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, 16 August 2013

Rodgers up for the Challenge?

So we have had our preseason and what have we learned?

1) We have strengthened our squad.
2) We have let more youngsters go.
3) Need to be more clinical in front of goal.
4) Luis Suarez is the biggest scumbag in the World (That hasn't  worked for the BBC and been caught kiddy-fiddling).

Ok so the last 2 aren't new!

Our preseason tour was the usual mix and match of  'Commercial Brand Promotion' and actually worthwhile games. The highlight for me was seeing 95-odd thousand Aussies singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' in the MCG at the top of their voices! Awesome.

I think this was our 1st preseason in years the manager who organised it is actually the one who led the team on the tour. There was subtle change in approach from the Gaffer instead of the usual wholesale changes at  halftime.Other than  the Preston Game most games saw the players that started getting at least an hour. We played well in all the games but were wasteful again in front of goal but we seemed to have defensive solidity only conceding 1 goal. OK that has to be measured against the quality of opposition but to be fair Mignolet made1 or 2 good saves in every match. The Celtic game was a strange one.We basically dominated it but Celtic took 1 of their 3 chances and their 1 half keeper had a blinder saving 6 or 7 good efforts. But in the second half Fraser Foster could have been sitting in the crowd we really didn't make him do anything.

So now that we have seen our new signings in action what can we gleam from it:

Mignolet - Ronseal Goalkeeper - Tall, good in the air excellent shot-stopper probably needs to work on his distribution skills.
Toure -Ronseal Defender - Premier League vet used to 'Big Club' pressure brings some much needed steel, pace and organisation to the Back 4. I have to agree with Gary Gillespie though, Skrtel and Agger are our best centre-half paring.
Aspas-  Looks real live wire, comes alive in the box and is very aware of those around him. He will be an excellent foil/back-up to Sturridge. Already seems to be on same wavelength as Coutinho. Looking forward to his performances this season. More assists than Messi last season!
Coutinho - Seems to be carrying on where he left off last season.He is our creative lynchpin.Almost everything worthwhile goes through him.Has a hell of an eye for defence splitting pass.Where we finish will largely depend on this little man. I have to give Rodgers credit,not just for signing him but using him out on the left. The couple of times we did try him centrally he was less effective as was being picked up by the holding midfield player.
Our Midfield Trio - looks like Rodgers has reverted to type here - Lucas,Gerrard and Allen.I still don't understand the point of Allen. He is clueless going forward which he seems to be trying to do more of. He cant tackle and his passes are rarely forward. Obviously Rodgers is obliged to play him after spunking £15mill for him but JonJoShelvey or Jordan Henderson are far more adept in the advanced central role.Not sure about Luis Alberto, he seems like another Joe Allen,lots of pretty nothing passes.
Out wide - Ibe and Sterling - Both looked very lively in preseason and I am sure Rodgers has learned from burning Raheem out early doors last season due to lack of options. I expect them to be rotated rather than used in tandem.The departure of Downing (good riddance) make that less likely. Not sure what poor Assaidi has to do to get game. He looked very good against Valerenga. drifting in , running diagonals and making a nuisance of himself in the box. Lets hope we see more of him.

One the out front cant say I am too surprised by many of the departures.  
Downing was coming he has been a huge disappointment. 
Jay Spearing isn't really good enough for top Premier League team. I hope he has great career and gets Bolton promoted.
Loanees- Robinson,Suso,Coady to be expected. These guys need game time and with no Europa League there wont be lot of opportunities for them at the club.
Reina going was to be expected once we signed Mignolet. He needs to try and find himself. He is low on confidence and I think he just wants to go back to Spain with his wife and daughters. Hopefully Rafa will help restore some of his confidence. Whether he comes back is neither here nor there. he has been a good servant but has been well below par the last 2 seasons.
JonJo Shelvey - pretty shocking decision. Of all the midfielders in the squad he is the most natural replacement for Stevie G. His height, strength and power are exactly what we need. Not a tippy tappy hobbit from Wales or a headless Mackem. Sure Shelvey can be wasteful and indecisive in the final 3rd but the boy is 20 for crying in a bucket! Plus he only cost us £1mill!He will come back to haunt us I guarentee it.  If not in Swansea shirt then when he moves to one of the bigger clubs in a couple of years. Why you would sell him is beyond me. He basically ran the game for Swansea against Malmo when they won 4-0. I guarantee he will score more goals and get more assists and MoM's than Henderson and Allen combined this season. It is a bit like the Tom Ince decision makes no footballing sense.

