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FROM THE KOP END

El Nino back with a storm as Reds empty out Fulham

By Ejaz Khan

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.

Ejaz Khan

THEATER OF DREAMS
Inside the Theatre – Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates 21 Years at the Helm
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…

Prospects
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.
Vs Blackburn
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.

LAAL CHAVIL

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Commentators, stop smoking Hash !

Ejaz Khan

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.

Hashim Amla comes in at number three, and the anticipation .and expectation is deafening. Commentators start talking about whether Neil Mckenzie or Boeta Dippenaar will play at three or four, having already decided ..that Hashim is going to fail, as he takes his mark. He hold his nerve to some .degree, gathers a few runs, then gets dropped, but take his chance and could have scored a double hundred. Pity that Jaques Kallis went out, as that shot .Amla’s chance of a magical 200 out of the sky. He battled on for hours ..and survives with a patient 176 NOT OUT, including 24 fours, so while he might not have went on with things in Afridi style, he scored most of his runs in .boundaries. As the players walk off the camera flies back to the studio’s ….and the rather sheepish looking Craig Marais and Gareth Flusk start talking ….about how solid he is, and that “he was playing for his life.”

He was in fact playing for his life, and the sad reality is, he will always be doing so. Unfortunately for him, the critics will be back on Friday when the second test starts, and Hashim will be back “fighting for his life”, but supporters should rest assured that he carries the full support of the Indian community of south Africa, and I’m sure honest and true supporters of brilliant and composed batting from all other racial dominations as well. It is sad to make mention of this in a sports article, but that is from where SA has come, our bleak past seems to have scarred more than a generation, plus adding Islamophobia post 9/11, we should Applaud Men like Hashim who grow stronger with each growing challenge. He is no token or quota player, and the future SA Captain will weather every coming storm. The Man is a legend in the making, SA’s very own Mohamed Yusuf. “

So commentators, pundits, analysts, the cricket media on a ..whole, please stop smoking Hash ‘cause frankly… it just ain’t cricket.

ImOut
ejaz@ciinetwork.net ………………….

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Comments (22)

  • SETH
    November 13, 2007 at 7:15 am Reply

    Swoosh,

    What the hell is up with Hash article, sort it out man!

  • Anonymous
    November 13, 2007 at 8:30 am Reply

    what about the pakistani community of souf afhrika?

  • Anonymous
    November 13, 2007 at 8:48 am Reply

    Yaa I’m sure them too, Mr Pick n Pay No name brand/Moffie angry with the world for the lack of anything good in his life….((shame))

    I gather from your spelling that you’re from the group illiterates anonymous …Who let YOU near a PC ?
    LOL

    Ejaz Khan

  • Anonymous
    November 13, 2007 at 12:12 pm Reply

    BATSMEN ARE SUFFERING FROM TWENTY20 HANGOVER..STAR 13/11/2007
    With international cricket returning to the more sedate and intricate discipline of Test cricket after the crash, bang, wallop of the Twenty20 World Cup, it’s interesting to note that only two Proteas have scored centuries in the five-day format since then.

    And what’s even more compelling is that those two players, Jacques Kallis (4) and Hashim Amla (1), who have scored five Test centuries between them against Pakistan and New Zealand, both missed the 20-over extravaganza held in South Africa a short while ago.

    Kallis’s average in the past three Test matches is a whopping 159, and Amla is the next best with a respectable 57.

    They are followed by captain Graeme Smith 42, AB de Villiers 41, Ashwell Prince 36 and the hapless Herschelle Gibbs on 28.

    These statistics provide a strong case that Kallis’s and Amla’s consistency could be down to the fact they have been untainted by the smash-and-grab demands of the Twenty20 game, whereas the other batsman could still be suffering a hangover from cricket’s equivalent to a three-hour penalty shoot-out.

    While the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup was an unqualified success, there are those who have their reservations about the format and how it will impact on the way Test and ODI cricket is played.

    Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori has said: “I hope Twenty20 cricket will only be part of the landscape and not the future of the game.”

    I tend to agree with him.

    Ask any top-class cricketer and he’ll say that it’s in the Test arena where he measures himself and it’s his Test averages that he covets the most.

    At the time Kallis was very upset at being left out of the Twenty20 World Cup squad, but in hindsight he’s probably grateful for the rest and chance to concentrate on his Test duties.

    For Smith, who incidentally scored 9 and 1, in his two innings, to complain about the Wanderers’ pitch is a bit strange especially when you consider Kallis and Amla scored 403 runs between them against a more than useful and experienced bowling attack of Shane Bond, Chris Martin, Jacob Oram and Vettori.

    The Proteas captain looked alarmingly out of sorts at the Wanderers, so much so, that he probably wouldn’t have got runs even if you’d force-fed them a 10-day-old dodgy vindaloo.

    He should rather concentrate on keeping that gap between his bat and pad, the one you could fly a boeing through, closed, rather than complaining about a pitch that yielded 938 runs over four days. Statistics:

  • Anonymous
    November 13, 2007 at 8:01 pm Reply

    ‘Clarinet and blue’

    Do you get anymore GAY?

    Thanks for proving our point

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 6:29 am Reply

    I think the middle son from the sitcom “the war at home” is the guy commenting above.

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 6:47 am Reply

    Anonymous moffie

    Us normal people can make typing errors from time to time
    Claret and blue is correct

    Responding to your gay comment:
    “Thanks for proving ‘our’ point”
    who’s point, yours and the other gays?

