Monday, October 29, 2007
Some say this was going to be Liverpool Football Club's defining moment. Some say the Goons were going to put our Barclay’s Premier League title aspirations to bed. Others were harping about the possibility of Rafael Benitez suffering the same fate as Jose Mourinho and Martin Jol, if he doesn’t deliver the goods. No matter what the future holds for Rafa, the boys in RED at Anfield were in for a long night.
As most of you would have known, MyRAWK’s home, M Bar was closed on Oct 29 to give everyone some well-earned rest as the game was being played on a Monday morning local time. Most of us will have to get up for work or attend classes some 4 or 5 hours later. Fear not fellow MyRAWKites, we will be back on Nov 4th for the away game against Blackburn.
Those of us who braved the Sunday night rain, managed to gather with all the other MyRAWKites to watch the game at Yippee Cup, SS2. However, it felt rather strange to watch a game outside of M BAR but we did managed to meet a new recruit (RAY, if you’re reading this, WELCOME TO MyRAWK!)
Arsenal's passing and attacking prowess overwhelmed us with excitement and trepidation. The “sexy” free flowing football on show was something out of the normality of the hustle and bustle of English football. Much credit must be paid to Arsène Wenger for showing us what “the beautiful game” is about.
The goal at the 8th minute scored by Gerrard from just outside the penalty box through a free kick, was a typical Stevie G's strike – well struck and venomous. After going in front, we were watching anxiously as our defense was pushed to the brink of collapse, trying to contain the merciless barrage of crosses and quick passing and movement of the Gunners, led by Fabregas. We missed Agger’s ability in holding and bringing the ball out of defense tremendously. Carragher and Hyypia were hoofing the ball to clear our lines and we could not control the ball long enough to launch more coordinated attacks – passing was again a big let down.
We managed to breakup most of their play in the midfield through Mascherano’s tireless hounding of Fabregas and Rosicky. Alonso also played a big part in controlling the free-flowing movement of the Gunners’ attacks and he freed our Captain Marvel to do what he does best – making surging runs deep into the heart of their defense to support our attack.
At half time, Crouch was brought in to replace Torres, who was unfit and took a knock to his leg. Alonso was replace by Arbeloa later after he re-injured his metatarsal (let’s keep our fingers crossed that it’s not too serious). It was good to watch Crouch, like a man on a mission with a point to prove, causing havoc to the Arsenal defense led by Gallas. He had numerous albeit rather difficult chances to score but his positioning and willingness to dig in to fight for the second goal will not be left unnoticed by Rafa. Many of us thought that had he started, he might just repeat the hattrick he got against the same team 6 months ago.
Toure hit the post with a fine shot at the 54th minute and somehow from the rebound, Fabregas missed the gaping goalmouth by a mile. We could only watch in horror as the Gunners’ attacked us relentlessly to find the equalizer. Most of us agreed that we lost most of our attacking initiative after Alonso was substituted. At the 80th minute, our fears were realized when Hleb sent an inch perfect pass to Fabregas, who ran past a sleeping Arbeloa to toe poke his 10th goal of the season past Reina at his near post. Reina would be kicking himself though as not only did he got beaten at the near post, he also got a bit of a touch on the ball and left us thinking what would happen if he moved his feet about 3 inches to the right.
With only 10 more minutes remaining, both side desperately tried to score the winner. Fabregas cracked a shot against the upright and Bendtner who came in as a substitute for Clichy fired a shot over the gapping goal after he picked up the rebound. Our best chance to win it fell to Gerrard, who raced clean through the Arsenal defense and was denied a certain goal and winner only by the outstretch legs of Gallas that deflected his goal bound shot out wide. It was a fair result in an entertaining league fixture and both teams will continue to defend their unbeaten run in the league. As for Liverpool and Rafa, its back to the drawing board to salvage a stuttering season that has seen us win only once in 5 home games. The ever-growing injury list consisting of Agger, Alonso, Aurelio, Torres, Mascherano and Pennant will certainly be a cause for concern.
At 6th spot, 6 points adrift from the top and with 28 more matches to play before the end of the season come May 2008, we can only wait and hope that No. 19 will not too far away from our grasp. It’s tough times and moments like these that define what Liverpool Football club and Rafael Benitez are about. Till then, we will continue to sing You'll Never Walk Alone to support of our beloved Liverpool Football Club.
Our next game will see the return of GOD in Cardiff City colors on Wednesday morning on Oct 31, 2007 for the Carling Cup tie. Also, take note of our next league fixture away to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Nov 4th.
With that in mind, I’d say, "Viva La Liverpool FC", "WALK ON WITH HOPE IN YOUR HEART ", for that is all we have for now till no. 19 comes along.
Goals: Gerrard (7) 1-0; Fabregas (80) 1-1.
