27 April 2008



LIVER-FOOL according to a visitor

jim morrison 'wanabe' has left a new comment on your post "RAFA URGES FRINGE MEN TO STEP UP":

liver-fool, you'll always walk alone!

p/s: it's uttered in a sporting manner..no malice intended. Nice job with the blog :)

Posted by jim morrison 'wanabe' to You'll Never Walk Alone in Malaysia at 26 April, 2008 15:58

utusanLFC :
as open minded as I can be... I let jim morrison `wanabe' with his rant. A good banter... as they say. To think about it... actually no other club can match Liverpool for its intimate feelings between the club, players and fans alike... with such a slogan, You will never walk alone is just a nice words to utter anyway, anytime. I did that a few times... to a friend on the hospital bed and he just smile, though he knows it was out of context for him who is terminally ill. But he recovered and remember me for those `spiritual' wisdom...

Liverpool close in on Swiss defender

by Chris Beesley, Liverpool Daily Post

LIVERPOOL are closing in on the signing of Swiss international right-back Philipp Degen (above) – as Rafael Benitez revealed that he discussed summer transfer targets with co-owner Tom Hicks at Melwood this week.
Hicks visited Liverpool’s training ground on Wednesday to meet Benitez and both parties have described the talks as being positive.
The Spaniard claims that the main topic of discussion was identifying potential new signings to bolster his squad for next season and one of the first of them should be Borussia Dortmund’s Degen, 25, who is out of contract with the German club at the end of the current campaign.
Benitez remained tight-lipped yesterday as to how close Liverpool are to sealing the move, confirming that talks are “progressing” for at least one of his targets but it is believed that many of the crucial elements of the deal are already in place.
Degen has made more than 70 Bundesliga appearances since his move from Basel, where his twin brother David still plays, in 2005.

Liverpool are also running the rule over Athletic Bilbao centre-back Fernando Amorebieta (above) having sent one of their scouts to watch him in Sunday’s 5-1 thrashing of Benitez’s former club Valencia.
The 6ft3in 23-year-old has been attracting interest from several Premier League clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United and Newcastle United.
Amorebieta was born in Venezuela but he moved to the Basque country, where both his parents originate from, as a youngster.
utusanLFC :
who are these players? hahaha... could be a diamond, though I doubt it could be categorised as `exciting'....

Who’ll get a goal for Rafa?

Liverpool have not scored at Chelsea in eight matches, a run they have to end on Wednesday
by Jonathan Northcroft

It is normal for managers to make videos of opponents to show to their own players. Rafael Benitez has one of Didier Drogba he screens for Jamie Carragher and colleagues, but he would really like Europe’s referees to watch. It’s not a tribute movie. Benitez is still smarting over the striker’s antics at Anfield and is worried, unless there is different officiating, that the second leg of the Champions League semi-final with Chelsea could become another canvas for Drogba’s dark arts.
Not since the Beatles were playing to teenage girls in the Cavern Club has there been such dramatic swooning in Liverpool as Drogba managed on Tuesday. “He is amazing because he is massive [and yet goes down]. It is very impressive,” said Benitez with caustic sarcasm. He was careful not to use the word “diver”, wary of repercussions from the game’s authorities, but made it plain he does not think the striker is always being genuine when he tips from vertical to horizontal and claims a foul. Benitez was sore about the number of free kicks Drogba won and, with Chelsea scoring in the 95th minute, the amount of time added by Konrad Plautz, the Austrian referee, to account for Drogba treatment for “injuries”.
“With Drogba it is important to have a good referee. You can’t do anything [to stop him going down], but I will say it because it was so clear. Drogba was given seven fouls and [Fernando] Torres three. Torres has bruises all around his body. So from the first minute I was disappointed by the performance of the referee,” said Benitez. He is calling for Wednesday’s match official to be stronger with Drogba. “I have a lot of clips about him from over the years and he surprises me. I have shown them to some of the players. [Martin] Skrtel and Carra were really good against him, the only problem was the referee giving fouls.”
Thinking back to his first encounter with Drogba, the 2004 Uefa Cup final between his Valencia and Marseilles, Benitez said with a relishing nod: “Ayala knew what to do.” Roberto Ayala steamrollered Drogba in the opening seconds of the game, Drogba was generally subdued and Valencia won 2-0. One-nil would do Liverpool on Wednesday and what Torres does will be just as important as Drogba’s actions when the sides meet for the 20th time in four years. Liverpool’s last goal at Stamford Bridge was in January 2004, before Benitez arrived. “Always, statistics are for breaking,” the manager said.
He and his squad are intent on treating their eight goalless games on Chelsea’s turf less as a form guide than as an anomaly that cannot endure. “Our idea will be to score more than one and guarantee everything is okay,” said Benitez boldly. “We don’t have anything to fear,” said Ryan Babel. “We feel we will definitely score down there,” Steven Gerrard said. The collective confidence is down to two factors. One, Liverpool believe they outplayed Chelsea, not just on Tuesday but in two previous draws this season, and that the Londoners are just not as impermeable under Avram Grant as under Jose Mourinho. In Gerrard’s words: “The difference is we’ve never gone to Stamford Bridge with Torres before. You will always have a chance with a player like Fernando. He has been superb for us all season.”
Torres had his first poor big-game performance for Liverpool on Tuesday (in two forgettable stints against Manchester United he suffered from lack of supply) but Benitez said: “He’s very strong, mentally, don’t worry. He will do well in the next game.”
In February, Torres missed a goalless draw in west London and Peter Crouch, leading Liverpool’s attack, missed three opportunities, while Dirk Kuyt squandered a good position by mis-controlling when clean through. “I think it’s clear in that game we had chances and the other day we had chances and I’m sure Torres will score. Sometimes you must be really disappointed in the way everything is going, but we had our chances and played well and if we do the same again we’ll go through,” said Benitez.
He may not have beaten a supreme Petr Cech but Torres’s speed and the angles of his movement breached a Chelsea back four that does not appear as compact and unified as when Mourinho was marshalling it. Paolo Ferreira plays with less confidence than in his Mourinho era heyday, John Terry – nagged by injuries – with less mobility and Ashley Cole with less defensive assurance than his forerunner at left-back, William Gallas. Cole and Ferreira were stretched by Kuyt and Babel on Tuesday and Torres was able to elude Terry on one key first-half occasion. Cech denied him a goal but he scored from a similar burst while embarrassing Tal Ben Haim at Anfield in August.
Chelsea – albeit not by much – have conceded more goals per game this season than in the Mourinho campaigns and Liverpool, said Benitez, are better than when they defeated these opponents at the same stage in 2007 and 2005. “They are a very good team, but we were very good on Tuesday,” he added. We were better than them clearly. In some games they play deep and then play on the counter-attack but in this game we were controlling it and pushing them all the time,” said Benitez. Babel had a blunter view. At full-time he was seen in conversation with his former coach at Ajax and Grant’s No 2, the feisty Henk ten Cate. What did he say? “I told him that they were lucky,” said Babel. “He didn’t agree – he never agrees . . .”
Liverpool can talk about superiority and complain about Drogba as much as they like. The reality is John Arne Riise’s brainstorm put them in a more vulnerable position than at any point in their previous semi-finals with Chelsea. One clean sheet, to add to the seven they have already achieved in the Champions League, would send Wednesday’s home side to Moscow. Cech (“If not for him we might already be through,” mourned Gerrard) looks back to world’s finest goalkeeper standard after not being at his best for much of the season. Michael Essien will be back to help Claude Makelele close the game up. But Benitez does not believe uber-negativity will be possible. “The game will be more or less the same as at Anfield,” he said, “because I don’t see them waiting. You know what it is like, what it means with supporters, when you are waiting and playing counter-attack at home. If you concede a goal and lose, supporters will kill you. So I expect Chelsea to attack.”
Being caught in two minds is what Benitez hopes will be Chelsea’s downfall. If not, he may forever bear a bitterness towards the guy who just falls down.

