Friday, August 29, 2008

UCL: Liverpool 1 vs 0 Standard Liege, Match Report By Jon Cheah

UCL: Liverpool 1 vs 0 Standard Liege – The Great European Escape Pt II, By Jon Cheah

Having barely scraped through the 2 wins in the EPL and the 1st leg draw in Liege, most will be wondering how long more can our lucky streak continue. The previous lackluster performances have got most Reds jumpy and on the edge of their seats. However, most will be sure that a typical European night will bring the best out of the team and the vocal home support will roar them on.

Unfortunately what conspired on Wednesday night didn’t follow the usual Anfield European tie script. In a somewhat more polished outing compared to the shambles that happened in Liege, we still couldn’t contain the youthful and energetic Standard team. Their quick counter attacking play kept our defenders and Pepe on their toes throughout the entire match.

We showed glimpses of good buildup play early in the 1st half with great interlinking play around Standard’s penalty box at the Kop end. But our final balls, touches and shooting were still pretty poor. On the other end, our defense was barely able to contain their fast counter attacking through Mbokani and Fellaini. Pepe was called into action twice to palm away two very good efforts from them. Skrtel, who was paired with Carra, was a lot more comfortable compared to Agger in the first leg.

Keane and Torres were both struggling to find their foothold throughout the entire game and were not helped by limited service from the midfield. But when clear chances did come their way, their finishing was poor. El NiƱo was not his usual self and was clearly put off by the physical marking on him. Keane was running everywhere trying to link up the play to no avail. We ended up resorting to long range speculative shots from beyond the penalty box through Gerrard and Alonso when we could not break down the stubborn and resolute Standard defense.
Our severe lack of width was cruelly exposed time and again when we were crowded out in the midfield area and could not penetrate their flanks through Benayoun and Kuyt. The gaffer finally saw the need to solve the problem and brought in Babel to replace the Israeli international in the middle of the 2nd half. But the young Flying Dutchman was still not in his element after missing a chunk of preseason through injury and Olympics duty.

The turning tide came when El Zhar was brought in late in the second half to replace a Keane that is still trying to find his feet in the team. Kuyt was then moved next to Torres while El Zhar was given specific instructions to stay and hog on the right by-line. Our attacking play improved tremendously and we resumed more control over the remainder of the match. Arbeloa then came close to breaking the dreadlock right at the end of normal time with a ferocious drive that was palmed away by Arogon, the Standard keeper.

The same pattern of play continued as we pressed on for that elusive goal in extra time. Most would have been mentally prepared for the penalty lottery, but our Dutchmen conspired otherwise by working together to finally score THE goal. Babel did great work down the left and sent in a perfect cross for Kuyt to score with a tap in at the far corner. It was enough to send Anfield into a frenzy and £12million into the club’s coffers. That strike alone was enough to pay his entire transfer fee and then some from Feyenoord.

The indifferent start to the season has dumbfounded a lot of Reds even though some have argued that we are perennial slow starters. I personally disagree and believe that we cannot afford to repeat the slow starts anymore, especially when the standard among the teams in the EPL and UCL have been raised so dramatically. We risk being consigned to being “also rans” before we even hit the usual dramatic holiday period and knock-out stage.

The alarming and desperate need for outright wingers cannot be ignored and be emphasized enough. It is not some left footed utility player ala Barry that can play in 3 positions that we need. We must move quickly and sign Albert Riera or some other English winger that the gaffer is eyeing immediately as it will never be easy to fit into a new team once the season has already started. The new wide man will definately have a steep learning curve to adapt to the team. Till then, we better keep our fingers crossed and hope that the fickle minded lady luck stays with us for a little longer while we find our feet.

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Kuyt, Gerrard, Alonso, Benayoun (Babel 61), Keane (El Zhar 83), Torres (Plessis 120).Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Spearing.
Goals: Kuyt 118.

Standard Liege: Aragon, Camozzato, Onyewu, Sarr, Dante, Dalmat (Jovanovic 86), Fellaini, Defour (Nicaise 118), Witsel, De Camargo (Toama 101), Mbokani.Subs Not Used: Devriendt, Goreux, Mikulic, Ingrao.

Booked: Sarr, De Camargo, Dante.

Att: 43,889

Ref: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland).

Monday, August 25, 2008

EPL: Liverpool 2 vs 1 Middlesborough, Match Report By Jon Wong

Liverpool 2-1 Middlesbrough: Hometown Heroes

There was a lot of excitement in anticipation of the first home match at Anfield in the Premier League. I had wanted to see our new number 7 notch a goal in front of the Kop and witness a potentially deadly partnership blossoming between El Nino and Keano; or as one of the lads would call it, El Keano.

