Archive for August, 2017

Liverpool 4 Arsenal 0

So Arsenal didn’t turn up?  That’s how it sounded when the media summed up the game.  Maybe Arsenal turned up, saw what was coming so got out the way?  Anyone would give a Juggernaut a wide berth!  We looked brilliant almost from the off and it was more about the fact Arsenal just couldn’t handle what we were doing – I doubt whether too many other sides would have handled it either.  Had this been one the Sky TV darlings playing the way Liverpool played the likes of Martin Tyler and Gary Neville would have been creaming themselves, as would the rest of the media.  Arsenal were pummelled and left Anfield reasonably happy because the score was only four.  Hoffenheim wilted under the same onslaught in the first twenty minutes in midweek and nobody questioned their desire.  Then again, it’s open season for the Wenger abusers.  Our second and fourth goals came about as the result of brilliant football not Arsenal’s lack of fight and first and third weren’t too bad either.  When it comes to poor defending we’re experts but Arsenal were battered and that’s a difference.  The fact we didn’t concede might suggest Arsenal’s front men weren’t up for it, but you’ve got to have the ball to be able to do things and they rarely got the ball.  Karius still worried me though.

 

Liverpool 4 Hoffenheim 2

The puzzle isn’t solved.  At one end of the pitch Liverpool look like classical composers [forget heavy metal] with all kinds of orchestral manoeuvres in the dark even if their supposed conductor has gone AWOL – or doing a bit of swinging the lead.  At the other end Liverpool just looked in the dark and although the history books won’t show it, the Germans could have hauled themselves back into the game such was the uncertainty of our defending.  It’s not just the full backs, or the central pairing it’s the whole combination including those in midfield who are supposed to be giving a bit of cover.  At times they look too casual other times simply incompetent but if nothing else it made for a very watchable ninety odd minutes of football.  The first twenty minutes would be shown countless times had it been Real Madrid or another English team regardless of whom and what the opposition constituted.  It was as good as the first twenty minutes against Arsenal a few years back and three could have been six.  The pace we had upfront was almost unfair on the Germans and Emre Can looked world class during the opening salvo of brilliance.  If Barça want to pay us £130m [see latest quotes] for Coutinho, how much for Manè should a bid ever come?  In the end the fourth best team from England beat the fourth best team from Germany and that’s all we really wanted.

Liverpool 1 Crystal Palace 0

For about three quarters of this game there was the feeling the bogeyman was sitting somewhere waiting to pounce.  Jürgen is either a very cool customer or a gamblin’ man making so many changes for just the second game of the season and the first one at home.  I only got into my seat as ‘YNWA’ was finishing and I missed the pitch side announcers bawling out – sorry reading out – of our team so I had a baffled look on my face as I sat down on Row 59 of the Main Stand.  Palace fans showed their…erm humorous side as they crooned “Is this your first time at Anfield”?  Our left back and about 20,000 others shouted “Yes”; well that’s how it felt as the alleged unique Anfield atmosphere was, like me, a bit late in arriving at the ground.  With all what had gone on following the three-all at Watford and the Coutinho stuff new season optimism felt like it was on hold.  Paranoia is with us because each time Palace went near our penalty area breath was definitely being held.  We all needed a lift and things started to buzz a bit more when Salah and then Solanke joined the fray.  The volume never reached fever pitch but it did go up a few decibels and finally we looked a bit better.  The goal was no classic but when Sadio Manè stuck the ball in the net the sound of relief could have been felt down at the Pier Head.  Football fans are a funny bunch like when Mignolet came and gathered a corner in the final few minutes I think the cheers that went up rivalled the noise that greeted the goal.  As for me I didn’t see it, I’d got my hands over my eyes expecting the worst!  The old cliché was bandied around after the game of win being a win and as I walked back over Stanley Park with the bogeyman sulking away somewhere they were my thoughts exactly.

The Blog #2

Just two days to go before the first home game of the season and following the game in Germany there should be a dose of excitement around the fields of Anfield Road but instead there’s probably an equal amount of trepidation, frustration mixed in with anticipation.

