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Thread: Mark my words: This Will Be A Season To Remember.

  1. #61  
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    #21 Lucas Leiva: C/DM 26
    Lucas is one of my favorite players. His heart is enormous. He loves the game and he loves LFC. In the long run I think he’ll prove to be one of our best players if he can stay healthy. This season it was obvious Lucas had lost a little edge. He was more careful, a little slower, and at times tentative. His passing was not as good as in the past. I don’t think any of this is physical though. I think that even though Lucas has played in the PL for a while, being out for so long with two bad injuries, he lost a little crispness in the mental game. When a player loses a lot of time it’s normal that actions, honed by playing regularly, become less instinctive. That makes the player “react” more than “act”. In other words, they follow the game: they don’t command the game. In his position, he must be a field commander and control the game. You could see he did that well in some games but looked a little slower in others. That said, I fully expect him to return to his best and continue to improve after a healthy summer of workouts. And I know he will put in the time and effort to do everything he can. He always has so why would I believe otherwise.
    Verdict: Extend him. Keep him in Liverpool red until he retires.

    #24 Joe Allen: C/DM 23
    Joe started the campaign looking like a bargain. Brendan Rodgers called him LFC’s Xavi: and he played like it too. I’m not sure when his injury became a factor but he certainly didn’t maintain that form for the whole season. It’s up to the team to figure out what happened: if it was mental or physical fatigue or injury related. If we get the Joe back that was here at the beginning of the season we’ll have one of the best midfielders in the PL. It’s too early and I’m too outside the box to know what’s going on though. I truly enjoy watching this young man play though. He can see the field well, maintains possession very well, can pass and has a decent shot on him. He has a great football mind and sees plays as they develop. He’s the guy who makes the pass before the assist, so he doesn’t get too much credit, but he’s class when on his game.
    Verdict: keep him and help him become the player he can be
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  2. #62  
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    #25 Pepe Reina: GK 30
    Pepe had a strange season. He had a couple howlers when coming back off of injury but also showed some of the brilliance we all have come to expect from him. My opinion has always been clear: as long as Pepe wants to be a red, he should be a red. We have no goalkeeper concerns unless Pepe wants to leave. All that said, he knows he needs to do better than he did this season as well as we do. He has the backing of all of us and we can only hope his heart stays with us and that he returns to top form. He once was one of the best in any league. He’s now still a top keeper, but not elite. He can be elite again. He should be elite. Aside from that, without Jamie screaming out orders, he might have to be the one to step up as a vocal leader on the field. We need organization in defense and the keeper is the only one with the match in front of him. He’s never been a screamer, but he knows the game and he should take this on himself.
    Verdict: extend him as long as he wants

    #29 Fabio Borini: F 21
    Fabio only scores in his first games I guess. The rest of the time he is a master of hitting posts with beautiful shots that are “just so close”. That said, despite a lackluster first season marred by injury, Borini showed some real promise. I believe if we had a full contingent of strikers he’d be a good prospect for a loan move to get some games under his belt. I’m not sure I want to see him get a lot of experience at LFC at the level he’s shown so far. However, he’s shown he has a good shot, good direct control, decent speed and vision, and a bit of creative flair. Still, he can’t start before Luis or Daniel and with Phillipe showing up so well, Fabio is already fourth choice for three advanced places and will probably be a substitute for the foreseeable future.
    Verdict: keep him, maybe loan him if another striker is brought in
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  3. #63  
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    #30 Jesus (Suso) Fernandez: F 19
    One for the future. He got a chance to play at the beginning of the season and showed real promise. He just isn’t ready for the PL yet. I have no doubt he will be though and may grow to be a great one in the future. He needs time and he needs games to develop but the sky is the limit with this kid.
    Verdict: extend him and keep him playing regularly on the second team with sporadic squad placement

    #31 Raheem Sterling: W 18
    Bright start to the season followed by benching and a return to the youth squad. Young Raheem has a lot of skill and speed, but his weakness lies in seeing the field. That is completely normal for a player of his age. It will be interesting to see where he fits in next year as he really is borderline starter quality. But really, at LFC, he shouldn’t be. Regular play at the lower level or even a loan spell might do the young man well but his legal problem may be a reason to keep him close to home where we can help him with the stresses he is experiencing. He has to get his head straight in order to progress or his improvement will suffer. It’s up to him to decide what he wants, a future of success or mediocrity: either is equally open to him at this point of his career.
    Verdict: keep him

    #33 Jonjo Shelvey: A/C/DM 21
    I love this kid. He has strength, power, a fantastic shot, can see the field well, plays a crisp pass, and has a never say die heart. The fact that he requested to play in the reserves shows he is thinking long term and knows he has a future with LFC if he puts his best into it. The fact that he said he wants to learn more defensive skills shows he’s looking for a place to fit in. That is desire that can’t be created. It’s personal with him. That’s why he yelled at Ferguson. That’s why he’s sometimes a little hot headed and commits a rash tackle here or there. If he can control his temper and work on his game he will be a great backup to Lucas at the defensive roll when a little more size is needed (say against Stoke) and a good option for the interior rolls. Looks to panic once in a while in front of goal though so I believe he has a better chance in the C/DM roles, especially with that rocket shot, than in the SS/AM/SM he’s perhaps more accustomed with. Has potential to be the captain someday.
    Verdict: extend him
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  4. #64  
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    #37 Martin Skrtel: CD: 28
    Let me start by saying if we had Daniel and Martin as our central duo next season, I wouldn’t be completely comfortable, but I’d be OK with it. It is clear he’s a good defender. He’s durable, tough, and has good control of his passing. Despite a dip in form during and after European competition, he put in a solid full season for us just last year. T That said, Martin is in a tough position because we need a vocal leader on defense. That really can only be one of three positions: the two CB’s or the GK. Do we sit Daniel instead? We can’t do that because Daniel is one of the best players around in his position and has a better air game than Martin. It is no coincidence that when Jamie was brought back into the team at the midway point last season that we saw better defensive shape. That’s simply because Jamie was screaming his head off. Will Martin do that? Can he? I don’t know but I don’t think so. Martin will probably be our number three CB next season and is excellent in that spot. He can provide good cover and competition while still maintaining a strong defensive unit whenever called upon. I’d like to see him come in for Daniel when we have a good lead so Daniel can fend off any injuries during the long season.
    Verdict: keep him

    #47 Andre Wisdom: C/SD 20
    If there is a better name in football I don’t know it. This young man has all the tools to become a great player. But like most kids his age, he is prone to mistakes. Over time he should prove to be a very valuable player and is a great fit for spot duty next year just as this year. With Kelly returning we should see if Andre can play the left to provide cover for Enrique. Continued development and consistency in the mental game are key to a young player who, like Jonjo, is a man in form, but still young in experience.
    Verdict: extend him and play him exactly like this year.
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  5. #65  
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    Last but certainly not least

    #23 Jamie Carragher: LFC Legend, hero, leader and role model: still young enough
    I won’t go into what this man has meant to this team. Others with a more personal knowledge can tell better stories. I can only say that I feel this is an end to an era. I’ve watched Jamie from the beginning of his career until now and I can only thank him for his service to the club. His presence will be missed by everyone who ever wore the red.

    (But I still hope he pulls a Scholes move and un-retires if we need him.)

    #23 You'll Never Walk Alone.
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  6. #66  
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    You'll note I left a few players off as well as didn't discuss transfers. The players left out didn't play enough for the first team to be honestly evaluated and there's no reason to waste time on a list of tranfer rumours as long as Santas Christmas list.