The first 10-15 minutes of the match appeared bright for the Reds as we looked to be in control with some nice runs and Kuyt had a fierce 25-yard drive turned away by Boro keeper, Ross Turnbull who was standing in for Brad Jones who was injured during the warm-up.

However, Boro was not to be overawed and understandably so having beaten Spurs on the opening day of the season. Their confidence saw them keep their shape and game plan of putting men behind the ball and hitting the Reds on the counter. We did not help ourselves as our performance were still not up to mark but I think we did better than when we played Sunderland last week.

The Reds were having a tough time penetrating Boro and the referee, Mike Riley did not help matters as he never provided Torres and Keane any protection from the Boro players. Towards the close of the 1st half, signs of the El Keano partnership reared its head as Keane side footed the ball to put Torres thrugh only for Huth to block his shot.

The Kop was buzzing and hoped that the players would come out and knock Boro back but more of the same awful performances by the midfield were in store. At that time, Stevie G was almost invisible; Xabi and Yossi kept giving the ball away. Kuyt with his Eveready-bunny performance was not going to help our cause at that point.

The clock was running down and Southgate called on Mido to add some attacking bite into proceedings. Boro were rewarded with a wonderful 25-yard strike 20 minutes from time by the Egyptian who scored his 2nd goal of the season, after coming on for Boro as he did against Spurs last week. It was deserved for the visitors as they took the game to us right from the get go.

It looked like one of those games where the Reds were going to be locked out as the visitors began to see the real possibility of a first victory at Anfield in 23 years. And who could blame them. We were dishing out drivel and it was quite evident as Babel didn’t even get a touch on the ball until about 10 minutes after his introduction.

We did start to approach the game with a lot more urgency but by then, my head and my heart were both telling me ‘we suck’ and were going to lose this one. Best we could get is a draw.

The drawing goal did come 5 minutes from time but via a very unlikely source of none other than our Carra-diator. The scouser let fly from the edge of the box and his luck was taken off Pogatetz as the shot deflected it off the Boro captain and wrong-footed Turnbull who was diving to his right. The Kop exploded and then all the nail-biting started. Could we? Couldn’t we? 3 points. Is it possible?

The only thing Riley did all night was to put out 3 minutes of injury time and some more after injury to a Boro player. With time running out, the script was set for Captain Marvel himself to rescue the 2 points that looked destined to be lost. Xabi’s best pass of the night was to float the ball over the top and it broke for Stevie G to lash into the top corner for a hard- fought win.
This sort of play-like-crap-but-win-in-the-end performance were trademarks of championship winning sides like manscum and chelski. Hopefully, it’s our turn. Let’s not get carried away though because the performance in the last 3 games including the UCL qualifier against Liege will be punished eventually. Good wingers, anyone?

Beijing 2008 OIympics: Mascherano's 2nd Gold!

Monster Masch Claims 2nd Olympic Football Gold

On August 23rd 2008, the Reds’ midfield monster, Javier Mascherano made history by becoming the first Argentinean to have won 2 Olympic football gold medals. His first gold medal was won in Athens four years ago when Argentina beat Paraguay 1-0.

Masch found his way to the gold medal when his team of Argentinean wizards hold out Nigeria for a 1-0 win in Beijing. The goal was courtesy of Angel Di Maria, scored in the 58th minute of regulation time.

Masch will join up with the Reds back at Merseyside together with Lucas who won the bronze medal after Brazil beat Belgium 3-0 in the bronze medal match.
Congratulations to both and may you help us to glory in claiming numbers 19 and 6 come May 2009

Thursday, August 21, 2008

International Friendlies – Reds in Action, By Jon Wong

International Friendlies – Reds in Action

As much as I hate the idea of international friendlies, they are very much a part of the football calendar. I just have no idea why UEFA and FIFA schedule them one match into England’s Premier League season. It’s just plain disruptive. I’ll leave that for another day.

Anyway, we had some Reds in action in midweek, representing their countries for badly scheduled friendlies. Reina, Alonso and Torres starred for Spain against Agger’s Denmark, Finnan made his international return with Keane for the Republic of Ireland, Gerrard played for England and Dossena earned his 2nd cap with Italy.

Alonso scored twice in Spain’s win against Denmark 3-0. Our new number 7 bagged his 34th international goal as the Republic of Ireland drew 1-1 with Norway. Both Gerrard and Dossena’s teams drew 2-2 with the Czech Republic and Austria respectively.

