The Clarke effect

Steve Clarke joined Liverpool FC as first-team coach in Jan 2011, the day later Liverpool lost its 3rd round F.A. Cup tie to United. Kenny’s officially first signing under his second string as Liverpool manager was  instrumental in getting Steve in the backroom staff team of Liverpool.

Steve Clark played over 500 games as a professional footballer for St Mirren and Chelsea. But he is well known as Assistant Manager to Jose Mourinhno when the Blues won two Premier League titles,an FA Cup and two Carling Cups  over three seasons. He also has impressive experience as Assistant Manager at clubs like Newcastle United  and West Ham United. He has worked with some great managers and his vast experience in premiership would  certainly help Kenny Dalglish who has not managed a football team for over a decade.

The Liverpool defense have been in an impressive form of late. Now not conceding in 400 minutes of football, the  defense looks far more assured, organized, confident than ever before this season with Jamie, Skytel and Agger  together putting in an impressive performance in two matches running.

The defensive and the midfield display shown by Liverpool against Chelsea is the testimony of Steve starting using his vast experience and implementing his system on the training ground. All the hard work put in at Melwood is coming together now and its certainly paying dividends.

Its the same group of players which are been there since the start of the season but Liverpool looks a completely new team now with a lot of energy. The players are knowing whats exactly is expected out of them individually and collectively and its all clicking together. Liverpool have started playing very attractive and positive football and winning matches keeping the clean sheets – the way we should be winning them.

It all starts from the back and every team is built from its defense. Once the defense is working fine and stops conceding goals, the team always gives itself a chance to win matches and that’s exactly what Liverpool have done in last 4 games and have got the right results.

It’s up to Kenny, Sammy Lee and Steve to make it work now for the club and importantly for the fans. Its is all down to them that Liverpool have been playing attractive football and the team is certainly coming together under them. Liverpool can  only get better as a team and continue to improve from here.

That’s all from me on this one. Until next time from me Prathamesh goodbye.

YNWA

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King Kenny’s famous quotes

Dalglish has brought such renewed optimism to the club just a month after taking over and captain Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, both believe he is the man to restore the club to former glories.

He promised he would be getting the “Spirit of Shankly” back at Anfield and he has certainly done that in this short time.

Below are some of Kenny Dalglish very recent quotes –

“There is no one anywhere in the world at any stage who is any bigger or any better than this football club.” – Dalglish: No player bigger than Liverpool.

“For me personally I came here to win three points and if Carlo Ancelotti (Chelsea Manager) had been playing up front I’d still have wanted the three points. The personnel and the opposition are not important to me. Whatever someone wants to do with their life, that’s entirely their choice. Our incentive was to get three points and that’s what we did and the only people who are important to me are those in red shirts”. – Kenny when pressed on Torres factor when Liverpool won against Chelsea in Feb 2011.

“Our supporters and fans are entitled to their opinions and know where the players’ loyalties lie. They have to show respect to this club.” – Liverpool fans mockery directed at Torres.
“The most important people are the people still at Liverpool and they always will be. Whatever someone else wants to do with their life, that’s their choice.” – Kenny on current group of players at Anfield.

“As this football club has always said, the most important people are the people who are at Liverpool Football Club and that is the way it will always be”. – Kenny on current group of players at Liverpool.

“I’m only doing what I said I would come in and do, which is help,” “I’ll never stand in the way of progress at this football club. I have never had a conversation with the owners beyond the conversation I had when I came in. “That’s where we stand at the moment and until there is more to discuss – that is where we are.” – Recent upsurge in fortunes has done Kenny’s chances of turning his short-term job into a more permanent one.

YNWA

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Liverpool winning at London Bridge

Liverpool recorded 4th consecutive win as Raul Meireles scored the winner at the Bridge for the Reds. Liverpool completed a League double over last season’s Champions Chelsea in process ruining the must talked about Fernando Torres‘ Chelsea debut against his former club.