    On a side note, I had the pleasure of meeting a few English footie fans at my local dive bar a few weeks ago while they were on vacation over here They were a mix of LFC, Everton, and Manchester United fans and we had some good honest (if drunken) discussion as to the state of the clubs. I was in a partying mood and was buying shots (Smurf Pus*y shots) for a good number of people at the bar and it was a fun night. The best part was that there was no bitterness: just fans of the beautiful game sharing our honest opinions and a good time. Funny though, as they were leaving, the Man U fan even bought me a beer. I asked him if he liked tequila and bought a top shelf shot for each of us. But I do have to say he looked a little green after that shot.
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  7. #67  
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    Neverman1 is me. I signed in using the wrong email.
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  8. #68  
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    Sir,

    A lot has been said about your future at Liverpool FC regarding links with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich among others. Please allow me a minute of your time to address these questions and the reasons behind them.

    As a true fan of the beautiful game it is a pleasure to watch you play. As a Liverpool FC fan with the words “You’ll Never Walk Alone” tattooed on my forearm it gives me great pleasure to know that someone with your drive, skill, and joy (of the game) plays for my beloved club. As a child I was lucky enough to see Beckenbauer, Pele, Cannigia, Rednapp, Romario, Battistuta, Baggio, Rumenigge, Klinsman, and a whole host of other amazing players. I’d give that all back to watch you play in the red of Liverpool.

    There is no doubt that you were treated unfairly in the English press. But that is not really even about you, but about a sensationalist approach to journalism that has replaced real writing over the last 20 or so odd years. It is less important to them to do research and write a good story than to paint a celebrity with an often misleading headline to get more “clicks” on their website. One can see stories repeat as if copied and pasted every day but with the headline getting nastier each time.

    As a major player for a huge club which is hated by every fan of every other club in English football (for it’s past domination) you are a target. Yes, they were unfair, mean spirited, and even cruel at times but you must admit, you gave them the ammunition they needed. You put the target on your own back for them to take out their own selfish anger on you. It is regrettable, but such is the age in which we live.

    I myself have played football all over the world with people of many nationalities, cultures, faiths, and skill levels. Through the game I’ve made friends throughout the world: many of whom would hate me simply for the color of my skin, but who, over time and play, came to respect and accept me for what I am: a player. Particularly, I understand what it is to be called names that wouldn’t be accepted anywhere else but on the pitch. In Germany I was “the Ami” (WWII slang for stupid U.S. American soldier). With my friends from south of the border I was given the nickname “El Blanco”. At first these names bothered me because they made me feel unwanted, but over time they became badges of honor as the players would start to make fun of each other as the Ami or El Blanco beat them.

    Because of these experiences and understanding of cultural colloquialisms, I supported you during the whole Evra affair. In my humble opinion, you were a scapegoat at a time when certain groups and politicians were looking for press to forward their causes. They used you because you were “available”. Also, unfortunately, you said the wrong word to the wrong person. Patrice Evra has always been a whining, diving, cheat who, despite extraordinary skill, is constantly using every dirty trick in the game to gain an edge. I doubt he was ever insulted or shocked in the first place but knew he needed to gain an advantage for himself and his team against you. He needed something to slow you down since he couldn’t do it on the field. Again, you painted the target, but the reaction from a petulant player, through the megaphone of his powerful club and manager, and fed to a press just waiting like vultures for fresh meat was unforgivable. Then it snowballed and you were put under the microscope. Everything you did became fair game for unscrupulous writers with no interest in the truth and no talent or patience to write a complex article that could have explained the cultural differences so evident in this whole mess. To do so wouldn’t sell papers and would make people think. In this day and age it seems that is just too much to ask.

    Despite all this it is time for you to remember something very important: that “we” that make up Liverpool FC – the management, the coaches, the doctors, the staff, and the millions of fans all over the world, ALWAYS supported you. We could not excuse your actions. For that you must shoulder the blame. But we can and have helped you carry that load. Remember the shirts your teammates wore fully knowing that they were going to catch hell. They did that for you: to show you weren't alone. They did that because they love you and knew you were hurting. They took the arrows and some would even say one of our most esteemed legends King Kenny lost his job for his support of you. Remember that the club put out official statements defending you and excoriating the press for the way you were unfairly represented in their pages. Remember we never stopped singing for you or cheering your presence. “We” did everything we could to help you get through this year AND we always will when there are hard times.

    “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is not just a catchy phrase. It’s not just a song from Carousel. It’s not just a religious hymnal. It is the truth of this great football club. It is what makes LFC different from every other club on the planet. It is in our hearts and minds at every second of every day. It means that once you are one of “us” you will never be forsaken. And Luis, you ARE one of us. Given time, you could be one of the best of us: a man who stood up to the pressures, who taught his and other peoples kids that there are always going to be bad people saying bad things about someone with talent. You can become a Liverpool Legend. Or you can go away. You can leave for what right now and only right now may seem like greener pastures. But that will never solve anything. The way to beat ignorance is to face it head on and go about what you do so well.

    I implore you to look at your situation not as an unstoppable behemoth to avoid, but as a challenge to show everyone the truth about you. You have the opportunity to show the xenophobic losers that only live to take down great players like you that you are a man capable of standing up to their jibes and ignorance. Remember Superman was caled the man of steel because nothing could hurt him. That can be you. Right now, you can be a game changer every match, but you have the opportunity to be a life changer for millions of kids around the world. You can show them the greatest lesson that you don’t run from bullies - you stand up to them. You earn their respect by never sinking to their level or playing their games. If you do what you do, and do it well, eventually they will be forced to play your game. And when they sing your praises, you will have exposed them to the world as the cowards they are.

    We love you Luis. We want you to stay. We want you and yours to be happy. Sometimes the way to do that is to pass through the hate and let it wash over and off you like water off a ducks back. Don’t turn your back on us because we will never turn ours on you.

    Y.N.W.A.

    Neverman

    P.S. No more biting ok?
    Last edited by Neverman; 6-6-13 at 15:53.
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  9. #69  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverman View Post
    Sir,

    A lot has been said about your future at Liverpool FC regarding links with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich among others. Please allow me a minute of your time to address these questions and the reasons behind them.

    As a true fan of the beautiful game it is a pleasure to watch you play. As a Liverpool FC fan with the words “You’ll Never Walk Alone” tattooed on my forearm it gives me great pleasure to know that someone with your drive, skill, and joy (of the game) plays for my beloved club. As a child I was lucky enough to see Beckenbauer, Pele, Cannigia, Rednapp, Romario, Battistuta, Baggio, Rumenigge, Klinsman, and a whole host of other amazing players. I’d give that all back to watch you play in the red of Liverpool.

    There is no doubt that you were treated unfairly in the English press. But that is not really even about you, but about a sensationalist approach to journalism that has replaced real writing over the last 20 or so odd years. It is less important to them to do research and write a good story than to paint a celebrity with an often misleading headline to get more “clicks” on their website. One can see stories repeat as if copy and pasted every day but with the headline getting nastier each day.

    As a major player for a huge club which is hated by every fan of any other club in English football (for it’s past domination) you are a target. Yes, they were unfair, mean spirited, and even cruel at times but you must admit, you gave them the ammunition they needed. You put the target on your own back for them to take out their own selfish anger on you. It is regrettable, but it the age in which we live.