Liverpool (4-2-1-3): Reina; Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise; Alonso (Arbeola, 68), Mascherano; Gerrard; Kuyt, Torres (Crouch, h-t), Voronin (Benayoun, 65). Substitutes not used: Itandje (gk), Babel.
Arsenal (4-4-2): Almunia; Sagna, Touré, Gallas, Clichy (Gilberto, 75); Eboué (Bendtner, 75), Fabregas, Flamini, Rosicky (Walcott, 66); Hleb, Adebayor.
Substitutes not used: Lehmann (gk), Diarra.
Referee: H Webb (Yorkshire).
Booked: Liverpool Voronin, Mascherano, Carragher. Arsenal Rosicky
Man of the match: Hleb
Attendance: 44, 122.
Liverpool Vs Arsenal - The best bloopers are a click away
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Come on now lads. Tell me what each of you thought when you first saw the draw. We all knew that Marseille and Porto would not be pushovers but I don't think any of us expected to be outplayed by either of them, not after the number of quality signings we made. Not one of us could have been blamed for thinking that this team would be better and stronger than the last. We made additions to the team and to have thought that we would be playing piss poor football would have been blasphemous.
After just 1 point from a possible 9, we are bottom of Group A and it looks almost certain that we are halfway through our campaign in this years Champions League. UEFA Cup Champions anyone? Perhaps we will look more at home in Europe's 2nd tier tournament. Marseille top the group with 7 points, Porto are 2nd with 5 points, Besiktas are 3rd with 3 points and last seasons finalists are dead last with 1. Even if we are to score maximum points from now, we will have to hope that Porto falter to either Marseille or Besiktas. European adventure well and truly over? A friend of mine had said he feared another Basel when he saw the draw and it looks like his fears have been realised.
I'm sick of hearing how we played well despite losing. Let's be realistic now and put things into perspective. Yes, we did create chance after chance and yes, we did have the lion's share of possession but in the end what wins games? You got it, goals and unfortunately for us, they are as common as a saber tooth tiger. We signed exciting forwards in Voronin, Torres and Babel. Ok so Torres was out with an injury but I would hate to think we are only reliant on one individual to get us goals. Torres isn't going to play every game and he isn't going to be impervious to injury. We were playing one of the worst teams in Europe and we struggled to score! Our forwards were virtually non-existent and were spotted in the 18 yard box as often as Everton wins trophies. Don't get me wrong. It's great that we have so many players who are willing to work their socks off but it would be fabulous if one of them could stick the ball in the the net with some degree of regularity.
Before we had a problems with dodgy keepers who in spite of being big blokes, inexplicably had problems dealing with aerial threats. Cometh Pepe Reina who commands his airspace well despite other faults. Now it seems we have been stricken with another virus and inhibits us from scoring. Something in the water?
The Besiktas Faithful
A truly passionate bunch that never stopped singing or chanting the entire game. There were some shots of them moving about in unison and it was truly a sight to behold. Reminds me of what the Kop used to look like back in the day. The Besiktas Ultras are fans of the English game and many of them have expressed admiration for Liverpool because they believe that like us, they are the people's club. They are also a working class club who's fans show and undying devotion to the club. Did anyone hear our rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" towards the end of the match? It's not big secret that our song is famous world wide and the home fans showed some respect by applauding us when we sang it. Aside from the moment Stevie G's well placed header found the top corner, it was the only time the home fans weren't singing or chanting.
To look at it from another perspective, I couldn't help but wonder if the home fans were there to intimidate other first with the thought of supporting their teams second. I have much respect for Besiktas fans because of their passion. A few of them have also posted on RAWK showing their admiration for us but a particular scene of Pennant getting pelted by a projectile somewhat warped my perception of them. It then occurred to me that it wasn't just about supporting their team, it was about intimidating the opposition. I can't blame them really. Being one of the worst teams in Europe, they need to resort to every conceivable means that will give them an edge, and it worked.
Poor old Hyypia, his heart is in it but his legs are shot and he knows it. You'll still see him getting forward each time he can, eager to make things right but deep inside he must know, his time is up. I found it a little harsh that they credited the goal to Sami. If anything, the ball deflected of his booth, it's not like he diverted it into goal. For a living legend that has achieved so much in his time here, it's sad to think his last memories of the club will to have put 2 goals into his own net in consecutive games. On a scale of 1-10, I don't think Sami has rated more than 5 in any of his games this season. Harsh but true. We love you Sami, we do and parting will be such sweet sorrow. We had good times but all good things come to an end. I think it's time that Rafa takes a gamble and fields players for the future like Jack Hobbs.
He is not above criticism and it is foolish to think that he is. With our Champions League campaign looking all but over, the pressure will be on him to perform in the league. There are no more distractions now and failure to achieve anything other than a top 3 finish will be unacceptable. Next we play host to an Arsenal side in devastating form, as opposed to our indifferent one. If Besiktas could put 2 past us, how many do you reckon we'll concede on Monday morning?