Yossi... to be or not to be

Yossi is one of the player that was a victim of Rafa's rotation policy. So it was believe then. Now it seems that he belong to Team B of LFC. There was some suggestion that Yossi Benayoun is not good enough for LFC. I'm not so sure about it. But when ever he start, he gave options to our attacking lines. He is a good player, to me.

Birmingham 2 - LFC 2 (no.4 confirmed)

When For-sale scored, there was a rush of unbelievable thoughts in me. LFC was playing okay... in the sense creating chances and the passes are met with extreme accuracy. One slip and there it goes the sucker punch. The trust we have in Crouch and his team, kept us hoping that the 2nd half would be better and perhaps win the game. It was not to be as another son of Lars shot a nice freekick to beat Reina senseless. Now, a little bit nervy? Not really. Basically, Rafa use the B-Team in order to give the A-Team some sort of a rest, protection etc etc. for the Chelsea game next Thursday. Crouch B-Team's mission is simple. Win or at least draw to ensure the minimal 1 point to shut of Everton completely. They did just that and in fact, the comeback is good. It could be better if most of the chances are converted into goals. But such is the B-Team when Insua was brought in, I could hardly recognised him. He did well also. And again, Crouch show his scoring prowess. Now... I don't recall how many goals has he score up to now. He would be above 10 I supposed. Gracias!

26 April 2008


By Paul Walker, PA Sport

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will warn his shadow squad that they must be ready to step into the Champions League.
Benitez will send out another second-string side at relegation-threatened Birmingham on Saturday as he prepares for next Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg at Chelsea.
The Spaniard has proved in the past that he has no qualms about fielding youngsters and squad players ahead of big European nights.
And whatever the managers of Birmingham's relegation rivals say on the issue, Benitez will not be moved.
But he also sees a genuine need for the players who will perform at St Andrews to prove to him they can be used in the Champions League if needed.
Benitez said: "I have told the players that it is important for everyone to play well, show quality and be ready, you never know when you will be needed.
"So whoever plays against Birmingham, or the weekend after against Manchester City, they have to play well. They may even have a chance to play in the final."
Already John Arne Riise, scorer of the own-goal that has given Chelsea a priceless 1-1 draw from the first leg, finds himself thrust into possible action at Stamford Bridge.
Riise was in the 'weakened' side that won 2-0 at Fulham last week - another team selection that drew howls of protest beforehand.
But with Fabio Aurelio out for three weeks with a torn abductor muscle, Riise now finds himself a contender for the left-back role at Stamford Bridge.
And famously, Benitez recalls how Vladimir Smicer, who knew his contract was not going to be renewed, came off the bench in Istanbul in 2005 to score one of Liverpool's crucial comeback goals in the final against AC Milan.
Benitez said: "Fabio Aurelio will be out for three weeks, so Riise knows he has to be ready and give everything for us, he knows he will get his opportunities now."
The Reds boss revealed that he has been badgered by senior men who want to play at St Andrews.
Goalkeeper Jose Reina is desperate to maintain his record of playing in every league game this season, while Fernando Torres wants to play to get his scoring boots back on after unusually missing three great chances against Chelsea in midweek.
Captain Steven Gerrard has also expressed a wish to play. But Benitez says: "Everybody wants to play every game, I was talking with two or three big names and they said 'I want to play, I want to play' but I will have to analyse each one and then decide.
"The most important thing is the team and the club, so I cannot say 'yes' to everyone. It will mean I am taking risks, and I do not want to take risks.
"But the players want to play as much as possible, it shows the character and the mentality of the team."
He added: "We showed at Fulham that we have a squad strong enough to win games like this. We will try, more or less, to do the same this time.
"We will use different players and try to win because we want to make sure of fourth position.
"We have not had too many good experiences at Birmingham in the league, they are a difficult side to play against.
"We will again use our full squad, but also pick a side to win at Birmingham. We did the same thing at Fulham, and won. People can complain but everyone really needs to think about his own team.
"We still need a point to be fourth. I cannot see Everton winning all three of their final games, but we need to make sure for ourselves as quickly as possible.
"Birmingham need to win and the game will be tough and physical. They will be playing under pressure because there are so many teams around the relegation zone. You win one game and jump a few places, lose one and fall back again. It is very tough for them."
Benitez will also have one eye ahead of the Birmingham game on Chelsea's lunchtime clash with Manchester United that could decide the title race.
Such a game could drain Chelsea, but Benitez says: "I am not sure that we have an advantage with Chelsea playing Manchester United on Saturday.
"We both will have four days to prepare for the second leg, and with us playing at Birmingham both clubs will face a physical, competitive match.
"Chelsea's game will be intense, yes, but then I expect it to be the same at St Andrews because Birmingham are fighting to avoid relegation. In the end I do not see either of us having an advantage."


Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo claims he knows nothing of Liverpool's reported interest in winger Maxi Rodriguez (pic above).
Reports in the English press on Thursday claimed the 27-year-old was a target for Rafael Benitez, but Cerezo insists his club are yet to receive any offers and have no interest in selling.
"We've still had no offer for him, but our idea is to have him with us next season," he told Spanish newspaper Marca.
"You'll have to ask them (Liverpool), but Atletico have no plans to sell Maxi."
Cerezo also commented on speculation regarding the future of coach Javier Aguirre.
Aguirre has found himself under increasing pressure following a run of just one win in their last four Primera Liga matches, although Atletico have managed to hold onto the fourth Champions League spot during that time.
The Mexican's current contract with the Rojiblancos runs out this summer, but if Atletico get into Europe then there is a clause which will earn him an extra year in the hotseat.
However, Cerezo says no decisions on his future will be made until the summer.
"We'll speak with the coach when the season ends, our stress now is fully on Getafe, our next rival on Sunday," he said.
Aguirre has been linked with the vacant Mexico coaching job after the dismissal of Hugo Sanchez last month.
utusanLFC :
with the spanish flavour so full in LFC squad, I have decided to support Spain in the Euro 2008.... viva Torressssssss!

