i would like to wish all of you a ..
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
may all your wishes come true!
you'll never alone..
Sunday, December 31, 2006
i would like to wish all of you a ..
Reina, Aurelio, Carragher, Agger, Finnan, Riise, Gerrard (captain), Alonso, Garcia, Bellamy, Kuyt.
Subs - Martin, Gonzalez, Crouch, Pennant, Paletta
It's the Reds third Premiership away win of the season and it was a hard fought three points after they battled against Spurs and the vicious rain to defend the one goal lead given to them by Luis Garcia on the stroke of half time.
Tottenham had won their last 12 home games before today so the Reds knew to expect a tough game, but they started well and threatened when Dirk Kuyt almost capitalised on a poor back pass.
Despite their good start, Liverpool could have found themselves behind in the 11th minute when Mido had a great chance, but they were grateful to see the Egyptian striker blaze over with only Reina to beat.
It was a tight first half, but it was the Reds who were creating the better chances and Craig Bellamy forced England goalkeeper Paul Robinson into a good save in 27th minute. And Dirk Kuyt's curled effort beat Robinson just a minute later before it finished agonisingly the wrong side of the post.
But as the referee was about the blow for half time, Liverpool took a lead that on the balance of play they deserved when Luis Garcia scored in the 45th minute. It came when Gerrard directed the ball goalwards with his head and Garcia was in the right place at far post to prod home left footed under Robinson's body.
It almost got better for the Reds at the start of the second half when Bellamy's endeavour gave him a shooting chance that was saved, but that was to be his last act of the match because a suspected injury meant he had to be replaced by Pennant just a minute later.
Spurs manager Martin Jol made some tactical changes on the hour mark when he brought ex-Red Danny Murphy and Dimitar Berbatov on, but Liverpool remained the most likely to score and Garcia came close to a second when heading Finnan's cross wide.
Heavy rain in North London was making conditions difficult for defenders and goalkeepers and Reina had a nervous moment in the 59th minute when the wet ball slipped from his hands, but there were no Spurs attackers around to take advantage.
Tottenham came breathtakingly close to equalizing soon after when Steve Finnan deflected the ball against his own crossbar when trying to clear. But in truth, the biggest danger to Liverpool's lead was the torrential rain that fell on White Hart Lane in the second half.
The Reds hung on to their lead though and they will head home battered, bruised and wet after an all action display. But most importantly, they head home with the points.
"I thought it was a fantastic team performance," said the Reds' manager. "When you lose a game like we did at Blackburn then you want to see character from your players and we had that today.
"We played well in the first half and scored at a very good time, just before the break. In the second period Tottenham played more long balls and put us under pressure, but the work rate of the side was first class.
"The defenders dug in, Xabi played well in front of them, the midfielders tackled and fought and Kuyt and Bellamy worked for every minute they were playing.
"We knew before the game that the result would be important because Tottenham were close to us in the table and we wanted to stay ahead of them.
"We have lost many away games this season despite having more attempts than our opponents. Maybe today was the game where we didn't quite have as many opportunities but still managed to win the match."
Benitez revealed Craig Bellamy was substituted early in the second half as a precaution after feeling a tightness in his hamstring and that Jerzy Dudek wasn't included because his wife gave birth last night.
a typical luis garcia goal gave us our 3rd away win. it's hard-fought game under the pouring rain. tottenham just couldn't break our liverpool wall of defence. a good win and it's good to bounce back from our defeat at Edwood Park.
as usual in games recently, we dominated the game. patient passing around the field, hence, frustrated tottenham as well as their home fans. the build-up was nice and you could see the players have been training hard for all these set pieces and situations. bellamy and kuyt worked hard upfront, alonso and gerrard were disciplined in the middle. there's one player who i really wish to praise was steve finnan.
being a right back, part of our heart of defence, he defended really well. besides heading the ball against the crossbar, he was flawless. his overlapping gave tottenham lots of troubles and his crossing? can be matched to a right-winger. good control on the ball, no nonsense player and does his job week in week out. no wonder jan kromkamp went back to holland.
luis garcia was fast enough to capitalise the loose ball in the penalty area and striked home the winner. he played well and had some tricks in his sleeves all the time. though he tend to lose the ball easily, but i do like him a player. creative player and scores crucial goals for us. still remember the strikes against juventus and chelsea in the fa cup semi final.
alonso was excellent. his passing and vision were flawless. read the game very well. intercepted many balls in mifield from tottenham mifield. very important player for us. we can't afford to lose him if we have to do well in any competitions.
defensively awesome. finnan, carragher, agger and riise. these four played to their best and defended like there's no tommorrow. carragher was great to keep defoe, mido and later berbatov quiet. excellent display of defending and hence, we kept our clean sheet and had our 3 points.
next game it will be bolton. it's a very important match if we want to stay up on the table. bolton has been good form especially nicholas anelka who once played for us. nevertheless, it's at anfield and opposition teams have to worry when they visit us.
a good job done at white hart lane. let's look forward for next..
you'll never walk alone.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Martin Jol's side have won their last seven home games in the Premiership and are looking to maintain their push for UEFA Champions League qualification.
Spurs will draw level on points with Liverpool if they win, and they will be determined to exact revenge for the 3-0 defeat at Anfield in September.
Liverpool slipped up against Blackburn on Boxing Day but had scored nine goals without reply in their three games prior to Christmas and will be eager to get back on track.
