Liverpool have now dispatched Gomel in the Europa League qualifying matches and it heralds the true beginning of the Rodgers era at Anfield. In less than ten days sterner tests await with the start of the Premier League and an away game at West Bromwich Albion on 18 August. The Premiership is where it really counts and where we’ll get to see Rodgers Liverpool playing tougher opposition but with a full-strength team executing their new brand of football, the tiki-taka style of zonal play which is so often associated with the likes of Barcelona. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Steven Gerrard’
Tags: Andy Carroll, Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool FC, Lucas, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Tiki Taka
Tags: Andy Carroll, Brendan Rogers, England, Euros, Glen Johnson, Jordan Henderson, Liverpool FC, Martin Kelly, Rio Ferdinand, Roy Hodgson, Steven Gerrard, Stuart Downing
I don’t know about you but I’ve never really cared too much about England. They’re constant under-achievers, have been poorly managed for decades due to the FA’s low-risk manager selection processand are supported mainly by Londoners who only know one dreadful song. Like most Liverpool supporters when asked if they would prefer England to win the World Cup or Liverpool to win the Premiership you don’t need an extensive opinion-poll to know what the vast majority would answer.
Tags: Andy Carroll, Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool FC, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard
There’s an optimism that we’re now seeing the true beginnings of a front-line striking partnership between Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. The latest evidence came after Sunday’s 6-1 FA Cup win over Brighton in particular when a deep cross from Downing (he actually had a good game) to the far post was met by Carroll who headed it back across the goal-mouth for Suarez to score from the simplest of headers.
It’s gratifying to see an understanding between the two players paying-off. There’s no question that with Suarez now playing on a regular basis and in fine form and with Carroll becoming increasingly effective with each game, scoring a cracker to make it 3-1, there’s every reason to believe there’s a new ”Keegan/Toshack” attacking duo in the making. And it’s about time. Carroll’s lack of form since signing from Newcastle a year ago has had us waiting for this to finally happen.
During the January transfer window I was one of those who felt strongly Liverpool needed to buy a new, quality, striker. I still do. It’s the obvious position Liverpool were lacking. Even so, I continued to have hopes Carroll would eventually come good but in the meantime the front-line needed strengthening. Liverpool needed a class player who could put away those endless chances the current forwards were struggling to dispatch, especially at home. However, once the deadline passed without any new signings, I’m not sure what Comolli was doing, Dalglish had no option but to work on improving the performance of the current squad and none more so than Carroll. After endlessly defending his players below-par performances perhaps the turning point was Dalglish’s verbal assault on the team after the embarrassing 3-1 defeat at Bolton where Liverpool were, to say the least, poor.
“If they needed a lesson to be taught to them then today was it. If they thought they could just turn up and get a result and not match the opposition for effort and commitment then they got a lesson today. If they have learned it, then fine”.
“They” of course included Andy Carroll, among others, but since then we’ve seen a player with a different attitude and work rate.
Even Steven Gerrard in a pre-match interview before the return leg of the Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester City when asked about the current form of the new signings said they knew they weren’t playing at their best. Code for “they aren’t good enough right now”. It was a fair and honest assessment but one that seems to have resonated, and stimulated action, among the newer players. Some of the media criticized Gerrard for saying this but when you star player says you’re not doing well you better listen and it seems they did.
So it’s on to Wembley next Sunday for the Carling Cup final and I’m sure Kenny will have Suarez and Carroll in the starting line-up. Let’s hope it’s a platform for the new striking partnership use to showcase what they are truly capable of.
Tags: Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt, Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool FC, Man City, Steven Gerrard, Yaya Toure
I’m a huge Kenny Dalglish supporter. I believe there’s no one better suited to lead Liverpool back to where they belong at the top of the premiership table but when I saw the staring line-up against Man City I was concerned and somewhat frustrated.
No Gerrard (isn’t he supposed be fitter than ever?) and no Bellamy? Not having their immediate creativity was surely going to be felt and when City saw Liverpool’s starting line-up they must have been given a real boost. I realize Gerrard may not be fully match-fit but why wait until the last 35 minutes to have him make an impact? Why not have him play the first 60 and create a foundation for Liverpool to go on and either win the game or consolidate a lead? Who knows, he may have even played longer. But Bellamy doesn’t need to get match-fit and having scored two goals against Newcastle on Friday he should have been an automatic starter to keep his personal momentum going and attack City from the first whistle. I don’t understand the logic. (more…)
Tags: Anfield, Blackburn, Craig Bellamy, Gerrard, Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool, Liverpool FC, Steven Gerrard
Of course the highlight was the return of the sublime Gerrard who looked like he’d never been away. His creative influence was immediate and Carroll must have wondered what had hit him as Stevie provided the pin-point accurate crosses he has so desperately been looking for. Gerrard himself scored an excellent goal, set up by the deftest of weighted passes from Henderson from the edge of the box. With no one in a good position to cross to Gerrard did the only decent thing and that was to fire in the third goal from a tight angle to put the game away.
