Archive for the ‘ Liverpool ’ Category

Weekend Review

-by D 

Football is a curious game isn’t it. In the result-orientated world of football and to a lesser extent, life, it’s not about the number of chances that one creates or the manner in which the opportunity is born, it is about whether we make those chances count. United, Spurs and Blackburn did whilst Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Fernando Torres did not.

For Arsenal, their defensive fragility and puzzling inability to defend set pieces saw them throw away a game that they had in the bag. One would have thought purchasing an experienced 6’7 German international in Per Mertersacker would solve their woes at the back.
Blackburn certainly didn’t think so and took full advantage of the London side’s weakness at the back as the Yak( see what i did with the rhyme) and Martin Olsson pummeled them with strength and pace. Not that Yakubu’s deft opener was about any of that but still, it doesn’t take much to breach Arsenal’s defence these days.
Stars players may come and go, but this lack of defensive solidity has been a chronic issue that will continue to deny them success. How Wenger and Arsenal fans must have hoped that the opposing centre-back pairing of Scott Dann and the man-mountain, Christopher Samba, were in the red and white instead of the blue and white.
Still, it was nice to see Wenger maintain his sense of humour, as he quipped, “We scored six goals and lost”. Following another pathetic fantasy week, I’m incapable of such graciousness.
As Arsenal’s self-implosion continues to evolve, lovers of schadenfreude should turn their attention to Liverpool’s faltering revolution.
A 4-0 defeat to a potential top-four contender after having two men sent off for silly fouls and your best defender hauled off due to injury in the first-half was the stuff of nightmares for Liverpool fans.
Utterly slow off the blocks and lacking any form of attacking impetus, Liverpool got what they deserved. A few glaring tactical flaws, which in fairness, are only apparent on hindsight, cost Dalglish’s side dearly.
Although Gareth Bale has had a quiet season so far, that lad still can run exceedingly fast. Like real fast. If there were a time to play Dirk Kuyt on the right, this would be it. Especially so if your right-back is a centre-back and even more so if your team goes down to 10 men.
Kenny goes ahead and plays Andy Carroll on the right after Charlie Adam’s sending off. Martin Skrtel and Andy Carroll could not be any squarer pegs in round holes.
Naturally, Liverpool were torn apart by a swashbuckling Spurs side who look like they have gotten over their teething problems. A huge part of their rejuvenation is down to the purchase of Scott Parker, whose tenacity, experience and defensive nous has given their top-heavy side of attacking talents a nice balance.
Just ask Luka Modric, who had the freedom to roam forward and unleash a stunner from 20 yards out past a hapless Reina thanks to Parker’s steady presence behind him.
Further, Emmanuel Adebayor is still in the stage at his new club when his actually gives a damn and a Adebayor who puts in the effort is a pretty scary proposition for any defender. His hold-up play, distribution and finishing was simply exceptional.
And speaking of teams which are on the rise, the top dog for the past twenty years, Manchester United, continue to show how its done. Its hard for me to even type this but its true.
Demonstrating their new brand of intricate passing football, which is fused with Ferguson’s traditionally strong emphasis on wing-play and carried out at breakneck speed, United won the game in a ruthlessly clinical manner – three goals were scored from three attempts in the first-half.
The first, an emphatic header from a wonderfully whipped cross that appeared a tad offside but was never going to be ruled out because well, it’s Old Trafford and Manchester United, they will do whatever they want.
However, there is no doubting the veracity of the second goal, which has to be one of the goals of the season as Nani gently took down a 40-yard cross field ball, slalomed past three players and rifled it into the top corner from 25 yards out.
That, my friends, is how you strike a ball.
The third was slightly fortuitous -a hashed clearance by John Terry ricocheted off a Chelsea defender into the path of an unmarked Wayne Rooney-  but irrelevant because they put the ball in the back of the net and that’s all that matters.
Which is why Ramires and to a larger extent Fernando Torres, will be rueing their respectively glaring misses for years to come. Chelsea were the better side for most parts of the game but sadly, results aren’t determined by the means.
Games are won and lost and limited chances and the only reason that United and Sir Alex have been at the top of the game is because they take those chances. Winners do that.
And as we welcome yet another miserable week of work and League Cup football, it seems that the ultimate winner is English football. Like Manchester United, they are a brand that never fails to deliver. Exhilarating, high-quality action week in, week out.
Until next week then chaps.

