Tag Archives: Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool 4-2 Notts County Match Report

28 Aug

Liverpool 4-2 Notts County Match Report

 

Liverpool turned their attention to the Capital One Cup with a second round tie against Notts County at Anfield. Early goals from Sterling and Sturridge seemed to have the Premiership side on easy street, but the Division One side hit back in the second half with goals from Arquin and Coombes to take the tie into extra time. Despite being reduced to 10 men through an injury to Kolo Toure, Liverpool added goals from Sturridge and Henderson in the extra period to finally kill off any hopes of an upset.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers wasn’t taking any chances against Notts County as he fielded a strong side with Mignolet, Cissokho, Toure, Wisdom, Johnson, Allen, Gerrard, Alberto, Sterling, Ibe and Daniel Sturridge. The blend of experienced first team players alongside speedy youngsters Sterling and Ibe formed an attacking line-up.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool started the match on the front foot and they were rewarded with an early goal inside the first four minutes when Sterling charged through the centre of the County half before drilling a powerful shot underneath the arm of Bialkowski and into the corner of the net.

 

Liverpool’s good start was hindered by an injury to new signing Cissokho as he was replaced by Daniel Agger. But Agger almost made an immediate impact when his glancing header rattled off the far post from a Gerrard free-kick.

 

Liverpool continued to create chances and Sturridge was next to go close when he curled an effort wide of the far post after great work from Joe Allen set him up.

 

But Sturridge made no mistake with his next opportunity when he rifled a shot into the far corner after receiving a defence splitting pass from Gerrard to put Liverpool 2-0 to the good.

 

Liverpool continued to press for goals and Agger’s powerful header was brilliantly saved from Bialkowski as the pressure mounted.

 

Next it was Gerrard with a trademark burst into the box before rattling the post after receiving a perfectly weighted pass from Sterling.

 

The second half brought a change of mood from the home side as they looked to conserve energy by sitting a little deep and allowing Notts County more possession.

 

Callum McGregor tried an ambitious 30 yard drive but it was easily gathered by Mignolet. But the game changed when Arquin headed past Mignolet after Smith’s header across goal from a floated set-piece sending the travelling supporters wild with delight.

 

Liverpool responded to losing the goal with Toure half-volleying a Gerrard cross against the woodwork as Liverpool’s bad luck in front of goal continued.

 

The 2-1 scoreline looked enough for the Reds until Arquin surged to the Liverpool bye-line before his cross found Coombes who shot past Mignolet at the back post to shock the hosts.

 

The last thing Liverpool wanted was extra-time and Agger went close with a deflected shot before Sterling sliced Glen Johnson’s cross wide of the post.

 

As the game moved into an extra half hour Liverpool found themselves reduced to 10 men after Toure left the field on a stretcher and all Liverpool’s substitutes used.

 

But despite the disadvantage, Sturridge fired his side in front again after a rapid counter-attack involving Coutinho.

 

Moments later Henderson made it 4-2 with a terrific individual goal which saw him nutmeg Liddle before calmly side-footing past Bialkowski into the corner of the net.

 

Liverpool made hard work of their win after leading comfortably at one stage but after a scare they will be only too glad to be in the draw for the next round.

 

Summary

 

I was very pleased to see Rodgers start with a strong team in a cup competition and also give youngsters Wisdom, Ibe and Sterling a start. Liverpool played well in the first half and should have been more than 2 goals to the good but they did get complacent in the second half and almost paid for it. But Liverpool did show great character to go on and win in extra time after going down to 10 men. Sad to see Toure leave the field on a stretcher as he was playing superbly in defence, Sterling was another who played well and great to see him score. But Daniel Sturridge is on fire at the moment and long may it continue. Stressful game with a happy ending.

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Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool Match Report

25 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

 

 

Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool made it two wins from two games to start this new season off as they recorded a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park. Daniel Sturridge’s first half goal was the difference between the sides as Liverpool dominated the first half before defending their slender lead in the second half against Aston Villa’s constant pressure.

 

The Team

 

Liverpool  had a full week to prepare for the Aston Villa match after winning their first game of the season against Stoke last Saturday, whereas Aston Villa have had a tough week of fixtures to start off the new season. Villa beat Arsenal away from home last Saturday before losing away to Chelsea in midweek.

