Tag Archives: England

Sturridge Couldn’t Be Risked

14 Sep

Sturridge Couldn’t Be Risked

 

Daniel Sturridge missed England’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine with a thigh problem sustained in Liverpool’s win over Manchester United but he could be fit for Liverpool’s trip to Swansea on Monday night after returning to training on Friday.

 

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has dismissed claims that Sturridge took the easy option to miss England’s matches by claiming that it was the FA doctors who made the decision on his fitness.

 

Rodgers stated that “Daniel was disappointed to miss England,” and said “medical experts made the decision. They deemed him not fit enough.” Rodgers also highlighted the fact that with Liverpool’s match not being played until Monday night has given Sturridge a better chance of being fit.

 

Sturridge and Rodgers should not be questioned regarding his absence from England’s matches because he made it clear that he had played against Manchester United while struggling with an injury and his injury should not be risked by playing for England.

 

People seem to forget that it was while playing for England at the end of last season that he picked up an injury which prevented him from taking part in most of Liverpool’s pre-season. Sturridge only appeared for 45 minutes against Celtic in Liverpool’s final pre-season game before Liverpool’s season started.

 

Sturridge has played in Liverpool’s first three league games of the season and is still playing catch up regarding his fitness after being injured for most of the summer. Liverpool have to protect their player from further injury after just coming back to fitness.

 

It is true what Rodgers says that with Liverpool playing on the Monday gives Sturridge more time to recover from his injury. Sturridge reported for England duty and he was assessed by England’s doctors so to question his commitment to his country is a joke.

 

There are times when it does look very suspicious when players pull out of international games only to be fit the following Saturday for their club’s fixture, but it is ridiculous to question Sturridge.

 

England will reap the rewards of an improving Sturridge in the coming months and years, but to possibly cause further injury to him when he is carrying an injury would have stupid. The English FA realised this and made the right decision but there is always some people out there who want to question a player’s commitment.

 

 

 

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Underrated Glen Johnson

12 Sep

Underrated  Glen Johnson

Liverpool and England right back Glen Johnson has made tremendous progress during his time at Anfield but still doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Johnson seems to be one of those players that is overlooked regarding his performances, probably because he is so consistent.

Johnson has been an England and Liverpool regular and now at the age of 29 both England and Liverpool are seeing the best of him. Johnson is quick and dangerous going forward and weighs in with a few goals from his attacking exploits.

Johnson had been criticised for his defending in the past but not so much nowadays. His defending is first class and not many attackers get behind him. Johnson makes last ditch tackles to prevent the opposition scoring on countless occasions and he recently picked up an injury after applying a full blooded, bone crunching tackle on Manchester United’s Patrice Evra which unfortunately will keep him out for several weeks of action.

You don’t realise how much you miss someone until their unavailable and Liverpool will appreciate this with Johnson’s injury. The obvious replacement for Johnson will be Andre Wisdom but he still lacks experience and it was recently rumoured that he might have went out on loan to another club to gain the necessary experience until Sebastian Coates suffered a season ending injury.

Martin Kelly is still recovering from his long term injury as he struggles for match fitness and so Liverpool could find Johnson’s injury a real problem.

Johnson’s versatility has also seen him play at left back where he has displayed just as much consistency as on the right. Johnson’s experience is valuable to the younger players coming through too and there will be a lack of experience down the right side of Liverpool’s defence in the coming weeks that could pose a problem.

I was never that keen on Johnson’s arrival to Anfield and the expensive price tag didn’t help on my assumption. But it is never a player’s fault that a club is prepared to pay “silly” money for them, but it can cause problems of expectancy from supporters.

I thought Johnson was poor at defending and never created enough going forward but during his Anfield career I have been proved wrong and appreciate him now as a top class defender. But Johnson still doesn’t receive the recognition his talent deserves and it is about time he was appreciated.

Probably Glen Johnson likes it the way the spotlight is never on him as he continues quietly performing consistently for club and country. It’s just a shame he will need to wait a few weeks to continue his tremendous form.

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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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Suarez Owes Liverpool

11 Jun

here is the link to buy my brand new e-book 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  all the royalties will go to the Hillsborough Charity.

Suarez Owes Liverpool

Luis Suarez has been a sensation in terms of footballing quality since his arrival on Merseyside, and the Liverpool supporters have taken them to their heart. But with all his world class footballing ability, there is also heavy baggage that weighs him down.

Suarez has never been out of the headlines since his arrival from Dutch side Ajax, and unfortunately mostly for controversy. The English media have found great delight in highlighting every misdemeanour the Uruguayan has made with little mention of his wonderful play on the park for Liverpool.