It may be a little too soon to say this but this could be the game that defines our season. Arsenal will be 9 points clear of us should they win and in todays competition, 9 points is a mountain, especially given the inconsistent form we have been in.
I can imagine our rivals reinventing our song. "We won it 5 times... In Istanbul we won it 5 times" No wait, "You lost it this time... In Istanbul you lost it this time".
"Let us all hope that the shadow of this defeat does come to haunt us when we meet Arsenal this Sunday"- MyRAWK Admin
and for all those out there..............there is DEC 16!
The opening goal of the game arrived on 13 minutes in somewhat comical circumstances as Serdar Ozcan's shot deflected home off the luckless Sami Hyypia after Jamie Carragher's attempted clearance had ricocheted off Steve Finnan.
Besiktas snatched a second goal on the break on 82 minutes when Bobo beat Hyypia to the ball before sliding a shot through Jose Reina's legs.
Reds captain Steven Gerrard set up a grandstand finish with a header from just inside the area five minutes from time, but last season's runners-up could not muster an equalizer.
We can only hope and pray now for our next game with Arsenal on Monday at 12am and as far as Europe goes, its either god given luck with UCL or the Uefa Cup.
To further compound their misery, Marseille drew 1-1 at home with FC Porto, which means Liverpool are four points behind the second-placed Portuguese team.
Heaven help us!
You’ll Never Walk Alone!
Goal Highlights for all of those that missed the game.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Please be informed of the game viewing times:
1) UEFA Champions League
Besiktas V Liverpool FC 25th October @ 2:30AM (THURSDAY)
Can be viewed from Channel 812 ESPN
2) BARCLAYS Premier League
Liverpool FC V Arsenal 29th October @ 12:00AM (MONDAY)
Can be viewed from Channel 812 ESPN
We will not be opened for the Arsenal game on the 29th October, however we will be back again in full KOP roar on the 3rd of November 2007 at 12:30AM (SUNDAY)-Come one come all as we still have more prizes and gifts to give away. We will see you again! You'll Never Walk Alone!
A big MyRAWK thank you to Christopher for allowing us to use his excellent pictures!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
After last season’s 0-3 heartbreak in the same fixture, it was about time the ref threw some shite decisions the other way of Stanley Park. It made up for the 2 goals they scored, resulting from fouls which the ref didn’t give in favour of us last season. However, Rafa thinks the ref had a good game. On Sky Sports, he was reported as calling the blueshites “a small club” again and called Lescott a diver. Rafa, you’re the gaffa; so whatever you say!
Having said all that, I didn’t think it was a particularly excellent performance from us but glimpses of a title-winning team did rear its head in the game. Even Gerard had an ok game but I thought he played much better in the 2nd half until he was subbed. At that point, it was 1-1. I thought to myself, WTF???!!! Gerrard was providing us with the drive and penetration that used to be his hallmark before he went for England duty against Estonia and Israel and Rafa is pulling him out? WTF?? Even Captain Marvel himself was flabbergasted upon seeing his number 8 on the board. I was already slagging Rafa off by then.
The difference in performance I felt this game and those forgettable ones preceding this was that more players showed up and played their part. Rafa was always the man. I guess it’s easy for me to say this now as we won the game but many of us were being less than objective about Rafa when we were playing like schoolboys; I am guilty as charged. Just shows how winning actually changes things. A bit fickle on our part but I guess it’s just part of the game isn’t it? I swear I’ll not question Rafa again. Well, not until we lose again or start dropping points against the likes of Chelski, Manure and Gooners.
Till then, I’m gonna enjoy bragging about our win with an ex-colleague and my MD who are life-long blueshite fans.
Well in, lads and You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Our winning highlights....Viva Liverpool FC!
Kuyt Goals Vs Everton -
(Click on thumbnails to view bigger pictures)
Video of MyRAWKites singing our anthem after the final whistle.
A big thank you to our sponsors and friends for their help, generous gifts and prizes to make this MyRAWK special event and gathering our best yet:
Mr. Eric & Mr. Lorenzo from M Bar for the free jugs and Carlsberg premiums.
Mr. Lee for sourcing the Carlsberg LFC lighters.
Mr. Tan for the free magnetic bookmark / fridge magnets.
Ms. Arthur for the Bacardi, Torres and Kendall Jackson premiums.
We were also privileged to play host to our new friend, Raul - a respected RAWKite from New Delhi. Last but not least, to our fellow Malaysian REDs and MyRAWKites; 100 of you that turned up to support us, thank you and please give yourselves a big round of applause for making this one heck of a party!
You'll Never Walk Alone.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Who's the best in Europe? Liverpool FC!
Who's 18 times English League Champions and 5 time Euro champions? Liverpool FC!
It's now crunch time in our quest for no 19! As the great man, Bill Shankly puts it, "there only 2 great teams in Liverpool; Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves!"
