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.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Gulls-a-Flutter at the Amex

Before I start I would just like to make some comments on the ManUre game on Tuesday night, specifically about the referee Mike Jones. I only watched the 1st half, any longer and my TV melts!!!

Mr Jones was again consistent in what he booked, anything off the ground or vaguely reckless looking was a card. So that puts that to bed as far as the Spur's game. We not only didn't turn up, we did not do our homework on the ref either. One does wonder what the players and coaches do all week.

Great game on Wednesday night and  balance probably a fair result. We hit the bar or post 4 times in the 1st half as Bellamy and Suarez were rampant. The highlight being Bellamy's freeekick from some 35 yards which hit the bar with the keeper standing 3 yards away totally dumbfounded. Unfortunately as with the Stoke game we are not ruthless enough. A game that should have been put to bed within 35 minutes turned into a very nervy affair. 

Brighton came back into the game in the last 10 in the 1st half and we never really got back into it. Buckley had the returning Kelly on toast all night who certainly looked rusty. While on the other flank Craig Noone (Stevie G's roofer) was equally effective against Robinson.  You would have thought we would have upped the tempo in the 2nd half but that never really transpired. Noone hitting the bar, Pepe punching and flapping at a few crosses and another spilled save.

Is it just me or is something not right with Reina?  He came with a reputation of being an excellent shot stopper, great in one-on-ones and a bit of a penalty expert. To be honest we haven't seen much of either of these 3 attributes this season. I know in most games he hasn't had much to do but when he has I am not sure he is at the races. I am not calling for him to be dropped or anything, he just seems a little slow in reacting ,Defoe did beat him on the near post and he has spilled a couple of routine ones now. Hopefully its just a minor slump as at the moment all shots on target from opponents, unless straight at him seem to be going in.

Anyway back to Brighton. Great to see Stevie G back a slightly shorter cameo than expected. Andy Burton the SKY touchline man indicated that Stevie was due for 30 minute run out depending on the state of the game. So it is a measure of Brighton's performance that this was curtailed to 15 minutes. Fortunately for us we scored a breakaway goal with Stevie G starting it and Bellers,Maxi and finally Dirk the Gurkha finishing it off.

I do like what Kenny is doing at corners leaving Suarez and Bellers up front, gives the opposition food for thought with them having to leave 3 back, invariably one of the centrebacks. Be nice to see how that works with Gerrard and Downing in the team. 4 speed merchants, who would have thought we would have that many at our disposal.

I think Gus Poyet is doing a magnificent job at Brighton and would love to see them in the Premier League, hell they have Vicente who won the UEFA Cup with Rafa and played in 2 CL finals with Macca. If he can attract that calibre of player to the Championship look forward to what he can do in the top flight. I am adopting Brighton as my Championship team for the season, with a decent striker they will be at the business end this season.

It definitely wont be Leeds as their fans continue to disgrace themselves with moronic chanting about Munich while the brain donating ManUre fans sing about Galatasary. No class the pair of them.You only have to see how Liverpool and Juventus fans have mended fences since Heysel to how things should be done. Rivalry and having a pop at one another's expense is fine, but there is a line that should not be crossed. Liverpool fans would never sing songs about Munich at Man U and similarly they wouldn't sing about Heysel and Hillsborough.

So to Wolves tomorrow, obviously my proposed team is nonsense now in light of the return of Kelly. I suspect Kenny will play Carroll but I would rather we didn't start with him. Lets use teh pace we have. Dirk showed a good understanding with Suarez at the latter end of the season and Bellamy has also shown the beginnings of something there - 4-4-2.

Kuyt -Lucas-Adam-Downing

That can easily be adapted to 4-2-3-1 if needed with the front 4 totally interchangable. At home you have got to be aggressive and that formation sends the right message for me. We are quick skillful and we are going to hit you hard. Leaves us a nice bench including Stevie G,Carroll and Henderson. Not bad when you can leave £100 mill on the bench! 


Monday, 19 September 2011

Britannia Blank and Harry Hoodoo Continue

Firstly, let me start with something important,  I would like to wish Ronnie Moran all the best after his hospital admittance on Friday. Lets hope he has a speedy recovery our thoughts are with him and his family in this difficult time. A true gentleman who has been associated with the club for over 50 years, he is LFC.  

