Author Topic: Some quality/important posts you may have missed  (Read 359450 times)

Offline Kop4

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #80 on: January 29, 2009, 03:20:39 PM »
It was worst exemplified at Stoke. We're 0-0 and playing passes to the back, long balls up front, and our front men aren't moving laterally at all because they're told they must be tracking back and helping the fella behind them.

We don't just have zonal marking on corners we have it in open play, you can tell they each have their own segment to mark and they're scared to abandon it.
No freedom at all.

What we need is an attitude change.
Our team go out with the primary goal of not losing, that much is clear, that's how they're set out, that's how they play, if a win comes it's in spite of our style.  A goal from Torres, a goal from Stevie.

I'll ask you this, on Sunday count how many players are in the box when our attack finishes, I can tell you now it's 2 at most.......................

Bring back pass and move, give the lads in the final third some freedom, and go out to win the match.


With you all the way, Degs, including the lack of a 'plan B'.

The system we play requires superb players and movement up front.  Gerrard and Torres aside, we simply do not have them.  If they misfire, we just do not score, let alone win.  Last nights starting 11 had scored 8 goals between them all season excluding Gerrard and Torres.  That speaks volumes.
A travesty of a sham of a mockery.

Offline 4pool

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #81 on: January 30, 2009, 01:42:48 AM »
btw..who had the classic battle cry post/thread?

Was that Evo. Maybe for the Chelsea CL match?

I seem to remember an absolute belter of a call to arms one. That one is worthy of this thread.
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Offline Terry de Niro

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #82 on: January 30, 2009, 02:07:34 AM »
btw..who had the classic battle cry post/thread?

Was that Evo. Maybe for the Chelsea CL match?

I seem to remember an absolute belter of a call to arms one. That one is worthy of this thread.
Here it is..

http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=63555.msg998288#msg998288
"If you can't support us when we lose or draw, don't support us when we win"

http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=219996.msg7899639#msg7899639

Rest in peace Ray Osborne/shanklyboy

Offline 4pool

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #83 on: January 30, 2009, 02:47:40 AM »
Ta Terry... ;D   :thumbup

For those who missed this classic..


Right, the press (for once) have been bigging us up, "Chelsea won't know what's hit them." Cauldron of noise." Juventus froze - will Chelsea?" etc.  Let's be honest, we've been bigging ourselves up too saying exactly the same thing.
WELL NOW'S THE TIME TO FUCKIN PROVE IT BOYS!
Don't leave your voices in the alehouse! How many times do you walk past the Albert, Park, Sandon etc and hear it booming only for those same boomers to turn into whimperers once they've parked their arses in the seats in the ground? We want everybody singing tonight - young and old, male and female, Scouse, wools and OOT's -  Kop, Paddock, Main Stand, Lower Anny, Upper Anny, Lower Kemlyn, Upper Kemlyn (fuck your Centenary bollocks) every fuckin body!
COME ON!
Chelsea are a better team than us - fact - so we need every conceivable edge we can get. Let's be as horrible, nasty and bitter to them as we fuckin well can - within the bounds of the ground regulations of course. For instance, fuck this clapping the opposing goalkeeper mularkey. FUCK HIM! He might be the best goalie in the world but when Cech comes down to the Kop (hopefully for the start of the second half) we need him to be cacking his kecks standing in front of us. Let's make him feel as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit - it might just give us an edge.  Same goes for the referee. Scream, shout and contest EVERY decision - again it might just give us an edge.  For once let's fuck our reputation for sportsmanship. Should Chelsea go through then will be the time, if you so wish, to show sportsmanship, NOT DURING THE GAME!
WE, THE FANS, HAVE GOT TO DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO WIN THIS FOOTBALL MATCH. 
Now imagine what it will be like if we do go through and we, the fans, have played a large part in achieving that. Think what it will do for our reputation. Fans of other clubs throughout the contry, even the world, already jealous of our reputation and what we can do - WHEN WE WANT TO - will be in even more awe of us. It might even just be that because of it UEFA will feel fit, if we win the competition, to overturn their own ridiculous rule that holders will not automatically qualify for the following season's competition and give the Premier League five places should that need arise.

We have been up against it before in European second legs at Anfield in games such as Auxerre, PSG and Strasbourg but NEVER have I felt that the team need us as much as I do for tonight's game. That might sound a mad thing to say with the tie seemingly balanced on a knife-edge at 0-0 but believe me - fuck what Mourinho says about 99.9% of us - we know we've a fuckin tough job on our hands. Should we go a goal down let's not throw in the fuckin towel. KEEP SCREAMING! KEEP SHOUTING! KEEP SINGING!

I hope and firmly believe our players won't let us down - win or lose - let us (THE MOST FAMOUS FUCKIN CROWD IN THE WORLD) not let ourselves down. 
WE'VE TALKED THE TALK NOW LET'S FUCKIN WALK THE WALK!

COME ON!

IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT PART OF THE GROUND YOU'RE IN TONIGHT - TONIGHT, IN THE SPIRUAL SENSE, EVERYBODY'S A KOPITE.  LET THE LADS FROM THE 60'S AND 70'S, INTER MILAN, ST ETTIENNE ETC BE PROUD OF YOU - BE PROUD OF US.

IF WE DO WIN THIS IT WILL BE THE GREATEST CROWD FEAT EVER AT ANFIELD. IT WILL EVEN OUTDO THE LIKES OF INTER, ST ETTIENNE, AUXERRE ETC.

WE ARE THE FAMOUS - THE FAMOUS KOPITES!

COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:wellin
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Offline slimbo

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #84 on: January 30, 2009, 03:22:18 AM »
Really appreciated this thread, particularly the article from Shanklyboy re Parry and Rafa.

I've been frustrated and critical of Rafa lately but perspective is everything.

Thanks; I repent!

Offline Degs

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #85 on: January 30, 2009, 11:44:14 AM »
With you all the way, Degs, including the lack of a 'plan B'.

The system we play requires superb players and movement up front.  Gerrard and Torres aside, we simply do not have them.  If they misfire, we just do not score, let alone win.  Last nights starting 11 had scored 8 goals between them all season excluding Gerrard and Torres.  That speaks volumes.
The worst part is I was right:

Quote
I'll ask you this, on Sunday count how many players are in the box when our attack finishes, I can tell you now it's 2 at most.......................

We were lucky to have 2 in there at any time.

Offline careca

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #86 on: January 30, 2009, 11:49:39 AM »
excellent collection gounded and objective nice woork royhendo. The continual calling for Rafa's demise is distracting at the best of times... a very refreshing thread.
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Offline Alf Garnett!

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #87 on: February 1, 2009, 01:02:49 PM »
From me bro'

Grimbles World (meeting shanks)
================
I dont know how unique this meeting with our supreme hero was but ultimately its a story id very much like to share with you!
If anyone had a meeting with shanks too, i would be delighted if you could open a similar post! thanks, Grimble.
I have briefly posted on this subject previously but due to a request for the full drama, i find myself eager to take you(the real fans) into the world of when grimble met shanks!

SHANKS..

The story goes back to the early 70s when my eldest brother used to put me in the boys pen!.. (at everton!!!) ahh! i know!
i remember thinking as i sat down on the steps of the gwladys st terrace!
"these lads on the bar are bigger and they wont move away from the cage to let us smaller kids in! it was a wall of older lads blocking my view! i tried but could not get in! i did not like it!

Then one day as usual i couldn't see, it was different, louder, hostile even.
i pushed my self in a narrow gap to see the full park end stand on the other side in a "what looked like a sea of red & white scarfs!" it was Y.N.W.A.

I was amazed!!!

I knew i wanted so badly from that point to be there! instead of the cage i hated so much!

Throughout that following week i must of drawn on paper countless circles representing fans heads with a scarf beside each one on a big piece of a3 paper from school!
it was the kop! my kop!
and i tell you this with the endless hours put into it was impressive to say the least!
other kids in class & in the street were also doing it, we were besotted with the image of the famous terrace!

My head teacher in primary had handed me a letter to take to mum & dad!

It was an invitation to a charity evening in the town centre!
I had collected the most money at junior level for the blind(i think) and had to go and present the money along with other people from the north west!

I arrived with mum at this hall filled with smartly dressed adults!

I thought" this is big!"

Remembering nothing much of the next hour or so it came to presentation time!

A man on the stage suddenly spoke!
""from westminster county primary""
and called me to the stage!

I froze!

It was horrible!

Id never been near a stage before, stages were for important people on tv!

My mother nudged me off my seat and said!"it wont take a minute!" and i was away down the isle towards the corner of the stage!

A woman at the stage corner took me up the stairs into the brilliant white spotlights,
i could no longer see my mum!

I remember walking across the stage looking at the wooden floor grooves!

Some one ushered "arrrrr!" from the front row!

I stopped when i saw his shoes!

Looked up!

Well i can recall seeing his face!
It was full of lines!
He had the same dont mess with me look as my father!
but with a kind of warm looking smile!

He offered a handshake!

I nervously accepted!

He squeezed my hand so tight!

Too hard for a kid i suppose!

He looked me in the eye and said!

"WELL DONE SON"!!!!!!!!!!

THIS WAS BILL SHANKLY!

My head went straight back to the floorboard grooves and i was ushered away with a round of applause!

My god ill never forget that evening ever!

Strangely though! the more i think about it now and the further away it gets!
it means more!

Friends say you met shanks!
It hits home harder each time!

These two events were pivotal in the transformation of grimble the little sad blue into grimble the devout red!

I plan to visit one day the village of his birth!(sadly no longer there but the sign remains ive heard!) it says...

GLENBUCK

Grimble.


Offline BazC

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #88 on: February 1, 2009, 02:25:19 PM »
The worst part is I was right:

We were lucky to have 2 in there at any time.

It's been like that for at least the last 2 seasons Degs. One of my main gripes when people call for better wingplay- I don't think there's much of a point to it as no one gets in the box to attack the crosses.

Offline G1 Jockey 4(betfair)

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #89 on: February 1, 2009, 03:44:33 PM »
who on earth thinks gerarrd has good movement?
your having a laugh.

it average

as for the wingplay well when gerarrd plays behind torres he should be getting in the box


too many times you see him standing outside the box in these situations
Freedom of Speech unless you get shouted down and abused by the in-crowd.

Offline Koparoo

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #90 on: February 1, 2009, 06:24:06 PM »
who on earth thinks gerarrd has good movement?
your having a laugh.

it average

as for the wingplay well when gerarrd plays behind torres he should be getting in the box


too many times you see him standing outside the box in these situations

ha ha!!!!!!!

you are a sucker for punishment aren't you??????
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Offline G1 Jockey 4(betfair)

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #91 on: February 1, 2009, 06:44:15 PM »
first half was a prime example of what i was talking about on several occasions
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Offline gobshoite

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #92 on: February 1, 2009, 07:05:56 PM »
You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks?

Well, that was me.

Everytime something good happened to me, something bad was always waiting round the corner. Karma. Thats when I realised I had to change.

So I made a list of everything bad I've ever done and one by one I'm gonna make up for all my mistakes. I'm just trying to be a better person.

My name is Lampard!

Now number 200,021 on my list was makin that liddle Spanish guy miss the semi final of the champions league by my blatant cheatin!

Now after today that's another one crossed offa ma list!

Offline shanklyboy

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #93 on: February 1, 2009, 07:32:58 PM »
From me bro'

Grimbles World (meeting shanks)
================

Cracking little tale that.
Funnily enough our school used to do that collection for the blind thing every year and the last one we did, it was between me and another lad who had collected the most, right up to the last week.
He won it and went to the prize giving, it was around 1969/70, I wonder if that's the one this lad went to.
I'd have robbed a bank if I'd known Shanks was giving the prizes out.
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.

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Offline Alf Garnett!

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #94 on: February 1, 2009, 07:42:26 PM »
Cracking little tale that.
Funnily enough our school used to do that collection for the blind thing every year and the last one we did, it was between me and another lad who had collected the most, right up to the last week.
He won it and went to the prize giving, it was around 1969/70, I wonder if that's the one this lad went to.
I'd have robbed a bank if I'd known Shanks was giving the prizes out.

I think that was a bit early mate,i cant remember the exact year,but was certainly between 1973-77.

Funnily enough,our eldest bro is blue & he did his utmost to make me a blue too.

Offline Degs

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #95 on: February 1, 2009, 08:01:38 PM »
You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks?

Well, that was me.

Everytime something good happened to me, something bad was always waiting round the corner. Karma. Thats when I realised I had to change.

So I made a list of everything bad I've ever done and one by one I'm gonna make up for all my mistakes. I'm just trying to be a better person.

My name is Lampard!

Now number 200,021 on my list was makin that liddle Spanish guy miss the semi final of the champions league by my blatant cheatin!

Now after today that's another one crossed offa ma list!
:lmao
Brilliant

Offline shanklyboy

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #96 on: February 1, 2009, 10:00:17 PM »
I think that was a bit early mate,i cant remember the exact year,but was certainly between 1973-77.

Funnily enough,our eldest bro is blue & he did his utmost to make me a blue too.

