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PostSubject: Liverpool F.C. News   Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:30 pm

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PostSubject: REINA NETS GOALKEEPING AWARD   Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:38 am

Pepe Reina has won the Barclays Golden Glove award for the second season
running after keeping 19 clean sheets in the Barclays Premier League
campaign.


Reina's closest competition came from Everton's Tim Howard (14 shut outs) and Reading's Marcus Hahnemann (13). The award is further evidence of the form of Reina over the past
couple of years, but the Reds' stopper is keen to share the honour with
his teammates.
"This is not my trophy," he says. "It's recognition of the work of our defenders as well as the other players in the team.
"We are a special group at Liverpool and that is why we have had some success over recent seasons. "I would say our defence is a ten out of ten unit. There is such a determination not to concede goals and hopefully we'll be able to reproduce our best form throughout the coming season.
"For me, clean sheets aren't the most important thing. If I keep
one at Aston Villa this weekend then great, but if I don't and we still
win the game then that's great as well."


http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/drilldown/N156627070808-1659.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:44 am

REINA IS SIMPLY THE BEST
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:59 pm


Liverpool could earn their 1,000th Premier League point when the season gets underway at Villa Park on Saturday.


The Reds have accumulated 999 points since the Premier League was established in August 1992.

Just three teams have reached the milestone already: Manchester United (1,232), Arsenal (1,081) and Chelsea (1,013).
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PostSubject: TORRES CAN'T WAIT FOR ANFIELD DEBUT   Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:21 am


Record signing Fernando Torres said he can't wait to make his first appearance at Anfield for Liverpool against Chelsea.


The Spanish ace feels it will be a special occasion for him and the team in the Reds first home game of the season.



"Last Saturday was my Barclays Premier League debut and we came
away with the win, on Wednesday it was the Champions League and we also
won, and on Sunday I will walk out at Anfield for the first time to
play a match," said Torres.


"Everybody tells me that until I listen to 'You'll Never Walk
Alone' inside our stadium it's as if i've never really heard it
properly, and I can't wait to hear it."


The striker added the prospect of playing in the Champions League
with Liverpool excites him, but he readily accepts the main priority of
the players is a push for the Barclays Premier League title.


"The Champions League is the lucky competition for Liverpool and it#s a tradition," added the Reds number nine.



"But it's curious that I come here thinking about the Champions
League because it's a special competition for me but in the team
everybody is thinking about the Barclays Premier League.


"It must be because many of them won at Istanbul but they've never
won the league. By the way, neither have I. The club hasn't done it for
17 years and here everyone believes this could be the year."

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PostSubject: REINA: WE CAN MAKE A BIG STATEMENT   Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:23 am

Pepe Reina
believes Liverpool can make a big statement to the rest of the Barclays
Premier League if the Reds can beat Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.

The Anfield number one said everyone in the Liverpool squad is looking
forward to their first home game of the season and added the win at
Aston Villa last weekend gave everyone confidence and a belief.


"If we could have picked a first game at home, this would be it
because we have no fear at all, just confidence. We're really excited,"
enthused Reina.


"It's in our minds to make a big statement by beating them at home.
We want to give the fans a great day in our first game at Anfield.


"We knew to win the first game away against a tough team like Aston Villa was important for us.



"Having Chelsea in the second game, being such a strong side, means
we already have it in our own hands to force our way into the top four
early in the season. We want to make the most of this advantage.


"We always expect hard games against them. It's usually very
physical, but we are in a good moment. We've started the season how we
wanted.


"All of us had a poor beginning last season, although we were
really unlucky with the fixtures. Visiting Bolton, Everton, Manchester
United and Chelsea so quickly within six games made it very difficult.


"We wanted to change this beginning and hopefully we'll do it.



"Obviously it will help us this season that we're physically
stronger and in a better situation when we have to play those difficult
games.


"On paper, our fixtures at the start look easier and we feel we
have more of an advantage, but we must still work hard to show that.


"The boss has been looking for three years to build a great squad where he knows he can pick any player at any moment.



"Now we can look at the bench and it’s so strong, and that’s important to us. You can see the quality of the players.



"Every tournament Liverpool is involved in is important and we have
to fight to win it, but we have a special resolution in the Premier
League.