    I myself have played football all over the world with people of many nationalities, cultures, faiths, and skill levels. Through the game I’ve made friends throughout the world: many of whom would hate me simply for the color of my skin, but who, over time and play, came to respect and accept me for what I am: a player. Particularly, I understand what it is to be called names that wouldn’t be accepted anywhere else but on the pitch. In Germany I was “the Ami” (slang for stupid U.S. American). With my friends from south of the border I was given the nickname “El Blanco”. At first these names bothered me because they made me feel unwanted, but over time they became badges of honor as the players would start to make fun of each other as the Ami or El Blanco beat them.

    Because of experiences and understanding of cultural colloquialisms, I supported you during the whole Evra affair. In my humble opinion, you were a scapegoat at a time when certain groups and politicians were looking for press to forward their causes. They used you because you were “available”. Also, unfortunately, you said the wrong word to the wrong person. Patrice Evra has always been a whining, diving, cheat who, despite extraordinary skill, is constantly using every dirty trick in the game to gain an edge. I doubt he was ever insulted or shocked in the first place but knew he needed to gain an advantage for himself and his team against you. He needed something to slow you down since he couldn’t do it on the field. Again, you painted the target, but the reaction from a petulant player, through his powerful club and manager, and fed to a press just waiting like vultures for fresh meat was unforgivable. Then it snowballed and you were put under the microscope. Everything you did became fair game for unscrupulous writers with no interest in the truth and no talent or patience to write a complex article that could have explained the cultural differences so evident in this whole mess. To do so wouldn’t sell papers and would make people think. In this day and age it seems that s too much to ask.

    Despite all this it is time for you to remember something very important: that “we” that make up Liverpool FC – the management, the coaches, the doctors, the staff, and the millions of fans all over the world supported you. We could not excuse your actions. For that you must shoulder the blame. But we can and have helped you carry that load. Remember the shirts your teammates wore fully knowing that they were going to catch hell for. They did that for you. They did that because they love you and knew you were hurting. They took the arrows and some would even say one of our most esteemed legends King Kenny lost his job for his support of you. Remember that the club put out official statements defending you and excoriating the press for the way you were unfairly represented in their pages. Remember we never stopped singing for you or cheering your presence. “We” did everything we could to help you get through this year AND we always will when there are hard times.

    “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is not just a catchy phrase. It’s not just a song from Carousel. It’s not just a religious hymnal. It is the truth of this great football club. It is what makes it different from every other club on the planet. It is in our hearts and minds at every second of every day. It means that once you are one of “us” you will never be forsaken. And Luis, you ARE one of us. Given time, you could be one of the best of us: a man who stood up to the pressures, who taught his and other peoples kids that there are always going to be bad people saying bad things about someone with talent. You can become a Liverpool Legend. Or you can go away. You can leave for what right now seem like greener pastures. But that will never solve anything. The way to beat ignorance is to face it head on and go about what you do.

    I implore you to look at your situation not as an unstoppable behemoth to avoid, but as a challenge to show them the truth about you. You have the opportunity to show the xenophobic losers that only live to take down great players like you that you are a man capable of standing up to their jibes and ignorance. Right now, you can be a game changer every match, but you have the opportunity to be a life changer for millions of kids around the world. You can show them you don’t run from bullies but you stand up to them. You earn their respect by never sinking to their level or playing their games. If you do what you do, and do it well, eventually they will play your game.

    We love you Luis. We want you to stay. We want you and yours to be happy. Sometimes the way to do that is to pass through the hate and let it wash over and off you like water off a ducks back. Don’t turn your back on us because we will never turn ours on you.

    Y.N.W.A.

    Neverman

    P.S. No more biting ok? 
    I emailed that over to Luis and hes replied back.....
    "relax gringo, i will stay"

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  10. #70  
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    I encourage anyone reading the above statement titled "An open letter to Luis Suarez" and agreeing with the content therein to circulate it. I hereby give permission to circulate it's contents under the following stipulations.

    1. That the whole of the letter is used in it's entirety, including the title, and excepting the smiley face.
    2. That it is rightly credited to this site, post and to the writer.
    3. That it not be used in a derogatory fashion.
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  11. #71  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kops'n'Rodgers View Post
    I emailed that over to Luis and hes replied back.....
    "relax gringo, i will stay"

    LOL! yes!
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  12. #72  
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    The Luis Suarez kerfuffle is much simpler than the press are making it.

    This is what we know.

    1. Luis is under contract with LFC. If nothing else happens he will be playing his football in the red next season. For three years we heard the same stories in the press about Luis when he was with Ajax and we were linked with him. He always lets it be known that he plans on moving on to greener pastures well in advance.

    2. The clause in his contract only gives Luis permission to talk to a club making a bid of over 40M. It does not release him from his contract nor does it force LFC to sell the player, only to “consider” the offer. LFC’s market evaluation of Luis is “worth more than Cavani” (roughly 54.75M), making the only concrete bid for Luis at least 15M short.

    3. There are other reasons why Luis will never go to Arsenal. 1. LFC will not give a direct competitor for CL places a leg up. 2. Arsenal will never bid enough to get him. 3. Luis doesn’t really want to play for Arsenal. He wants to play for Real Madrid. Luis knows a move to a rival will cause him to go from loved to hated by everyone who has supported him in the red.

    This is my opinion.

    1. We, the supporters, want Luis to play at LFC as long as possible.
    2. Though, if he stays, Luis will become a Liverpool Legend, he will probably move on at some point.
    3. We are getting better and will challenge for CL this year with him but not without him.
    4. Real Madrid may still go in for Luis but only after the Bale trade is concluded.
    5. The Bale sale will set the transfer market price for Luis because the two player’s skills and statistics are very similar.
    6. Luis wants his agent to speak to Arsenal to set the personal terms market price to relay that information to Real Madrid.

    This is my conclusion.

    Luis will stay at LFC for one more year and will move on next summer no matter what happens.

    1. LFC learned from the Andy Carroll example and will not let Luis go if we don’t have time to bring in a quality replacement. We’ve seen how Brendan Rodgers emphasizes getting in signings early to have time to work. Losing such an integral part of the team would drastically hamper his chances to improve on his first season’s progress.

    2. Real have deep pockets, but it is unlikely that they will bring in another 60M+ forward/attacking mid/winger with Benzema, Bale, Ronaldo. Ozil, di Maria, Modric, and Kaka all still on their roster.

    3. Luis never gives up and he never backs down. He will play very well for us next season because that’s who he is. His stock will rise because he will avoid trouble and challenge again for top player in the PL. This year LFC will scout for a direct replacement for Luis. LFC will then sell Luis to a continental club early next summer when we are better placed to attract the best talent (hopefully with CL football).

    This is an addendum.

    1. If, despite the obvious advancement in talks, Real does not get Bale, all bets are off.
    Last edited by Neverman; 2-8-13 at 20:04.
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  13. #73  
    TheSoundLady is online now Optimistic Poster of the Season 2013-14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverman View Post
    Sir,

    A lot has been said about your future at Liverpool FC regarding links with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich among others. Please allow me a minute of your time to address these questions and the reasons behind them.

    As a true fan of the beautiful game it is a pleasure to watch you play. As a Liverpool FC fan with the words “You’ll Never Walk Alone” tattooed on my forearm it gives me great pleasure to know that someone with your drive, skill, and joy (of the game) plays for my beloved club. As a child I was lucky enough to see Beckenbauer, Pele, Cannigia, Rednapp, Romario, Battistuta, Baggio, Rumenigge, Klinsman, and a whole host of other amazing players. I’d give that all back to watch you play in the red of Liverpool.

    There is no doubt that you were treated unfairly in the English press. But that is not really even about you, but about a sensationalist approach to journalism that has replaced real writing over the last 20 or so odd years. It is less important to them to do research and write a good story than to paint a celebrity with an often misleading headline to get more “clicks” on their website. One can see stories repeat as if copied and pasted every day but with the headline getting nastier each time.