The Reds will be wary of Tottenham's strikeforce however, with Jermain Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov totalling 22 goals between them this season.
They are set to continue up front for the Londoners, even if Mido overcomes the groin problem which ruled him out of the victory over Aston Villa.
Robbie Keane (knee) is also sidelined, while Aaron Lennon has missed the last four games and remains a major concern.
Rafa Benitez has no fresh injury worries ahead of the game, but may decide to tinker with his starting XI.
Jermaine Pennant and Luis Garcia are both pressing for recalls, with Mark Gonzalez the likeliest to make way.
Peter Crouch was preferred to Dirk Kuyt as Craig Bellamy's strike partner against Blackburn but he has not scored in the Premiership since October and may be relegated to the substitutes' bench.
what else can i say? a win. 3 points is essential, to be the best, you have to beat the rest.
2-1 to liverpool.
you'll never walk alone.
It has been reported this week that Benitez will try to land the Spanish striker during the January transfer window, and that he'll allow Peter Crouch to leave the club to generate the necessary transfer funds.
But the Liverpool manager has today insisted both stories are untrue and has declared he has no interest in bringing Villa to Anfield.
He said: "I have seen the stories in the press saying that we need to sell Crouch to raise the money to sign Villa. I can tell you now we are not interested in Villa.
"I think he is a fantastic player but at this moment we are not thinking about signing him and that means we are not thinking about selling Crouch."
i guess it's normal to have such transfer speculation when the transfer windows starts. it've been this case for all the years before.
as for david villa, i think he's a great player. pacey and he scores goals. that's the most important thing for a striker. however, i guess we need to spend quite a sum to bring him over to anfield. i would not encourage us to spend so much on just one player. we are no-chelsea. besides, there's another worry, im afraid villa may be another morienties.? he's a spanish and has been playing in spain all the while. for him to change over? it's hard. after all, it's just speculation and rafa benitez has dismissed it.
crouch? he's a good and useful player for us. come on peter..i guess i don't need to comment much on him. let him do the talking on the pitch..
you'll never walk alone.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Reina, Riise, Hyypia, Agger, Finnan, Gonzalez, Carragher, Alonso, Gerrard (captain), Bellamy, Crouch.
Subs - Dudek, Kuyt, Aurelio, Pennant, Garcia
Liverpool have lost for the first time in eight Premiership matches after a second half goal from Benni McCarthy gave Blackburn Rovers an unlikely 1-0 win in a game that the Reds dominated at Ewood Park on Boxing Day.
It was a frustrating afternoon for Liverpool after they created chance after chance to score, but found former goalkeeper Brad Friedel in superb form. And they crashed to defeat when Blackburn capitalised on their only period of superiority in the game to score through McCarthy at the start of the second half.
Rafa Benitez made three changes to his side for this the second of four games in just nine days over a busy festive period and one of those changes, Peter Crouch, almost had an instant impact when forcing Brad Friedel into a first minute save with a header.
Friedel was to be a busy goalkeeper, but Blackburn threatened briefly when Savage headed wide in the 12th minute and Pedersen's 25 yard shot needed to be saved by Reina. But the Reds were soon back on top and Friedel had to save another Crouch header in the 18th minute after Finnan's deep cross had found him unmarked.
The Reds came into this unbeaten in seven Premiership fixtures and they were playing with confidence and creating a lot of chances. Craig Bellamy, returning to his former club, was looking sharp and he was giving the Rovers defence a torrid time.
Bellamy has already scored against his ex-employers this season and he came within inches of doing so again when his 34th minute shot flew inches wide. And he'd earlier seen his 16th minute shot saved by Friedel after Carragher had won the ball in the area.
Friedel made it a hat-trick of saves from Crouch headers in the 35th minute and it was the best of the three, but Liverpool were punished for not taking their chances when Blackburn took the lead against the run of play at the start of the second half.
It came when Tugay found Pedersen in the left channel and his low cross was converted from close range by Benni McCarthy, the scorer of Blackburn's goal at Anfield earlier this season.
Rafa Benitez responded by replacing Peter Crouch with Dirk Kuyt in the 57th minute and the Dutchman had a great chance to level the scores in the 75th minute, but Friedel was there again spread himself brilliantly and block Kuyt's point close range effort. The Reds were now back on top and Xabi Alonso hit the outside of the post with a 76 minute shot, but they couldn't find a way passed man of the match Friedel.
Luis Garcia brought another brilliant save out of Friedel as Blackburn's defending became increasing desperate and then Friedel made his best save of the match and made the points safe for Blackburn when he flung himself to his left to make a brilliant one handed save to deprive Alonso.
"We have seen this many times this season when we have created a lot of clear chances, but haven't scored," said Benitez.
"Their goalkeeper was fantastic, but I have to be disappointed that we have got nothing from a game where we created so many clear chances.
"Crouch had three clear chances in the first half, but maybe it was down to bad luck and good goalkeeping that we didn't score.