"It's been 18 years since we won it, so that's what's getting us excited. It's the number one tournament for us now."
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PostSubject: A LETTER FROM LUIS GARCIA   Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:26 am

Dear Reds,



First of all I'd like to apologise for not having been back in
touch sooner, but I needed to take some time to take on board all the
recent changes and then to put down these words for you.
I'm sure you will understand. I would rather this be a letter of thanks and gratitude, not simply a goodbye. Yes, thats right, gratitude, because that is the word that best sums up my feelings for you all. Taking the decision to change clubs hasn't been easy. Not easy at all. I've experienced three fantastic years at the club and in the city. Three years in which together, the fans and the team, we have accomplished some fantastic achievements, and I'm sure that these successes will continue to be repeated in the near future. You know that I like a challenge and that I don't just settle for second best. Back then Liverpool Football Club gave me the opportunity to be part of an ambitious plan to put the Reds back at the summit of the game. I think that together we managed to achieve that.
As I said, I do like challenges and in spite of the fact that at
that time I was playing for my home town club, one of the biggest in
the world, I wanted to be a part of that project that was being
presented to me by Liverpool, and so I accepted the challenge.
Now, after three seasons in the Premier League and having won some
major trophies, the chance came up for me to return to La Liga and be
part of a new project at a club I already knew.
The idea of enjoying things in a Spanish club like we experienced
together at Liverpool over these last three years appealed to me, and
thats why I accepted the offer.
I want to thank everyone working at Liverpool Football Club for how
well they have treated both my family and I, making us feel at home
from the very first day to the last.
I also want to thank the management, coaching staff and directors
for the opportunity they gave me back then to be part of such an
important and well-loved club as Liverpool. A club which has helped me
to grow as a footballer and where to date I have enjoyed the biggest
success of my career.
Without a doubt, this success has been possible thanks to the
outstanding group of players with whom Ive been able to share a
dressing room over the last three seasons.
I'm not going to mention anyone specifically, because I think that
the secret of this team's success has been exactly that: nobody wanted
to stand out above the rest and there has always been a great
togetherness in the squad, which made it into something more than a
group of players, it was a group of friends.
Thanks to all of you for your help and your friendship.
I've left until last the thank you which for me is the most important: Thank you to the supporters.
Your support allowed me to settle quickly at both the club and in
the city, and you made me feel really at ease with you all right from
the word go; that's the kind of help that you notice most of all during
the difficult times, of which there have been a few during my time
here.
I'd like to especially thank you for making up a song for me and
you should know that every time I heard you singing it, it was like an
extra injection of strength and motivation, even helping me to overcome
pain occasionally during a game.
Your unconditional support is the thing that ensures that this team
manages to pull through in the most difficult circumstances; and I can
assure you that the whole squad is aware of this and thanks you for it.
A football club isn't just made up of players, coaches and
directors. More than anything else it's the supporters who make a club,
and that perhaps is the ingredient which best distinguishes Liverpool
Football Club from every other team. The supporters.
Because if one thing has remained obvious to me after these few
years, it's that with supporters like you, Liverpool Football Club will
never walk alone.
I really hope that the club wins lots of major trophies in the
future; I'll be following it all from a distance, with the pride that
you can only get from having been a Red and played for the home team at
Anfield – a ground that every football fan must visit at least once in
their life.

Thank you for everything. Yours most sincerely,



Your friend, Luís García

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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:41 pm

The Reds boss watched his side slide to 2-1 defeat in Istanbul in front of a near-hysterical 30,000 plus Turkish crowd.



Having only drawn in Porto and lost at home to Marseille, Liverpool
are now bottom of the group, but Benitez remains optimistic: "I was
pleased with the performance, but we just could not take our chances.
"When you have 28 attempts on goal as the away side and nearly 60
per cent of possession, that should usually be enough to win the match.



"We were punished for one mistake in the first-half having

had so many chances. Their goalkeeper was outstanding but we should have taken more of our chances.



"Obviously it is very difficult now for us to get through but I
believe we still can. There are three games left and we must win all
three, but we can do that."


Liverpool face Besiktas next at Anfield and then a home tie with Porto

before their visit to group leaders Marseille for the final group match in December.



Benitez said: "We have to wait to see now what we must do, how the
numbers add up. The fact that Porto drew with Marseille in the other
group game was a help for us, it certainly improves our options."