 

Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged team from the side that beat Stoke for the visit to Villa Park with Mignolet, Johnson, Enrique, Toure, Agger, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Aspas, Coutinho and Sturridge all starting for the Reds. The headline news was that new signing Aly Cissokho was included on the substitutes’ bench.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool started the match brightly enjoying plenty of possession in the early stages of the match and it was Liverpool who created the first opportunity when Aspas slipped the ball through to Johnson but the full-back’s effort was blocked.

 

The statistics read Liverpool had 75 per cent of the ball in the opening 10 minutes of the match as Liverpool established their passing game early on.

 

Enrique linked with Coutinho down the left flank before the Brazilian unfortunately picked his spot in the Holte End. Liverpool were still enjoying the majority of possession without troubling the Villa goal.

 

But then in the 21st minute Sturridge broke the deadlock when he danced around a succession of challenges before rifling the ball into the top corner with the outside of his left foot.

 

Liverpool’s movement from Aspas, Sturridge, Coutinho and Henderson continued to cause Villa trouble just like Stoke had experienced the previous week.

 

But the hosts became more of an attacking threat in the closing stages of the first half and Toure had to make a terrific sliding tackle to thwart one attack before Mignolet palmed away the resulting Benteke corner kick.

 

Villa almost equalised just before half-time when Weimann’s powerful effort was slightly deflected over Mignolet’s crossbar after Liverpool had failed to clear an awkward bouncing ball.

 

Villa started the second half the way the ended the first half, but it was Sturridge who threatened first with a terrific dribble along the right wing before producing a centre which the Villa defence managed to clear for a corner.

 

Then Villa were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position but Bacuna’s effort hit the wall before Westwood blasted the rebound high and wide.

 

Moments later Westwood had another strike at goal but he shot over.

 

Villa continued to do most of the attacking with Liverpool playing on the counter-attack, and one of those counter-attacks resulted in an opportunity for Johnson but he thrashed his shot high and wide from a dangerous position.

 

Then Liverpool had to thank their Captain for a brilliant saving block as Gerrard threw himself at a shot from El Ahmadi at the edge of the box.

 

Rodgers brought on Cissokho for his debut replacing Aspas in the 68th minute as Liverpool continued to defend their slender lead.

 

Villa went close in the 75th minute when Toure could only head a clearance to Agbonlahor but the forward’s instant left-footed effort went wide of the post.

 

Tonev worked Mignolet with a rasping effort before a defensive mix-up cost the Reds a corner which the visitors’ managed to clear.

 

Joe Allen replaced Coutinho with 8 minutes to go as Rodgers hoped his introduction would give Liverpool more possession in the closing stages.

 

But Villa continued to threaten and Mignolet had to pull off a brilliant save from Benteke as the big striker hit a powerful volley on target after breaking free of the Liverpool defence.

 

Liverpool had a good shout for a penalty when Sturridge was felled by Guzan as he tried to go past him but the referee waved away Liverpool’s appeals for a penalty.

 

Benteke’s chance proved to be Villa’s last chance as Liverpool managed to run down the clock to earn a hard worked win against an energetic Aston Villa.

 

Summary

 

A terrific start to the season for Liverpool with 2 wins from their first 2 games. Liverpool played some very good football in the first half with some great possession and movement from Sturridge, Henderson, Aspas and Coutinho. A great goal by Sturridge fit to win any match as he produced a moment of sheer individual class to win the game for Liverpool. Sturridge was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty late on when Guzan brought him down, it was a clear penalty. Gerrard and Lucas were superb in midfield against an energetic Villa midfield, but what pleased me most was how well Liverpool defended against constant pressure from Villa in the second half. Toure and Agger were superb in the centre of defence and they martialled the dangerous Benteke superbly for the whole game. Mignolet again proved what a good signing he is by making a couple of great saves, especially the one late on from Benteke. Another good performance from Liverpool and a good ground out, gritty win which will give great confidence going into next week’s match against Manchester United.

 

 

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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.

