- Roy Hodgson's first competitive game in charge of Liverpool will be against Macedonian club FK Rabotnicki in the third qualifying round of the Europa League this early Friday morning Malaysian time 2 am.
- I stopped for awhile... thinking and thinking what can I write about our first opponent this season. It is practically unknown and according to wikipedia, ``this club is has been regarded as a famous football club from Skopje, a city in a former communist country of formerly known as Yugoslavia (now it is called The Republic of Macedonia). The breaking-up of this country in the 1990's saw one of the worst genocide the world has ever saw since Vietnam War.
- In its first ever World Cup match in Montevideo, Yugoslavia managed a famous 2-1 win versus mighty Brazil. The national team consisted just of Serbian players as it was boycotted by Croation players at this World Cup due to the relocation of football association's headquarters from Zagreb to Belgrade.
- So FK Rabotnicki is also known as ‘railway football club’ and was formed in 1937.
- If my memory serves's me right, Yugoslavia once upon a time, was a team of a real force in the World Cup during the Cold Wars.
- We know now that Liverpool would be lining the `B' Players as all the stars that were involved in the World Cup are still on holiday. But there is a good chance we might see Joe Cole playing, though he too, was in the England squad. Hodgson even gave signal that due to the current situation, he might as well focus more on domestic cups, rather than the Europa Cup. Either way, I don't mind. But I hope we can beat Rabotnicki, which if we have the full 1st eleven available, could be just a walk on the park.
24 July 2010
20 July 2010
- SO BE IT! Your lost is our gain... hahaha. Such is the bitterness shown by some of the rival fans when they heard that Joe Cole has chosen Liverpool as his next club, that they tried in vain to denied that their respective managers ever said anything official about wanting him in the first place. Or so it seems. ``Arsene Wenger never said anything! It's merely the press speculation!'', said one Arsenal fan. I replied `Your ejaculation! What Speculation? That's your annihilation!'' hahaha
- Mind you, when the so-called speculation first popped-up linking Cole and Liverpool, the initial reaction by Roy Hodgson was `coyed' and `mild'. He even quoted as mentioning words like ``betting'' and `` I'm not betting man''. So it shows that every manager that were linked to him is playing the strategy. Cole apparently met all of them (may be through his agent) and tried to get the best deal. It is unfortunate that some labelled him as `money-crazy' for choosing Liverpool. My argument is simple: Cole asked for a consistent playing time, which Hodgson said he would get it. I doubt if 90,000 pounds a week is such a huge number that Arsenal or Hotspur couldn't entertained. The only reason is that Arsenal couldn't promised Cole of the only most important thing for him : the opportunity to play more. Same goes to Hotspur.
- In that, Liverpool has the upper hand. Cole was guaranteed more playing time, and the salary is just the icing on the cake. To which I think, a player of his calibre and high-profile, is entitled to. It's not like Cole is a nobody from foreign countries, suddenly put into the team and paid that massive amount. No. In fact, Cole is widely regarded as one of England's most technically-gifted players. I didn't bothered too much when Chelsea bring on the African players when ever they play Liverpool. But when Cole comes in, I said to myself, the fullbacks must stop Cole, which unfortunately they failed to do so... Now that Cole is in our team, ohhhh MY GOD!... the special player will be a bomb for Liverpool this season.
- According to the news report, Cole will be wearing the sacred no.7 jersey. I think, he deserves to wear it. Joe Cole, welcome to Anfield! And hopefully, sometime this season, I could watch you playing in Anfield with me in the Kops section...
19 July 2010
- It's 9.40pm and it's so cold in the office at this hour. All of that changed when I saw the news of Joe Cole's agreeing to join Liverpool. This has been the best news so far for all of us. The talent and the inspiring performances he showed even when he was subbed during the World Cup, made all of us really satisfied with this latest coup.
- Congratulation Roy Hodgson! You suddenly exceeded our expectation!
Below is excerpt from Soccernet news :
Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole has agreed sign for Liverpool on a free transfer, subject to a medical. It has been reported that Cole, 28, was offered wages of £90,000-a-week to stave off interest from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Cole left Stamford Bridge at the end of last month after Chelsea decided not to offer him a new deal.
- As I've said before, when there is a new manager in town, he'll definitely arrange to have his own players in the team. This is good news, so that Roy Hodgson can get rid of many untalented ones whom Rafael Benitez deemed to be so great. Players like Alberto Reira, Lucas Leiva and David Ngog should be shown the door. While Reira is definitely on his way out, we're still waiting for a more concrete action on the other two.
- However, the news of Emiliano Insua departure to Fiorentina is a bit frustrating. This Argentinian lad is still young. At 21 years old, he has matured last season and should have been nurtured further by the club. But because of the age factor also, Insua can be sold to the highest bidder.
- I suspect Hodgson is trying to find a way to raise money from Insua's sale, in order to find his own mould of players. I try to understand his strategy at this time of moment.