"If we continue to play like we did in this match, with so much

dominance, we have a chance.



"I do not see this as a test for me as a manager, this is football,
if you keep doing the right things like we did here, we will achieve
what we want."
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:16 am

Xabi Alonso believes his friend and countryman Cesc Fabregas is fast becoming one of the most influential players around.

However, the Spaniard is desperate to bring a halt to his international
teammate's run of good form if the two go head-to-head on Sunday.


"He is one of their most important players and one of the most
influential in the Premier League, no doubt about it," Alonso told
Liverpoolfc.tv ahead of Arsenal's visit to Anfield this weekend.


"He has had a very good start to the season but hopefully this won't be repeated on Sunday."



He added: "I will definitely ring him before the game. He is a very nice lad and we speak quite a lot."



Alonso admits he has been impressed with the start Arsene Wenger's young side has made to the campaign.



"They are doing very well and are playing very good football –
probably the best football in the Premier League at the moment," said
the 25-year-old.


"They have a lot of mobility and a lot of players who are
comfortable with the ball. They understand each other very well and
that creates good football - they are really nice to watch."
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:18 am


Rafa Benitez has revealed Fernando Torres could be fit to face Arsenal on Sunday


However, the Spaniard fell short of confirming his top scorer would be
in the squad when Arsene Wenger's league leaders visit Anfield.


He told Liverpoolfc.tv: "Torres could be fit. He was training today and has been with the physios. He could be fit."



Daniel Agger is less likely to be involved but Xabi Alonso has a strong chance of featuring.



Benitez added: "Agger had some problems but they're better now than
one week ago. Alonso will be fit but after four or five weeks out I
have to decide if he is ready."
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:34 pm


Rafael Benitez conceded that the 1-1 draw with Arsenal was a fair result.


The Reds boss praised the commitment of his team but felt the Gunners did enough to gain a point.



"If you analyse the chances we had in the game you could say we have lost two points," he said.



"But if you analyse the chances Arsenal had they deserved to score.
It's a pity because we were 1-0 up for a long time and if we had scored
the second goal it would have made a big difference.


"We had injury problems with Torres and Xabi having to go off and
Arsenal are one of the best teams in England if not Europe, so in the
end a draw was a fair result.


"Arsenal play at a very good tempo and with the injury to Torres it
didn't help us because we didn't have the pace to get behind them
enough.


"We are still six points behind them but there is a long way to go."
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:35 pm

After firing the Reds into the lead Steven Gerrard was clearly upset
that Arsenal managed to pull even, but the midfielder remained in a
philosophical mood,
“I’m obviously disappointed not to see the game through after taking
the lead, but after looking at the whole game, maybe Arsenal deserved
something out of today.”
“They played a good game over 90 minutes, but at home with 10
minutes to go we could have seen it out and sneaked three points off
the best team in England at the moment.”
Commentating on the ferocity of his strike that made it 1-0, Gerrard revealed the goal gave him much needed relief,
“There was bit of frustration in that.”
“The goals haven’t come as frequently for me recently, but if I keep
hitting the ball as sweetly as that then I know it will come back.”
Gerrard waxed lyrical on a fabulous, fast-paced game that saw
Liverpool take an early lead through a thunderbolt from Gerrard, only
for the Reds to be pegged back by a resurgent Arsenal side who
equalised late on via a Cesc Fabregas toe-poke.
“It was fantastic game for the neutrals, up-and-down for 90 minutes,
and we are slightly disappointed in letting Arsenal back into the game,

“But overall we can have no complaints.”
Gerrard’s team-mate, man-of-the-match Jamie Carragher, echoed his captain’s thoughts on a point well-deserved for both sides,
“I think Arsenal deserved a draw, they played well, created a couple
of chances, as we did so we’ve got no complaints with a point.”
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:38 am

http://www.goal.com/en/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=469271