Ahhh it certainly wasn't after 1970.....I was robbing the blind to get to away games by then.
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Offline Uhoh AureliOs

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #97 on: February 1, 2009, 10:45:36 PM »
credit where credit's due. i've been one of dirk's biggest critics in the past and today ok he may not have been able to control the ball very well and repeatedly twatted it out of play whilst in plenty of time and space but something i saw today caught my eye with regards to his 'unseen' work i hear so much about.

when benayoun was brought onto the pitch dirk ran a good 10 yards to touch hands with him.

meanwhile torres barely raised an eyebrow to the substitution and certainly didn't go out of his way to welcome a new player on who might be feeling a bit down at not being in the starting eleven. it's certainly made me stop and think as to who is the better teammate to have on the pitch. yes the dutch dynamo may not have been man of the match but in my eyes and i'm sure lots of others he was easily GENTLEMAN of the match.

well done dirk we could do with 10 more like you and fuck off torres you ignorant bastard.

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Re: Some quality posts you may have missed
« Reply #98 on: February 2, 2009, 01:05:13 PM »
LIVERPOOL FC co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks endured a torrid day on Merseyside as they ran the gauntlet of protesting fans.

The Americans were left in no doubt about the strength of feeling against them when supporters staged a demonstration at Anfield following the Reds’ 2-0 win over Chelsea.

Around 300 fans gathered outside the directors’ entrance, chanting for Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett to sell the club they bought from former owner David Moores two years ago this month.

The protest was entirely peaceful but noisy and the chants could be heard inside the stadium long after the final whistle had been blown on Liverpool’s victory.

Throughout the match, a group of fans in the paddock, right in front of where Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett were sitting in the directors box, displayed a banner which read “Thanks but no Yanks”.

Earlier in the day, members of the Spirit Of Shankly (SOS) fans’ group converged on the Crowne Plaza hotel at the Pier Head where Gillett was staying.

Mr Gillett, who had earlier declined an opportunity to be interviewed by the ECHO, was clearly unprepared for their arrival as a number of supporters got past hotel security to confront him.

But after quickly recovering his composure, the Colorado-based businessman agreed to speak with to SOS spokesman Jay McKenna in the hotel foyer.

The demonstrators were well-behaved and well-organised throughout, although police did arrive on the scene to ensure hotel guests could come and go unhindered.

Mr McKenna emerged from his impromptu meeting with Mr Gillett to inform those gathered outside of what he was just told.

Mr McKenna said: “I told him all the fans who were outside and thousands more were angry and upset at how he and Tom Hicks were running the club.

“He looked shocked and asked me why. I told him he knew why, because he met Spirit Of Shankly before the Manchester United game.

“I said ‘fans see it as you have made three promises and broken them’. So he asked me what they were.

“The first one was the debt on the football club. I told him his partner Tom Hicks promised it would not be like the Glazer takeover at Manchester United, and to fans that meant no debt on the club.

“He claimed to be unaware and asked what I meant. I told him they had bought the club and then placed the debt for buying the club onto the club.

“He claimed this was at the ‘request of the banks’ and they were in a ‘sound financial position’ with ‘revenue per pound or dollar in ratio to the debt’ better than at any other football club.

“When I asked about the extension to July, he claimed that was false and no-one else knew the true details because they were kept confidential.

“The second one was backing the manager and then not doing so. I said they said they would back the manager, so why had they approached Jurgen Klinsmann about the position of manager?

“He then went onto claim they had met with the manager, who told them he was to have discussions with ‘three other teams’ about joining them and they approached Klinsmann to have him in place to work as a ‘consultant at the club’ if Benitez left them.

“I asked why they had approached Klinsmann, because his pedigree was not one that immediately made fans sit up and take note.

“He claimed Klinsmann had a brilliant track record, and he had excellent marketing talent, having close links with those at Adidas, Nike and Reebok and the benefits of him being at Liverpool.

“I asked who the three clubs were, but he refused to answer.

“The third one was the stadium. I told Gillett the situation with the stadium angered fans, because Gillett himself had promised a spade in the ground in 60 days, and it still had not happened.

“He denied making this claim and said it was a ‘made-up quote by the media’and he would be interested to see such a quote.

“I asked why work on the stadium dragged on before they finally blamed the credit crunch for it not happening.

“He claimed they had spent £100m on the stadium so far and were still working with designers, architects and planners.

“I asked why they were spending the club’s money on this and he claimed it was coming from himself and Tom Hicks and not the club.

“I asked if the club’s accounts would show and support this when they are released, and he said yes. “Gillett then claimed all transfer fees to date had been met by himself and Tom.

“He said when they bought the club, they were told about the ‘Liverpool Way’.
“I asked if he felt they had been true custodians as they promised. Gillett told me he ‘had tried, but it had been difficult’ and they had ‘done what they could’.

“I asked why he could not speak for Hicks because he was his partner.

“He said that ‘husband and wife can say different things but one does not get the blame’.

“I explained they were both responsible, and he was not happy at being blamed.

“I asked why he was in partnership with Hicks. He said Hicks and himself had worked together well for six years in other businesses such as food, but this is different because the media are involved.

“I asked, would he or Tom Hicks, or both, be selling their stakes in Liverpool. “Again, he told me he cannot speak for Tom Hicks. I asked, had there been any offers for the club, and were they currently meeting anyone about it?

He told me: ‘Yes, there have been expressions of interest and some negotiation’.

“I asked who with, and he told me he could not tell me that. I asked would he sell, and he admitted he was ‘open to it’, but he could not speak for Hicks.

“I then went to walk away, and he came after me saying, ‘A few weeks ago, we were in first position, then a certain individual from the club attacked another individual from another club, and, since then, we have lost form and slid down the league.’

“I was stunned, and asked if he was blaming Benitez as a result, and in saying that, was he not backing the manager?

“Rather than confirm or deny as I expected, he replied ‘that’s your implication’, before I walked away and back outside to the real world.”

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2009/02/02/george-gillett-why-are-liverpool-fc-fans-so-angry-with-me-100252-22834471/2/


lying bastard

http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=cMyKZjxmjQE

Offline Degs

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #99 on: February 3, 2009, 04:11:42 PM »
Best of the lot

Statistical Analysis on Robbie Keane's LFC Career:


As Keane has now gone - thought it would be interesting to see how well (or badly) he's done statistically.

For starters, it is common knowledge that Rafa treated him badly. Keane has made 27 appearances this season in the PL, CL and FA Cup. Only Gerrard (31), Riera (28), Alonso (29), Arbeloa (29), Kuyt (32), Carragher (34) and Reina (32) have made more appearances than him.

Excluding Degen, Cavalieri has only made 2 appearances this season in the above competitions. It is a fucking disgrace. Why is Rafa treating him like that?

Yeah, but how many of Keane's appearances have been ones where's he's been hooked? Out of his 27 appearances, he's been substituted in 18 of those. That is proof that he has been treated badly. Bad, bad Rafa. Does this man know how to man manage? Surely he must have something against Keane for hauling him off in so many matches?

Hang on. Albert Riera - how many times has he been subbed? He has been subbed off a total of 20 times. That's more times than Keane for fuck's sake! Surely, surely this means that Albert Riera is being treated like a piece of shit? Riera's confidence must be fragile, Rafa is destroying him. This is wrong, so wrong. Wait a minute, why haven't the press picked up on this? Why has nobody noticed this? Something is seriously wrong here.

Of all our forwards, only Kuyt and Gerrard have played more minutes this season than Keane. Given that Gerrard has played in centre midfield quite a bit, and Kuyt has played on the right hand side nearly all season, it looks obvious that Keane has had more minutes up front than anyone else.

Looking now at his goals. Keane has scored 7 goals. Those 7 goals came in 5 games. 1 against PSV, 1 against Atletico, 2 against WBA, 1 against Arsenal and 2 against Bolton. Not the best, but I suppose it could have been worse. Credit should be given to him that his goals against PSV, Atletico, WBA and Arsenal were the first goals of the game - the most difficult goals to score. Out of those 7 goals, 5 came in the first half and only 2 (against Bolton) came in the second half. Robbie Keane has played in a total of 27 second halves this season. Only one of those matches he scored in.

His goals per 90 minutes ratio is 0.35. Which means he scores one goal every 3 full games. That ratio doesn't seem that bad really. But it's telling that David N'gog (the player who has been taking his place on the bench recently) has a higher ratio than Keane. N'gog's is 0.39, and he has only 1 goal to his name.

I have Keane down for 4 direct assists. One against Boro, one against Everton, one against Spurs and one against PSV. The Boro and Spurs assists were both arguably slightly fortuitous.

His direct assists per 90 minutes ratio is 0.20, a total of 1 direct assists per 5 full games. That's a smaller ratio than Benayoun, Lucas, Torres, Gerrard, N'gog and Pennant. He is on a par with Kuyt, Aurelio and Babel.

I think a lot of people would have been happy with Keane if his assists made for his lack of goals - or vice versa - his goals made up for his lack of assists. But it seems that he suffered on both counts.

Having a look at his goal contributions, he ended up with 6. As 4 of them went down as direct assists, that means that he only contributed to 2 other goals. Once against Everton (in the build up to Torres' second goal) and once against Man Utd (the ball may have hit his arse in the build up to the own goal). This is quite a surprise to me. For someone who is apparently a good footballer, why is he not involved in many goals?

His goal contribution per 90 minutes ratio reflects this. The only players who have a worse ratio are defenders.

Just to show that I'm not picking on him, he has done well in terms of goal faults. He hasn't been at fault for any goals.

The Team Scored per 90 graph shows that Keane was one of our worst performers. Only Dossena and Arbeloa (surprisingly I think) have lower figures than Keane.

Ending on a positive, he tops the Team Conceded per 90 graph. This means that when Keane plays, we are statistically less likely to concede a goal than when any other player is playing.

So there you have it. Statistically, Robbie Keane has not been very good. Statistics don't tell the whole story though, so you have to form the whole picture by watching him play.

And for all those who believe that Rafa Benitez has destroyed Robbie Keane - have a look at what he's done to Albert Riera. Next time you claim that continually subbing him destroyed Keane's confidence, ask yourself why it hasn't destroyed Riera's confidence. Maybe you should also consider the fact that even though Riera has been withdrawn more times than Keane - why is that you can only remember Keane's disappointed reaction, and not Riera's? I'll tell you why. Because the TV cameras want to create a sensation, an agenda, a big story. And you bought it.

Offline rowan_d

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #100 on: February 3, 2009, 06:40:48 PM »
It’s the beginning of February, a word my female work colleagues seem to struggle pronouncing, and we find ourselves 2 points adrift of the current champions, who have themselves a game in hand as well. The mood amongst fans is good, mainly because we beat Chelsea Sunday, thanks to our kid Fernando, after a controlled performance. No doubt the mood would be different if we were in the exact same scenario we are in now, but had just dropped 2 points against Middlesbrough or somebody. That’s how fickle and tender our emotions have been this season.

This is all of course for good reason. We are so desperate for the title that we are hurting ourselves, and it’s the same throughout the club, from the stands to the boardrooms. I’m not even old enough to remember when we last won the title in 1990, I was barely a year old. Those of you who are of an age to appreciate that feeling you had in 1990, are probably just as desperate for it back as I am to taste it for the first time. I’m sure some of you are of a similar age to Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard, starry eyed young bucks, who must relate to the two captains of our club every single time they step on Anfield turf.

There is of course Rafa, who has gone from “losing it” to “genius” in the space of 90 minutes, and is of course gambling with the sale of Robbie Keane. I’ve seen Robbie and Rafa’s names in the same articles during the past 6 months to suggest it hasn’t been 6 months, but 7 or 8 seasons they have both been at the club. Rafa has a point to prove, well a few actually. In short, Rafa wants to say “I’m not losing it, I am good enough, my methods do work, I am the man for this club, and fuck the Americans, fuck the media, and fuck Mr Ferguson”. Not that I condone Rafas language.

The “facht” United are one league title away from us, is enough ammunition for anybody to really, really want to win the league this year.

As we know, this has caused severe tension on all parts. Rafa suddenly starts playing mind games, although fair play to him I suppose. Fans booing players and performances, tensions running through players that can’t break down that parked bus. The frustration and pressure is affecting the whole club, and we need to do something about it before it costs us number 19.

Take a step back, and you will notice that we are probably in the best position we’ve been in all season. Being top, somehow didn’t suit us. Expectations got to the players, and as fans you’re constantly looking down at who is creeping up on you. Although many said “it’s a great view down, from up here”, really, we look our best when we have something to chase, when we’re underdogs. We are the predators, United are the prey, and by fuck we are gunna’ have to chase hard to get our rewards, but we can do it, if we all keep calm, keep our bottle, and work together.

The last thing we can afford to do is bottle it; we’ve dragged ourselves back into the title hunt, and possibly pushed Chelsea aside of it. It looks as though it’s us and them.

Here’s a little thought that might add to our determination, that’s determination, not desperation, to win the title. If Mr Ferguson equals our tally, he will stay at least one more season to try and beat us, take United one title ahead of Liverpool, and call it a day. If he doesn’t win it this season, we are two clear again, which might be to much for Mr Ferguson to claw back, and he might just call it a day there, leaving United needing a manager, players possibly wanting out, and whole lot of rebuilding to do. That would leave the door wide open for Rafa to build Liverpool FC onto greatness again, rebuild that lead.