25 April 2008

Steve Bruce fears a Benitez 'B-team'

By Mark Ogden

Steve Bruce, the Wigan manager, has voiced fears that Rafael Benitez could distort the battle for Premier League survival this weekend by resting several key Liverpool players against third-bottom Birmingham at St Andrew's on Saturday.
With Liverpool facing a decisive Champions League semi-final, second-leg against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday, Bruce expects Anfield manager Benitez to leave out a raft of leading players at Birmingham.
Bruce, whose Wigan team can confirm their own Premier League future with victory at home to Reading on Saturday, said: "Whichever team Liverpool put out, they will be an outstanding team, but it would be nice if they put their big-hitters out against Birmingham. I doubt it will happen, but we will have to wait and see."
Benitez was widely condemned last season for fielding a virtual second-team against Fulham in the build-up to last May's Champions League final against AC Milan.
Fulham's 1-0 victory in that game proved enough for the Londoners to stay in the Premier League at the expense of Sheffield United who occupied the final relegation spot, just one point below Fulham.
Despite Bolton manager Gary Megson raising his own concerns about the make-up of Benitez's team for last Saturday's league game, also at Fulham, which Liverpool won 2-0, the Merseysiders once again lined up at Craven Cottage without a number of first-choice players.
Premier League rule E20 states that 'in every League match, each participating club shall field a full-strength team.' However, Liverpool went uncensured for fielding a weakened side at Fulham last season, despite the subsequent ramifications on the relegation battle, and Benitez is expected to draft in fringe players once again against Birmingham.
utusanLFC :
the way they think is so simplistic. Stupid too. They really think the B-Team of LFC is not powerful enough to beat 3rd tier team of Premier League like Birmingham and Wigan? You gotta be kiddin' me!

Liverpool must cross Bridge of no return

By Jeremy Wilson

Bruno Cheyrou is a name unlikely to spark too many memories on Merseyside, but the Frenchman retains the distinction of being the last Liverpool player to score at Stamford Bridge.
That goal came in
a 1-0 victory in January 2004, and since then Liverpool have played some 777 minutes of football at Chelsea without finding the net. It is a sequence that underlines the size of their task following Tuesday's 1-1 draw, yet the presence of Fernando Torres remains a source of considerable confidence within the Anfield dressing room.
"We haven't been to Stamford Bridge yet with Fernando Torres in the team, and that could make a difference," Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said. "You wouldn't put it past him to get that all-important away goal that could end up taking us through. We have been to places like Inter Milan and Arsenal and scored, so I don't see why we can't do the same at Stamford Bridge.
"We are confident we can beat Chelsea on their patch. We created the better chances at Anfield, and I don't recall Pepe Reina having anything to do except pick the ball out of the net. We believe that even if we had come off that pitch winning 1-0, it should have been at least 2-0 or 3-0."
Disharmony might reign off the pitch, but the Liverpool players emerged from the trauma of conceding Tuesday's late equaliser remarkably unified, and bullish about the possibility of upsetting the odds next week.
"We dominated the game and created all the best chances," Reina said. "It could easily have been 3-0, but we have to accept it is 1-1. They have a big game at the weekend, and can't rest as many players as maybe we can. Hopefully, playing United will take something out of them."
The Liverpool players have also rallied behind John-Arne Riise following his own goal. With Fabio Aurelio out for a fortnight with an abductor muscle injury, Riise is likely to start next Wednesday. "He has done some wonderful things for this club," Gerrard said. "No one is pointing any fingers. We have got to try and get his head right now. A few of the lads had a word with him, and I will do my best to pick him up."
Benitez is aware of Liverpool's miserable recent record at Stamford Bridge, but intends to prepare his team with an emphasis on producing a cutting edge in front of goal. "We have confidence that we can create history by winning there," he said. "They have lost only once at home for over four years. All these things must come to an end."

New jersey (HOME) for 2008-2010

utusanfLFC :

how I wish if the carlsberg logo is not on the front... I'm sure the sale of the home kit in Muslim-majority countries would be substantial. why can't LFC ever learn from Man.U? They got themselves a good telecommunication sponsor and Arsenal + Chelsea got airlines. Why is LFC still parading the alcohol company? Associating LFC to a drinking problem? I can't understand it. At this point, there is a need for DIC to come in and perhaps ratify the issue of shirt sponsor once and for all. Liverpool will find themselves at a difficult situation to sell their jersey in all the Muslim-majority countries. Some might say it won't matter but that would show the level of ignorance of the person when Man.U, Chelsea and Arsenal are reaping benefits from the selling of the shirts. And you think what ever the sponsor won't matter... I'm sorry. It does. Muslim reluctantly wear Liverpool shirts simply because it has a beer company name at the front. so we opted for the non-match shirt... that has no carlsberg at the front or show only minimal of it. Please give it a thought. I'm sure there are many sponsors willing out there that can benefit LFC much much better than a beer brand.

LFC 1 - Chelsea 1 (both goals scored by the Reds)

It wasn't intentionally on my part to post a belated opinion on that-supposedly frustrating result. I was away to the east coast, doing some test-drive of a new japanese sedan. Didn't really have time to write, not even switch on my laptop (it is not comfortable browsing the net when you're been chauffered at 180km per hour... )

Now, everybody seems to harp to one issue. Saying that the advantage is on Chelsea... simply because the 2nd leg will be in Stamford Bridge... a stadium that LFC had never scored since 8 games ago? That sounds so scary indeed. But what the heck? I would see it from a different point of view. We go there as evenly as can be. 1-1 cannot be seen as advantage to chelsea because both team won't play for 0-0. That fact that LFC was a better team (albeit in Anfield) should be the plus factor and it shall be our manifestation later in stamford bridge. LFC will play the same brand of football. Attack, attack and attack. Remember the emirates 3 weeks ago? Everybody also betting on us to lose the first 2 games that were played in London. Simply because for all the bias UK newspapers been reporting of the so-called ``a more gifted, skilled & young Arsenal team''... But in the end, LFC not only stopped the whole bullshit lies but won the game with big margin. 4-2.

Now with Chelsea... the only reason they can think of is that LFC has never score in that stadium and are expected to not be able again in the next game. what a bollock. However, having Chelsea in a confident mood could be a blessing in disguise for us. Whenever LFC is in the underdog mode, LFC always prevail. The game in Anfiled last Wednesday (Malaysian time)... was more like a sure-win for LFC. That's why we overscored. We score into our own net!