The English media made Suarez public enemy number one since his infamous role in the 2010 World Cup Quarter Final, when he got sent off for saving Dominic Adiyiah’s goalbound header with his hands on the goal line, which would have been the game winner. Gyan hit the crossbar with the ensuing penalty kick before Uruguay won the penalty shootout 4-2 to advance to the semi-finals.

It was despicable treatment from the world’s media for Suarez’s action, when any footballer would have done the same thing with an instinctive save to prevent a goal. Suarez was punished by receiving a red card and also missed the semi- final through suspension, so why the outcry, it was hardly similar to Maradona’s handball against England in the 1986 World cup was it ?

But although the media had an agenda against Suarez, he hasn’t helped himself with his diving, although he has worked to clean up his act in recent months. The Evra controversy still seems mysterious to me but he was punished rightly or wrongly, one man’s word against another man’s word but he was found guilty.

But his latest misdemeanour was his worst yet and possibly his last in a Liverpool shirt. There was no excuse for biting Chelsea defender Ivanovic and he was rightly punished.

Suarez has missed many games through suspension since joining Liverpool as the FA have joined the nation’s media to hammer English football’s public enemy number one and make an example of him to others.

Suarez was banned for 8 games for racially abusing Evra whereas Chelsea’s John Terry only got 4 games for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, with much more evidence of the offence on offer.

The Uruguayan’s latest ban is 10 matches for biting Ivanovic and I believe the punishment is for the man and not for the crime as Suarez has previous convictions.

Like I say Suarez has not helped himself, for example not shaking Evra’s hand the next time the two players’ met after his ban was not the brightest thing to do and caused more trouble. But throughout all Suarez’s troubles and strife Liverpool Football Club has consistently defended and backed their star striker even though he has dragged the good name of the club through the mud at times and tarnished their great name.

But previous manager Kenny Dalglish constantly defended Suarez, even getting his team to wear T-shirts in an act of support for Suarez, and Brendan Rodgers has been singing off the same hymn sheet in regards to protecting his star player.

So how can Suarez betray the loyalty of Liverpool Football Club and more importantly his worshippers that stand in the Kop, by saying in a recent interview in his native land that he wants to leave Liverpool.

Suarez owes Liverpool at least another year to see if they can achieve a top four place in the league and qualification into the Champions League after the loyalty they have shown throughout his troubles.

Suarez’s excuse for wanting to leave Liverpool was blaming the media, like I said they have treated him disgracefully and I feared some time ago that they would drive him out of this country, but come on Luis you didn’t help yourself and just tell us the real reason that it is because you want to play in the Champions League and Liverpool can’t offer that and although the truth may hurt, Liverpool supporters will at least understand this excuse. But to blame the media no I’m sorry Liverpool deserve better.

I think Suarez is vital to Liverpool’s challenge for a top four place next season and without him I fear they will struggle, yes they will be compensated with good money, but losing a world class player is extremely difficult to replace and Liverpool will be a poorer team without him.

But no player is bigger than the team and Liverpool will go on with or without Suarez. Suarez is a great player but nowhere near the best to grace the hallowed turf of Anfield but he is certainly one of the most controversial and anybody that endeavours to tarnish the name of Liverpool Football Club is better away from Anfield.

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Anfield Legend

18 May

 

Anfield Legend

Legend is a word that is used far too often these days to describe footballers, but Jamie Carragher deserves to be described as one. Carragher is a one club man, which is very rare in modern day football and he has played over 700 games for Liverpool making him second only to Ian Callaghan in most appearances for the club.

Carragher is a product of Liverpool’s Academy and gained early success with the club when he won the FA Youth Cup in 1996. He made his professional debut in the 1996-97 season and became a regular the following season. Carragher was used in a variety of positions in his early days, mostly at full back. But former manager Rafa Benitez preferred him as a centre back and partnered him alongside former Kop favourite Sami Hyypia and Carragher became one of the best centre backs in Europe.

Jamie Carragher has collected many trophies in his time at Liverpool, winning the League Cup 3 times, the FA Community Shield twice, the UEFA Super Cup twice, the FA Cup twice, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

Carragher’s biggest regret was not being able to win the Premiership with Liverpool, but you can’t have everything he has done not too badly as far as medal collecting goes. He was a key member in Liverpool’s remarkable 2001 treble winning season and his performance in Istanbul will be talked about for ever by Liverpool supporters as he put his body on the line time after time to keep the Italians out even though his body was in agony.

Carragher’s ability was appreciated at international level, 38 times he appeared for England. But he should have had more caps, but his versatility was his downfall as he was used in a variety of positions with England instead of his best position at centre back.