We are still  in the market for left back and looks like we have solved that with Aly Cissokh coming in loan from Valencia.Enrique needs the competition. So think all we need is a winger.

As for Mr Suarez, expect an 'apology' after the window closes when no-one has bought him.Brendan Rodgers has been right to exclude him from training last week.His preseason runouts have been completely lacklustre.Clearly doesn't want to be there but no-one wants his baggage except Arsenal and that is just desperation on their part. We wont sell to a direct competitor. If Suarez want Champions League football, loan him to Celtic for the season!!! See how long his ungratefulness and attitude will last in the goldfish bowl of Scottish Football.

So Stoke at home1st, hopefully Agger or Skrtel are fit to partner Toure, I would even go so far as play Kelly at right-back and push Johnson forward. Wisdom is too lightweight for Centreback in the PL, Kelly is more natural choice in there.Gives us more height against the giants of Stoke. With Coutinho and Allen on the pitch we can afford to many other short players on the pitch. Lets hope we can start with a win.


Sunday, 23 June 2013

2012/13 Review & 13/14 Preview

Well another disappointing season behind us despite not losing in our last 8 games.

The stats don't lie unfortunately.


While we scored 71 League goals one of our best returns in the last decade we managed to concede 43. Shocking really. While conceding just over 1 goal per game may not sound that bad to win the League or finish in the Top 4,  you generally only concede around 0.8-.06 per game. To put our Gorgonzola defending into context here are few more facts about our defending.

We managed to concede 2 goals or more 17 times - That almost half our games.....
Of the times we conceded 2 goals 10 were against the 6 teams who finished above us , is it any wonder we only won game all season against teams above us.Bizarrely that was against Spurs when we scored 3! Only 5 of those games resulted in defeat! 

I have spoken before of our over-commitment of fullbacks and Glen Johnson's general lack of positional awareness when playing at right-back, cant jockey cant tackle cant cover, always playing people onside etc..... The Manager's decision to discard Martin Sktrel in favour of Carra didn't really bear any fruit. Upon his return to the back 4 we surrendered a 2 goal lead at Arsenal in 7 minutes. Committed Hari-Kari while winning at City (Thanks Pepe - again) and after clubbing West Brom at home let 2 in, in the last 10 minutes. So we conceded 6 in 3 no different to what we were doing before and that sequences of results probably cost us our last faint hope of a Top 4 finish.


The addition of Daniel Sturridge to the squad has definitely resulted in a slight shift of tactics from Brendan Rodgers. We seem to be allowed/willing to play a ball into the channel earlier. Result - we have scored more and are starting to pick teams off on the break. This seems to be working better and more productive use of the pace we have in the squad. This change in tactic has seen the abandonment of  Joe Allen as a useless continuity Hobbit in front of the back 4. This has been coupled with some form from Stuart Downing. Jordan  Henderson has similarly grown into a more central role which he seems to be more productive and not the usual headless chicken displays we have seen from him before.

Philippe Coutinho has like Sturridge has hit the ground running which is surprising considering he has hardly played any football in the last year or so before joining us from Inter. So a big plus for Brendan Rodgers January signings.

Manager's Performance

I  gave Brendan Rodgers a D- before Xmas as he seems to be hamstrung by his blinkered approach tactically and  slavish reliance on Joe Allen. the latter has proved thoroughly out of his depth at Anfield. another £15 mill wasted.Yes its his 1st season but he came as someone who Rodgers had worked with before. So he should have adapted better. He hasn't.

I would say that we have been better in the 2nd half although still dropping too many points at home. Only 33 points at home all season. Anfield used to be a fortress at the moment its like a country retreat for visiting teams. They all seem to leave with something and a smile on their face!