It is also funny that yesterday I saw in ESPN... the rerun of the old game showing how Risse is supposedly a serial own goal scorer. As a loyal supporter, we don't get involve in player bashing like the other team. Sometimes player made mistake but most of the times, Risse gave his all to win for LFC. It's not a problem Risse. There's no issue of forgiving you or not... all you need to do is convience to Rafa that you should be playing in the 2nd leg. And score for us.

21 April 2008

Chelsea burdened by Anfield inferiority complex

Luis Garcia is rooting for Liverpool tomorrow night, obviously... hahaha

By Alan Hansen
Last Updated: 2:26am BST 21/04/2008

It seems astonishing but for the third time in four seasons Chelsea and Liverpool will fight it out for a place in the Champions League final. But this time there is one crucial difference. This time the first leg takes place at Anfield.
The atmosphere in both the previous semi-finals on Merseyside was electric. It did not intimidate Chelsea and it would be an exaggeration to say that the crowd was worth a goal, but it palpably gave Liverpool an enormous lift.
Tomorrow, the atmosphere will still be the same but the consequences will be different because, whatever the result, Liverpool still have to go to Stamford Bridge, where their record over the years has been very poor.
Last season, Chelsea had complete control of the first leg in London and, had they pressed home their advantage, it would not have mattered what kind of atmosphere Anfield produced. Chelsea would still have gone through.
But I am not sure that Rafa Benitez would feel he has to deliver a knockout blow at Anfield; both teams will be cautious. The games in 2005 and 2007 were not classics, while the goalless draw at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League earlier in the season was almost embarrassing in its lack of quality.
In a Champions League semi-final the stakes are far higher, and you can be sure that whichever team makes it to Moscow will not be kicking themselves if they failed to produce an entertaining game. Anyone who believes that the way the game is played is more important than the result is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. Nobody who supports Liverpool will remember just how bad those previous semi-finals were against Chelsea. All that is recalled now is the result.
If there is one contrast you can make with the four semi-finalists, it is that three are managed by men under intense pressure while the other, Sir Alex Ferguson, is absolutely secure. That is a big advantage for Manchester United to take into these games; unlike Frank Rijkaard, Benitez or Avram Grant, he can start planning for next season, confident he will be still be around.
It is to the credit of both Grant and Benitez that Chelsea and Liverpool have continued to perform on the pitch, despite everything that has gone on around them. The uncertainty surrounding their manager cannot help Chelsea's preparation. Footballers always take note of speculation, particularly when it concerns their boss, and in the dressing room uncertainty always breeds disenchantment.
The stories coming out of the Chelsea dressing room about disaffected players would not be helped in any way by constant speculation about their manager's future. It only needs one small thing to upset one player and that disaffection can spread. If you take just five per cent from a side in a semi-final, then they are in trouble.
Fortunately for Grant, Liverpool have exactly the same problem. Benitez deserves a certain amount of credit because the results in the Champions League and the Premier League have masked some of the chaos that has been reigning inside Anfield. I dread to think what would have happened had Arsenal beaten them in the quarter-final and had Everton been poised to take over fourth place.
If you thought the papers were full of Tom Hicks, George Gillett and Benitez, they would have been flooded with speculation if the season looked like finishing in complete failure. But if Chelsea do eliminate them, then all the problems that have beset the Anfield boardroom will break vividly to the surface once more. It is not something that is going to go away.
The one advantage Liverpool might have over Chelsea is that for men like Frank Lampard and John Terry this will be their fourth Champions League semi-final, and they have yet to win one. If you are on a bus going to a ground where you have a terrible record, people don't have to bring it up; you know instinctively. You are up against it before you start.
You cannot tell me that if you are a professional golfer facing an opponent who has beaten you 10 times on the trot, you don't have a psychological hurdle to overcome. Your manager will tell you that the past does not matter but if you are sitting in that dressing room and are contemplating missing out on a European Cup final for the fourth time, then suddenly it matters very much.


AFTER agreeing a bet of a mere RM100 based on the winning team that goes to the Final, I think it is a safe bet. Mind you... I have place a bet during LFC game against Inter Milan to a serious level of money. I was actually, preparing the sum (not that I didn't believe in my team) but the risk was there. To my delight, LFC won it convincienly. And of course, a few days later I got myself 2 LFC shirts... one of it is Adidas merchandise which is damned expensive here in Malaysia!
Now.. I have my eye on another one and that cost about RM139.... beat Chelsea and I'll get that shirt!
hahaha,... poor me.

The players that I look up to are taking home by the millions of pounds. And I containted myself with a RM100 bet. 1 pound sterling is equivalent with RM7. So you do the math. Peanuts!

