their development into the first team as the likes of Sterling, Morgan, Wisdom, Ibe but to name a few are being inspired by Gerrard’s attitude and his dedication.

 

Gerrard’s role in the team has changed slightly in a deeper midfield role, but he seems to be thriving on it with more space than by playing further up the park. The return of Lucas from injury has been a major help for Gerrard as his industry frees Gerrard up to play the “American Quarterback” role, where he can spray passes all over the park and influence games with willing runners upfield. Gerrard’s delivery at dead ball situations are lethal and provide so many goals and create so many chances for Liverpool and his calmness at taking penalties highlights his responsibility of being captain of Liverpool.

 

See what the rest of the summer brings, but I’m sure you will agree that Gerrard’s signing is the best Liverpool signing of the summer.

 

 

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A Fallen Idol

10 Jul

A Fallen Idol

 

It is so sad that Luis Suarez wants to leave Liverpool Football Club and move to a club that can give him more money and Champions League football. In most scenarios you wouldn’t fault a player wanting to take a step up in his career, but with Suarez the situation is different. Suarez has constantly been in the headlines since his arrival to Anfield, and not for all the right reasons, in fact mostly for unsavoury actions that we all know about.

 

But through every controversial incident Liverpool Football Club and their supporters have constantly stood by the Uruguayan and backed him. Suarez owes Liverpool at least another season of his service, especially after his last unsavoury incident which involved him biting Chelsea defender Ivanovic. Suarez still has to serve 6 of the 10 match ban for his punishment.

 

But the way Suarez has continued to manufacture a move away from Liverpool this summer is extremely disappointing. Suarez has made his feelings known in numerous interviews while on international duty with Uruguay, and that is really disappointing. Suarez should be keeping his mouth shut and let his agent deal with a move away. His excuses about blaming the media for a move away from Anfield are disgraceful too, it wasn’t them that made him bite Ivanovic for example. There are even strong suggestions that Suarez might move to another English club, and that would infuriate the Liverpool supporters.

 

Liverpool lost Torres not so long ago to Chelsea and that hurt the Liverpool supporters after the love they showed him. Torres has suffered from the Liverpool support since his move as the fans let him know what they think each time he plays against Liverpool. But if Suarez moves to another English club the Liverpool supporters will be even more angered than when Torres moved. A move abroad would be the best move for Suarez as long as Liverpool receive good money for the transfer.

 

The whole summer saga with Suarez wanting to leave has soured a lot of fans of him and most are just wanting rid of him sooner rather than later, so that there is still time to find a replacement. Suarez has not been loved by many football supporters for his style of play. But at Liverpool he found many friends who loyally supported him. But now it looks like he has lost them too and he is proving to be just another footballer who doesn’t care about the team he plays for as long as they pay him.

 

No player is bigger than the club and Liverpool will go on without Suarez. Liverpool have lost better players in the past and found replacements and Suarez will be no different. Keegan, Dalglish, Rush, Fowler, Torres to name a few have all been replaced and Suarez will be too.

 

Suarez will be hard to replace and I fear his loss will be detrimental to Liverpool’s challenge for a top four place, but Suarez has made his intentions known and I don’t think there is any going back to Anfield for Suarez. Suarez has been idolised since arriving at Anfield but in a short summer his reputation has been tarnished.

 

Suarez will leave Liverpool this summer, the question is where will he be going ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Liverpool’s 5 Best Games 2012-13

24 Jun

Liverpool’s 5 Best Games 2012-13

 

Last season was Brendan Rodgers first season in charge of Liverpool and after a difficult start with some tough fixtures to start the campaign off with.  Liverpool’s results steadily improved as the season progressed. The second half of the season saw a vast improvement in both performances and results as the players got more accustomed to Brendan Rodgers’ philosophy.

 

Liverpool produced some really good performances during the season and I’ve tried to pick out five that I thought were the best, starting with Liverpool’s and Brendan Rodgers’ first league win of the season.

 

Norwich City 2-5 Liverpool

 

Liverpool started the match on the offensive and took the lead through Suarez after he collected a poor clearance from the Norwich defence before drilling home. Liverpool dominated the match and Suarez in particular impressed the most with a brilliant hat-trick.

 

On loan Sahin also netted for Liverpool along with the unfortunate Barnett scoring in his own net to complete the scoring in an emphatic display from Liverpool. The performance and result was very important for Liverpool after a difficult start to the campaign but unfortunately the results continued to be poor after this excellent away win.

 

Liverpool 5-0 Swansea City

 

Liverpool ended a five-match winless run in style with a dominant display over a weakened Swansea side who had one eye on the following week’s Capital One Cup Final. But Liverpool showed great appetite in seeking a much needed win as Gerrard scored from the spot to send Liverpool on their way, although it was only 1-0 at the half.

