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[Archived] Rovers 0-1 Liverpool


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Liverpool: The Red Sh!te, the Red Scum, the Dirty Kopites, the Scouse Barstards. They go by many names, but if asked, they’d prefer Champions of Europe. Of course they would, but who listens to them anyway?

The club everyone loves to hate currently sits in 3rd place and are within spitting distance of 2nd, a position they could not even hope to attain last year. Their emphatic win over Everton recently coupled with their 7-0 embarrassing thrashing of Birmingham give them 10 goals in two games and 18 in their last four in all competitions. An impressive number for any club but when before March there was a serious power outage from the numerous strikers that Liverpool have under their employ the number seems all the more impressive.

Our last match was one that given a visit from Souey’s ever elusive mistress Lady Luck we might not have lost all three points. This was the match of the controversial Zurab Khizanishvili sending off (was he in the box or out of the box?) to which Ryan Nelsen saw fit to sound off on a few months later when recalling referee Halsey’s propensity to send Rovers off on red cards. For this “Improper Conduct” Ryan was almost brought in front of a tribunal as a result. But I digress, the past match in October saw Rovers defend mightily with 10 men for 42 minutes before Cisse struck a sneaky free kick in past Big Brad who had no chance. Who could say what would have happened if Zurab would have stayed in the game. One of those We’ll Never Know kind of things. At the time Liverpool were 1-4-1 with a whopping total of 4 goals scored. We were 3-2-3 with a total of 7 goals scored with our leading scorer of Gamst with three.

For our next game the Red Scum look somewhat formidable with their strikers throwing in goals to finally help the midfield. The one interesting note is that even though they are not on top of our fan favorites list, they do play Bolton before our game. So for that moment, I have to say I will be a Liverpool fan…for that 2 hours only! After that, though, they do not play any of our direct competitors (Arsenal, Wigan, Tottenham) for the rest of the season.

This Q&A was taken the day of the Brum thrashing as I just recently moved and wanted to make sure my USUALLY delinquent friends would reply in time. As I soon found out, they had no problem this go ‘round. Regardless, the Q&A from my delusional Liverpool co-worker (whose responses are in red) was pretty much what I expected, so I included a scouse friend of mine (whose responses are in blue) who has been a Toffee from the day he was born for a bit of comic relief, and also a bit of sense.

Liverpool's season had taken a turn for the worse, but now seems to be on the up. Can it all be attributed to the lack of legitimate firepower up front or is the fixture list just too packed?

I think it is a little bit of both. First, liverpool has played so many games this season because they had to start their Champions League in the middle of july. That with the league, the FA and Carling Cup, it makes a busy schedule. This week alone, they played on sunday, will play tomorrow, tuesday, in the FA cup, and again this weekend. That is crazy. On the other hand, liverpool also need a poachers striker similar to that of michael owen. At the moment no one is doing that for them. But things are looking up, 8 goals in the last 2 matches, so we will see.

In an age where footballers are supposed to be bigger, stronger and fitter than they've ever been, all this talk of having too many games is just an excuse. Liverpool have a squad of more than thirty players, surely they can handle ninety minutes of football every week or four days. Liverpool's strike force is the worst I've ever seen. They have a 6'7'' striker who can't head the ball, a multiple European Cup winner in Fernando Morientes who's forgotten how to play since he moved there, Djibril Cisse who spends more time worrying about how to make his hair look stupid than scoring goals (His penalty against Newcastle recently was his first for fifteen games) and Robbie Fowler, who will never be the player he was when he was twenty three. Combined in the league, they have sixteen goals. (Crouch, 6, Cisse, 5, Morientes, 4, Fowler, 1.) With Steven Gerrard top-scoring in the league with eight, I think it's plainly obvious what the issue is.

Do you feel that Liverpool's European run hindered their chance at the Premiership

I think the amount of games they had to play early in the season hindered their chances in both. But pushing for 2nd is not bad at all. Would that be the European run that they cried their way into? ...and never should have been allowed to compete in? I'm surprised Benfica eliminated them, I'm shocked that they didn't lodge a complaint for re-instatement on the grounds that.. they are the Champions of Europe and should be treated as such.

Do you happen to have any memorable Blackburn vs. Liverpool memories?

I always just remember from the games I have seen between the two, they are usually entertaining. Both teams, especially Blackburn, get up for the game.

Carragher(?) Babbel and Cisse having their twigs snapped at Ewood Park

Who on Liverpool should Blackburn be afraid of?