 

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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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Celtic 1-0 Liverpool Match Report

11 Aug

Celtic 1-0 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool finished their pre-season with a game against Scottish Champion Celtic in Dublin. Liverpool have enjoyed a good pre-season with 6 wins, but that run was to end as they lost 1-0 to a first half goal from Balde. Liverpool dominated possession for long periods of the game, but failed to break down a stubborn Celtic defence.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers fielded a team to start Liverpool’s last pre-season game with one eye on next week’s opening game of the season. Rodgers selected a strong side to start against Celtic, although Agger didn’t travel to Dublin after receiving a knock last week against Olympiacos. Liverpool’s team read, Mignolet, Enrique, Wisdom, Toure, Johnson, Lucas, Gerrard, Allen, Downing, Aspas and Coutinho.

 

The Match

 

Both sets of supporters provided an amazing rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone prior to kick-off in an amazing atmosphere in the Aviva Stadium. Liverpool started with a strong team intent on continuing their good pre-season form prior to next weekend’s opening game of the season.

 

Liverpool dominated possession in the early stages but fell behind to a goal from Celtic striker Balde after the big striker managed to knick the ball past Wisdom before side-footing his effort off the trailing leg of the onrushing Mignolet which altered the direction of the shot resulting ball bouncing into the back of the net.

 

Liverpool showed a good reaction from the set-back as they produced a flurry of attempts at the Celtic goal. But Zaluska kept the Reds at bay with a string of impressive saves.

 

Zaluska raced of his line to thwart an effort by Coutinho, before producing an even better save a minute later when he acrobatically palmed away a shot from Downing that was destined for the top corner after the winger had cut in from the right.

 

Then Glen Johnson broke free behind the Celtic defence but his low shot was saved by Zaluska as the Pole continued to thwart Liverpool’s attacks.

 

Celtic almost doubled their lead just before half-time against the run of play when Izaguirre’s curling cross was headed towards goal by Stokes, but his effort was easily saved by Mignolet.

 

The second half brought a pleasing sight for Liverpool supporters with the introduction of Daniel Sturridge, who made his first appearance of the pre-season after recovering from injury he received on international duty.

 

Sturridge made an immediate impact with a powerful shot that just missed the far post. Sturridge looked in determined mood and his enthusiasm had an adverse effect when he rushed to meet Downing’s cross only to block Coutinho’s path to the ball as both players failed to make contact with the winger’s cross.

 

As Liverpool continued to threaten, Kolo Toure thought he had levelled 10 minutes into the second half when he headed in a Gerrard free-kick only to see his effort ruled out for offside.

 

Then Sturridge released Coutinho with a clever free-kick but the Brazilian sliced his effort well wide. The two players combined again with minutes left, this time Coutinho’s clever pass sent Sturridge clear, but his lobbed effort bounced just wide of the far post with Forster stranded.

 

Celtic held out for a morale boosting win as Liverpool ran out of time in their quest to break the stubborn Celtic defence and lose their first pre-season game of the summer.

 

Summary

 

Liverpool lost against a resilient Celtic team who worked hard defensively to frustrate Liverpool after taking an early lead, and Liverpool will have to get used to this as team’s will park the bus at Anfield in particular. Liverpool worked hard, but far too often their final ball was not good enough. Liverpool failed to get enough players into the Celtic penalty box too when on attack, but at times they were thwarted with great defending and good goalkeeping. But Liverpool’s defence looked unconvincing at times with Celtic’s rare attacks, especially from cross balls, and Andre Wisdom looked very nervous and had an uncomfortable afternoon against the robust Balde. It was encouraging to see Sturridge back and he looked pretty sharp considering his lengthy lay-off, and he will be needed in the coming weeks. The result is meaningless and Liverpool have enjoyed a good pre-season overall, but the serious business starts next week.

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Brendan’s Youngsters

2 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

 

Brendan’s Youngsters

 

Brendan Rodgers gave a number of Liverpool’s youngsters their chance in the first team last season to the delight of many supporters. With the coverage on Liverpool’s TV channel nowadays, Liverpool supporters can watch most youth games on TV and most supporters are excited by the talent that they see coming through the ranks, so it was extremely pleasing to see so many youngsters make an impression in the first team last season.

 

The likes of Andre Wisdom, Raheem Sterling and Suso to name but a few, featured quite a lot last season as Brendan Rodgers put his faith in them.

 

But did he really feel they were ready for the first team or did he just play them because he was left short of options after a poor summer transfer window. Rodgers lost a vast amount of experience last summer with Dirk Kuyt, Craig Bellamy and Maxi Rodriguez all leaving for one reason or another, so Rodgers was left with a threadbare squad.