what a crock of shit
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:55 pm

MASCH: I WANT TO STAY WITH STEVIE

The player Maradona described as a 'monster' is desperate to extend his
Anfield deal beyond the summer, claiming Merseyside is the best place
for him to become a world-beater.
"By staying here I will become a better player and that way I can
help Liverpool to be more successful," said the 23-year-old, who
already has 33 international caps to his name.
"It would also be fantastic to form a long-term partnership with
Steve Gerrard - everyone knows he is one of the best midfield players
in the world."
Mascherano's declaration comes just days after Rafa Benitez reiterated his desire to keep the midfielder at the club.
"I am calm and relaxed about it," added the Argentine. "From my
point of view it is simple - I want to play for Liverpool, I want to
sign a permanent deal.
"I have told Rafa Benitez this and he has told me he wants to keep me.
"I have had enough of travelling the world from club to club. I
want roots, and I want them here in Liverpool. I don't want to move
again next summer but if I do not sign for Liverpool then I will not
play for another club in England. Not Manchester United, not Chelsea or
Arsenal.
"If I am not with Liverpool I don't want to be in England. It would
be impossible for me to play against them in the Premier League because
of the respect I have for the club. I want to stay in England, but only
with Liverpool.
"The club created an opportunity for me which I am grateful for so no other English club will come into my thoughts."
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:48 pm

Peter Crouch has revealed how he's been inspired by one of the shows aired recently on LFC TV.

The beanpole striker was so amazed at the channel's 'Kop 10 Fowler Goals' programme that he got on the blower straight away.



"I saw his top 10 goals and some of the strikes were absolutely
fantastic," said Crouch. "Headers, volleys, chips – he scored all type
of special goals.


"When it was over I texted him and his reply said: 'Was it only my top 10?'



"To be honest it probably should have been more! 'My top two is on next,' was the reply I sent back."
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:49 pm

Carson is currently on a season long loan in the Midlands, but has made
no secret of his desire to pen a long term deal with Martin O'Neill's
men.


Benitez understands Carson's frustration after failing to establish
himself as a first choice at Anfield and admits a move to Villa could
suit both parties.


"You can understand that he wants to play. He knows Pepe Reina is top class and that it will be difficult for him to play here," said Benitez.



"Scott is a good professional and a nice boy. This is a crucial
time in his career and he needs to play. At the moment we are
concentrating on our own team and our own competitions, but Villa can
decide if they want to keep the player.


"At the moment we have Pepe, Charles Itandje and David Martin as goalkeepers so we can manage the situation okay."

-----------------------------------------------

good luck scotty
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:15 pm

Shame to lose Carson, could be a top class keeper, would like a Barragan like deal, where we have the option to buy back for a low sum.

(Barragan deal to Depor, Sold 800.000, can be bought back before 2009 under 700.000, best deal ever? sell a player in 2006 who is 19, plays first team football for around 3years, buy him back at 22 with 3 years of experience, and MAKE A 100k profit, its not the money, but the fact you get such a transfer, in which a young player gets experience at a top level and you make a profit, ONLY RAFA CAN MAKE A DEAL LIKE THAT!)
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:19 pm

LoL

yeah it'll be a shame to lose him.. but nothing really happened so far, and to be fair, the lad wants to play more regularly, and with lfc, he'll always be a backup keeper

we have 2 backup keepers for reina.. so we wont have problems offloading carson.

he loves the club.. and he might return in the future
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:34 am

Liverpool Hot On The Trail Of Bilbao Prospect
The Basque playmaker has been outstanding this term at San Mames,
carrying on from his successful campaign last season - which was his
first in La Liga.
Athletic raised a number of eyebrows in Spain when they splashed out
6 million euros (£4.2million) for him as an untested 18-year-old
playing with Osasuna's second string.
But 18 months on, some of Europe's biggest hitters are now tracking
the 19-year-old who is also a regular in Spain Under 21 side.
Liverpool are rumoured to heading the queue for the youngster’s
services, however they face stiff competition from Fiorentina who have
also sent scouts to assess Martinez during recent games.
Although the Basque player operates in midfield, an area that the
Reds have an abundance of talent in, he nonetheless offers a distinct
different type of quality.
Martinez prefers to roam free in midfield and operates best in the
last third as a schemer and creator of goals, a player that perhaps
Yossi Benayoun comes closest in comparison.
With whispers abound that the under-performing Momo Sissoko may be
leaving Anfield, room may be freed-up soon for the arrival of Martinez.