Secondly, what is all this nonsense with Nathan Ecclestone's twitter post about his personal view's on 9/11. Surely in this day of bland banalities from our footballers on the various social networking sites.


His opinion is not exactly earth shattering and new.Surely the 10th year anniversary of this horrific event is an appropriate time to discuss it? Whether you agree with the view or not, its surely better than reading 'Training was hard, bought another Porsche, shagged my brother's fiance cos I is bored' or whatever other piffle players post!  

So onto the football, unlike the shiny Blu-Ray boxset for Star Wars loaded with extra and enhancements our for 'New Hope'  our performances over the last 2 weeks looks like more of the same old toot with shiny new cover. I have not watched the Stoke game but the highlights and stats tells it all. 24 shots, 8 on target and we still lose. Sounds familiar, our Birmingham jinx had the same sort of ring to it. Clearly we didn't play badly and Shawcross seemed to be everywhere blocking shots and making challenges. I suppose I should cover the 3 'controversial' incidents in the game.

1) Delap handball - Definitely hand-to-ball, at home you tend to get those away maybe not, so on that one certainly the luck didn't favour us.
2) Walters penalty - Sorry for me that was pen. Carra loses his balance then manages to almost get himself back in position but decided to not only put his arm across Walters but grabbed his shorts. Walters for his part went down easily but that is to be expected these days. From Mark Clattenberg's perspective he sees the arm across the front and the grab on the shorts. So no complaints from me.
3) Upson handball - No brainer here, again the ref got it right. Suarez is attempting to cross ball and Upson slides in the ball driven from 2 yards away hits his leg and then his arm. His arm wasn't flailing all over the place ala John Terry.  

So on the basis of the above, I am not sure I can give Kenny's post match comments much credence. 'Crucial decisions in every game have gone against us'. I can't think of too many that have gone against us. I list the one I can think of below.

1) In the opening game, sure Richardson should have been sent off for the challenge that led to the Suarez penalty, which was finally shot down from Space over the weekend as it was interfering with US defence satellites! So we should have played against 10 men. That smacks of sour grapes, we should be able to beat a team that had with a whole new midfield at home.
2) Arsenal game, I thought there was nothing 'crucial' in that game. They had a player sent off, rightly. We got a lucky 1st with the O-G and Suarez may have been given offside, so if anything we benefited.
3) Bolton game - possible a couple of maybe pens but honestly we won 3-1 going on 10-0 so can't see the issue there either.

So King Kenny had productive meeting (scheduled not special) with Mike Reilly who is in charge of the referees on Monday and came away with a clearer understanding of what we should be doing and how we should behave. Glad to see that was communicated so well to the team for yesterday's game with Spurs then!!!!!!

Sure Mike Jones was bit card happy. Honestly you have to ask yourself 2 questions, was he consistent and did he apply those standards to both sides? I think he did. Was it a dirty game, definitely not, should there have been as many card, probably not. The player have a responsiblity too, they can see what is being booked and what isn't yet our players seemed to ignore that. Thay have all been reffed by Mr Jones before........ 

Yes there were more robust challenges in other games over the weekend that did not even get a booking (Barnett on Klasnic). But each ref will interpret things differently and you can only go by the one that refs you each week.  

Chucky's 1st card was for a cynical tug on Modric's shirt. Adebayor was booked for a late one on Carroll. Adam's 2nd card was for a knee high lunge in a genuine attempt for the ball on Parker. Again no complaints. Skrtel  as always makes bad decisions in the defensive 3rd of the pitch and he was even more culpable playing out of position. The 2nd card was sheer stupidity. Bale had already laid the ball off and was only going down the line, so instead of dropping off and tracking the run, Skrtel jumps in and stamps on Bale's ankle.  So not even an hour gone and we are down to 9. Result. Hammered.

I really have to question our team selection and tactics. we have basically been playing 4-2-3-1 and for some reason we went 4-4-2 to accomodate Carroll. I dont understand Kenny's thinking here. We have looked sharp and incisive with 4-2-3-1. Was it a nod to media pressure over the last week or so about him being on the bench and having a  huge price tag? I don't know, but is seems strange to play him in this away game. Surely Stoke was his kind of game? Spurs away was always going to be a football match not a battle.