    As a major player for a huge club which is hated by every fan of every other club in English football (for it’s past domination) you are a target. Yes, they were unfair, mean spirited, and even cruel at times but you must admit, you gave them the ammunition they needed. You put the target on your own back for them to take out their own selfish anger on you. It is regrettable, but such is the age in which we live.

    I myself have played football all over the world with people of many nationalities, cultures, faiths, and skill levels. Through the game I’ve made friends throughout the world: many of whom would hate me simply for the color of my skin, but who, over time and play, came to respect and accept me for what I am: a player. Particularly, I understand what it is to be called names that wouldn’t be accepted anywhere else but on the pitch. In Germany I was “the Ami” (WWII slang for stupid U.S. American soldier). With my friends from south of the border I was given the nickname “El Blanco”. At first these names bothered me because they made me feel unwanted, but over time they became badges of honor as the players would start to make fun of each other as the Ami or El Blanco beat them.

    Because of these experiences and understanding of cultural colloquialisms, I supported you during the whole Evra affair. In my humble opinion, you were a scapegoat at a time when certain groups and politicians were looking for press to forward their causes. They used you because you were “available”. Also, unfortunately, you said the wrong word to the wrong person. Patrice Evra has always been a whining, diving, cheat who, despite extraordinary skill, is constantly using every dirty trick in the game to gain an edge. I doubt he was ever insulted or shocked in the first place but knew he needed to gain an advantage for himself and his team against you. He needed something to slow you down since he couldn’t do it on the field. Again, you painted the target, but the reaction from a petulant player, through the megaphone of his powerful club and manager, and fed to a press just waiting like vultures for fresh meat was unforgivable. Then it snowballed and you were put under the microscope. Everything you did became fair game for unscrupulous writers with no interest in the truth and no talent or patience to write a complex article that could have explained the cultural differences so evident in this whole mess. To do so wouldn’t sell papers and would make people think. In this day and age it seems that is just too much to ask.

    Despite all this it is time for you to remember something very important: that “we” that make up Liverpool FC – the management, the coaches, the doctors, the staff, and the millions of fans all over the world, ALWAYS supported you. We could not excuse your actions. For that you must shoulder the blame. But we can and have helped you carry that load. Remember the shirts your teammates wore fully knowing that they were going to catch hell. They did that for you: to show you weren't alone. They did that because they love you and knew you were hurting. They took the arrows and some would even say one of our most esteemed legends King Kenny lost his job for his support of you. Remember that the club put out official statements defending you and excoriating the press for the way you were unfairly represented in their pages. Remember we never stopped singing for you or cheering your presence. “We” did everything we could to help you get through this year AND we always will when there are hard times.

    “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is not just a catchy phrase. It’s not just a song from Carousel. It’s not just a religious hymnal. It is the truth of this great football club. It is what makes LFC different from every other club on the planet. It is in our hearts and minds at every second of every day. It means that once you are one of “us” you will never be forsaken. And Luis, you ARE one of us. Given time, you could be one of the best of us: a man who stood up to the pressures, who taught his and other peoples kids that there are always going to be bad people saying bad things about someone with talent. You can become a Liverpool Legend. Or you can go away. You can leave for what right now and only right now may seem like greener pastures. But that will never solve anything. The way to beat ignorance is to face it head on and go about what you do so well.

    I implore you to look at your situation not as an unstoppable behemoth to avoid, but as a challenge to show everyone the truth about you. You have the opportunity to show the xenophobic losers that only live to take down great players like you that you are a man capable of standing up to their jibes and ignorance. Remember Superman was caled the man of steel because nothing could hurt him. That can be you. Right now, you can be a game changer every match, but you have the opportunity to be a life changer for millions of kids around the world. You can show them the greatest lesson that you don’t run from bullies - you stand up to them. You earn their respect by never sinking to their level or playing their games. If you do what you do, and do it well, eventually they will be forced to play your game. And when they sing your praises, you will have exposed them to the world as the cowards they are.

    We love you Luis. We want you to stay. We want you and yours to be happy. Sometimes the way to do that is to pass through the hate and let it wash over and off you like water off a ducks back. Don’t turn your back on us because we will never turn ours on you.

    Y.N.W.A.

    Neverman

    P.S. No more biting ok?
    hey Neverman, it's one of the best posts I've ever seen. I hope he reads it... it would make even the coldest of hearts become warm.
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  14. #74  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSoundLady View Post
    hey Neverman, it's one of the best posts I've ever seen. I hope he reads it... it would make even the coldest of hearts become warm.
    No it wouldnt...
    The voices that speak to me are red...
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  15. #75  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSoundLady View Post
    hey Neverman, it's one of the best posts I've ever seen. I hope he reads it... it would make even the coldest of hearts become warm.
    agreed, that really needs sending to him at home, pinned on his bench at melwood and in the dressing room at anfield
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  16. #76  
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    Thank you both for your kind words.
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    We’re about ¼ of the way into the season so it seems like the right time to put my opinions out there about where this team stands. I hope to discuss what we’re doing right, as well as what I feel we’re doing wrong. Let me start by reiterating the three most important things I’ve said here before.

    1. These are my opinions, based on nearly 40 years of playing, coaching, watching, and reading about the beautiful game. I think that if one spends a little time reading the thread they will no longer question my commitment to this club whether they agree or disagree with the content.

    2. If you want to take part in this thread, please explain your opinions, bad or good, because that is the best way I know of to learn. Simple statements like: this thread sucks – do nothing to push it forward. Even if you think it’s completely self evident, tell me why you think it sucks.

    3. Y.N.W.A. is not a simple platitude. It is tattooed on my right inner forearm to remind me to uphold my responsibilities and to help wherever I can.

    One more quick aside to start: WHERE IS DANIEL AGGER?! I am very pleased with the play of our other defensemen, but Agger is a whole other class. He is what Sakho can become and what Toure was in his prime. He needs to play every match he’s able!

    So on to it:
    Question #1: are we getting better?

    In anything requiring skill one is either getting better or getting worse. There is no staying still. IMO, the club is clearly and consistently getting better. The young players are improving and the team is taking on the system well. We have had a great start to this season – something we haven’t had in a long time. In the recent past we have been a “second half of the season team” – so if we can stay near the top over a stretch of matches that are going to be difficult, history tells us we should be in the mix at the end of the season.

    Part of this is due to the one massive advantage we hold over the other top clubs. We are not involved in any European competition. Therefore, our players are less tired and less prone to injury. Also, it gives the managers and coaches more time to develop a game plan for our PL competitors.

    Specifics

    I’ll start with the new signings:

    Aspas – From early on it was clear Aspas was not ready for this league. While I feel for the guy, to be blunt, he brings nothing to the squad. His lack of top flight football previous to his signing should have been a red flag to management. While fast and agile, his touch to loss ratio is around 15% - meaning he will most likely lose possession. In other words, he is the new Assaidi. (D)

    Toure – What can you say about this man that hasn’t been said in the papers already? I am surprised at how well he’s done and by his character. Also, it seems he has lost much less fitness than most feared when the announcement was made of his free transfer. He’s a brilliant player with a fantastic attitude and great leadership skills. He’s a brilliant signing. (A+)

    Alberto – I expect to see him come off the bench more in the second half of the season but will take a little time to develop. The potential in this young player is immense. He has very good vision: something very few players his age show. Usually it takes years of experience to “see” the field. A good example of one who showed this skill early is Pirlo, and for one who never earned it, Pennant. Add to this his soft touch on the ball and over time we could see a less mobile version of Coutinho emerge. If he can develop his shot and strategic awareness he can develop into a Totti-like player as he has the same skillset. (B turning to A if he goes the direction I think he will).