- According to some news report, Hodgson is recognised as someone who can bring out the best from the so-called `average players' but could be attain in a more `cheaper' price. I don't know if this works on Liverpool. We have our own tradition but to think about all the misfit that the previous managers has brought into the club, I tend to believe Hodgson's formula could do some good for us. At this time of moment, he looks like more inclined to find players within the UK itself.
- The best part is that we yet to hear Hodgson bringing in any of his former players in Fulham. If you dare Mr Hodgson, bring in Clint Dempsey to us.
17 July 2010
- Yes, liverpoolfc.tv dubbed the match as `going to the unknowns'. This is the reality that as sitting on no.7th slot in the English Premier league chart gives us. We get to play the unknowns and unheard of. The names are even funnier. Rabotnicki sounds like a name from the Star Trek drones character while Mika FC reminds me very much of that one famous F1 driver...
- Who are we to complaint now of who should or shouldn't fight us? In that 2nd grade European football league, you get to fight anyone. We're lucky we didn't get to go to Israel. Not only that is a far far place from Europe (it's Middle East, you idiot!) but risk of being caught in the Middle East political armed-conflict. Never mind, having to fly off as far as Armenia or Macedonia is as good a punishment could be, for that lousy performances last season. The only lucky culprit now is in Italy, and gets to play in the elite group as a title holder.
- What does this mean to us, in particular Liverpool fans in Malaysia and Asia? We could missed the live telecast altogether! I hope our satellite tv is wise enough to prepare us the live feed from either country. I am eager for the next week match. Let the new season begin.
16 July 2010
- Remember this chap? He's name is David Ngog. He was highly regarded by Rafael Benitez, thus last season our former manager opted to kick-out Robbie Keane, instead of this boy. According to news report, the new boss wanted to `loan' him out and the only interested club at the moment is West Bromwich Albion. But the boy's agent claimed that Ngog refuse to go, insisting on fighting for a place in Anfield.
- And our simple question to the agent is that can't you do your job properly? By giving Ngog a well-deserved advice that every time a new boss comes in, he will pick his own players. Ngog is obviously forgotten that he was the blue-eye boy to Rafa. Now it's Hodgson era. The spelling on the wall is loud & clear: GET OUT OF ANFIELD!
- Some of us might think that Ngog has performed well last season in the absence of our superstar and a ready available strikers. My reply is quick: thus the no.7 spot. Ngog inability to convert goals were legend in its own. He's playing is dubbed as too soft, fit for French matches but no way in the blood & leg-breaking styles in England.
- Ngog, go away. It's time for you to do so. You can join Rafa for he was the reason you're in Anfield in the first place. But Rafa seems to be neglecting Ngog since he joined Inter Milan. Why is that so? And I start to wonder. Ngog, you're not good enough. Go away!
15 July 2010
- This is the new t-shirt I just acquired last night, thanks to two of our fellow Liverpool fans that have an edge in creativity side. This limited edition t-shirt has its own significant, as you know majority of the Liverpool FC fans all over the world now are going against the current owner of the club, Mr Gillette & Mr Hicks. I don't know if owning this t-shirt could do them harm but I read that by not buying the adidas or official merchandise, that would eventually send a strong signal to the management in Anfield. I don't know about this because there is a proverbs in Malay saying, ``angry at a mosquito, you don't burn the malaria-net''. Meaning, by boycotting the merchandise, it surely give a noted signal to them but at the same time, that would also affect the club as a whole. hmmm... speaking of Catch 22.
- Now let me introduce you guys to the brilliant folks behind the design. The couple, one Mr Navin and Ms Aishah, whom I had the honour to meet last night during the transaction, were a typical Liverpool fan - like you and me. Who will wear the colour, where ever, when ever permit (You don't wear the kit at your work place...do you?)
- Apparently, they have design quite a few, including designs on Rafa, Paisley. According to Navin, it's just to supplement the non-existent of such icon in the Malaysian market. Which I agree nonetheless. So now they have received a lot of request for the current designs i.e Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Javier Mascherano (we have to wait til the next announcement if Roy Hodgson can persuade him to stay a bit longer in the Europa Cup).
- Get in touch with Aisha through her facebook account: www.facebook/.aishahmohamedshah
Aren't they a cute couple in Red? hehehe... SALUTE ! SALUTE ! SALUTE !
12 July 2010
Couldn't score a single goal makes Torres a dull prospect for Chelsea. Yeaaay!
- Fernando Torres pull a hamstring in the last minutes of the extra time in clash against Holland last night. Immediately the UK media reported that the Chelsea deal of £50m to take him to Stamford Bridge is now in doubt or dead altogether.
- I find some amusement in this report as Chelsea's lost is our gain. If the deal is dead, Torres will remain in Anfield. Well, he won't be fit for a month or two... never mind, let him recover and then help Liverpool to regain the Top 4 spot when it matters. Or so I hope.