In conjunction with the 177th derby in the league and premiership, MyRAWK (Malaysian RED and WHITE KOPites) is organizing a special gathering to allow all fellow Reds in Malaysia to have a taste of the derby atmosphere in Liverpool as well as to get to know each other. We'll have special gifts to give away to the first 50 Reds to arrive at M Bar - our home.
There will also be a special quiz / Q&A session as well to test your knowledge of our beloved Liverpool FC; the right answers will win you special prizes.
Are you RED enough? Come on down to M Bar, next Saturday, 20th October at 6:30pm. For map details, please go to http://my-rawk.blogspot.com
FIRST 50 will receive a special gift......First come First Serve
Match: Everton FC Vs Liverpool FC
Ground: Goodison Park (Away)
Date: 20th October 2007 (SATURDAY)
Event Kick Off: 6:30PM
Venue: M Bar, Phileo Damansara 1 (after Eastin Hotel, PJ)
Cover Charge: Free
Drinks: RM30 (Beer JUG) RM60 (Beer Tower) RM8++ (COKE)
Pls email to: email@example.com for more info.
Booking Contact: +6016 610 4141 (mention MyRAWK)
MALAYSIAN RED and WHITE KOPites
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
"A good mate of mine contacted me last night and asked for some advice. The arse had dropped out of his world. The worst thing that could happen to a Red had happened. Here is the story I related to him, to try and blow away the clouds of his misfortune.
The year was 1987, the month September. The bluenoses had been crowned champions in May. Wooly & Mrs Wooly were living in the sleepy hamlet of Woolton Village. Little Wooly (Billy) was about to start his second year at school. After a hard days slog in the office (BICC) and a couple of quick slurps in the local on the way home, I arrived home to be greeted by "You better have a word with that son of yours".
This was not a rare greeting as Mrs Wooly often used the phrase "Wait till yer Dad gets home".
Me lad had obviously been crying, his face all red and his eyes all puffed out. I took the lad in the kitchen cos it was obviously going to be a man's conversation.
"Whats up lad?" I asked.
"I've been thinking" offered the wee lad.
"Well that's a good start" I came back.
"All me mates in school" a long pause followed "Are .... are .... erm".
"Are what Lad, spit it out".
"Well .... they're Evertonians".
My heart missed a beat or two, what on earth was happening here, "YES?"
"Well I've been thinking ..... perhaps I could be an Evertonian"
My heart stopped, I couldn't believe my ears.
In the space of about three seconds, I thought, How am I gonna explain this to me old fellah? What will me mates say in work when they find out? What have I spawned? Can this be the Antichrist hiding in my son? What are they teaching him in this school ?
"WHAT?!!!" was all I could manage.
"Erm .... I ..... was .... thinking .... I .... could .... be .... an"
I stiffened. "Dont you dare use that word again in this house."
Little Wooly began to shake, but he stuck to his guns. It was my turn to stutter "But .... but .... well don't expect any more pocket money from me" was the best I could come up with.
I could see the lad was determined and nothing I could say would ever change his mind at this moment in time. So I sat on the couch with my head in my hands, Mrs Wooly made herself busy in the kitchen, my little girl sat next to me patting me on the knee, "Its ok Dad" she said.
The bottom was falling out of me world and all I could do was sit there mumbling back to her "You don't understand love".
The only thing for me to do was to take the dog for a walk (usual thing when losing composure). Walking 50 yards up the road I came to a pub; that was far enough, the dog was looking knackered. Sitting in a quiet corner sipping a pint of mild was always my way of sorting out problems and after a short while it came to me!
When I got back home Mrs Wooly was putting the tea on the table. The dog went back to the yard after its lengthy walk, half a bitter and a pack of crisps, while we ate our tea. I finished my tea first and left the table. I went up stairs into the lad's room and picked up his quilt and pillow and returned to the kitchen.
"Have you finished yer tea Lad?"
"Right are you ready then?"
"What for?" he said.
"Well I've been doing a spot of thinking meself and if you're as determined as you seem to be to become ONE OF THEM, then there's only one thing for it. I opened the back door and whistled the dog, "Sam get in 'ere."
The lad looked at me with confused eyes. As Sam ran past me and into his favourite spot in the living room I walked the lad out into the back yard.
"There you go Son, your new Home" said I pointing at the 3 foot x 3 foot x 4 foot kennel and without a word in he went.
I went back into the kitchen, the face on the wife was tantamount to murder and I must admit I felt sick inside. I told her he would knock on the door any minute now and things would be fine. A determined little beggar was young Wooly and after an hour there was still no knock.
My missus was on the verge of going ape. She said, "Let him in love". I looked toward the back door. It was hammering down with rain and as I peeped through kitchen nets. I could see him, he was like a drowned rat. My admiration for the lad had tripled, Evertonian or not he was a determined and very proud lad.