20 April 2008

Steven Gerrard stands at Liverpool crossroads

By Roy Collins
Last Updated: 2:27am BST 20/04/2008

In the dizzy, drunken afterglow of Liverpool's Istanbul miracle in 2005, Steven Gerrard allowed his Scouse heart to tear up all the ambitious plans he had formulated and all but signed off in his head by rejecting a £32 million move to Chelsea who, under manager Jose Mourinho, had just won their first league title in 50 years, the silverware Gerrard craves most of all.
He vowed that, as captain, he would ensure that Champions League success fuelled a realistic challenge for the Premier League title, one that he repeated after leading the team to last season's final. As passionately as he believed those words on both occasions, it is becoming as hollow a pledge as Next Year in Jerusalem and there are signs that Gerrard is beginning to realise it.
A few weeks ago, he expressed his frustration at never even coming close to becoming a Premier League bridesmaid, let alone wearing the bride's veil, saying that he could not continue to tick off another year of league failure every dark and dismal May, promising himself that Liverpool would challenge for the title the following season.
Today, he appears to have arrived at the same crossroads he reached in April, 2005, on the threshold of European glory but still a million miles from a serious title bid. Add in the ownership and boardroom battle that is tearing his home-town club apart and who could blame him for reading renewed courtship from Chelsea in the extraordinary paean of praise offered by Avram Grant on Friday night?
Going far beyond the normal, polite nod of approval in the direction of a talented opponent, Grant said: "For me, Gerrard is a great player and a great person. For me he is the player of the year in England and maybe in Europe because of the influence he has on the team. He's very good, I like him very much as a player and I know him, he is a nice guy, a positive guy and he is an example for many people. Unfortunately he plays against me, not with me but he is still my favourite player.
"I am not surprised that Gerrard has been moved up front behind Fernando Torres because I think he can play in many positions. In that position he probably feels more free He has the quality to play in any position but he is not my player." Reminded that Gerrard had almost become a Chelsea player three years ago, he added: "If you can bring him to me, I will be happy."
Given that Grant, or a summer successor at Stamford Bridge, will have an £80 million transfer budget, while Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is not sure from one week to the next even who controls the Anfield purse strings, a renewed Chelsea bid might bypass Gerrard's heart. And if not Chelsea, why not Real Madrid, who expressed interest in him before, or any of Europe's other leading clubs?
Gerrard has become as disillusioned with American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett as Benitez and Liverpool fans. He might also feel slightly embarrassed, having emerged from a meeting with the pair shortly after they took over in February last year, enthusing that it had taken "only two seconds" to realise that they were serious men who understood Liverpool's history and the need to preserve it. Now he never talks about them, complaining only that "off-field stuff" is affecting the players. If Benitez goes, either by his own volition or finding himself standing alone when the ludicrous game of musical chairs in the boardroom finally ends, a new manager will have to start another rebuilding process in the dressing-room. Would Gerrard, 28 next month, have the stomach and the patience for another return to scratch?
Benitez is looking happier than he has for months, claiming that "we have progressed" in the past seven days, presumably meaning that he has won at least one battle, against chief executive Rick Parry, who was in on talks to try to sign Jurgen Klinsmann as manager. As the man who persuaded the board to sell to the Americans instead of Dubai International Capital, who might have eased him out, Parry's position is unsustainable, while Benitez, whatever the outcome, is sure to be at the helm of a big club next season.
In the meantime, Liverpool have the small matter of a Champions League semi-final against Chelsea to negotiate, starting at Anfield on Tuesday, not so much a resumption of hostilities but something approaching the Hundred Years War, seeing that the clubs have met 20 times in just four seasons. Although the line-ups have changed a lot in that time, the fixture seems locked into a familiar, dour pattern between two stubborn teams, as determined to negate the other one's strengths as to parade their own talents. Ironically, Gerrard may miss the game because of a neck injury.
Benitez does not anticipate too many variations on the tried and trusted gambits of the two clubs, despite the thrilling quarter-final victory over Arsenal. He says: "We knew Arsenal normally score away so we needed to score. Also I knew [Peter] Crouch was a big problem for them, a massive problem in every game. Chelsea are not as offensive as Arsenal but they are stronger in defence. It is different from the last two Champions League semi-finals against them because, this time, we play at home first. So we will try to do something important in the first game and make the second one easier. Against Chelsea, you need to score some goals and don't concede. Which is most important? It depends how many goals you score."
Playing at home first could dilute the Anfield factor which so intimidated Chelsea in 2005 and last season, because supporters tend to get anxious when their team do not score early in a two-legged tie. And if, like last year, the second leg goes to extra-time, the additional 30 minutes will be played at the Bridge.
Grant may be seen by some supporters as not fit to clean Mourinho's tactics board, so how ironic it would be if he succeeded in beating Liverpool when the 'Special One' failed twice. With a barely disguised swipe at Mourinho, Grant says: "The last games were too tactical. Football went a step forward when people started to talk about details but now we need the next step, to give players the freedom to think because they have the responsibility they didn't have 10 years ago."
The next steps for Benitez, Gerrard and Liverpool FC are much more difficult to predict or control.
utusanLFC :
This article is as shit as Chelshit. The `swing' is too obvious, scandalous and easily predicted of where shit originated from... that is The Daily Telegraph. What a bollock. We here in Malaysia call this as simply KELENTONG. Chelshit is trying hard to get Gerrard. And when Captain Marvel show his loyalty, Chelshit got some assist from the UK media, based in London. Stooooofit...

Avram Grant targets Steven Gerrard

By Duncan White
Last Updated: 2:27am BST 20/04/2008

The mind games ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final between Liverpool and Chelsea have been seriously stoked up by both Rafael Benitez and Avram Grant, with the short and long-term future of Steven Gerrard the source of the heat.
Benitez was pessimistic about the chances of his captain being able to play as a lingering neck injury picked up in training has failed to clear up. "I was talking with the physios today and it is still too early," Benitez said.
Gerrard was left out of the squad for yesterday's 2-0 win over Fulham. The England midfielder has been central to Liverpool's successes in Europe this season and if he cannot shake off the problem it would be a severe blow for Liverpool. It is not to be discounted that Benitez is being coy, however.
Doubt over Gerrard's possible participation will give Grant a tactical headache ahead of the first leg at Anfield.
The Chelsea manager was in mischievous mood himself, suggesting that the club could renew their interest in signing the Liverpool captain in the summer. Grant was effusive in his praise of Gerrard in an extraordinary interview on Friday, describing him as "his favourite player".
It is no secret that Gerrard is desperate to add the Premier League title to his collection of trophies - the one piece of domestic silverware to elude him.
With his 28th birthday approaching next month, his chances of realising that dream as a Liverpool player seem further away than ever. The financial clout at Stamford Bridge, however, could give him what he craves most of all.
Three years ago Gerrard rejected a £32 million move to Chelsea who had just won their first league title in 50 years under Jose Mourinho. The player felt Liverpool's success in Europe could be translated into winning the greatest domestic prize of all.
But his home-town club have disappointed and only weeks ago Gerrard was expressing his frustration at league failure.
Now Grant has renewed Chelsea's courtship.
He said: "For me, Gerrard is the player of the year in England and maybe in Europe because of the influence he has on the team."
He added: "Unfortunately he plays against me rather than with me but he is still my favourite player... If you can bring him to me, I will be happy."
Gerrard's heart and soul lie at Anfield, but if he were to forsake them with a move to London it might create an intriguing problem where Frank Lampard is concerned. The Chelsea midfielder and the Liverpool skipper have rarely functioned when playing together for England.
utusanLFC :
Let me quote :
Now Grant has renewed Chelsea's courtship.
He said: "For me, Gerrard is the player of the year in England and maybe in Europe because of the influence he has on the team."
He added: "Unfortunately he plays against me rather than with me but he is still my favourite player...
If you can bring him to me, I will be happy."
so how in the world the UK newspaper could spin Grant's word to that extend?
a rather amusing journalism skill are shown here...



The ``researves'' won it....? hahaha


Some of the hopefools are trying their best to lure Crouch out of LFC this coming summer. The funny part is that they are enticing him not with salary or what so ever. Some of the team can't even afford to pay him what LFC is paying now. But the issue of playing regularly would be the carrot... as he can't get sufficient game with Torres is playing really well. But I plead to you Mr Crouch. Stay on. Stay on. We love ya!