Carragher gave 110% in every game no matter what the score was and he was an example to everyone in his team. He not only was a tremendous defender and reader of the game, but his organisational skills were vital to Liverpool’s defence with his constant shouting and instructing to his colleagues in defence. Earlier this season Carragher had to watch most matches from the bench as Skrtel and Agger were the preferred partnership in defence as Carragher’s age became a factor. But Brendan Rodgers noticed that Liverpool’s defence needed a leader and communicator at the back as Liverpool were conceding too many goals and he brought Carragher back into the side and Liverpool have never looked backed in a great run of form in the latter part of the season as Liverpool’s defence became one of the meanest in the league, thanks to Carragher.

It is amazing how many times Carragher has been written off in recent years, experts have said he is getting too slow to play at the highest level, but Carragher just kept proving everyone wrong and no more than in this season when for the last 18 months or so, he has been used sparingly. But since his comeback into the team he has been outstanding and it is great to see him retire at the top and as a regular in the team.

Jamie Carragher is appreciated by the Liverpool supporters in song with the title “We All Dream Of A Team Of Carraghers” and now Liverpool will have a gaping hole in their defence trying to replace such a great defender like Carragher will not be an easy task for Brendan Rodgers, and as Steven Gerrard said recently that he wouldn’t like Brendan Rodgers’ job of replacing the great man.

Jamie Carragher will be forever known as a Liverpool Legend and he will never walk alone.

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R.I.P Maggie From Liverpool

17 Apr

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R.I.P. Maggie From Liverpool

So today is the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and she will not be missed by many people from the city of Liverpool. Like so many towns and cities in the North of the country Liverpool’s industry was badly affected by her term in office.

Liverpool in the 1980’s was a city of industrial unrest with rioting in the streets of Toxteth. Mrs Thatcher believed that declining industries should not be propped up, but her policies may have exacerbated it.

Cabinet papers released under the 30 year rule in 2011, showed that Mrs Thatcher’s Chancellor Sir Geoffrey Howe (now Lord Howe) argued that Liverpool should be left to “manage decline”.

While ministers such as the then Secretary for the environment Michael (now Lord) Heseltine were arguing for regeneration funding to rebuild the riot-hit communities. Lord Howe thought it would be a waste of money.

He warned Mrs Thatcher “not to commit scarce resources to Liverpool”.

Strangely enough, Lord Howe has since said that his letter was misunderstood.

Lord Heseltine stated that Thatcher did care about Liverpool after being sent by her to the city in the aftermath of the Toxteth riots.

Thatcher also had an impact on football and in particular in the city of Liverpool. Following the Heysel disaster in 1985 Mrs Thatcher pressured the FA to ban all English clubs indefinitely from European competition.

Her wish was granted when UEFA banned all English clubs for what they stated was “an indeterminate period of time”. Liverpool received an additional ban of “indeterminate plus three years”, or more precisely, three further years in which Liverpool qualified for European competition. If they didn’t, the ban would roll on until they did.

With her arguable dislike for the city and for football and football supporters in general, it was just the excuse she needed to put the boot into football just the way she had with the miners.

The infamous ID card scheme was brought about by Thatcher and her advisors in the aftermath of Heysel for football supporters to gain entry into football stadiums and to “do something” about football hooliganism in the country. The scheme was only scrapped after the Hillsborough disaster.

Thatcher’s role in the immediate aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster remains unclear. It was believed that the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report could shed some light on her behaviour and comments in the days and weeks and months following the tragedy.

But Mrs Thatcher did voice concern that a 1989 report into Hillsborough constituted a “devastating criticism” of police.

Mrs Thatcher had already been warned the interim report was “very damning” of police but attached “little or no blame” to Liverpool fans.

She was told in a memo from a civil servant the interim report found the chief superintendent in charge at Hillsborough “behaved in an indecisive fashion” and senior officers infuriated the judge seeking to “duck all responsibility when giving evidence” to his inquiry.

But Mrs Thatcher made clear in her handwritten note that she did not want to give the government’s full backing to Lord Taylor’s criticisms, only to the way in which he had conducted his inquiry and made recommendations for action.

She wrote: “What do we mean by welcoming the broad thrust of report ? The broad thrust is devastating criticism of the police. Is that for us to welcome ? Surely we welcome the thoroughness of the report and its recommendations –M.T.”

We do know that she only wanted to protect her valued police force from the whole disaster and this leaves Liverpool supporters disliking her as Liverpool supporters and their families had their reputations tarnished for all those years while lies were spread of the events of the disaster where Thatcher wanted those guilty of negligence protected.

Although it has been a long time since Thatcher ruled this country, feelings are still raw in Liverpool and not many tears will be shed today in Liverpool.

R.I.P. Maggie

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