    Moses – Generally, I hate loan signings. If the player does poorly, he was a waste of money. If he does well, then he just got experience that will help a competitor. BUT, I really like Moses. You can’t ask for more than he’s done so far this season. He’s been moved around, benched, and started – and he’s never complained or looked out of sorts on the pitch. He seems to have a penchant for going at goal no matter the odds, but that is normal for a young player especially on a new team. Right now, at the AM position he is equal to Anderson of ManU(re). On the wing he is a dangerous opponent who can get into scoring positions out of nothing. He’s a nice lad with a great heart and great work ethic who has a future in this sport. I just hope we can make his move permanent and watch as he gets better and better. (B)

    Sakho – Earlier in this thread I spoke about having met a few English folk at a little pub where I live. One thing I didn’t mention is that under all the hubbub of who we were going to get to add to our defensive core I told them I had a sneaking suspicion it would be the man from PSG. Not to brag because most of my predictions bear no fruit, but I just had a hunch about this one. Sakho is the real deal. Though slightly reckless, he is a major talent and is already getting better as he adjusts to the PL. In fact, if we played only 2 in the back, one could make an argument that they should be Sakho and Toure. (A)

    Cissokho – Aly is getting a lot of playing time, which is a problem. I don’t want to be harsh, but he is a defensive liability. He is having trouble marking and closing down the ball carrier. This in turn forces Sakho and our central midfielders out of position and opening holes in our defense. Though this was clear from the get-go, it was never more obvious than in the first half vs Arsen-hole. Granted, Aly was not brought in for his defense but for his speed and ability to get forward. Unfortunately, so far, he seems out of sorts going forward. (D)

    Ilori – Who knows? I haven’t even seen him play yet.
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  18. #78  
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    While I believe we are improving in every aspect of the game, we are still very spotty overall. I think our early success was exaggerated by a relatively easy schedule and the next 9 matches will create a better understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. I think mistakes have been made in every aspect of our game and that we’ve had that little bit of luck that seemed absent for the whole of last season. That said, luck is only a short term gain. In the long run it is a detriment because it disguises mistakes that need to be fixed if we are going to continue to rise to our vaunted history.

    First, in the Attack we boast two fantastic forwards and a great little playmaker who should get better and better the more they can play together. The sky is the limit for Sturridge, Suarez, and Coutinho. If they all stay at LFC they could become the most feared attack in professional football.

    Problem is, who else do we have in attack? Moses, Alberto and Sterling are players with huge potential, but are not dominant players (yet). While Moses probably had his best game when he was a direct replacement for Coutinho in the AM position, it was obvious our strategy had to change to make up for the lack of transition from defense to offense. This was magnified to monumental proportions in the first half of the Arsen-hole match where it was nonexistent.

    This shift in strategy changed LFC from a fun, possession based team, to a desperate long ball club. Now, against lesser opposition, that can be a valid strategy as one or two great forwards can make 3 or four average defensemen look bad. But against teams that can hold the ball, this method of play can only lead to the slow death. On Saturday, clearance by our defense was aimless and fruitless because our forwards were too high and our midfield was too low, leaving acres of space for the very average defense of the goners to clean up simply and consistently.

    This leads us straight to what was going wrong all season with our Midfield. When it was said that Steven Gerrard was moving back from the attacking central midfielder position to a more defensive role it made sense. The problem is, he is pushing back so far as to be on the same plane as Lucas. Stevie has never been a very active defender and this role suits him poorly. Simply, he gives too much space and time to the oppositions attacking midfielders. I don’t know if this is by design from the manager or if it’s just a weakness in his game. Either reason is irrelevant as it is a problem that needs to be fixed (period, end of). Earlier in the season this could be seen as we hung on for one goal wins. But that will NEVER work against an active and skilled midfield: again, see Arsenal on Saturday.

    Lucas has played pretty well but Saturday he looked terrible. He is usually a calming influence in the back, acting as a stopgap and distributing passes in order to keep possession. This week he was often caught out of position and looked a step slow. A lot of that comes from the fact that so much of the offense is predicated on the wingers moving into attacking positions. That almost never happened as the wingers looked nervous and outclassed. Lucas is a smart player, but he had to deal with a very flawed game plan that left him and Stevie stuck alone in the middle of the park.

    Henderson, while coming on strong this season so far, still shows very clear holes in his game that need improving. Right now, he is mister hustle, closing down payers and covering immense territory. He has been a great outlet to the transition and he is making great strides (pun intended) in most areas of his game. First, he needs to start burying his shots. He’s had a few good chances this season and has so far missed the net – and that’s a big freakin’ net to miss. Also, his first touch is 50/50. I think these two weaknesses are symptomatic of him being nervous. He isn’t nervous going after the ball, but is at those key moments when he is being pressured. All that said, his game has improved immensely since last year and I feel he has a great future if he keeps working hard.

    We’ll see about Allen. He simply hasn’t played enough this season to give a fair critique.

    Nowhere have we suffered more this year than on the Wings. The play of Cissokho shows us just what we have in Enrique “the Bull”. The lack of credit for Jose has bothered me for nearly two years now. IMO he is a fantastic mix of speed, strength, intelligence, offense and defense, and has a great pass. So I don’t know why he doesn’t get his fair due. If Agger is healthy, he would be a better choice at LB than anyone else currently available. Our left side weakness without Jose is compounded by the fact that we have no one to cover for Johnson. If Kelly is fit I don’t understand the use of Flanagan, who was thrust into a massive hole by the manager on Saturday. Though he showed glimmers, he was woefully outshone by the Arsen-hole attackers and should never have been put in that position in the first place. With Wisdom away getting experience it is easy to see Toure getting pulled out of position (through necessity btw).

    In January we need to fix this problem by signing someone who can play both sides because injuries to our exceptional starters are the core of our problems both in defense and going forward. The style of BR puts a lot of onus on these positions so we need top talent there every match. After Jose and Glen we simply don’t have that.

    The Defense has been our strongest suit so far this season. I don’t think anyone expected Toure to play this well. Sakho has made an immediate impression (and on a side note I think he may make a great DM with his controlled aggression and fantastic speed). Add to this Skrtel who has played very well and it’s almost understandable why Agger can’t get a game – ALMOST. Skrtel is a player who lives and dies on his confidence. He has highs and lows in long spells and right now is riding a peak matching or exceeding his best as a red to date.

    Against Arsenal Toure had a poor game. His back pass nearly cost us another goal and he looked a step behind (as most of our team did). I think he just needs a rest of one match to recuperate. We will need him in the long season and I believe should have come off at half. This would have been the perfect time for him to get a rest and pull Skrtel to the right and put Agger in the middle, where he belongs.

    Mignolet’s play so far has completely justified the loan of Pepe to Napoli. Apart from one or two bad passes he has been massive. He cannot be faulted for any of the goals against us this season. He has been smart positionally, quick in reflex saves, and strong when pushing shots wide or punching out a high ball. A favorite for payer of the season so far.
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  19. #79  
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    There is no doubt that our next two matches will be a great test for our beloved reds. That said, I believe both clubs are ripe for the picking and with the right strategies and if the team shows the kind of heart and form of which they are capable, we can come away with 6 points. To do so, our payers MUST go in ready to run and without fear. We’ve seen two teams this season: the one that shows up most weeks with heart, flair, style, and brutal lethality and the one against Hull, who looked tired and slow. The first team is active, the second, reactive. Surely, the quality of the upcoming teams will test our ability to actively control the matches and there will be times when we will be holding and reacting to the play before us. Those times must be minimalized as much as possible because the longer we play a holding action, the more control each of these teams can exert upon us and they will score eventually. We cannot go into these matches sitting back and expecting a low score.