What we need to do to make sure this occurs, is fight. Fight to the death, just like Istanbul. Your 3.00 kick offs against Fulham and such likes needs to be like a European tie verses, well Real Madrid. Every game we need to throw everything we have at our team - every last breath! Every time one of our players picks up the ball, no matter who it is, the volume needs to rise, the expectation needs to lift, make that player feel as though he is the best in the world, and that he can do anything. Make the blood rush through his veins, make him invincible. Every time we concede, the noise level rises seconds later as we urge our side on to come back. By fuck we can beat AC Milan from 3-0 down, I’m sure we can crack open relegation sides at Anfield if we get behind our team.

It’s about taking responsibility. Rafa is doing it, the players are doing it in the main, but we fans are severely lacking at times. To quick are we to get frustrated and get the arse. Understandable, but not what we need, and if the players performed the way we have at times, we wouldn’t even be in this title race. Things need to change. We need to keep our heads and keep our bottle, and support our team unconditionally. I’m afraid praying will do nothing for us (apologies to those who have faith), we need fucking want it and not assume it’s ours by right. Every thing we do effects the players on the pitch and a huge dose of positivism is hugely required.

We won’t go the rest of the season without dropping points, but nor will United. We have one major advantage that our players didn’t travel to the other side of the world in December, and hopefully that will come back to haunt United.

Ever time we go forward, the crowd needs to raise it, every time we concede, the crowd needs to raise it. When it looks like we just can’t break somebody down, the crowd needs to raise it, even if it merely hinders the defending sides communication. Every time, raise the roof, louder and fucking louder. This title is in our hands as much as it is the players, and we need to do our bit. If we haven’t won the title in May, it’s not just the players that have lost it, it’s us. We should want to win this thing more than practically anybody else at the club, and it’s time to fucking show the world we mean business! Keep our fucking bottle!


Credit Daws  :thumbup
« Last Edit: February 3, 2009, 06:44:25 PM by rowan_d »

Offline impz

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #101 on: February 3, 2009, 06:42:07 PM »
Quality post that.
from the land of ice and fire.

Ohh and the occasional bank collapse and finacial crisis.

Offline Alf Garnett!

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #102 on: February 3, 2009, 07:02:24 PM »
Had to trawl thro cyn's archive for this....

Here's something by Peter C (Perth, ex-Dingle)

Paris 81

There were five of us in all. Two were 20 and three 21 years old. And we knew it all. We were veterans of numerous trips abroad to watch our beloved team and
between us had visited every First Division ground and quite a few lower divisions with games in the F.A. and League Cups over the last 6 years or so. But this evening we were on our way to The Smoke. The plan, hatched a
week earlier in the pub once we'd all secured tickets, was to travel down Monday, have a night with a mate, Billy, living in Hammersmith; up early for the Dover train and Ferry, then into Paris early Tuesday afternoon. A few drinks, sights and scran then once established in the capital of France it was obvious that we'd bag-off with some local beauties. They wouldn't be able to resist our demure charms and would be more than willing to put us up for the night so we'd be refreshed for the Final of the European Cup against Real of Madrid on the Wednesday!

I truly loved these trips. All of us did.

The last couple of years had seen us less attracted to the hooligan lust of our juvenile days and more content with seeing a place, having a bevvy and getting a real buzz from staying a night or two away from the drudgery of everyday life. Anywhere of decent distance from Liverpool was talked up as a potential stay-away. The reality was that we could only afford three or four lengthy trips a year due to varying degrees of employment and family life - Ged already had a baby so was particularly vulnerable to economic circumstance. In fact the last time we'd all been away together was the Cup trip to Tottenham in '79 when Terry Mac scored that screamer of a volley at our end. Once we'd survived the bad satanism outside the ground, when it seemed that ALL of London had turned out to murder the
7000 Scousers, we had a memorable night in Stepney Green staying with a distant fourteenth cousin of Macca's.
But we all knew that if a few of us had money, either through work or skullduggery, the less fortunate wouldn't be left astray. And we'd all made the effort of sacrificing a few nights out since the semi in Munich, to make this trip,cos I'd recently been accepted into Australia, leaving in early September. This was a last hurrah for all the crew and we'd been everywhere together so this was a special one.

"You'll be back by fuckin Christmas" was a popular ribbing, but it wasn't to be.

The trip from Lime Street had, as usual, started in heightened excitement and finished with a boozy awareness that Billy was waiting at Euston for us. Being an Evertonian he got a bit of stick but we could tell that he was genuinely glad to see us. The feeling was mutual; he was a good mate and a funny bastard too, escaping the chronic problems of unemployment in Liverpool by labouring on London building sites. With kit-bags dropped at his digs a few scoops were in order so off we strolled to his local where we proceeded to convince him of the merits of coming with us - sans ticket of course. Drawn to our addictive excitement, and seven brown bitters later, he agreed to join the merry band.

After a sing song that won us a stay behind at the alehouse we decided to get a cab straight to Victoria Street station and doss there for a few hours before the early train to Dover. I've always had trouble kipping on concrete floors, even in an alcoholic stupor, so nudged Tony to see if he would stir. It was about 5a.m.

"Wha,wha - fuck off" he muttered. But after a few gentle kicks in the ribs, up he got and off we went in search of a cup of George. Wandering around for fifteen minutes we came upon what we swear, to this day, was Buckingham Palace.

Gazing upon the decadent residence of the richest unemployed family in the country we couldn't believe that there was a crate of cartoned milk sitting at the locked front gate. Doing our bit to spread the wealth of Thatcherite Britain, cos she certainly fuckin wasn't, off we ran, a hand each on the contraband, pissing ourselves with the epic tale already developing exaggeration for our comrades' shell likes. After taking our fill of the cow's finest, with collective Adidas, Umbro and Nike bags stocked for the trip to France, we gave the rest to the stations' hobos whilst suffering furtive glances from the suspicious local constabulary.

A doze on the train and then specs in the lower decks of the ferry to Calais.
Waiting for the bar to open we got the cards out.
"First jack deals and picks the game, once round the table." Macca won,
poker it was. Richie went with Billy to see if there was any spares on the ferry. He refused to play cards with us ever again when we started knocking his infuriatingly neat piles of slummy off the table. It used to drive us
nuts, especially when he was winning, so when one of us got up for a piss or stretch or whatever his columns of dosh were accidently scattered.

"Sorry Rich" the culprit would tut, feigning contrition.
"c*nts," he declared coming back from Forest a few weeks ago, and he stuck to his non card-playing word.
They came back with no ticket, naturally, but a round of drinks and a report on who was who on the boat. There was a few lads we knew from previous excursions so we said we'd catch up with them later.

We settled down to an ale. Richie kicked it off with something he must have been baking for a while and diverted attention away from the cards.
"What we need is a forward pairing that rolls off the tongue like Hunt and St. John, Keegan and Toshack, Morecambe and Wise, Hinge and Brackett." We
all laughed. Good one. But we knew that it was a serious point too - who do you put with Dalglish? We'd all been impressed with the young lad Rush who had made his debut in the League Cup final replay with West Ham at Villa
Park, but for all his prodigious scoring records as a youngster, he had failed to notch in the remaining league matches. His potential was obvious but the jury was still out.

If only we could have known what lay in store in the coming years!

For the umpteenth time we analysed the season just gone. Given the incomparable standard - the '78-'79 team was the best I had and probably would ever see - it was a poor performance in the league. Only four wins away from home and Dalglish and Davie Johno netting a paltry 16 goals
between them had sparked the question about our forward pairing. There was no question about Kenny, by far the best player I had watched week in week out. In fact during some of the more mundane fixtures, especially at home, I simply watched Dalglish. He always did something above the norm, something worth paying the money to see, something only a
tiny percentage of players who ever pulled on a pair of boots could dream about doing. I remember one particular night at Anfield when the opposition was Middlesborough. Not a mouth watering prospect which was reflected in the
crowd of under 30 000 in attendance. Boro's manager had done a Sybil Fawlty and stated the bleeding obvious by announcing in the press that to stop Liverpool scoring you had to stop Dalglish. So he was putting Craggs AND
Madden on him. After an hour of Kenny not getting a sniff in a boring encounter Clemence mopped up a Boro attack on the edge of the box at the Kop end. Trying to shake his markers, Dalglish had drifted to the left wing near the half-way line. Clemence threw the ball to the facing Dalglish. With said defenders up his arse he took the ball on his right thigh controlling it instantly and, with a swivel of his hips, he feigned a turn to his right. Craggs and his mate, buying the dummy completely, nearly
ended up in the Paddock as Kenny turned the other way and played a fourty yard inch perfect pass into the path of Johnson on the Kemlyn Rd. wing. We watched in the Paddock, standing about 6 deep, that night with a view at
about player height. It was sheer fucking brilliance! An indelible memory I can enjoy forever. That was Dalglish for me.
Nonetheless, as poor as we were in the league Europe was a different matter. We seemed to be able to go up a gear or three with our encounters in Europe. The two best efforts were against Aberdeen at Anfield when we battered them 4-0 and Alan Hansen sent a message to the fuck-wits who
refused to pick him for Scotland and in doing so ignored the best defender in Europe; and the second leg semi away at Bayern Munich when Paisley masterminded the 1-1 draw to get us through, even having the balls to substitute the subtitute, Howard Gayle!

Billy, sick of the football talk and who could blame him, surprised us by producing a camera out of his bag. In all our travels we'd never brought a camera. Lord Lucan guided us to the deck were we took turns at the front of
the ferry, standing on the rails doing our impression of the talking figure-head on Jason and the Argonauts and trying to prevent Ged from introducing his three for a bob to the group photo's.
We passed the remainder of the channel crossing discussing this and that, taking the piss - especially out of the other passengers - and generally basking in our own conceit. A few more drinks and miniatures to get us in
the mood , off the boat, through customs and onto the Paris train.

What, we wondered, would this great, historical, cultured city have in store for us over the next couple of days!!
Our previous forays onto the continent were great; this was to be the best.

Destination Paris!
We wandered the train and re-acquainted ourselves with a few lads we knew from away matches. Such were the times that your thoughts never strayed too far from trouble, but everybody seemed positive about the prospect of a lumber-free good time. Some older and more experienced lads - flat cap and sheepy brigade - had accommodation booked ahead but most were like us and would worry, or at least give it a passing thought, once ensconced there.
There was safety in numbers and in case of an unwelcoming committee we congregated as we pulled into Saint Lazare station. The inevitable butterflies led to a loud and aggressive "LIV-ER-POOL LI-VER-POOL" as the stations' acoustics amplified the chant to what sounded like hundreds
instead of the 60 or so who alighted. Alas, the only committee was a score of scallies who gave a rousing rendition of "On the dole, Drinking wine in Paree". This was a flagrant, Up-Yours reply to the establishment and its
gutter press who were already well on the way to pillorying Merseyside and its people.
Leaving them to tales of escapades since their arrival, we scuttled off, first to the money exchange, where we swapped pound stirling for notes adorned by such historical luminaries as Robespierre and Marie Antoinette, and then to "Information" - the same, we brilliantly observed, in French as it was in English. Here we secured a couple of lockers to deposit our kit-bags. This was a trick picked up on a trip to Belgium and it saved you the problems of carting around said luggage. With passports and filthy
lucre safe in jeans pockets, we then grabbed a couple of tourist maps and were told to: "Go Metro" by the smiling, gorgeous looking lady at the counter. Never missing an opportunity to impress our talents upon women, we
displayed our mastery of the language by shouting "ALLEZ METRO. ALLEZ METRO," to the tune of 'Allez les Rouges'. Already thinking that she might put us up for the night and imagination running riot in a nano second, we resigned ourselves to accepting her embarrassed laugh and shake of the head as a good start.