 

But Rodgers did play his younger squad members in place of some more experienced players and some big money signings from King Kenny’s reign. Big money signings Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson in particular found it difficult to get much game time in the early part of last season.

 

Rodgers’ use of the youngsters seemed to be the kick up the backside the likes of Henderson and Downing needed as they fought their way back into the team later in the season. But the addition of Sturridge and Coutinho and now this summer’s signings could make it difficult for the youngsters to feature much this coming season.

 

Liverpool have just finished their summer pre-season tour with many younger players receiving a great deal of experience by being included in the trip. But what will the new season bring as Rodgers now shapes his team into the team that he is looking for with his own signings.

 

It was the same when Dalglish took over from Roy Hodgson, when Dalglish selected youngsters like Jon Flanagan, Jack Robinson, Spearing and Shelvey in his team before he could bring in his own players in the summer, then opportunities were far fewer.

 

I fear the same could happen next season to the likes of Wisdom, Sterling and Liverpool’s newest sensation Jordan Ibe. Many youngsters get a taste of first team action but then fall out of the reckoning as clubs like Liverpool frequently spend money in the transfer market.

 

Many players leave for pastures new like the talented Tom Ince as opportunities are limited and many players go out on loan which is great experience, but will they come back to Liverpool and become regular first team players on their return ? Time will tell.

 

Just as I started writing this article I’ve just heard that Jack Robinson is off to Blackpool on loan. Robinson is a player I rate highly and I thought he might feature more regularly this season in the first team. Conor Coady is another cracking prospect who is out on loan at Sheffield United, as is Suso who impressed many times early last season.

 

It will be interesting to see what happens to Liverpool’s youngsters as Rodgers has assembled a stronger squad than last season. Rodgers is a believer in giving youth a chance and if you are good enough it shouldn’t matter your age, just take a look at Messi and how many games he has played already.

 

Supporters have to trust the management with their treatment of the younger players as impatience to see them play is common. But there is a crop of young talent at Liverpool just now and although some are learning their trade at other clubs, the theory is that they will come back to Liverpool better players and be more beneficial to the team.

 

Liverpool have not been blessed with such promising young talent for many years and if this crop of youngsters fullfill their promise then Liverpool will be a better team for it. The future is bright for Liverpool Football Club and I think they have the right man in Brendan Rodgers to mature those youngsters into important players for Liverpool.

 

 

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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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Thailand 0-3 Liverpool Match Report

28 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

 

Thailand 0-3 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool ended their pre-season tour with a trip to Thailand. The Reds won comfortably in front of another stadium full of Liverpool supporters. Liverpool won the match 3-0 through goals from Coutinho, Aspas and Steven Gerrard to the delight of the Thailand public. Luis Suarez featured once again as speculation over his future remains unclear.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers used as many players as possible in this match against Thailand as he prioritise match fitness with his players. New goalkeeper Mignolet started the match with other new signing Toure in defence in front of him alongside Enrique, Agger and Johnson. Rodgers selected a midfield of Lucas, Gerrard, Coutinho and Allen with other new signing Aspas and Borini providing an attacking threat.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool made light of the searing heat and humidity as they grabbed the initiative from the start. Coutinho caught the eye in the early stages with stunning close control and tricks that impressed the audience.

 

Aspas almost scored after one of Coutinho’s trademark runs, but the striker’s effort was deflected over. Then Coutinho sent an acrobatic volley just wide after being picked out by Johnson as the chances kept coming.

 

Then Borini saw an effort saved before the magical Coutinho finally beat the overworked Hathairattanakool. The Brazilian bamboozled 3 defenders before shooting past the helpless keeper with a goal of stunning individual brilliance.

 

Thailand rallied late in the first half and Liverpool had Mignolet to thank for staying in front. Thailand’s Anun’s powerful strike from the edge of the box appeared destined for the net but Mignolet pulled off a stunning reflex save to keep the Reds in front.

 

Liverpool had little trouble in the second half as they dominated proceedings. Coutinho’s vision allowed him to find Aspas with a wonderful pass which the Spaniard controlled instantly before netting his third goal in four friendlies since his move from Celta Vigo.

 

Aspas then turned provider as he unselfishly laid the ball off to Gerrard who sent a stunning lob over the keeper to make it 3-0.