10 Conclusions: Arsenal vs Liverpool

Raul Meireles and Luis Suarez Share a Moment Together After Combining for Liverpool's Second. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images

-by D

1)      Liverpool were disciplined as they held their shape well and cut off Arsenal’s supply from the flanks, thus isolating a frustrated Robin Van Persie. Although Samir Nasri made a few dangerous forays through the middle, Reina was not really tested throughout. It was telling that a moment of ill-discipline cost Arsenal the game.


2)      Anyway, if anyone would like to know how M plays football, one does not have to look further than Jose Enrique.


Boasting a similarly muscular physique, the former Newcastle left-back put in an solid display- comfortably dealing with the threat of the swift but woeful Theo Walcott and consistently providing an attacking threat down the left flank. Liverpool’s left-back woes appear to be over.


You’re welcome M


3)      Shameless displays of guy love and back scratching aside, Liverpool were admittedly lucky to come away with the win.


Up till Frimpong’s unnecessary challenge, a makeshift Arsenal side matched Liverpool in every department. Whatever they lacked in experience certainly was not evident as Liverpool were restricted to futilely lumping the ball towards the direction of Andy Carroll.


If Van Persie had converted from 6 yards out and Balotelli’s twin did not lunge into Lucas (sounds wrong doesn’t it), Arsenal could have very well won the game. Still, discipline counts and pays off.


4)      And if they did, Thomas Vermaelen would have been the man-of-the-match. The Belgium international was bloody immense for the Gunners- snuffing out the much bigger Andy Carroll while guiding his makeshift backline that featured two 19-year-olds making their Barclays Premier League debuts.


Perhaps they biggest compliment one could pay him for his remarkable performance is that he suddenly made Arsenal ballsy. Who would have known.


5)      Speaking of ballsy-ness, Emmanuel Frimpong, Carl Jenkinson and Ignasi Miquel have lots of it. In Frimpong’s case, perhaps a bit too much.


Nevertheless the three 19-year-olds acquitted themselves well, putting up solid performances in their virgin Barclays Premier League game ( well frimpong played 30 minutes against Newcastle but let’s just take it as it’s his “first” time for a flowing sentence). Yes, Frimpong was brash. And yes Jenkinson played Suarez onside for the first goal. But we tend to forget how young these players are and their respective displays play testament to their undeniable talent.


Most importantly, they make us feel bad about ourselves. What were you doing at 19?


6)      And while we are on the topic of youngsters, Martin Kelly did pretty well didn’t he. Replacing the still slightly raw John Flanagan, Kelly carried on where he left off last season, when a hamstring injury curtailed his impressive run.

He kept Andrei Arshavin and Bacary Sagna quiet throughout while giving Liverpool attacking thrust on the right flank with surging runs. More importantly, he appears to be a better defender than Glen Johnson. The England international right-back should be worried for his spot in both the Liverpool and national team.


7)       Which is really a testament to Liverpool’s new-found squad depth. Even without Steven Gerrard, Fabio Aurelio and Glen Johnson, Dalglish was still able to put up a strong starting line-up and send on Raul Meireles and Luis Suarez off the bench, who proceeded to set up both goals.


Juxtaposed with last season when Liverpool could only muster Joe Cole and David Ngog to turn the tide, it’s a far, far cry in terms of quality. A pity that Alberto Aquilani was not given a chance though.


8)      It’s very presumptuous and premature but Andy Carroll doesn’t seem to fit in with Dalglish’s pass and move philosophy, which calls for Liverpool to play a high-tempo game with plenty of quick passes and swift movement.


Just like how the more mobile Hernandez and Welbeck are preferred over Berbatov over at Manchester United, Carroll may not be the man for Dalglish’s revolution. However, like I said, it’s very early and as such, I’d love to be proven wrong as the season goes by and Carroll gets fitter.


9)      My rage at Carroll stems from his pithy returns for my fantasy football league. No goals and assists and a bloody yellow card in two games for 10million pounds is really costing me. So forgive me if I do sound irrational.


10)  Back to the rational stuff. Without Luis Suarez, the Merseyside club appear to lack invention and penetration in the final third. An over-reliance on the Uruguay international to win them games may prove to be an issue.


