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, 25 July 2010

Pre-Season Farce

Firstly, let me take care of the additions to the squad.

Joe Cole - Great piece of business, a free transfer. Can play just about anywhere in Midfield and has that 'X-factor' which we have seen so little of under Rafa the Clown. Perhaps we will finally see what this player can really do.

Danny Wilson - I have to be honest dont have a clue where this one came from. He played for Rangers and as watching Scottish Football is akin to having red-hot needles inserted in your eyes, while your scotum is sauted in oil, I have no idea whether he is any use, but he can't be worse than Insua! Let's hope he isn't here on a Mary's Prayer. Sorry couldn't resist.

Still need a striker to support/replace Torres. Only time will tell on that one.

Midfield -I would still like to see a Damian Duff or Stephen Ireland join us.

At the back - A decent Leftback would be nice and a replacement for Carra in the middle, otherwise its not looking too bad.

So the knub of my posting this evening, Pre-season Tours/Friendlies what are they all about? My understanding is they serve 5 purposes:

1)Get the players fit.
2)Helps intergrate new player into squad.
3)Assess some of your younger players, to see if they can make they step up.
4)Build match fitness.
5)Lastly, the purpose of most tours these days marketing & selling 'The Brand'.

On that last point, I think we do the right thing, we tend to shun away from it and have used our base in Switzerland to do 1)& 3) at least over the last few seasons.

I fully appreciate that Roy Hodgson probably had very little to do with organising this years fiasco. What is the point afer a World Cup of taking your reserve & youth team for a jolly????? That is roughly what our pre-season has been so far. Only Ngog,Lucas,Aquilani, Soty & Jovanivic have featured so far. We have our 1st competetive game on Thursday, and most our 1st team squad havent kicked a ball yet! Admittedly that is against a Macedonian side called Rabotnicki Kometal, however are we going ot play the youngsters again? We can't make 10 chnages at halftime, so I think we will be struggling.

Again I appreciate we have to give the players involved in the latter stages of the Word Cup need a rest.I only see 6 players who qualify for the extended break. Torres (injured again playing for hm country. That is 5 times now), Reina, although as a splinter catching keeper he can hardly be tired! Kuyt who actually played for his country. Babel filled his usual role for club and country, sat on the bench and wasn't needed.So again like Reina he can't be tired. Maxi & Mascharano. The rest were all out in the Group stages or round of 16. That means they played a maximum of 6 or 7 games over a 2 month period if you include friendlies. Hardly a schedule to make you tired.

So we are only really starting training on Monday as a squad, Mascha & Maxi aren't due back until the week before the season starts!!!!! Surely a team who finished 7th and was so abysmal for most of the season would be in early fro pre-season, not turning up 10 minutes before the season starts! Oh yes, maybe we aren't worried because our 1st game is Arsenal!

Seriously, we need to steamroller this Macedonian lot & Borussia Moenchengladbach inbetween, so we can at least have some confidence in our start. We have tough opening 6 fixtures and if we don't the ground running we could be out of sight by October.

I have just finished watching Spurs v Sporting Lisbon,and both those teams look about 2 yards quicker than we are at the moment, they both have similar early European ties. Unlike us they seem to have most of their 1st choice squad already togeher and they look quite sharp. Here is hoping we wake up in time for the Arsenal game, because I assure you they will be ready to go on the 15th!


PS Roy keep up the good work, I like the change to 4-4-2. I also think Kelly, Spearing, Shelvey, Darby & Ecclestone look like they might be useful to us next season.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Who can we attract?????

Now that Roy Hodgson has been appointed hopefully we can attract a better quality of player than the scattergun approach of Benitez.

We are quite a few players light of a decent team, never mind a top 4 side or Premier League contenders.We also currentlt fall foul of the 'home grown' rule. Premier league rules state 8 of our 25 player squad (I thought we had a squad of 45 under Rafa!) need to be home grown. That basically means coached at clubs in England or Wales for 3 years, between ages of 16-21. At present, only Carra, Stevie G,Glen Johnson & Insua qualify. Obviously we can pad that out with the likes of Darby,Spearing,Pacheco,Kelly. But a few decent English player wont be bad, just as long as they didnt play at the World Cup!!!