    We have to go into their grounds and attack them hard. We have to put them on the back foot because though they have world class talent, each of these teams lack something that we have in spades: heart. If we surprise them by playing fast, pressuring them hard (but cleanly), and force them into mistakes, they will lose heart as they question themselves and more so, start blaming each other. And there is nothing that gives me more Schadenfreude than watching teams who pay ½ billion for their players fall apart and start acting like the overpaid spoiled egomaniacs they are.

    Though these teams are similar in the respect of quality, they are very different in form. First, Chelsea, run by the "special one" is a low scoring side who controls their matches beginning with strength in the back and are not getting consistent scoring up front. Sidenote: the special ones in the USA ride the small bus to school (please, no offense meant to the mentally challenged and able - full offense meant to the egomaniac in blue). The light blue “favorites” on the other hand, can score from anywhere. While their defense is solid, they are prone to mistakes and there is a lack of confidence in goal. Therefore, I suggest two different formations.

    Vs. Chelsea we should stick with the present formation:

    -----------------------Luis-------------------------
    Coutinho---------------------------------Sterling
    --------------Allen---------Henderson----------
    -----------------------Lucas-----------------------
    Flano---------Sakho-------Skrtel------Johnson
    ----------------------Mignolet--------------------

    In this formation we have speed up front and on the wings, pressure high up the pitch by Henderson and Allen (who work very well and compliment each other’s skill-sets greatly), and wingbacks who can take runs when offered.

    Vs. City we should revert to a back three to diffuse the greater scoring threat:

    ------------------------Luis------------------------
    ----------Coutinho----------Henderson---------
    Flano------------Lucas---Allen--------Johnson
    -----------Sakho----Agger----Skrtel------------
    ----------------------Mignolet--------------------

    The difference here is that we lose some speed on the flank but we diffuse some of the defensive liability of having two very attack minded players by sitting Raheem (who should come in for Coutinho or Allen - moving Hendo back - depending on the situation at the 60 minute mark. Also, this should not be taken as a slight to Raheem as he’s been fantastic in the last two matches. It is only a tactical necessity in my opinion). This formation clogs up the midfield more and puts more marking on City’s playmakers and scorers. In this match the wingbacks, especially Johnson, will be very important in supporting the attack and releasing the attacking midfielders on counters. By having Allen join Lucas in a more defensive role they must control the corners in the empty areas when the wingbacks move forward. We don’t want to see Skrtel and Sakho in those areas as they are needed to clog the center to disrupt the cutback passes and because their height is needed if Toure moves into danger areas for crosses.

    Again, I see no reason we can’t win both these matches. If we play hard we can beat anyone in this league.

    I commend Rodgers and his staff for changing the mindset in this team and for bringing in players who know it takes more than putting on the shirt to win the game. The depth in this squad is much improved and now the next stage of development occurs. Also, thank you to the owners for making the funds available to hold onto Luis. I think we’ll see less but more experienced signings in the future as we don’t need mass changes, just tweaking.

    Opinions?
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  20. #80  
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    It might unsettle us going with 3 CB's, but I get your point. I prefer the more 4-1-4-1 we appear to be using, which of course is a variant of 4-3-3
    Nothing is impossible whilst it's still possible..........
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  21. #81  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverman View Post
    There is no doubt that our next two matches will be a great test for our beloved reds. That said, I believe both clubs are ripe for the picking and with the right strategies and if the team shows the kind of heart and form of which they are capable, we can come away with 6 points. To do so, our payers MUST go in ready to run and without fear. We’ve seen two teams this season: the one that shows up most weeks with heart, flair, style, and brutal lethality and the one against Hull, who looked tired and slow. The first team is active, the second, reactive. Surely, the quality of the upcoming teams will test our ability to actively control the matches and there will be times when we will be holding and reacting to the play before us. Those times must be minimalized as much as possible because the longer we play a holding action, the more control each of these teams can exert upon us and they will score eventually. We cannot go into these matches sitting back and expecting a low score.

    We have to go into their grounds and attack them hard. We have to put them on the back foot because though they have world class talent, each of these teams lack something that we have in spades: heart. If we surprise them by playing fast, pressuring them hard (but cleanly), and force them into mistakes, they will lose heart as they question themselves and more so, start blaming each other. And there is nothing that gives me more Schadenfreude than watching teams who pay ½ billion for their players fall apart and start acting like the overpaid spoiled egomaniacs they are.

    Though these teams are similar in the respect of quality, they are very different in form. First, Chelsea, run by the "special one" is a low scoring side who controls their matches beginning with strength in the back and are not getting consistent scoring up front. Sidenote: the special ones in the USA ride the small bus to school (please, no offense meant to the mentally challenged and able - full offense meant to the egomaniac in blue). The light blue “favorites” on the other hand, can score from anywhere. While their defense is solid, they are prone to mistakes and there is a lack of confidence in goal. Therefore, I suggest two different formations.

    Vs. Chelsea we should stick with the present formation:

    -----------------------Luis-------------------------
    Coutinho---------------------------------Sterling
    --------------Allen---------Henderson----------
    -----------------------Lucas-----------------------
    Flano---------Sakho-------Skrtel------Johnson
    ----------------------Mignolet--------------------

    In this formation we have speed up front and on the wings, pressure high up the pitch by Henderson and Allen (who work very well and compliment each other’s skill-sets greatly), and wingbacks who can take runs when offered.

    Vs. City we should revert to a back three to diffuse the greater scoring threat:

    ------------------------Luis------------------------
    ----------Coutinho----------Henderson---------
    Flano------------Lucas---Allen--------Johnson
    -----------Sakho----Agger----Skrtel------------
    ----------------------Mignolet--------------------

    The difference here is that we lose some speed on the flank but we diffuse some of the defensive liability of having two very attack minded players by sitting Raheem (who should come in for Coutinho or Allen - moving Hendo back - depending on the situation at the 60 minute mark. Also, this should not be taken as a slight to Raheem as he’s been fantastic in the last two matches. It is only a tactical necessity in my opinion). This formation clogs up the midfield more and puts more marking on City’s playmakers and scorers. In this match the wingbacks, especially Johnson, will be very important in supporting the attack and releasing the attacking midfielders on counters. By having Allen join Lucas in a more defensive role they must control the corners in the empty areas when the wingbacks move forward. We don’t want to see Skrtel and Sakho in those areas as they are needed to clog the center to disrupt the cutback passes and because their height is needed if Toure moves into danger areas for crosses.

    Again, I see no reason we can’t win both these matches. If we play hard we can beat anyone in this league.

    I commend Rodgers and his staff for changing the mindset in this team and for bringing in players who know it takes more than putting on the shirt to win the game. The depth in this squad is much improved and now the next stage of development occurs. Also, thank you to the owners for making the funds available to hold onto Luis. I think we’ll see less but more experienced signings in the future as we don’t need mass changes, just tweaking.