 

New signing Coutinho making his first start for Liverpool also scored his first Liverpool goal right at the start of the second half after being released by Suarez. Enrique made it 3-0 after a fine move before Suarez got in on the act with a fine finish. Sturridge converted another penalty for Liverpool after Wayne Routledge handled in the area. The win was just what Liverpool needed after a tough few weeks.

 

Liverpool 3-1 Zenit St Petersburg

 

A few days after beating Swansea 5-0 Liverpool had to overturn a 2-0 deficit to progress to the last 16 of the Europa League, but they just came up short after a spirited fight back shown by Liverpool, even after the early setback of losing an away goal after Hulk latched onto Carragher’s short backpass to give the visitors an important away goal.

 

But the famous Anfield crowd roared their heroes back into the match with goals from Suarez and Allen and Suarez produced a stunning finish from another free-kick but Liverpool couldn’t find that elusive fourth goal as the visitors held out. It was a tremendous performance from Liverpool against all the odds and after losing an early goal too.

 

Liverpool 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur

 

Liverpool’s win against Spurs was massive as they finally beat one of the top 5 teams in a thrilling match at Anfield. Suarez stabbed the Reds ahead after slick move, but a Vertonghen double fired the visitors in front. But with Spurs on the ascendency, Liverpool scored an equaliser after a poor backpass by Walker allowed Downing the opportunity which he didn’t miss.

 

Liverpool capped a fine comeback when Gerrard converted a penalty with 8 minutes remaining to give Liverpool a confidence boosting win.

 

Newcastle United 0-6 Liverpool

 

Liverpool produced their biggest win of the season away to Newcastle with a stunning performance as the home side found themselves totally outplayed. Agger opened the scoring in the 3rd minute before a Henderson and Sturridge double put Liverpool on easy street. The fine display was capped by the fit again substitute Borini coming on and scoring his first league goal for Liverpool.

 

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A Selling Club

22 Jun

You can buy my first e-book on Amazon in kindle format, it is called The Kopite View Season 2012-13, here is the link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00BMW7JTA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1362780961&sr=1-1

The book consists of my match reports and articles from earlier in the season. If you like my blog, you will like my book. All the money is going to help Hillsborough Families.

A Selling Club

 

Liverpool are now finding themselves struggling to attract top players in the game but also struggling to hang onto their best players too. The latest transfer rumours regarding Suarez who is arguably Liverpool’s best player, is a major problem for the club, as his goals last season proved crucial in a mediocre mid-table League position finish for Liverpool.

 

Strikers like Suarez are irreplaceable and I fear Liverpool are resigned to the fact of losing him, but understandably they will want as much cash as possible for their star player. Big money for a player like Suarez can help Brendan Rodgers bring his own players in to shape Liverpool into the team that he wants, but he will have to find promising youngsters with outstanding potential, or players like Daniel Sturridge that want the chance to show prove themselves.

 

Many supporters and affiliates of Liverpool feel that Suarez should show loyalty to a club that has stood by him during some tough and controversial times at Liverpool. But loyalty is a word that is not regularly associated with the footballing vocabulary and Liverpool would be naïve to expect loyalty from a player who is from the other end of the world, and who has showed ambition throughout his career, and now Suarez looks to take another positive step in his career as he looks to display his talents at the highest level in the Champions League at a club that can provide that. Unfortunately for Liverpool, they can’t provide that next season and possibly not for the foreseeable future.

 

Not qualifying for the Champions League is a major problem for Liverpool and in recent years qualification for this elite competition has got tougher with the improving Tottenham Hotspur and the bankrolled Manchester City along with the usual suspects of Chelsea, Arsenal and current League Champions Manchester United. With only the top four earning entry into the Champions League Liverpool find themselves adrift of the teams mentioned.

 

It seems an awful long time ago since Liverpool were regular entrants into the Champions League, managing to win it in 2005 followed by another final 2 year later. Liverpool’s previous owners have not helped in Liverpool’s decline and the new owners have tried to steady the ship. But the loss of Rafa Benitez and the managerial revolving door in recent years has not helped along with the loss of world class players.

 

Liverpool lost players of world class calibre like Xabi Alonso, Mascherano and Fernando Torres which was always going to be detrimental to Liverpool’s team. Those players left because Liverpool couldn’t pay them the big money, but more importantly because Liverpool couldn’t offer them Champions League football as they found themselves in a team in decline. World class players are difficult to replace and Liverpool have struggled with inferior talent. Liverpool’s current owners FSG backed former manager Kenny Dalglish with money to build a team to challenge in the league, although most of the money was from the sale of Torres to Chelsea. But after allowing Dalglish to bring in many new players they impatiently sacked him after one full season after a disappointingly low position in the League, although he won the Carling Cup and lost in the FA Cup Final to Chelsea.

