About Me

I have been a Red since I was about 6 or 7. My boyhood hero was Kenny Dalglish and I have an autograph from him while he was still at Celtic. Thanks Gran! As such I gravitated towards the team he played for. So I have been Scottish-South African- Scoucer for about 30 years now! I am extremely passionate about our club, and have felt the need to start this blog in the face of the abject nature of our performaces under Benitez and the Hicks/Gillett ownership.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

My Crystal Ball appears to be broken


Looks like Rafa will not joining the Blanconrei as they have plumped for Mr Delneri, a man who hasn't achieved very much since he guided Chievo to Serie A & UEFA Cup qualification in the early part of the 2ooo's. So either they hold Rafa in lower esteem than him or perhaps Rafa wanted Mourinho-like wages. With teh aforementioned man's imminent move to Real Madrid, perhaps we can palm Rafa off on Inter.

For the moment, we appear to be stuck with him & more tellingly Lucas. Also looks like one of my suggested alternative Avram Grant is probably bound for the Hammers, so our options are limited further.

And I see Leicester are keen on signing young Spearing permanently, another loss that will be. Good little player who gives his all.

Our new Striker Jovanovic, doesnt think coming to us is a mistake, with all the uncertainty going around at the moment. We shall see how the Standard Liege man does at the World Cup for Serbia, to see how he fits in. No doubt Rafa will have him playing centre-half or something! At least he appears to want to play for us, more than can be said for some of the current squad.

So we await the next bout of specilation on who is coming and going. Latest rumour is we are looking at Richards. Player who promised much early doors but has delivered little, sounds exactly like our Manager so he should fit in well!


Sunday, 16 May 2010

Our new shining Jedi Knight

So if/when the FSW goes to Juve, who replaces him?? Again like my proposed signings in my previous post, that depends on money. If he leaves of his own free volition and we dont find new buyer then we are bargain shopping in this department. For me that might be better, we have tried to attract Big Name foreigners (Houllier & Rafa), but has that really worked? We still finish 3rd or 4th most seasons way off theh pace, no different to Evans or Souness days.

This is tough, who can come into a club like ours get the respect of the dressing room and take the club forward by attracting decent quality players? I honestly dont know, so who is available?

Zola - Just binned by the Hammers, but is he looking to jump straight back in & if so are we what he is looking for? Probably not.
Mark Hughes - Ouch an Ex-Manc in charge, not sure the fans would stand for it, but if he can attract , Warnock, Onouha & Ireland from is old clubs is it worth swallowing some pride??? Unlikely but worth a look.
Roy Hodgson - A strong favourite, but very happy at Fulham. he says he has 1 big job left in him, thats clearly England Manager when Capello gets the sack after England leave the World Cup in the QUARTER FINALS as usual.
Steve McLaren just won the title with Twente Enschede (yes thats their full name and I didnt Google it!) in Holland, will he be keen to come back to England to prove himself. Maybe.........

I offer 3 choices below all a bit mad but really what is out there? We are kidding ourselves if we think we can attract managers like Mourinho, Van Gaal, Hiddink etc. If we go for a manager who has a good World Cup that wont work. God, imagine it Sven in charge!!!
1st choice - Avram Grant managed both Chelski & Pompey with dignity. Seemed to be able to handle the egos in the Chelski dressing room. No mean feat.
2nd choice - Gary McAllister yes insane I know, but his teams play football properly.He will always be remembered for his magnificent contributions in 2001 to our 5 trophy haul at the end of his playing career.He is Scottish, which generally means success as a Manager of LFC (Souness is the exception that proves the rule!!)
3rd choice - Alec McLeish Big Eck has won just about everything in the game as player and is doing magnificent work at Birmingham.He will instantly command respect in the dressing room. He has managed Rangers to loads of trophys in the 'North of the border Bigots Handicap' (SPL). A League where 2nd in a 2 horse race is unacceptable, so he will be used to the pressure of Big club management.

Any other ideas on a postcard please


Episode 7: A New Hope?????

Well the Season from Hell is finally over!

Hopefully the Dark Side of the Force will be at Juventus by the start of next season! By that I mean Emperor Benitez & and his young apprentice Anakin Lucas Lieva!

We will be looking to Steven Skywalker & Fernando Solo to save the Republic of LFC, under the leadership of an as yet unnamed and reclusive Jedi Knight. This will be tough as we attempt to recruit men of skill, passion and desire to our cause. We could do with a few Lando Lampard's, Chewie Cambiassso's & Mace Messi's!