If we want to push for the Top 4 you have to be winning 16+ home games. Winning 9,6 and 12 like we have done in the last 3 seasons isn't good enough.Its a huge factor in us not qualifying for Europe at all next season. That needs to be addressed. Its no use to dominate matches and not score. You only have to look at ManUre this last season. Some games they only had 3 or 4 shots but won 2 or 3 nil. That is down to quality and composure. We still don't have it.

I would say that Rodgers deserves a C for his performance as Manager in his 1st season. He has probably tried to change too much, been hamstrung by the mad decision to let Carroll go on loan last August without having a suitable replacement. 

Fabio Borini getting injured in one of his 1st matches further reduced our options. But most damningly it took us 6 League games to win a match. That was not good enough.

I notice we have a far more serious pre-season this year with 7 games lined up. That should ensure we hit the ground running. We also seem to be getting our transfer business done early this years with several signings already in place. Also Rodgers' transfer policy has been hit and miss.Unfortunately mostly miss so far. That needs to improve. He is suppose to have 180 page dossier lets hope he uses it....

On the plus side we have seen Sterling,Wisdom,Suso,Shelvey and Conor Coady make1st team appearances which shows that the Academy can produce decent players lest just hope we don't continue to sell them all!


Joe Allen - £15 mill for  a guy who sits in front of the back 4 and passes it sideways and backwards.Eventually binned by Manager after the Oldham Cup exit. Will probably get another season but I would cut my losses now. Sorry waste of time and money - 3/10.
Nuri Sahin - Showed some glimpses but throwing him in against Arsenal in his 1st game probably knocked what little confidence  he had. Still he ended up up playing in the Champions League Final.... 1/10
Mo Assiadi - AKA Splinter -always on the bench Yet to trouble the 1st team or the Reserves in the League. So not if he isn't the player the manager thought he was. 0/10????
Samit Yesil - doing a good job in the U21's hopefully gets some more experience there and is ready to step up at some point this season.6/10.
Fabio Borini - £10 mill - Unfortunately injured early doors had a decent couple of cameos at the end of the season and has had a good U21's with Italy. The Chelski reject may yet prove useful next season and qualifies as 'homegrown'.
Daniel Sturridge - £12mill. Greta move The fact that we should have had hm for free a year before we signed him rankles but he has shown that with or without Suarez we have a quality goalscorer. 9/10
Phillipe Couthinho - £10mill as mentioned is proving an astute signing and is king of the assist at the moment. Hopefully more to come from him next season.9/10

The New Boys

I have to be honest I dont know much about these players but its sign of the times while ManUre, City and Arsenal are chasing household names we are looking relative unknowns.

I am looking forward to the newspaper headlines for Aspas. Comedic value alone will be worth it, what a name! 
Simon Mignolet - A keeper with a growing reputation and I expect him to be in the 1st Team sooner rather than later. I expect Reina to return to Spain over the summer.lets be honest he has been poor for the last 2 and bit seasons.
Luis Alberto - Promising young Spaniard. Some places quote him being a midfielder others a forward. Main thing is he is from Barcelona so should be technically good, and he had a season on loan so has played some competitive football.

Glad the Andy Carroll situation has been resolved but I would still have liked to have kept him as plan B and for games against the more physical teams in the League. Still the manager clearly doesn't fancy him or his style. 

The Elephant in the Room

Luis Suarez -  I have said enough about this 'human being' on Facebook in the last few months. The biting of Ivanovic was the final straw that should have broke the camels back but the Club still seem to want to keep him. Hopefully this is just posturing to ensure we get a decent transfer fee from Madrid or whatever other team want a cheating diving scumbag.....

His statements during Confederations Cup about the club and colleague not supporting him went too far. He racially abused another player and the club stood behind him. His colleagues all wore T-Shirts with his image on it away at Wigan before his hearing. Clearly a lack of support!!!! He was found guilty (because he is a liar) and by the usual FA bumbling his 1st game back was against ManUre. He had assured everyone he would shake hands with Evra, yet he didnt and caused Kenny Dalglish to look stupid  and caused club to issue apology. 

Every transfer window he has had a wage increase, another 'lack of support' from the Club. All the while he besmirches the Clubs name and makes us fans feel embarrassed to support Liverpool...... 

