Archive for July, 2007

Sven’s Kit Review

Like many footy bloggers, I’m not just a fan but also a player. And because I’m not a streamstress or cobbler who can fashion my own equipment, that also makes me a consumer.

eurosport.jpgUnfortunately, being as cynical and poor as I am, I’m not a very good consumer. Yet, that doesn’t stop me from leafing through the pages of the Eurosport catalog a few times a week, making a mental checklist of all the merchandise I don’t need and will never buy, but would gladly splurge on if I had the means. It’s like window shopping at home and I’m addicted to it.

As a kid in Virginia Beach, I could easily spend an hour or more at the local soccer shop, which wasn’t but 400 square feet, pouring over every last piece of merchandise, from posters to socks. I was, and still am to this day, transfixed by it all.

Boots and shorts aside, I’m probably most drawn to kits. Whether they be replica jerseys or the general templates for amatuer teams, I’m like a moth to flame. I pour over them, critiquing designs and colors, outfitting my imaginary teams with home, away and third kits. It’s actually quite the source of general amusement.

Why yes, I probably do have too much time on my hands. Granted, we’re also talking about bathroom reading. But, apparently I’m not the only one who thinks jerseys are interesting. (Sadly, I found the Football Shirt Culture site after already having written about the jerseys)

So, inspired by the freshest edition of Eurosport, I’ve decided to share my passion for the trivial with you.

And no, unfortunately for my checking account, I’m not a shill.

Where shall we start?

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Monday Brunch

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A quiet weekend saw Liverpool’s Hong Kong tour come to an end, but there were Reds in action half-way across the globe.

A Liverpool XI, consisting mostly of youngsters who didn’t make the trip to Asia, took on Championship side Colchester on Saturday. The young ‘ins, managed by Gary Albett, managed a 1-1 draw through a Miki Roque goal.

The line-up was full of familar names, some of whom featured in Switzerland: Hansen, Roque, Darby, Hobbs, Huth, Spearing, El Zhar (Nemeth 77), Flynn, Brouwer (Lindfield 66), Idrizaj, Putterill (Crowther 73).

You can read about it here. I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing.

The Under-18’s were also in action, with some of the Rafa’s latest additions (Marvin Pouri, David Amoo, and Daniel Pachecho) finding the net in a 4-1 win over Plymouth Argyle. Read a short, and I mean short, article about it here.

With the season approaching, everybody is sounding off about the upcoming title race and Liverpool players are no different. Carra is the latest to put his two cents in:

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A Dress Rehearsal

While match reports are another man’s business (at least this pre-season), I do have some observations I’ll share about the relatively entertaining Pompei-Asia Trophy final. 

  • Early on, Kuyt showed his newfound willingness to side foot the ball over the crossbar. Later, he had a good opportunity off a Pennant cross, heading the ball down with power, but was unlucky to find David James’ feet. Also, Torres put him through in the dying minutes of regulation for the potential game-winner but found himself with a tough angle on an attentive James.
  • A Calamity James sighting on the half-hour mark. After a pass-back from his defender, James takes it to the top corner of his box, but doesn’t do well and is stripped by Babel. But, Calamity harasses the youngster well enough until a defender can swoop in to tidy up. James would go on to have a solid game. I wonder if he’ll keep this (and last year’s form) up through this next season.
  • Riise has been sporting himself some ruby red slippers all preseason. “I do not agree with this.”
  • Harry Cool and Jermaine Pennant looked lively and willing to run at and around defenders. Pennant operated on both flanks, which is promising and should provide Rafa with plenty of future in-games options. And he loves him some options. Kewell worrys me after each tackle, reaching for a body part. I suppose he’s gun-shy at this point, but at some point, you have to let go.

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The Land of Opportunists

Although the transfer window doesn’t close for another five weeks, the season is looming large and it would appear the bulk of Liverpool’s (non-youth) spending has been done. While I wouldn’t be surprised with another defender joining the team (even somebody other than a ‘disloyal’ Argentinian), I will no longer be bringing you the Friday Transfer Speculation Spectacular/Round-up. Quite simply, there aren’t enough unsubstantiated Liverpool rumors floating around out there.

Sad, isn’t it?

But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t golden nuggets of Liverpool-related news to be mined. So, let’s see break out this week’s quotes and see what we’ve got…

 angryoldman.jpgFirstly, the Heinze transfer saga is clearly driving Sir Alex up a wall (or to a bottle). It’s only a matter of time until he busts a blood vessel. Not only has he hinted at his disappointment with Gabriel Heinze for being ‘disloyal’ and the player’s agent for existing, but has now labeled Liverpool as ‘opportunists’ for their part in the affair.

SAF had this to say about Heinze-gate… Impressively, you can actually hear his blood pressure rising through the written words:

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The New Mecca?

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No, that’s not a new museum of modern art, that’s the ‘New Anfield’. There in all it’s splendor, via the Official Site, is a rendering of what would be the new Stanley Park stadium.

The club has submitted the plans for the new grounds to the Liverpool City Council, and in their infinite wisdom (because they wouldn’t be able to keep them under wraps anymore), “unveiled” images of our (proposed) new home.

(Where’s the 3-D 360° computer-guided tour?)

A view of the enlarged Kop:

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While you’re most likely familiar with the details surrounding the structure, here are the highlights:

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Tuesday Brunch

Another day, another preseason match.

Today’s action saw the Reds match wits with ‘South China FC’ in the ‘2007 Barclays Asia Trophy’. Winner earns a place in Friday’s ‘final’ (versus Harry Redknapp’s Pompei).

Who knew so much would be on the line so early in the season?

I don’t think we’ll need a Doomsday Clock for this ‘competition’, though, as the boys rolled to victory. JAR, Xabi, and The DAgger all found the net for a 3-1 score line. The Official Site has its usual positive run-through of the game.

My favorite piece of their report has to be towards the end; “Conditions: Very Hot”. It’s not just anywhere you can get thoughtful analysis like that. Was there not a thermometer in the whole stadium?

Carra captained the side as Gerrard was held out (ab injury), along with Torres (ankle), Babel and Lucas (the Official Site says because of a delay in ‘international clearance’). Some of the kids saw some more action, as Robbie Threlfall got on late, along with ten minutes for David Martin. A newly contracted Steve Finnan came on as a sub, as did Sami, who looked to be playing a midfield anchor role. And, an apparently injury-free Harry Cool made his return to the side, finding himself a place in the starting XI.

And, for those of you interesting in leasing space on the Voronin bandwagon, there still is room, but seats are going fast. Keep in mind, though, availability and price may change once the Premier League kicks off.

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Introducing the Liverpool Doomsday Clock

As we approach the dawn of another Premiership season and hope of silverware is currently at the apex of its yearly bloom, Red hearts everywhere are a-flutter at the thought that this could be the year Liverpool secure #19.

Just like your first horrific sunburn (after passing out drunk on the beach) or your car’s air-conditioning breaking 30 minutes into a 7-hour road trip, “Can Liverpool win the title this season?” chatter is a seasonal right-of-passage.

After multiple blood-stirring transfers and some promising exhibition outings, expectations have been raised as the specter of our stingy defense coupled with a new attacking brand of play dances in minds of the Anfield faithful. And once the season starts, each four-goal victory or resolute clean sheet will kindle talk of a title. Yet, just like the stock market, one bad performance or piece of negative news can have a deleterious effect on the collective bullishness of fans.

This is why I’ve decided to introduce a reoccurring post/gimmick. Inspired by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Liverpool followers will now have their own symbolic device to gauge how close LFC is to reclaiming its rightful throne by winning the Premier League crown.

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