    Ejaz Khan

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 8:42 am Reply

    I think Ryan Babel deserves a mention for his performance as well. He made a positive impact on the game. His confidence seems to be on the up, so hopefully he gets better from here.

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 9:50 am Reply

    Normal people would say maroon

    Who the F%^K uses words like these to describe colours????

    Only Gays….

    Ejas you gay….

    All you Liverpool fucks are gay, thats our point.

    I can be anybody from any sitcom as long as Im not a Liverpool supporter.

    “Ejas the Gay Liverpool writer”

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 10:07 am Reply

    Anonymouse,

    Aston Villa and West Ham have their official colours as Claret and blue, the whole world knows that, you useless uninformed ignorant reprobate ( Yip go get a dictionary, you gonna need it )

    I’m married and have a kid, very happy, thanks, unlike you “Mr Nobody-loves-me-so-I-call-everyone gay” Loser

    Carry on hiding behind your own inadequacies and failures in life,
    As Wasim would say,
    GO get a therapist or, better yet,
    GO play in traffic

    Ejaz Khan

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 12:43 pm Reply

    You right Ejaz,

    I feel inadequate,
    I am a loser (Unless UNITED are playing,
    Nobody loves me and
    I have failed in life,

    BUT I STILL MAINTAIN YOU ARE A FAG

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 12:49 pm Reply

    anonymous

    Dont f#4k the blog up please. Its people like you that we dont want to read.

    Write substance please.

    How easy to take a swipe at someone if you dont leave a name.

    Swoosh Ban the Prick.

    Fucken you a FAG

    eJAZ YOU GO Boy

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 12:57 pm Reply

    The only thing you seem to be able to maintain is your utter stupidity

    Ejaz Khan

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 1:03 pm Reply

    Swoosh

    Its one of the jealous once again ,its the only attention they receive ,shame let them go on.

    Anonymous tag aside, whoever it is he’s a nobody

    Ejaz Khan

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 2:18 pm Reply

    why did you remove my comment

    is it okay for the Liverpool supporters to insult us

    but when we give it back to them u ban our comments

    you FAGS always stick together

  • Swoosh
    November 14, 2007 at 2:23 pm Reply

    Ok I have to step in here.

    I have to protect my writers.

    Anonymous..You want to slate ,Hate the game not the Playa.

    Give Ejaz stick on his post in context to the game.

    Dont hit the man below the belt.
    YOU WANT TO GET PERSONAL…email the man. Dont slate him on a public site.

    Put your comments.In context to the post

    Sharp
    Swoosh

  • Anonymous
    November 14, 2007 at 2:26 pm Reply

    but he is slating me too and u didint ban that.

    I bet he owes you BIG time for the ban.

    Hope its worth it EJAS.

    Earn your way with Swoosh

    He likes it from behind

  • Swoosh
    November 14, 2007 at 2:32 pm Reply

    TIME TO IGNORE .HAVENT DID THIS SINCE WE BANNED FAHEEM VAHZERZ and Gori & Goolam Soogra Patel

    Adious Amigo

    Thanks for your support

  • ZamRam
    November 14, 2007 at 2:53 pm Reply

    Laal Charlie,

    What’s up with the Arsenal bashing ? R U JOA (Jealous of Arsenal)

    You speak about Arsenal having no English players and I agree it is a sad, but with the classy players Arsenal have who cares ?? (except you)

    It makes economic sense to get an overseas player for about 5-10 million than to buy an average English player for 15 million.

    What makes your post more moronic is after you alledge United have a core of English players (who are they by the way) United are all linked with FOREIGN players in your post.

    By the way the last time I checked Uniteds last three purchases only 33% were English.

    Come on….

  • Anonymous
    November 15, 2007 at 6:26 am Reply

    ZAMRAM
    United for an english club can boast having 7 english internationals that are regualr 1st team players.

    Carrick, Rooney, Ferdinand, Neville, Hargreaves, Scholes(ex int), Wes Brown.
    PLus Ryan Giggs British & Welsh.

    My point is United have made it their policy to build success around English/British talent.

    You say you agree with my comments about the gooners yet you call me moronic. Over the last week alot of english pundits including Coppel & Steven gerrard have come saying they will back player qoutas in the premiership.

    Thay will only leave Assnil looking like morons!!

    Chavil

  • ZamRam
    November 19, 2007 at 7:38 am Reply

    Laal Charlie,

    when last were the “7 english internationals” on the field at the same time ???

    Arsenal have 2 english players but they are not regulars. Speaking about pundits what they saying about Arsenal’s style of play ???

    Those foreigners have done wonders at Arsenal and have injected excitement in english football. When/if the player quotas come into effect Arsenal will deal with it. Why are stressed about Arsenal’s team ??

    Our Manager is french and it is normal to buy good french players, Rafa is Spanish and buys Spanish players. Ferguson is english and enjoys buying over-priced English players so what ??

    By the way I called your post moronic and not you.

    Why was the question of foreign players not brought up last season as much as it is debated today ?? Because England was/is in major doubt of qualifying for Euro champs once again they looking for scapegoats.

    Buy the way the Arsenal “morons” are leading the premiership

  • Anonymous
    November 21, 2007 at 8:30 am Reply

    RamZam
    You dumber than I thought, Ferguson is Scottish not English. YOu dont see a flood of scottish hopefuls in the united squad!!

    Legislation against mass foreigner will eventually hit & Ferguson is intelligent enough to foresee it

    Chavil

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