Hopefully he will not disgrace us next season by still being a Liverpool player. Take £30 mill and be rid of him.


Sunday, 10 February 2013


Bearing in mind my last post was just before our game with Mansfield its been a rather eventful month.

We looked like we were going to tear The Stags to pieces after Daniel Sturridge scored in the 7th minute. But they held their heads. We rightly brought on Suarez as we seemed to be losing our way again. As usual he had an impact almost instantly, unfortunately it was with his hand. I believe he had enough time to think about it and then tell the ref it hit his hand.  He is unlikely to have been booked as it was pretty close to him when it bounced up of the keeper.

Once again his 'street-fighter' traits (Rodgers words not mine when describing Suarez's various lapses) got the better of him. He then launched into his traditional celebration of kissing his wrist. This further enraged the locals who must surely have thought he was rubbing it in, rather than kissing his daughter's name (Delfina - anagram of Anfield) which is tattooed there.

The hope was that  this controversial goal wouldn't prove decisive but unfortunately it did. Especially considering the amazing gesture by the Stags Chairman John Radford and his foxy Chief Exec wife, Carolyn Still. How many other clubs would have not only left 96 seats open in Liverpool end and also placed the names of every one of the Hillsborough victims on them? A true act of class. Something Mr Suarez has none of.

The draw kind to us with trip to Oldham. A club in total turmoil. The manager keeps his job but the whole backroom staff gets sacked! Before that debacle  trips to the Scum and then Norwich awaited. The first half of the Scum game was largely forgettable, except for RVP's clever piece of movement to created half yard on Agger to score for them.

We took off Lucas at HT and brought on Sturridge to give is more threat going forward. We started much better but unfortunately we had a innocuous free-kick to defend in the 54th minute. Despite there being a reasonable line of defenders on the 18 yard line Reina was already flapping. This panic clearly spread to hi8is defenders. When  what was a bog standard cross  to the edge of 6-yard box at the far post arrived. Evra and Vidic were completely alone! So 2-0 down AGAIN. Then within 3 minutes Sturridge scores and we are right back in it. We deserved at least a draw from that game. And you knew how worried they were as Sith Lord Fungus was hauranging 4-th officials during injury time.

Norwich was Norwich we always seem to have their number now and 5-0 was just the tonic we needed. 

So on to Boundary Park to face Oldham in Round 4 o the F.A. Cup. A team coached by Paul Dickov (so they with be up for it and in your face) who have an average height of 11"5'! So what does Rodgers do?? Yep get the underage hobbits on the pitch!

Did he actually scout Oldham? I don't think he did. If his manner on 'Being Liverpool' is anything to go by its a miracle he can tie his shoes laces and walk upright! Our team was woefully undersized and lob-sided. From only having Suarez upfront or most of the season, he decided to playing all 3 strikers and Sterling. With just Henderson and Allen in the middle of the park. Hobbits among Ents.....That left a smallish back 4 of Wisdom-Skrtel-Coates-Robinson in front of Brad Jones. Not the worst back 4 but lightweight except for Skrtel.

Needless to say it went pear-shaped from the start. Matt Smith scored within 2 minutes and if we are being honest we never recovered. Suarez equalised only for Brad Jones to fluff one and allowed Matt Smith a second in 1st half injury time. This was further compounded when young Jack Robinson got smashed at the far post by a well timed leap from Wabara at start of 2nd halfDrastic action was required and Downing and Gerrard were introduced.  A lucky deflected goal from Allen brought us back into it but you ever felt we would push on.

So we ended the game with roughly what we should have started with. Shelvey,Downing and Gerrard for Boroni, Sterling and Wisdom. The fall-out and backlash was immediate. The LFCTV phone-in was full of what is he doing why didn't Carra and Gerrard start. Why is Joe Allen even in a red shirt. Having a football philosophy doesn't win matches, hard work effort preparation and skill do etc.

I couldn't agree with all of it. The Carragher comments were particularly badly thought out. Carra is 35, he has only played in Europa and cup games for most of the last 2 seasons. Why. Simple when faced with physically bigger and stronger opponents he gets mauled and buffeted all over the place. Drogba, Traore from Anzhi and anyone else who is of that type you care to mention have all dominated him.

