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My Interview with ‘What a Fantastic Run’ – The Retur

Well its been a while since I have posted anything on my site and apologies but the last few months have been rather busy. However we have all enjoyed the return of King Kenny and what he has done for our club. I have a few ideas for some new blogs and will start writing them in the next few weeks. In...

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My Interview with ‘What a Fantastic Run’ – The Return Match

Posted by Spencer | Posted in Liverpool FC, You'll Never Walk Alone | Posted on 13-05-2011

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Well its been a while since I have posted anything on my site and apologies but the last few months have been rather busy. However we have all enjoyed the return of King Kenny and what he has done for our club. I have a few ideas for some new blogs and will start writing them in the next few weeks.

In the meantime I have recently been interviewed again by the Spurs blog ‘what a fantastic run’ (www.whatafantasticrun.com) for our upcoming game on Sunday. Thanks again to Dom from What a Fantastic Run

WFR: It would appear Liverpool have had the mirror image season to Spurs. How has it been for a Liverpool fan?

This season has certainly been a down and up season. 35 years as a fan i have never seen a Liverpool team so disjointed and lacking in confidence as seen the first half of the season. What has happened since January has been in some ways a miracle and now we all don’t want the season to end!

WFR: Obviously there has been an upturn of results since Kenny took over. What do you put this down to? A change in tactics? A better motivator?

The upturn in results has exceeded in my opinion most Liverpool fans expectations. At the time of Kenny’s appointment we were just all happy that the king had returned. What Kenny has done is change the way we play. Over recent weeks in particular you have seen the team pass and move like the old teams of the 80′s. He has played players in their ideal positions and played to their strengths but in my opinion he greatest asset has been his man management skills and his ability to get the best out of every single player at the club with a smile on his face. Lets not forget the very important role Steve Clarke has played in our resurgence. The players have commented publicly how training has improved and become more enjoyable. This in turn has been carried out onto the pitch.

WFR: Jay Spearing has done a great job while Gerrard has been injured. What do you think will happen when your captain returns in the new season? Should he still walk straight in to the team? Has his absence shown that he is in fact very droppable?

What the absence of Gerrard has proved is that Liverpool are not a one man team, something the media and “experts” have labelled us for years now. As you say players like Jay Spearing have come in and performed to a level that we haven’t seen prior which is a testament to them and the new management. Giving players like Jay Spearing a run in the team and him performing to a high standard has also proved that our squad wasn’t as bad as first thought. Obviously having Gerrard back next season will be a massive boost and in my opinion it would be difficult to leave him out but what recent weeks has shown is we have a good strong crop of local youngsters coming through the system and able to step into the team if our best players are injured which is only a good thing. And more importantly Kenny has the faith and belief in the youngsters to come in a do a job.

WFR: Spurs fans are currently spilt on whether they want the club in the UEFA Cup next season, is this a game that neither sets of fans would fancy winning?

I can understand why fans are split on this subject as over the past few years the competition has become very poor. I think if the prize was a place in the Champions League next season then you would see an improvement. In the case of Liverpool fans the majority would like to see us in the competition next season especially after not having a chance in hell of qualifying 4 months ago. I personally think that it’s a winnable trophy but also think it’s an opportunity for the squad players to perform and gain experience which in turn helps the first team. In Spurs case it’s a trophy there to be won and surely that’s what a football team aim is, to win trophies.

WFR: After your win over Birmingham I commented on my Twitter feed that Liverpool fans were telephoning TalkSport to claim they are true title contenders next season – do you believe this is the case?

The are stats flying around at the moment that say that since Kenny has taken charge we have scored more goals and are second to only Chelsea in the number of points achieved in the Premier League so do i think we can challenge next season……yes i do. With more additions likely to be added and the style of football we are playing we have to be seen as a challenger for the title next season. Remember we have outplayed Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and drawn away at Arsenal in the last few weeks and not many teams have done that this season. The appointment of Kenny and Steve Clarke has given the whole club the belief and that has been transferred onto the pitch. I also believe that Chelsea, Arsenal and even Man Utd have to improve their squads with, in the case of Chelsea and Utd, having too many older players past their prime. It’s going to be very interesting.

WFR: Tottenham fans a a little annoyed at the club for not taking the same gamble as Liverpool on both Suarez and Carroll, many feel this has cost us dear in the latter half of the season. Just to rub it in further, how are they doing in your eyes?

