― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 14 April 2003 16:44 (10 years ago) Permalink
what are you thinking re: chelsea now dr.c?
― gareth (gareth), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 11:44 (10 years ago) Permalink
At the moment I am extremely worried that we will end up fifth - the Villa loss was a dreadful result. I think West Ham might be a tough game as they need the points and they've beaten us once already this season. For next season we need a stronger/larger squad, espec. for Europe - we've been quite lucky with injuries this year, but may not get away with it again. Big problem - no money Priorities - a) a ballwinner to replace Petit and release Lampard b) an international striker - JimmyFloyd's era may be up, Zola needs handling carefully at 37 and Cole is not yet ready. I'd love to get Beattie, but they can't afford him. c) an attacking/wide or central midfielder to give more cover there. I think DeLucas will come good eventually, but Gronkjaer wavers and Stanic is dreadful.
― Dr. C (Dr. C), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 12:11 (10 years ago) Permalink
Everton really running out of steam now - bringing Big Dunc on for the last half hour and pitching balls up for him smacks of the bad old days (but nice when they rebound to Wayne's left foot). Very little going on in midfield, a true creative drought in the derby and simply outpassed by Chelsea (again). Radzinski can't come back quickly enough.
Liverpool now finishing as strongly as they did in 2000-01 (didn't they win 6-0 at Ipswich in the closing stages of that season?); we need a Fowler special at the Anfield Road end next Saturday.
― Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 12:49 (10 years ago) Permalink
― gareth (gareth), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 12:52 (10 years ago) Permalink
― chris (chris), Tuesday, 29 April 2003 12:59 (10 years ago) Permalink
Many people have been talking as though United will win all their remaining games. If they had Sunderland after Charlton I'd agree. But Everton, at Goodison, on the final day? I can't see United winning that. In which case, if Arsenal beat Leeds, Soton and Sunderland, the title is likely theirs - possibly on goal difference. No?
(If Arsenal *don't* win the title, Rooney will have played his part by inflicting their first defeat.)
― the pinefox, Friday, 2 May 2003 10:44 (10 years ago) Permalink
I think Liverpool should be able to overcome their hoodoo with Chelsea, Baros still missed loads of chances against West Brom.
Though none were as bad as Lampard's glorious miss against Fulham.
― Ronan (Ronan), Friday, 2 May 2003 11:04 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 2 May 2003 11:07 (10 years ago) Permalink
― weasel diesel (K1l14n), Friday, 2 May 2003 11:15 (10 years ago) Permalink
Man Utd's Goodison victories have become depressingly routine in recent years - I think the opening day of 99-00 with Jaap Stam's hilarious own goal was the only time in the last seven or eight seasons we've got anything off them. However, we matched them for 86 minutes at Old Trafford and I refuse to contemplate a season like this one ending with the anticlimax of a home defeat to anyone...so 1-1.
I think Liverpool will lose out on a Champions' League place on the ol' GD an' all. (Ideal scenario: they lose to both Man City and Chelsea, Everton pick up six points and the Blue Dream is realised).
― Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Friday, 2 May 2003 13:12 (10 years ago) Permalink
I was at a meeting this morning pitching to run Liverpool and Arsenal's online chatroom/community services. That'd be quite fun, I think. Apparently a previous tech employee was fired, but left himself a back door in, and then informed all the LFC users that the moderating team were all from Manchester. With sexy results!
― Mark C (Mark C), Friday, 2 May 2003 13:29 (10 years ago) Permalink
He didn't use 'Ferguson'.
― the pinefox, Friday, 2 May 2003 13:40 (10 years ago) Permalink
I think one factor on the final day will be if Everton have anything to play for. If they need a result for a place in the UEFA cup, not an implausible scenario from memory (I've not checked tables), Man U will have it a lot tougher than if they have nothing to gain.
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Friday, 2 May 2003 17:30 (10 years ago) Permalink
I'd like to think a Moyes team would make it tough for anybody regardless of the circumstances but the capitulation at Loftus Road this afternoon suggests we're in meltdown now. Pah, I get my fantasy result at Anfield and we go and score two own-goals. Blackburn breathing down our necks now for that last UEFA Cup spot, so I guess I have to hope for an Arsenal-Leeds draw and Fergie sending out the youth team at Goodison for a kickabout.