Not only do we have this internal battle to fight, but we have the Droid Armies of Count Dooku Ferguson & General Anchelotti Grevious to overcome. Not forgeting that harvester of Young Souls Wenger Fett. Added into this mix has now been thrown the moneybags mercinary Mancini the Hutt. I dismiss the temporary annoyance of Poggle Redknapp the Lesser, he has horse-traded every planet he has been in charge of into bankruptcy (Bournemouth,So'ton,Pompey,West Ham).

I cannot see us making a push to free the Galaxy from the shackles of the Empire just yet (the Title), but we must gain some ground and be threat again. Broughton Organa has been given the task of finding a buyer over the summer for our club, not unlike the role of Lama Su (creater of Clone Trooperswho had a change of heart). He is a Chelski Season ticket holder but must help Liverpool find a way forward.

All the above considered (the football bits not the Star Wars metaphor!) we have 2 scenario's. We find a new buyer and they get rid of Benitez or dont find a new buyer and we are stuck with what we have. I cant see new owners keeping Benitez, and hopefully they wont have to pay him out as he will have left to Death Staventus or actually board a space shuttle bound for Orion's Belt (1 way).

I dont think it really matters which of these pans out, we are 7th best team in England and are playing Europa League Football (like Pod Racing instead of fighting the Empire in an X-wing!). So we are limited in who we can attract.For that to happen we need a cull of 10 or more players and bring in 5 or 6 good ones. The rest of the slack will to be taken up by our Youngling Reserves and Academy, which hasnt produced anything since Wedge Warnock Antilles.......

So who goes? Below is a list and a short explanation (NOT), this is based on the players currently listed on the LFC website as being in the Rebel Alliance.

Riera - He hates Rafa (not a bad thing) and want to go to Naboo (CSKA Moscow) I say let him go, he is inconsistent and a disruptive factor.
Aurelio - A valiant worthy warrior but too often missing from the Frontline and first on the Hospital Evac!
Kuyt - A stalwart of the Rebel Alliance but you know he in never going to make the shot to blow up the Death Star. Thank you for all your hard work Dirk but its time to go (He is a sale-able asset).
Lucas - He is utter Shite no Star Wars analagy needed, although not unlike Ja-Ja Binks, out of his depth and clueless. If Brazil want to win the World Cup this man should not be in your squad under any circumstance! I would take a new kettle and a set of bibs from anyone dumb enough to buy this clown.
Insua - Too short,too slow (3 seasons we have been playing him in the 1st team). Not unlike an Ewok who you wouldn't let guard your left flank unaided!

Now I get a bit contraversial, like carbon freezing Han Solo, but this time he doesnt come back. CARRA MUST GO!
I have stated it previously on my Blog for a Centre Half, he is now too slow and the 3 yards he had in his head for reading the game are gone. He has been consistantly out of position & out muscled for 2 seasons now (6 out 7 penalties last season were his fault & have lost count of the number of goals he has cost us this season) If we keep him, he plays as a holding midfield player nothing else.
Degen - Not unlike a TIE Fighter once a wing has been blasted off, all over the place and out of control, an accident waiting to happen. Like Dossena looks better as a winger than a fullback.
Itandje - Yes we are still paying this clown!!! Our reserve keepers are more than capable of covering Pepe & Caveleri.
El Zhar - A Jawa, an annoying desert scavenger (number of games played for wages paid) who in his 4-5 season has done absolutely nothing to indicate he want to play professional football for anyone. I am sure there are plenty kebab shops in Rabat looking for a delivery boy, like his crosses always short!!!
Last is Danny Sanchez Ayala Honestly he may only be 19 but he is slow, ponderous and cant tackle the preverbial fish supper! Cant help wonder if Rafa was too rash getting rid of Jack Hobbs after that 1 appearance against Reading on the 8th of December 2007. Now captain of Leicester who just missed out on pens getting to the Play-Off Final in the Championship......

Babel does not appear on my list here. We need to see him playing a full season on the right wing before we can judge him(Dirks replacement). Rafa has ruined this player and we need to re-build his confidence. Give him the ball on his right foot and tell him to run and shoot,the goals will flow.

Now the fun bit who do we get in???? Well we have no money and like the Rebel Alliance we have to keep things low key for fear of discovery which will inflate the prices no end. As you can see I have decimated the left side of the pitch like if was being defended by Ewoks and Gungans against a Stormtrooper assualt! No midfielder (left footed) or a full back. So lets address that 1st. This is a 'without too much money' scenario. Obviously money would allow us to pay better wages and attract better players, I am trying to be practical and realistic. please feel free to comment.