Meireles scoring his 4th goal in 5 premier league games with Liverpool keeping their 4th consecutive sheet, not conceding a goal in more than 400 minutes of football now. A lot of credit for this must go to Steve Clarke and his coaching staff for putting in the efforts which have resulted in 4 consecutive clean sheets.

An outstanding defensive performance at display with Jamie, Agger and Syktel who were colossal at the back. Reina didn’t have much to do as none of their forwards had any kind of clear sight of Reina’s goal.  Match winner  Meireles, Gerrard and Lucas kept the Chelsea midfield quiet and in process allowed no time on the ball which resulted in no creativity in the midfield for  something which has so often been the key to their success over recent years. Kuyt as usual worked really hard and been a lone striker against the likes of Terry and Ivanovic had a terrific game. Once again Kelly had an incredible game as he just keeps giving a good performances match after match under the new manager.

This was a superb team performance. Full of guile, determination and effort. Everyone – both playing and coaching staff – deserves credit for achieving a result which would not have seemed feasible just a few weeks ago.

Its has been a pleasure writing this article. Just loving and enjoying Liverpool play football again and optimistic about our chances of finishing 4th this season. That’s all from me on this one. Until next time from me Prathamesh goodbye.

YNWA

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Liverpool winning big at Molineux

Kenny Dalglish registered his first win after returning as  the Reds manager as an impressive Liverpool overpowered Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 at Molineux.

Buoyed by a much-improved attacking performance during last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Everton at Anfield, Liverpool traveled to Molineux aiming to secure all three points and get only their second away win this season.

In a scrappy first half on a very poor pitch the deadlock was finally broken on 36th minutes after Torres netting his first of the match and eight of the season, tapping in from close range after being setup by Raul Meireles. The Portuguese international (Raul Meireles) having given an attacking role in absence of Steven Gerrard got a brace himself after smashing a magnificent volley in the second half, scoring his second goal in two games and carrying his impressive showing from last weekend’s games against Everton. There were spells during the match where Wolves did threaten to score but the ever dependable Reina and good performance at the back kept Wolves at bay. With time running out and Wolves throwing men forward meant there were gaps created for Liverpool to exploit which what we did through our counter attack lead by Kuyt setting up Torres again for his second of the match and his ninth for the season.

Liverpool’s revival under Kenny started four games back at Old Trafford, having see improvements from players individually and collectively match after match. And even though the results in these matches did not go Liverpool’s way, Kenny finally saw this improved performance translated into a victory on Saturday, something which he and the Reds have been craving for sometime now.

With Liverpool back in top half of the table, we would be looking at pressing it from here on with get back into the European places. With the captain returning next match, Torres among the goals again, team putting in yet another good display and player like Suarez linked to Anfield, the KOP finally have something to look forward to from now.

That’s it from me on this one. See you at Anfield next time. Until then from me Prathamesh goodbye.

YNWA.

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Liverpool losing a real talent

Ryan Babel looks certain to leave Anfield to the Bundesliga side Hoffenheim. Believed to be in the range of 7 million euro, Ryan would be Germany for the medical and talking on personal terms before officially signing for his new club.

Joining Liverpool from his homeland club Ajax for 10 million euros in 2007, Babel never cemented his place in the Liverpool line-up with Rafa using him more as a substitute than a regular starter. Having failed to impress Rafa to get a regular first team chance, Babel’s Liverpool career never took off leaving him to sit out on the bench most of the times. With Roy coming in, Babel chances of making into the team became even for difficult as Roy preferred N’gog over him and never got a chance t0 play even as a substitute.

To be fair to Ryan, he never got a chance to establish himself in the team. Extremely limited opportunities meant he ended up scoring mere 22 goals with 146 appearances for the Reds over the period of 3+ years. These statistics are frankly not good enough. But it certainly does not tell the whole story. Even with Babel in the team Rafa looked at players like Voroman, Bellamy, Keane and N’gog to partner Torres up front and now Liverpool are looking at Suarez to be the strike partner with Fernando upfront.