19 April 2008

LFC vs Fulham 19 April 2008 10pm

hmmm... I usually would update this blog prior to every game. Never miss it, no matter I am. However, due to one project that demanded my total focus since last Wednesday... I could only do it today. The project was silly actually. Silly in the sense that I couldn't open the excel file format. To my utter shock and suprise, two of my computers which I bought only 12 months ago... a laptop Sony VAIO costs about RM6k and a desktop DELL more than RM5k. For the desktop, I opted for the Window Vista. Much to my regret, I suppose the concept is still new to the majority of people here in Malaysia. Vista is not a friendly-user when people send you document using their outdated system. Sounds corny but I'm in any way must not be thought as bragging. In fact and the real fact is now I am moaning. I should have settle for the current and supposedly out-dated system. what pissed me off is that I have to do the coversion everytime I want to read documents. There's no automatic conversion. My mates told me not to be despair of my hardware investment as I can be considered as advance. Meaning, when the market eventually using Vista in total, I don't need to the changing. I try to accept in a positive way. But the fiasco I face since Wednesday, had cost me unwanted anxiety, time consuming, lost of sleeping time and sudden stress. I don't know if the fee can compensate all the trouble that I face. why am I telling this? Simple. If my computer works like a normal hardware, I could have completed the task on time. And perhaps, last night I can enjoy my blogging on Liverpool Football Club.
Anyway, tonights game doesn't really have that pulling magnet for me to watch it. May be I want to save some of my energy for the early Wednesday morning crunch game against Chelshit. There is concern that Rafa might use his 2nd string team against Fulham. But with his rotation policy... Im myself couldnt think of who actually can be categorise as the 2nd team. Yeah we know Crouch belongs there. He might start tonight. But defenders? Seriously... we still have able and influence player in Steve Finnan...
eerrr... you guys watch it tonight. I intend to spend a time at the beach and smoke my montecristo. I hope LFC win.

I hope Liverpool never win another trophy under Benitez, fumes ex-Blades boss Warnock as Rafa looks set to field another understrength side

Last updated at 16:07pm on 18th April 2008

Neil Warnock has lashed out at Rafael Benitez for making a mockery of the Premier League survival battle - and hopes he never wins another trophy at Anfield.
The former Sheffield United manager is still seething that Liverpool lost 1-0 after fielding a severely weakened team at Fulham last May, a result which ultimately kept the London side up by a single point at the Blades' expense.
With Liverpool playing in the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday, Warnock expects Benitez to leave his star names on the sidelines again against the Cottagers on Saturday but believes that would show contempt for the clubs fighting to preserve their top-flight status.
"My advice to Reading, Bolton and the rest would be, if you're expecting any favours, don't hold your breath," said the Crystal Palace manager. "They will have to do it themselves.
"The fact of the matter is that if Liverpool were already out of the Champions League and needed to win to get fourth spot, they would play their strongest side.
"Instead, I fully expect them to play a weakened team at Fulham.
"It's part of a big club's mentality. They look after themselves and they don't bother about anyone else. The whole story that Sheffield United were going down and me having a pop at them afterwards was just treated like fish and chip paper by them. Liverpool didn't care because they weren't the ones getting hurt by it all.
"I'm still very bitter about it and personally I hope Liverpool never win another trophy under Benitez. I like them as a club but I would be very pleased to see them win nothing."
Warnock still shudders when he recalls the moment he saw Liverpool's line-up at Craven Cottage last season.
"I felt sick, physically sick, when I found out the team Liverpool were playing," said Warnock.
"We had a late kick-off at Villa Park that day and when we saw who Benitez had picked, we were struggling to even think who they were.
"We hadn't even heard of them and a lot of them haven't played for the club since.
"It was scandalous, really. You don't feel it's fair but it just confirmed that these guys don't give two hoots about clubs like Sheffield United or people like Neil Warnock.
"You can talk about rules being put in place to stop it happening but that's not going to happen.
"The Premier League don't care about smaller clubs like Sheffield United, as they proved with the whole Carlos Tevez affair last season.
"Big clubs look after themselves and the people who run the Premier League will always look after themselves. Nothing will ever change.
"The sad thing is I felt we had done enough last season; we had 38 points, which would have been enough in a normal season.
"For us to get that number of points was an achievement and yet it's gone down in history as a relegation on my CV, not an achievement.
"Nobody got hurt apart from me and Sheffield United. Rafa Benitez certainly didn't."
utusanLFC :
the curse of the sourgrape or sore-loser or sure-loser... or all the three combined tofit the bil of this manager.

15 April 2008

Rafael Benitez wants Gareth Barry at Liverpool

By Telegraph staff
Last Updated: 9:35am BST 15/04/2008

Rafael Benitez has identified Gareth Barry as his main transfer target for the summer.
The uncertainty surrounding the club at boardroom level has not prevented Benitez from drawing up a list of players he wants to add to the squad, should he remain in charge, with Barry a priority.
Benitez's interest in the England midfield player is longstanding and reports suggest Hicks and Benitez have discussed a possible £12 million transfer already with Villa officials. Parry was not party to those discussions.
Barry, 27, has established himself as a mainstay of the England squad over the last season since moving to a more central, holding role under Martin O'Neill.
England manager Fabio Capello has spoken of his admiration for the technical qualities of the player and, though Liverpool appear well stocked with central midfielders, his addition would give depth to Liverpool's squad in an important area.
Under the shadow of political manoeuvring at the club, Benitez's willingness to discuss squad building and forward planning suggests he feels, as he has often publically stated, he is at the club for the long-term.

Parry offers to clear the air with Benitez over Klinsmann

Manager intent on seeing out season at Liverpool Infighting put on hold for Hillsborough service

Louise Taylor
Tuesday April 15, 2008
The Guardian

An uneasy truce appeared to have been called at Anfield last night. While suggestions that Rafael Benítez was about to tender his resignation were quashed by sources close to the Liverpool manager who said he will remain in charge at least until this season's Champions League campaign is concluded, the chief executive, Rick Parry, offered to hold "clear the air talks" with the Spaniard.
Increasingly strained relationships with Parry and George Gillett and Tom Hicks, the club's estranged American owners, have forced Benítez seriously to consider walking out of his job in recent days but he is said to have resolved to try to win Europe's premier cup competition for a second time before re-assessing his position.
Following Sunday's 3-1 home win over Blackburn Rovers Benítez expressed dismay at Sunday newspaper reports detailing Parry's presence alongside Hicks and Gillett in a meeting with Jürgen Klinsmann in the United States last year.
Benítez claimed to have been previously unaware of the chief executive's attendance and gave the impression of a man rattled by Parry's involvement in the courting of the former Germany coach who was then being lined up to succeed him at Anfield. While Parry is understood to be sceptical about Benítez's arguable insistence that he was ignorant of his chief executive's part in the wooing of Klinsmann - scheduled to take charge of Bayern Munich on July 1 - he has offered to discuss the issue with him.
"I am more than happy to sit down and talk to Rafa about this," said Parry. It could happen as early as today when Liverpool's manager and chief executive are expected temporarily to forget their strained relationship and stand shoulder to shoulder during a memorial service to mark the 19th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
"It's crass that the anniversary is being overshadowed by the boardroom machinations," said a senior club source yesterday.
Benítez, who demanded a meeting with Parry, Hicks, Gillett and himself on Sunday, had to content himself with an exchange of emails with the Americans after accepting that coaxing warring owners no longer on speaking terms into the same room was unrealistic. It appears this electronic contact helped inform his decision to stay at Anfield, for now at least.
Parry's long-term future remains uncertain. Indeed it may be not coincidence that the news of his transatlantic trip to meet Klinsmann was leaked at a time when Hicks is demanding the chief executive's departure from Anfield.
After receiving instructions to attend one of two meetings that Hicks and Gillett held with Klinsmann in America before Christmas, Liverpool's chief executive always feared that word of his hitherto little known involvement could prove incendiary.
Parry continues to retain the staunch support of Gillett, who is keen to sell his stake in Liverpool to Dubai International Capital. Despite stressing that its interest in buying the club has now been withdrawn DIC is believed to be hovering in the wings waiting to move into Anfield sooner rather than later. However, matters are complicated by Hicks's refusal to sell to the Emiratis and apparent determination to raise the capital necessary to buy Gillett out himself.
While Gillett and Parry have rightly been regarded as allies in recent weeks, the opposite side of the boardroom's green line has seen Hicks and Benítez negotiate a cautious rapprochement.
Yet if Hicks may have latterly succeeded in half-persuading the Spaniard that Klinsmann was approached only because he and Gillett doubted Benítez's commitment last autumn, this stance has been weakened by suggestions that
Hicks remains in touch with the former Germany and Tottenham Hotspur striker's advisors.
Although Benítez appears justified in claiming to have been "undermined", he is an astute politician operating from a position of strength and, quite apart from enjoying powerful support from Liverpool's fans, is much admired by several European clubs including Real Madrid.