I had to give up, I couldn't let this go on much longer ... and then I heard a little knock. I rushed to the back door and looked through the glass, he was absolutely soaked. Pan-faced as ever I said "Yes Son?"
"Can I come in?" he said. If he could read my mind he would have known HE'D WON.
He stood inside the back door and continued, with a nervous giggle, "It's not the best idea I've ever had, is it"? The tears ran down my face, how heartless could a Father be? Fancy doing that to a boy of SIX - I was ashamed of what I'd done.
We walked together to the bathroom and I ran him a hot bath. He was sitting on the loo lid and I told him about the history of Liverpool Football Club while the bath was running, and I explained that although Everton had won the league, it would be a long time before they ever won it again.
I told him about the virtues of picking a team and sticking with them, as against becoming a turncoat. He just nodded as I spoke. Mrs Wooly stood behind him ruffling his wringing wet hair and giving me daggers at the same time.
After Billy had gone to bed that night I rang my boss and asked him for an emergency holiday, after all this was an EMERGENCY of the highest order. The following day, the little Liverpudlian toddled off to school with a whole new perspective about what it was to be a Red man. Wooly also toddled off to B&Q.
Working like a slave, by the time 3.00pm arrived the project "RED ROOM" was complete. In this short space of time I had painted all his walls and his door with white gloss, all the frames and skirting with red gloss. I had bought a new Liverpool FC quilt cover and pillow. A Liverpool lamp. A Red radio-cassette player (with a Liverpool tape of Kop songs). I had hung all me old European Liverpool flags and Liverpool scarves on the walls. His ceiling was covered with an old banner which had been stapled to the Plaster (not recommended) saying ONCE A RED, ALWAYS A RED, ROME 1977.
A lot of money was spent that day but the look on his face when he got home was well worth every penny spent.
Young Billy is now a 23 year old 6' 3" giant of a man, and has repeatedly thanked his Dad for showing him the light. The story is told as often by him as it is by me and we always laugh together, but I always wonder if he knows how close I came to giving in, and how close he came to living the rest of his life as a BLUENOSE.
© Wooltonian 2004
In todays society above action would probably be classed as child abuse and I would not suggest anyone follows my lead. But doing a lad's bedroom up is still within the realms of good parenthood."
*A big thank you to Wooly for allowing MyRAWK to reproduce his post*
……….”Now there's several things you never do in life - dump on your own doorstep, sell out or throw a hissy fit when the team's not playing well”…………..
Sitting in Anfield on Sunday afternoon was a bit like Back to the Future. It was almost like we'd gone back in time to the late 1990s and, at times, the latter days of Houllier's reign. I was half expecting to see Michael J. Fox parking the DeLorean on Walton Breck Road.
The atmosphere was completely flat, not helped by the day-tripping glory hunters (most of which hail from the Irish Republic) that have infested Anfield since 2001 and even more so since the European Cup triumph in Istanbul. One of the prime examples of this on Sunday was the idiot who threw his scarf on the pitch (thrown like "gayest of the gay pianists" according to one supporter) in frustration at the result. Now there's several things you never do in life - dump on your own doorstep, sell out or throw a hissy fit when the team's not playing well.
The majority of the club's seasoned supporters have been championing the Reclaim The Kop campaign, started in October 2006 after several uneducated one-game wonders started chanting "who are ya" at the travelling Bordeaux fans during the Champions League group stage game at Anfield.
The campaign has gone from strength to strength with the creation of Block 1892 at the back of the Kop and it is refreshing to hear songs from days gone by being aired without fail at every game but when the atmosphere goes flat like it did on Sunday, the cynics believe that the culpability lies with Reclaim The Kop - it shouldn't and it doesn't.
Here are a series of rules set out by RTK that people simply aren't following:
"Liverpool F.C exists as a source of pride for its supporters. It has no other purpose." If that is the club's pledge to us, here's ours to the team. "The Kop exists as a bastion of support. We will get behind the team through thick and thin. We will, always, give them strength."
This isn't happening at all and the blame for this is being shifted onto RTK. Instead of expecting Block 1892 to generate atmosphere, the owness should be on every individual entering Anfield, not just the Kop.
"Liverpool F.C. Supporters All Over The World." We don't tolerate racism. Everyone knows LFC, all around the globe. From Nairobi to Ngoya, we have fans, people who love us because we do things The Liverpool Way. We have style, we have honour, we have principles. We are a global force with a local pulse - truly, a club of the people."
This too isn't happening either. People wearing jester hats and putting daft names on the back of replica shirts is not a reflection of the style or principles that most of our supporters have been brought up on. Our local pulse is severely depleted due to the club's Priority Ticket Scheme (PTS) which allows all manner of people to obtain tickets - the majority of which are completely uneducated to the traditions and matchday culture that surrounds Liverpool Football Club.