Left Back - There are 4 candidates for the position. The 1st is probably out of reach especially if Obi-Wan-Fabio picks him for the forthcoming Clone War in South Africa & the fact that he currently plays for the Sseperatists (Everton).
1st choice - Leighton Baines, he may have the name of a West Indian fast bowler but for me he is the best left back we may be able to attract.
2nd choice - would be Nicky Shorey, again short in stature, but I have seen him play for Fulham (they are the closet club to where I live & Our Danny plays for them!!!) several times this season and he is a solid defender who attacks when its appropriate.
3rd on my list is a bit controversial, bring back Wedge Warnock!!. he was injury prone but has been excellent since he went to Blackburn.
The last one is again off the wall, but if you image all we will have to spend is the money we get from above sales then perhaps this is the most realistic, Figueroa at Wigan, he is big, strong and doesnt mind shooting from inside his own half!! We need 2 from these 4.

Right Back- We only really have Johnson. Mascha & Carra arent comfortable there, so I am happy with Stephen Darby (Reserve Captain) and Martin Kelly (6"1 can play centre half or full-back). If you want to sign someone then for me Nedum Onouha is our only option. A player marginalised under Mancini having made just 7 league appearances this season.

Now Left Midfield, I see 4 potential candidates, the first of these is audatious but I will throw it in anyway - Joe Cole, he has been a bits & bobs player for years at Chelski, a chance to shine and show people what he can really do might appeal. NO TRANSFER FEE!!!! Rafa get on the bloody phone now!!!!! If you sign him I will forgive all your cock-ups!
2nd is Matthew Etherington - Yes I know he has a gambling problem & we have Haydock just round the corner, but as a player he is a honest, genuine left winger who works back and delivers quality balls into the box an alien concept at Anfield under Sith Lord Benitez.
3rd Aidan McGeady - Again I am being left field excuse the pun, but also spend thrifty with this one. The most skillful player in the SPL surely we can afford him? Celtic have no money.
4th - Damien Duff - Again I have watched Duffer at Fulham many times this season, he has been relatively injury free and outstanding for Roy Hodgson's team. He may cost a pretty penny, but I think he also has a point to prove that he can make it at a big club after his time at Chelski & the Toon.

Midfield - We have plethora of midfield talent but I dont think Rafa has ever harnessed it properly. His 2 - 3 set up has only worked with Alonso next to Mashca. He has left so we must move on,therefore the formation or personnel must change. I think we played better towards the end of the season when Gerrard became Xabi & Alberto became Stevie. I would like to see a more aggressive midfield. If we are only going with 1 up front a 1-4 work better. IE Mascha holding and 4 in front of him with Nando up front. However I would like to see us add 1 quality player to our numbers, for me there are only 3 options here.

1st choice Stephen Ireland - again may cost a few bob, but a genuine box-to-box player who carries serious goal threat, and another who has been marginalised under Mancini, and he doesnt play for his country (wrongly) so can devote all his time to us. Plus he is named after a whole country thats got to be good!!!
2nd - Everyone favourite trier - I used to watch him at Charlton and now he is the only shining light on a bleak Hammers landscape Scotty Parker. Again this would mean that we effectively have 6 quality players for central midfiled (lets not forget Yossi) all with goals and game changing passes in them. I would like both of these, but will settle for 1.We could even play without a holding player at home!!! Yes Rafa people may begin to like you if you use The Force properly!!!!
3rd - Charles N'Zogbia, he can play on both flanks and always scores about 7 goals a season despite playing for donkey clubs. So perhaps a higher return and is cover for Babel of whoever we get on the left flank. Send Riera there??

Centre backs - Well if Carra goes (unlikely, 1 can only pray), like Owen, Fowler & Hyypia I have called them all correctly but our managers have waited too long to deliver the chop.
Here I see 1 from 4 if we keep Skrtel, if he goes then we need 2.
Perea at Athletico - I watched him live in Hamburg & have seen him thrice this season hammer our forwards. I also saw him 2 seasons ago at the Emirates pre-season tournament that Arsenal hold. The man is immense, but no doubt Barca or Valencia will beat us to it.
Paul Sharner - yes again I am being madcap (no transfer fee, bags of Premiership experience), he is leaving Wigan,can play in midfield & up front and I think Dan & him will scare the hell out of everyone!!!
3rd choice - Ryan Shawcross - Legions of Doom released this boy and kept Johnny Evans???? Further proof that the Dark Lord Fergie is a moron!!! He has been outstanding in the 2 seasons he has had with Stoke so far in the Premiership and will probably be in our price range.Possible swap with Carra and some cash???
4th choice - Brede Hangeland - We have a tradition of Scandinavian centre-halfs whose names begin with H (Hysen,Hyypia,HAgger), can we add this 1??? I say no, I watch him at Fulham and he is very loyal to Hodgson, but might be worth a punt, again with Carra or Skrtel as bait.....