Fortunately, at time of writing, there’s no report of injuries to the Reds players, so here’s hoping we beat Boro this weekend with a fully fit team. Oh! And Babbel’s back from Beijing too.

Red Olympians, By Jon Wong

Red Olympians

It seems that Lucas Leiva took the above title too literally as he saw a red card flashed at his foul on his Liverpool team mate Javier Mascherano. The club mates were engaged in the Olympic Mens’ Football Semi Final where Argentina outclassed Brazil 3-0 to deny the World Cup winners an Olympic gold yet again.

Lucas was shown a straight red card while his team mate Thiago Neves was also sent off for a tackle on Mascherano as well.

Argentina’s goals came from a Sergio Aguero brace and a late penalty from Juan Riquelme. All goals coming in the second half.

Argentina now marches into the Final against African powerhouse, Nigeria this Saturday. Mascherano has the chance to earn himself a second Olympic gold medal while Lucas may have to settle for bronze should Brazil come out tops in the bronze medal match.

Good luck to both.

Monday, August 18, 2008

EPL: Sunderland 0 - 1 Liverpool, Match Report By Jonno

The march towards number 19 has started!

It was a highly anticipated match, especially with the never ending transfer saga involving a certain captain of a midlands club. On top of that the capture of our new number seven, Robbie Keane (Reggie Keane to some), made most of us looking forward to this match even more than usual. Sunderland have strengthened their squad themselves with a host of players, many of them the former colleagues of our own Robbie, and a certain spitter that we all love to hate.

The match started with both sides lining up with a 4 - 4 - 2, that surprised me a little, I would say that many would be expecting the 4 - 2 - 3 - 1 which served us so well towards the end of last season and with teams needing to hit the ground running rather than ease their way into the season, it was certainly a strange decision from Rafa, especially with Xabi missing from the starting line-up. His place was taken by Damien Plesis, a promising bright young star that had starring roles in last season's march towards becoming the national champion with the Reserves. Another surprise was the inclusion of Sami ahead of Daniel Agger, although that one is more understandable with Sunderland looking to pump lots of high ball into the area.

Many were cursing Rafa when Sami had a mad moment with his weak header inviting Diouf of all people to have a clear sight of goal, luckily, as usual, Carra came to our rescue, nicking the ball away to concede a corner. From there, both sides were sussing each other out with hopeful probing balls that came to naught.

Sensing that we are still feeling our way through the match, Sunderland grew in confidence, starting to ask more questions of us, often packing the midfield to choke us and not allowing much space. We were lucky that their players were feeling their way through as well and weren't as sharp. They did however, snap us into action and the Reds were passing with a little more zest and purpose towards the second period of the half, however, these moves were often broken down by Sunderland who packed their defense and covering midfielders, at times with as many as 6 in the box to track runs and frustrate the Reds, and frustrate they did. There were a few moments of brilliance from the Reds when they put some nice passes together to open up the Sunderland defense and got a few shots in, one such moment was when Robbie cleverly brought down the ball, swiveled and let one fly with his left boot which missed the right hand post by about a foot. So close yet so far.

Sunderland were happy to go into half time scoreless, but they know that half time came at the right time, for them, just as we were controlling the game and started asking serious question about them.

The second half started the way the first one ended, Xabi came on for Damien who had a bit of a back problem and Liverpool came flying off the blocks, stepping up a couple of gears and went looking for that first goal that would open the game up. The warning was there, we are not leaving until we get the 3 points we came for, it almost came when Kuyt somehow managed to conjure space for himself and tested Gordon with his left foot, the rebound dropped nicely for our strikers to follow up but both Robbie and El Nino went for the same ball and El Nino's shot actually came off Robbie and went out for a goal kick, much to our frustration.

Next was Xabi's turn to try when he let fly another beauty from inside our half that sent Gordon scrambling back, only to breathe a sigh of relief to see it sail wide by a couple of feet. By this time, Robbie was already taken off and replaced with another youngster who impressed in the reserves, Nabil El Zhar. He brought much pace to the right hand side with Kuyt moved to a more central role.

As the match was drawing to a close, it was Xabi who made the difference when he sent a searching ball towards Torres who let fly a daisy cutter that went all the way and bulged the net. That sent the travelling fans and M Bar into a bouncing frenzy, with the fans bouncing nonstop until the final whistle came.