The Metro, of course, was the Paris Underground. Over the next couple of days we would appreciate what a well resourced and well-manned public transport system could do for a city. There was a station every 500 metres
and trains ran every 3 or 4 minutes. It was like a breathe of fresh air, so to speak. Anyway, we loved it!
Scrutinising the maps it was amazing how many names were familiar.
"See if we can find the places in "Where do you go to my lovely?" was suggested.
"See if we can find a fuckin alehouse first" Macca responded.
With a spritely gait, we strolled down la rue to find a fuckin alehouse. We stumbled upon a street of working girls who advertised their wares in the shop windows. Billy couldn't help himself and started taking pictures
of them. Immediately hiding their faces with their hands, the girls disappeared from the windows. Billy didn't get it until confronted by a bloke in a bad white suit with sidies meeting his handlebar muzzy. A pimp!
Billy stepped back into the cobbled side-street as the pimp made extravagant gestures and then lunged for his camera. So he did what any normal lad would do - he chinned him.
All hell broke loose. Two other pimps emerged from darkened doorways between us and Billy. Ignoring our threats of "Eh,eh, now behave your fuckin selves" they moved in on our retreating mate and, again, he did what anyone else would have done and legged it. With us chasing the pimps, "Leave him alone, ya c*nts" who, in turn, were
chasing Billy, it must have looked like a Benny Hill sketch. But they were no match for the labourer's fitness and after running past a Gendarme car they quickly stopped. We thought it might be on for young and old but they
mustn't have fancied the odds as we slowed down and faced them. We weren't strangers to a bit of how's your father and it must have shown - they kept their distance, leaving us with obscenities. Catching up with Billy, we departed down the stairs of the nearest Metro station and, adrenilin pumping from the fracas, relived it over and over,
laughing in nervous excitement. Ten minutes we'd been there. A couple of stops later we found a cafe cum pub in what was obviously the business district. Settling down to a Stella, we decided to have a scran, our first proper meal since the corned beef and picallily sandwiches had
been polished off somewhere near Crewe. That Carr Lane East education paid off as I could understand most of the
menu, but with such under-developed palates we skipped the salads - perish the thought - and plumped for steak and chips. MacDonalds had yet to permeate its frugal and bland offerings to the culinary world, so the French Fries were a big disappointment. Coming from families where it was
strictly two chips to a spud, we moaned about them being thin, but were impressed with the lovely thick steaks and loads of crusty bread and butter to mop up the juices. Yum!!! Full as fat ladies socks, we walked around the city centre for a while taking in the sounds, colour, smells,and then decided to do the touristy thing. So off we went on the Metro again. After staring at the Eiffel Tower
and looking down the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe for a few minutes we found a pub and to our great delight there were a load of Reds fans in there. We gave the customary nods of the heads and made ourselves at home. There was a nice mix of office workers finished for the day, tourists and fans and we were soon making ourselves known to all and sundry, with Billy working the place in search of the elusive spare. On a trip to the bar we
talked to a couple of middle-aged fellas, one Taffy one Jock, who were executives for Polyfilla over here on a conference. They came over, sat down with us and talked football. These lads knew the score and were
telling us about the great players of the past they used to watch. They remembered Billy Liddell - although we didn't - from a game at Swansea and the Jock said he was at the famous Euro Cup Final at Hampden when the great
Real Madrid beat Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3. He talked of Ghento, Puskas and the brilliant Di Stefano and generally impressed us with their footballing acumen. It was like talking to your Dad or uncles. Or your Grandad.
They got a round of drinks in, which impressed us more than any thing, and asked us what was the song we sang about dying dying dying. Dispelling their joke that it was about a Welsh/Chinese fella, Tony immediately started banging the table with his palms to introduce the lovely, slow
tempo, and in a booming, baritone voice :- "Let me tell you the story of a poor boy". Within seconds the alehouse was up, standing on chairs and tables, stamping their feet, clapping their hands.Tony was like Andre Previn, conducting the bar and maintaining the slow beat up to an elongated :- "OOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH IIII AAAMMM a Liverpuuuuudlian....."
This was the proper speed to sing at , not the crap that was being dished up at the games over the last few years. More fans were arriving from outside and before you knew it we were having a great owld sing-song. "The Reds are coming up the Hill Boys", "Underneath the Floodlights", "Those
were the Days" even "We'll drink 6 crates for Big Ron Yeats" got an airing. The executives joined in for a superb "YNWA" and by 8 pm we were sozzled.

By this stage you couldn't get a drink at the bar so we said our au revoirs to our newfound mates, capilliaries popping by the minute as they continued the revelry, bear hugs all round,and off again in search of more fun. We
stopped at a supermarket where wine - in bottles like the old sterry milk, - was dirt cheap.

Openly friendly and in love with everyone - isn't alcohol wonderful at times - we joined a group of back-packers from Norway who were on their way to Saint Michel, a famous part of Paris we were reliably informed. Sharing our booty with the hippies, one was a spit of Shaggy from Scoobie-Doo, we
made it to a square full of statues and fountains and a crowd of people. Loads of them. From every corner of the globe.Europeans, Americans, Eastern, Middle Eastern and Far eastern. Flat caps, top-hats, turbins, berets, balaclavas. Smocks, pants, trousers, frocks, kilts.
And buskers from everywhere.
And Scousers!
The richest cocktail of multi-culturism we'd ever encountered. It was fuckin great! Passing the nectar round we waddled off to a busker playing a few Beatles
numbers. "Twist and Shout" he sang, as we shouted and twisted in front of a crowd, vino in hand, oblivious to the world. "I Once had a Girl, or should I say..." what did he know, we were from the place, as we took over the
harmonies.

Richie was yelling at us from 20 yards away. "Here, over here!" he demanded.The waft of ganga polluted his neck of the square as Shaggy passed around a spliff the size of a rolled-up Echo. Having a bad magic mushroom in my mid-teens, when the temporary traffic lights started chasing me in Dale Street, I wasn't into the wacky or similar mind alterants, but fuck-it, this was Paris. We all indulged and were instantly stoned. We formed a scrum, pledging our faith and loyalty to each other, babbling shite.
"I love yiz"
"Don't go to Australia"
"Your kid's fuckin lovely Ged"
"Come back home Billy"
We peeled away, intoxicated with the comradeship. Macca kicked-off with his Frank Sinatra: "She gets too Hungreeey fooorr, Dinner at Eight.." clicking his fingers, sounding like his Dad.
We were drawn to a crowd up one end, near a fountain. Two buskers, yanks, one on acoustic guitar, the other on a mouth organ, amongst other things. We wanted The Jam, or Clash or Elvis Costello but instead got Dylan.

After the famous unemployment march in Liverpool, a year or so earlier, we had the pleasure of a singer in a pub doing a magnificent version, given the occasion, of "Down on Maggies Farm". We all agreed that it was the best
rendition of a Dylan song ever. But these lads were in a different league altogether.
"Mama, don't take that badge offa Me" - they drew us in as we knocked on heaven's door.
"I Shall be Released" - the growing throng sung for redemption. By the time they got to "Like a Rolling Stone" two hundred people would have eaten shite out of their hands.
"OOHH Once upon a time You dressed so fine, You threw the bums a dime in Your prime -- DIDN'T YOOOUUU!" Everybody knew the last two words of every line and bawled at the top of their voices.
".........about having to be scrounging .. YOUR NEXT MEEEEAAAALLLLLLL. HOW DOES IT FEEEELLLL"
It felt brilliant. We were higher than the highest kite, looking down on a sea of pleasure, inebriated with the sheer joy of it all!

It went on 'til way past midnight. We formed human snakes as we danced and meandered through the square, into the fountains, over the statues. We Minnie the Mouchered and Oke Kokeed and Tangoed, Waltzed, Reggaed and
Pogoed our way through the night and early morning until we couldn't drink, or sing or dance or grope strange women any more, and crashed totally out, comatosed, God knows where.
It was one of those very, very special nights!


The commuting Paris traffic woke us up. We were in a small park, under a big tree, next to a main road.
Jesus got mentioned a few times as we moaned and groaned, heads in hands, huddled straight-jacket like, as we tried to keep out the morning chill. Did you get the number of that bus?" Tony asked, trying to jolt us out of our booze induced misery.
"What bus?"
"The one that's just ran over me 'ead".
Nobody laughed. We were fucked.
After watching the Parisiens on their motorcycles, and chuckling at their bad George and Mildred helmets, it was decided to go back to the station and see if we could get a wash somewhere. Two rough nights - all day benders really - had taken their toll and we stunk. A walk was in order to
try and sober-up a bit and get some of the stiffness out of our aching limbs. And we needed a drink - something with bubbles to attack the budgie seed we all had in our gobs. Macca whistled "Sunday Morning Coming down", another of his old favourites. Very appropriate. As we dodged in and out of the traffic and walked along the streets we talked of a hotel room for the night. Where shall we stay? Let's try this one. The Intercontinental Five Star Hotel.

We knew we couldn't afford it but the idea was for two to book-in and the other four to bunk-in when it was chokka later in the night. Tony and Ged, being the eldest and least pungent amongst us, decided that they'd do the
honours so entered to see what the score was. We thought they must have got a result cos ten minutes later they exited and approached us beaming. No, they hadn't booked a room but they had bumped into the Polyfilla fellas,
would you believe, and after tellin them about the events of last night they said we could all go up to one of their suites and get a shower! Fuckin sound!!

We ran to the nearest Metro station, off at Saint Lazare, into the lockers, out with the bags and then back onto a train and up to the plushest, poshest room we'd ever seen. It was as big as some of our council houses. Once we'd all, simultaneously, thanked them, the Executives edged out of
the door before getting the mange.

"We're going for breakfast so see you downstairs and you can use the shampoo in the bathroom if you want" they grinned.
"Only if it's for bouncy hair" we retorted.
Don't know what they thought we had in our bags, but in fact we came well prepared - toothpaste, shaving gear, combs and, of course, a towel each.
Most important the towel. Besides being used for drying purposes it could be used as a pillow, blanket and it had been known to conceal certain items of value in our distant past. Douglas Adams plagiarised the idea from us well seasoned travellers.

The next half hour was fuckin mayhem as we had the room to ourselves. Richie immediately jumped into the double bed wanting a kip instead of a shower. Ged came out of the bathroom waving his knob around, making the rest of us run for cover. He got in with Richie who told him to fuck-off.
"What's wrong lovee, got a headache" Ged smooched, rubbing himself against Richie, who dived out of the bed, calling him everything. After a six-man piley-on on the bed and mutual slagging about the various decay of each
others socks and boxers, we settled down to cleanse the unwashed flesh. Showered, shaved, and changed into our match gear - assorted Lee, Inega, and Levi jeans with either Mamba or Samba Adidas trainees - we were ready
for the world again. We were clean enough for mass on Christmas Day.

By the time we got downstairs our best mates were checking-out. We told them the room was o.k., we didn't wreck it, so they asked whether we'd eaten. "Not since the steak and chipsticks yesterday" we told them, so they
said we could have breakfast. Walking us over to the dining room, they informed the maitre-de that we could have what we want and to put it on their bill. And then, the coup-de-grace, they produced a ticket for the match for Billy - and it was in the Main Stand! We just looked at them, gobs open, as they said their tara's and off they went. We couldn't believe it. Gobsmacked, astonished, dumbstruck - we were the lot! Someone fuckin pinch us! Sitting us down to a snooker sized table with matching legs, the waiter, in
halting English but still better than ours, said that we could have anything we wanted.
"Anything?"
"Anything"
Pause, as we looked at the menu.
"Have you got any Rusks?" said Macca. We rolled about laughing.
.We ordered the full monty. Sausages, bacon, eggs -"Runny, please"-, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread et al.
"Any blackpudding?"
"Non"
"OK, and pots of George all round, s'ilvousplait"
After trying to explain that George was, in fact, slang for tea, as in George Henry, the non-plussed waiter made good his escape returning every now and again to replenish the food and drink as we satiated our appetites.
Not wanting to die wondering, we asked if we could have a bottle of Champagne and some cigars, "Hamlets, if you've got them" for dessert. We could!

So we sat there, sipping our glasses "full o' the warm South", smoking cigars and grinning like the proverbial moggies . We couldn't believe such hedonistic luck.
Vanity stricken, we lounged around, outstretched arms across the backs of the chairs, doing bad Jimmy Savilles and Groucho Marx', making it impossible for us to be unnoticed and, therefore, able to bunk in later.
Prising us out of the hotel with a crowbar, we told the waiters to take a tip for themselves and it was back into a cloudy, Paris late-morning.
The City Centre hotels were obviously out of our league so it was maps out and back onto The Metro in search of some cheaper abode. We found one in a Western District where the girl at reception didn't notice that there was 6 bags between the four polite young men. We booked into two double rooms courtesy of Billy swelling the kitty with the money put aside for his match ticket; the one he kept taking out to scrutinise, kiss, smell and generally
stare at to the envy of the rest of us. "Jammy Evertonian bastard" was amongst the lighter comments passed
throughout the day. However his gesture meant that only two would have to bunk-in later. A doddle.

We spent the rest of the afternoon getting on and off the Metro. We visited the Stade du Parc des Princes where we met our first Madrid fans who were probably getting a similar squiz at the stadium as ourselves, before it
would be transformed by the multitudes tonight. And, of course, we frequented the bars, taverns and pubs as hoardes of fans descended upon the city, the Red variety seemingly outnumbering the Whites by three to one.

Caught up in the banter, songs and comaraderie it didn't take long to get pissed again. We excelled in it. We loved it. And so on to the match. Their end was white to the core, a cacophony of incessant thumping, Lamberg fucking drum style. Ours was an ocean of red and white; waves of plain and chequered flags, Union Jacks and the odd
Tricolor. Scarfs, hats and banners, and naturally the singing and chanting. We didn't really have a song for the occasion, but it mattered not. Ours is a rich history, with songs aplenty; a colourful tapestry unsurpassed
anywhere, and we, the five of us and many thousands more, sang our hearts out.

Pity about the game, though. It was shite.
That was until Ray Kennedy took a throw-in down the left with nine minutes remaining and his namesake, Barney Rubble, took it in his stride, beat the full-back and drove it into the back of the onion bag for the winner!!. Our
end went berserk as all the frustrations of the previous 80 minutes were emitted in pure, unadulterated pleasure. I kissed and hugged everbody and then cried buckets as we bellowed "We Shall Not Be Moved", dancing on the
spot, jumping up and down as the end neared and the final whistle went unheard in the celebrations. Tears again as Phil Thompson lifted the trophy. He would later say that this win meant Liverpool had "..joined the immortals!" We'd done it. We'd won the European Cup for the third time!
Billy was waiting at the arranged meeting gate telling us that sat next to him was Emlyn Hughes. The squeeky voiced prick had yet to publicly flaunt his Toryness so we were impressed. But we were knackered more than anything.
Deciding not to join the lads in painting Paris Red, we instead went the other way. Physically and emotionally drained we returned to our humble sleeping quarters for a quiet few between the six of us. But our plans were
dashed as the joint was full of Liverpool fans. About a hundred, already swinging off the chandeliers, as they say. So that was that. We were up all night again as we danced and sang and celebrated until the place was dry.