What will be the topic of conversation leading up to the game against one of our bogey sides Crystal Palace?  The first appearance of Mo Salah in a Liverpool shirt at Anfield should have been the number one point of discussion or the TAA goal in Germany but probably won’t be, more likely it will be “Will he stay or will he go” [Coutinho] mixed in with “Will we or won’t we sign a defender” [VVD or whoever].

Meanwhile the club are boasting about the new super store and telling fans the best way to travel to and from Anfield this season.  The tourists and the day-trippers no doubt need this information – only the club forgot to tell them the best place to buy a half ‘n half – whereas the diehards don’t need it, they’ll just turn up and take whatever’s on show focusing on what’s happening on the pitch not what’s on sale in or around the Fan Parks that are springing up.  As for me I’ll be doing weather watch hoping for a dry day to help with Fanzine sales – you do know what a Fanzine is don’t you?

A Fanzine gives the views of the fans, the diehard types who can remember the days when we didn’t panic each time the opposition thought about pumping a cross into our penalty area.  A Fanzine tries to be slightly more open about things like the Liverpool transfer policy, assuming Liverpool’s got a transfer policy.  Does the Director of Football – or whatever his tag is – Michael Edwards actually earn his undoubtedly high salary, does he in fact, exist?  After all we did little or no business in January and we haven’t exactly dominated the transfer activity pages since the dammed transfer window reopened on July 1st.  The latest Chief Executive Peter Moores jumped on board telling tales of how he watched the redmen when he was a lad – I think there’s a pre-ordained script now because Ian Ayre and Christian Purslow both cited similar on their CV apparently.  He was wowed by the volume of support for the club/team in the Far East but, although I could be doing him a disservice, he doesn’t seem overly pro-active in leading the club forward on the transfer front.  I heard somebody say – or maybe I read – the club don’t want quantity they want quality.  So the diehards and club agree on something only from our perspective is there any chance of seeing something done to deliver said quality?  Mister Edwards, Mister Moores anything to say?

One ordeal managers now need to cope with is the press conference which in Jürgen’s case will no doubt be a grilling on the Coutinho situation.  You can no detect signs of frustration creeping in when our manager gets asked the obvious question with an obvious answer.  Seven days into the season and on the back of a decent Euro result he [and we] shouldn’t be subjected to it all.  I wonder what the odds are on Coutinho still having a bit of backache.

 

 

Hoffenheim 1 Liverpool 2

It might not have been perfect but like Jürgen said, it was okay.  An away win in Europe regardless has to be seen as a good result but as the old cliché says, we’re only half way through.  In the greater scheme of things Hoffenheim aren’t one of the biggest clubs in Germany but they finished fourth in a division that might be on a par with the Premier League despite what the marketing bods think about the ours being the world’s greatest.  Last season they didn’t lose a home game and when you think sides such as Bayern and Dortmund had been there, that’s no mean feat.  I don’t think we played at our best but we still got the win and probably left disappointed about the goal we gave away, but we feel that way most games these days.  The penalty they had was a penalty and Lovren had made a couple of dodgy tackles by then but seconds before the reckless tackle the flag should have gone up for offside so Mignolet saving a penalty kick I might have still been able to save was justice of sorts.  It’s hard to think of Trent Alexander Arnold [TAA] as something of an answer to our defensive woes and he still makes errors of judgement when defending – see the Hoffenheim goal for example – but what a talent we seem to have on our books.  If he excites Steven Gerrard then he must be good!  The free kick he took and scored was almost out of our retired Captain’s album, nuff said.  James Milner might be forgiven for wondering why he can’t make the starting eleven at the moment but maybe he nudged the Kaiser in the back with his effort that gave us a two goal advantage at the time?  Yep it was deflected but who gives a toss. TAA was slightly guilty at stopping and waving for an offside flag when they pulled one back but he’s a fast learner for someone who’s of such tender years.  Manè was probably the best player in our side and he looks better now than before he got crocked in the ‘derby’.  So it’s all set up for next Wednesday, we could well live on our nerves but that’s par for the course these days.