Skrtel is not a rightback and Bale is probably one of the top leftsided midfielders in the world, so surely we needed some cover in front of him?? For me that means either Kuyt and Bellamy plays in front of him. Henderson and Downing do not track back enough or have the correct work ethic.

So 4-4-2 That actually looked something like this for the 1st 20 minutes

Carroll and Suarez 

I put 'no-one' on the wide left as that appeared to be what we were doing and for some reason Downing and Henderson were on the same side of the pitch in the same space and neither helping Skrtel! Spurs certainly started the quicker as you would expect from the home team who are smarting from a 5-1 hammering by City in their last hoem game. Adebayor put one across our bows in just the 2nd minute from a ball from the right where our invisible midfielder was.Did we learn from that, No! For some reason Bale was left completely unmarked out on the left, Agger was at left back Skrtel had run away to centre-half. Excellent finish from Modric and probably no more than they deserved.

We didnt really get back into the game until the 20th minute or so but we were 2nd to everything Modric and Parker streets ahead of Adam and Lucas and the occasional central involvement of the completely-out-of-his-depth Henderson. Sorry this guy is not a Liverpool player and isnt worth anything close to 20 mill.  Headless chicken. Meireles, Aqualini are vastly superior, hell even Shelvey looks more at home. 

So Agger gets injuryed and Coates comes on for an unexpected debut. Although lets be honest Agger had lasted almost 4 whole games, which is a record in itself. So within a minute Adam goes, a bit of a re-shuffle, Carroll goes out to the right Downing stayed left Suarez to break. Fine that will and did do until halftime. So one was expecting a tea cup or two to be smashed and a tactical change. Sure 2 subs used but needs must and we are still in the game.

Nope, not a thing from Kenny. Surely 1-0 down,a man light and completely off the pace you need a bit of graft to get a foothold. Carroll looks like a lumbering Hippo most of the time. Sure he needs the game time but we need a result more. He can play the whole game on Wednesdat agains Brighton. So for me he should have come off at halftime and Kuyt on. Then its 4-4-1 and use Downing and Suarez's pace on the break.

So we are still not really in the game when Skrtel get sent barely 60 mins gone. Carra shows some sense by telling him to slow down as he trudges off while the bench dithers on what to do. So we go with Henderson at rightback. Within 10 minutes we are 3-0 down and the game is over. Defoe rifled one in to the bottom corner and Pepe dropped a clanger for Adebayor to flick over him and side-foot in. I am sorry but surely a re-shuffle is required when you go down to 9, especially when the 2nd player to walk is fullback. No, its the 70 minute before we do anything. By then its too late, the game is over. I was flabbergasted at Kenny's lack of action.

We have seen this type of performance before from us when playing the early game, be it Saturday or Sunday, unless its ManUre we do not seem to be at the races. We seriuosly need to look at our preparation for these games. We looked like the team that had played in Europe on Thursday.

For me the Jordan Henderson experiment is over. He has had 6 games now and I don't see that he is better than Kuyt, Adam or Spearing either centrally or wide. I have said it before, him and Carroll are for our future not now. Unlike the quality of of youngster being signed at the Legions of Doom, ours are not up to standard yet.

At least the suspensions for Adam and Skrtel will be for Wednesday's League Cup game away at Brighton. That will be tough Gus Poyet has got a good squad and plays good football, not unlike Spurs..... 

I know there will be some rotation but I would go as follows


For the Wolves game -

Downing in the hole


Sunday, 4 September 2011

Deadline Day Dilemma's

So a frenetic deadline day for most of the clubs in the Premiership last Wednesday. Stoke and QPR being particularly active and leaving things late.  Arsenal, like there football this season tentative and undecisive. Little did we know that the signing of Arteta and Yossi Benayoun would actually impact our squad. 

No sooner had the Yossi deal gone through that news of a Meirleles transfer request and with just 40 minutes to go. Ten minutes before close of window and confirmation that Meireles is Chelski player. Clearly this was all done well in advance and both clubs must have agreed not to say anything until Yossi's move was completed. Probably freeing up the wages Chelski needed to cover Meireles' move.