The last thing I remember was waking-up, bollicko on the bed, with Macca and Richie giggling uncontrollably as they held a Bic near my shaving-foam lathered pubes. With the youthful high-jinks over, we all crashed out, me
ensuring that I was safely under a blanket with my jeans securely on.

The next day we nonchalantly left the hotel and besides bumping into similarly hung-over Liverpool fans, getting thrown out of a porn cinema, meeting Laurie Cunningham and Juanito of Real Madrid in Le Pigalle and
trying to get pissed again, nothing much happened out of the ordinary!

So we made for our trek home, sleeping most of the way. Each time I stirred and looked up, one of the lads would have the makings of a wry grin decorating their sleeping dials, obviously reliving one of the precious, riotous moments we'd just had.
We left Billy at Euston where our slumber was interrupted by a typically zealous train guard who was searching for a large basket of mushrooms which had mysteriously disappeared from a pallet of produce on an adjacent
platform. "Rail Plod doth murder sleep" I informed him, but he obviously hadn't the privelege of doing Macbeth for 'O' level, so I left him to his vein throbbing stare and closed my eyes again. Off at Lime Street, where so many great journeys end, into a cab and after dropping off the other lads and sharing the mushrooms out, it was home. Straight to the fridge and guzzling half a pint of milk, I heard the familiar chimes of the News At Ten theme, so went to the living room where my Dad raised his head from the crossword.

"Have a good time, lad?"
"Great. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow". Leaving him to 21 Down, I climbed the stairs and went to sleep, with a wry grin all over my kipper, I'm sure.

Later on that year Ged would get engaged to the mother of his child, Billy would progress to the Isle of White, the other three would resume normal duties and I would leave home for warmer climes, after doing my youthly duty and protesting at the injustices in our neck of the woods, as parts of Toxteth burnt in the riots.
I've returned home a few times since and got together with what's left of the crew. We've often looked back and thought, with the benefit of hindsight and experience, whether we'd do it all a bit different. Maybe
visit Longchamps, the famous racecourse in the same park as the Parc de Princes, or marvel at the architecture of Notre-Dame or Pantheon; or visit one of the numerous world renowned museums?

No - fuck-it, we'd do it all again and more!
Long live watching Liverpool Football Club in Europe and having many, many adventures.

Offline Alf Garnett!

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #103 on: February 3, 2009, 07:27:30 PM »
From the brilliant MC BARNES:wherever you are on your travels mate-you should post more!

MY EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY.

An army amassed just like centuries before,
In a city made famous by sieges of yore,
Where Constantinople and Byzantium once stood,
A new army now did descend like a flood.

An army of thousands in livery of red,
Liverbirds on their chests and a dream in their heads,
With smiles on their faces and songs in their hearts,
Of hope a new era was waiting to start.

Stood on the North Tribune I looked all around,
A sea of red swamping 3 sides of the ground,
Flags, scarves and banners that covered the crowd,
A show of red strength to make Chairman Mao proud. *

I surveyed the scene in awe and in bliss,
How could we fail on a stage such as this?
I reckoned without an AC Milan team,
With the class to make nightmares out of our dreams.

And so it transpired in a half straight from hell,
A Maldini sucker punch straight from the bell
With 2 blows from Crespo 5 minutes apart,
Milan drove a dagger through Liverpool’s heart,

We staggered and reached the refuge of half time,
Our worst fears were realised, 3-0 behind,
Ashen-faced Reds with their heads in their hands,
Slumped in despair on the steps of the stand.

An anger rose in me, but not with the team,
Where was the 12th man? Was Chelsea a dream?
We had to show pride, try to lift them somehow,
We’d come much too far to give up on them now.

Somebody somewhere had shared the same thought,
My faith was restored in our famous support.
YNWA grew in strength, as did I,
And I sang.. as if it was for the last time.

Looking back now I can’t honestly say,
That as I sang, I thought we would find a way
To come back, but I wanted the whole world to see,
We still had pride, we were still Liverpool FC.

That chorus will live on in legend and lore,
Cruyff said he had heard nothing like it before,
Maradona said it made him convert to a Red,
Luis said it spurred them to rise from the dead.

Then came the reverse of our first half ordeal,
6 minutes of mayhem that didn’t seem real
6 glorious minutes that none will forget,
When Stevie and Xabi and Vlad found the net.

Milan came again but at each turn were foiled,
Once more a siege played out on Istanbul soil,
As the seconds ticked down, the Redmen stood tall,
Though their muscles screamed ‘stop’ they ploughed on through it all.

Then came the moment God’s will became known,
The ball fell to Shevchenko with Dudek left prone,
With the goal at his mercy, our Pole somehow saved,
Someone from above must have smiled on the brave.

It was then that it suddenly all became clear,
Milan realised that this wasn’t their year,
Alongside the Reds stood an ally too great,
There was no resisting the power of fate.

So when the game entered it’s final test then,
They bore the demeanour of half-beaten men,
Defeat after so much no player deserved,
But while Milan’s men wilted the Red’s kept their nerve.

And when Andrei’s nemesis foiled him once more,
The night air was pierced by a deafening roar,
Destiny fulfilled all that was prophesised,
And I hugged all around me with tears in my eyes

The Redmen all met us, celebrations they led,
Carra The Lionheart, Gerrard The Red,
Sami The Mighty, the sturdy Hamann,
Dudek and all, heroes to a man.

And Rafa, our Moses, by his guiding hand,
He led us all back here to this Promised Land,
When the road became hard no excuse did he use,
And when all seemed lost here his genius shone through.

Emotion flowed down from the stands like a shower,
As we watched Stevie lift that old trophy of ours,
You’ll Never Walk Alone once again we did sing,
As we all heralded the return of the Kings.

Now on the bus back to Taksim I went,
My voice was in tatters, all energy spent,
Utterly drained but smiling ear to ear,
I thought back to the road that had led me to here.

As a boy I had watched all the legends parade,
As they conquered all Europe and history was made,
As the years passed, now no longer watching a screen,
I thought I’d never see what my elders had seen.

I wondered if my eyes would yet see the glory,
And whether in years to come I could tell stories,
Of great Anfield nights and of crusades abroad,
When the Mighty Reds put Europe’s best to the sword.

2004 then turned into 05,
And finally all of my hopes came to life,
It seemed fate was there with us right from the start,
It happened as if it was written in the stars.

I watched from the Kop on that December night,
The pivotal moment when dark turned to light,
4 minutes from failure, then hope was restored,
We all dared to dream, when Stevie G scored.

Echoes of the past rang as clear as a bell,
The late Kop end goal , the same scoreline as well,
My generation loved tales about way back when,
But we now had our very own St Etienne.

I was there against Juve when ghosts of the past,
20 years in the waiting confronted at last,
The Kop spelled out friendship in red and in white,
And in silence we remembered the fallen that night.

The whistle it blew and the silence gave way,
To a whirlwind of noise that blew Juve away,
I saw a red tide almost swallow them whole,
And I saw Luis Garcia’s 30 yard goal.

I saw Chelsea get their come-uppence at last,
On a night at Anfield that might not be surpassed,
The primeval force of The Kop in full cry,
For 96 minutes the noise wouldn’t die.

96 minutes for 96 souls,
They surely were watching the drama unfold,
For something divine intervened on our side,
‘Cos I can’t explain how Gudjohnsen shot wide.

The Kop danced long after the players had gone,
The glory of years passed remembered in song,
And when we were thrown out we danced on outside,
Around Shankly’s statue long into the night.

And now I had witnessed a moment so rare,
It’s drama and splendour were beyond compare,
A moment in Sport we may not see again,
A moment I’d waited so long to attain.

Istanbul was for one night, Heaven on Earth,
So special you can’t put a price on it’s worth,
I give thanks I was one of the privileged few,
I was there and I saw all of our dreams come true.

A banner I’d seen and there saw it again,
“My Eyes Have Seen The Glory” it proudly proclaimed,
Four symbolic stars were emblazoned thereon,
I could now say “me too” when the 5th one was won.

I’ve seen the Kop’s legacy upheld and enhanced,
And seen us win when no one gave us a chance,
I’ve seen us rise up and be crowned Europe’s best,
If it’s the last match I see I’d still think myself blessed.

The banner in question....

Offline Slave

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #104 on: February 8, 2009, 12:01:25 AM »
I have to post this as unfortunately it will get lost in the midst of the general shite that is the post-match thread:

Well that was an interesting game, to say the least. Handy one for me because this match featured a number of familiar Benitez media tropes, aspects of our recent games and a whole lot of little tactical and mental issues, both good and bad, that are standing out this season, some of which are permanent ‘issues’ that simply reflect Rafa’s management ‘flavour’, namely things that Rafa will never change...you either like them or you don’t.

Don’t expect a neat little conclusion to all the strands, I want to look at a lot of little separate things here and won’t be trying to weave all, or even many, of them together.

Team Selection

Start with the obvious. Firstly, I think Rafa would rather have played a line up more like this in the cup games. I’m sure he would have against ‘lesser’ opposition but the fact is that Everton are one of 4 other domestic sides where we have to play our strongest side. Only in the Carling Cup could Rafa get away with resting players against Everton.

The team set up in a 3-5-2 variant, in my view a very clever move. This is a formation designed to work against a more traditional 4-4-2 which has gone out of fashion precisely because that kind of 4-4-2 is a rarity these days. Pompey’s line up was as traditional a 4-4-2 as I’ve seen in a long time.

For most of the first half it was a great example of what happens when these formations meet. Not much midfield battle, two strikers suffocated by the three CBs, and wing-backs dominating the extra space up wide while the support strikers have acres of space and the tactical freedom to go where they want.

In spells I thought we played some of the best football we have this season, at least in the build up play. The quick one touch passing through the middle is something I’d like to see a lot more of from us. It’s interesting that it sometimes takes us to play something of a second string team (but one filled with decent technical players) to see the kind of play we’re capable of. I used to think it was more a problem with Gerrard, but he’s adapted well. It’s perhaps more a case of the rest of the team consistently stepping up and realising that this is how we should play regardless of who’s in the side. Don’t stop passing and moving (and pressing) in order to try and work in Torres/Gerrard/Alonso all the time.

On the other hand, it was also perfect critic fuel: “Rafa starts with 6!! Defenders!,” “Torres on the bench!,” “Alonso should have started, or if not come on sooner, but when does come on it has to be after Torres,” etc etc

Typical hindsight punditry really. Lack of cutting edge is ascribed to the formation/defenders, no mention that in terms of team play it was a very coherent first half. Second half changes are then put down to Pompey having more spirit, rather than what I thought was a subtle change of shape, with Crouch dropping consistently deeper making more of a 4-5-1...the very formation that led to 3-5-2 becoming a rarity.

This brings us neatly to:

Substitions

Rafa is unfairly maligned for his substitutions. This is very much one of those flavour things. If you want a manager who appears proactive (IE throws strikers on...actually a move that is not at all proactive, and generally gives me confidence when opposing managers do to us, I personally think it’s a sign of desperation. To paraphrase the genius Earl from Tremors: “Damn it Val, throwing strikers on isn’t a plan, it’s what you do when a plan fails...”) then Rafa is not your man. If you want a manager who is capable of identifying ways to subtly change the pattern of play while (I’m sure) timing his subs due to some analysis suggesting that this is when they’ll make the most impact, then Rafa’s your man every time.

In short, Adams went 4-5-1, Rafa does so shortly after and has the faith that our 4-5-1 is superior. Torres looked fit and fresh and (key for me) unselfish with his cameo, Alonso steadied the ship and looked back on form while Kuyt provided the industry he always does plus some very crisp finishing. Again this is a flavour issue.

Of course we’ll never play as well as we can with our best players all on form, but is a fresh 2nd 11 (first half here) really so much worse than a tired 1st 11 (Everton FA Cup) that we can’t play the second string, ever? Surely it’s just as valid to argue that the freshness, sharpness and sheer impact that the three subs made shows that while, yes, we perhaps rely on these players too much, we rely on these players when they are fit and on form. In that state we can score 2 in 10 minutes. Tired, overplayed and kicked from the start they can struggle at least as badly as any perceived 2nd string we could play.

Media Tropes

The above is caviar on the media blini from what I can make out (or rather the chips on their pizza – they’re not that classy after all) as it gives the media a great opportunity to bash Rafa regardless. Against Everton, we have his wisdom at playing his stars openly questioned. Against Pompey, they all should have started. Had we played a second string in the FA Cup we would've course have had him hung drawn and quartered for the defeat, and had his respect for the competition called into question, which has of course laughably happened against Marseilles in the CL as well as Barnsley in the FA cup, among many others.

It must be nice to be a media pundit. Simply criticise whatever is being done today, even if that’s exactly what you suggested he should do yesterday, and offer the Godlike Ferguson as the gold standard against which all manegerial decisions are measured, and like a true religious fundamentalist, simply ignore all the various contradictions and hypocrisies this forces you to indulge in. Cover these up instead by repeating the point only louder and with added sarcastic ‘I told you so’ or ‘Oh that Rafa’ type remarks if your already nauseating presenting skills stretch to that level of wit based subtlety.