"We made a mistake for the goal Blackburn scored and we now must look to the next game against Tottenham and take our chances there."
a frustrating game for me. we should have won as what our manager had said. in football, it's very simple. if you don't put the ball into the net, you don't win.
we dominated the first half. every single player knew what their job was and kept to it. blackburn didn't have much on the ball. alonso was passing the ball well, gerrard was keeping the shape of the team. however, i was wondering whether peter crouch know how to score with his head? he's such a tall player and heading is his best assest. crosses from the wing from bellamy and finnan, what did he do? headed straight to the keeper.
peter, you are in the starting eleven after so many games. and yet, you are putting such a performance. i could see his frustration when he's being subbed out. bellamy was good at his runs and kept blackburn defenders on the toes, however, his hard work was not converted into goals.
alonso tried hard, steve finnan was running his legs out. but we just lost everything in the second half. blackburn was up on the tempo and they scored one. we were scrabbling outside our penalty area and none of the players could hold onto the situation and clear the ball. *wish that dietmar hamann was there though.* after that, they scored. what the f**k? poor goal to concede. away from home, once you concede a goal, it's hard to get back to the game. aurelio, kuyt and garcia came in but left little impact. kuyt was as hardworking as ever, but his efforts were in vain.
blackburn had just lost 6-2 last weekend and now, beaten us. simply disappointing and frustating. the unbeaten run had stopped. it's a poor performance as we can't score and yet lost the game. bolton and portsmouth are climbing up. chelsea had just lost 2 points and we can't capitalised on it. i wonder if it's tired legs or what, there's no excuses for us such a big club to be giving the fans such performances. i'm upset by this defeat. truly is.
white hart lane is next. it's going to be hard. martin jol's men will be determined to pull one back after we beaten them 3-0 at anfield. nevertheless, rafa benitez should know what it takes to play so many matches during the christmas period. it's his third year in charge now. there's no more room for mistakes. no more.
you'll never walk alone.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Wherever you are celebrating this festive season, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyal support during 2006 and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
Being manager of Liverpool Football Club continues to be a great honour for me and I can assure you that I, along with my staff and my players, am still driven by total determination and hunger to bring more trophies to Anfield.
Over the past twelve months we have brought two more pieces of silverware back to the club after beating West Ham in an incredible FA Cup final back in May and then lifting the Community Shield in August.
We know this club is all about winning trophies and making the fans happy and that is why we are all so pleased to have again enjoyed a successful year.
The job now is to ensure we keep moving forward and to keep improving as a team and as a squad. I remain convinced we have a better set of players now than this time twelve months ago, but we know there is still work to do to reach the level we are aiming for.
We have brought in a number of new players during the year and I am confident they will all have an important role to play in our quest for honours in the future. At the same time, a number of players left us during 2006 and I continue to wish them all the best with their new clubs.
As you will all know, there is much talk about the future of the club with reports that an investment deal is looming. I have remained focused solely on football and on my team while all the talk has been going on, but I am sure David Moores and Rick Parry will make the right decision in the best interests of the club and I look forward to being a part of what I am sure is going to be a very bright future at Liverpool.
As always, you will have a massive role to play in that future. I’ve said it before and I will say it again; you are the best fans in the world and I can promise you all that we’ll be working as hard as possible to bring you more of the success you truly deserve.
I hope you all have a great Christmas and a fantastic 2007.
you'll never walk alone.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Scott Carson has no regrets joining the club on loan from Liverpool. The former Leeds United custodian has been the one bright light in Charlton's dismal season so far, having put in a string of fine performances for The Addicks.
The England Under 21 international has made the most of regular first-team action at The Valley this season, and despite Charlton being mired in a relegation battle, the 21-year-old is happy with the loan move.
"I signed to the end of the season and, as far as I'm concerned, I'm happy to be here for the full season," Carson said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
"After playing so many games, I don't want to be going back (to Liverpool) and just sitting on the bench. I want to get Charlton back up the table and avoid the drop.
"I'd like to go back to Liverpool and make myself number one, but that's next season.
"I haven't spoken to the manager (Rafa Benitez) since I came here. I haven't spoken to anyone.
"They said they'd have people at every game and that's enough for me. I signed a new five-year deal at the start of the season and that's where I'd like to play my football, but it's going to be difficult.
"They've got Reina there and they're a big club and if they want another player, they can easily buy one.
"They can go and buy someone for £10million. After this takeover, they could buy Buffon for £30million.
"I'm trying to concentrate on Charlton first before I think of Liverpool."
The youngster has come a long way from his upbringing in Cumbria, having enjoyed his unexpected call-up to England's World Cup squad in the summer.
"I was a 20-year-old at the World Cup and I loved every minute of it," Carson added. "I wanted to train all the time.
"I knew I wouldn't get on the pitch, even if Paul Robinson got injured. I was basically just a fan, getting the best seats and training with the players."
based on the comments by carson, it's seems to me that he just wants to concentrate on his charlton career now and think about liverpool later.
he's a good goalkeeper, full of potential. he was in the world cup squad and this shows that he does have the calibre to fight for a place in the team. currently, for the liverpool team, pepe reina is number one. hence, it's rather hard for carson to actually challenge a place in liverpool.
despite that, i believe he's good enough to be liverpool's no 2 goalkeeper. jerzy dudek? for me, he's on the way out. (though it had delayed for several seasons.) rafa is right in loaning him out to get some match experiences for this young kid.
however, i don't wish to see him leaving us like chris kirkland. i do hope to see carson playing for us. even in just cup competitions. at the moment, continue to play well boy..work hard!
you'll never walk alone.
Player of the Year?
There are obviously a few candidates. Stevie got Player of the Year last season for what he did in the Cup final. Momo Sissoko was also outstanding in that Cup final but people forget that because of Stevie getting the two goals. I think it's a tie between them two but I'd probably give it to Momo because Stevie's got enough awards anyway.