However, the man-of-the-match for me was Bellamy. What a great re-signing he has turned out to be. The fact he is loving his second term at Liverpool shines through and although I’m not questioning Kenny’s team selections, I’d love to see him starting every game as he did on Friday.
So with Saturdays excellent results, still smiling about the Blackburn win, Liverpool find themselves 2 points out of 4th spot in 6th position and level on points with Chelsea, who have a better goal difference of just 4 goals.
So onto a challenging away game on Tuesday at Man City but with the way Liverpool prepare themselves for these “top 4” matches we might just be in for a pleasant surprise.
Tags: Jamie Carragher, Liverpool FC, Michael Owen, Peter Crouch, Rafa Benitez, Steven Gerrard
Tags: Fernando Torres, Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool FC, Roy Hodgson, Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard capped an excellent display against Bolton on Saturday with a sublime lofted pass into the box for Torres to finish superbly in front of the Kop and a pin-point cross to the far post which resulted in Joe Cole’s tap-in winner. Gerrard was the difference between winning and loosing against resilient opposition.
Once again, after the first half it didn’t look good as Liverpool trailed 1-0 to a Kevin Davies header from a cross that should never have been allowed to reach him. The lack in confidence in the team was highlighted by probably the miss of the season when Lucas had a tap in opportunity from literally a few feet to make it 1-1 but somehow he managed to scuff his shot wide. But a more cohesive, more aggressive, Liverpool appeared from the tunnel for the second half and in the end they totally deserved the win which came in the 92nd minute. A much-needed 3 points and a much-needed boost to the confidence of Fernando Torres who looked a different player after he had scored.
No one can be more relieved with the result than Roy Hodgson, although he knows more than anyone this doesn’t change the fact that his tenure as Liverpool manager hangs on a knife-edge. A bad result on Wednesday at Blackburn would surely be the end even though players like Joe Cole, in an after-match interview, says the team are fully behind him. However, if you believe a report in The Telegraph today, Hodgson’s end is immanent and that Kenny Dalglish will likely become the caretaker manager until the summer while NESV search for a long-term replacement. We shall see.
One very troubling statistic from Saturday’s game was the attendance of only 34,500, the lowest in a Premier league game since 2004. That’s almost 11,000 empty seats which is another illustration of how Liverpool’s poor form is translating into lower revenue’s, something I’m sure the new owners will be taking extremely seriously.
Let’s just hope the positives from this game translate into a positive, 3 point result, on Wednesday.
Tags: Danny Wilson, Liverpool FC, Roy Hodgson, Steven Gerrard
The impact of Joe Cole making the decision to join Liverpool FC continues to have an extremely positive effect on both fans and players. Steven Gerrard has now publicly stated he is staying at Anfield, which is fantastic news.
“Joe is a great signing for us,” Gerrard said. “I’ve told him what a great club this is and I’m sure Joe’s the sort of exciting talent our fans will love to see.”
Things continued to get better with the news that the talented 18-year old central defender, Danny Wilson, has been signed from Rangers with Kenny Dalglish playing a significant role in securing his transfer to Liverpool.
Since the arrival of Roy Hodgson only a few short weeks ago the outlook for Liverpool has become so much brighter. Now all we need is for Fernando and Mascha to commit there futures to Liverpool as well!
Tags: Liverpool FC, Roy Hodgson, Steven Gerrard
Let’s be honest. Would Roy Hodgson have been your first pick to replace Rafa? Would he have even made your list at all? No me neither, but having looked a bit further into Hodgson’s CV he may well prove to be exactly the manager Liverpool need right now to bring stability, retain key players (we can only hope) and work within the financial restrictions which is a prerequisite of being the Liverpool manager right now.
I think one of Hodgson’s key assets is that he is an Englishman. (more…)
Tags: England, Germany, Slovenia, South Africa, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, World Cup
It was somewhat of a relief to see a sharper, more fluid ,England overcome Slovenia by the slimmest of margins on Wednesday, 1-0. However, it was a match they should have won 3-0 if not for the wasteful finishing by, of all people, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney. All England fans had to sweat it out for the last half-hour knowing one slip or flash of brilliance from Slovenia and it would mean England were out. Nervous times, but still it made for exciting football.
The major consequence of not scoring one more goal is that fact England finished second in their pool and now face the winners of Group D, Germany, which without doubt will be a tough, tough game. (Please God no penalties). But if we are to live the dream of England reaching the final, even winning the World Cup (I know, I know wishful thinking beyond belief) they will have to beat some of the world’s top sides at some point. And if they do make it past Germany their next match will more than likely be against Argentina. Now there’s a great grudge match we’d all love to see!
But for all the joy of qualifying for the knock-out stages the biggest concern for all England fans is the form of Wayne Rooney. He has been outstanding all season and anyone would have bet on him having a major impact in South Africa. But alas, so far, he has been but as shadow of the guy that was cracking in goals all season.
If England are to beat Germany on Sunday they will need Rooney to be at his best and terrorize the German defence.