Mind you, that’s worthy of a subheading because so many of our fans do it as well:

The Gold-Standard of management

Everything we do is compared unfavourably to Fungus, by our own fans almost as much as the media. Why is this? Why should we be expected to be the same as Man Utd? People forget that they are not the perfect team and manager. Fungus struggles with the CL, for example, make Rafa’s coming to grips with the Premier League seem like an absolute cakewalk. He’s been like a duck to water in the Prem compared to Fergie’s efforts in Europe (when the win was almost papering over the cracks, it’s only in the last few seasons that they’ve actually looked the real deal in the CL, seasons in which Queiroz was clearly a huge tactical influence).

So firstly it’s wrong because no team is the be all and end all, never has been, never will be. I don’t want to be more like Man Utd or Arsenal, I want us to be ourselves at the highest level we can possibly be. Our dominance was built on difference, more than anything else our unique willingness to play the continental style.

In that respect I think the cycle’s come back...once again we are seeking to play a more continental style than our rivals and while it’s yet to truly click in the league (though it can)  our European status is almost back to what it was in our heyday...something all to readily overlooked by some of our fans, not least because it’s this, not domestic titles, that truly sets us apart as the dominant English team.

Mainly though, it’s wrong because it’s just plain wrong. Apparently Ferguson would never make so many changes for a game like today’s. In reality, Ferguson rotates massively, and his team has become better for embracing this policy. Frighteningly good in fact, and the reason for this is not Rooney et al, but how effective Fletcher et all are when called upon, and how happy they are when they are out of the side...which I’ve no doubt is helped by the relative lack of media attention on say, Tevez getting games as opposed to Keane.

Even more annoying is that when the Fergie doesn’t rotate myth is challenged (which happens occasionally) the response will shift oh so quickly into ‘but when he rotates he does it with quality’. Now, OK, there’s an argument there, but either his methods are the gold standard or they aren’t. Again it’s have-your-cake-and-eat-it punditry. When Benitez rotates he’s wrong because Fergie doesn’t do it, when Fergie does it he’s right because he has better players. I don’t see the logic in saying we need to rotate our best players that we supposedly rely on more less...surely in that case the risk of injury is even higher for us and therefore we need more, rather than less, rotation of our stars?

Then again, this of course ignores the crowning glory of this particular bit of stupidity because Rafa doesn’t rotate his best players. Never has. Plays them more often than Man Utd (based on the last couple of seasons) in fact. Sheesh.

Same goes for formation. Apparently Fergie never changes his formation from game to game. That must come as something of a shock to his players who’ve lined up in quite a number of variants of 4-5-1/4-4-2. I’d say they’re second only to us in terms of tactical flexibility both in game and in the starting lineups they pick.

This also flows nicely into:

Refereeing Decisions

If has been a noticable effect from Rafa's justified attack then it's not been in our favour. If anything I feel we've had a number of harsh decisions go against us recently, and more than our fair share all season (the Stoke non goal for example). It's not an excuse, as we should have won many of the games regardless, but I think it is an important factor especially when we (inevitably) compare ourselves to Man Utd. While I've no doubt that 'bigger' teams in general (though I strongly believe any club with enough fans and especially media profile, Spurs for example, benefit too) do get decisions, I don't think any team benefits like Man Utd. Season after season they get more penalties given, less given against, and generally seem to get the rub of the green a lot more often. Taking that Stoke game as an example, we have a perfect goal written off dubiously, Man Utd get a dubious penalty in their favour and win 5-0 in exactly the kind of game that is easy if you score early and a nightmare if you don't.

Torres and Ronaldo is another great comparison. Torres simply does not win many fouls for us, and no penalties I can remember, despite being clear with Ronaldo (I would think) as the most hacked at player in the league. Ronaldo wins penalties, fouls, and gets opponents booked in almost every game. Torres also picks up a lot more yellow cards for a lot less sin, and lets not even mention Rooney.

Sadly, there's not much we can do about this other than enjoy the extra sweetness when we do win, but I do think it's a factor, especially in winning number 19...big decisions will be easier to come by if we're seen as a team that revel in our over-dog status. Thought it was worth a mention though, after that ridiculous 'tale of two offsides' which could have seen us (and Rafa) hung out to dry, like Lucas' red did.

Still, this does mean that a win at Old Trafford would then give a massive boost to our...

Mentality

Today showed both our strengths and frailties very clearly. Incredible guts and determination to win the game, complete lack of self belief in making tactical dominance count for goals. First half showed an irony for me, in that our best players can actually be a hindrance to our best football at times (none of Agger, Alonso, Gerrard or Torres seem excel as one might expect playing quick one-touch possession stuff, especially at pace through the middle, while all excel at finding the killer pass/run/move which almost eliminates team play) those same players are of course the ones who have the killer instinct in abundance which can seem so lacking from the otherwise often high quality all round play from the likes of Aurelio, Babel, Mascherano, Kuyt, Lucas, Arbeloa and Skrtel.

I say ironic because for me the first half had a lot of the team play (and general sense of team over individual ethic) that we’ve been missing, while the second half showed the deadliness we lack when key players are out, even though these players can sometimes be as damaging to our team football as an off form Kuyt.

Torres

Delighted with his cameo today, to follow on from above what I really liked is that he looked first to hold up and play in rather than turn for goal. He’s been doing the latter far too often, and defenders are wiser to it, while the former is something vital to making our team play.

So many valid criticisms of our play (full backs fully back, holding mids gripping to tightly, too little movement) can at least partially be put down to the team’s and Torres’ unpleasant habit of always looking for the first time ball in behind, or to his feet for him to turn and be in on goal. This is great on the break, but a hindrance against the bus-parkers. He did this almost all game against Everton to no effect. 2 of the very, very few times he held up play properly, at around the 70min mark when he was already knackered and way off his best, and we suddenly had both holding mids near the ‘D’ area and both fullbacks in great overlapping positions, and made decent chances from both moves.

He did that from the off today and it was devastating. Also noticable how many more of his goals this season have been from ‘poacher’ type positions, exactly the kind of positions he can get into more regularly by playing it back/wide and then making his run into the box. If he keeps doing this then defenders will adapt, and in adapting he will then find it easier to do his favourite trick of receiving and turning or just running in behind. He has the quality to do both as well as anyone, he has the hamstrings to preserve as motivation for slightly adapting his game, and if he can achieve this balance of Drogba play and Anelka play he can be one of the best there’s ever been. There’s nothing stopping him. Take this cameo and bottle it Nando because in my view you playing like that is almost impossible to defend against, and ties our whole team together with a frightening degree of potential.

Ngog

Just a few words on this lad. For me he looks like a very raw Torres. He’s not done much so far but the little bits and pieces he has showed excite me. A great example would be a perfect run in behind and instant pass to an onrushing Aurelio when a different striker might have gone himself. Yes he’s raw, but his decision making and coolness under pressure are very hard things to teach, and are almost as good as I’ve seen in a striker his age. Makes his mind up instantly and in doing that catches defenders cold, the Aurelio chance was a great example.

This also highlights another gripe I have with some of our fans at the moment, this division of all players into good/shite as neat categories. Ngog has been placed in the shite-box, but I personally suspect that if Nemeth shows the same level of ability in his first few chances it will be hyped as the birth of a superstar.

Of course, it also has to be Nemeth Versus Ngog, like Lucas Vs Alonso or Spearing, it doesn’t seem to occur to many that on paper Nemeth and Ngog looks like the perfect modern strike-partnership (One creative, crafty and all brains, the other pacy, physical yet both capable of large aspects of the others game, Nemeth is good with his back to goal, Ngog has some very clever passing and positioning in his locker).

In short, he excites me and could be a major bargain at £1.5million.

Dosenna & Babel

I’ll finish on these two, lumped together because I want to say the same for both of them. Neither is at their best in an attacking sense just now. Both seem lacking that little bit extra that comes from a confidence injection, basically both need a telling assist or goal and I think they could really build on it. However, both have also worked really hard recently. Both seem more tactically aware. Both seem to be doing the job asked of them.

Dosenna in particular, had he started on this kind of form, would be receiving massive plaudits and a lot of excitement about the future. The juries still out on both, and as it stands both could turn out as great arguments for or against Benitez, namely that players have a hard time with him but on the other hand those who can handle it tend to keep on improving in a way that players at other clubs very rarely do. For a final time it’s a flavour thing...in this respect Rafa’s a bit like the training half of ‘Full Metal Jacket’. He can turn softies like private Joker into lethal murderers, he can turn lethal snipers like private Pile into suicidal basket cases.

There’s plenty of food for thought here so fire away!

It is most odd.

royhendo

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #105 on: February 9, 2009, 11:18:57 AM »
Parry expects to be out of a job by this March.

(Sorry Gedo - I think this is an important post!)

Also, have a browse round that thread and then have a think about whether your ideas on last summer's transfer activities are as clear cut as you thought they were.
« Last Edit: February 9, 2009, 11:40:14 AM by royhendo »

Offline Gedo

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #106 on: February 9, 2009, 06:30:05 PM »
(Sorry Gedo - I think this is an important post!)

Also, have a browse round that thread and then have a think about whether your ideas on last summer's transfer activities are as clear cut as you thought they were.
Roy there's not a shred of doubt in my mind over last Summers transfer dealings,Parry fucked up good and proper,Tony Barrett all but confirmed that in his piece in Saturday's Echo.

Offline shanklyboy

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #107 on: February 12, 2009, 02:47:05 AM »
I had to post this.
Not only because some of this work gets overlooked with it being in the tech thread, but just take a look at Kitsters work at the bottom of this page.

Incredible!

http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=224133.320
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royhendo

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #108 on: February 12, 2009, 08:43:13 AM »
Kitster's stuff is unbelievable eh? There are some real talents on the boards.

Anyway, this was an interesting post from Manifest on Abramovich and the situation at the plastics...

...chelsea post mourinho. the guardian talks of love, the love that abrahmovitch wanted people to feel for the club.......but for me they have missed the point.

This whole story is about a relatively young man who was, what, 34?, like you roy, when he took over at chelsea. Sure he wanted to win, but mostly, he wanted to be loved.

So, imagine that you are 34, you've got wealth without limit, you buy chelsea, bring in this amazing coach who makes everyone believe, and wins and wins, ....only to find that all those chelsea "fans" love mourinho, ..... and not you. The shy little boy routine that abrahmovitch has going on, the same today as when he first arrived, has always felt to me that his very "reclusiveness" masks a need for the very opposite.....he wanted approval so bad he bought a football team, hoping to be the loved "hero". I cannot see little roman being a very popular child. For, wealthy though he is, he is trapped behind the wall of his own wealth in terms of what I guess is a deep longing to belong. ( the current newcastle owner has a similar dynamic going on I think ). Roman behaves like he wants NO attention, and this doesn't add up AT ALL....I believe he wants the exact opposite ..... it's like that piece of body language that we all do unconsciously when we have a new car that we are proud of.....we suddenly have our hands up around our face, sometimes almost covering our face, and on the outside it looks as though we are hiding, but what the hands are really doing is saying "hey, look at me" ( my face ).....drawing the eyes of watchers TO us, not away.

But owners of clubs are neither admired nor loved, though berlusconi and ACMilan , who I believe abrahmovitch quite deliberately took as his model for chelsea, gets somewhere close. But its still fear/admiration, not the hero worship that is reserved for players and in mourinho's case, sometimes managers. So, I think mourinho had to go because abrahmovitch was jealous of the love and admiration that the chelsea fans gave him, or more precisely, all the time jose was there, he stood permanently blocking everyone else's sun.

In his shoes, with his story, if I was was roman, I'd feel like "Fuck. I spent more money than God ( the one who reputedly lives in the sky, not the anfield one ) on a team of some of the best footballers on the planet, I kept my head down, got out of the way, ...but there is this black hole of a manager who sucks all energy and light towards him and after all of what 'I' did, he gets ALL the credit, ALL the attention.......and whilst he's here, that won't change. I seriously believe that had there been one crumb of intelligence in the chelsea crowd,  :mooncat they would have figured out that one "Roman Abrahmovitch" chant, three times a season, for one minute at a time, would have evaporated all of his problems with mourinho ....this while the chelsea crowd chanted jose's name more and more regularly. I bet romans stomach tightened in a knot more and more every time he heard it. This is the cult of personality that roy speaks of. But roman couldn't ever acknowledge this to himself or anyone else, and all the yes men around him were never going to say it. This very piece here is the reason why shankly's oft quoted words about owners should be seen (write cheques) but not be heard is so deeply perceptive about the nature of successful ventures.......in a football club, the "owners" need to leave their personalities at the door, their ego's ( their selfish needs for love and approval ) set aside for the greater good. We here at this great club have been taught a painful lesson in this very area, where in a nightmare scenario, we don't just have one owner whose own needs are greater than the needs of the club, we have two, for our sins. 


