TRUE KOPITES WE ARE THE REDS COMMUNITY PAGE
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Well here we go again another derby on the horizon as we travel to Goodison this Saturday for the first derby of the season. Always a passionate affair as we look to put the Blue Noses in their place.
The score in these games is never predictable, no matter the form going into the game. But what is predictable is the way Everton play, for as long as I can remember all they ever do is try to kick us off the park, so we can’t expect anything different this weekend, especially as they have more limited resources than usual, basically they are skint, and poor old Davie Moyes doesn’t have much to work with. Although through gritted teeth I have to say he has done a superb job with Everton.
Every derby game is so important regardless of League positions, we the supporters want bragging rights for a while at least over our nearest neighbours, and defeat in the derby is horrendous, with families split over loyalties it has to be your team that wins to keep your sanity.
Unfortunately nowadays TV has rescheduled kick-off times, this time making it a 12:45 start. But nothing can take away the passion both sets of supporters show.
So many great memories from these derby matches, with my favourite one being the win over the Toffees in the 1986 FA Cup Final to win the Double with Jan Molby the architect of that famous win. I also have great memories of Ian Rush who seemed to score in every game against Everton to much delight. Gary McAllister’s amazing late winner in the last minute, there is too many too mention. We live for future memories to add to our collection.
Back to the present, Kenny will travel the short journey across Stanley Park with the boost of a home win against Wolves last Saturday after the two disappointing away defeats. But Kenny who has far more options available to him this season after all the comings and goings of the summer, has some key decisions to make in his team selection.
I feel Kenny is still trying to find his strongest side, and now he has the added bonus of Gerrard back and fit again after breaking him in gently in the last two matches. Dalglish has the dilemma in the centre of midfield of who should patrol the centre of the midfield, Lucas and Adam have played well together but now Gerrard is fit will he start him and drop one of the two mentioned.
On the right side of midfield Henderson has been ever present since his arrival in the summer, although his contribution in many of the games come under scrutiny, and with Dirk Kuyt champing at the bit for a game and having a record of scoring important goals and in recent times against Everton, he may be brought back in to the side.
Up front, its’ Suarez and another, but who, Carroll has struggled to live up to his billing and price tag, although he impressed against Wolves without scoring. Bellamy is another option and he was unlucky to miss out against Wolves after a good performance last midweek at Brighton and also scoring. Kuyt has been a partner to Suarez this season in games already this season and combined well. Then there is Gerrard who could play just behind Suarez, so Kenny has some hard decisions to make, but like every Liverpool supporter I’m sure he’ll get it right.
My team for Saturday would be Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique, Kuyt, Lucas, Gerrard, Downing, Bellamy, Suarez. I think this would be a very strong team with good options to attack and strong defensively.
For a prediction I’m going to go for a 3-1 win for Liverpool and a good weekend. If we get this result then I’m sure I will add to my memories collection.
Posted by james walker at 06:12
Thursday, 22 September 2011
BRIGHTON 1-2 LIVERPOOL MATCH REPORT
Liverpool in need of a morale boosting win and performance travelled to the south coast to Brighton for this perilous Carling Cup encounter. Brighton have been in superb form this season since their promotion to the Championship, although they tasted their first defeat of the season last Saturday. But at their impressive new Amex Stadium they remain unbeaten. So this would prove a tough tie for Liverpool whose early season form has stuttered in recent weeks with back to back away defeats. So Liverpool would be hopeful of getting back to winning ways and continue on their quest to reach the new Wembley for the first time.
As expected Kenny made a few changes to the side that lost to Spurs on Sunday with Robinson, Maxi, Kuyt, Bellamy and the fit again Martin Kelly starting, also new signing Coates made his first start for Liverpool, partnering Carragher in the heart of the defence. Surprisingly no start for Carroll but Liverpool were encouraged with the news that talisman Steven Gerrard was on the bench and hope to feature for the first time in 6 months for the Reds.
Liverpool started brightly looking like a team with a point to prove and they looked threatening from the first whistle, and they were rewarded in the 7th minute when Bellamy who was making his first start for Liverpool since his return, fired an angled shot low past Angergren after being played through by Suarez.
