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[Archived] Liverpool Preview


Cocker

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I'll do a preview right now.

We're going to lose. If Fernando Torres is fit, we'll lose badly if not, we'll just lose. OK they couldn't score past West Spam who are nearly as bad as us, but that was more down to their strikers firing blanks than West Spam's defending. However, even West Spam are not subject to the comedy defending moments we are and I fully expect someone to pass the ball to a Liverpoo player in an area that they can't fail to score from.

Is this the game when Ince turns it round? Does the idiot finally realise his mistake? Yes, I fear that this COULD be the game where he realises that all his problems could be solved by simply playing Paul Robinson up front and Carlos in goal- job done.

If there are any potential Dexter Morgans out there- Ince DOES fulfil the code, he is truly evil!

;)

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Actually someone has just told him about squad rotation.Look forward to the team running in a vague circle around the pitch and the nearest one to the ball kicks it.Works just as well with defending, the nearest to the goals tries to stop it going in.Wonder why Nigel never mentioned this :P

Sorry, having a nervous breakdown today....

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Rovers v Liverpool

27th September, 27th September!

That was the last time Rovers won a league game, and Wednesday night Rovers shipped 5 against FC United of Manchester which resulted in their exit from the Milk Cup.

Rovers and Liverpool have shared some memorable games down the year but I won’t bore you with memories of 95 at Anfield and the like, it might send some members of this board over the edge!

Rovers are currently in one of their worst winless runs in the history of the club and come up against title pretenders Liverpool on Saturday.

Liverpool have huffed and poofed in previous years when it has come to the Premier League, this year has seen them get results where they previously dropped points, especially away from home.

Recent home form has been criticised after failing to beat Stoke, Fulham and West Ham but they still find themselves top of the league by a single point from Chelski.

They do not know how lucky they are!

Rovers have suffered in the transition from Sir Mark Hughes to Paul ‘Guvnor’ Ince this season which sees us sitting second bottom of the premier league and the signs are not looking good, the season finishes in a 9 for starters.

Over the past few seasons teams like Liverpool, the so called “top 4”, did not like coming to Ewood as they knew they faced 90 mins of up at them football which resulted in Rovers picking up unexpected points and bruising a few egos even in defeat.

Liverpool should visit with confidence even though they have been struggling to find the net of late, I am sure that our more than welcoming defence will mean that they do not fail to score again this weekend. My money is on Robbie Keane to get a goal, that is how bad we have been playing.

I am know amongst my friends as being unbelievably optimistic follower of Rovers but I am really struggling to see where we will get our next win from, then again I still deep down believe we have it in is to cause anyone problems if things click and keep praying that the next game will be the one.

I’ll see the rest of you in the prayer room at Ewood on Saturday, I knew it would come in useful at some point.

As some may remember I live in Liverpool these days and have quite a few friends who follow the red half of the city and they have kindly agreed to answer some questions again. Still waiting on one set to come in, but here on Stephen’s replies first and I will add Mark’s later.

What is your view of Liverpool's season so far?

If, at the start of the season, you had told me we'd be top going into December I'd be delighted and we should be really. However, football fans are rarely completely happy. If we had gone into the West Ham game and won 3-0 to go one point ahead of Chelsea, there would be more of a feel good factor. However, our form has dipped of late and without Torres we are not going to score a lot of goals. We have covered Torres' absences well so far but we desperately need to get him fit and keep him fit. Keane has been a major disappointment and the fans are now getting seriously worried after being patient with him. My view in the summer was that he was a good player but not one we needed to spend £20m on. Especially when you consider our big strength last season was the Gerrard and Torres partnership. A partnership you would have to sacrifice to accommodate Keane.

I still believe we have the best goalkeeper in the league, 4 top quality centrebacks, 3 of the best central midfielders in the world and the best centre forward in the world. However, we a weaker than other teams at fullback and in the wide midfield areas. Arbeloa and Aurelio are decent players but not of the standard that our title rivals have in these areas. Dossena (the West Ham game apart) has looked awful. I'm not the only Liverpool fan who thinks selling Warnock was a mistake, as he has always looked to be playing well whenever I see Rovers. Kuyt has done a brilliant job at right midfield this season and he has added goals to his work rate. Riera started excellently but he has had a dip in form recently. Benayoun and Pennant are not good enough, while Babel is talented but does not know what to do with his talent. Up front, after Torres (and with Keane in his current form) the cupboard is bare. Ngog is out of his depth, Nemeth (last seasons top reserve scorer) has not been fit all season and the rest of the reserves are too young or never going to be good enough. I think Babel should be given a run up front while Torres is out but he's not in Rafa's good books at the moment.

So, I'm delighted to be top but a dip in form as cost us the chance to be 5 or 6 points ahead.

6 points dropped at home to lower teams couldn't have pleased the fans?

Apart from the game against Manchester United we have not played well at home all season. We got out of jail against Boro and Wigan with late goals. The results against Fulham and West Ham have been coming. To an extent teams have worked us out at home, sit deep and frustrate us. We don't have quality widemen or a player who can beat 2 or 3 men to negate this tactic. If we don't get an early goal at home, a lot of the time we simply run out of ideas. We'll have a lot of possession but create little with it, Fulham and West Ham are good examples of this. West Brom came to Anfield and tried to attack, that plays into our hands and we win 3-0.

We have been far better away from home, when the home team can't just sit deep and try and frustrate us. Having said that, Villa used that tactic and it ended up 0-0. We lost to Spurs in what, for me, was our best performance of the season but our old weakness of missed chances cost us.

The fans at home have been jittery all season. I think this is because there is a genuine belief we could win the league this season and everyone is paranoid that we'll blow our best chance in years and who knows when that chance will present itself again.

Do you believe you will win the league?