Most Liverpool fans I know were gobsmacked and angry that we had not only let a player of this calibre go but had sold him to a direct rival. I understand and echo that sentiment. From a surplus of central midfield player we seem to be a little light now. With Chelski getting Meireles I also think we jeopardise our own chances of finishing in the top 4.  Other than Jaun Mata, Chelski have not really added much quality to their squad and for me that are ripe for the taking. Their coach does not seem to have rocked the boat too much yet either, a mistake his 403 predecessors since Mourinho have also made. Meireles gives them that edge and blunts our own options in that department.

I can understand why the player left. He came to us from Porto on reduced terms last season with the promise of an increase if he did well. I think he had certainly kept his part of the bargain. Ironically it was the change in manager that not only gave him the opportunity to show us what he could really do centrally but also ultimately sealed his fate as being surplus to requirements. Meireles also has ties to Villas-Boas from his time at Porto and Chelski can still pay big money wages despite Abramovich's loss of enthusiasm.

With us also loaning out Joe Cole and Aquilani the sale of Meireles seems odd. Stevie G is not fit yet and to be honest has become bit of a Kieran Dyer figure over the last couple of seasons more injured than present and at 31 shoud we still be putting all our eggs in that basket???

Admittedly Adam,Shelvey,Henderson and Maxi can all play that attacking central midfield role but the guile for the clever 10 yard 'between defender passes', which we saw in the Suarez/Meireles cameo against Arsenal is lost. Still we have to back the team and the manager that tehy have made the right decision. Hopefully we will have forgotten who Meireles was in 3 months time.

On the striker front glad to see we added the final piece of the jigsaw. Craig Bellamy may not be everyones cup of tea but he is proven,experienced goalscorer who you know will give 100% ever time he is called upon. He like Suarez can play centrally or wide as part of a front 3. He is not a one trick pony  so is cover for Suarez,Downing,Dirk and Henderson as well. I suspect we will see more of Bellamy than you expect and I for one am glad to have him back.

Obviously his addition facilitated the departure of the much maligned David Ngog. A player whose only real crime was to be young and inexperienced while expected to do the job of a man.  He only cost us a milion so selling him for £4million represents some good business. I just have a nagging feeling that if we had treated him in a manner more akin to what the Legions of Doom have done Wellbeck we may have seen more fruit. IE some loan spell at lower levels. It is too much for players to jump from reserve football to Premier League or European competition  I truly wish him all the best and hope he does well at Bolton. In Owen Coyle he is working for one of the most determined and entertaining coaches in the game.  

I have just had look at our '25 man' squad which totals 19, only our neighbours across Stanley Park have a smaller squad. Considering we dont have European commitments I dont see that being an issue. The unlimited usage of U21's also helps, so the likes of Shelvey,Kelly,Henderson,Wilson,Coetes and Flanagan are not named but are in around the team. We have 2 players at least for every position and have several players who can cover several positions, so plently of flexibility for us. Glad to see we have decided to keep Aurelio for another season, just that bit of expecience should we lose Enrique at any point.

As with my last blog, lets just hope we get everyone bac from the latest round of qualifiers/friendlies in one piece. The Britannia Staduim awaits and re-aquinting ourselves with a few old boys in Crouchy and Pennant. I am expecting a very tough game, Chelski really struggled but they went toe-to-toe physically with Stoke which I think is a mistake. We should go with Suarez up front, Downing on the left and Bellamy on the right. That will match their pace with our pace and then let Henderson play centrally with Chucky and Lucas providing defensive shield and ammunition. Rightback is a problem, not sure Skrtel will relish another shift there with Etherington bearing down on him although for the sake of some defensive height that might be our best option. 

Some interesting facts running through the other team named squads. Arsenal only have 5 'home grown' players in their named 22 and only Gibbs and Walcott are actually English. (Ramsey and Wiltshire U21 so not named). Emile Heskey has Ivanhoe as one of his middle names and Glen McLeod Cooper Johnson should have been in Braveheart! Freedom!!! 

Magaye Serigne Falilou Dit Nelson Gueye of Everton and Steven Nkemboanza Mike C Nzonzi of Blackburn must win the longest name competition. While Peter Rosenkrands Lovenkrands must win the rhyming competition, if there is one!