Archive for the 'soccer' Category

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.


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)

The Shirt Says It All

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

Mid-Week Dispatches

The pre-season continues, with the Reds having finished in a scoreless draw with Hertha Berlin last night. Andriy Voronin could have continued his impressive form after drawing a penalty, but he saw it saved. Interesting that he should be the one to take it after being fouled. I know the Germans have the ‘Unwritten Rule’ that states he that has been fouled shalt not taketh the penalty… so when in Rome (or Berlin)?

Regardless, the actual scoresheet results are massively important. I just prefer that the youngsters continue to get some action, everybody works on their fitness and stays injury-free, and the squad continue to gel.

On the transfer front, Liverpool are supposedly close to a £1.5M with Paris St. Germain for 19-year-old striker, David Ngog. Funny enough (or not funny at all, depending how you look at it), he’s related to Titus Bramble-wanna be Jean-Alain Boumsong.

The Gareth Barry saga has gone quiet in the past few days, which makes me hopeful that something is actually going on behind-the-scenes. Unfortunately for Barry, things were not quiet in a reserve match as the Villa fans let him feel their wrath.

Unshockingly, Rafa has made another youth signing. (The sun did rise in the East today, so….) This week it’s Emmanuel Mendy, a 18-year old right back from Murcia Deportvio. That’s in the THIRD division of Spanish football, in case you didn’t know. Interesting. Another project for Gary Ablett to work with in the Reserves.

Speaking of Spanish football, the lads from the Euro Championship-winning side will be joining back up with the rest of the squad later this week after a well-deserved vacation.

Your New Favorite Club

Maybe you’ve heard (though it’s just as likely you haven’t), but Liverpool have themselves a little brother.

If you’ve ever dreamed of ‘a team full of Carraghers’…

A nice, quick read from the Guardian concerning AFC Liverpool.