24 07 2010

I am back after a two month hiatus during which several things academically important were completed. However, I will soon be off for a month long break. So this post is meant to whet your appetite particularly if you have sufficiently medicated yourself.

Positive things have been occurring at LFC. After the signing of Milan Jovanovich and Joe Cole to bolster the club’s attacking capabilities, all I need is for Fernando Torres to stay like Steven Gerrard has for they are destined for great things at Liverpool and it is only a matter of time (read probably this year) that Liverpool are up among the best again.

“Predictions so early in pre-season?” you ask? Sure, why not?! Move over citeh, get out of our way spurs and Arsenal and Chelsea and United (BARF)! The Liverpool juggernaut is here!!!! Ok, a little too corny but you can’t blame my enthusiasm as LFC has a new found attacking aura (on paper at least) and a new manager in Roy Hodgson. So what if Mascherano want’s out? So what if we don’t have a left-back (YIKES!)? So what if Gerrard is pushing 30? So what if Gillet and Hicks (DOUBLE BARF) are still in power? At the end of the tunnel, there is a light. Although I must admit that last year, this aforementioned light was actually a mean locomotive comprised of Spurs, Citeh, Villa et al. steaming down and crushing Liverpool. But that was last year. This is a new year and a new season!

Here’s looking forward to the English Premier League 2010-2011 and not so much the Europa League 2010-2011. Now, I must go and run my 8-10kilometers for the week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a stream for Liverpool’s preseason match against Swiss outfit, Grasshoppers today.


Liverpool v Chelsea – Preview

1 05 2010

I’ve not been getting any blog posts churned out off late because there exists on the horizon, a distinct possibility, that I’d be taking a major step towards graduation through a dissertation proposal defense which I should get done with soon (~ 2-4 weeks time).

This preview comes amidst the innumerable reports that Rafael Benitez might be on his way out, possibly to Juventus and that Dirk Kuyt might follow him out through the door. I don’t know how much truth exists in that but I would only assume that it isn’t entirely untrue.

Liverpool’s match against Chelsea, in the early kick-off on Sunday, would be the cynosure of several eyes which would include Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Aston Villa and the board of directors of Juventus. The reds would be quite tired, physically and emotionally, after their loss to Atletico Madrid which resulted in their ousting from the Europa league, the only minuscule chance of redemption that existed this year. Chelsea on the other hand would want to fortify their pole position and would like to beat Liverpool blue (pun intended) to help them in the said fortification which would keep their noses an inch or so ahead of Manchester United.

But the question to ask is, are Liverpool going to throw in the towel on the back of the trials and tribulations that they’ve faced this season or would they go in for the kill and go for the throat akin to a wounded animal. It’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. Of lesser probability is the hope of matching my team sheet with that of Rafael Benitez’s. But I’ll try:

Possible starting line up against Chelsea.

I am unsure of whether Ngog would be fit for the game and even if he is, if he would start in Kuyt’s place. The latter didn’t have the brightest games or the best latter half of the season, for that matter.

Time to consolidate: is 4th place realistic?

27 02 2010

It is that time of the year when the table is as good as set in stone but some reshuffling in the order. It is this reshuffling that Liverpool will be interested in, particularly the movers and shakers on and around the 4th place.

Realistically, Liverpool will probably finish 5th if they maintain the current momentum (or lack of as some would rightfully say!). Optimistically, they will scrape a 4th place finish which is the only form of respectability that they can garner from a season that has gone awry. It’s been close to 30 matches since they beat an opposition by 3 goals or more. This seemingly insurmountable task was second nature last season with the reds winning most of their last 10-15 matches with a good two or three goal margin.

Some would blame the departure of Xabi Alonso compounded with the sporadic availability of Torres and Gerrard and also the loss of the latter’s form in the recent past. I think this recent lack of winsomeness is a non-linear combination of improper use of Ryan Babel, Albert Riera and 20 million pound man Aquilani and shear bad luck.

Manchester City’s spectacular 4-2 win over Chelsea would put Liverpool’s immediate future in sharp contrast. Gone are the early days of this season when a draw against one of the top four would be applauded. It is the time of reckoning that Liverpool can extricate themselves from only through half a dozen or so spectacular wins (read 3-0 wins). No more 0-0 stalemates against teams below them. No more goals conceded of set pieces. No more “we’ll sit back and get them on the break”. If Liverpool are to have any illusion of finishing 4th (as a higher than 4th place is quite unrealistic), they need to start winning games. ALL games that they play between now and the end of April.

As for tomorrow’s game that they have against Blackburn Rovers, a side that can be quite tough, Liverpool have to do just one thing and that is WIN!

Barcelona edge past Chelsea in thriller

6 05 2009

Chelsea and Barcelona provided an amazing fare to all the neutrals following the semi-final at Stamford bridge in England. Although the blues went one-up over the catalans in the 9th minute through a Michael Essien humdinger, it was Barcelona who would be eventually breaking at least 50,011 Chelsea hearts through Iniesta’s 94th minute equalizer which meant that the Catalans would meet a certain team from Manchester in Rome.

Chelsea looked to strong arm Barcelona as they did at the Nou Camp a week ago and were hugely successful in doing so. By half-time, Chelsea’s adamance in defense was overly obvious with Barcelona having ZERO shots on goal.ZERO. That was disastrous from a side that has scored 100 goals in the Primera Liga in Spain.

By the hour the final score was almost being etched in stone with Barcelona’s attempts at goal getting feebler by the minute. And to make matters worse, the spanish outfit lost their defender, Eric Abidal, to a contentious red card — the second of two games, over the last two days.

As the final whistle approached, Barcelona were cutting a forlorn figure while Chelsea were sporting ear-to-ear grins. This was all going to change, quite brutally for Chelsea. In the 94th minute, the ever marauding Barcelona midfield and forwards concocted an assist for Iniesta to put away with the kind of skill usually engendered by Barcelona. Pandemonium ensued. The Chelsea team were emotionally breaking down. The next 3 minutes of a really long stoppage period saw Chelsea flail around to no avail. The dreaded final whistle brought tumultous cheers in the Barcelona camp and tumultous tears in the Chelsea camp.

It all ended with the ground security stewards trying to ward of a visibly upset and confrontational Didier Drogba from flinging himself at the referee who would want to revisit his decisions.

Barcelona play the team from Manchester on the 27th of May in what promises to be one of the most hotly contested Champions League finals yet.

Still number 1!

14 12 2008

Nature has contrived to keep Liverpool ahead of the other 3 as deja vu struck again! Chelsea ruined a great chance to go 2 points ahead of the Reds as they drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge against a resilient West Ham United who were as resolute as Hull City or Tottenham who drew against Manchester Utd or Middlesbrough who kept Arsenal at bay!

Liverpool should realise that this is not going to go on forever and if they need to make the Premiership an addition to their respectable trophy cabinet, they need to get their act together NOW!