While Steven Gerrard’s return may ease Liverpool’s dependence on Suarez to clinch matches, big money buys such as Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson must alleviate the burden. A two-man team, as we all know, brings you no where.


11)And it is not all gloom and doom for Arsenal. The Gunners were unlucky to leave the Emirates without a single point as a patched up side matched an expensively assembled Liverpool side blow for blow throughout. If not for Frimpong’s brashness and Aaron Ramsey’s terribly unfortunate own-goal, the result may have gone Arsenal’s way.


If Vermalean, Szczesny, Wilshere, Ramsey, Sagna, Song and Van Persie manage to stay fit while starlets such as Frimpong, Jenkinson and Miquel continue to develop Arsenal still could get something out of this season. It is still early days mind you.


12) Which is why Liverpool fans should not start to hail this game as the second coming. Again. Let’s take it one game at a time guys.


13) Does anyone else miss Linda Pizzutti?


10 Conclusions: Liverpool vs Sunderland

-by D

Hello readers! As the season kicked off last night, we too have kicked off a new segment, “10 Conclusions”.

1)      Just how strange is it to see Wes Brown in a non-Manchester United Jersey and how must he feel to look over his shoulder and to see Anton Ferdinand, and not his more illustrious brother, Rio, playing alongside him in the heart of defence. Change is the only constant they say.

2)      If Rio were playing instead of Anton, Sunderland’s defence would have fully comprised of ex-Manchester United players. Kieran Richardson and Phil Bardsley made up the rest of the happy family.

3)      Brown still looks like he should be playing for Manchester United. The former England international superbly marshaled the man-mountain Andy Carroll (how the hell is he 22) and kept Sunderland in the game with a commanding display that Steve Bruce himself would have been proud of. If he keeps injury-free, the youngest-looking 30-year-old is looking a fine bargain.

4)        Sunderland’s Jack Colback is one to watch. The 22-year-old was a surprise starter but he fully relished his opportunity and shone in the middle of the park. While his counterpart Cattermole was attempting to accumulate as many offences as he could and drive Sunderland forward, Colback braved several nasty challenges and distributed the ball sensibly throughout. Jordan who?

5)      Luis Suarez could be the star of the 2011/2012 Barclays Premier League season not just in terms of goals scored, but simply for his entertainment value.

Although the Uruguay international skied his penalty, his movement, pace and dribbling caused Sunderland hell in the first-half. The £24million winter transfer window signing was rewarded for his efforts with a goal only after 12 minutes, as he cleverly met a fantastically whipped free-kick from Charlie Adam with his head from six yards out.

6)      “ Sunderland are short in numbers in midfield and to be able to add a player of Larsson’s quality to the team might be crucial to Sunderland’s performance this season.”


Now now don’t be shy M. It’s time to add talent-spotter to your resume. (that was from his top 10 BPL summer transfer by the way; cracking read even though there were a tad too many goal-keepers)

Shameless ego-stroking aside (that’s the only kind of stroking we do), the Sweden international was dangerous throughout; pinging cross field passes with remarkable accuracy, tormenting young Flanagan with his pace and sending in threatening balls into the Liverpool box.

Although the free-transfer from Birmingham should not have been given that much space to execute that stunning scissors-kick volley in the first place, he left Liverpool fans wondering whether he should have been wearing the red of Liverpool instead of the industrious but ineffectual Jordan Henderson.

7)      While we are on the topic of stunning goals, Linda Pizutti, wife of John Henry, is quite the stunner herself.

8 ) Just how impressive were Liverpool in the first-half? The rapid movement and accurate passing and the relentless harrying of opponents when their off the ball was the stuff of champions. Even as i slip into hyperbole, perhaps the only justifications for this claim is that M, a Manchester United fan, specifically told me to add this into the report and another Manchester United fan who watched the game with me actually praised Liverpool’s first-half performance.
You know your team played well when Manchester United fans say so. If Liverpool can keep up their high-tempo game throughout the 90 minutes, they are in for a special season.

9)      How disappointed must Alberto Aquilani and to a lesser extent, Joe Cole, feel. In a second-half crying out for some sort of inventive spark in the final-third, the in-form Italian could not be called upon because he was not good enough in Kenny’s eyes to make the squad. And David Ngog was on the bench.