Young Player of the Year?
Daniel Agger would come into that category or even Momo, but I'd probably say Daniel because he's come in very strong this season and done very well.
Most Improved Player?
I don't know. Whoever I give it to I don't think they'd really like it to be honest! Probably Crouchy, not that he was that bad at the start but he went a long time without scoring and now his record this year has been brilliant. The goals to games ratio has been as good as anyone's - there's been a massive improvement.
It used to be me that, didn't it? It would probably be Finn. I think I gave it to Finn last year as well. He plays pretty much the same every week and doesn't get much applause. He's just happy to be in the team, doing his job, and he's been consistent again.
Honorary Scouser Award?
This is the first one of these, isn't it? It would have been Didi if he was still here but obviously he's gone. We'll give it to Pepe. He speaks very good English and tries to throw a few scouse words in every now and then to me and Stevie. He's a bubbly character so I'll give it to Pepe.
Have you been teaching him?
Yes, but only swear words!
Goal of the Year?
Probably Stevie's second one in the Cup final. Agger's against West Ham at home was an unbelievable one as well but I think I'll go for Stevie's because it was the Cup final and we were desperate to get that goal. It's probably one of the best goals in a Cup final of all time so it's a great one to win the prize.
What about Crouch against Galataseray?
Yes, I forgot about Crouchie! I'll have to put Crouch up there and give him a mention but I just think Stevie's is the winner because there were only about 40 seconds left of the game and to have a strike from 30, 40 yards out, I'll have to give it to Stevie.
Hardest Liverpool player?
In a fight or tackle? There's not many tacklers in the team really, probably only me and Stevie. In a fight? I think I gave it to Pepe last year but I'm going to give it to Momo, he takes some stopping. He's not too bad at the moment with the shoulder injury, I'd probably take him at the moment.
Player who's most desperate for their own song?
Finn. It used to be me for a while, they only started giving me one a few years ago.
Is there anyone in the dressing room who moans because they don't have one?
No, nobody really moans but I think Finn deserves one. As I said, though, he's not that kind of player, he just gets on with it. He's not that eye catching, he just does a good solid job every week. I think the crowd should sort something out for Finn but maybe it's difficult with the name and hard to make it rhyme with things.
Stevie and Alonso have got the best quality in training, they're good trainers. Hardest worker is probably me because I'm not that good! There's a lot of good trainers really. Didi was the worst but he's gone now so it's quite good. Robbie can be bad some days but he's a great finisher so if he's having a bad session he can just pop a few goals in the back of the net to get him out of trouble.
Funniest player in the squad?
I'd probably say Robbie. He likes a laugh and a joke, it's great to have him back to create a bit of banter in the dressing room. He's always on the internet looking for funny stuff to stick on the walls, like look-alikes. The reserves have got their pictures on the internet saying what they like and their hobbies, stuff like that. They were probably trying to get girls or something. Anyway, he stuck them up. That was funny.
Funniest moment of the year?
The other day Pepe kicked a ball and it hit the manager on the back of the head and he went to the floor, so that was quite funny. That was off the field, on the field it's always funny beating Everton isn't it? Obviously they beat us this year which was a big disappointment but we can win the return. Beating them at Anfield with 10 men was quite funny.
Nicest member of the squad?
There's a lot of nice lads really. Jack Hobbs, I know he's only one of the reserves but he's the nicest in the world. Probably too nice. Bolo's a nice fella, he speaks to everyone really and he speaks a few languages so he mixes well with the different nationalities. He's good to have around.
Who is the ideal room mate?
Someone who'd run round after you I think, a young lad! No, we try to mix it around a lot so that we have different roommates and get to know each other better. At the moment I'm with Stevie and I can't ask him to do much because he's the captain so he's not the best!
Who would be a nightmare roommate?
It was Josemi before he went, he just didn't sleep. He'd be up all night watching videos or on his computer. A nightmare would probably be someone who's into their music, I'm not a big music fan.
Who would you want on your pub quiz team?
Who wouldn't you want on your pub quiz team?
Who's thick? [Laughs] I think Pennant's quite thick!
Who's the biggest moaner on the team?
Me. On the pitch I just get wound up if things aren't going the way I want them to or people aren't doing the things I want them to do. I wish we had a few more moaners actually. Bellamy's a bit of a moaner, he's the worst in training.
What does he say?
He just complains about anyone who doesn't put the ball on a sixpence for him really! But I like that in a player, he's a winner and he wants to do well.
Worst hair cut?
It used to be Harry Kewell, I think that could count because he had that at the end of last season. At the moment…Riise just dyed his hair blonde from ginger. Who've I missed? Gonzalez has got a bad one, coming up to a point or something along those lines. Alonso when he lets his grow long looks pretty bad.
Last year you had Crouch down as the worst dancer. Have you changed your mind?
The worst or the best?
You had Pongolle as your best...
Oh yes, I remember him dancing at the Christmas party. Crouchie's upped the ante from last year though. No I'll stick with Crouch. He's probably the best and worst to be honest. He's got some great moves and he's got the robot and stuff now as well so that's put him up there as one of the worst again.
When did he first do that?
He did it at Beckham's party before the World Cup. I think he did it to the cameras on the dancefloor, messing around because the party was getting filmed. I remember he was worried 'cos it was getting shown on TV a few days later and of course once it was captured it just took off. It was hilarious.