But Benitez also knows he is not the only man looking to land
Martinez - whose current get-out clause stands at 24 million euros
(£17.1million) as he has more than four years remaining on his
contract.
Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli was hugely impressed by Martinez in
pre-season after the two sides met in a friendly and he has been
following him closely ever since.
Now a battle could ensue, although Benitez would always be seen as favourite given his continued close links with his homeland.
Liverpool are also known to have been impressed by Martinez's
team-mate Fernando Amorebieta and a double bid could yet be a
possibility.
Anthony Singh, Goal.com UK
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:36 am

Garay Fancies English Move


Ezequiel
Garay has admitted that he would like to play in England after
Manchester United and Liverpool were reported to be watching his
progress at Racing Santander.

The Argentinian defender has attracted attention with some powerful
display at the heart of the Cantabrian rearguard and would fancy trying
his luck in the Premiership.

Racing
admitted recently that they may have to let him leave next summer after
Real Madrid were rumoured to be preparing an offer that would be
difficult to turn down.

Now Garay has revealed that he would be
open to a transfer, but admitted that he has heard nothing concrete
about interest from any clubs.

"To play in England is a dream,"
he told Sky Sports. "But I insist that I do not want to talk about the
hypothesis. I do not have any preferences about any clubs.

"My head is in Racing but like all professionals I would like to progress.

"But I have spoken with the directors of Racing only this week and there is no real news about me."

Lucas Brown, Goal.com
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:28 am

ok ... problems are bubbling up in the club

rafa needs more money.. and the owners dont wanna give him any!

what a crock of shit!! why did they buy the club in the first place?!

we need to secure mascherano.. and get some CBs!! we are fucked if agger and hyypia get injured... and hyypia might leave at the end of the season..

if we dont sign players in JAN .. we'll lost the league race.. and have to sign whatever players are available in the summer..

and thats IF rafa doesnt fight with them and leave the club.

fuckin americans.. i knew they were nothing but trouble!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:34 am

So far it's Eight Torres beauties, Seven Stevie stunners, Six Kuyt finishes –– Five for Benayoun –– Four from Ryan and Andriy, Three Crouch strikes, two Alonso goals and a belter from Mo Sissoko ... and, er, one each from Sami Hyypia and Nabil El Zhar.



(For the final line, it's a shame Richie Partridge is no longer on the books, or indeed, in a pear tree.)



Twenty-one of those goals are from four of the new players. It's
precisely what Benítez wanted with regard to the team sharing the goals
around, and even players who are in and out of the side are racking up
some good figures. Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard, harangued by the home fans at St James' Park, has rediscovered the goalscoring touch that is so important to the Reds.



I do think this country's booing culture is getting out of hand,
and bar the odd occasion, I'm proud that it's a tradition that
Liverpool fans do not adhere to. While the circumstances were
different, in that the Reds weren't expected to win, the half-time
reaction in Istanbul should be compared with that of the England fans
at Wembley this week, followed by the Geordies' treatment of Gerrard.


Martin Samuel of The Times made an interesting point a few weeks
back when likening it to Big Brother / X-Factor culture: everyone has
their phone vote, everyone has their say, as to who to they want to
kick out.


Newcastle fans spent the entire game booing someone or other. I
admire their passion and commitment, and pity them their recent
history, but they have to look at their own role in their team's
failure.


It reminds me of England fans booing their own players in previous
games –– singling out individuals like Lampard and Crouch to crucify ––
as it just ramps up the fear factor. No wonder England players looked
scared last Wednesday; already under enormous pressure, they knew their
own crowd would turn on them within a heartbeat.


I understand the Geordies using England's failure to get at a
player who was in opposition ranks on Saturday, but it's not like their
team contained anyone fit to lace Gerrard's boots, either on the day or
over the course of their careers.


Continuing to boo him after he'd scored a belter was typical of the
idiocy of a crowd mentality at times. Did they not notice he was just
getting better and better as a result?


Also, I had to laugh when Gerrard's corner was flicked on by an
unmarked Hyypia and turned in by an unmarked Kuyt, with an unmarked Harry Kewell running in for good measure.



I heard no mention by Andy Gray about the failings of
man-to-marking at set-pieces. Nor, as expected, did I hear how zonal
marking would have stopped such a terrible defensive mess. (And did
anyone see Man United's farcical set-piece defending that cost them the
points at Bolton? Kudos to Danny Guthrie, too, for his role in the result.)



Without wishing to tempt fate, it's nearly seven months since
Liverpool last conceded a goal from a set-piece delivery into the box
(excluding Carling Cup games, with the Reds' defence heavily altered
for those games). That last one from the first team 'proper' came from
a corner against Arsenal on March 31st. No other team can come close to
matching this.