"Our own icon, the symbol that makes The Kop a legend all over the world, is our anthem: You'll Never Walk Alone. If there is one thing that sets us apart as fans, it's this pre-match ritual, this war cry, our hymn of triumph, and occasional pain. We're custodians of the anthem, and we have to maintain it and pass it on to the next generation, in pristine condition. We can never dilute the song, its message and its impact with half-measures and bursts of applause half way through.
Let's respect the anthem and do it proud, sing it slowly and with heartfelt emotion, right to the end, scarves held high."
Once again, this isn't happening at all. There are people queueing at the turnstiles as YNWA is being sung, right up until the first five to ten minutes of the match. Some of those who do get in in time for YNWA are clapping halfway through and the fast-paced renditions of the 'Walk On' verse near the end of games is not how our anthem should be sung. In the closing stages of the Toulouse game in August, the Kop sung You'll Never Walk Alone from start to finish in the same way that they did before the game. It was the way that it should be sung. With all the bandwagon jumpers now following our club, there's absolutely no chance.
The current situation requires bigger action and it's just about reclaiming the Kop any more. The aways and Euro aways have become infested with idiots who don't know a single thing about our heritage, listen to the gospel according to Tim Lovejoy and his Soccer AM cronies and openly read the only publication reviled by Liverpool supporters the world over.
Enough is enough - it's now time to reclaim Liverpool Football Club.
*Are you RED enough? We will be planning a SPECIAL EVENT FOR ALL LIVERPOOL FANS FROM NEAR AND AFAR for the Everton V Liverpool match on OCT 20th at the M Bar (no cover charge).
There will be something special for everyone that comes in LFC shirt, so listen and watch out for more information on this. You'll Never Walk Alone!
Its Time To Reclaim Our Club, Our Beloved Liverpool Football Club*
The Liverpool duo are in line to make a swift return from their respective broken metatarsals in time to be considered for the Premier League visit to Everton on Saturday week.
Both Alonso and Agger have been sidelined since scans revealed the injuries following the 1-1 Champions League draw in Porto three weeks ago.
Neither player required an operation to repair the damage and were given an initial estimate of four to six weeks on the sidelines.
Benitez revealed last week that the pair were recovering well and “two to three weeks” away from a return to the first-team squad.
Of the two, Alonso is the more likely to be available for the trip across Stanley Park to face neighbours Everton at Goodison on October 20.
It would be a major tonic for Benitez, who has become increasingly under fire for his team’s underwhelming performances in recent weeks.
Liverpool needed a last-minute goal from Fernando Torres against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday to snatch a 2-2 draw and maintain their unbeaten league run.
But the continued unimpressive form is a concern with Benitez’s side facing a sequence of important games later this month, the Everton game followed by a crucial Champions League trip to Istanbul to play Besiktas and then the visit of leaders Arsenal.
And Steve Finnan believes it is imperative Liverpool now rediscover the verve that rocketed them to the top of the Premier League earlier this season.
“It’s half a dozen games now where we’ve produced poor performances, but we’ve got some big games coming up and we’ve got to get back to the form we were showing earlier in the season,” said Finnan.
“There’s a feeling of overall disappointment because we didn’t play well again and conceding two goals either side of half-time made it difficult for us. But it’s still early days and we’re still unbeaten in the league.
“It’s nice to be unbeaten in the league and the fact that we are still unbeaten and still getting results, even though we’re not playing well – apart from Wednesday night obviously – will help our confidence.”
Finnan joins the Republic of Ireland party today for the forthcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers against Germany and Cyprus, one of many Liverpool players on international duty for the next fortnight.
And the right-back added: “I don’t know whether the international break has come at a good time or not.
“Sometimes it’s good to get away and play a couple of international matches, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
taken from Liverpool Daily Post by Ian Doyle, Oct 9 2007
*Free gifts, special prizes and much more on OCT 20 at the M Bar. Details to be posted later.*
Submitted by tony on Tue, 2007-10-09 18:03. Liverpool FC • Discussion • Players
Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard says there is no need to panic after the Reds were held to a 2-2 draw with Spurs, meaning Liverpool have only managed one win in their last four league games.
After only beating Wigan 1-0, Liverpool have had 3 draws against Portsmouth, Birmingham and Tottenham; but Gerrard has asked the fans to trust him when he says there is no crisis at Anfield.
"We are going through a dip in form which all top teams do at some stage and we just have to make sure we play our way through it. We are not performing to the standards we can do, but that will change.
“I am asking the fans to trust me when I say there is no crisis here. We have fantastic players and a world-class manager and we will get things right again, there is no doubt about that.We have now got an international break which will give Rafa the chance to look at things and work with the players who are staying behind.
“For those of us going away, we have to get the jobs done with our countries and then come back ready for a massive match at Everton. If we can turn in a performance in the derby and win that game then things will be looking better again. That is what we will be aiming for.”