It wasn't vintage Liverpool, more of a smash and grab job at Sunderland, but I will take the 3 points as it was the first game of the season and a usual, our lads are still some way from full fitness and understanding, not less between Robbie and Nando, but there are signs that this team can push on, with lots of improvement that can be made and especially our Olympians who are due back soon, it's a nice build up to the bigger tests that await us. With the new look team and depth; it certainly excites any Red in the world as we look forward to the Boro game at home next week with greater anticipation. Boro are no pushovers, as shown when they beat a more fancied Spurs 2 - 1, but we know we will be fitter, stronger and another week's worth of training under our belt and we certainly look forward for Robbie to make his competitive bow at Anfield in the League. Walk on...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

MyRAWK's Got A New Home!

The MyRAWK Committee is pleased to announce that we've launched our very own brand spanking new website. Point your browsers to to check it out. There will be new features to be added to our new home. Stay tuned while we improve our home further. - Home to the loudest and most passionate independent LFC supporting community in Malaysia!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jon W's View on The Barry Transfer Saga:

The Red’s Given a Barry-go-round?
Look, I don’t know about other Reds but me…I don’t think I rate Gareth Barry as much as Rafa seems to. Now I’m not saying that Rafa’s out of his mind to suggest the American w4nk3rs fork out £18mil for him, it’s just that I don’t think he’s worth that much. I’m not English but I’m all for seeing more local players being given a chance to shine on the pitch. However, the caveat is English players plying their trade in the UK cost a bomb. Who’d blame Rafa, the fergies, the russians and the whingers for bringing in foreign talent that cost a tenth that has more heart to play than the local lads?

Bottom line is Barry, in my mind should only cost about £8mil tops.

Then there’s the whole transfer issue with Rafa and O’Neill trading barbs and Barry adding fuel to fire by lambasting his manager all over the press. Bloody embarrassing. Bert suggested that the whole thing could have been avoided if Barry would just throw in his transfer request. It would have saved everyone a lot of headache. I didn’t think so at first. I just thought that Barry didn’t do so just because he needed the insurance that if our ‘proud’ owners refused to sanction the purchase, he’d still be a Villan. Now, I am not so sure. Why?

The sod is now cup-tied! He played in Villa’s UEFA Cup qualifier. The interview with O'Neill yielded this answer:

O'Neill added after the match that it had been Barry's decision to play.

"I had a talk with him beforehand. He was in the right frame of mind and wanted to play and there was nothing that would have stopped him which was very pleasing," he said.

"He wanted to play and he knew the consequences so the decision was very much his."

I thought he wanted Champions League football? If he was still hopeful and wanted to come to us badly, he would have begged not to be played. And hand in his transfer request too. Shows me one thing; he doesn’t have the heart and passion Rafa looks for. He can stay with the Villans as long as he wants to.

We’ve certainly been given the Barry-go-round. In a chat I had with Bert this morning, I created a new word to describe him. I can’t reproduce the individual words here since the content should be family friendly. The new term is ‘Fwankwitard’. It’s a combination of 3 very ‘poetic’ words. Can you make out what they are? A mug of bevy or Coke on me this Saturday if you can guess.

UCL: Standard Liege 0 Vs 0 Liverpool FC, Match Report By Will Tan

Our long march towards Rome 2009 started in Liege, Belgium yesterday. Perhaps Standard Liege was considered an ideal opposition before the match but it was anything but that once the whistle blew for the kick-off.

Standard Liege was the Belgian champions last season and they had only lost once in the league then, which indicated the dangerous nature of our opposition. From the moment the ball was kicked, the Belgians seemed to have the extra spring on their heels and seemed to have an extra speed and an air going about their task of upsetting the Mighty Reds from Merseyside. The Belgians were truly up for the game and raised their game throughout. The Belgians’ coach, Laszlo Boloni had his wish granted for the Belgians to play above themselves and for Liverpool to play poorly on the night. It was so evident the Liverpool players were always second best during the match and their passing was haphazard at best. Even experienced players like Alonso, Kuyt and Agger kept giving the ball away.

As early as the seventh minute, the Belgians warned the Liverpudlians of their intent by having Fellaini’s header crashed against the inside of the post before Pepe managed to claw the rebound away from crossing the line into the back of the net. The Belgians claimed that the ball had gone in but the referee and his assistant stood by their decision not to award a goal.

Still, our players failed to heed the warning and in the 12th minute, Dossena was penalised for a raised hand to stop a cross and a penalty was duly given despite the protests from Arbeloa and Dossena that it was outside the box and that it was ball to hand. This time, the referee sided with the Belgians. Pepe, Liverpool’s penalty king was handed the arduous task of stopping Dante’ penalty. Luckily for Pepe and us, Dante’s penalty was somewhat more of a mishit and tame and for a keeper like Pepe’s caliber, managed to save another penalty and we survived a potential tie killer. Liege would have parked the bus from then on and hit us on the break.