I personally think Babel would be a big loss to Liverpool. With the new owners believe in investing in young, raw talent Babel certainly fits in that bill. And so really surprised we are letting him go. We haven’t seen the real Babel so far and now we may never see atleast in the Liverpool colours. The guy has pace, stamina and few tricks up his sleeve to cause enough headaches to any defense. The best youth player in 2006 from the Dutch academy, he could have been a big star for Liverpool if he was molded well and certainly if he was given more opportunities than what he got in his 3+ years at Anfield.

His best moment I believe would be his winner against United at the KOP end with Liverpool edging United 2-1 at Anfield back in 2008-2009 season.

Wishing well to Babel and thanking him for his services to Liverpool FC. He himself loves the club the tradition and ofcourse the fans. He would certainly be missing all this now and we as fans would certainly miss him too.

Thats it from me. Until next time from me Prathamesh goodbye.

YNWA

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A thrilling Merseyside derby

Kenny Dalglish homecoming as a manager of Liverpool FC for the second time was marked by a trilling and highly entertaining 215th Merseyside derby which saw the two city rivals share the points at the end of the match. The blue side of the Merseyside would certainly be delighted with the result, as for the Reds it was another missed opportunity to take all 3 points.

We would be certainly ruining for not taking the changes in the first half which saw Liverpool dominate from the 1st minute. A bit of bad luck and some very bad finishing meant Liverpool went into the break only 1-0 up where we should have scored atleast 3 goals by then. Second half an resurgent Everton hit back hard not only to equalize but also to take the lead in the match. A corner which resulted in the equalized was suppose to be a goal kick which the referee and the linesmen both got it wrong. With the momentum with Everton they rallied and scored the second and looked very likely to create an upset at Anfield. We kept pressing thought and kept creating changes and were rewarded for our positive football when we got a penalty after Maxi was brought down by Everton goal keeper. Kuyt keeping his cool fired the ball pass the Everton goal keeper at the KOP end to send the Anfield buzzing again. After that it was difficult to break down Everton and the match ended 2-2 with two teams sharing the points.

It was nice to see Meireles scoring his first goal as a Liverpool player. Spearing, Babel, Pacheco and Shelvey getting into the team with Spearing and Shelvey both having  a good game for Liverpool. I was hoping to see Babel at some point of the match but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. The team shape was good and collectively Liverpool showed a lot of aggression going forward and played some good positive football through out the match.

Overall I think we had more shots and more clear-cut chances and possibly we could say we deserved more from the game. But we can only take this form to the next game and get a positive result in that one.

That’s all from me on this one. Enjoyed the match and Kenny’s first home game as Liverpool Manager after two decades. Until next time from me Prathamesh goodbye.

YNWA

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The Merseyside Derby

“If Everton were playing down the bottom of my garden, I’d draw the curtains.” …Bill Shankly

Knowing Kenny as a player, he would have had no different view to this too. Kenny would not have asked for a better fixture to take charge of Liverpool at Anfield against our merseyside rivals Everton. What to fixture for Kenny to register his first win as Liverpool manager coming back and managing Liverpool after two decades. The two city rivals go into the game with equal points knowing a win would not only help get them in top half of the table but to get one over the city rivals would be an amazing result in itself.

Liverpool go into the game w/o our influential captain Gerrard with Torres form again holding the key for Liverpool. Seeing a better collective team performance against United and Blackpool earlier last week suggest we are definitely better prepared to take on Everton today. Even for the new owners, its their first merseyside derby only to know how important it is to win a derby.

If ever anyone wants to see what Anfield atmosphere is like one shouldn’t miss this game as Anfield would be buzzing today, the KOP would make themselves heard again signing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” through out the game.

This is Anfield“…and as the great Bill Shankly once famously  said…”it is for our lads to know whom they are playing for and for our opponents to know whom they are playing against“.

My prediction 2-0 home win for my Liverpool.

That’s all from me on this one. See you next time. Until then from me Prathamesh goodbye.

YNWA

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