It was a great start by Liverpool as they had the home side chasing shadows. Kuyt almost doubled the lead when he headed a Maxi cross towards goal but Greer made a goal line clearance. Liverpool continued to press for the second goal and should got it but Suarez was wasteful when shooting wide when one on one with Angergren after a lovely one two with Kuyt.
Bellamy and Suarez were causing Brighton all sorts of problems with their movement and the next chance came courtesy of a Bellamy free-kick which Suarez headed clipping the post with his attempt. Then on 40 minutes Bellamy hit a rocket of a free-kick from 35 yards which smashed against the underside of the Brighton crossbar and away to safety.
Spearing had a left foot shot brilliantly saved by Angergren as Liverpool continued to threaten. But with all the domination they almost went in at half-time level but for a tremendous intervention by Kelly with Reina beaten.
Brighton came out with far more purpose after the break and almost scored immediately when Coates misplaced a pass straight to Navarro who’s shot rattled off the crossbar with Reina beaten. Moments later Coates made amends with a superb challenge on Noone as Brighton threatened.
Another good Brighton move resulted in Sparrow shooting but Reina saving comfortably. Liverpool were given a massive lift when Kenny sent on his Captain for Suarez in the 73rd minute with the away support giving Gerrard a standing ovation with pleasure at seeing their hero for the first time in 6 months.
Brighton continued to look for the equaliser but were dealt a blow in the 81st minute when a swift Liverpool counter attack saw Bellamy release Maxi who then unselfishly played Kuyt in on the right hand edge of the Brighton box who placed a low shot in off the far post and into the Brighton net giving Liverpool that crucial second goal.
Brighton did manage to score a late consolation goal from the penalty spot which Barnes converted but it was too little too late as Liverpool held on for a very good win taking them into the next round of the Carling Cup.
This was a very good performance against a very confident side in Brighton. Dalglish had a good mix of youth and experience in his side which I like as he has many options now. Good to see Coates starting and apart from one misplaced pass I thought he did well alongside Carragher. I was also very pleased to see Bellamy start with Suarez and their movement caused Brighton all sorts of problems. Bellamy has made a big statement with his performance for a regular game now, I thought he was superb and great to see him scoring too. Kuyt shows how valuable to the team his once again with his work ethic and also how is always capable of nicking a goal. Martin Kelly did very well coming back into the side and gives us a more solid looking right side of defence. But moment of the night was the return of Gerrard after 6 long months out, a welcomed sight for every Liverpool supporter. A great night all round for Liverpool as they responded superbly to the disaster at the weekend. In the first half we played some superb football and should have scored more but then we defended well when Brighton came back into the game and always looked dangerous on the break. A welcomed performance by Liverpool as we now look to the Wolves game with our confidence back.
Man Of The Match – Bellamy – a superb game, lively, great movement, linked up well with Suarez and scored a great goal, very unlucky with his effort from long range.
Posted by james walker at 06:20
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Well the honeymoon period is well and truly over for Kenny with the impressive impact he had on Liverpool last season on his return a distant memory. His team’s good start to the season has been dramatically derailed with back to back losses away from home.
This is Kenny’s first mini-crisis since his return and the performance against Spurs on Sunday has already started alarm bells ringing. The way the team was outplayed has worried many supporters but also Kenny has been receiving criticism with his team selection and tactics.
It doesn’t take long for supporters to press the panic button when results go against you. Much has been said about Andy Carroll being a waste of money already and Jordan Henderson should be dropped. I’m sure Kenny understands the supporters’ frustration and he will take the defeats sorer than the most diehard Kopites.
My take on events at Anfield this season are that we are looking a far stronger team than this time last year with a larger squad also. In my view we have plenty of options with the players brought in and cover in every position.
We started the season well and have been playing well up until Sunday which was our worst performance since Kenny returned to the club. We should have more points in the league but Lady Luck has not been shining on us so far.
As far as our new signings go, we have to be patient and give them time to settle in. We seem to forget Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll are still very young and they are now at a massive club with massive price tags weighing them down, once they are released from their weight of expectation they will become key players for us for a very long time. So hopefully the supporters get behind them and show their support to them.