Well you always think yourself or you wouldn't buy those clothes but Stevie's always quite smart. No, there's not many. Me and Stevie have probably got similar tastes I'd say.
Cisse popped in the other day, what he had on was unbelievable.
He had moon boots on. Bellamy's got some dodgy gear like leather coats, that's pretty poor.
Oh, there's a few of them. Crouchie lately, he's been putting a bit of gel on his hair. Stevie as well, he probably thinks nobody's noticed but he's been messing with his hair. He's got a bit of a quiff now, he has to put gel on or mousse or whatever it is. Obviously the foreign lads all love themselves don’t they? But it's pretty poor that we've got two English lads up there.
The player you'd least like to introduce to your parents?
I think if you asked anyone else they would say me to that question. Probably Bellamy, you wouldn't want to take him round to your mum. He swears a lot and he's got a constant frown on his face.
Best taste in music?
Luis Garcia's had his ipod on in the dressing room the last few weeks and that's not too bad. I don't know what he had on because I'm not really into my music that much.
And the worst taste in music?
It used to be Cisse. Probably Pennant or Sissoko, someone like that.
A player you can't understand?
Paletta can't speak much English at the moment. He's getting there but he's finding it tough. He's only young so he's got a lot of time but I find it hard to understand him. He's probably saying the same about me as well.
Who'd be in your Liverpool five-a-side team from the players in the squad?
Pepe in goal, me as captain, Stevie, Robbie up front to get a goal. We'll have a Scouse team plus Pepe. We'll have Warnock as well. Four scousers and one half Scouser.
Toughest opponent of the year?
Saha's good. Who else? We had a good defensive record last season. Andy Johnson was tough this season, he's very quick and he causes a lot of problems, so I'd probably say him. He was very good, played very well against us.
What's the best chant you've heard all year?
I can't think of any but I remember the banner 'Momo is Boss'. That was a proper Scouse one from home. That was a good 'un.
Best away fans?
Ours, wherever we go! Whenever we go to Europe the fans stay behind. Whether it's PSV or Bordeaux, the fans always stick around when we're doing the warm down. Any European fans create a great atmosphere.
Craig Bellamy and Xabi Alonso provided Liverpool's shivering fans with some pre-Christmas cheer as the Reds kicked off the busy festive period with a hard-earned 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday afternoon.
At a freezing Anfield, Bellamy and Alonso netted the goals, both in the second half, to stretch Liverpool's unbeaten run in the Premiership to an impressive seven games.
With a hectic schedule looming, it was important to get off to a winning start and, despite not firing on all cylinders at times, Rafa Benitez will be content to have taken maximum points from a fixture that has proved a potential banana-skin for the Reds in the past.
On their last league visit here the Hornets shocked the Kop by plundering a lone-goal victory but despite giving a good account of themselves this time around, any other result would have been an injustice to the home side.
Following a subdued opening the game came to life shortly before the 20-minute mark. Xabi Alonso tried his luck with a sweetly struck side-footer from outside the box that Ben Foster tipped around the post.
Then, moments later, Craig Bellamy rolled the ball across the face of an open goal only for Adrian Mariappa to sweep away the danger.
Foster was being kept busy and was soon in action again, diving low to his right to push out a long-range strike from Dirk Kuyt and being in the right place at the right time to spare Danny Shittu's blushes after the defender inadvertently directed a Bellamy cross towards his own goal.
At the opposite end Watford should have snatched the lead through Alhassan Bangura in the 38th minute. A rare mishap by Pepe Reina presented the youngster with a gilt-edged opportunity from six-yards out that he somehow squirmed over.
As the half drew to a close Daniel Agger stung the fingers of Foster with a blazing drive from distance that was too hot for the keeper to handle but Jermaine Pennant failed to capitalise and blazed the rebound high into the Kop.
Widespread relief swept around the ground when Bellamy finally opened the scoring two minutes after the restart. Gerrard slid the Welshman a perfect through ball from midfield and he held his nerve to net for the sixth time this season with a neat finish to Foster's left.
It was a deserved breakthrough for the Reds but a resilient Watford refused to meekly surrender. Ashley Young was just inches away from equalising with a header in front of the Kop midway through the half and the destiny of the spoils remained in the balance until the 88th minute.
Substitutes Mark Gonzalez and Peter Crouch had earlier both gone close to sealing the win before Alonso made sure with a spectacular curling shot from 25-yards out that nestled sweetly into the top corner.
it was not the best performance from liverpool at anfield. however, the team fought really hard and managed to get the win.
we found it difficult to score and break down opposition defence, and credit to watford, they really gave their all. in the early moments, they even threatened the goal and almost scored. luckily, they missed a glorious chance in front of goal. if that had gone in, the whole game will totally change.
as dominant as before at anfield, the team tried endlessly and was finding the right pass to break the persistent defence. gerrard and alonso was all over the park. bellamy was very active, running behind defences. i could sense the team's urgency even though they were not performing to the highest standard. that's what i really want to see in a team.
bellamy scored a good goal through gerrard bursting down the mifield and alonso added the second one in the dying minutes of the game to settle it all. 2 goals was good enough for us and 3 points are indeed essential with all the rest of the teams winning. we have to keep our form there so that, when our teams slip, we are able to cut down the points.
it's the christmas period and this's the time when teams are playing frequently. next up, blackburn. a tough tackling opposition. rafa should know that this period of time would actually determine how your season will be like in May. come on rafa, come on liverpool!
you'll never walk alone.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Liverpool will sign the Australia international defender Lucas Neill in a cut-price deal from Blackburn Rovers next month with the Merseysiders' manager Rafael Benítez aware that the anticipated transfer funds from the takeover of the club by Dubai International Capital will not materialise until the summer.