    Opinions?
    Agree with the team for Chelsea but the one yve picked for City...OMG no!
    you must have a short memory if you think a 3-5-2 will succeed against a team with a strong MF. 3-5-2 gives the illusion of a strong MF but its anything but. The 2 full backs will be pegged back and then City will just pick off our 3 man weak MF at will, as Arsenal did at the Emirates. If Brendan goes with 3-5-2 we will lose by a minimum of 2 goals. Needs to keep same side as yesterday apart from poss Toure for Skrtle.
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  22. #82  
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    I think we'll look back fondly on the year (Sir) Brendan Rogers became our manager. We've been making steady progress since the day he showed up. Starting with the attitude shift, moving through the strategic shift, through to the exciting new signings that continue to enter the door. Enough of that though, this post is about my opinions and to try to decipher what's going on at LFC right now.

    Forwards:
    Sturridge, Lambert, Borini, (and Marcovic)


    There will be at least one more signing here and I am in favor of Remy at the price listed. Let us not forget that even with the departure of Luis we still have the top scorer (left) in the league. He is poised to become a super star and to me this is Daniels real breakout year. I say this not because of just watching him, but of the continuous praise he receives from those opinions that matter most: the players: present and former, who all say he is one of the best.

    Lambert is a totally different animal but still has a proven track record of scoring in the PL. He can be the bulldozer to move the parked buses out from in front of the goal.

    Borini is a truly talented player who is slowly adjusting to the PL game. He needs to get better at passing and field recognition but once things click I believe he will be a very solid squadie and has the tools to excel in the cup matches and in the future.

    Marcovic is the wild card. He has the speed and raw talent to drive the whole team but at his age I think consistency will be a problem (see Coutinho who at times looks the best player on the field and at others completely invisible). Marcovoc plays better as a winger so he might not fit the mold as a true forward.

    Thus I foresee us pulling the trigger on one more forward. I don't see us spending for a #1 when Studge will be "the man" next year. I may be wrong, but it seems like we need to spend on defensive depth after shelling out so much money for the front.

    I do not think Bony is a good fit and am not so sure about the rumours concerning our interest. Early in the offseason many articles showed up with differing opinions but I side with those that feel he is not a good fit for the style of play we have. His goal scoring is very good, but his touch lets him down too often to play the highly technical style LFC is now praised for.

    At 8m quid Remy is the perfect solution. He is Studge light. His breakaway speed and knack for moments of brilliance make him the perfect man to come in at 60-70 minutes to add fresh legs without having to change strategy. He can score 15-20 goals in all competitions for us if he is used enough.

    Wingers:
    Sterling, Marcovic, (Coutinho, Borini, Sturridge) Suso, and Ibe


    Wingers are a tricky position on this offense as the shape constantly shifts with the wingers moving inside, shifting, and the midfield and wing backs taking flight on the edges. This versatility can be devastating to defenses but as we’ve seen also means we don’t carry many true wingers. From the list above only Sterling, Marcovic and Ibe are true wingers, but we still have plenty of power in those positions.

    At times I believe we’ll even see Studge move out for Lambert to take the point and Borini is again likely to make more appearances on the wing for us than up the middle.

    Midfield:
    Coutinho, Lallana, (Sterling, Suso), Henderson, Allen, Lucas, Gerrard, and Can


    All we really know at this point is Stevie will play the defensive midfield role with Can as his direct understudy. Beyond that I believe Henderson and Lallana will be our starters in front of him. In my opinion that is a VERY strong starting three. To me it’s no coincidence that the loss of Henderson to suspension in the last few matches was coincided with some poor performances. Again, I’ve been hyper critical of the young man, but he just keeps getting better and I’ve never seen anyone cover more ground or have more heart in his play since maybe Dirk Kuyt. I have become a fan. With Lallana able to take some of the scoring burden from him, Henderson can choose his runs and will slip back next to Stevie at times to make space for Adam and the forwards to break up the area. I just wish he’d smile once in a while.

    Central defense:
    Agger, Sakho, Skrtel, Toure, Coates, Kelly, Wisdom, Coady, and Ilori


    The defense was below par last year, but I don’t think it came down to the players as much as it did the shift in strategy. After all, just two years ago we had one of the stingiest defenses in football with Agger and Skrtel looking immense together.

    This tactical shift to an offensive ball controlling team should have been the perfect fit for Daniel Agger and I list him first because I still believe he is the best defender we have. This is really my only bone of contention with Brendan Rogers where I strongly disagree with his choice. I think Daniels history of injuries might be clouding his thinking because he may not feel able to rely on Daniel for an entire season, which makes sense. But I think the positives of playing Dagger whenever available far outweigh the injuries that take him out of the game so often.

    While I like Sakho a lot, my starting 2 would be Agger and Skrtel no question. I’d also like to see the pairing of Agger and Sakho because I’ve never been a believer that having two defenders with the same stronger foot is a weakness, especially when considering the amount of space these two can cover. I think Agger could scoot over easily but it would be better to move Sakho to the right since he is still very young and can grow into the position providing Martin some rest over the long, match-filled season.

    I don’t believe Agger will be leaving. I think the try for Lovren was made to fill the gap on the right side of central defense because, despite his experience and willpower, Toure should not be playing in our most important matches anymore. He is a great player and a fantastic person and professional and will see plenty of time in cup competition but this will probably be his last year at LFC.

    Coates, Kelly, Wisdom, Coady, and Ilori need to show this year that they are ready to fill gaps when we have the inevitable injuries or need to rest our top players. If they don’t step up or go out on loan and or all of them might be shown the door after next season to be replaced with other up-and-comers. Think Flano for the perfect example of how to take advantage of a situation.

    Side backs/Wing backs
    Enrique, Johnson, Flanagan, Robinson, (Wisdom)


    Our most glaring area of weakness is our depth at left back. Enrique is a fantastic #1 and it’s his job to lose as far as I’m concerned. We just have to hope that he gets up to speed after a year of recovery. That same thinking is why I believe we are looking at the players we’ve been linked to. We need a player who “can” play as a #1 because even if fit, Jose will need some time to rest during the long season. But the players we’re looking to buy are not the finished article but potentially great.

    Now most of you who managed to put up with me thus far just popped a gasket because that is our buying strategy under the present ownership for all positions. That is true, but here’s the difference for the left back position. We don’t have a #1 who played last year at the left back. Every other position we had at least one legitimate starter. As noted before, the season long injury leaves the team in the unenviable position of not knowing for certain if we have the legitimate starter there. We won’t know until 5 or so matches into the season how well Jose has recovered (though we all wish him the very best). But this is LFC and the club is greater than any one player, so we have to be sure. Despite the amazing playing of Flano at left, he is our future and even an outside shot at starting right back. Our other true left back, Robinson, clearly isn’t ready even for spot duty.

    So we need someone who we can feel safe with if needed to start perhaps half the matches or even more if Jose has a setback. Those players in my opinion are clearly Moreno and Rojo. I prefer Rojo because he is better defensively than Moreno, and I think we need that assurance in case our central defenders don’t get their “stuff” together in the coming season. Moreno is solid in defense, but it makes more sense to me to sign a player who is defensive first but has the ability to go forward, rather than a player who goes forward and then needs to recover as his basic makeup.

    Goalkeepers:
    Reina, Mignolet, Jones


    Yeah I put Pepe first. We don’t need to sign another keeper! I don’t think there was any good reason to start Mignolet over Pepe to begin with. I can understand the strategy of trying to loosen up some funds by lending Pepe out, but that is not the situation we are in now that we have the Suarez windfall.

    Last year, Mignolet became a hero by saving a penalty in his very first match. I think that clouded everyone’s judgment for a while and we all were able to dismiss some horrid mistakes early on. Now don’t think I don’t like Simon. I really do think he is an excellent stopper, but he has some glaring weaknesses in his game. Mostly, he is horrible in the air – especially on free kicks. Simply, he is indecisive when the ball is in the air. He does not command his area well and maybe he is too young to do so right now. I love him as a #2 this year, playing enough in the cups, but watching how Pepe screams at his backline. Without Carra’s screeching orders, our defense slipped. As I stated last year, it was unclear who would take over that responsibility. Clearly, Simon did not. He deferred to the more experienced players in front of him.

