England’s starting Xl…?

I just came across this graphic from the Guardian which just about sums up all the good things happening at LFC right now, in relation to English players.

England Xl

Courtesy of: http://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2014/mar/04/roy-hodgson-england-premier-league-liga-europe

We’ve seen a huge leap forwards in consistency and quality from Liverpool this season – number 1 at Christmas and now only 3 points from the top with 10 games to go – the momentum is growing and the belief is back.

This has been achieved with the consistent inclusion of a bag of English players, including Henderson, Gerrard, Sterling, Sturridge, Johnson and Flanagan. Out of these 6 players, I would honestly include all in the England squad on the plane to Brazil for the World Cup. Of these, Henderson, Gerrard, Sturridge and Johnson are first team players and I would hope they start each game.

This has to be a good thing for the England team – 6 English players playing in the team sitting 2nd in the Premier League. I’m actually looking forward to the World Cup : )

YNWA

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A crazy season of football (and not even half way through)…

There have been some very strange, weird and wonderful patterns and moments during the Premier League football season so far.

The biggest change has been at Man United. Faltering after the retirement of possibly the most successful manager to ever manage a football team; the departure of Sir Alex has had a significant impact on the supposed reigning champions. His replacement, David Moyes was certainly my pick as maybe the best British manager in football and a consistently solid professional, finishing above LFC with far more limited resources.

Jose Mourinho back at Chelsea. Another big move and a sign of a shift in power over future seasons. He had achieved everything with Real Madrid and after Ferguson, possibly the next best manager around, now managing at one of the richest clubs in the world.

AVB has been sacked after 7 new players somehow failed to immediately gel as a unit and take the world by storm – no surprises there! A little harsh but after home defeats to West Ham 3-0, Man City 6-0 and lastly Liverpool 5-0, the writing was on the wall in large capital letters.

Arsenal back on top for most of the season, after loosing their opening game with a massive over-reaction by many fans. This had followed a poor ending to the previous season but was not a sign of things to come. The signing of Mezut Ozil from Real for £42 Million has transformed Arsenal from just potential, into real contenders for the title after so many years.

A very slow start by many of the big teams, but a very solid start by Liverpool. After what had been a long transition year the previous season, with some huge performances but also inconsistency, this season has been more consistent.

Suarez-mirror-sport

(image courtesy of: http://www.sportshaze.com/luis-suarez-im-staying)

The many troubles with Mr Suarez had dominated the press and his 10 match ban meant that Liverpool were without his services for the first 7 games of the new season. Some thought this could damage our season but it ended up having a significant benefit – Daniel Sturridge blossomed in attack and a series of 1-0 wins ensured the Reds have been near the top since the start, and since Suarez has returned, the whole team has been transformed.

Suarez has just signed a new 4.5 years deal (£200K a year and the club’s most expensive ever player) which comes during the middle of possibly the hottest streak the Premier League has ever seen. Heh as just become the first Premier League player to score 10 goals in a single month and has propelled LFC to the top of the table.

His 4 goals against Norwich were the best set of goals i’ve ever seen.

Prem table 21.12.13

So, as of 22nd December, LFC have 2.1 points per game over what is nearly half the season. If Arsenal fail to beat Chelsea tomorrow, which is certainly a realistic possibility, Liverpool will be top of the table at Christmas!

LFC are the second highest scoring team in the league with Suarez being the top scorer. Brendan Rodgers has done an amazing job so far. Every press conference he gives now is assured, eloquant and informed. Everything about LFC is confident right now – and that is without the injured Sturridge and Captain Gerrard! Alongside Stevie, Henderson is one of the most improved players in the league, with Coutinho at only age 21, now being a key part of the creative and attacking midfield.

Loving the season so far and can’t wait for the 2nd half. YNWA.

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LFC’s trip to Spurs: shocking…!

Ok, i’ve just watched the latest offering of the Red Revolution… a 4 – 0 to Spurs!

6 yellow cards in the game, 4 of which led to sending offs. Playing Spurs with 9 men is not going to lead to anything other than defeat, given their wealth of attacking quality. To be fair though, Skrtel’s yellow and Adam’s first were no way bookable offences.

In the space of 90 minutes, LFC had only 5 shots and a corner, with only 2 of the shots being on target! I can’t remember seeing these kind of figures before. Totally ineffective on so many levels.

6 minutes after Skrtel was sent off in the 63rd minute, Spurs were another 2 goals up.

The other interesting fact was that Liverpool conceded 9 fouls, but 6 of these were yellows!

A terrible game and very bad day at the office. Maybe KD should have been quicker off the mark to make changes after seeing the Skrtel red card. Bellamy and Spearing could have given the extra energy needed to hold the game steady while the players mentally recovered. They could have also met the pace of the Spurs attack.

I can see a Lucas & Gerrard central midfield pairing for the next game. I’m not going to be too harsh because literally half the team are new to the club and each other. This is one of the problems with bringing in loads of new players, rather than a couple each season, and also of having not strengthened the team to anywhere near the same level as other teams in the top 6 (before this year).

A good comment on the Guardian’s report article.

ThePlusOne18 September 2011 3:56PM

Even considering Agger’s injury, the host of cards and going down 1-0 so early, that was easily our worst performance since Kenny took over in January.

I’m sure Dalglish and Clarke know what they’re doing, and I know he’s young and ‘promising’, but one can’t help but ask, how does Jordan Henderson start on the right ahead of:
a) Dirk Kuyt, voted by the fans as one of the best players of last season, a tireless worker and team player, and good enough for the starting XI in a World Cup Final only fourteen months ago; and
b) Maxi Rodriguez, the starting right-sided midfielder for Argentina in the same World Cup, and a scorer of seven goals in three games the last time he was given a regular place in the team.

I’m just not convinced that Jordan Henderson should be put straight into the team, ahead of Kuyt and Maxi. These are proven quality players who are technically very good and are attack minded. Both are decent crossers of the ball. The tactics were so far off for this game it was untrue. Plus, i’ve yet to see the real Andy Carroll!

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LFC new recruits…

Some good business has been done during this transfer window over the summer, as well as during January with the addition of two quality signings in the form of Suarez and Carroll. I’m expecting big things this season

Andy Carroll from Newcastle (Striker) – £35 M

Luis Suarez from Athletico Madrid (Striker) – £23 M

Jordan Henderson from Sunderland (Midfield) – Sunderland’s Young Player of the Year – £20 M

Charlie Adam from Blackpool (Midfield) – Blackpool Player of the Year – £9 M

Stuart Downing from Villa (Winger Midfield) – Villa Player of the Year – £20 M

Doni from Roma (Goal Keeper) – £Free

That’s £107 Million spent by Kenny Dalglish since the start of January! This has been offset by the sale of Torres to Chelsea for £50 Million and Ryan Babbel to Hoffenheim for £6 Million. So NET spend of £50 Million this year. So, £50 Million for 5 quality players, which is £10 Million each – not a bad start!

We’ve also just got back Alberto Aquilani from Juventus, who originally cost us £17 Million, but who was loaned out last season after not making an impression on the Premier League. He has had a big season in Italy and was injury free. Getting him, Charlie Adam and Downing into the team will add a huge amount of creativity. Along with Gerrard and Meireles, this will give Kenny a good range of options.

I’m also confident of success this season as we’re not in Europe, meaning we can focus just on domestic competitions. This is a great chance to get some silverware into the cabinet!

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