10)      With the exception of Henderson, the rest of the summer signings who played did well. Downing and Adam gave solid debuts while Enrique did a decent job given that he signed only just 48 hours before the match. Even though the result did not go Liverpool’s way today, the investments should prove canny in due time. (I really, really hope so)

11)  Although shorn of first-team regulars Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard, like a certain Imogen Thomas, the Liverpool squad still looks pretty well stacked in all departments. Although another centre-half and forward would be nice, there is finally quality depth in the squad.

12) They do miss Stevie G do they. When their only creative spark, Luis Suarez, faded away as the game went by, there was no leader or inspirational figure to galvanize them. Liverpool had been known as a two-man team when a certain handsome Spanish striker was still around and 100million pounds later, they are still struggling to shed that tag.

13)   It’s the start of the EPL. Life has meaning again.

Top 10 Summer Transfers so far

by M, because nothing is more exciting than new players coming in during the summer

As the new season kicks off in approximately a day or two(depending on your timezone), my life also starts again. D and I, along with millions of other football fanatics around the world, have been pretty much in hibernation as the football season took a break during June-August and we’re delighted that the season is now about to get underway.

As us mere mortals were going about our usual business during the months of summer, football clubs have been busy trying to strengthen their squad with new players. Here is our list of top 10 summer transfers in the EPL. (because there’s only 2 of us and lets face it, the EPL is the most popular/exciting league in the world because no one wants to see Barcelona clean out another 10-0 every weekend). In no particular order, here are the top 10 transfers of the EPL:

Ben Foster (Birmingham -> West Brom, Loan)

A few years ago, Foster was on the cusp of becoming Manchester United’s first choice custodian. A couple of high-profile mistakes later, he was subsequently shipped off to Birmingham, where he failed to keep the Midland clubs in the Premier League despite his heroics in goal. Only 28 years old, he is barely in his prime, particularly in the position he plays. His arrival at West Brom, albeit temporarily, strengthens their defence significantly, especially after the transfer of Scott Carson. Roy Hodgson will undoubtedly look to make it a permanent deal at the end of the season, particularly if Foster saves the club some precious points during the course of it which he definitely will.

Ashley Young (Aston Villa -> Manchester United, 16m)

The statistics don’t lie. Out of the players still plying their trade in the Premier League, only Ryan Giggs and Cesc Fabregas have had a higher assist rate than the England International. What United have bought is a proven and consistent winger who is capable of providing a steady supply of crosses from out wide, corners and free-kicks into the box as he has already shown in the Community Shield against Manchester City at the weekend. While it is argued that United require a creative central midfielder more urgently than another wide player, his acquisition will provide United strength in depth. He will be particularly useful on days when United seemingly have trouble breaking down lesser opposition.

Stewart Downing (Aston Villa -> Liverpool, 19m)

Liverpool fans have been crying out for an out-and-out winger for ages ( I know because I’ve been exposed to D’s incessant whines regarding this matter). It has finally arrived in the shape of Stewart Downing. 19m may seem a bit steep considering his reputation as a one-trick pony in his earlier days but he has blossomed into a fine left winger at Aston Villa. Considering the last proper winger Liverpool have had was the Spaniard Albert Riera, Liverpool’s best acquisition this summer might be the 19m signing of Downing especially when you consider the idea of King Kenny deploying Andy Carroll as a target man.

Shay Given (Manchester City -> Aston Villa, 3.5m)

It is ironic how one of the best goalkeepers in the league if not the world, had never played for a big club (sorry Newcastle fans) and when he did, was benched after one good season with them. Given’s transfer to Aston Villa is exactly what both the club and player needs. Villa needed a reliable stopper after the departure of the ageing Brad Friedel and Given needed a club where he could play week in week out. With no disrespect to Friedel, Given’s arrival will fortify the Villans’ defence even more. On his day, the Irish international is virtually unbeatable. Although already 35, he still has a good 2-3 years of playing time in him and 3.5m seems like a bargain for a goalkeeper of his calibre and experience.