Neill, who is out of contract at Ewood Park at the end of the season, will complete his move to Anfield having almost joined on deadline day in August only for the clubs to fail to agree a fee at the last minute.
Blackburn had explored the possibility of taking the Liverpool full-back Stephen Warnock in part-exchange, but they are close to signing a replacement with the Dynamo Kiev defender Andriy Nesmachnyi in Lancashire and due to take a medical last night. Rovers will hope to raise around £1.5m from the sale of Neill.
we wanted to buy him for cover for steve finnan in the summer, but failed to agree on a deal. now it's january transfer period. and i guess rafa benitez has not given up on him.
as a player, he's a not a bad defender. tempremental at times. the disadvantage is his age. he's already past 30s and i guess it's just a cover for steve finnan for the current season or probably the next. he played well in the world cup and has been doing good for Blackburn as well.
i do hope to see him come over to provide some cover for steve finnan as the season is so long. a right back and he know the english style of playing. so, he do not need to adapt to the english game at all.
after all, rafa benitez will make the decision..we'll just wait and see.
you'll never walk alone..
can you see the fog? it explains all.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina has played down talk linking him with a move back to Spain.
Despite having firmly established himself as first choice in Liverpool's goal, Reina has persistently been linked with a move to Valencia.
Whilst speculation refuses to go away, Reina is adamant that his long-term future lies at Anfield.
"As the manager keeps saying, we don't know where these stories begin," said Reina.
"I'm really happy here at Liverpool. It's a big club and I have a good relationship with all the people. I have two-and-a-half years left of my contract, so I'm in no hurry.
"I don't know if now is the right time to be talking about a contract because I like to focus just on the games. There will be plenty of time to do this."I'm not homesick. Obviously there are things in Spain we all miss because our family and friends are all back there, but that's normal. There are things which are not the same, but that's what you expect as a footballer."
louis' comments..i'm glad to see pepe reina voicing out that he's happy in liverpool as so much speculation is around him. to be honest, i won't want to see him leaving us as i think, he's a very good goalkeeper for us. for all these years, i'm sure he's the best one.
what i like him is his air of confidence. despite blunders and bloopers, he always tries his best to stay focus and many times, he saved us. and i'm sure that rafa benitez won't sell away his best players and especially his number one goalkeeper.come on reina, continue the good form and win trophies back!
walk on reds..
you'll never walk alone
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
enjoy these pictures. the players are creative aren't they?
our captain, steven gerrarrd
our no 1 goalkeeper, pepe reina.
john arne riise
last but not least..
you'll never walk alone
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has revealed the Dubai International Capital consortium hoping to gain control of the club are in it for the long term.
DIC are close to completing a takeover of the Anfield outfit after having a series of talks with the club.
Benitez met DIC chief executive Sameer Al Ansari after last weekend's win over Fulham and the Spaniard was encouraged by their plans for the club.
"I have spoken to the people," Benitez told the Liverpool Echo. "It was a very nice meeting, but we didn't talk about the details of the takeover.
"They've made it clear they want to do the right things for Liverpool in the future and this will not be a short-term deal.
"Their idea is to make Liverpool a success in the long term."
i do hope that this takeover will really do liverpool well. it will not spoilt any traditions of the club and also changing the system in liverpool now.
the football world is changing and i think it's a good time for us to have finincial backup in order to compete with rest. we have to think of the future and keep going. i do hope that rafa benitez will still be in charge despite of having a new boss. i do not wish to see another Pardew incident. it actually pleases me to see that the manager is aware of what's happening and i'm sure mr moores and rick parry will do the best interests of the club.
i do hope that the takeover will make us improve as a team and of course, a team which can compete against the best in the world. i don't believe in spending lots of money in buying one player. i just want them to buy a right player with the right amount of price. for eg, xabi alonso. 10 million pounds for one of the best passers in the world. why not?
all i can say is we should concentrate on what we should do this season and work hard for every competition, and at the same time, not be distracted over the takeover.
come reds.. charlton is next..
it's a video of rafa talking about his manager career in liverpool.
you'll never walk alone
Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder has confirmed his interest in Liverpool's Peter Crouch.
The England striker looks to be losing his battle with Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy for a starting role as Rafa Benitez edges away from his rotation policy.
Roeder looks set to invest heavily in the January transfer window and a new striker is believed to be on his list of targets.
Crouch has been linked with a possible switch to St James' Park and now Roeder has admitted he is an admirer of the 25-year-old.
"I am an admirer of the way Peter Crouch plays and the fact is that he also scores goals," said Roeder, who is also believed to be keeping tabs on Mark Viduka.
to be frank, i don't wish to see peter crouch go. yes, i'm aware of some liverpool and england fans are not a great fan of him. however, i do think that he has been a great player for us. i do remember that he took a long time before he starts scoring for us, but i think he has been an useful player.
he scores goals now, and is the club's current top scorer. his height has been an assest for him. his ball control is good and being such a tall player, it's hard to control the ball like he does. as a striker, his main aim is to score goals and so far for this season, he's been doing that, so i don't see a reason why rafa will sell him.
newcastle? to be honest, i'm not a great fan for this club. they have so many strikers already. owen, ameobi, luque, martins, rossi. and glen is intending to buy one more? he should concentrate his defence. why don't spend the money and buy some quality defenders?
really don't wish to see our tall lanky striker leaving us. unless he wants to leave, i doubt rafa is going to sell him. come on crouch! backing on you big fellow..
let's enjoy this..
you'll never walk alone
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Jamie Carragher's first Premiership goal for almost eight years was the highlight of a comfortable 4-0 Liverpool victory over Fulham at Anfield. The Cottagers have never won at Anfield and, after conceding five last season, were on the wrong end of another heavy defeat despite a solid first half showing.