Still, our back 4 of Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger and Dossena had trouble coping with the zippy play of the Belgians who were quick and decisive in their play and had belief and played with passion and their hearts to take the game to Liverpool. Significantly, these were all the attributes that were missing from the Liverpool team throughout the match. In the 66th minute, even the ever reliable Pepe Reina had almost missed a cross from Dante and it cannoned off his arms and the ball headed towards goal until Benayoun cleared the goal bound ball in the six yard box. And Pepe was by far the busier keeper of the two and had made countless saves. In one of their dangerous attacks, the young Brazilian leftback, Dante made a 30-40 yard glorious cross towards the penalty box taking our Carragher with it and De Carmago headed narrowly wide with Pepe scrambling to his sides and the ‘oohhs’ from the home crowd was deafening …….

Our play was tentative and hesitant and we hardly troubled the Belgian keeper. In the middle of the park, Plessis and Alonso took to the pitch whilst Gerrard was rested and Carragher was made captain for the night. Benayoun and Kuyt were on the flanks with Robbie Keane and Fernando Torres upfront. With no shots to show for their effort, our front line looked like a flop. The Belgians had our GBP48m frontline in their pockets with intelligent double team every time our front two had the ball and they were not able to muster any trouble for the Belgian keeper. And Torres’s frustration showed when he had a shot from 30 yards that flew wide – so did Xabi Alonso who had a mis-kick from a similar range that was closer to the corner flag than the Belgian goal. That pretty much sums up our attacking game ….. and the night

Even when Gerrard was called into action replacing our new GBP20million dollar man, Robbie Keane, Gerrard did not manage to galvanize his teammates. He could do no more than flash 2 free kicks goal bound - one zipped narrowly over the bar whilst the other was an easy catch for the Belgian keeper in the last few minutes of extra time.

The game bore a lot of similarity with last season’s away game against Besiktas and it was a nightmare to relive it over again. Only this time, we were lucky to have come out from the game with a scoreless draw when it could have easily been a loss. Well done to Standard Liege for they proved to be worthy opposition for our team and were better than us on the night. If Liege had had one striker on form or a high profile striker like Keane or Torres in their side, it could well have been a different story.

The sleeping RED giant from Mersey had better be awake in a fortnight if our ambition for a chance to lift No.6 in Rome 2009 still burns, for we will need a gigantic improvement from last night’s performance. After all, if we lose in Anfield in a fortnight, we will be out of Europe for the season and many would not be able to fathom such financial and reputation devastation.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Post Match Interview with Andy Townsend- UCL Qualifier: Standard Liege VS Liverpool FC

To all Fans, last night's game really stunk and we were lucky that we were saved by Pepe Reina. Last night's combination of El Keano (El Nino and Robbie Keane) looks promising but you might want to think to get this thing going a bit more faster!!

Anyhow, please enjoy the post match interview brought to you from MyRAWK TV! See you this SATURDAY/SUNDAY at the M BAR @ 12:30AM. For those that do not know where the M BAR, its after Eastin Hotel, PJ at Phileo Damansara 1. See you there for the start of the march to no. 19.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

EPL 08-09 Season Opener: Sunderland vs Liverpool

EPL football season is back and so is MyRAWK's match gathering. Come join us to watch The Reds take on a Sunderland side managed by an old foe: Roy Keane, this Saturday nite / Sunday morning late kick-off game. Join in the chanting and singing to support our new strike partnership - Fernando "El Nino" Torres and Robbie Keane, one of the most feared attacking force in the EPL. We'll also be making an important and exciting announcement and launch a brand new look for MyRAWK. So, Are You RED Enough to join us this weekend?

Match: Sunderland vs Liverpool FC
Ground: The Stadium of Light
Date: August 17, 2008 (SUNDAY)
Kick Off: 12:25 am
Astro Channel: 813
Venue: The MBAR, (next to Eastin Hotel PJ)
Cover Charge: NONE
Membership Fee: NONE

Pls email to: for more info.
Contact: +6014 332 9718/ +6012 335 9208

** The new look MyRAWK is coming!**

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pre-season Friendly: Valerenga VS Liverpool Tonight Live on Astro!


Fellow MyRAWKites,

Please take note of the live pre-season friendly match against Valerenga, starting 00:55 tonight on astro - channel 811: SuperSport.

Catch our new boys: Keane, N'gogg, Dossena, Cavalieri and our highly rated youngster in action!

** LFC won the match 1-4, with goals from Alonso, Torres, Benayoun and N'gog.