The preseason comes to an end this weekend and Friday saw the Reds in sunny Rotterdam to engage in on-field battle with Shanghai Shenhua, which may or may not be an euphansim for some weird but highly enjoyable sex act.
You can read the Official Site’s match report here. Here are my thoughts on the match I enjoyed through a completely silent feed:
- Early on, the match had the attack/counter-attack pacing of the Werder Bremen game. All exhibitions should be this entertaining to watch.
- You know, there’s a lot of long hair on this team now. Between Torres, Leto, Leiva, Benayoun and Paletta, Rick Parry may want to look into securing a shampoo sponsorship.
- A tidy through-ball from Benyaoun to Torres. The Spainard does well to stay onside and then lift the ball over the gone-to-ground ‘keeper for a classy goal. Especially considering the problematic angle he had at the corner of the six-yard box.
- Momo looks for comfortable on the ball and his passing isn’t atrocious. I’m sure the coaching staff is working to strengthen his offensive tools and an offensively competant Momo would add another dangerous dimension to the team. Old habits die hard, though, as he kicked a field goal at the end of the 1st half.
- Leto and Torres both wear white boots. Since high school, I’ve disliked white boots. But, if they do the business, there can be no complaints. Hell, if and when we win the league title, maybe I’ll buy a pair.
- #8 of Shanghai (Diego Alonso? Sergio Blanco?) has the audacity to push Momo after a rather slight foul. Why it’s nice to see that kind of fire from a little man, he’s going to be on the losing end of that battle.
- A quiet preseason for Crouchie continues. He had a decent effort from outside the box, but the shot wasn’t dangerous, going right to the keeper
- I like the look of Leto so far; he’s strong, industrious and quick on the ball. He had a great effort on the half-hour mark; he went by a defender on the touchline, down the flank, cut in and sent the ball across the goalmouth. Nobody close enough to latch on, though. How the new boys will settle into Premier League remains to be seen, but so far, so good…
- Torres got fouled in the box after receiving a push at the base of his neck. It looked to be a legitimate penalty claim, but in all fairness, Fernando had just given the defender some of the same arm music only seconds earlier.
- Sami made a crucial save, swooping in as a ball trickled towards an empty net. Generally, he’s looking plenty slow these days (not that he was ever a speedster), but as smart as ever.
- David Martin is not afraid to come out to the far reaches of his box. It seems only a matter of time until this burns him in the ass.
- The Dutch fans seemed happy to see Dirk warming up. He gave them a clap in return.
- As could be expected, the pace in the 2nd half was more methodical.
- Gerrard and Babel got a run-out on the hour mark
- Kuyt, Masch and Arbeloa joined the party for 15 minutes. The Feyenoord fans gave Kuyt a warm welcome
- Gerrard wasn’t even on the field for five minutes and he notched the second goal with a wonderful chip-like shot!
- Kuyt slotted Benayoun through in much the same vein as the first goal. Yossi had to delay pulling the trigger and found himself in a swarm. Unlucky stuff. Kuyt looked his active self from the get-go with another great touch to Gerrard for a shot.
- Yossi had a quality diving header… unfortunately it went right to the ‘keeper.
Torres goal (13′)(via 101 Great Goals)
Gerrard goal (64′)(via 101 Great Goals)
Next up, Feyenoord, this Sunday at 2pm EST.
As for Liverpool action not on the field…
The draw for our Champions League third round qualifier was held (You mean you didn’t watch it live?!) and we’ll be facing the violet-clad French club Toulouse. And yes, I’m just as unfamiliar with them as you are.
Apparently they’ve been somewhat of a yo-yo team in recent seasons with financial difficulties and last season was their first back in Ligue 1. All the footballing sites are labeling this a ‘tough’ or ‘tricky’ test for Liverpool, but I’m confident Rafa will have the team properly prepared for the August 14/15 and August 28/29 encounters.
Back in the Premier League, the Tevez soap opera gets ready to wrap itself up nicely as SAF looks like he’ll be getting his man by next week. In a pleasantly anti-climatic turn-of-events, West Ham will release Tevez, the agent’s litigation against the club will be dropped and the Hammers will receive £2 million in compensation from United. It’s amazing that the Mancs are going to end up landing the Argentinian for so little. I just hope that everybody involved takes a long flea bath afterwards, because when you lay with dogs…
What interests me the most about this arrangement is the possible ramifications for Liverpool. One would assume that Tevez’s and Mascherano’s registrations are quite similiar. What will happen when we get to the end of Masch’s loan and we’re ready to buy? Surely, it will have to be for a dramatically knocked down price?
One can only imagine that with Rafa’s willingness to unleash the legal hounds (law dogs?) in regards to the Heinze transfer, he’d be more than inclined to dispatch the A(ttorney)-Team when it comes time to make Javier’s transfer permananent. It’s beyond obvious that Kia Joorabchian (the agent) is utterly filthy, so using the strong arm of the law to wrangle ourselves a cut-throat deal is certainly fair play.
Elsewhere in the world of paperwork, Sebastian Leto has been granted a European passport so he’s cleared to play. And travel. Or see the world. Hooray for passports!
As for somebody who already has a European passport… Anthony Le Tallec’s time on the Liverpool books looks to be about done. Sochaux, where he spent last season on loan, are twiddling their thumbs while deciding whether to splash the cash on the 22-year old. As they do that, Birmingham, West Ham and Fulham are all said to be sniffing around the young striker.
In other transfer news, midfielder/fullback Lee Peltier has moved to League One side Yeovil Town on loan. Like Kige Ramsey, I agree with this. The broken record says first team experience is great for our youngsters.