Archive for June, 2007

Pre-season Short Pants Party!

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Some of the players reported back for pre-season training on Friday. That’s right, all nine of them. Judging by the pictures over on the Official Site, the rest of the lads probably didn’t miss much. Granted, a lot of the squad is still on a well-deserved holiday or playing in international tournaments. The majority of the squad isn’t expected back until next week, but it’s fun nice enough to see pictures of our boys back in action. Or, something closely resembling action.

I find it odd that Finnan is there. I love his commitment to the cause, but couldn’t Steve wrangle another week of vacation? Or do you think he’s been sitting at home since Athens, counting the days until he could go back to work?

But the reason for this post isn’t that nine players are back at Melwood. No, what prompts this is something of much less ‘importance’…

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The Greatest Love of All

It’s been an eventful two week stretch in Sven’s world, with Jury Duty and other assorted excitements occupying the bulk of waking time, so new posts have been reduced to the weekly Friday transfer wrap-up. Yet, nothing has really fallen by the wayside as, unlike the weather, the transfer market is only just starting to warm-up. For everybody other than Liverpool, it seems.

Although my weekly recommended footie fix has been met with multiple pick-up, co-ed and 6v6 league games, not mention Gold Cup and Copa America viewings, I must admit to suffering from Liverpool withdraws. There’s only so many times you can read the news, visit the Official Site and RAWK or entertain yourself with statistics of years gone by from LFCHistory.net. In fact, I almost re-watched the Champion’s League final yesterday, but decided to save it for a depressing rainy day.

While no news of earth-shattering proportions have eminated from the Merseyside, there has certainly been measurable seismic activity. Firstly, former Ajax player Piet Hamberg was named as the new Technical Manager of the Academy, replacing the void created when Steve Heighway’s resigned. Youth coach John Owens and scout Malcolm Elias also got promotions, to Academy Manager and Director of Recruitment, respectively.

whitneyprecrack.jpg“I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be, So I learned to depend on me
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me, They can’t take away my dignity”

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No Gnomes at Anfield (unless Bellamy counts)

“Liverpool fans can continue to chant ‘no history’ at us but we continue to make it. They have their history, we have our history. They are a club with a history in Europe that Chelsea doesn’t have, and their history is magnificent, but I think for 17 years they don’t win one championship and we won two in the last three years. Of the 12 pieces of silverware in English football in the last three years, Chelsea won six, Liverpool two, Manchester United two and Arsenal two, so we won the same number of pieces of silverware that the other three clubs won all together. So I think we are going in the right direction. The FA Cup final was a special final, an historic one, more than a normal FA Cup final. It was also the end of a period when in three years, we won every competition in English football, so it was special.”

Those are the words of Jose Mourinho in (partial) response to the constant stick Reds fans give his squad.

I will say this; Yes, 17 years is a long time not to win a league title. But, three years of collecting trophies isn’t as impressive as it seems, especially when it prefaced by a league title drought of 40-some years. Decades from now, when fans look back and notice five or six years of silverware at Chelsea, they won’t be bowled over. Half a decade does not rich “history” make. Try dominating the landscape for multiple decades and then we’ll talk.

I’m reminded of a banner I saw a few years ago, which went something like this:

We dominated the 70’s

Ruled the 80’s

Took a break in the 90’s

Now we’re back.

For the record, since the turn of the millenium, Liverpool have won six (major-ish) trophies (2001 FA Cup, 2001 UEFA Cup, 2001 League Cup, 2003 League Cup, 2005 Champion’s League, 2006 FA Cup), equaling Chelsea’s six (2000 FA Cup, 2005 League Cup, 2005 EPL champs, 2006 EPL champs, 2007 FA Cup, 2007 League Cup).