Magnitude of today's Man U victory makes the GD situation kinda interesting; United could win the title with a draw at Everton if Arsenal's three victories are only by a single-goal margin; if the Arse manage a 2-0 somewhere along the way the Gunners will win it on goals scored, as they did in (look away, Pinefox) 1989.
West Ham-Chelsea sounded like a blinder on the radio. They're still going down, of course.
All this rather irrelevant compared to events in Swansea and Exeter. What a day to get married.
― Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Saturday, 3 May 2003 17:46 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Saturday, 3 May 2003 18:39 (10 years ago) Permalink
― weasel diesel (K1l14n), Saturday, 3 May 2003 19:34 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Saturday, 3 May 2003 20:57 (10 years ago) Permalink
― weasel diesel (K1l14n), Sunday, 11 May 2003 20:10 (10 years ago) Permalink
There's a part of me that fears next year could be total meltdown.
― Ronan (Ronan), Sunday, 11 May 2003 20:17 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 11 May 2003 20:19 (10 years ago) Permalink
― weasel diesel (K1l14n), Sunday, 11 May 2003 20:32 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Ronan (Ronan), Sunday, 11 May 2003 21:05 (10 years ago) Permalink
Ultimately no better than 95-96 (a false dawn before Royle found the carpet whipped from beneath him); remains to be seen whether Everton's satisfying and surprising season-long upswing will be a precursor to disintegration a la Sunderland and Ipswich (Champs Lge contenders in 99-00 and 00-01 respectively) or whether we're about to rejoin the Big Boys' Club like Newcastle and Chelsea have.
Thing that worries me the most: lack of goals. 48 in 38 Premiership games is not very good, and the only time we hit three all season was in a 4-3 defeat at Tottenham. Seven times we came from behind to win, six of them at home with three of those earned with injury-time wonder-strikes. I can only think of three league wins that could be described as comfortable (Fulham & Leeds home, Bolton away). It's all a bit precarious.
As for Liverpool, their failure to meet their own targets is some consolation for this Bitter Blue. I suppose now that the pre-Xmas slump is an annual treat for all Anfieldphobes, it'll be panic stations next season if Liverpool aren't clear at the top by the end of October. Failure in the Cups and out of touch with the leaders and Houllier might go next January. There's an awful lot of talent there, it doesn't seem to be being marshalled terribly well. The Reds need a Moyes. Or an Allardyce!
― Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Sunday, 11 May 2003 21:30 (10 years ago) Permalink
Has winning a trophy ever rung so hollow? Or losing one mattered so little?
― James Ball (James Ball), Monday, 12 May 2003 08:02 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Ronan (Ronan), Monday, 12 May 2003 08:36 (10 years ago) Permalink
Unhappy at first, but seeing the Liverpool players celebrate it like they'd just won the treble cheered me up no end.
Considering everything that's happened, saving our worst performance of the second half of the season for that game was a blessing.
― James Ball (James Ball), Monday, 12 May 2003 08:54 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 12 May 2003 11:31 (10 years ago) Permalink
somewhere in between, i reckon. i think he's done a great job, with limited resources SO FAR. next season will be a test, but expect a healthy tally from roonaldo.
― weasel diesel (K1l14n), Monday, 12 May 2003 11:39 (10 years ago) Permalink
― the pinefox, Monday, 12 May 2003 12:06 (10 years ago) Permalink
― chris (chris), Monday, 12 May 2003 12:10 (10 years ago) Permalink
Use other words please?
― the pinefox, Thursday, 17 July 2003 10:24 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Pinkpanther (Pinkpanther), Thursday, 17 July 2003 10:27 (10 years ago) Permalink
― chris (chris), Thursday, 17 July 2003 10:44 (10 years ago) Permalink
― James Ball (James Ball), Thursday, 17 July 2003 11:00 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Alex K (Alex K), Thursday, 17 July 2003 11:07 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Chip Morningstar (bob), Thursday, 17 July 2003 11:26 (10 years ago) Permalink
― James Ball (James Ball), Thursday, 17 July 2003 12:09 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Chip Morningstar (bob), Thursday, 17 July 2003 12:32 (10 years ago) Permalink
Basically was it scored with his head or foot or other part of his body?
― bondy, Wednesday, 30 July 2003 09:32 (10 years ago) Permalink
(* - a Liverpool-supporting friend of mine, sitting a few rows up in the Kemlyn Rd stand, swore Case's corner swung out of play en route to the six-yard box. We didn't have ProZone or Hawk-eye in those days.)
― Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 10:45 (10 years ago) Permalink
― the pinefox, Wednesday, 30 July 2003 10:55 (10 years ago) Permalink
I remember him (I scarcely have the right to use this ghostly verb; only one man on earth deserved the right...
― Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 20:35 (10 years ago) Permalink
Oh, dear. Can somebody wipe my brain, please?
― Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Wednesday, 30 July 2003 21:13 (10 years ago) Permalink
I am tempted to say 'Everton should be worried', save that... I don't actually think they should be worried.
Should Liverpool be worried? The Guardian report today says there's a lot of worry around:
Houllier's worries at his players' anxieties
Liverpool 1 - 2 Arsenal
Kevin McCarra at Anfield Monday October 6, 2003The Guardian
In the fight for success managers have wretched spells when they feel as if they are trying to thump phantoms. Gérard Houllier is perturbed. Having improved the attacking potential of the Liverpool side, he now finds himself battling on a more mysterious front. The minds of his own players are a greater worry than the abilities of the opposition.
There are no more signings to be made and a dustsheet might as well be thrown over the tactics board. In this defeat by Arsenal it looked as if the side had simply forgotten how to challenge for honours. There was much to admire about Liverpool before the interval but ruthlessness was not among their merits.
Worse still, the team then grew preoccupied with its regrets and let a 1-1 draw shade into a defeat. "The boys got anxious," Houllier admitted. "It was as if they were saying, 'We have done so well, and didn't get the goals we deserve.' It was as if they wanted to keep the result rather than keep going forward."
In such circumstances talent is just a provocation. It annoys supporters to recognise ability that is not made to count. Harry Kewell put Liverpool in front with a rapacious first-time drive after an Edu clearance broke from Michael Owen but his performance is tied to a moodiness that has his impact fluctuating over the course of an afternoon.
Owen himself is usually steadier, yet he malfunctioned before collecting the injury that makes him a doubt for England's match in Istanbul. Given chances to add to the lead, a lob went high after Kewell's flick had sent him through and so too did a header from Steven Gerrard's superb, pacy free-kick.
There was excitement for half an hour. Liverpool are no longer monotonous and the tactic of pairing the elusive Kewell and Owen in attack left Arsenal's powerful centre-backs lacking anyone to grapple with. Houllier's side, though, could not sustain their display and so suffered a second consecutive defeat in the Premiership.
They do not appear remorseless enough to make up lost ground and challenge for the title. It is Arsenal, mystifyingly, who have turned into the kind of hard-bitten line-up whose results can be better than their displays. Only the wonderful winner, when Robert Pires bent a 25-yarder round Jerzy Dudek, revealed the Highbury club's virtuoso traits.
Jérémie Aliadière, in his first start for Arsenal, must have concluded that the Premiership's demands are intimidating but Arsène Wenger almost revelled in his memories of survival in a desperate situation. "We were on the ropes for 25 minutes," the manager said. "We couldn't get out of our half."
Arsenal were level at the interval because Edu's header from a Pires free-kick broke off Sami Hyypia for an own-goal, but Wenger's main thought was that his men needed to push up and choke Liverpool's flow in midfield.
Arsenal, on their Premieship travels, have followed a valuable draw at Manchester United with a win here and Wenger has cause to acclaim the "solidarity" of his squad. All the same the leniency of Houllier's side was still the key to recovery. With Edu a useful deputy for the injured Patrick Vieira, Arsenal eventually started to pass steadily, even if their old élan was lacking.
Although Ashley Cole had to deny Liverpool a late equaliser by blocking El Hadji Diouf's effort on the goal-line, the Highbury team became increasingly composed. Sol Campbell, back in action for the first time since the death of his father 17 days earlier, gradually recovered his focus over the course of the match.
"Sol was a bit in-between on playing; he didn't know if he was ready so I decided just to push him in," Wenger said. "Sol didn't want to let the team down. He was a bit anxious and in the last 20 minutes he looked a bit tired. But you could see that he wanted to dig deep to finish the game well. He needed a lot of mental strength."
The professional concerns of footballers are trifling by comparison with those of a bereaved man but Arsenal are performing with fortitude. It remains to be seen whether the durability will last if there is a battery of suspensions after the fracas at Old Trafford.