Torres sees quality gap
Fernando Torres insists Spain's top flight is stronger than the Premier League despite the presence of three English teams in the Champions League semi-finals. "In England the top four are better than the ones in Spain, above all when it comes to consistency," the Liverpool striker, told Radio Marca. "Apart from that, the rest of the teams in Spain are stronger as they have more quality." The former Atlético Madrid player, who has scored 30 goals this season, said he was enjoying the patience afforded by English fans - "They give you time, they get behind you but don't suffocate you" - and added that he would like to meet Barcelona in the Champions League final, if Liverpool get past Chelsea in the last four: "The people here would prefer to face Manchester United but I think it would be great to take on Barcelona." Reuters

Liverpool ready to offer £12m for Manchester City's Michael Johnson


Rafael Benitez has launched a £12million move to sign Manchester City's Michael Johnson in the summer.
It is the Liverpool boss's third attempt to take the 20-year-old midfielder to Anfield and evidence that the Spaniard is intent on building up his squad, despite the shadow of power politics that is threatening his long-term tenure.
Liverpool renewed their approach to City in the past few days and negotiations are at an advanced stage, with Johnson's heart set on a switch that was first mooted about a year ago.
Benitez is committed to capturing Johnson whether or not Sven Goran Eriksson succeeds in tempting Peter Crouch to Eastlands in a swap proposal that was set up to take place in January.
The exchange was put on ice when Johnson underwent surgery on a groin injury and Portsmouth have since mounted an attempt to lever Crouch from Eriksson's grasp.
But Benitez wants Johnson anyway and will offer either straight cash or players in part-exchange.
Johnson was the subject of a bid by Benitez last summer, but the deal was blocked by Eriksson.
The player remains desperate to move to Anfield, despite having three years left on his City contract.
City will offer Johnson an improved contract, but the youngster is determined that he will be playing Champions League football next season.

14 April 2008

Slick Torres sets record straight

Liverpool 3 Blackburn 1

Last updated at 00:12am on 14th April 2008

Ferdando Torres set a new Liverpool landmark with a record-breaking goal that provided overdue respite from all the recent mud-slinging at Anfield. Off the field, Liverpool are looking increasingly sorry and bedraggled as co-owner Tom Hicks continues to trade insults in an unseemly public power struggle that shows scant regard for the club's proud past.
Harmony at least exists on the pitch, though, and there was further compelling evidence over the past few days that Rafa Benitez's team could yet qualify for next season's Champions League on two fronts.
A step nearer entering it as defending champions, after an enthralling quarter-final win over Arsenal, they reinforced their hold on fourth place in the Barclays Premier League as Torres and Steven Gerrard showed there are some constants at Anfield, amid all the turbulence and uncertainty.
Gerrard's match-winning qualities have been evident for the best part of a decade and were to the fore once again as he marked his 300th League appearance for his home club with his 21st goal of another remarkably productive campaign.
It was Torres who took top billing, though, as a far-post header in the 82nd minute made him the first Liverpool player to score in seven successive home appearances in the top flight and left him just one game away from rubbing shoulders with Anfield legend Roger Hunt.
A goal against Manchester City on May 3, and the £21million club record signing will have emulated Hunt's all-time record of finding the net on eight consecutive Anfield occasions, in the old Second Division 46 years ago.
Gerrard may have infuriated Blackburn manager Mark Hughes by catching Brad Friedel's knee with an outstretched foot and sprawling in the area in a vain attempt to win a penalty, but there was no questioning his ingenuity and quick thinking as he fashioned a 60th-minute breakthrough in brilliant style.
Yossi Benayoun pounced on a misplaced Roque Santa Cruz pass, but it was all Gerrard after that as he cleverly exchanged passes with Lucas before rifling a low shot past Friedel.
Blackburn had created little, other than a low Santa Cruz snapshot that Pepe Reina saved at the near post, but they sensed a route back in the 72nd minute when Jason Roberts left Martin Skrtel standing and was hauled down by the Liverpool centre back.
Skrtel escaped with a yellow card from referee Alan Wiley, to leave Hughes livid once more, and Blackburn's sense of injustice became all the more pronounced eight minutes from time when Gerrard and Torres combined to put the outcome beyond doubt.
Gerrard looked up for an instant on the right flank before curling a deep cross towards the far post, where Torres rose to steer a header beyond Friedel for his 20th goal in 18 Anfield appearances and 30th overall since his summer arrival from Atletico Madrid.
By contrast, Andriy Voronin goals have been a collector's item in the eight months since he signed from Bayer Leverkusen.
Four from his first 10 appearances was reasonable enough, but he had failed to score since the beginning of October, until prodding home a close-range chance set up by John Arne Riise in injury time.
There was still time for Santa Cruz to beat Reina with a volley that may only have been of consolation value to Blackburn but could yet be a contender for goal of the month.
Benitez hailed his side's performance as proof they are closing in on fourth place. "We are five points ahead of Everton now, and if we can win at Fulham, we will be nearly there," he said. "We could have scored more goals, but you have to be really pleased with the response of the players, especially after such a big Champions League game last Tuesday."
Hughes was particularly incensed with Wiley's failure to punish Skrtel's foul on Roberts with a red card, saying: "I have seen Jason do that many a time, get the ball out from under his feet and leave the centre half behind, and it was always my understanding that impeding a player when he has a clear scoring opportunity was a sending-off offence.
"Mr Wiley saw it differently and thought it only merited a yellow, but that was not my interpretation. It is fair to say there was a bit of frustration in both camps over his performance today, but I wouldn't like to put that forward as the reason for our defeat."
"We created our own problems by conceding goals that could have been avoided, losing possession when we should have cleared our lines and missing key tackles.
"I must say, I was impressed with Liverpool, though. They had a few individuals who worked tirelessly for the team and that influenced the outcome."
utusanLFC :
Mr Hughes must not forget that Samba was also entitled for a red card when he rammed Gerrard. So don't practice selective memory please.... a win is a win, a lost is a lost. Don't be sourgrape and moaning on opposition player to be expell from the game. Are you Arsene Wenger's fan, Mr Hughes?