*There is a big game coming.Are you RED Enough?*
Monday, October 8, 2007
The numerous MyRawkites that had gathered at M Bar were hoping that our team sheet would be less dramatic and were praying for a performance worthy of wining the match. However, we were under no illusion that this would be an easy task as Spurs did come back to snatch a great point v Villa in their previous match after going behind 1-4. Some expected us to hammer the final nail into Martin Jol’s White Hart Lane career.
There were five changes to the starting line-up – Finnan (right back), Arbeloa (left back), Macherano (central midfield), Riise (left wing) and Voronin (striker) and most of us were quietly confident we would score since the Spurs keeper has been in a rather “charitable” mood lately. As early as the 12th minute, Voronin scored the opening goal after Robinson had spilled Gerrard’s free kick into his path. We played some decent football in the 1st half and should have been further ahead through Torres who dragged his shot just wide of the post and Gerrard who smacked his free kick against the post after Voronin was fouled outside the area.
The moment defining our frustrating day, came on the 34th minute when we squandered a gilt-edge scoring opportunity; Gerrard had released Torres with a clever through pass but he chose to pass the ball to Voronin, who refused to pull trigger and passed the ball back to Gerrard who in turn, only managed to shoot straight into the outstretched legs of Dawson.
We would regret missing the opportunity dearly when at the stroke of half time. Falling prey to some route one football, Berbatov beat Hyppia to Robinson’s long punt and Keane slipped pass Carragher to score the equalizer. Second half started as disastruosly as the first had ended as Keane scored a near identical goal to his first. Hyppia again beaten in the air and was having an almighty stinker on his 34th birthday.
Tottenham grew in confidence and started threatening our goal even more while we struggled to string together a decent attack. It was only after Rafa rung in the changes by bringing in Babel (Arbeloa 62 min), Kuyt (Pennant 69 min) and Benayoun (Voronin 77 min) that we managed to trouble the Spurs defense. However, they still caused us problems at the back by playing on the counter as we pushed further forward in desperation for that equalizer. Reina must be counting his lucky stars when he somehow managed to rob the ball off Berbatov when he came charging out of his goal.
Finally in injury time, our desperate attacking managed to salvage a point. Finnan put in a speculative cross from the right towards the far post for Torres to head home his seventh goal of the season. All of us in M Bar were relieved we somehow remained undefeated, albeit disappointed and frustrated with our disjointed play in the second half. Another two very valuable points dropped - not the kind of performances you would expect from a team marked as title challengers.
We left for home wondering why Gerrard was not playing higher up the pitch as it was Mascherano who did all the attacking and if Hyypia’s playing days are numbered. In a nutshell, all of us agreed that this display is still not good enough and the coming international break couldn’t have come at a better time for a change.
LIVERPOOL (4-4-2): Reina; Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Arbeloa (Babel 62); Pennant (Kuyt 69), Mascherano, Gerrard, Riise; Torres, Voronin (Benayoun 77). Subs: Itandje, Lucas.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (4-4-2): Robinson; Chimbonda, Dawson, Kaboul, Lee; Tainio (Malbranque 76), Zokora, Jenas, Bale; Berbatov, Keane. Subs: Cerny, Gardner, Huddlestone, Defoe.
BOOKING: Dawson (foul).
REFEREE: Mark Halsey.
ATT: 43,986.NEXT GAME: Everton v Liverpool, Barclays Premier League, Saturday, October 20 12.45pm.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Marseille looked confident, passing the ball like we should be doing at Anfield. They looked more like a top 4 league side than we were. Heck I thought even Derby looked better than us. I didn’t like the fact that Crouch started alongside Torres. WTF? Are we playing away? The onus should be on us to twat them at home.
The 2nd half was so painful to watch. I had expected Kuyt to replace Crouch at about 60 mins but instead only came on in the 75th, way too late. Where the hell was Gerrard in all of this? He’s performance has been disappointing since he came back from England duty. One could argue that he was exerted in the England games and played with a damaged toe. It could have been that his head was with the silly manc kid who ran out in front of his Bentley. Come on, Stevie-lad….you’re a professional. Get your head straight.
Throughout the 2nd half, Marseille looked like Liverpool and Liverpool looked like Shrewsbury. Slick passing was the order of the night but not for Liverpool though. We just couldn’t string passes together and kept giving away possession. It was this deadly habit, which gifted Marseille the goal they so richly deserve albeit they should have won 0-2 if not for the offside flag that ruled out Marseille’s 1st half goal by Karim Ziani.
We hardly threatened the Marseille goal. I couldn’t recall a decent attempt at goal until we had already conceded and Benayoun who had rescued us in the last 2 games headed wide and Torres hit the post amidst a scramble in front of goal in added time.