Steven Gerrard broke the deadlock in the 54th minute as he slotted in the rebound after his own penalty was saved by the unlucky Jan Lastukova. The Kop was then privileged to witness a first league goal from Carragher in almost eight years to effectively seal the points - and Fulham must have then known it was not to be their day.
Luis Garcia added a third with a powerful header before substitute Mark Gonzalez sealed a good day's work all round by Liverpool with a fine free-kick with the last kick of the game.
Liverpool started brightly and Luis Garcia sneaked in to the six-yard box to flick Craig Bellamy's cross over Lastukova, but Liam Rosenior was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Fulham responded by driving forward themselves and Moritz Volz's low cross was met by a first-time strike by Brian McBride - which forced Jose Reina into a smart diving save away to his left to turn the ball round the post.
The home side broke directly from the resulting corner, and the move concluded with a flashing John Arne Riise drive which flew just wide.
Fulham were stung by that attack and retreated to sit back and frustrate Liverpool, who then enjoyed the vast majority of possession for the rest of the half.
Dirk Kuyt was appealing for a penalty after 20 minutes when his header from Steve Finnan's cross hit Zat Knight's hand, but the big defender knew nothing as his back was turned when it struck him.
Xabi Alonso had a low curler well saved by Lastukova, before Kuyt had a second penalty shout turned down when Pearce blocked his volley with his hand, but referee Uriah Rennie again turned down the appeal.
After a frustrating first half, Liverpool looked to move up a gear after the break and Kuyt charged down the left before firing with the outside of his foot that forced Lastukova to palm over.
However, Fulham had started with much more adventure than the first half and Volz fired a drive wildly over the bar after a good spell of pressure for the visitors.
Liverpool hit back with a flurry of corners and crosses, one of which from Jermaine Pennant somehow evaded both Kuyt and Craig Bellamy just six yards out.
The Reds got the breakthrough in the 54th minute when, at the third time of asking, Kuyt was given a penalty after his well-hit shot was blocked by the raised hand of Pearce as he flew out to challenge.
The skipper stepped up to take the spot-kick, but his poor effort was saved by Lastukova, only to rebounded straight back to Gerrard who gladly slotted in his second league goal of the season.
Buoyed by the goal, Liverpool piled forward and Bellamy was unlucky when he could not react quick enough at the far post after a corner flicked off Knight's head and he could only knee over the bar.
The corner routine did work in the 61st minute when Daniel Agger flicked on Gerrard's set-piece, and of all people it was Carragher who arrived with perfect timing to slot home at the far post like a veteran striker - although it was his first Premiership goal since January 1999.
A third Liverpool goal arrived on 66 minutes and the other centre-half Agger was involved as he put in a good cross from the left for Garcia who powered a looping header into the far corner, via the crossbar, from 15 yards.
Although the game was won Liverpool still looked to add to the tally, which Gerrard almost achieved as he fired a fearsome volley towards goal from Pennant's cross, but Lastukova made another fine save.
There was time to add a fifth late on, as Gonzalez curled in a superb free-kick from the edge of the box with almost the last kick of the game to seal an emphatic victory for Liverpool and another torrid visit to Anfield for the visitors.
great performance. 4 goals. 4 different players scored. 4th place.
i was glad to see that we are patient even though we didn't managed to score in the first half. fulham did well in closing down on us but i knew that if we continued to pressure, we will be able to score. and yes, we did. 4 goals.
gerrard with a penalty rebound. carragher with a rare goal. garcia with a lopping header. gonzalaz with a free kick. all are beautiful goals. i'm pleased to see carragher scoring. if i'm not wrong, i was still a very young boy the last time i saw him scoring for liverpool. excellent set-piece. could see that carragher was alert to be at the back post after the flick on by agger. a good goal and liverpool was at comfort zone. garica's goal was purely class. a great finish. he has been trying that for the whole match, and i'm glad that one of his tries, went in as a goal.
i realised, for every season, we always have a slow start. this is the time where we getting warmed up and began to play good football. i really hope that it's not too late. now we are at 4th place, we shall go on a run and put some pressure on the top 2. every player knows what they should do and we know that our strengths.
come on reds.. keep on the good form ..
you'll never walk alone.
special thanks to skyports and gettyimages.
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Three goals in six minutes, an impressive comeback but no 'You'll Never Walk Alone' at half-time – Liverpool's return to the Ataturk Stadium probably won't follow their first visit on the night of May 25 2005 into European Cup folklore.
The venue ? still resembling a spaceship stranded miles from nowhere ? might have been the same but little else about Liverpool's latest visit to Istanbul evoked memories of the greatest night in the club's history.
Having taken a first-half lead through Robbie Fowler, the home side took all three worthless points thanks to two quick-fire first-half strikes from Necati Ates and Okan Buruk and a late goal from substitute Sasa Ilic before Fowler scored a late consolation goal for the Liverpool.