Liverpool 3 Blackburn Rovers 1

Warnock is still remembered for his playing days in Anfield. Rafa seems to trust more his own countrymen for that position and Warnock knows he has to leave to play more, instead of sitting on the bench.

aaa... Gerrard opening goal is a classic. Blackburn's defenders made a wall for him and when it seems that Samba standing would be the end of the run, Gerrard manouvre a trick and managed to out-run the two tall defenders before defeating the keeper. Marvellous!

a rare goal by a rarely playing striker, Voronin after a pass by unselfishly Risse... both now seems to be the 2nd tier of the LFC team... but it's okay! Both of them made the 3rd goal.

TORRES : 30th Goal (LFC 3 BlackBurned 1)

Fernando Torres became the first Liverpool player to score in seven consecutive home league games as Rafael Benitez's side easily overcame Blackburn Rovers.
Torres scored his 30th goal of the campaign in his debut season at Anfield and was joined on the scoresheet by Steven Gerrard - with his 21st of the season - and Andriy Voronin.

12 April 2008

LFC v BLACKBURNED 13 April 2008 8.30pm

Me and my fellow neighbours are hoping it won't rain tomorrow. After many months, we try to gather at our nearest pitch and play some football tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately, the weather for the last few months (yes... months...) it has been raining all day long. In fact, now sitting on my office desk, it is raining outside... which somehow allows me to put on my red LFC jacket which I bought for RM190 from LSCM...

And if everything's alright, I'll be playing on my favourite position ... right wing... Finnan's position though I always claim myself to be as hard as Carragher. That's the very reason when we about to split the numbers, everybody seems to choose `my team' for fear of my hard tackle. hahaha... I had to make an announcement that I'm not a crazy man that looking to knock on my friends. Somehow, none of them believe me. Because of my favourite position, I seldom score. But of course, tackling the mates could be considered as sweet as scoring... may be.

The sun goes down at about 7.15pm here in Kuala Lumpur. I should be reaching home in 5 minutes then take a shower before turning on my tv for the 8.30 pm game. Fancy LFC will walk on Blackburn this time? Mind you, we had to settle for a lousy draw in the 1st round match. That was then when the team face a draught in form. Now, soon after blasting Arsenal 4-2 last Wednesday... hehehe Blackburn shouldn't be that a trouble. Of course there is a perception that LFC has two faces. One a glorious team of European Champion League and underperform Premier League groupies.

Well... I never lost hope during the bad and sweet times. What more to say now it left less than 5 games before the season ends. Every game is a must see. Cheer on the team what everyone of us should be doing tomorrow night. Yes... Torres will score his 30th goal and Crouch will be a new revelation!



By Carl Markham, PA Sport

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes will not tie himself up in knots trying to second-guess Liverpool counterpart Rafael Benitez's team changes for Saturday's encounter at Anfield.
The Rovers boss knows it is a futile gesture trying to predict who the Spaniard will bring in and leave out - especially after a thrilling but tough midweek Champions League tie against Arsenal which the Reds won 4-2 to progress to the semi-finals.
He will instead concentrate on his own side's strengths as they still retain an interest in the race for UEFA Cup football next season.
"It is difficult to gauge whether their performance in midweek was a good thing or a bad thing for us," said Hughes, who revealed his one regret during his playing career was never scoring at the Kop end at Anfield.
"We could have done with extra-time to tire them out somewhat but maybe the hope is they celebrated long into the night after it.
"Rafa will no doubt make a number of changes from the personnel he used the other night, that is usually the norm, which makes it a little bit more difficult to prepare for because you are never quite sure which personnel you are going to face.
"You can second-guess to a certain extent - the likelihood is key players who have played two or three games back to back may well not be involved.
"You can make educated guesses but whether they are the right guesses is open to debate.
"But whoever plays for Liverpool you are always guaranteed it is a player of good quality and it will be a difficult game for us - it always is.
"The key from our point of view is that we concentrate on what we are going to do."
The outcome of Rovers' next two matches could prove crucial to their hopes of securing European football.
After the trip to Anfield Blackburn host Manchester United but with the side currently eighth in the Barclays Premier League two defeats could end UEFA Cup ambitions - even via the Intertoto Cup.
"We are still fighting to get that European place outright and if we can get results in the next two games we have three matches (Portsmouth, Derby and Birmingham) which we want to get maximum points from," said Hughes.
"Where we stand at the moment, if we don't pick up any more points we won't qualify.
"We need more points on the board and that means we need to win Premier League games - if it happens at the weekend we don't mind.
"We have a couple of games coming up which the players will need no motivation for and we approach them with no apprehension.
"We are looking to realise our ambitions and there is a lot riding on the next couple of games for us.
"We are still in the mix so until it is mathematically impossible to achieve a UEFA Cup place outright we will keep going.
"If we are honest with ourselves the realistic opportunity for us will be in the Intertoto but we will keep going.
"If we get three wins and get to 60 points we would have had a real go at it and will not be a million miles away from the targets we set ourselves at the beginning of the season."
Rovers goalkeeper Brad Friedel believes all the pressure will be on his former club, who he claims should be contesting the Premier League title.
"I think the so-called 'top four club stuff' means the fans, board and players will always want to win and as years go by without the league being won there is a bit of added pressure," said the 36-year-old who left Anfield in November 2000.
"They have the resources to win the league, they have the players to win the league and they have a good manager.
"It just comes down to consistent form, a little bit of luck - it comes down to a lot of things that have to fall into place."
On Sunday Friedel and his defence are likely to come up against red-hot striker Fernando Torres, who struck the 29th goal of his maiden season in England against Arsenal in midweek.
However, the American believes there is more to Liverpool than just the Spain international.
"Torres is a tremendous player but he is not the only one in that team who is very good," he said.
Striker Jason Roberts (groin) and midfielder David Dunn (groin) face fitness tests ahead of the Anfield match.



The GOLDEN Team of Kenny Daglish

The GOLDEN Team of Kenny Daglish
If we have them now, say farewell to Arsenal, Man.U and Chelsea... if...