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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.

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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.

Inter-Premiership Moves

There are whispers that Emiliano Insua could be on his way to the Tyneside as Kevin Keegan is eager to bring the young Argentinian aboard at Newcastle… for a loan spell. Granted, the Barcodes already have Jose Enrique slotted in there, but the 19-year old could provide some competition/insurance.

Quite frankly, I’m all for this sort of move. Even if he’s initially on the bench, Insua would likely to eventually feature and any Premiership (sorry, but those ‘-ships’ are going to slip from time to tim) experience would be invaluable in his development. So, let’s send him off to King Kevin and let him experience life on the other side of the league tracks.

And… After Martin O’Neill let it spill let Arsenal were looking over LFC’s shoulder at Gareth Barry (who’s in out-of-the-cold and back in training), the London club’s role in our summer has gotten even more ridiculous/interesting (depending on your level of belief/gullability). In their search to replace Flamini, the Arse are now supposedly eyeing up Xabi Alonso to fill their current void at holding/deep midfielder. Would Rafa really be so desperate to raise funds that he’d cash in on Xabi and send such a talented passer to one of our chief rivals?

Yeah, my thoughts exactly. It makes for fun summer reading, though.

‘Round and ‘Round It Goes… Where It Stops, Nobody Knows

It would appear Scott Carson’s departure from Anfield, which has been assumed since last summer (albeit, then, to Villa) is finally on cusp of finally actually happening. Reports are that LFC have agreed upon a £4 million fee and the young ‘keeper has ironed out personal terms with the newly promoted club.

But, hold the phone. It would appear that fellow Premier League new boys (and occasional yo-yo club), West Brom, may try their luck at scuppering the deal by swooping in with their own bid.

At what point does Scott just break down in tears and cry out, “I just want a permanent home. Won’t somebody please give me a home?!!”?

My thoughts on this Carson business are two-fold…

Continue reading ‘‘Round and ‘Round It Goes… Where It Stops, Nobody Knows’

The (pre)Season is Upon Us!

I hope you enjoyed your summer of frolicking in the sun, because it’s almost time to park your ass back in front of the tv/computer. The lads (well, some of them) are back in action again tomorrow! Sure, it’s the first pre-season game, which amounts to almost nothing more than a mere exercise, but it’s still a match. It’s the first step in the 08/09 season. The first step towards… well, I’ll hold off on the predictions for a few more weeks…

When the Reds travel to Tranmere Rovers tomorrow (10am EST… methinks) , it should feature Andrea Dossena and Philipp Degen in their first run-outs in the red shirt. Rafa has also said Gerrard and Voronin (seriously, try to contain your excitement for the ponytail) will likely see some action. But, what I most enjoy about the pre-season is getting a good look at the youngsters. While the level of competition is nowhere near actual league standards, it’s still enjoyable to see what the young guns have to offer.

The rest of the pre-season schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, July 16 — vs. FC Lucerene

Saturday, July 19 — vs. Wisla Krakow

Tuesday, July 22 — vs. Hertha Berlin

Wednesday, July 30 — vs. Villarreal

Saturday, August 2 — vs. Rangers

Tuesday, August 5 — vs. Vålerenga

Friday, August 8 — vs. Lazio

All the those matches, with the one exception of the Lazio affair, are away. I believe the first three on that list take place in Switzerland as part of the team’s training camp, but then the boys take their show on the road. Should any of these matches show up on proper television (Gol TV, I’m looking your way), I’ll let you know. But, as always, keep an eye on LiveFooty and SopCast.

Now, some odds and ends on the news front…

Continue reading ‘The (pre)Season is Upon Us!’

The Newest Striker?

While some of us have been salivating over the possible arrival of one of the two Davids (especially Euro 2008 hat-trick supa-star and Torres striker partner, David Villa), the reality of landing such a prospect is/was sketchy at best (because of our deadbeat owners who are so far in above their fucking heads and sorely lack any financial firepower). Going a step further to throw cold water all over this dream is Rafa, who’s popped that Spanish balloon (unless it’s a clever ruse… a ruse… a cunning attempt to decieve), but has confirmed his interest in another possible, and until now, rumored target — Spurs’ Robbie Keane.