Why were there 5 changes made to the team and why Kuyt didn’t start I wouldn’t know. I’m not Rafa. It is fair to say that the players let Rafa down but it can also be argued that Rafa did not play his best 11. I know, I know. We’ve all been down this road before. If we win, Rafa is the world’s best tactician, but we lost therefore we question him. Sack Rafa for Pete’s sake. I feel despite my reluctance to accept rotation, it has worked before. This time round, I think the players have let Rafa and Reds all over the world down. It is epitomized in the performances of Stevie Gerrard recently.
One could give a rat’s behind about the Champions’ League this season as we chase after No. 19 but the performances in the CL and league are hardly motivating and teams are beginning to think to themselves we can pick Liverpool apart. Maybe rival managers are beginning to figure Rafa out, maybe Rafa’s losing it, maybe the players are on the take, maybe the refs are on the take, maybe the players don’t give a crap.
Whatever it may be, the rot had better stop now. Otherwise, we're gonna be finding ourselves scrapping for a Champions’ League spot again and maybe, just maybe, win the League Cup. And that is a very optimistic view on my part already.
Come on you Reds. We are Liverpool Football Club. Not the Mickey Mouse Club.
Monday, October 1, 2007
After two uninspired and downright frustrating scoreless draws in the premiership, the assembled Kopites at Mbar was understandably edgy and a touch too anxious for the visit to the JJB. Rafa’s squad rotation continued but he limited the changes to just Riise on the left wing while Kuyt was joined by Torres upfront which seemed to please the assembled masses.
As early as the second minute, former Reds keeper Chris “Sicknote” Kirkland was tested by a swerving Stevie G free kick. But that was the sum total of goal mouth action for the next 30 minutes as both sides engaged in the proverbial midfield battle.
Yaaaawn. . .
It took a bad pass from Koumas to spark our strikers into action when Kuyt intercepted the ball and sent Torres clear with only the keeper to beat. Kirkland made a good save but was lucky the rebound off “El Nino” did not bounce into his empty gaping goal. Numerous chances were then wasted as Riise, Pennant, Kuyt and finally Torres trying an audacious scissor kick after Arbeloa had sent an inviting cross into the Lactics penalty box. With the scoreline still 0-0, frustration levels were on the rise again. We should have been awarded a penalty when Titus “the Joker of St James” Bramble cluttered into Big Sami in the box but ref wasn’t convinced.
The second half started with a scare when Bent was left unmarked and beat Pepe with a ferocious shot, only to be wrongly penalised for offside (Shanks must be watching our backs from up there as the game was being played on the 26th anniversary of the great man’s passing). That certainly woke us up and we started to push further up to get that elusive goal leaving greater gaps for Wigan to exploit at the back.
Only bad finishing from Scharner and great goal keeping from Pepe stopped us from going behind. Sensing the urgency to score, Rafa brought in Benayoun to replace Aurelio on the hour. In the 75th minute, he out witted and turned a couple of defenders before slotting the ball pass the charging Kirkland into the back of the net after receiving a pass from Pennant just outside the box.
That goal was a beauty (Benayoun’s second spectacular goal in as many matches) and it sent everyone in M Bar into a frenzy. Cue plenty of clenched fists punching the air and plenty of high five smacks.
Yossi Benayoun Vs Wigan - The most amazing bloopers are here
However, the Lactics never relented and gave us a real fight right till the end. In stoppage time, they nearly broke our hearts when Aghahowa headed the ball when it would have been easier to score. (Must have been Shanks blowing him off balance from above again . . .)
The match was interesting as it had everything – good football at times, bad defending by both sides and lousy finishing. All of us nearly pulled our hair out in frustration when we missed so many chances.
Nevertheless, we all continued to sing merrily and went home glad with three precious points in the bag. Let’s hope we do not repeat the sub par performance from our past few matches in the Champion’s League Match day two game against Marseille at home, kicking off this Thurday, 4th Oct at 2:30 am on Astro channel 812 – ESPN (please double check listing in case there is changes).
(4-4-2): C Kirkland 7 – M Melchiot 8, E Boyce 6, T Bramble 7, K Kilbane 6 – P Scharner 7 (sub: R Taylor, 82min), M Brown 7, J Skoko 6, J Koumas 6 – M Bent 6, J Aghahowa 3.Substitutes not used:M Pollitt, F Hall, A Granqvist, S Olembe.Booked: Brown, Melchiot. Next: Manchester United (a).
Liverpool 1 Benayoun 75
(4-4-2): J M Reina 6 – Á Arbeloa 5, J Carragher 6, S Hyypia 6, F Aurélio 6 (sub: Y Benayoun, 56, 7) – J Pennant 5 (sub: A Voronin, 82), S Gerrard 6, J Mascherano 6, J A Riise 5 - F Torres 6 (sub: M Sissoko, 89), D Kuyt 6. Substitutes not used: C Itandje, S Finnan. Booked: Mascherano. Next: Tottenham Hotspur (h).
Referee: M Clattenburg