Demba Ba (West Ham -> Newcastle, Free)

As Pardew attempts to start a French revolution at St. James, his most important acquisition this summer may be the arrival of Demba Ba. Newcastle has urgently needed a striker of his calibre ever since the departure of Andy Carroll, also known as Judas or who*e amongst the Toon Army now. While the money of Carroll’s sale was not used in the investment of Demba Ba, it makes Pardew’s acquisition of him even more impressive. Demba Ba’s 7 goals in 12 appearances for West Ham might not have saved the Hammers from relegation but his performances have shown that he is capable of cutting the mustard at the top flight. He will undoubtedly play more than the 12 games he had for West Ham and Newcastle fans must surely hope that he scores much more than the 7 goals he had last season.

Jonathan Woodgate (Tottenham -> Stoke, Free)

This is a bit of a contentious one. At first glance, signing Woodgate is a bit of a gamble. His injury record is probably longer than this very article yet if not for them injuries, we all know what a classy and brilliant defender he would have turned out to be. Woodgate may be injury-prone to say the least but his arrival will bring experience to the Stoke defence and while he most certainly will not play every week, his class and ability will benefit the Potters’, especially against quality opposition.

Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham -> Sunderland, Free)

Sunderland have been busy bees this summer. Having picked up United’s unwanted scraps in the form of John O’Shea and Wes Brown and a whole lot of other players, Bruce’s acquisition of Larsson on a free transfer may be his best one this summer. Sebastian Larsson has proved that he is more than capable of putting in a cross. A proven professional, his ability at dead-ball situations is well known. Considering the departure of Steed Malbranque, Jordan Henderson and Boudewijn Zenden, Sunderland are short in numbers in midfield and to be able to add a player of Larsson’s quality to the team might be crucial to Sunderland’s performance this season.

Ali Al-Habsi (Bolton -> Wigan, Undisc.)

It is a pity that Al-Habsi’s rival for the No.1 shirt at Bolton is the ever-present Jussi Jaaskelainen. After warming the bench at the Reebok for awhile, Al-Habsi’s loan move to Wigan showed us his ability. He saved the Latics points throughout the season and was one of the key reasons behind their survival in the top flight. Martinez has now made the move permanent and that means we all will never have to see Chris Kirkland in goal in the Premier League again.

Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid -> Manchester City, 38m)

Probably the highest profile summer arrival to the Premier League this summer. While every Tom, Dick and Harry are clamouring for a move to sunny Spain, Aguero has traded Madrid for Manchester in a 38m deal. City has signed a proven player in the man popularly known as ‘Kun’. A player in the mould of Carlos Tevez, City’s want-away captain and idol, his all action style of play will be warmly greeted by the fans. If he plays as we have seen him play in the La Liga, City fans will be chanting ‘Tevez who?’ by the middle of the season.

Jose Enrique (Newcastle -> Liverpool, 6m)

Liverpool fans will be particularly happy with this transfer. Jose Enrique is a quality left back as he had shown at his time with Newcastle. Physically strong and blessed with good technique, Liverpool’s left wing looks more than decent with the Spaniard at the back and the much-improved Stewart Downing (who is also featured in this article). A whole lot better than Paul Konchesky, 6m for Jose Enrique seems to be the bargain of the transfer window, never mind the fact that he has only one year left on his Newcastle contract. While Liverpool’s central defence still requires some sorting out, Jose Enrique’s addition will be a much-needed boost to Liverpool’s backline.

How will Liverpool Shape Up in 2011/12?

The Messiah's Return Rejuvenated the Kop Last Season

-by D, we apologize for the long delay between articles

These are exciting times for Liverpool fans.

Stewart Downing’s arrival has taken Merseyside club’s 2011 transfer spending past the £100million mark.

Principal owner John W Henry promised that investments would be made and he has certainly kept his word, supporting Kenny Dalglish’s Anfield revolution in the most practical fashion.

The rosy situation is a far cry from a year ago, when the future of the club was up in the air with the club almost dragged into bankruptcy under the ownership of George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

And Liverpool paid £4.5 million for Lord Voldermort’s half-brother, Paul Konchesky.

Those were dark, dark days.

Fast forward to July 2011. Change has gotten rid of the horcrux who is the unfortunate Konchesky ( I honestly don’t blame him for moving to Liverpool. Who would reject a move to Liverpool except Manchester United and Everton fans) and the feel-good atmosphere that have been lost since the 2008-2009 Barclays Premier League campaign.

It almost seemed like yesterday when Liverpool finished second in the league and recorded memorable trouncings of Real Madrid and Manchester United. Oh how I have missed the Champions League “We are the Champions music”. I played the track on repeat while Liverpool lost 3-1 to West Ham and it just didn’t have the same effect.

