Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hatters Highlight Holes in Liverpool Squad as the Future Looks Bleak at Anfield

Although following another devastating blow for the club, Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson was humble and decent enough to unreservedly apologise for his side’s latest shambolic cup exit to lower league opposition at the once “fortress” of Anfield, this defeat was merely the tip of a significantly greater iceberg when the true and harsh realities of Liverpool Football Club’s plight is continued to be further scrutinised under the ever present microscope of English football’s fans and media. Hodgson himself will no doubt have known that the task that lay before him once he took over the reigns from Rafa Benitez at the Merseyside club was sure to be no picnic, but after watching the latest chapter in the football horror show that has been played out over the past few seasons, even Roy himself must have been left scratching his head and delving deep for inspiration.

Liverpool die hards would argue that the 11 players Hodgson selected for their the League Cup encounter with Northampton Town (a club who at the time lay in 17th position in League 2) was one that bore no resemblance to the side that had in itself looked largely laboured during the previous match against a determined Manchester United side, there was surely little doubt that a team that included several multimillion pound signings, blended with supposedly promising prospects from the clubs academy and also numerous players who had represented their countries at full international level would be sufficiently strong to professionally dispose of what would surely have been fully expected to be a fired up, but nonetheless inferior opposition - particularly in front of their own fans.

But it wasn’t to be - and this time there could be no excuses. Taking nothing away from the Hatters, who had themselves put in fine and energetic display that defied their lowly league position, scoring twice at Anfield before battling through extra time to give themselves a fair shot at beating one of English football’s big hitters in a penalty shoot out, surely Hodgson’s men would still have found the courage and composure to bury their spot kicks in front of the world renowned cop end? However, the Merseysiders again fell short of the mark, and as a cool headed Abdul Osman fired the winner for Northampton, sending the team and their already jubilant fans into dreamland, the damp weather and gathering storm clouds circling above Anfield seemed to some up the club’s current position and mood of their suffering fans.

With well documented off the field problems in the boardroom, ongoing financial strife and a playing squad that looks alarmingly short of depth, Hodgson - as talented and experienced football manager as he is - will know he has his work cut out if he is to avoid a season of total humiliation for Liverpool. Qualification for the Champions League has become a minimum requirement for the reds in recent years - but even achieving a Europa League spot may yet be beyond a club who currently lie 16th in the Premier League with just 5 points from their first 5 matches. Managing the fans and shareholders expectations now becomes as much a priority for Hodgson as motivating his team to perform on the pitch - and the ongoing rumors surrounding the departure of star striker Fernando Torres will surely not help his side to settle. Unless Hodgson can string some wins together soon and make progress back up the Premier League table, with the new football season barely underway, it already looks like it may be all but over for Liverpool Football club.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Everton’s Season in Deep Trouble following Double Injury Blow

Everton’s already disappointing start to the season has taken another turn for the worst today following news of a double injury blow for strikers Louis Saha and Victor Anichebe. The Toffees have been in poor form so far in the Premier League, picking up just 2 points from a possible 15 so far this term and were also recently subjected to a humiliating League Cup penalty shoot out defeat to League 1 minnows Brentford earlier this week.

Latest news reports from Merseyside suggest that long term injury absentee Saha is set to see a specialist in France and his return to first team action will be delayed for another few weeks. Meanwhile young forward Anichebe faces around 6 weeks on the sideline following surgery on his knee injury. The news will come at the great dismay of Everton boss David Moyes who has seen his side lack a clinical edge in front of goal having failed to score away from home in the Premier League this season and struggled to break down Brentford in mid week – resulting in extra time and eventual penalty humiliation.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Big Sam Backtracks on “Managing Worlds Top Clubs” Claims

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has today backtracked on his somewhat outrageous claims made earlier this week that he would be fit to manage any of the worlds top clubs and “would win the double or the league every time”. Big Sam has however claimed that his somewhat amusing comments had been purely meant as a tongue in cheek way of expressing his personal desire and driving ambition to improve as a manager and ultimately drive his managerial career to the highest levels in world football.

Blackburn have enjoyed a solid start to the new Premier League season under Allardyce and remain unbeaten so far, but his claims that his combative and often direct “long ball” style of football under which his teams tend to operate would be welcome at the likes of Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Manchester United has been a source of great banter and debate by English football fans and the media alike this week. However, as ever Big Sam remains unperturbed and will look to drive his Blackburn side forward when they face Aston Villa in tonight’s League Cup 3rd round clash at Villa Park.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Capello’s England Boosted By Rooney Inclusion

Fabio Capello’s England squad have received a huge moral boost this afternoon after England striker Wayne Rooney travelled with the squad to Switzerland prior to Tuesday night’s all important European Championship qualification match. In spite of potentially damaging allegations surrounding the Manchester United striker’s private life, the England coach confirmed that England’s star man would travel and play for his country against the Swiss as England seek to keep up the momentum after a promising 4 - 0 win over Bulgaria at Wembley on Friday.

The news will no doubt be music to the ears of England fans who are now seeking much improved performances from the scouse forward after what was by the player’s own admission a bitterly disappointing World Cup campaign - and many fans seem to think that such distractions off the field may ironically in fact help focus more Rooney when on the pitch. Rooney showed glimpses off his best form with critical assists in England’s group opener against the Bulgarians and English fans will now hope for more quality play from their star man as he seeks to end a poor run of games without scoring for the national side.