Brendan Rodgers reaction also left something to be desired. On Monday he indicated that most of the youngsters had let the Club down! 

Jack Robinson had only started 2 League Cup and 1 F.A.Cup game this season, so clearly he was sharp and ready for the type of game at Oldham.??????
Seb Coates - Almost exactly the same appearance record as Jack. But slow and lightweight for one so tall.
Borini - just back from injury and asked to play out wide, something he has show isn't good at before.
Raheem Sterling - now paying for being used so extensively earlier in season. He has been largely ineffective when starting in the last few months and was asked to play in midfield rather than wide????   
Andre Wisdom - A decent right back still learning his trade, didnt really do anythig wrong before being subbed.
Joe Allen -  as always when its a proper game he is a luxury. His 'amazing' pass completion ratio is meaningless as these are mostly in his own half and to centre-halfs and full-backs. Like Gareth Barry but worse!

I am sorry who picked the team, you Mr Rodgers! Therefore you are responsible for the teams preparation ad selection. Clearly YOU didn't do that properly ad have decided to blame others ad chose those least able to defend themselves, the youngsters! Shame on you.

So Rodgers gives in to swathes of criticism and restores Carra to the starting 11 for the Arsenal game. We tear them apart for the 1st 30 minutes but crucially only score one. The latter stages o 1st half and majority of the 2d half are all about us absorbing pressure and hitting on the break. Jordan Henderson scored a 2nd involved loads of ricochets but you think at that point we are home and hosed. No within 7 minutes its all square!

So imagine my surprise when Alan Smith in a game full of flowing attacking football awards Carragher the ma of the match! We conceded 2 goals i 7 minutes ad but from some profligate finishing from Walcott,Podolski and Giroud we could have conceded 10!  Surely Wiltshire,Walcott,Sturridge or Henderson were more deserving of the accolade?

On to Man City where just like the game at Afield at the start of the season we are 2-1 up and looking comfortable  before a moment of defensive madness causes us to concede. What Pepe Reina was thinking is beyond me. Aguero wasn't even half a yard ahead of Skrtel when he came charging out for the ball. Sure Aguero's skill to score sublime but clearly had more to do with luck. 

There is talk the Reina wants to go back to Spain with Valdes looking to leave Barca. I would tell him to start packing now. His has cost us too many points i the last 2 seasons with his butter fingers, hot-headedess and general flat-footedess. He gets beaten at his near post far too often and easily. Time to move him on. Harsh, but you only have to hear Mancini yesterday says Joe Hart has made 3 or 4 costly mistakes and its too many... So Reina has made 5 times as many!

So are we making progress? The short answer is no. We took 4 points from the same 4 league fixtures  1st round. A 1 point improvement is not progress.

We have not beaten a team in the top half of the table.
We have not beaten a team above us in the league.
We are now 31 points behind ManUre. - 10 points lost in 4 League games
We are now 12 points off 4th - 5 points lost i 4 league games.
We have conceded 6 goals in the 3 games against team above us in the last month. 

That last stat is particularly damning. 26 League games and 32 conceded. In all competitions taht takes us to 40 goals in 50 games. Yes we have played 50 games already this season.
That a ratio of 1.25 per game out worst since the 98/99 season (1.27) That season we finished 7th, lost in the 2nd tie in both domestic cups and only played 3 UEFA ties... Sound familiar 

We still concede too many goals from breakaways. We look most vulnerable when we have a corner. that was happening in August it still is..... 

The Full-backs need to show more defensive discipline and nous. We have wingers for width. they should only go beyond their winger when it makes sense and even the only 1 should go.

The tippy-tappy philosophy fall down when the other teams are pressing you high up the pitch. The Premier League isn't Spain,  we certainly aren't Barcelona and Joe Allen isn't Xavi or Iniesta! 

Hopefully Brendan Rodger will realise this and become a proper manager i.e. adapt to his squad and opposition. he need to start picking his best team and not the best 11. Not the best 11 who fit your slavish adherence to 4-3-3

For me that is easy now he has some people back from injury and has added Sturridge.