(Sami Hyypia's own goal at Everton was from the second phase, after
the initial corner was cleared, and it was hardly the fault of zonal
marking; if anything it showed that Hyppia's positioning was spot-on,
but he sliced his clearance.)


Dirk Kuyt
had a rough time at Blackburn a few weeks back, but he's back with a
goal, and as any striker knows, it just needs one to go in off the
backside or, in this case, the shin to get the confidence up and
running again. He's got a respectable six to his name so far this
season, and while I think penalties distort a striker's tally, there's
no doubting that the two he took at Goodison were not your
run-of-the-mill spot-kick situations, and fully deserving of great
credit.


Kuyt does so much good work between the lines, and can look at home
in bolstering the midfield (crucial in away games) or supporting the
main striker. If you looked at him as an attacking midfielder in a
4-5-1 formation, which is what in reality he often is, you'd be very
happy with six goals by November.


Just look at Kuyt's part in the third goal on Saturday to see his
worth. The ball is won by Sissoko from Alan Smith, and the Reds will
keep it for almost a full minute. Once Sissoko wins it, Kuyt makes a
bursting run down the inside-left channel, but doesn't receive the
ball. All the same, it creates space for others.


Within seconds he's appearing on the right-hand touchline, keeping
possession. The ball eventually ends up going back to Hyypia, and
Kuyt's on the move again, back to the centre-forward position. By the
time the ball is with Finnan at right-back, Kuyt, running like he’s on
Duracell batteries, has dropped deep and fairly central to receive the
pass. Finnan's ball sends Kuyt down the right-wing, but it's slightly
over-hit.


However, Kuyt wins it from the Newcastle player, and sends Babel
away, into the space he himself has vacated. Babel and Gerrard then
combine for the young Dutchman to finish with aplomb.


Just watching Kuyt's movement and running in this one goal, it's
easy to see why Torres gets so many chances playing alongside him. The
way Kuyt pulls defenders this way and that leaves the Spaniard in his
favoured central position, often faced by just one opponent. And as
well as creating space, several of Torres' chances were teed up by his
Dutch colleague, either with battling tendencies, flick-ons or
well-weighted through balls.


I also think you need as many players with Kuyt's character as possible.



He's a bit like Jamie Carragher
in that he's not the silkiest of players, but his determination lifts
those around him. Such players complement the likes of Torres, Gerrard,
Alonso, Mascherano and Agger, who have the greater natural technical
ability to go with equally great desire.


Players this complete and multi-faceted are rarities, and not easy
to come by. However, if you can keep high the number of 'winners'
alongside them, who put in unceasing work and battle for every ball,
you will get a more consistent intensity from the performance of the
team as a whole.


Players like Carragher and Kuyt simply never go missing. It doesn't
mean they don't have bad games, but the effort is always there, setting
an example to others. Fans may sometimes covet outrageously skilful
players, but anyone who shirks their share of the work can drag the
team down.


The older I get, the more I appreciate this fact. The psychology of
a football team is so complex, because you have eleven (and more)
individuals, each with their own unique character, which gets enhanced
or negated depending on those around them, and the circumstances in
which the team finds itself.


It only needs a couple of defeatists to give up on the pitch and
the whole thing can fall apart. The majority of Benítez's signings
continue to go from strength to strength, and the reason why, for me,
is that character is so crucial to him. Even non-physical players like
Benayoun chase and harry, while always wanting the ball.


One new signing, Lucas, was superb on his full league debut –– a
really mature performance of steady, accurate passing, intelligent
movement and gutsy hard work from the 20-year-old. At times I felt he
deferred to Steven Gerrard
a bit too much, passing to the captain when he himself was better
placed to hit a cross or forward pass, but that's understandable; he
will find his own authority once he is more settled at the club.


At full-back, Arbeloa continues to increasingly impress me –– he
has arguably been Benítez's best bargain. Speed, skill and composure:
top quality.


Ryan Babel
is improving all the time, and now showing his class. A laid-back
personality, he is perhaps someone who needs the likes of Kuyt to lift
him. But he still has character and commitment: at Ajax, where the
emphasis was already on ability with the ball, he employed his own
technical trainer to help him work on his game, not to mention taking
one-on-one sessions in striking from Marco Van Basten.