I personally think that the reason for your decline after January was the fact Harry didn’t go and spend some money. When you are in the champions league and wanting to ensure you stay there the squad needs improving at every opportunity. Im not sure what the finances are like at Spurs but did they have a spare £50m to buy both? In the case of Suarez i think it would have been difficult for you to buy him as he had indicated his desire to move to Liverpool and was holding out for that move. However I believe he has been the buy of the season. At times he has been unplayable and if you are a defender it must be an absolute nightmare to mark him as he is always on the move especially when he hasn’t got the ball. To be honest we haven’t seen too much of Carroll yet due to injuries but what he did show in the Man City game recently was how he has the ability to score goals from anywhere and also bully defenders. I think the partnership of Suarez and Carroll will an exciting one next season and I cant wait to see them play more games together.

WFR: You also have Daniel Comolli within your ranks, a man who was very much in the firing line at Spurs. With rumours abound that Kenny is due to take over Liverpool on a full time basis, how do you see that relationship panning out?

That’s an interesting question and as i write this Kenny has signed a new 3 year contract along with Steve Clarke which is the only news we have been waiting for. In terms of Comolli’s relationship with Kenny i think it will be a good one. I’m not an expert on Comolli but didn’t he buy some of your better players at the club? What he has shown so far is that we are looking at the right kind of players who are the right age and will fit into the way Kenny wants to play the game. I’m confident it will be a success.

WFR: Who has been your player of the year for Liverpool?

Without a doubt it has been Lucas Leiva – he has improved dramatically over the past 2 seasons and has now shown what a good quality player he is. I am not afraid to admit that during his first 2 seasons I thought he wasn’t good enough but now happily admit i got it wrong. Under Kenny especially we have seen a side to his game which means he gets forward more and also provides killer passes to the front men. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Lucas is one of the first names on the team sheet as he has now become a very important part of Liverpool FC.

WFR: Do you think there will be many comings and goings in the transfer market this summer? What areas need to be looked at?

I believe it will be a busy summer for us. There are obviously players that are surplus and will be moved on but what the new owners did in January by spending £50m on 2 players (albeit they received the same from the Torres sale) was their intention to spend money on the right players. In my opinion we will be looking at 2 wingers, a midfielder, a left back and a centre back with names such as Ashley Young, Jose Enrique, Charlie Adam and Gary Cahill being talked about as possible signings. I’m sure there are other names and im sure that we will sign at least 2 marquee signings. In all the summer looks like it’s going to be very exciting for all Liverpool fans and for once it will be all about who is coming in rather than star players leaving!

WFR: What has been your stand out Liverpool moment of the season

There have been 3….The appointment of Kenny as caretaker manager, Liverpool destroying Manchester United at Anfield and the appointment of Kenny as full time manager. If you had asked me this question back in December I wouldn’t have been able to think of any….

WFR: And the worst?

The worst moment for me as a Liverpool fan this season was the period between August and December – I have never seen a Liverpool team play so badly on such a regular basis and as a fan going into every game thinking that we will lose was very depressing times, but thankfully that period is now far behind us.

WFR: And finally, lets get some score predictions

As you know from the last game at White Hart Lane I rightly predicted a 2-1 win to Spurs (proving my point above) but this time it will be different. So i am going for a 3-1 win to Liverpool on the basis that Anfield has become a fortress again and the type of football we are playing will be too good for Spurs on the day.

A Little Concerned…….

Posted by Spencer | Posted in Liverpool FC, You'll Never Walk Alone | Posted on 13-09-2010

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We are now 4 games into the Premier League and already there is a familiar pattern and feel to how we are playing, predictable, slow and lacking of any imagination in the final third.

After the first game against Arsenal where the team showed passion and commitment there has been a complete lack of the same since then. In my previous blog ‘Return of the Mojo’ I praised the team and in particular Mascherano so before I go on and following the events of the Argentine midfielder moving to Barcelona I want to make it clear that I want to retract the ‘legend’ status I attributed to him and in my eyes will only be known as a someone who used to play for Liverpool.

So since the Arsenal game what has gone wrong?

The senior players have come out and said they are enjoying what Roy Hodgson is bringing to the club so is it the players not performing or is it the tactical awareness of our new manager?