 

With trigger happy tactics the American owners were not going to give Dalglish time for his new signings to blossom under a second full season in charge. I still think it was a big mistake, but they have changed their attitude by employing the relatively inexperienced and young Brendan Rodgers to rebuild this massive club back to former glory. By cutting the wage bill, and not allowing for more money to be wasted like the Andy Carroll investment. FSG don’t seem to be giving Brendan Rodgers much money to spend unless he sells first to bring his own type of players to the club.

 

The sale of Torres to a rival club like Chelsea was a sore one to take for Liverpool as they have become a selling club in recent years with their top players being plucked from Liverpool’s grasp by the vultures of European football’s elite clubs. Now young players from the Rafa era like Lucas and Agger have matured into top players and this summer is a summer of worry for Brendan Rodgers as he tries to hang onto the nucleus of his team as the vultures circle once again.

 

Liverpool have shown vast signs of improvement after a difficult start to the season and Brendan Rodgers would look to hold onto his players as well as add to his squad which is very young and lacks experience.

 

The latest talk of star striker Luis Suarez wanting to leave Liverpool is another example of Liverpool as a selling club as the lure of Champions League football looks to be all too much for the Uruguayan, and if his departure materialises then that would result in another world class player exiting the Shankly Gates. Liverpool will no doubt look to get financially rewarded if he goes, but Liverpool will be unable to attract an equal as a replacement which will once again be detrimental to the team.

 

FSG have set their transfer sights on young promising talent who have a long shelf life and can be re-sold later on, but every team needs a mix of youth and experience to be a top side, alongside world class talent and Liverpool will continue to be a selling club until they bridge that gap to finish in the top four and the longer they are out of that elite group the more difficult it will become as players won’t come to Anfield just because they have a great history, it is the present that counts to these top players and they want to challenge for honours.

 

This summer is very important for Liverpool Football Club and the transfer activity that occurs will shape the new season for the Anfield club as they desperately try to break into the top four again.

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Carroll Never Got A Chance

21 Jun

You can buy my first e-book on Amazon in kindle format, it is called The Kopite View Season 2012-13, here is the link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00BMW7JTA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1362780961&sr=1-1

The book consists of my match reports and articles from earlier in the season. If you like my blog, you will like my book. All the money is going to help Hillsborough Families.

Carroll Never Got A Chance

 

Liverpool sold Andy Carroll to West Ham and cut their losses on a player that didn’t fit into new manager Brendan Rodgers’ plans. Carroll finally made the move to West Ham permanent after passing a medical ending speculation regarding his future.

 

Carroll signed from Newcastle for £35 million on January 31 2011. Carroll was recovering from injury at the time of signing and he had to wait some time before making his debut . Andy Carroll had a difficult start to life at Anfield as he struggled to find the net and he also looked to be struggling with his fitness after his injury setback.

 

Carroll’s first full season ended with Carroll in fine form as he netted the winner in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton before coming on as substitute in the final against Chelsea to score again and change the game as Liverpool just missed out on another trophy. A few days later Carroll tormented the Chelsea defence again as Liverpool gained revenge by defeating the Blues at Anfield in the league.

 

That summer led to Liverpool’s manager Kenny Dalglish’s departure and Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers taking over the Anfield hot seat.

 

Dalglish’s departure signalled the end of Carroll’s career as a Liverpool player as Brendan Rodgers hastened to move him on albeit on loan before the end of the summer transfer window. It seemed a crazy decision to let Carroll, go as Liverpool were left short of strikers in their squad. They did try to bring Fulham’s Clint Demspey to Anfield on the last day of the transfer window but it fell through and left Liverpool very short of strikers.

 

Brendan Rodgers came into Anfield and stated that every player would be given a chance, well I don’t think he gave Carroll much of chance by moving him out so quickly even with a shortage of strikers.

 

In fairness to Rodgers he does have a style of play that he wants his team to play and a certain type of player to fit into his team, Carroll was not his type of player for his team. Regardless of the amount of money that Liverpool Football Club paid for Carroll, Rodgers was not in any way going to work with Carroll to coach him into fitting into his team’s style of play. OK so Carroll was an investment from the previous management team at Anfield, but I got a feeling that by getting rid of Carroll so quickly was like an announcement to Dalglish and his staff that Carroll was a waste of money.

 

If a club pay so much money for a player then you would think that they would give him every opportunity to fit into the team and to find his form. Chelsea and Torres is a prime example as they even changed manager to bring the best out of their struggling expensive investment.

 

But Liverpool and Rodgers refused to give Carroll time and this week ultimately cut their losses by selling him to West Ham after his season’s loan spell at Upton Park.