Up Front - We have allegedly signed some Eastern European bloke back in March, but cant find him on the LFC Website, so who knows if he exists or if he has name. This has been our biggest problem for 2 season now. We got away with it the season before last because Dirk chipped in with loads of last minute winners, especially in Europe. This year we suffered. Your back up to Torres cant be a 19 year old French stingbean.Its unfair pressure on Ngog and a sad indictment on our transfer policy. Game he may be but quality there is not,yet.Here is the difficult bit... We need 2 quality players here but they wont be cheap. I dont know what kind of striker the aforementioned Eastern Bloc man is, so I assume he doesnt exist....

1st choice - Rodellega from Wigan. He has managed 10 goals playing in the League on his own up front for them, surely we can increase the return & is used to that role.
2nd Choice - Lucas Podolski Total shot in the dark, dont know if he is still at Bayern or has moved on, but he plays up front or left wing ala 2006/Euro2008, Ja Vol Mien Herr !!!!
3rd choice - Kenwyne Jones - Much vaunted & linked in the Media with us but I dont see it, signing of last resort. If Rafa liked big lumps to aim the ball at he would have kept Crouch.
4th - maybe even more last resort than Jones, Santa Cruz, sitting getting splinters in him bum at Man City.

I see the return of the various loanees and reservesas crucial. (Darby,Ecclestone,Nemeth,Spearing, Pacheco et al) to support the above cast. The important question is who leads us?. All the above assumes we dont have much cash, so even if Rafa goes who can we attract? Next post will discuss.


Monday, 3 May 2010

End of Season Malaise

Apologies for not having blogged for several weeks. I have been on holiday in South Africa, and thanks to the pesky Icelandic volcano was forced to have an extra 2 weeks holiday! Quite appropriate really that my last post mentioned molten lava and bang Iceland explodes!

See not only do I know more about picking the best team for LFC than Rafa, I can predict the weather! So where ot I begin this posting?

I think we are thankfully coming to the end of this dark chapter in our proud Club's history. It would appear the old Lady of Turin has lifted Her petticoats and Rafa is salavating at taking over a team currently 7th in Serie A, full of average players who arent good enough. Sound familiar???? Arriva Derche Rafa, I hope you achieve nothing and take every ounce of fun out of the football over there. Oh wait the Italians have already done that, you should fit well with all the other boring negative coaches over there.

I thought it was quite appropriate that we were swept away by a quality opponent yesterday, after showing some initial promise. Sort of sums up Rafa's 6 years in charge. Once again he proved that against the other top 4 teams he is wholly inadaquate, tactically inept. Last season was a fluke that we were able to take so many points. The true legacy of Rafa is that he always struggled to beat team who set up similarly, Bolton,Blackburn, and his ultimate nemisis Birmingham, a team he has never beaten in his 6 seasons here. You can afford to not beat the big teams if you cleaning up against the dross, but when you play dross every week you have no chance.

I think our season was best summed up by the fact that we lost a football match to a beachball! Perhaps that was karma paying us back for all the last minute winners/equalisers we scored last season. Lets hope so, the Legions of Doom have had about 5 of those this season and been the beneficiary of 11 own goals! At that rate they will be relegation fodder next year, one can only hope, tough with rafa at the helm we wont be far behind or is that ahead!

Our run in hasnt been too bad, the customary draw with Birmingham, and struggle to beat an excellent Fulham team aside, we have played reasonably well. It was too much to ask the boys to really produce yesterday as they all knew the consequences if we did beat Chelski and that doesn't bear thinking about for too long! Stevie G provided the pass of the season to set up Drogba, like the good scouse boy he is. I am sure it has been his boyhood dream to either score or provide the pass that wins the league. Clearly he isn't going to achieve that with LFC & Rafa. Hopefully Fat Frank or 'where is your wife' Terry will give him their winners medal!

Anyway hopefully only one more game of Rafa, then he will be off. Dont worry I will continue to post on all matters Red, but feel I should leave the blog name as is as tribute to the man who finally drove me to do something I have always wanted to do, write about my beloved Club and the beautiful game. I am certain that Rafa does read this, as not only has he changed the zonal-non-marking to a half and half scenario, but he has dropped Gerrard into the deeper midfield role, freeing Aquilani to do his thing.He has also sent several of our youngsters out on loan, including Jay Spearing who will be gracing the play-offs with Leicester. He still plays Babel out of position and we have serious issues down the left hand side and upfront, but I suppose if he did everythng I suggested, then I could sue him for plaigerism!

My last post this season will deal with who should go from the playing staff and who we can hope to attract bearing in mind its Europa League for us next season. Also how ddi we end end up with a Chelsea season ticket holder as a Chairman, are we that bad no-one who supports the club wants to be in charge?