SUPER TUESDAYS ON SWOOSH0018.COM.
Rafa Benitez , names an unchanged squad after 58 games, Torres comes on as a super sub and scores, and Captain Fantastic goal scoring run continues…
After the 8 – 0 drubbing of Besiktas in the week, a lot of expectation lay on Steven Gerrard and co, and supporters were hoping the momentum levels reached against Besiktas would continue as the Reds hosted Fulham at Anfield, in a game which was heavily important to Liverpool’s pursuit of closing in on Arsenal and Manchester United. Peter Crouch started alongside all and sundry from Wednesday, leaving commentators and pundits at a loss for words. Their prepared speeches to lamabast Rafa Benitez for not sticking to a winning team was as wasted a goal scoring opportunity for Derby County ! Anfield was buzzing at the starting whistle, but slipped into a tense whisper as the Kop witnessed their team squander chance after chance. It looked to be another frustrating night at home, and John Arne Riise was not helping the team. In the team as an outball specialist , he can’t seem to control the ball, and when he does eventually, doesn’t seem able to do anything productive with it. I think most fans have already thanked him for past glory, but he seems destined for the clarinet and blue of Aston Villa. One thing for sure, his payslip hitting the internet seems to have had a hugely negative impact on his form, and his security concerns seem to be occupying his mind over Rafa’s instructions.at the moment.
Everyone else played out of their socks againsta resolute Fulham. The Reds created chance after chance but just couldn’t get the ball into the back of the net. Brazilian Fabio Aurelio was brilliant at left back, Carragher was at his solid best, Sami Hyppia seems to have regained some form, Stevie G pulled the strings in the middle and scored a well taken penalty, Alvaro arbeloa is showing why his name seems to never be rotated, Andriy Voronin was all over the place, Peter Crouch didn’t have the best of games, but managed to keep the Fulham fullbacks on their toes, Benayoun could have scored in the follow up to Gerrard’s swerving free kick , Masherano held it all together but still lacks in productivity offensively, but did attempt to push up more than usual.
Torres shibobo goal brings the Kop to its feet at Anfield (Propaganda Pictures)
70 minutes down and still 0-0. Things are looking rather dreary as another draw looks on the cards, and Rafa decides to use his Trump card, enter the fray Fernando Torres to a rowdy reception from the Anfield Faithful. He reciprocated this passionate buzz with a brilliant solo effort after what has been labeled as an “assist” from Pepe Reina, kick and hope for the best by the critics. Nonetheless, the outcome was sublime to say the least. Brilliant first touch of his chest (Kuyt, watch and learn) a few twist and turns, ended off with an inch perfect “shibobo,” and once again El Nino changes the weather in Merseyside. That brings a storming approach from the Reds, and Crouch finds himself in space, but is tripped…by Himself !
Gerrard steps up and 2-0 it is at the final whistle. The premieship log looks a lot better and Reds are still in the running mid-november, a marked improvement from seasons past. Fernando Torres has not been called up for Spanish duty which will boost Rafa’s mood and the fans will be spared the agonizing international break, which is a break in more ways than one as far as Liverpool are concerned, with players returning with injuries more often than not. Daniel Agger and Xabi Alonso should be back for the trip to Newcastle, and the Reds will be bolstered no doubt by their return.
The Reds are up and running, and more importantly,still in the running.
Back in 86 most of us were still lity’s in primary school When SAF took charge the mission was straight forward: to overtake Liverpool as the number one team in England. Over the last 21 years championships & silverware has been abundant & the elevation of Man United as the world’s richest club at one point is due to the global success of the Man United brand. Most importantly the restoration of Man United as Britain’s most prestigious team, which is largely down to success on the pitch, dictated, organized & controlled by SAF. The media at large tend to focus on when will he retire but I can’t think of anyone better for the job. He has transformed the club with his youth policy & no nonsense approach. As he has done over the last week taking a swipe at Wenger for hardly having any English players & backed Sepp Blatter for proposed legislation of having a certain number of home grown players. Wenger retaliated saying foreign players at OT should be disappointed about Fergies comments. But he’s missing the point as United have built success around a core of British players & given foreign players a chance. On the other hand the world wide success of the Premier League as the most watched has a lot to do with of the influx of foreign players. But a London team with only one Englishmen not even a first team regular is a shame…
Berbatov’s unhappy start to the season & the departure of Martin Jol has brought about the United link once again. Do we really need Berba? A player of his calibre will require regular first team football & Roon & Tevez are starting to show glimpses of magic. Ramos has come out saying he will not stand in any player’s way if they want to leave Spurs. If Saha gets injured one more time I suspect SAF will swap him.
Partizan Belgrade wonderkid Stevan Jovetic.has also been linked to United for a reported 7mil fee, but Belgrade have indicated they wont sell him on the cheap. Another striking prospect is Jeremy Menez of Monaco, at 17 both United & the scousers are showing interest in Menez who has been likened to the great Zidane. Vidic has been rewarded with a new contract till 2012, this guy looks rock solid reminiscent of Jap Stam. Bad news is Neville picked up a slight knock & Rooney’s freak accident, the “hasad” of the ABU’s is evident blaming Nani. Damn roon was on a roll!!. Will Saha stand in effectively?
Last Games vs. Kiev
If Rafa needs helps on how to successfully rotate player’s choen him to call Fergie. Good to see up and coming defensive prospects Pique & Simpson put in a good perf
ormance & not concede. No matter who we play in Midfield we getting results. Carrick’s excellent comeback gives us more depth in midfield, with Roon & Tevez starting to show glimpses of magic. Ronaldo’s brilliant strike capped an easy stroll into the last 16.
Ahh Ron the Don yet again, we understand all the envy from ABU’s. This okes heading is a mark of a world class striker. The headed goal he knocked in against Kiev (1st leg) was brilliant & again v Blackburn clinical. We should have hit 4 again was it not for Blackburn’s malicious tackling, 1 red & 4 yellow. The chance Giggs created beating about 4 players only to be hacked down by Nelsen, who was shown a yellow, could have been a brilliant individual effort. SAF came out saying this is his best team ever, time will tell, let the silverware flow. For me 99 treble still rules. Nani, Anderson & Hargreaves all adapting well & can only get better – money well spent. Chelsea drawing is good news but the Gunners remain top with a game in hand, only a matter of time before they run out of arsenal.
Commentators, stop smoking Hash !
176, NOT OUT. There you go, commentators, pundits, racist and anyone else who’s jumped on the Hashim Amla hate-wagon that has been gaining increasing momentum in recent times. Every single time he walks to the crease, he is playing for his place, a post he has EARNED over the years with consistency, grit and and determination in the domestic infrastructure. Commentators like Robin Jackman never seem to amaze, constantly picking on his technique, how his bat faces gully at the moment of delivery,etc. So what ? Brian Lara’s had an unusual technique too, and he is one of the all time greats to grace the world of cricket, Chanderpaul faces the square leg umpire, but that hasn’t been debated as having a diverse effect on his game. But its much more deeper than that for Hashim. Being a muslim, that too a bearded one, seems to bother a lot of the skeptics. The strangest negativity comes from “coloured” players who never made it to the level as Amla, the likes of Craig Marais and Gareth Flusk joining into the “GET AMLA” Chorus.It’s only when he reached his century that a few changes in tone were noticed, “nerves of steel” and “Powers of concentration are a few of the compliments that were bandied about, by these two commentators.Now, lets focus on the Man himself.
So commentators, pundits, analysts, the cricket media on a ..whole, please stop smoking Hash ‘cause frankly… it just ain’t cricket.