While Rafael Benitez won't have enjoyed seeing Jerzy Dudek concede three goals on Turkish soil again, he'll at least take heart from the fact that his players emerged injury-free from a rare 'competitive' match with absolutely nothing at stake.
Of the 11 players who started the final against AC Milan on May 25 2005, only Jerzy Dudek, Jamie Carragher, Xabi Alonso and John Arne Riise started a game that was deemed meaningless the moment Liverpool's victory over PSV coupled with Galatasaray's defeat to Bordeaux ensured the Reds topped Group C with the Turks finishing bottom.
With nothing but pride to play for, Benitez took the opportunity to rest a number of first team regulars with Pepe Reina, Steven Gerrard, Steve Finnan and Sami Hyypia all left at home and Luis Garcia, a starter against Milan, on bench.
In their place, the manager handed youth a chance with Daniel Agger, Lee Peltier, Gabriel Paletta and Danny Guthrie all being given the chance to state their case for more regular involvement.
While Liverpool fans were still trying to figure out where all the youngsters were playing, the home side almost opened the lead through a long-range Sabri Sarioglu free-kick that narrowly missed Dudek's post. The exciting start was slightly misleading however as the action appeared to fizzle out almost as quickly as it had begun.
With the pace of the game in danger of becoming testimonial-like, Robbie Fowler finally injected a little excitement into the contest by managing to somehow bundle the ball into the net for the opening goal after 22 minutes. Reacting first to a low Craig Bellemy cross, Fowler was in the right place at the right time to use his thigh to guide the ball past goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon for the scrappiest finish you'll see this season.
The smile on the striker's face as he was congratulated by Alonso was probably one of embarrassment as much as joy. The visitor's lead was short-lived however; from being one-nil up after 22 minutes, Liverpool found themselves 2-1 down within six minutes as the game exploded into life. Just two minutes after Fowler had broken the deadlock, a rare stray pass from Xabi Alonso in his own half gifted Necati Ates with a clear opportunity to slot the ball low past Dudek to level the scores.
If the equaliser could have been avoided, there could be no complaints about Galatasaray's second goal. When Paletta headed Marcelo Carrusca's corner out of the box, the danger looked to have passed until Okan Buruk connected with the sweetest of volleys from 40 yards out to give Dudek no chance. As six-minute comebacks go, it wasn't quite Liverpool v AC Milan but it was pretty impressive all the same.
Despite Fowler going close from a well worked free-kick midway through the second-half, a third goal for the home side effectively sealed the game with 10 minutes to go before Fowler added his second of the night with a clinical header after good work from Jermaine Pennant.
Five goals there might have been but don't expect to be seeing this match on DVD anytime soon.
Posted by Louis at 11:42 PM
Monday, December 4, 2006
Diver? i got this from james' blog and i was surprised to see this. such a talented footballer but yet doing such cheats to earn a penalty.
spoilts the game nowadays, and many footballers are doing this now. rules should be enforced and punishment has to be more severe. come on ! stay on your feet !
Posted by Louis at 9:08 PM
Liverpool have taken a step closer to a takeover, according to reports on Monday.
The Anfield board have given permission to investment group Dubai International Capital to inspect the club's accounts, ahead of a potential £450 million takeover.
According to the Sun, Chairman David Moores has agreed to relinquish his 51 per cent stake in the club, but will retain his position along with Chief Executive Rick Parry.
The bid values the club at £170 million, but also includes a provision of £250 million for the club's proposed new stadium, £80 million for the club's current debt.
However, no deal will be completed before January, meaning manager Rafael Benitez will not have additional funds to strengthen his squad in the transfer window.
The club has been looking for backers for three years, and has come close to agreeing deals with local businessman Steve Morgan and now deposed Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
i think it's a excellent time for liverpool to have some financial backup. a new stadium coming up and of course, in order to do well, we need better players and improve our facilities as well.
450 million ? that's alot of money. but of course, we have to make sure that the new boss is a football fan and of course a liverpool fan. we are a traditional club, and i truly hope after a new boss comes, the culture and traditions will still be there as always. of course, we should be moving forward and be a stronger and more powerful club in the coming years.
let's wait and see how's the takeover going to be like..
you'll never walk alone...
Posted by Louis at 8:48 PM
Holders Liverpool will begin the defence of the FA Cup with a mouth watering 3rd round tie at home to Arsenal in a repeat of the 2001 final.
The tie will be played at Anfield over the weekend of Saturday/Sunday, January 6th/7th 2007.
The Reds hold fantastic memories from the 2001 final when a Michael Owen inspired Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The two sides meet before then of course in the Carling Cup quarter-final at Anfield on Tuesday, December 19th.
it's time for liverpool to get something back of arsenal. they beaten us 3-0 the last time and we should be taking this opportunity to knock them out of the tournament.
we are going to meet them in the carling cup quarter-final and now the fa cup 3rd round. it's going to be exciting and i'm looking forward to these games. it's going to be at anfield and i guess it's an advantage to us. the last 2 seasons, anfield games against arsenal has been good. a last min shot by neil mellor and a rebound by luis garcia. i hope that we can remain the good form and keep the record.
we've lost many points in the league, and i'm sure rafael benitez would like to bring some silverware back and of course, improve our league form at the same time. come on guys! do us proud and bring glory back to anfield..
you'll never walk alone..
Posted by Louis at 8:27 PM