I still think we will see some big names leave, Torres & Mascha will probably go to Inter. Torres wont be going to Madrid, and Barca have bought Villa, so Italy seems most likely. Be a bit bitter to swallow, but we have to be realistic Torres is one of top 5 strikers in the world. What incentive is there to play for us in we are not in the CL or challenging for the title. As for Mascha, he wants to move every year, so let him go, sick & tired of reading he wants to be elsewhere at every transfer window. Funny how Benitez isnt interested in Lucas ('played' more minutes than any other outfield player last year), Degen,Insua,Ngog and any of the other donkeys he brought to the club.

I do think Stevie G will go as well, there is a media shitstorm about to hit his life when the gagging order is lifted about his sexual picadillo's afer the World Cup.Which apparently make JT look like bastion of morality! Rumour has it that is part of the reason for the unrest in England camp. I just thought they were crap because they are all overpaid prima donnas. So Thailand might be Stevie's next port of call where they condone that sort of thing! Anyway I digress.

I have in previous blogs put down my wishlist, but lets look at what is really possible. Not sure if Joe Cole has signed for anyone, but if I was Hodgson I would be on the phone now.

We need 2 left backs. In light of the homegrown rule, first choice would be Shorey from Villa. I also think Salceido (Mexican @ PSV) would be a good move.

Midfield - I would like to see Roy raid Fulham here and bring Duffer to Anfield. Can play on both flanks and is a goal threat. We need a midfield powerhouse whether Stevie stay or not, so I would go for Stephen Ireland. With every new signing Mancicni makes at Man City he gets further from the 1st team. I believe if he had played more last season, they would have been 3rd in the league not 5th.

Up front we have to be bold again, whether Torres stays of not we are woefully short here.I would go for Klose @ Bayern. Sure he is 31, but he isn't getting a game there and has bags of experience. Might be a bit pricey as he continues to break records at the WC, but that would be a great buy, a genuine penalty box predator. I would still like to see Podolski as well, they have a great partnership for Germany and have been playing together for years. I realise that we would need to lose a few crown jewels to have budget for these kind of buys, but we need depth, rather than just 1 good player in each position.

Centre back could also do with a re-fresh, cant say any of our 4 WC reps in this department did much to show themselves as top players. hell Soty doesnt even start for greece and they are really crap! Carra must go, too old, too slow, too weak. I would still like to see us have a crack at either Shawcross or Perea at Athletico. brede ahngeland wouldnt go amiss either.

So we have 5 weeks to pull all this together before the season starts, and the 'random' fixture list has really stitched us up. 1st 5 games as follows:
Gooners @ home
Man City - away
West Brom @ home
Bhm city - away, a etam se have never beaten in the PL.
Legions of Doom - Theatre of Delusions

Perhaps Rafa wasnt wrong after all, looks like Fergie does decide the fixtures!!!


Hodgson brings a new hope


We appear to have got our, I believe it is the right choice, especially as we appear to be stuck with the Yanks as owners for the fore-seeable future. We need a manager who can work within a budget and build a strong team ethic. I have seen Hodgson do this 1st hand at Fulham over the last 2 seasons and it has been amazing to watch.

He likes to play 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, and promotes passing game. Something the Fat Spanish Turd was never aqauinted with!!! He has excellent contacts around Europe, so I imagine we could see a few excellent bargains (ala Hangeland). He has managed Inter so we know he handle a big club environment and will have the respect of the players instantly.

The papers claim he has 12 million transfer kitty, however in his interveiw with LFC TV on Thursday, he said a figure hadnt been discussed. If thats true, then he is in the job for the right reasons, he wants to manage the club, the cash isn't important.

We have already increased the pot with Rafa's parting gift to us the sale of Yossi to Chelsea!(undisclosed fee) Brilliant!! Nothing like selling one of your better players over the lat 2 seasons to the competition! I know it boiled down to Yossi's ridiculous wage demands. Apparently we were unwilling to up his modest £50k a week to £75k. Shame on us for being so mean-spirited!!!NOT. Wish I could demand a 50% increase in my salary for doing no more work in a failing business!! Goodbye Yossi hope you have fun sitting on the bench at Chelski for the next 4 years!

Roy will have to be out the blocks pretty quickly as we have Europa League commitments on the 29th of July, Hopefully whichever team we pick, it should be capable of beating the 3rd best team in Estonia or whoever it is we get. He indicated in his interveiw that he would be speaking to the scouts and coaching staff to see what if any player/s we are looking at.

On that front, I will comment seperately.

Welcome to the greatest club in the universe Roy may your reign be long and successful.