The liverpool midfield in general. With stevie g and xabi alonso leading the way, they are one of the most dangerous midfields in the league/europe/world.

Blackburn are a team that can be exposed by pace, and almost every time I've watched him this season, Andy Todd has gone to sleep and let someone streak by, so I suppose Djibril Cisse would threaten in that respect; not that he would score a goal, of course.. but if by a miracle he found another player for once, there could be danger there. ...and of course there's always danger in the form of Steven Gerrard, though sometimes the danger is more that he'll cynically break your leg.

Who on Blackburn should Liverpool be afraid of?

Brad Friedel is a really good goalkeeper and is hard to beat a lot of the time. Bellamy could have his day too...

Craig Bellamy. Goals in each of his last three premier league appearances, his pace stretches any defence. He also has great ability and in form is an asset to any team. I also fully expect Morten Gamst Pedersen to turn Steve Finnan inside out.

What do you think of Rafa? A bonafide tactical genius or a clueless, plodding plonker?

Rafa is a GOD. haha. Seems like he is bringing liverpool back to their glory days. Turned down real madrid to resign with us, which shows hes committed. He has the capability to out coach anyone.

Rafael Benitez is a tactical buffoon. Anybody who thinks they can let Kaka wander around a pitch unchecked needs a CAT scan as soon as possible. I thoroughly believe that had Harry Kewell not been injured against Milan, the Italians would have continued their dominance right through to take an easy win. It took him an awfully long time to grasp how to play against lesser English teams in the premier league, it seemed he fully expected them to lay down before the might of Liverpool. The strike force that he has assembled all on his own is a testament to his perception of players, and the fact that Liverpool are worse than Bolton in terms of hoofing the ball from back to front all goes to show that the only reason there is any perception of this man who seems only able to say 'We work berry hard' as a decent football manager.. is that Liverpool are the media's perception of a "big club" and he is their boss.

Who is/was your favorite Liverpool player?

past: kenny dalglish, present: stevie gerrard of course. I like Brad Friedel a lot because he is american...and good, but liverpool doesn't really need a goalkeeper.

All the dead ones.

Now that your Euro Cup run is over, will you now please stop calling yourselves the Champions of Europe?

We defeated chelsea and ac milan on our way to glory. It was well deserved. I will now say we are 5 time champions of Europe

Nobody but their lot believed that anyway...

Some interesting head to head facts if you all will indulge me….

The last time the Red Scum was beaten by Blackburn was in the FA Cup in 2000. Interesting that Dominic “Private Pyle” Matteo started and Thommo came on as a sub. Oh yeah and that Blake bloke scored the lone goal…

The last time the Red Scum were beaten by Blackburn in a League game was

1996 when Wilcox scored betwixt a Sutton brace. Again Matteo was a kopite starter as was eventual Rovers Bjornebye and McAteer.

Since that win our head-to-head record in the League is 0-8-7…ouch…

The last time Rovers finished above the Dirty Kopites…Championship year, although in 2002 we finished just below them in the standings.

The last time Rovers have swept a season series is 1993-1994 season.

If we just looked at our head-to-head history we look a bit out of our class, however, if the boys can get the stigma out of their heads and play as brightly as we all know they are capable of, I think Blackburn can pip the 3 points. I believe that we get up for this match and show them who’s boss with a 2-0 win.

Liverpool will be trying to either concrete or gain that second place spot and provide even more ammunition for their defense of being one of the best in England. Pfft, who believes that dross anyway?

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Fantastic preview- like the addition of the Toffee!

I hadn't realised that our recent record against Liverpool is so bad so it must be time for Sparky to impart that magic again. Man U's record against Liverpool was dire for twenty odd years but when the Mancs started winning that fixture, they didn't stop.

Liverpool's motivation will be interesting. If the Mancs beat Arsenaland Sunderland at home, Liverpool will be close to being out of the race for second. Equally, if Arsenal are beaten and Liverpool beat Bolton, they will be within one point of making 3rd place a mathematical certainty when they come to Ewood.

I wonder what Bennitez is going to do with the luxury of five meaningless fixtures at the end of this season?

For Rovers, to keep a realistic CL chance, it will be a must win if we haven't collected three points at Pompey this afternoon and a "don't let that gained ground go" game if we have won at Fratton.

But then we have been saying things like that for a few games now and hopefully will be looking at a tenth "Cup Final" fixture when we play City.

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Head says a narow loss, heart says rovers to bounce back in style (if you can bounce back from a couple of draws) and win. Probably a third successive draw on the cards then and everyone to continue humming and hawing if we're in dream land or the pits of dispair. Maybe being messed about with when we're actually going to play them will fire Sparkey and the lads up.

