Back into Europe

The draw for the 3rd round of the Champion’s League draw has been held and our beloved Reds have been matched up against Belguim’s Standard Liege. The exact times and dates have yet to be nailed down but the Reds (although Standard are also nicknamed ‘the Reds’) will face the Jupiter League champions on their own soil on either August 12th or 13th and return to Anfield on the 26th or 27th.

I don’t know much about the Belgians and I only recognize one name on the roster — Oguchi Onyewu. Yes, the Gooch — the American center-back who couldn’t cut it at Newcastle. So, that may tell you a thing or two about the level of competition.

Rafa seems pleased enough (when speaking to .tv):

I think there are two very important things about this draw. Firstly, the second game is at home which is really, really important. Clearly that makes a massive difference to play the deciding game in front of our own fans. 
I’m also pleased because the travelling isn’t a problem. We don’t have to go too far which is good news, especially when you look at some of the teams we could have drawn. People may say it’s a kind draw for us but we will treat them with respect. We know some things about their team already but we will now watch more videos and get reports from our scouts before the first game. 
Of course we know about Oguchi Onyewu because he spent some time with Newcastle. Axel Witsel is a good young player and Wilfried Dalmat is probably the best player in their team. Alexandre Da Silva is a good defender as well, so we know they won’t be easy opposition for us. 
Overall though it is a good draw and we are happy.


The #7 With A Smile

Take a look at Liverpool’s new #7.

Watch a big chunk of his introductory interview over on the BBC.

Robbie Keane

£19 million (plus add-on’s) brings Robbie Keane to Anfield, to the club he supported as a lad.

Because of his age – 28 – I’m not going to put this up as a great piece of buisness (like Torres). But, it’s still a great buy.

The resume paints a simple picture: Captain of Ireland. The country’s leading scorer. He gets the business done, and importantly, has done it in the Premier League. At Tottenham, he notched 80 goals in 197 Premier League matches. 107 goals in 254 appearances in a Spurs shirt. We know he’ll hit the ground running. Robbie is in his prime.

And, by all accounts, he’s the kind of person who gets on well with everybody — exactly the type you want in the locker room — talented, passionate and engaging.

I’m quite excited with this signing as it adds another dangerous weapon to an already lethal attacking side. With this addition, the backline well-sorted and the embarassment of riches in the central midfield, I have to believe that the only real want is on the flanks. (Is there enough magic up Rafa’s sleeve to pull out a Silva?) Not that Kuyt and Babel didn’t/can’t get the job done, but an upgrade (more so on the right) could be The Difference. (well, that and sealing the goal-leaks we sprung in January)

I was going to write about how this will affect the way the team lines up, but I think ‘Oh, You Beauty’ has got the general idea already up. So, give it a read and I’ll muse on our on-the-pitch look come Preview time.

What I would like to put out into the ether right now is an edict that the Ordinary Ponytail (Voronin) relinquish the #10 shirt for our new Irish hitman.

Ready For A Cartwheel

Robbie Keane to Anfield for £18… I’m holding my breath as it should come to fruition rather soon.

More to follow…

Getting Your (Honorary) Learn On

Completely un-newsworthy but something I’ll mention nonetheless (much like most of my transfer talk) is Steven F’ing Gerrard’s fellowship from a Liverpool university.

Honorary fellowship, that is. From Liverpool John Moores University. Yes, that John Moores — as in our former ownership family.

First the MBE, now this. You know what also would be a kick-ass honor (or ‘honour’ in this case)? A Premier League title.

Watch the video of Captain Fantastic dressed up in his silly (sorry, HONORARLY silly) academia outfit. (plus, his wife is there, looking good…)

(pic: Getty Images)

Liverpool Scouting

On the heels of another Liverpool youth signing — PSG’s 19-year old striker, David Ngog (for somewhere in the neighborhood of £1.5million) — there’s an interesting interview with LFC’s chief scout, Eduardo Macia, on the official site.

My favorite excerpt:

Nobody can know who you are. I try to stay out of the spotlight because it’s more beneficial if people don’t recognise my face. I don’t like to be in the newspaper. If they know you then they will be able to know what player you are looking at. You are working for your club, nobody else so it’s important not to show other clubs what you’re doing.

I rather like the idea of scouting for Liverpool as being just as secretive as working for the NSA or CIA. (until some cunt uses a bitter douchebag of a journalist to out you)

As for the Ngog buy… all the press says he didn’t score for PSG but does so in all the France youth set-ups (Is Ged still working for us?). He’s also supposedly quite fast. Hmmmm…. pacy but doesn’t score? Sounds like another French striker we’ve had on the books before (who is also angling for a return to the Premier League). Yet, Ngog didn’t cost all that much and he’s got plenty of time to learn (signed a four-year contract). Maybe he’ll come good…

In other transfer news, left winger Sebastian Leto may be on his way to Greece on a season-long loan. The 21-year old Argentinian has ongoing issues with his passport (which preventing him from featuring much for us last season), so Rafa is shipping him off to get some first-team experience with Olympiakos.

The Shirt Says It All

A gem from the often absurd pages of RAWK… The new third kit, wonderfully personalized…