- Meanwhile, I like to record here that Spain has been my first choice since the beginning of the World Cup tournament in South Africa. Except the shocking defeat in the hands of the Swiss, the journey has been `profitable' for myself, personally. hehehe... Viva Spain!
09 July 2010
- First & foremost, we share the delights of having our superstars both in the Spanish & Dutch squad in the finals of World Cup at 2am Monday, Malaysian time. If you ask me which team would I go, I have to admit that Spain has been my choice simply because of Fernando Torres. He was not started in the massive win against Germany on Thursday and not really sure if he would be benched again in the finals.
- We also have Dirk Kuyt in the Holland outfit and he has been among the lively star in that orange shirt. He even scored, remember? I rooted for the Holland team all the way but for the final, it has to be Spain.
- Back home in Anfield (well, my home is in Malaysia!!!), there is some good news to share. Apparently there is a new player coming-in. He was the star for Serbia that beat Germany in the group matches. He scored the winning goal!
- Below is the news from Soccernet dated 8 July 2010:
- Liverpool have confirmed the signing of highly-rated Serbia international Milan Jovanovic from Standard Liege on a three-year contract.
- Jovanovic, who scored the winning goal when Serbia beat eventual World Cup semi-finalists Germany 1-0 in South Africa, has joined on a free transfer.
- Liverpool's move for the striker was lined by up former manager Rafael Benitez before his departure at the start of June and there were fears his new club Inter Milan might make a late bid to scupper the deal.
- But Jovanovic, who scored two goals in this season's Champions League group stage, said he was delighted to seal his move to Anfield.
- "It is an honour for me to sign for one of the biggest clubs in football,'' said the 29-year-old. "I cannot wait to start working with the manager and I'm looking forward to joining up with my new team-mates on our Swiss training camp.''
03 July 2010
- Chelsea have completed the signing of Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee. Many of you would have read the news. One peculiar slant emanated from Soccernet, claiming that `` The sale of Benayoun to Chelsea was completed personally by owner Roman Abramovich, who will now step up his efforts to capture Torres''.
- All this augurs bad news for Liverpool. While many of us would prefer to focus on the World Cup and try to ignore what is happening in Anfield at the moment, the potentiality of losing our star players are nerve-cracking. I personally hated this moment of time as an ardent loyal supporter of Liverpool FC. This could have been the most challenging time I have ever been since the departure of Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard some 5 years ago. We were relieved when Gerrard made a U-turn and became the backbone of our wins in the final of Champions Cup in 2005 and FA Cup the next year.
- However, the situation now is a bit different from then. While the departure of Owen (and supposedly Gerrard) was instigated by the sacking of Houllier and the luring of big clubs as huge as Real Madrid (Chelshit was only starting then). Now, the push factor has been added not only because of the sacking of the manager but also the sad position of LFC in the league last season. Sitting at number 7 is not beautiful. It's bloody difficult. And now we are faced with the reality of being at number 7. Our star players are beginning to talk to other clubs. Mascherano has been linked to Rafa in Italy. Torres is wanted by the whole big clubs in the world, with the exception of any American clubs (hahaha) and even though many tried to paint the picture of Gerrard is also wanting to go away, I sincerely hope he won't but try his luck with the new manager in Roy Hodgson.
- Sometimes I just want the World Cup to end now, so that all the uncertainties in Anfield would be cleared off.
02 July 2010
- I didn't posted any news yesterday when I first read the news of Roy Hodgson's confirmation as the new Liverpool FC manager. I took some time to read the comments and evaluate a bit. However, given his pedigree with Fulham, there is no short of hope in Hodgson even though some people tend to think that a club such as Liverpool must have a foreign manager always. We had a French and a Spaniard. So it's time to go back to the homegrown managers.
- Forget about those sentimental. Hodgson had done tremendous thing and achieved a lot with Fulham. Even though that club is owned by a millionaire, but the former Harrod's owner doesn't spend like the Russians or Americans. So basically, Hodgson couldn't get 5-stars players that he wanted there. I don't know if Hodgson would get any in Liverpool, not with its current financial situation but the real onus on Hodgson is how to retain the superstars, in particular Fernando Torres.
- Players as great as Torres won't settled for Europa Cup, what more being in the 7th spot of the league. But if Hodgson can convinced them that only with them, and a new spirit, together him and the players can return Liverpool to where it is belong.
- I would like to think Hodgson is a splendid choice. Two names that have been cropped up last week has their own attraction but not necessarily suitable with the way Liverpool has been nurtured. Can't wait to see what and how Hodgson be able to rejuvenate the squad. This is so true because inadvertently, we are somehow similar to Valencia at the moment. Burdened with massive debts, Valencia had to sell its two most valuable players. Liverpool has lost Yossi Benayoun, it seems and most probably Javier Mascherano, if the press reports can be trusted. They could be some more to follow suit. This is alarming.
- Hodgson first hurdle is to stop the outflow of our valuable players.