If we're to win we've got to stifle their midfield - everyone knows its dangerous - so a Reid Savage partnership should be the order of the day. Perhaps we should recall Todd if he's fit - we've not been defending too well of late. We may have too if Gray's injured and if IMO I feel a back line of Zurab, Todd, Nelsen, Neill is as good a back line as we've got (the only problem being it limits Neill's chances to go forward.)

Not too sure what to do about the right mid problem either - we solve the left one so we create one on the right, typical rovers. I'd probably favour Bentley still - if the bugger could cross he'd be great there - as he can't he's limited on the right. In fact I'd probably put Emerton on the right as defensively he'll help stifle the Liverpool midfield and put Bentley up front. This negates the Dickov/Kuqi problem. I'm a huge fan of Kuqi but I don't fancy his chances against Carragher or Hyppia. And Bentley should put in some nice throughballs for Bellamy.

Added to which with Bentley taking a berkamp-esque role it'd mean that we'd be able to stop us being overrun in midfield. I've a feeling Liverpool will play a 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 with two wide forwards. By having Bentley in the hole he'll be able to drop back if neccessary to stop us getting outnmbered in the midfield.

Therefore:

Brad

Zurab Todd Nelsen Neill

Savage Reid

Emerton MGP

Bentley

Bellamy

subs: Enks, Tugs, Mokoena, Kuqi, Dickov

1-1 Bellamy scoring for us, Gerrard for them

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After seeing our performance in the last two games, I'd be tempted to try the following line up

Friedel

Neil Zurab Nelsen Gray

Reid Tugay Savage Emerton

Bellamy Bentley

Think on performances MGP should be on the bench. Great deliveries from set pieces but not a lot else I'm afraid. Give Emerton a go on the left, he's looked OK when he's played there.

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I don't even think his set pieces are that good. His corners look impressive because the keeper has to tip his attempts to score over, but how often does he put a ball in the right area for someone to get their head on.

Don't get me wrong, I think he's a good player, but for the last 4 or 5 games he has been poor.

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for the crowd spotters work it out like this

Rovers have an average home crowd of around 18300

Liverpool have sold 7400 tickets

expect the crowd to be around 26000 and upwards

after today, I wasnt impressed with Liverpool. They are very one dimensional and all of the play goes through Gerrard and Alonso. The front 2 pairing of Fowler and Crouch wouldnt scare a dying swan and the back four although settled are there for the taking.

Boltons upwardly mobile pairing of Fatty and Baldy frightened them early doors so ther eis no reason why Bellamy plus 1 cannot do the same.

For me, on todays performance Rovers need to be up for it in midfield.

crucial battles

Lucas v the pony tailed princess

The Admiral v the bean pole

Roberto Savage v Gerard

Fastfoot v lanky fin

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for the crowd spotters work it out like this

Rovers have an average home crowd of around 18300

Liverpool have sold 7400 tickets

expect the crowd to be around 26000 and upwards

after today, I wasnt impressed with Liverpool. They are very one dimensional and all of the play goes through Gerrard and Alonso. The front 2 pairing of Fowler and Crouch wouldnt scare a dying swan and the back four although settled are there for the taking.

Boltons upwardly mobile pairing of Fatty and Baldy frightened them early doors so ther eis no reason why Bellamy plus 1 cannot do the same.

For me, on todays performance Rovers need to be up for it in midfield.

crucial battles

Lucas v the pony tailed princess

The Admiral v the bean pole

Roberto Savage v Gerard

Fastfoot v lanky fin

397825[/snapback]

biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

Been on the pop Warren?

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This should be the higgest attendence of the season, just under 8,000 scallies, a decent kick-off time, a holiday weekend and only 2 more home games with Europe beckoning , I would be disappointed if under 27,000..

2-0

Bellamy and Bentley due one

PS Any rovers fans in Blackpool know a good driver? I need a car to take me to Ewood and back from Blackpool where I am staying for Easter , in hospitality so dont want to risk driving..

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Using the highly scientific method of playing Pro Evo 5, I have Rovers to beat Liverpool 2-0 with goals from MGP and Bellamy. That's foolproof, that is.

Whoever loses, though, will blame it on a sinister, possibly London-based, conspiracy.

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Its not quite as simple as that 1864, as its a cat A+ game and its on sky sports. This could be countered by the importance of the game and the fact its during the holidays. Hopefully 27,500+, but you never know with the Rovers, at least Pool sold out their 7k!

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