No. I don't think our squad is strong enough. We have the numbers but the fringe players at Chelsea (Alex, Ivanovic, Bridge, Belletti, Drogba, Joe Cole, Kalou) and Manchester United (Brown, O'Shea, Park, Rafael, Fletcher, Tevez, Giggs, Anderson, Nani) are far better than the likes of Degen, Dossena, Benayoun, Lucas, Plessis, Ngog and Pennant. There are also more players likely to get goals in those squads. After Torres and Gerrard (and maybe Kuyt) we have no regular goal scorers.

That's why the recent results have been so disappointing, as we have had chances to build a decent lead of 5/6 points but blown it. A lead I think we'd need to have any chance of winning the league.

I think we'll finish 3rd but I hope I'm eating these words come May!

What is you view of rovers season so far?

Well it's been disappointing hasn't it? That's why I feel like a bit of an idiot for having a good moan about being top!

I wont pretend to have seen much of Rovers, so it's difficult to comment on what is going wrong.

I hear Ince bemoaning his luck after every game and saying you deserved more. That's something you generally hear from the managers of teams that go down.

Santa Cruz does not appear to have reproduced last season's form yet and you appear to be leaking a lot of goals.

Surprise Liverpool performers this season?

No surprises as such but Kuyt has added goals to his game and after all the transfer rumours in the summer, Alonso has been our most consistent player.

I'm surprised at how bad Keane has been and we have managed to buy an Italian defender who can't defend!

Memories of rovers v Liverpool down the years?

The obvious one is Blackburn winning the league at Anfield. Couldn't have been better in the circumstances, you win the league, the mancs don't and we win the game.

How's the boardroom at Liverpool at the minute?

Shambles. As I understand it : Tom Hicks and George Gillett don't like each other, Gillett and Benitez don't like each other, Benitez and Rick Parry(CEO) don't like each other, Parry and Ian Ayre (commercial director) don't like each other, Ayre and Gillett don't like each other, Hicks and Parry don't like each other. Everybody is scheming and leaking behind other people's backs. The club is rudderless at the moment. We need to be sold not just from a financial point of view but also to get some clear leadership within the club.

Hicks and Gillett need to refinance their existing debt in January with Royal Bank of Scotland. It is thought RBS may grant an extension till the summer and then tell them to pay up or sell up. Those 'in the know' reckon Hicks and Gillett want and need to sell but they are holding out for silly money. Dubai International Capitol have officially withdrawn from bidding as the price is too high for them to be able to guarantee a return on the investment. However, some think Sheikh Mo may buy the club personally and use it to promote the Dubai brand. If you believe the rumours he is waiting for Hicks and Gillett to get desperate and lower the price as the refinance date gets nearer.

Views on Paul Ince?

He did a decent job at Macclesfield and MK Franchise but was a risky appointment by the Rovers board. Mark Hughes was always going to be a tough act to follow. It could be argued Hughes had taken Rovers as far as he could and his successor would be given a thankless task. However, I don't believe Rovers should be in the bottom three with the players you have. FFS Bolton are 9th and their squad does not look anywhere near as strong as Rovers on paper.

Likely team to face rovers?

Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Dossena, Kuyt, Mascherano, Alonso, Riera, Gerrard and Keane.

Hyypia may play instead Agger, to match Santa Cruz in the air. By rights Keane would be dropped on present form but there is no one to come in and replace him. I'd play Babel but I don't think Rafa will.

Prediction for the game?

Tricky one, I'm going for 0-1 to Liverpool. Our away form is good and Rovers must be short on confidence.

However, any result would not surprise me.

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You never know, you might well be right!

HOW??

My friend and I are going to turn up fo this one. Neither of us are looking forward to it but we're lloking forward to the songs during and spectactle after. Don't let us down!

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HOW??

Murphy's law...

My friend and I are going to turn up fo this one. Neither of us are looking forward to it but we're lloking forward to the songs during and spectactle after. Don't let us down!

I told my wife (who I'm taking) that I'm not even sure I want to go now. I will of course and I'll support the team.

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HOW??

My friend and I are going to turn up fo this one. Neither of us are looking forward to it but we're lloking forward to the songs during and spectactle after. Don't let us down!

Seeing that you seem so against the guy more than alot of the others- why don't youtake the lead and start the songs?

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Did anyone get an email from Rovers marketing?

Subject: Get behind the team this weekend.

Rovers will be back to Premier League duty this weekend, with the visit of Liverpool at Ewood Park on Saturday. The team will be looking to climb out of the bottom three with a win over the current league leaders.

Come down and get behind the team - we're all in this together!

:lol: All going down to the Championship together. :(

Speaking of support: I wish Rovers marketing would support my request to send me an email containing my login information for the online Rovers Store. Maybe then I could support the club with some merchandising money, dependent on the postage prices.

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HOW??

My friend and I are going to turn up fo this one. Neither of us are looking forward to it but we're lloking forward to the songs during and spectactle after. Don't let us down!

How? Christmas magic, that's how. It's unlikely to be down to tactics, good play or sheer force of will. Yet I remember in the last relegation season, the team were in an absolutely dire run of form and yet rose to beat the Scousers 3-0 with Sutty leading the way. Or is my memory playing tricks on me? Anyway, ignore the fact I may be making that up, consider RSC to be our Sutty and the BBE to provide the backbone of the side and Murphy's Law and Christmas magic will see us right! Alternatively, you can be all depressed, not look forward to it and only be happy when you're demonstrating for Ince to be kicked out.

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No doubt this will be the game where we allow Keane to rediscover his goalscoring boots and rack up a few gifts like we have given to so many other teams recently. Not really looking forward to this game, only hope after this one is over, Ince's reign is over allowing us to start rebuilding and escaping from the mire we are stuck in.

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