Liverpool, however, are currently the more apprehensive club and once again there is talk of Gerrard and Owen seeking transfers if no Champions League place is won. Houllier did not deserve to see such speculation resurface but, although he was blameless on Saturday, it is always the manager's job to suffer.
― the pinefox, Monday, 6 October 2003 15:23 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Tim (Tim), Monday, 6 October 2003 15:41 (10 years ago) Permalink
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By David Thomson
May 30, 2002 | Let me leave young women aside for a moment. I will come tothem. But what I want to say first is that this is that moment at which theworld comes to a proper celebration of something men were made to do,something that is intensely physical yet profoundly imaginative, somethingmade out of muscle, speed, grace and the soul. I am talking about the WorldCup, about soccer, about football.
I know, that name is not quite allowed in this country because it issupposed to be kept under lock and key for that other game -- not a badgame, even if it compels men to be too large and replaces the realadventures of the mind with the huddles, the jargon and the militaristicsubmersion of identity in "planning."
So American football is a fine thing. Still, America could do itself goodall over the world by saying, Well, yes, after all, we all know whatfootball is, football is the game made by Stanley Matthews, Ferenc Puskas,Pele, Maradona and Zidane, football is the world's passion and festival, oneof the greatest forms of play ever invented (and a turn-on). Therefore,"our" "football" needs a new name -- let's call it "gridiron" or "attack" orwhatever you like. "Soccer" is such a stupid name. How many of the childrenplaying all over the U.S. today actually know why it is called "soccer"? Howmany readers of this piece know? (For the answer, see below.) Give us backthe real meaning of "football."
And, no matter that the games are likely to appear on our television atunearthly hours that do a lot to destroy the other rhythms of life -- youshould attend to this great contest. And its rhythm. Football is a gameplayed on a pitch at least 100 yards by 60, played at extraordinary pace, inwhich most of the players are likely to be driven from end to end, back andforth, while still finding the time to control, touch, deflect and guide aball that bounces to the moods of ground, wind and altitude.
Time and again, in football, you will see young men -- at the limits oftheir physical capacity -- do astonishingly inventive things with therhythm, the direction and the winning of this very simple game. In itsessence, it should be played without lulls or stoppages. Only then canchange of pace and direction prove so decisive. It is trite to say thatfootball is like dance. Dance, after all, has no equivalent to danger,contact, collision and courage. And dance is choreographed. The design ismeant to be carried out to perfection, whereas in football the perfectionwill always emerge from spontaneity, accident and momentary impulse.
How sexy is football? As sexy as any performance where young men, trainedall their lives in skills and execution, still discover in an instant theunexpected, the reversal, the purely personal option within a team's plan.You will hear that some nations -- the Latin teams, say -- are morenaturally adept at this than others. Not so. Some of the greatest of playershave been European, and northern European at that -- consider Cruyff, Law,Best, Beckenbauer and so many others. Some of the most turgid, paranoid andoverrehearsed football ever played has come from Italian teams. Still, thereis always the passionate example of Brazil, the savage moodiness ofArgentina, the exuberance of African teams and who knows what dark horsethis time?
Football does not take root in the U.S., so they say, and there are all theold reasons -- not enough goals, not enough opportunities for commercialbreaks, an absence of melodramatic violence, too much stress on the mind.Well, maybe America can and will live with those crushing definitions ofitself.
Or maybe it will observe something that is American in origin yet still notfigured out in many football-crazy nations: that it is a terrific game forwomen. For if we have discovered something feminine in the game, then surelythe world is helped in enjoying the way men move. In that glimpse ofAmerica's insecure maleness, there lies a way in which our culture of mightreally moves ahead. But that would depend on more ordinary Americansdiscovering the intensely sexual, intellectual allure of the game. Everyfour years you get a new chance to abandon helmets, padding and the warcries of the Marines -- and show us your legs, your knees, your thighs, yourinvention.
*The game is called soccer because as it developed in Britain, it acquired aFootball Association (an organizing structure) to distinguish it from rugby.The "soccer" comes from the "soc" in association. Which is not really aproper way to name a great game.
― the pinefox, Monday, 6 October 2003 16:02 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 6 October 2003 17:22 (10 years ago) Permalink
― the pinefox, Monday, 27 October 2003 14:25 (10 years ago) Permalink
As far as I know the same is true of Steven Gerrard.
― Ronan (Ronan), Monday, 27 October 2003 14:48 (10 years ago) Permalink