As for the defeat at Spurs I agree that it was a dreadful performance and I do believe that Kenny got his tactics wrong on the day. I didn’t like Skrtel playing at right back and thought this was a total mismatch against Gareth Bale, and unfortunately proved to be the case as Skrtel was eventually sent off. I also was disappointed to see Downing on the right and Henderson on the left and no place for Kuyt in the side.
It is so easy to criticise a manager after a defeat, at the end of the day the manager has to select a team and this season he has many options which must make it even more difficult. If he got a positive result it would have been plaudits all round.
In my opinion Sunday was just a bad day at the office for the Reds which every team gets. Even Sir Alex gets his team and tactics wrong at times, so no one is immune to these unhappy days. But we have to remember we all wanted Kenny back and now with a couple of defeats we are getting on his back. I’m sure we will have more defeats during the season, hopefully none as bad as Sunday, but we have to trust Kenny and where he is taking us and I have every faith he will take us to glory.
So let’s be patient, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Posted by james walker at 11:29
Monday, 19 September 2011
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4-0 LIVERPOOL MATCH REPORT
With Liverpool having a week to scratch their heads over how they managed to lose at Stoke last week, it was imperative that they bounced back away to Spurs today. Liverpool has started the season well, and was extremely unlucky at Stoke. But a good result against Spurs was needed as they will be one of Liverpool’s main challengers for a top four spot this season. Spurs had a very good away win at Wolves last week inflicting them with their first defeat of the season, so their confidence was high going into this match. Liverpool’s record in recent years is poor at White Hart Lane having lost there for the last three seasons. So a big performance would be needed.
Kenny made one change to the side which lost at Stoke with Carroll returning to the side in place of Kuyt. Skrtel once again deputised at right-back with Downing being switched to the right of midfield and Henderson moving over to the left. Dalglish posted an attacking threat with Suarez and Carroll being partnered up front. Lucas and Adam once again were paired in the middle of midfield, with Carragher and Agger in the centre of defence.
Spurs took the game to Liverpool from the first whistle and should have been one up inside a couple of minutes but Adebayor missed badly from ten yards out when clean through. Next Bale ghosted past Skrtel before his low cross was met by Defoe, but his effort was brilliantly blocked by Agger.
It was no surprise to see Spurs take the lead on 7 minutes and what a strike it was, Modric was the provider as he found the top left hand corner of Reina’s net from 25 yards. Agger picked up a knock in the lead up to the goal and eventually had to be replaced on 25 minutes with new signing Coates making his first appearance for Liverpool.
Liverpool did find the Spurs net against the run of play with Suarez prodding home following a mix up in the Spurs defence, but it was ruled out correctly for offside.
Then things got worse for Liverpool when Adam caught Parker with a high tackle on the edge of the box which saw the Scot receive his second yellow card and leaving Liverpool really up against it.
Spurs should have added to their lead before half-time as they dominated but Bale, Adebayor Kaboul were all guilty of missing good chances.
Seconds after the restart Liverpool should have been further behind when a good move down the right resulted in Defoe wasting a great chance from 10 yards out, shooting wide. Liverpool were struggling to stem the tide of Spurs attacks and Bale almost scored in the 57th minute after a good run and shot being saved by a stretching Reina.
Adebayor had the next chance but shot tamely at Reina. But just after the hour mark Liverpool’s slender hopes were dashed when Skrtel clattered into the back of Bale resulting in him seeing his second yellow card of the game and reducing Liverpool to nine men.
Moments later the inevitable happened when Spurs made it 2-0 with Defoe doing the damage after a sharp turn and powerful low shot beat Reina. Then on 67 minutes Reina spilled another Defoe shot which fell to Adebayor who coolly evaded Reina before tapping home from close range.
Liverpool’s dreadful day was capped with Adebayor making it 4-0 in stoppage time with a thumping volley.