 

Suarez came off the bench with half an hour to play and was left frustrated when his header hit the underside of the bar from a Gerrard cross. Henderson went close before Gerrard saw his effort hit the woodwork late on.

 

Summary

 

Liverpool played well and created a lot of chances against Thailand. Plenty of players managed some game time as the players look sharper with every match. Gerrard bossed the midfield and scored another brilliant goal. Aspas scored again and his form in his young Liverpool career is impressive. Coutinho is just a magician and was awesome again for Liverpool, his goal was pure class and he is going to be a very important player for the Reds this season. Mignolet is looking like a great buy and the big Belgian has not put a foot wrong in goal. Overall it was another good workout for Liverpool as they have made plenty of new friends and left many great memories for their distant supporters.

 

 

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Indonesia X1 0-2 Liverpool Match Report

21 Jul

Indonesia X1 0-2 Liverpool Match Report

 

Coutinho and Raheem Sterling were the scorers in a good testing workout against an Indonesian eleven. Coutinho scored early in the match before Sterling finished off the resilient Indonesian side late on before an excited Indonesian support in Jakarta who enjoyed the visit from their heroes.

The Match

 

Liverpool must have felt like that they were back home at Anfield with the unbelievable support behind them in Jakarta. Steven Gerrard made his comeback from injury and was warmly welcomed by the tremendous support.  Liverpool inspired by the vocal and passionate support rewarded them with an early goal when Brazilian Coutinho found the net after a lucky ricocheted allowed him into the box before sliding the ball under Meiga.

 

The match provided Liverpool with a more difficult test than the previous week against Preston as they had to work harder to maintain their lead in the extreme heat against an industrious Indonesian side.

 

Liverpool came close to extending their lead when Downing met an Enrique cross with a side-foot volley, but Meiga did well to smother. Moments later Luis Alberto beat Meiga but not the woodwork.

 

Liverpool continued to threaten the Indonesian goal as Aspas created space for himself before smashing a shot off the top of the crossbar.

 

The hosts nearly equalised when Sergio Van Dijk’s audacious strike called Mignolet into action. The striker drilled a 30 yard effort which Mignolet did well to glance wide of his post.

 

10 minutes into the second half almost brought a second Liverpool goal but as Aspas rounded Meiga the ball bobbled up and the striker fired high and wide. Coutinho was having another impressive display and he almost scored his and Lverpool’s second goal of the match when Aspas created a chance for the Brazilian, but for once Coutinho lacked composure as he scooped his effort over the crossbar.

 

Rodgers made wholesale changes with 25 minutes to go as match fitness is so important at this stage of the season. Raheem Sterling was one of those introduced amd made an immediate impact when he skipped past an opponent before firing a 30 yard effort that soared just wide.

 

Sterling became the second player to hit the crossbar when he powerfully hit the top of the crossbar after Borini had failed to make contact from Assaidi’s cross. Sterling was causing all sorts of problems for the Indonesian defence with his movement and next he smashed an effort into the side-netting after running behind the Indonesian defence.

 

But the youngster wasn’t to be denied his goal after good work by Ibe found Assaidi with only Meiga to beat but the Morrocan unselfishly slipped the ball to Sterling who tucked the ball into the gaping net.

 

The match proved a good test for Liverpool as they step up their pre-season and now move onto Australia where they will face Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.

 

Summary

 

A good test for Liverpool against an industrious Indonesian side in difficult conditions with the heat. Steven Gerrard making his comeback was very pleasing for Liverpool supporters, but he did look a little rusty as he began his pre-season which can only be expected. Mignolet was more tested and looked impressive in what he had to deal with a few good saves and commanding his penalty area at cross balls. Toure was solid at the back and made some good interceptions. Coutinho was once again very impressive and can pick out those defence splitting passes at will. Aspas is a good addition to the side and a tricky player that can conjure up chances on his own. Alberto showed some good work that showed his value to the team and was unlucky not to score. But like last weekend Raheem Sterling impressed when coming off the bench with his energy and attitude and directness to attack defenders with his pace, his goal capped a fine performance as he must be impressing Brendan Rodgers with his sharpness. Liverpool’s pre-season is gradually building momentum and the trip to Australia will be another good test in this busy pre-season for the Reds.

 

 

 

 

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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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