    The good news is Simon is very young for a keeper and the problems in his game are exactly what most keepers his age have trouble with. Naturally he is blessed with size, speed, excellent reaction time, and even pretty good awareness. It s only his decision-making and leadership where he really needs to get better. One year as an understudy to Pepe would be perfect for him.

    Now on to Pepe Reina. It is time for him to reestablish himself as a true number one in the best league in the world. Now that Barca has their keepers in a row, they won’t come calling again. But there are many other top teams who don’t have a keeper as good as Pepe and are always looking. I believe that the loan of Reina to Napoli had more to do with Pepe’s wanting to go to Barca the prior year than with Brendan wanting to get rid of him. I believe that everyone in this position must act professionally and swallow their pride. Everyone will benefit from having Reina back in goal for one more year at LFC and I know many will welcome him back with open arms. Simon will learn, our defense will be less erratic, and Pepe will make a move to another massive club next year.

    I like Jones as a #3 but not as a #2. His play is too unpredictable.

    OK, that’s it. Again, debate is the cornerstone of education. I welcome all thought our opinions and will answer anyone who puts in a little thought and time.

    As always, Y.N.W.A.

    Peec.
    Neverman

    P.S. As per policy, ponies will be disbursed to anyone who manages to finish this whole damn article.*

    *supply of ponies limited.
    Last edited by Neverman; 18-7-14 at 19:55.
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  23. #83  
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    Sorry to be rude, but why do you always have to type such long posts? I know its an analysis and all, but reading through the read, even your responses to other users are 5-7 paragraphs long sometimes.
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  24. #84  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawking10 View Post
    Sorry to be rude, but why do you always have to type such long posts? I know its an analysis and all, but reading through the read, even your responses to other users are 5-7 paragraphs long sometimes.
    ADD probably.

    Actually, the truth is, I hate short "quips" that people write in forums. Things like "so and so is better than what's his name". It has no real information or analysis: just opinion. That serves no purpose except to be a sort of count of votes of who likes who or whatever. So instead I wait until I've been thinking about something for a while and have a lot to say about about that specific topic. Then I put it all down at once. I know a lot of what I type is obvious, but they could easily be much longer. I do edit myself. I write it to reach the people that think about these things and hope they appreciate the amount of time it takes to put together a full (yeah sometimes overlong) opinion piece. The intention is to be clear and thorough not intimidating or preachy.

    If my posts are too long for one sitting, just read a section of it each day instead of all at once.
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  25. #85  
    testforumsaccess88833 is offline Armchair supporter
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    test
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  26. #86  
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    Quote Originally Posted by testforumsaccess88833 View Post
    test
    Best post ever.
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  27. #87  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cullenator View Post
    Best post ever.

    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Second best
    Timor Mortis conturbat me
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  28. #88  
    jakiti is offline Armchair supporter
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    Does anyone know what's happened to Agger?
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  29. #89  
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    I think that with one star striker we will be the team to beat this year
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  30. #90  
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    As every supporter of LFC I’ve been watching the beginning of this season with dread, disbelief, and more than a fair share of anger. I’ve seen the same football club who last season played with purpose, confidence and class turn into a shambling mess.

    Yes, it is to be expected that without Suarez we’ll take time to adjust. Yes, with so many new players coming in we’ll take time to get to speed. Yes, it’s very difficult having an England manager who seems to be taking out his anger at his own lack of success at Liverpool FC by injuring our players by overplaying them. But those are excuses unworthy of us.

    Because we are Liverpool.

    Something often talked about but not remedied by our management and our players is that we, the supporters, are being let down. The management of lowered expectations has created a mindset that the club is not something more than an average English team. It has been consistently drilled into the head of the players that average clubs are real threats instead of the Bambi rollovers they should be. We should not be competing with Ludogretz, West Ham, Aston Villa, and Basel (who were so ripe for the picking and played poorly at home). We should be destroying them.

    We should be approaching each match with confidence not fear. We should be representing the club with honor and grit, not complacency. We should be making every run, finishing every play, and contesting every ball. We should be executing with lethal efficiency.

    Because we are Liverpool.

    During the summer we saw the owner drop a massive amount of money for new players. Yes, we got 75M or so from the sale of Suarez, but we also spent another 50M beyond that. We have a bench so deep that these days it’s fun just to see who is going to be on the field come match day. But those players are not responding.

    With respect, if I see another simple give-and-go get by our midfield, our forwards go down in a panic in the box looking for a penalty instead of shooting, our keeper refusing to come more than two meters from his box to claim a floating cross, or the bungling of our defense watching the game instead of playing it, I’m going mental. We are better than that.

    Because we are Liverpool.

    The PL is the toughest league top-to-bottom perhaps in the world and the CL is the cream of the crop, so adversity will come. Results will be difficult at times. Luck will play it’s part, bad and good.

    No club deserves a win just for showing up. No club can put on a shirt and expect to leave victorious. No team can win consistently without endless selfless effort. No players should feel confident just clearing the ball ten yards and hoping someone will run onto it – they need to run. No team can consistently win when the mentality seems to be centered on “play not to lose” and “don’t make mistakes”. Mistakes are made in sport. They can be forgiven. Lack of effort – lack of running – cannot.

    Each and every match I see two or three players running their legs off, two or three watching more than playing, and the rest being average. How can the players expect so much from the supporters when the consistent aggressiveness of last year has simply disappeared? The supporters deserve more.

    Because we too are Liverpool.

    The brand of football has changed dramatically from last year. The skill level has dipped incredibly. There are very few clean “takes” of the ball, fewer accurate passes, and a distinct lack of individual quality. I don’t mean from the new players, but from the same players that looked so skillful last year. We have switched our attack (by necessity) from a fast position shifting offence with mobile attackers to a slow plodding build up with few chances inside the box and a distinct lack of breaks in on goal.

    Some of this might change when Sturridge finally gets back from injury. But is it true that after all this spending that we are so dependent on one forward to make our offense click? If so, that is simply not good enough. There was plenty of time to find the right players to fill the void created by Suarez with similar players, especially if you believe that the deal for Luis was essentially done last January. Instead we got Lambert – a proven PL scorer and a great story yes, but a totally different kind of player. And we got Balotelli – one of the most gifted players around but again, completely different. Neither player is going to break free on a through ball and scramble 30 meters to the goal. They simply aren’t fast enough.

    So that leaves Sterling to make every run. Who else? Markovich? Should he be starting yet? Should we be putting all this on a pair of players who are so young? No. We should have experience, speed and guile in abundance.

    Because we are Liverpool.

    I’ve said it a million times “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. No matter how bad it gets, I will be there, singing my lungs out and waving my banner. I will never stop – no matter what - supporting my club. I will always represent my club with humility, honor, and respect for the game. But that doesn’t mean I will sit idly by as we fall. I will sing louder, raise my voice and yell it out. I will always give my honest opinion and critiques. And I will always let it be known when the team is not living up to it's obligations.

    The players and staff all know we are better than this. No one affiliated with the club needs to be told that at the rate we are going, we will be out of the Champions League early. No one needs reminding that a top four finish is the minimal standard for our beloved club. No one needs reminding that they represent more than just a city, more than just a uniform, more than just a storied history.

    They just need to remember what it means to say:

    WE ARE LIVERPOOL!
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