This was a truly devastating defeat and by far the worst performance from Liverpool since Kenny took charge in January. Kenny must take a lot of the blame because Skrtel against Bale is a total mismatch and so it proved resulting in Skrtel being red carded. Skrtel will never be a full back and I hope that is the last time we see him there. Kuyt would have maybe gave Skrtel some help down the right but he was sacrificed for Carroll who gave everything but the jury is still out on him. Downing and Enrique have combined well down the left but Kenny swapped Downing over to the right with Henderson to the left and both were very ineffective. But Spurs were at least a yard sharper than us and that was with them playing midweek and us having a week to prepare. Adam was a bit unlucky with his second yellow as he seemed to be watching the ball as Parker nipped in ahead of him but when you raise your foot as high as he did you run the risk. The referee was very card happy to say the least, it seemed that every foul committed by a Liverpool player resulted in a card, whereas I can’t say the same went for the Spurs players. But overall it was a disastrous day for Liverpool all round and I hope we can just put it down to a bad day at the office.
Man Of The Match – Enrique – difficult to find one, but he was the only player that got pass marks as he tried to get forward and defended valiantly with little help around him.
Posted by james walker at 10:34
Monday, 12 September 2011
Amazing how a defeat can change supporters’ views on our teams chances of success. There has been so much criticism over the last day or so. Even King Kenny has been taking some stick, so what chance do the players have. From what I’ve been hearing and reading is extremely harsh. Jamie Carragher is suddenly over the hill and should be dropped because he is the blame for us losing so many goals, never mind about the amount of goals he prevents. Jordan Henderson should be dropped is another favourite topic from Saturday. Andy Carroll is a waste of money, I could go on, but these are the topics that I have noticed more than others.
Like every supporter I can be critical after a defeat, but I can also see the positives, from which they were many to take out of the game. I was happy with Kenny’s team selection other than Skrtel playing at right-back, although I thought his height would come in handy with Stoke’s long ball tactics, but if Skrtel was playing I would play him in the middle and shift Carragher to the right. I thought Carroll might start with Suarez up front because of his height and strength too, but I could see Kenny’s idea with Kuyt and Suarez being paired due to their superb work rate, very good to see us play with two strikers away from home.
I felt Kenny’s tactics and team played really well at Stoke, as we limited Stoke to two corner kicks and only two shots on target the whole game. Stoke usually bombard the away side but Liverpool never let them threaten as we controlled possession. I haven’t seen a Liverpool side go to Stoke and dominate in the way we did since that 8-0 game many years ago. Credit must go to Kenny and his players for their performance. I can see why Carragher has been blamed for the penalty, he was caught wrong side of Walters but he was very harshly penalised, Walters seemed to foul Carragher initially before going down like a Saturday coupon. Referee Clattenburg was so wrong to give the penalty and I felt he could have shown a few yellow cards to some Stoke players in protection to the Liverpool players as some of their challenges were a bit over the top at times. On another day we may have won a couple of penalties but I thought they would have been a bit harsh to be honest. My criticism of the players are I thought Henderson was a bit quiet and Adam’s passing was a bit inconsistent, losing possession quite a lot. I felt Skrtel should have been subbed earlier for Johnson as we had to chase the game, but Bellamy and Carroll caused problems when they came on. Stoke defended brilliantly on the day, flinging themselves at the ball and making vital blocks, and Liverpool’s luck deserted them. On another day we would have won easily so is frustrating for everybody to come away with a defeat.
But for some supporters to target Kenny, Henderson, Carroll and Carragher is out of order. Firstly Dalglish is the best man for the job and he has us playing a much more exciting brand of football and has brought in a stronger squad with his transfer activity and also he has got rid of a lot of dead wood at the club. Carragher is still a very important player for us, yes he is getting on a bit but he still has tremendous defensive qualities, most importantly is his leadership abilities as he is such a great organiser of his defence, the only defender we have that can do this. So for supporters to want him dropped is a nonsense. Andy Carroll will come good he has not had a run of games due to having that long spell out injured and Dalglish seems to be bringing him back gradually, so we have to be patient with the big man. I believe Henderson will do well for us too, but like Carroll his price tag is an added burden for him at the moment as fans expect players with big price tags to hit the ground running.
Although I am disappointed that we lost against Stoke I am very heartened by the performance and I do think we could get a good result at Spurs next week , so let get behind the team like the greatest supporters we know we are and I’m sure we will have good times ahead this season.
Posted by james walker at 09:45