Moving on…

Continue reading ‘No Gnomes at Anfield (unless Bellamy counts)’

Tom Hicks Plays With Your Emotions

As the hours tick away, it looks increasingly likely that Tom Hicks’ coy hint of a signing happening this week was actually much ado about nothing. While it is certainly possible that he believed the club were close to wrapping up a transfer that has since come undone, I elect not to afford him the benefit of the doubt. He shouldn’t be dropping hints or winking at the fans unless he’s watching the ink dry. While I’m more than happy to sort through rumor, innuendo, speculation, half-truths and out-right lies from ‘journalistic’ sources, an actual club official (let alone, an owner) should be held to a higher standard. After all, this is not the Real Madrid presidential election.

/mock outrage

Whatever. It was unlikely that I would wake to find a surprise gift one morning this week, but I did think it likely there would a signing (not to be confused with the signing). Instead, Liverpool fans were treated to stories of a bust-up between Gillett/Hicks and Rafa over the (lack of) summer transfer kitty. GG was quick to come out and rubbish those claims, but did mention that Liverpool would not spend money “like druken sailors”. Unfortunately, we’re not even spending money like a couple of pensioners from Boca Raton who will only order water because “$1.50 for hot tea is highway robbery. ”

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My Newly Released Social Calendar

 markmycalendar.jpgTo help supplement all the early jaw-dropping excitement of this summer’s fast and furious transfer window (*snore*), The Premier League schedule for the 2007/2008 season has been released. Now you can tentatively schedule all your mid-week work meetings, book your family vacation and plan the next year of your life from August through May. Keep in mind that European competitions will shift some fixtures, so you may have to cancel that father-son fishing trip. Infact, it’s probably best if you don’t book any non-refundable tickets or make any solid time commitments of any kind.

Click here to view the complete schedule.

While every game is of some importance to somebody, some are simply more attractive than others. At first glance, the following fixtures caught my eye:

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Hot Club on Club Action!

Heat and Humidity have once again descended upon lovely Charleston (SC), snuffing out the delightfully fair (and shockingly lengthy) Spring weather the Lowcountry had been enjoying. Like a slap in the face, Summer announced that it was back (not unlike cooked crack) and would soon be running at full productivity. But while it may technically be the summer season, it doesn’t seem to have reached Liverpool like it has here or even in the rest of the Premiership.

United have brought in three players (Hargreaves, Nani, Anderson), Chelsea are importing another name from Munich (Pizarro) and Arsenal are chest-deep in ‘Henry to Barca’ rumors and the sorting of the dead wood. The rest of the Premiership is also keeping busy, with Newcastle bringing in fat Mark Viduka and bat-shit crazy Joey Barton, and West Ham dealing for Scott Parker.

But at Anfield, the action wasn’t on new signings, but rather, split between the new deals signed by Stevie G, Carra & Reina and the collective reputation of Liverpool fans being dragged through the mud by UEFA douchebags. I won’t bother with the silly claims (I’m here to focus on other more light-hearted silly claims), but you can read more about it over at Oh, You Beauty.

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My Halftime Pep Talk: Making Amends

Okay, ladies, put down the orange slices and listen up!

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Oh, those are your jerseys. My bad.

Anyhow, that was a solid first half. Great effort out there. Well, maybe not great, but definitely good. We were unlucky not to score, but we’ve kept them in check and we’re by far the stronger team.

Jacob, you’re getting sucked up the field a bit too far, so watch it. I want you to sit deeper in the midfield. Just like Claude Makelele. Did you watch those tapes I lent you or not?

Joshua, they have no answer for your speed, so fucking use it already. That pudgy little girl they have playing center back practically had a coronary trying to keep up with you. Go ahead, finish the job and put Fatty in a body bag.

And, Cody, I swear to God, if you stab at that ball one more time and let the winger get past you, I’m going strangle you with that ridiculous-looking headband. And don’t sit on my ball, you’ll make it lopsided.

Otherwise, we’re looking dangerous. Let’s just stick to the script, keep up the chatter and maintain possession. And don’t be afraid to shoot. The goals will come.

But before we get back out there, there’s something else I need to address.

Continue reading ‘My Halftime Pep Talk: Making Amends’