Babel may not be a natural winger, but he has everything needed to
succeed out wide (pace, power, skill and a good cross), as well as that
priceless commodity of being natural in central areas when he drifts
infield, as is his wont. In the long-term he may end up there
permanently. He side-foots the ball harder than most can hit it with
the laces.


In the last three games he has come on in the second-half, and
lifted the Reds' game by a notch or two. Against Besiktas he claimed
two and hit the bar in a sparkling cameo up front; against Fulham his
introduction coincided with the late goals (the second of which he
created); and at Newcastle he showed how clever he is in linking play
and getting into shooting chances, scoring yet another.


It all adds up to less than 90 minutes' football, but includes
three goals for himself, some assists, hitting the woodwork, and the
Reds scoring six goals during his time on the field. With the
opposition tiring, he has a bit more time and space to work in, which
helps as he gets used to English football.


Strangely, it was another one of Benítez's signings, and one who
had very little meaningful work to do, who caught my eye this weekend. Pepe Reina just looks so comfortable. He's like an 11th outfield player in how he deals with the ball.



The assurance with which he handles situations, and the speed and
accuracy of his distribution, allows the team to start building attacks
before the opposition have even realised they've stopped building their
own. (Torres gives him a great 'out' ball, too.)


I've felt all season that the Reds are at least capable of
challenging for the title. I didn't alter that view when points were
being dropped, and the good wins the team is now getting merely
reinforces my hunch.


On the evidence so far, it really does look like a four-horse race
for the title, with Manchester City acting as the surprise fifth horse
that will almost certainly fade away.


Despite things like the BBC website saying that "Liverpool are
[only] fifth in the Premier League" as a criticism of Benítez, if the
Reds win their game in hand they'd be second, ahead of Manchester
United on goal difference (while Arsenal's form could be considered
distorted on account of having had eight of their 13 games at home).


In what crazy world is that unacceptable for the Reds at this point in the season?
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:28 am

Benitez got Torres for roughly £21.5 million and that is a lot. If the
club win their first Premier League title, lift this trophy for a sixth
time, or even make the lucrative trip to Moscow in May, who is
counting, though? The scoreline might make it look as if it did not
take a special player to defeat FC Porto, but do not believe a word of
it. At the point when Torres got Liverpool's noses in front again, a
crisis was unfolding. The scores were level at Anfield and, across
Europe, in Istanbul, where Marseilles were holding Besiktas. One more
goal from the French side and Liverpool would have been out. Instead,
it was Torres who showed his mettle with a coolly taken goal to set up
an impressive victory and Marseilles who blinked by losing to a team
who conceded eight at Anfield on their previous Champions League
outing. Liverpool must still win when they travel south for the final
group game on December 11, but the most slender margin will now be
enough. It is the sort of set-piece European affair in which Benitez
specialises; ask Mourinho, his former sparring partner.
The Times



The player

Torres is a world-class striker and he's probably up there with
anyone now in striking terms. I only have to mark him in training,
thankfully.
Jamie Carragher



The fan

My big match verdict - Quaresma is c**p.

Crazycolt, LFC.TV message board



The boss

The most important thing is the team, so I say thank you for the
support. To the players it was important and it was also for me, so I
say a thank-you, a big thank-you.
Rafa Benitez



The presenter

Fernando Torres is now half way to becoming the 20-goal a season
striker we've needed since little Michael left. It looks like being a
two-way battle between him and Stevie G to be Liverpool's top scorer,
but Javier Mascherano's performance on the night can't be overlooked.
That sprint back to make a crucial tackle is becoming somewhat of a
trademark for the Argentine, and I for one think we'll be a poorer side
if he's not here next season.
LFC TV presenter Claire Rourke



The fan

To rave about a 4-1 home win is easy; that's only painting half the
picture. Benitez is well on the way to transforming a once
two-dimensional team back into a true force in Europe. Liverpool
controlled the game from start to finish. In spite of the fact that the
team is still not firing on a cylinders, it's certainly shifting
through the gears. Make no mistake, Porto are a strong side home and
away, but Liverpool took them to pieces like a seasoned boxer, raining
blows to their opponent before finishing them off with the swagger of a
prize fighter.
Joe-El, LFC.TV message board