So chelsea's story cannot be anything but a reflection of romans shadow ( shadow being that which remains unconscious and unacknowledged, as roman's need for love and approval remains unackowledged. And of course, what remains repressed in this way, will always tend to find expression in indirect ways....in this case, rationalizing mourinhos dismissal as having to do with results on the pitch or whatever, rather than the un-ownable truth that jose had not only taken away romans toy, but he was also getting all the attention that roman believed should be his.....so roman, basically, took his ball back and said 'I don't like this game, let's start a new one without him' )

And it is also not a surprise, if recent psychological musings are correct, that as a man still in his thirties, he is still very much engaged with acting out some kind of hero myth. This changes, it seems, certainly by your fifties, where conquering and winning ( love too ) ceases to have the same pull, and wider, more generous myths start to get played out, where "I" don't need to be the hero in any story, as twenty and thirty year olds are fated to play out it seems ......

royhendo

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #109 on: February 13, 2009, 08:55:36 PM »
...Rafa has all but got what he wants for his Contract it's a case of doting the I's and crossing the T's,it should all be Ironed out by the End of the Month.

royhendo

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #110 on: February 23, 2009, 11:02:16 AM »
I think I'll call it a night in a bit, but before I do, I do think I should point out a positive:

We've got as strong a case as anyone to being the 3rd best team in Europe. Unfortunately one of the two that are better than us are in the same league. Still, we're fucking good, even with all the evident flaws. 3rd best in Europe? Certainly top 5 along with the two obvious candidates and probably Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

It ain't the worst place in the world to be. I guess the reason I'm miserable at the moment is because it's so obvious that it's close. I don't just mean the league, I mean getting this team 'complete'. ... But then it was last summer, and we didn't take the opportunity to attempt to complete it.

Y'know, all logic would suggest it's a time to be positive. We've got an outstanding base to build off, and even if Arby and Aurelio aren't the two most attack minded fullbacks in the world, if we just supplemented them with two quality wingers, it wouldn't matter. That is all it is. Two players, and we will have money to spend. Whether you dislike G&H or not, and I certainly don't like the fact that all the cash spent by Rafa is more than likely putting the club further in debt, we have had money to spend in their two summers here. Must be approaching £100m spent (although plenty of that recoupled) in the time they've been here.

I guess it comes down to whether you have a belief that Rafa thinks we just need to take that attacking step. To buy those two players, give them the freedom to operate, and suddenly give us 4 quality players up top instead of two. It would take us up a whole level and we all know it. But will Rafa do it? It was the same last summer and it was Gareth fuckin' Barry that was the priority. Who is to say it wont be the same next time 'round?

... Fuck, that's not really positive is it? Oh well. We're still close and the next step is so obvious. ... Which I guess is why Rafa doesn't want to take it. If A is right and B is wrong Rafa will take C and try and mindfuck everyone whilst being right at the same time.

*grumble*

We are bloody good though. Let's not let that escape people.

Oh, and I'll throw this in there to make it more positive:

We are arguably the 3rd best team in Europe. We are in our first title race in god knows how long and are doing so in a season where our owners, manager, chief-executive and christ knows who else are bickering. In a season where our manager has allowed his contract talks to dominate the headlines. In a season where our stalwart at the back is declining before our very eyes and when the heir to the throne of Sammer, the next in line for the great list of liberos, is being isolated from our squad. In a season where our Moaning Fathead O'Airshot looked no more a £20m striker than I do a gangster rapping ballerina. In a season where our transfer policy was used as a game of political chess. In a season where our manager has been out with kidney stones..

In that season we're 2nd, in our best position for fuck knows how long. Rafa may be responsible for more than a small amount of that is disrupting us but at the same time, he's worked a minor miracle to get us where we are at the moment. It is against all odds.

royhendo

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #111 on: February 24, 2009, 04:51:29 PM »
With all due respect, I don't think that's even slightly true.

Most of the 'happy clappy' brigade on here...all but a very tiny minority...do have criticisms of Rafa and do voice them from time to time. There's rarely a need to write articles about it however, because critical articles (if we're talking about current football) are more prevalent than positive ones, and critical threads are far more prevalent than non critical ones (just look how long the Lucas threads have become to see how much people like a whinge).

This constant barrage of criticism, mostly moronic, is what motivates those who can argue a good case to do so in favour of Rafa, in order to challenge the poor assumptions out there. If the general tone of the site were 'Rafa iz class innit...?!!!' then you'd see a lot more critical articles.

Please don't take it personally, but I am also heartily, heartily sick of the kind of comment you've just made. If there's one thing that riles me up more than the stupid criticism on this site, it's the perception that the critics are some kind of persecuted minority. Please do kindly fuck off. Look at any post match thread, apart from Chelsea/Man Utd, and see how many negative V positive comments you find...and that includes games we've won FFS. Go and look at the Lucas thread, or the Dosenna thread, and tell me that this site doesn't allow critics to post, or that the critics are some kind of minority.

Now, having done that, take into massive account that this is one of the LEAST critical sites Re Rafa on the web. Even TIA has run a number of hugely critical front page articles recently - including from the editor. Indeed, all the LFC media I read (web and press) has NEVER BEEN more critical of the man, despite us being 2nd in the league and still in the CL. It's absolutely ridiculous how much criticism there already is, some well written and most of it utter shite, yet people are still banging the drum of some mythical pro-rafa mafia who are impinging on freedom of speech.

If 'pro' rafa's are defensive it's because we're sick of hearing the same poorly thought out shite week after week...and I'm personally even more sick of the supposedly die hard supporters on so many 'fan' sites who are using such a critical time to stick the boot in, even though this has a genuine impact on the match going fans, and more importantly the general younger/more impressionable fans all over the place who, if they don't take their lead from the media, certainly do so from respectable fan sites such as this one.

By all means, write a good critical piece and see if it gets shot down. I've never seen one get an especially bad reaction. Certainly no worse than the average (far better written and infinitely better researched) Tomkins article gets for being 'too positive'.

One last thought on this subject of why the 'pros' might get a bit arsey -

I remember a thread called 'post your constructive criticism in here'. A clever thread, a focus for critical assessments, was very well received and had some excellent criticisms, and even the same old same old was said calmly and without the hyperventilating and 'rafa out' rubbish that often accompanies such posts.

It ran to two pages.

Some other examples: 'In support of Lucas' - specifically a thread to praise the lad, 50+ pages, mostly critical.

Brentie's 'Hardest team to beat in Europe' - at least half is full of comments like 'yeah but draws count for nothing'...in a thread where the OP specifically urges to ignore that for the moment and just enjoy the fact we've become so hard to beat.

So forgive me if in that climate I get a bit annoyed at someone claiming there isn't enough platform being given to those who want to air yet more criticism, and forgive me if I don't see why those who, effectively, want to add to the likelhood of Rafa being sacked (however tiny a weight that individual criticism may have it still adds up, and we KNOW that this site is used to justify media and owner views of 'but the fans say...'), should be given more encouragement than they already have to do so.

Offline STORMTROOPER

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #112 on: February 24, 2009, 07:02:55 PM »
great idea for a thread this

royhendo

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #113 on: February 27, 2009, 09:02:08 AM »
Rick Parry set to leave Liverpool Football Club
Feb 27 2009 World Exclusive By Tony Barrett

 
Rick Parry Image 2

RICK Parry is set to leave Liverpool Football Club.

The ECHO understands Parry’s departure by mutual consent will be officially announced by Liverpool later today.

The long serving chief executive will not leave with immediate effect though with all parties in agreement that he will remain in position until the end of the current season.

Speculation will inevitably surface suggesting Parry has lost a power struggle with Reds boss Rafa Benítez but the ECHO understands the real reason for his power is an acknowledgement that his relationship with Tom Hicks is unworkable.

As yet, there are no indications about who will replace Parry when his time at the club comes to an end.


http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2009/02/27/rick-parry-set-to-leave-liverpool-football-club-100252-23025675/

Brian Barwick is apparently getting a role at the club, head of communications or something.

Offline jennings883

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #114 on: February 27, 2009, 09:46:27 AM »
 Topic: Tit Monday - summer's on the way!  (Read 5367 times) 

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     Tit Monday - summer's on the way!
« on: April 5, 2006, 09:22:45 PM »   

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Saw this on another site, thought you might like it:

Ah, Tit Monday. It's not that far off now, that glorious day when, heading into work on the bus, or walking to the Dart, or sitting on the Luas, you find yourself suddenly chirpier than you have been in months. You find yourself smiling at strangers again. There is a mild involuntary tumescence in your trousers that comes and goes throughout the morning with the comforting regularity of a heartbeat.

And then you get a text around lunchtime from a mate which says: "At last, Tit Monday!" And you instantly understand why you are so happy.For Tit Monday is that special day in the year when, for the first time, the temperature rises above that magical point which causes girls getting dressed in the morning to decide to show a bit of skin. After months of dull colours and chunky knit, the world's birds suddenly dive into last summer's wardrobe (they've not had chance to buy this season's stuff) and chuck it on without a t hought. Your urban landscape is suddenly li ghtened with acres of naked arm and leg and, after many dark months of burrowing, breasts rising to the surface like moles at dusk.

Big breasts in white work shirts straining at the buttons. Small breasts braless in vest tops, the nipples frotted by ribby fabrics. Breasts in summer dresses bouncing in the distance so that they catch your eye before you even notice there is someone wearing them. Breasts nudging out from the crowd at traffic islands, quivering to cross the road... And you know it is nearly summer.

For previous generations, the arrival of spring was heralded by the sound of the first cuckoo. For us, it is Tit Monday. Not that it always falls on a Monday. Like Easter, Tit Monday is a moveable feast. Last year it fell on a Friday. Friday 29 April, to be precise, when temperatures maxed out at 22.1C after nothing much above 16C all year. It last fell on a Monday in 2004, when temperatures leapt to 22C on 24 April. And then, of course, there is Tit Monday Night. You see, in early summer, temperatures drop off very dramatically when night falls (Tit Friday 2005 dropped away to a parky 11.8C). But the dollies are not prepared. Slightly stunned by the morning heat, they drag out the summer clothes but forget to bring a cardie (a mistake they will not make again until next year),so that when they're all standing outside your local after work celebrating the arrival of spring, their barely covered nipples have no protection from the cold. It's like a Bring-and-Buy sale where everyone has brought hat pegs. It's like a prog-rock gig where, instead of lighters, everyone is holding up nipples. So when will Tit Monday fall this year? Will you be the first to text your mates with the announcement? Do not shoot your bolt too early. There will be false starts. You will smell fresh cut grass and see a couple of early starters and feel compelled to declare Tit Monday. But your more level-headed friends will tell you to hold your horses, keep your powder dry, don't fire until you see the whites of their bra straps

As the poet said: one bold slapper in a bikini doth not a summer make.
 
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Offline Greg

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #115 on: February 27, 2009, 09:48:46 AM »
I think Juan Loco's post should be on here as well Roy.

It's all a bit familiar
The continent’s form team are waiting in the last 16 of the European Cup. They’re in fantastic form. Some people say it could be their year. But after 90 (and usually a 180 minutes but let’s not count that chicken just yet on this occasion) they’re left shaking their heads wondering what happened.

Quote
"They’re really lacking in ideas."
Quote
"They just haven’t shown up tonight."
Quote
"I can’t recall them ever playing this poor."

You’re probably familiar with those phrases and other similar ones by now. If you were watching Barcelona in 2007, Inter Milan in 2008 and now Real Madrid in 2009 you’re sure to have heard them. It’s a strange coincidence that keeps on occurring. Europe’s giants, her best teams, the ones in the most frightening of form… They all keep on coming unstuck.

World class players, coaches, teams and clubs come undone. Liverpool and Rafael Benítez - Kryptonite to European club football’s superpower’s.

It shouldn’t come as a shock any more but to those on the outside it still does. The unexplainable has occurred, and for the 3rd year on the spin. It must be pure luck or an unfortunate coincidence. The same mistakes keep on being repeated. Don’t these guys ever learn?

In 2007 it was the reigning champions, the mighty Barcelona. No team was going to beat them. They had too much going forward; they had too much in midfield. Ronaldinho, Messi, Deco, Eto’o, and Xavi – how was anyone meant to live with that, much less a team that just got hammered by Arsenal’s kids? How was a squad in disarray, with players who attacked each other meant to put up a fight? How they sniggered. Some didn’t even hide it and just laughed aloud.

What happened? I think you all know.

The two at each others throats the week before both scored, Liverpool won away at the Nou Camp doing for a second time what no other English team has managed even once.

Barcelona didn’t show up. They couldn’t pass the ball as crisply as normal. Their big players were void of ideas and invention. They looked tired, flustered and ultimately hopeless.

In 2008 it was Inter Milan, a repeat of the infamous 1965 semi-final. Inter Milan were coasting at the top of their domestic league. They were then as they are now the perennial Italian champions. These wouldn’t repeat the mistakes of Barcelona. Barcelona were on the way down, Inter Milan had the hunger. They were on their way up. Domestic monkey off their back it was now the time to show that their success had not just come off the back of Calciopoli and show that they were the best in Europe.

An unwise comment here, a display of petulance there and they were off. Dispatched from Europe in a manner that was almost becoming routine. They didn’t show up, they didn’t pass the ball as crisply as normal; their big players were void of ideas and invention. They looked tired, flustered and ultimately hopeless.

And here we are now in 2009. Half-way to doing the same once again. You all know how the script goes by now. It’s one of Europe’s big guns. Hell, this time it’s the biggest. They’re flying too. They’ve just won nine on the spin and only conceded two goals in that time. The only game they lost was to a Barcelona side widely regarded as the best in the world at present, and that was in Juande Ramos’ first game in charge domestically, away from home with a squad depleted by injuries. This Real Madrid team are steamrolling the opposition. They’ve scored ten goals in their last two games. They’d put six away before half time at the weekend. This time it’ll be different. This time Liverpool is in turmoil… which granted, they were in the two previous ties, but this one is different. Their luck has to run out eventually, doesn’t it?

Well, as it turns out, no.