It has to be 4-4-2 or a loose 4-2-3-1

Reina - until we buy Begovic or Mignolet in the summer.
Suarez-Sturridge - With Suarez in the hole and Sturridge running the channels.

Do we have things to be positive about. Yes!

Sturridge & Suarez blossoming partnership.
The tempo of our play is better.
Jordan Henderson is starting to look like he might be of some use.
Joe Allen is on the bench these days!

We only have West Brom and Swansea in the League this month. Madness when you consider the fixture over Xmas and New Year.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

New Year - New Cheer

So we seem to be starting to put the rubbish to bed.2 3-0 wins certainly improves things. But I wont be getting carried away. If you watch both games our goals have come from playing the ball early into channels.Something I have been saying we should be doing more of. 

Can't just stick to one tactic of tippy-tappy all the time. Not if you want to maximise the return from Suarez and Sterling's pace, as well as Gerrard's range of passing.The tippy-tappy stuff certainly wears the opposition down and lulls them into pushing up their back line and thus gives us the space in behind.

Glad to see the addition of Sturridge £12mill is gain a little steep but we are victim of circumstances of our creating. We have wasted so much money i the last 2 seasons on transfers it beggars belief. The fact we have had to pay for Sturridge at all is galling. As you know he was offered as part of the of the Torres deal. So technically he has cost us the £35 mill we wasted on Carroll plus the £15 left that we wasted on Henderson or Downing (take your pick). and now another £12 million. So he is a £60mill striker!

Joe Cole has moved back to his spiritual home and to be honest the Club he should never have left. He was never as good anywhere else and by all accounts he had a great game against the Scum yesterday. Good luck to him. He never really got a chance but I don't think he was ever going to do anything. Its £90k a week off the wage bill and it looks like we are trying to shift Sahin off the wage bill too. Slightly worrying bearing in mid we wiped £500k off the wage bill a week over the summer.  I suppose the 6-monthly review of Suarez's contract and the re-signing of some of the existing players on longer term deals has probably eaten into what ceiling space there is in the wage bill.

Hopefully nothing comes of the Tom Ince rumours. Not because I don't think he or good enough, he is. I saw him at the Cottage yesterday and he could easily have scored a hat-trick and put Fulham out the Cup if it wasn't for some excellent saves from Stockdale in goal. The reason I don't want us buying him is simple. Some idiot got rid of Ince and Ecclestone over the summer.Much like the the Sturridge deal it smacks of trying to recover what has been lost. We need to look forward and find new talent. As clearly we are not good at appreciating what we have. New Year fixtures saw Kakaniclic, Ince,Della-Valli all score for their teams. Enough said.

Still think we could do with a winger of some sort it Rodgers isn't going to use Assaidi. I appreciate that the focus is bringing younger talent on long-term deals to give a core of talent for the next 10 years. A laudable idea however  I like most Liverpool fans don't want to wait another decade for a title challenge. We need to focus on quality not quantity and get a couple of experienced player who can deliver.

Today we go to the Stag's for a tricky away tie.Looks like Sturridge may get his debut. Not sure if that will be a start or off the bench. Cant imagine he has had much time to integrate properly but if he can produce anything like his early Man City form he will be a legend for us. He knows where the goal is and isn't shy to shoot. Can he a Suarez play together, absolutely.Might means Suarez playing wider like he does for Uruguay.Suarez,Sturridge,Sterling. That looks dangerous

The real litmus test for us will be our next 4 League games. We are currently 21 pts behind the Scum and 7 points off 4th. That gap would have been smaller but for the disaster against Villa. A team who have let in 8,4 and 2 in their 3 league games since. So we are a long way from where we want to be. We only took 4 points off the ext 4 games in the league first time round. Away at the Scum, home to Norwich, Gunners and City away. We need 7 to 10 points out of these fixtures just to keep up with Spurs Chelski et al. I hope we get something at OT, lose miserably at City beat Norwich and the Gunners. The latter 2 are fragile at the back and with the way Suarez is playing he will kill them.

If we only get 3 or 4 points them clearly we are not moving forward. let hope we have an easy game today and a good draw in the 4th round.