I have written previously that I had ‘mixed feelings’ about Hodgsons appointment and wasn’t sure if he was the ‘right’ person to manage our club but with some good signings during pre-season and how we played during the Arsenal game he had started to win me round. However since then the signs have been less than encouraging with a heavy defeat to Man City (where no substitutions were made until the last 10 minutes and even though the system clearly wasn’t working the shape was never changed), an unconvincing win in Europe, a very unconvincing win at home  to West Brom and a grateful draw away to Birmingham on Sunday.

We have only scored 2 goals in 4 games and have conceded 4 which again is a worrying sign and the way the team played on Sunday we only ever looked liked adding to the conceded column. Is this the fruits of Hodgsons tactics or simply players off form? Well for England Gerrard has been in great form but in a Liverpool shirt he hasn’t been able to recreate that form so far. So therefore is it the tactics?

The game against Manchester City concerned me, yes because of the result and poor performance, but more so because even though it was clear to everyone watching that the tactics were not right and City were controlling the midfield the management did not feel (even after 2 nil down) the need to change it or bring on substitutions. It felt to me that after going 2 nil down the management conceded there was no chance in coming back and that a defeat was the only outcome of the game. Something on the same lines that Fulham would accept….

Since that game the team has been set up with 2 holding midfield players who between them seem to struggle to find a forward pass and therefore limit any creativity through the midfield area. Don’t get me wrong I think that Lucas and Poulsen as players do a good job but in my opinion should never play in the same team together. Admittedly Hodgson has been without Joe Cole who if had been available may have meant only one holding midfielder being played. We will find out in the next game at home on Thursday in the Europa League if that theory becomes reality.

The lack of goals is also a concern – Torres is becoming increasingly isolated and because there is a lack of urgency and creativity in our play he is also becoming frustrated. If Torres (or Gerrard) isn’t scoring then the team struggles. There is a distinct lack of goals from the rest of the team and I don’t see that changing any day soon. However I was impressed with Miereles when he came on against Birmingham – he maybe the player who will get into the positions to score goals but can only be accommodated if we stop playing with 2 holding players

As a passionate Liverpool fan I want Hodgson and more importantly the team to succeed but I am worried that we are becoming a a clone of Fulham and comments such as ‘I am very pleased with a point at Birmingham’ is not what I want to hear or expect from a Liverpool manager. We are Liverpool Football club not Fulham FC.

Being realistic I am not expecting us to be challenging for the title come May but I do expect us to be and perfom better than a mid table team so for the moment and even at this early stage of the season I am a little concerned……

YNWA

Return of the Mojo…..

Posted by Spencer | Posted in Liverpool FC, You'll Never Walk Alone | Posted on 16-08-2010

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The new campaign has finally started! Since the departure of Rafa Benitez and appointment of Roy Hodgson this has been one of the most anticipated starts to a season in a very long time.

When the fixture list was announced in July and we knew Arsenal were going to be the visitors we all wondered what kind of Liverpool team would run out on to the Anfield turf on the 15th August, which players would still be at the club and who (if any) would be our new signings? At the end of last season I felt depressed and was frightened for the well being of our club and even more so when Rafa left us after what I would describe as a successful time at the club. I was also frightened that the club would also lose the spine of the team such as Gerrard and Torres and I wasn’t overly excited by the appointment of Roy Hodgson. The club in my opinion had lost its ‘mojo’.

However events over the last few weeks seem to have sparked optimism amongst the club, fans and even media alike with the signings of Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic, Christian Poulsen and most importantly Gerrard and Torres committing themselves to the club they love. Even though I was a strong supporter of Rafa Benitez and had mixed feelings about Roy Hodgson, the new manager has in fact been a breath of fresh air, his approach to the players, media and fans has been impressive and this has gone a long way in starting to win me over.

The change was there to see under the first 2 ‘competitive’ games in the Europa League – two solid wins and signs of a more fluent attacking approach especially during the second leg at Anfield. But the true test was always going to be the first Premier League game at home against Arsenal.

After a pretty even first half with Arsenal having plenty of possession the game suddenly came to life with the somewhat harsh sending off of Joe Cole on the stroke of half time. My first thoughts were that we were going to struggle to get a draw and that surely Arsenal would punish us with their quick passing game especially against our 10 men. What followed in the second half was a team reignited with passion and commitment throughout and a complete desire not to be beaten which in all honesty wasn’t there last season. This was a game we would have gone on to lose in similar fashion to the game at Fulham where there was a distinct lack of passion.