Madrid are put away without Liverpool’s two best players even being on the pitch at the time the goal went in. Quite a feat for a side regarded as overly-reliant on just two players. Familiar echoes occur in the heads of Sky Sports esteemed commentators, presenters and analysts.

“They didn’t show up. They couldn’t pass the ball as crisply as normal. Their big players were void of ideas and invention. They looked tired, flustered and ultimately hopeless.”

Only at a few limited intervals over the last 3 years will you have heard why these teams didn’t show up. Why they struggled. Why passing the ball suddenly looked foreign to them... Turns out that it’s the opposition team. Liverpool. They’re fucking good.


It’s been taken for granted a lot recently, just where we are in the grand scheme of things. There are two teams who can realistically say they are better than us at the moment. The pisser is that one of them is in our league. The major pisser is that it’s them.

We’re not going to talk about them though. We’re going to talk about us. Because it isn’t getting said often enough at the moment how good we are. How far we’ve come climbing back up the mountain. And no, we’re not at the top yet. But just because we haven’t hit the summit quite yet, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look down through the clouds at the people who look like ants down below.

And tonight it hit home again. It wasn’t just beating Real Madrid without slipping out of 2nd gear. It was as much hearing Joe Cole talk about playing against Liverpool. Not about the kop or the atmosphere. About how when he’d look up there’d be red shirts everywhere. How there was no space. How difficult it was. You could tell he hated it. Respected just how good we were at it, but hated it none the less. He’s not the only one either. You don’t need an interview to know that it shook the shit out of Ronaldinho. It quickly changed Messi’s opinion to the point where now he goes out of his way to praise us. Kaká’s pointed it out as well. Robben did too. Sure, some lash out at the style of play, but it’s sheer frustration. It's anger because it stops them from doing what they want to do.

We’re not complete yet, everyone knows it and we all have pretty much the same idea on what the problem is. You can bet if we’ve noticed then Rafa has too. Whether he’ll go about correcting it in the way you or I would ideally see it bettered, who knows? He should get every chance possible to do so though.

We’re really not that far away and anyone who wants to call it a day now… Well I just can’t get my head around that. Some people need to remember just how good we are. Even with the draws, the perceived negative style of play, the lack of creativity and whatever else. Even without that the icing on top, this squad and this manager are still really good. We’re amongst the best three teams in Europe and, on a single day, perhaps the best. Some times we need reminding of that, especially when things have been going the way they have been recently. Thankfully there’ll always be another European away day to jog our memories and wet our appetites at what is to come in the last 3 months of the season.


royhendo

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #116 on: February 28, 2009, 09:41:01 PM »
From McPhisto - genius.


Offline Ginamos

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #117 on: March 1, 2009, 08:57:32 AM »
An excellent response from the "Slowly losing patience?" thread

Look, I've been watching football for a very long time and I see signs, in the current squad, that we are getting very close to being a real force to deal with.  Yes, today was awful, but look at the way we are playing now.  It's pass and move all over again.  Gone is the hoofball of the past, a dark and distant memory now from the Houllier era.  We are holding onto the ball, passing it along the ground and the only thing we are lacking is solidity at the back and a cutting edge up front.  I shudder to think how good a young Michael Owen or Robbie Fowler would have been in our side.  We would have suited them perfectly, particularly the former, who had to play in Houllier's hoofball sides and maybe, never fullfilled his true potential because of it.  Yes, he was amazing but I would love to see how good he could have been if you were able to move him forwards in time and put him into our current side.

That is what we are missing. When Torres is injured, we don't have anybody to knock in the goals.  Robbie Keane was not the solution in this regard.  He was not good enough.  Yeah, he was better than Babel and Ngog but that's not sayign much.  Rafa made the tough decision to get rid when he was still worth close to what we paid and that's one reason why some of us love him - he's not afraid to take risks.

Now, regarding how much time Benítez gets, that depends.  If you realistically think that we should expect the title every year now just because he has been here for four years, then you are dreaming.  Those days are gone.  I grew up in those days but I've had to realign my expectations with reality.  You just don't win things unless you have the best players and it takes money to get them.

And, it doesn't seem to be the case that you can get anything for free anymore by having a good youth policy.  Hell, it used to be that there was such a thing as "an unknown" quantity in football from south america or malaysia or Egypt or whereever.  Nowadays, there is so much money in the game that it seems like we know about anybody talented from the age of 16 onwards.  If they are really talented, big clubs start watching them when they are 12 years old.  So, it's a lot harder to get good young players.

That means that we have to buy players but when you are competing in the transfer market against ManU who can outbid you every time and Chelsea and when you had a CEO that drags his heels in negotiations like Parry did, then it becomes very difficult.  I say - Give Rafa at least two more years post-Parry before we even start contemplating getting rid.  Lets see who he buys in the summer.

Besides, who are you going to replace him with? Mourinho? Anybody that believes that Mourinho is some kind of gennie who is going to make all our wishes come true is kidding themselves.  He's a good manager but he won the league with vastly superior resources at Chelsea.  He is winning in Italy with Inter but the league has been decimated by the refing scandal and Juventus are not the force they once were because of it. 

He won the CL with Porto but so what.  Rafa won it with us and beat him to get there.  Rafa also won the league in Spain against Barca and Madrid, arguably a much greater achievement than Mourinho's two English titles.  So when you compare their track records, you have to say that we would be weaker, not stronger with Mourinho.  Press conferences might be more fun but I don't think our club needs any more of a media circus than it already has.

So, I say that this discussion is premature.  In the internet era, it seems that it only takes one loss before a portion of the fans start going mental.  Two losses and they are clamouring for the manager's head.  It's ridiculous.  We get into the CL every year easily now under Rafa.  We used to be fighting like Tigers for a CL place under Houllier apart from that one year that we came 2nd.  That's progress.  Our style of play has changed to possession football from the counter-attacking football of the Houllier era.  That's progress.  We've brought players like Torres and Alonso to the club because of Rafa.  That's progress.  We've got one of the best goalkeepers in the world in goal because of Rafa.  That's progress.  So, people who are saying we aren't going forward are just looking at the negatives.  Get behind the team and manger and lets give him the time he needs.  Otherwise, it won't be 18-18.  It will be 24-18 after another decade and that will hurt a lot worse than the current Fall from grace.

Offline nocturnalvin

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #118 on: March 1, 2009, 09:24:01 AM »

royhendo

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Re: Some quality/important posts you may have missed
« Reply #119 on: March 3, 2009, 08:26:32 AM »
Two very thought-provoking posts from two of the site's most thought-provoking members (in my view anyway). The exchange makes you think, and maybe other than the mass blerting that's been going on here on the main board, we ought to all be spending a little more time thinking about the stuff these guys are debating.

Obviously everyone will draw their own conclusions, but we ought to broaden the context a little beyond this last few weeks to get the bigger picture, and I feel both cowtownred and shanklyboy do a very good job of that - their views are a product of considered analysis, and they back their points up at every stage. :wellin


And what, in your opinion, is the real reason Benítez is playing hardball over his contract situation presently?

Its a serious question.

Does he want out, for whatever reason, and keeps issuing new demands to force the owners into a decision (cos like it or not, as I certainly dont, we are having the owners for the forseeable)?
Or is there really some serious sticking point regarding control of the Academy?  Cant see that myself.
Or is he really being denied control of his transfer dealings.. money aside..  cant see that either if Im honest.
Or is it that he wants to be certain of the ownership going forward?

Well this last one is interesting.

How can he expect to know about the ownership, when the owners don't know either? There is no imminent buyout, and how would Benítez expect the current owners to say what can happen?

So why is this of importance to him?  Because none of the other potential sticking points in the contract negotiations appear to be a real issue.  The tenure/money are sorted. He has been granted Academy control. There might be some fineprint about his control of any transfer budget, but in principle Hicks has rubberstamped this, and with Parry gone... theres no real impediment.

So, I ask again, what is Rafa's problem?

It has to be his future if the ownership changes sometime, or, he doesn't want to sign.  Now, it may be that previously interested buyers of the Club are not supportive of Benítez, but these buyers are gone, and no other sugar daddy is imminent.  If a takeover was forthcoming, and if these were not wanting to retain him, I could see the reason for Rafa wanting his future clarified before signing up...  but he knows as well as everyone else, that in the current climate...   there is no takeover. Hicks will be his master for the future few years.

So, I say again, I have a feeling that Rafa is engineering his exit this summer without appearing to let the fans down or to desert the sinking ship.  Thats my take on this saga. It certainly hasn't done the Club or the team any favours in recent weeks, and that cannot be argued.  I think the politician in him has over-ruled the football coach on this occasion, and once again we will be the losers.


Here was the reply.


My post that you quoted was a response to redprodigal as to one of the reasons why Mourinho wouldn't be coming here, so I'm not sure why you are asking me the question mate.
For what it's worth though I'll have a go at answering you; though you are asking many questions and putting almost as many opinions forward.

And what, in your opinion, is the real reason Benítez is playing hardball over his contract situation presently?

Its a serious question.

Does he want out, for whatever reason, and keeps issuing new demands to force the owners into a decision (cos like it or not, as I certainly dont, we are having the owners for the forseeable)?
Or is there really some serious sticking point regarding control of the Academy?  Cant see that myself.
Or is he really being denied control of his transfer dealings.. money aside..  cant see that either if Im honest.
Or is it that he wants to be certain of the ownership going forward?

Well this last one is interesting.

How can he expect to know about the ownership, when the owners don't know either? There is no imminent buyout, and how would Benítez expect the current owners to say what can happen?

So why is this of importance to him?  Because none of the other potential sticking points in the contract negotiations appear to be a real issue.  The tenure/money are sorted. He has been granted Academy control. There might be some fineprint about his control of any transfer budget, but in principle Hicks has rubberstamped this, and with Parry gone... theres no real impediment.

You ask what my opinion is to the 'real' reason' Benítez hasn't signed, implying that there is an ulterior motive for him. Which you go on to state more emphatically later in your post.
I doubt if my thoughts on the matter will alter your viewpoint as it seems clear that you have already given it some thought and come to your own conclusions, so my opinion isn't going to change that.

We can all assume many things,try to read between the lines and attempt to see what is or isn't actually there. Some have to be taken on face value.
The contract apparently hasn't been signed for the same reason it wasn't signed in the first place. It isn't what Benítez has asked for, despite assurances that each time it will be.
Each time it is redrafted it doesn't clarify the areas Benítez had previously requested clarification and transparency about.
Those areas are:

A certain amount of autonomy in transfer dealings.
Influence over Academy affairs.

These are the areas he was promised he would have more say in back when he was offered the position.
This is the first opportunity to change and address what has been an unworkable position for Benítez given the needs of Liverpool F.C. Once bitten twice shy so to speak.

So, I ask again, what is Rafa's problem?

It has to be his future if the ownership changes sometime, or, he doesn't want to sign.  Now, it may be that previously interested buyers of the Club are not supportive of Benítez, but these buyers are gone, and no other sugar daddy is imminent.  If a takeover was forthcoming, and if these were not wanting to retain him, I could see the reason for Rafa wanting his future clarified before signing up...  but he knows as well as everyone else, that in the current climate...   there is no takeover. Hicks will be his master for the future few years.

So, I say again, I have a feeling that Rafa is engineering his exit this summer without appearing to let the fans down or to desert the sinking ship.  Thats my take on this saga. It certainly hasn't done the Club or the team any favours in recent weeks, and that cannot be argued.  I think the politician in him has over-ruled the football coach on this occasion, and once again we will be the losers.

New ownership is irrelevant to the contract.The contract will only provide assurances to Benítez in terms of the amount of compensation he would receive if new owners decided to sack him during it's term. No contract can prevent that from happening.The contract can't contain assurances it won't be changed by new owners, simply because it can't be.
 
The contract issue was brought into the public arena by the media, not Rafa Benítez. Unless the conspiracy theorists want to speculate that he deliberately primed a certain journalist to broach the subject randomly and out of context in one of his weekly press conferences.
It was leaked that negotiations had begun on the contract which Benítez initially fended off questions about in October 2008.Cast your mind back to when this all came out and how every press conference was quickly being dominated by contract questions.There is  a ready made, ongoing story there for the press, as they continue to attach anything Benítez related to the ownership debacle and his relationship with them. What better story than if he will be given/want a new contract. It was always going to be media driven.

This goes back to the beginning of November when Benítez made these comment:

"For me, it has to be done this month. I don't want to be talking about this at every press conference,"

"I want it out of the way so we can concentrate on just the football. The owners have come forward and said they are happy with the job we are doing, so we have to sort it quickly because it's important for the stability and the players that are thinking about signing new contracts.

"Stability is important to every club. To me the length of the contract is important, I would like to be here for a long time because the club and the team is progressing.

"We have a new stadium on the way and I think we have a team capable of winning trophies in the future, so I want to be part of the future of the club. I feel we are on the verge of something good here."

As this was now firmly in the public domain with no sign of the 3rd or 4th draft being satisfactory, Benítez put the ball firmly in the owners court by issuing his public statement about the content.
This forced the owners hand prior to the Chelsea game.....nearly 3 months of press speculation, re drafting and renegotiation later!

So either you believe Benítez an honest and genuine man or is playing games with us all and is angling for a summer move. Or you take it on face value that there are areas he is justifiably concerned about in order to do the job he was promised he had before he signed his current contract back in 2004, are genuine.