The former player

It was a very emotional evening at Anfield and what we got in the
end was another one of those fantastic European nights. The fantastic
tackle from Javier Mascherano to stop Porto when they were in a very
dangerous situation set the tone for the night. It was nervous for a
long time after they equalised but Harry Kewell and Peter Crouch both
made a big difference when they came on. Kewell showed the undoubted
quality he has and the second goal from Torres was absolutely
wonderful. I was commentating for .tv and I was jumping up and down in
the gantry - it was just a great moment and Torres is a very special
player. I'm confident we'll book our place in the last 16. David Fairclough



The journalist

Torres again showed he is a class apart from the other strikers in
the Premier League. All of his goals are different and he is just a
class act. I also thought Harry Kewell made a big difference when he
came on. His Liverpool career may not have gone as he would have liked
but there is no doubting his ability. He gave Liverpool something
different when they needed it most and the way he set up Torres for the
second goal was outstanding. Kewell and Torres stood up to be counted
and their class showed. If he can stay fit, Kewell could re-emerge as a
key player at Anfield. I believe Liverpool will qualify for the last 16
of the Champions League. They have the CL experience and know what they
have to do. Paul Joyce of the Daily Express

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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:24 am



The Reds stopper picked up his 12th clean sheet of the season as Rafael
Benitez's men made it 21 goals in five matches, and he revealed that he
is more than happy to sit back and enjoy the show - even if it does
mean he gets cold.


"It is easier than ever for me at the moment with the way the team is playing," said Reina.

"I had to keep warm just in case I was needed but it was difficult
because it was cold, wet and windy but the result did keep me warm.

"Hopefully every game can be like this one and like the last five because we have done really well.

"From my own point of view, it is always really important to keep a clean sheet because that brings confidence, trust and hope.

"And the fact that we are scoring plenty of goals and taking more chances is also good.

"The whole team is in good form and we have to keep going in that way."
Defensive stalwart Sami Hyypia
got things underway against Gary Megson's side when he opened the
scoring at the Kop end to secure his first goal of the season.

It capped another fine performance from the giant Finn, who has been in good form in the absence of Daniel Agger - a fact that has not been lost on Reina.

"I have said many times how good Sami is and I'm sure the people
who were at Anfield yesterday won't need me to tell them that he was
brilliant once again," enthused Reina.

He has been like that all season and it is great for me to play
behind players like Sami, Carra, Arbeloa and Riise. And Jack (Hobbs)
came on and did a good job so he can be proud also."

The 4-0 triumph moved the Red into third place in the Premier
League table, but had Nicolas Anelka converted a glorious chance with
the match still finely poised at 1-0, it could have been a different
story.

Reain said: "I was expecting it to be 1-1 but things like this
sometimes happen even to the best strikers. Anelka is a good player and
he was just unlucky and we were quite fortunate."

The miss of the season contender came as a result of a mix-up between both Reina and Jamie Carragher, and the keeper insisted it was simply a case of crossed wires between the two of them.

He added: "It's because we both (Carragher and Reina) go for every
ball and we are both aggressive and I try to do the same as him - to do
my best for the team - and sometimes things like this happen."
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PostSubject: Re: Liverpool F.C. News   Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:10 am

Liverpool Are Fabulous Right Now - Coppell





Reading take on Liverpool this evening in a much-anticip[ated Premier League clash at the Madejski, with Royals' manager Steve Coppell hailing the Reds as ‘fabulous’ at the moment.

Liverpool, still unbeaten in the Premier League this season and
fourth in the table with a game in hand on the three clubs above them,
go into their game at Reading this evening in scintillating form,
having clocked up a remarkable 21 goals in their last five games.
At the same time they have kept five clean sheets in their last six
matches, prompting Liverpool born Reading boss Steve Coppell to tell
the Liverpool Echo:

"They are fabulous at the moment. “The money they’ve spent, the depth of the squad they have, the range of options. They are difficult to prepare against because obviously Rafa’s notorious for chopping and changing.
“But he’s chopping and changing cream and caviar with cream and caviar, and it’s not getting down to the bread and butter.


“They are an excellent team and they’ve invested to compete right at the top end and that’s where they are.

“But their demand is to win the League. If they finish fourth they’ll have failed.”


Mark Hinton, Goal.com
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