Rabotnicki vs Liverpool FC – Preview

27 07 2010

I am completely clueless as to who will start in Liverpool’s premature season opener on Thursday and so heres my team:


All I can hope for is Aquilani and Lucas start with maybe Shelvey and most probably Jovanovich getting a chance. In case the club doesn’t sell all it’s promising youngsters (along the lines of Emiliano Insua ), we might see El Zhar, Pacheco, Ayala and Kelly starting. Or if Hodgson ‘confers with his sports scientists‘ and feels that the Europa league opener is well worth the risk of playing Gerrard et al. (et al. hoping that Torres stays), we might see a senior team.

As for the game itself, anything including and upwards of a 0-0 draw would be considered a bonus, I would think.

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Liverpool-esque-ness-ity

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.





Officially no more fourth place

2 05 2010

Only in an alternate universe. http://www.liverpool.theoffside.com

Liverpool wrapped up their final game at Anfield for this season through yet another listless performance for which the Europa league exit is sure to be blamed for.

Despite an emotional Europa league semifinal exit, I expected the Reds to show some tooth here. But it was not to be as Drogba capitalized on a bad pass by Gerrard, in the first half and Lampard put one into the net in the second half to keep Chelsea in pole position and firm favorites to take the title next week.

As for Liverpool, it was a disgusting performance and they were largely disinterested in the proceedings. There were some surprise inclusions in the team for the reds as Aquilani started again but was not half as effective as he was in midweek.

Ho-hum, one more week to go but I just don’t care anymore. I think the fat lady has left the building after her ear drum piercing aria.

For a transcript from a live blog hosted on the wonderful http://www.liverpool.theoffside.com,  click here.





Pyrrhic victory(???) for Liverpool

19 04 2010
HELL I JUST CANT SEEM TO GET MY RETURN KEY TO WORK FOR THIS POST!
Rafael Benitez continued to frustrate me with his team selection (although it would prove to vindicate him later). Ngog started as the lone striker with Gerrard playing an unusual (unusual for Gerrard i.e.) withdrawn deep midfield position. No Mascherano, No Aquilani (What’s that all about….?). Lucas started.
Both teams started in subdued manner. West Ham were mellow as a result of their low morale in all likelihood while Liverpool’s muffled approach was probably as a result of the feeling of missing out on 4th place sinking in along with the news of Torres not being able to complete the season and who might have very well played his last game for the reds.
Notably, a number of seats lay derelict and empty at Anfield — an anachronism of sorts.
Liverpool did take the lead however on the 20th minute through Yossi Benayoun’s chested deflection from a superb free kick by Steven Gerrard. Soon Liverpool took what might be considered an unassailable lead for West Ham to overtake through… wait a minute… David Ngog. (I pictured Rafael Benitez waving a milatory finger at me saying “I told you so”)
However, there was a lull in Anfield at half time as this might just be a pyrrhic victory for Liverpool. Too little too late.
The second half started in similar drab fashion as neither team tried too hard to wake the crowd from it’s deep slumber. Despite the somnolent nature of the game, West Ham allowed Kyrgiakos to score only his second goal for Liverpool from a Steven Gerrard free kick (it is debate at this juncture whether it was an own goal by West Ham goalie, Rob Greene), with nearly 40 minutes to go!
It was Liverpool 3 West Ham 0 and it looked bad for the hammers while not looking very uppity for the Reds themselves given their current league position and that of Tottenham, Man City, Aston Villa and even Everton.
The only person proving to be quite a handful was Yossi Benayoun who was flashing past defenders like they were daisies in a field.
It was the 66th minute before West Ham elicited Reina’s first save of the game from an innocuous attempt on goal by Carlton Cole. That told the story of the match.
Liverpool made their first substitution of the evening in the form of Javier Masceranho coming on for Steven Gerrard as a precautionary measure for their midweek Europa league fixture. Momentarily, Ryan Babel, Liverpool’s super-sub came on for David Ngog.
Although Liverpool won the game in clinical fashion, the match lacked the usual fervor that is characteristic of Liverpool and their supporters. They desperately need to play more attractive football.




Possible starting eleven – Liverpool v West Ham Utd

18 04 2010

Let’s just keep aside, for the moment, West Ham’s inability to get a win on the road and focus on Liverpool’s inability to challenge for fourth spot. I hate to say this but LFC need to wake up, smell the coffee (or tea if thats was gets you a kick…) and consolidate.

They must consolidate their current position (which is 7th thanks to Aston Villa beating lowly Portsmouth) or lose out on any chance of playing in Europe next season. Their fourth place chances (if any at all), have taken a cruel hit with the announcement of Fernando Torres’s unavailability for the remained of the season due to injury. Considering that Torres was the only player in the side who looked to heap misery on oppositions, it’s quite scary that we might just see a goal drought for the next couple of games. I hope I am wrong.

I would like to see the following team tomorrow against West Ham and pray to the millions of gods in Hinduism that Benitez leaves Ngog and Leiva out of this, for once.

Possible starting eleven. http://www.liverpoolfc.tv

I also hope that Gerrard and Kuyt get on the score sheet tomorrow or all might be lost.





Birmingham City v Liverpool: I am at a complete loss!

4 04 2010

Set aside the glorious goal from Steven Gerrard to mark the beginning of the first half, Liverpool were mostly noncommittal, reminiscent of their match against Manchester Utd in particular.

I didn’t know what was surprising: my online stream dying or Rafael Benitez substituting Torres for Ngog much to the surprise and quizzical looks on Torres and Gerrard. Ngog would then go and miss two glaring chances  after his introduction and one in stoppage time that could have allowed Liverpool to regain the lead.

It is one thing that you get done in by bad refereeing (as seen most recently against Benfica) but this was ridiculous. Liverpool’s highly ineffectual play galvanized Birmingham City who just got ebullient as the match progressed. Suddenly, Liverpool were playing like a relegation threatened team trying to rescue a single point against a team that they would have put to the sword last year.

Benitez needs to get his priorities right: Is it Europa League glory that they are after or a Champions League place that would actually fit their status. If this choice isn’t clear, then we need a major overhaul of the coaching staff as soon as this season ends. But of course! Liverpool can’t financially afford it!





The case for Aqua and Babel – Liverpool v Sunderland Preview

24 03 2010

As we get closer to the end of the season, Aston Villa and Manchester City have handed Liverpool FC a glimmer of a hope by drawing against Sunderland and losing to Everton, respectively, in midweek.

Carew's goal rescues point for 7th place Villa. http://www.bbc.co.uk

Now, Liverpool will need to take on Sunderland on Sunday, the 28th of March and MUST capitalize on this with a three point haul.

Cahil scores against Man City! http://www.bbc.co.uk

How are Liverpool to go about achieving that? By playing Aquilani in midfield and Babel on the wing. The time for a defensive mindset is long gone and Rafael Benitez has been reminded that time and again, the latest unsavory reminder coming against arch rivals, Manchester Utd last weekend. I hate retrospect but that was a match which flabbergasted me!

My starting eleven would be:

Reina, Jonhson, Carragher, Agger, Insua,Kuyt, Aquilani, Mascherano, Gerrard, Torres.

Despite Liverpool’s rotten season, I don’t see Liverpool slipping up against Sunderland and in light of recent happenings in the Premier League, live in eternal hope of a fourth place finish!

Moyes and Mancini. http://www.soccernet.com