 

It is surprising that Liverpool’s owners allowed Rodgers to move the big striker on after they invested so much money on him. But at the same time it is to be applauded that the owners are allowing Rodgers the freedom to make his decisions of who he wants and doesn’t want in his team, even if the player moving out has cost a lot of money.

 

Carroll is a big strong player who can lead the line well and he is also dangerous in the air. Carroll is also valuable at defending set-pieces with his heading ability. His powerful left foot shot is also a highlight of his abilities and he would have given Liverpool another attacking option.

 

Many experts thought that Liverpool lacked a plan B in attacking options this season under the leadership of Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool were left at times frustrated in trying to break teams down especially at Anfield where some teams sat very deep intent on frustrating Liverpool’s passing game and preventing Liverpool space to penetrate. But the option of Carroll in attack would have posed a different problem for opposing defences and gave them something different to think about instead of the predictable style set by Rodgers.

 

Most good teams need a plan B option for when things are not going right and good managers know when to use it. Barcelona are about the only team that don’t use a plan B but that is because they are so good and don’t need one anyway.

 

The other disappointing thing about Carroll’s departure is the reluctance by Rodgers to work with him and mould him into the player that he would like for his team. Carroll is not a veteran and has many years ahead of him where he could have been coached and he should have been coached.

 

Andy Carroll’s career at Liverpool will go down as a flop and one of the worst signings in history. But it didn’t need to be that way if he had been given a chance after Kenny’s departure and if you don’t get a chance to prove yourself then what chance do you have.

 

This article is not intended to be a criticism of Brendan Rodgers’ management style, I am just being highly critical of Rodgers’ treatment of Carroll and like all managers he has favourite players and players that he doesn’t like and unfortunately for Carroll, his face didn’t fit.

 

The Carroll episode is now closed at Liverpool and I’m sure everyone wishes him all the best at his new club at West Ham where I’m sure he will be more appreciated by his manager.

 

The hope now is for Rodgers to bring in the right players to improve Liverpool in their quest for Champions League football.

 

 

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Reina Must Stay

13 Jun

Reina Must Stay

 

Good goalkeepers are as hard to find as are top class strikers, but Liverpool are in danger of losing a very good goalkeeper in Pepe Reina if you are to lead the national tabloids. Liverpool have been blessed over the years with top class keepers from the days of Elisha Scott, Tommy Lawrence, Ray Clemence, Bruce Grobbelaar through to Pepe Reina.

 

Reina joined Liverpool in the summer of 2005 to replace the hero of Istanbul, Jerzy Dudek. The Spaniard has not disappointed with his excellent displays in goal highlighted by his own heroics in the FA Cup Final penalty shootout against West Ham United in 2006.

 

Reina has been as consistent a performing goalkeeper in the Premiership in the last 10 years, but in the last couple of seasons his standards have dropped slightly encouraging some so-called experts to criticise the Spaniard and deem him not good enough for Liverpool.

 

Reina did made a few uncharacteristic mistakes in recent years but goalkeeping mistakes are always highlighted more than any other player. For people to think Reina is not good enough for Liverpool need their head looked at. His record and consistent number of clean sheets over the years is second to none and Liverpool will be a lot poorer without him between the sticks.

 

Pepe has amazing agility and commands his penalty box with confidence as he consistently helps his defenders out by coming off his line to collect high balls. Reina must be the best keeper in European football at distributing the ball to set up attacks with precise accuracy with both feet and by throwing to colleagues which is a unique talent in a goalkeeper’s repertoire.

 

People have taken Reina’s talent for granted and like all good things, you don’t miss it until they are gone. But Liverpool have a relatively young team and the loss of Jamie Carragher is huge loss for Liverpool’s defence, and if Liverpool were to lose Reina’s experience too then you would fear for Liverpool next season.

 

Since the end of the season the rumour mills go into overdrive and Reina has been in constant speculation of a return to his homeland. Barcelona were the favourites but the news that their number one goalkeeper Valdes seems to be staying for another year was music to the ears of most Liverpool fans, and hopefully Reina will stay at Anfield.

 

Names as replacements for Reina have been Stoke’s Begovic and Sunderland’s Mignolet, but with the greatest of respect they are not as good as Reina and like many players lost to Liverpool in recent years, Liverpool will be poorer off. The loss of Alonso, Masherano and Torres to name the most notable has left Liverpool slipping out of the top four and out of the Champions League. Suarez has provided a touch of quality that Liverpool need but he looks like the latest world class player to leave Anfield as Liverpool struggle to hold onto their best players.

 

But great teams are built around a strong defence the loss of Reina would be a massive loss for Liverpool. Reina is in his prime in terms of a goalkeeper’s age and his experience will be invaluable to Liverpool over the coming season as he knows what is required at Anfield.

 

The summer will come and go and so will many players but hopefully Pepe Reina will not be one of them as Liverpool try to improve on last season after an encouraging second half to the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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