Rafa on Villa and Keane:

I said the other day that he is one of the names we had on our list, but I can say at this moment that it is not an option for us. We know Villa is a very good player, we know the price and we know the players we have, so when you consider everything we decided he was one of the names, but at this moment, not our target.

Keane is one of the other names and okay we are still working with other names. We were in contact and we will see now.

Now, I like Robbie Keane. He’s got plenty of talent, appears to be a decent human being, and has demonstrated his ability to do the business for various clubs. Yet, it would seem odd that Juande Ramos would be ready to jettison him so soon after arriving at the club. Granted, he’s already scored the servcies of young Dos Santos and is linked to Luis Garcia (no, not that one — the one from Espanyol), but the constant Berbatov-to-somewhere else (*cough*United*cough*) talk will likely mean that perception will eventually become reality. Keane isn’t going to come all that much cheaper than Villa (maybe 6 mil less?), so where is the cash coming from?

I still say we hold out and spend that chunk of change on David Silva. Let one of the youngsters (Nemeth, Brower) fill the fourth spot in the striker rotation.

(UPDATE: Keeping with the young striker thread, Liverpool have announced the signing of 17-year old forward, Dutchman (or is that Dutchboy?) Vincent Lucas Weijl. He joins the Reserves from AZ Alkmaar.)

Summer Silly Season Samplings

Ah, I absolutely adore alliteration.

So, it looks as if the snowball that is Liverpool’s summer transfer activity may be starting to pick up speed and mass now that it’s gotten a decent push down the mountain. After the departure of the one-footed wonder, John Arne Riise, to Roma (he did serve Liverpool well… best of luck to you, JAR), Rafa has reinforced the backline by securing the singings of Phillip Degen (right fullback, via Borussia Dortmund on a free) and Andrea Dossena (left fullback, via Udinese for roughly £7M). By all accounts, both of them can get forward and can actually defend properly. My initial bet is that unless Fabio Aurielo can stay healthy, it’ll be Dossena on the left and Arbeloa on the right.

While it seems Scott Carson continues to float in the vapors (despite rumors of a move to ‘Boro) now that Martin O’Neill is now inexplicably considering making a move for Spurs’ Paul Robinson (or more smartly, West Ham’s Robert Green). While I have nothing but respect and admiration for O’Neill, I don’t understand why he thinks he’s going to find a better ‘keeper than Scott. Surely, he can’t forget how many games Carson kept them in this past season. Martin must be rubbing his nickels together. £10 million may seem steep, but it’s money well-spent. I don’t care how his form dipped after his England disaster, Scott Carson is the future number 1.

Keeping with the goalkeeper theme, Charles Itandje is currently being packaged and shipped off to Galatasaray for £2M while Brazilian Diego Cavalieri will be coming in from Palmeiras for £3 million. I would expect this revolving door to continue year-in and year-out as long as Pepe stays healthy.

I know it’s shocking that I’ve gone three paragraphs without touching on THE transfer saga of the summer despite mentioning Villa and Martin O’Neill. The latest in the Gareth Barry soap opera seems to be that Rafa is trying to throw 32-year old Steve Finnan in the mix to sweeten the pot. Quite honestly, I like Barry, but £18M is pretty damn steep. For about five million more, we could have one of the Davids — Silva or Villa (recently ‘linked’ to us for £25 million).

As an aside, Rafa on the idea of signing Villa:

But we will try to bring in another option. Villa is a player we know all about and he is on our list. But maybe it will be difficult.

While I realize that’s a bit of a misnomer as we’re talking apples and oranges when comparing the Davids and Barry, methinks the money might be better spent elsewhere. Granted, Barry is an England international, can play left back, left or central midfield, but if given the choice, I’d glady add to the Spanish contingent.

Continue reading ‘Summer Silly Season Samplings’