All 14 players used yesterday gave there heart and soul to the cause and aside from another freakish incident similar to those seen last season Liverpool would have secured all 3 points. Although Mascherano has clearly stated he wants to leave the club (for family reasons) he showed what a true professional he is by giving a man of the match performance in the heart of midfield. After that performance alone for me he has cemented his place as a ‘true red’. Many other players wouldn’t have given their all but I believe that out of true respect for our club and fans he felt that he couldn’t give anything less. Another player showing true passion and commitment was Daniel Agger.  After receiving a direct blow to the face it was clear to see that he was seeing three of everything and was clearly struggling. But knowing that all the substitutions had been made he insisted on continuing even though it could have been a serious risk to his health. Again last season for whatever reason I am not sure he would have done that.

So is this new found passion and never say die attitude the results of the management style under Roy Hodgson? I sincerely hope so and I hope that this attitude stays with the players all season long. I still think we are short of challenging for the title as described in ‘Only Time Will Tell’ but after the events of yesterday I am increasingly becoming more optimistic for a good season.

If the team continue to show the passion and commitment shown yesterday then there is one thing we can all ascertain, that the ‘mojo’ has returned…..

YNWA

Here is the news……

Posted by Spencer | Posted in Liverpool FC, You'll Never Walk Alone | Posted on 26-05-2010

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Rafa Benitez set to leave Liverpool for Juventus!

Rafa Benitez set to leave Liverpool for Inter Milan!

Rafa Benitez set to manage U.A.E!!

Fernando Torres to join Man City in record transfer!

Fernando Torres to Join Chelsea in record transfer!

Fernando Torres to join Barcelona as he has fallen out with Benetiz!

Man City set to buy Steven Gerrard in £30m swoop!

Real Madrid poised to land Gerrard as Jose sets his sights!

Benny and Masch off to Chelsea in double swoop!

And so it goes on and on and on……..and the season has only just ended!!

It appears that once again the media have decided that our manager and our top players will be leaving this summer with stories appearing on a daily basis in the papers.

I have a couple of issues with this.

It appears that any clown can now call themselves a journalist which then gives licence to be able to call yourself an expert and print stuff that quite clearly isn’t true!! Why has journalism come to this? It used to be a respected profession but now I’m not so sure.

Although the players and manager shouldn’t have to comment on every single story it would be nice if they would come out and say something on the lines of  ‘I am happy at Liverpool and will be staying at the club for next season’. This may put an end to all of the ‘speculation’ because the longer there is silence the more the media will keep telling us its all true. The prime example was with the Juventus/Rafa connection, which had been going on since January this year. Rafa had been silent all the way through which meant that the flames were constantly being fuelled. A strong statement in my view from Rafa could have ended the whole saga. Even after Juventus appointed a new manager Inter Milan become the favourites to land Rafa. In Rafa’s defence he has started to make noises to the media that he is happy at Liverpool and will be staying and even finding the link to the U.A.E amusing.

My point is though if you don’t extinguish the flames by staying silent then you are indirectly adding fuel to the fire.

Jamie Carragher in my view hit the nail on the head when he was quoted as saying last week that if you are not committed at Liverpool then you can pack your bags. I am glad a senior player has come out and expressed the views that the majority of Liverpool fans hold on this issue. I just wish more players would do the same.

Even after I started writing this blog Fernando Torres agent was quoted as saying  that he will be staying at Liverpool next season and yet a day later  we hear (according to some parts of the media) he hasn’t made up his mind yet!

I think that after the season the club had its not a surprise that our players are being linked elsewhere but it doesn’t give the media and journalists the right to make the majority of stories up on a daily basis.

I also have to laugh at the fact that the English media have gunned for the blood of Benitez, criticizing everything that he does but have no problem in reporting that nearly every top club in Europe is after him! He can’t be a bad manager after all can he?

Unfortunately all Liverpool fans will have to brace themselves for a summer of transfer speculation more than the kind we experienced in 2005 with Chelsea ad Gerrard. However I will not be made to believe anything until it actually happens!

Even if some of our top players do leave in the summer then I would suggest that we remember that NO player is bigger than Liverpool Football Club.

Y.N.W.A