In eager anticipation of the 2011-2012 Barclays Premier League season, what should fans expect?

Firstly, a different formation. Having initially toyed with the 5-3-2 and eventually settling for the 4-4-2 towards the end of the 2010-2011 season, the summer purchases hint at a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 for the 2011-2012 campaign.

The back four of Martin Kelly, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson will be shielding Pepe Reina’s goal if Liverpool do not purchase a left-back. One suspects that a fit Fabio Aurelio and the remarkable maturity of academy products John Flanagan and Jack Robinson may tempt Dalglish not to invest in a seasoned left-back. Emiliano Insua has been outstanding this pre-season and Dalglish may be convinced to give him another chance to revive his Anfield career.

If needed, Agger and Danny Wilson are able to fill in on the left side of defence as well. Nevertheless, an experienced and solid left-back in the shape of Everton’s Leighton Baines and Newcastle’s Jose Enrique would certainly improve the side.

Moving on, Lucas Leiva should expect to retain his place in the side, sitting in front of the defence and breaking down attacks, a role in which the Liverpool player of the year performed with ruthless efficiency last season- he was the Barclays Premier League’s top tackler last season, completing an impressive 111 challenges.

Adam joins Henderson and Downing as the new boys of Liverpool

Playing slightly in front of the Brazilian international would be the new number 26 at Anfield. Adam will be stepping into the massive shoes of Xabi Alonso, whose departure to Real Madrid in 2009 has left a yawning void in midfield that has not been replaced.

Having said that, Adam is not quite the same player as Alonso.

The 6’2 midfielder has a higher propensity move into advanced positions as compared to the Spain international, who prefers to sit deep and dictate play rather than drive the team forward. Given that Steven Gerrard is on the wrong side of 30, the added drive that Adam will provide is definitely welcome.

Last season, his 79 attempted shots ranked him 9th in the Barclays Premier League for the total number of shots taken, ahead of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent. Furthermore, 12 league goals and eight assists from midfield imply an inherent attacking impetus.

While the 25-year-old is not quite playing at the same level as Alonso yet, he certainly has the potential to raise his game to the Kop hero’s level. Adam possesses a fantastic passing range, great technical ability and a tremendous work ethic that will serve him well as the responsibility of launching attacks from deep and acting as an outlet for the team lies on his broad shoulders.

More importantly, Adam’s arrival releases the shackles off Steven Gerrard, who will play at the tip of the midfield triangle, just off the centre-forward. The Liverpool captain enjoyed his best season when he played as a support striker off Fernando Torres (sigh). Liverpool scored 107 goals during the 2008/09 campaign and Gerrard either scored or directly created 41 of them.

That’s more than M and I will ever create or score in the next 10 years. With a jellyfish keeping goal.

Moving on, Stewart Downing and Luis Suarez should play on either side of Gerrard.

Possibly the cleanest-cut looking footballer in the Premier League, Downing was the Premier League second top crosser in the 2010-2011 season, with 243 balls delivered into the box over 38 games.The England international, whose left foot is almost as imperious as M’s (you’re welcome mate), the £20million man will give Liverpool the width and pace that they have been missing since Steven McManaman and to a lesser extent, Albert Riera.

And on the right is the biter, the volley ball player and the entertainer known as Luis Suarez. One wonders whether the tricky Uruguayan knows what he is doing when he is dribbling because opponents certainly have no bloody idea. He may be a striker but he loves to drift to the flanks where he uses his pace and trickery to beat players.

The aforementioned players will do their best to provide ammunition to the £35million man, Andy Carroll. The 6’3, 22-year-old is a classic number nine centre-forward, very much in the mould of Alan Shearer and Didier Drogba who will spearhead the Liverpool attack. The powerfully built Newcastle academy product is deceptively skillful and possesses a howitzer of a shot, but Carroll’s forte is clearly his heading ability. The Liverpool and England number 9 has a massive future ahead of him and hopefully he fulfills his potential.

The future looks bright and I pray I will be listening to the Champions League music whilst Steven Gerrard pretends that he knows how to sing it in the very near future.

Liverpool XI: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Johnson, Lucas, Adam, Gerrard, Suarez, Downing, Carroll.