Emre Can should be captain

emre

Yup, you read that correctly. Emre Can should be our new captain next season.

During the Besiktas match I was once again thinking ‘Can is the best player on the pitch…he has been our best player since the turn of the year…he should be captain.’ And here’s why:

Versatility 

Can can (haha) play in a number of positions: central midfield, attacking midfield, holding midfield, centre back and even left back (played there for Bayer). He doesn’t just play in these positions, he dominates them. Just like Gerrard, wherever he plays he is one of the best players on the pitch.

Leadership skills

Can demonstrated some good leadership skills during the Besiktas match, telling players where to go; to slow down the game; where to play the ball. He is the leader among the back three too.

Talent

Can’s outrageous talent has been demonstrated this season. From his neat short passes, raking long balls, fine touch to the ridiculous skill he shows to brush pass opponents, these just just some of the things he has in his locker.

Age

He’s young, very young. At just 21 years of age he would be a perfect captain to have going into the future. He’s a pretty good player now, with time and responsibility he will bloom into an outstanding player. Gerrard was 23 when get grabbed his chance for captaincy, why not Can?

He’s better than Henderson

As a leader, a player and a captain. I truly believe he is better than Henderson in every way. Can fits Rodgers philosophy, he brings a togetherness in the team (cooling down players and bringing them in after the controversial penalty last week) and he can take a decent penalty too!

His hair

Enough said.

Maybe I thought of this idea and it’s gone straight from my head to the blog, perhaps I haven’t thought this through. Yet, there is a question in my head which will not subside….Henderson or Can? In my opinion there is only one answer.

Poor Balotelli

jordan

I really felt for Mario last night. It was a shame such senior players made a scene (Sturridge, Henderson). 27 out of 29, that is Mario’s excellent record for taking penalties, I cannot remember when Henderson has ever taken a penalty!

To take a successful penalty you need power, confidence and arrogance. I think Henderson only has confidence. Fair play to Balotelli for grabbing the ball off him (as politely as possibly may I add) and sticking to his guns. A decent penalty too.
Just because Henderson is captain doesn’t mean he has to take them. In fact, it shows poor leadership for not recognizing that there are better players to dispatch the penalty than himself.
He hasn’t even shown good leadership in how he gave it to Balotelli, he didn’t acknowledge that he was the better penalty taker, he just sorta gave in to him.

Then we come to Gerrard, who is in the studio, criticising Mario for not listening to the captain…Cannot wait till Stevie goes. Would of Gerrard dug into the heels of Luis Suarez if he had done the same last year? I can’t imagine he would have.

Mario is an easy target. He is trying to fit into the Liverpool way, in-fact he did quite well when he came on, worked his socks off to win the ball and make forward runs. I’m glad he took it and scored, strikers feed off goals, give him every opportunity.

Clearly Mario will not fit into a long-term Liverpool side, he creates too much unrest in the dressing room. Yet, I do empathise with him in this situation, don’t point a finger when it’s an easy target. Just be happy we won without playing particularly well.

I envy Rugby…

rugby

Where do I start?

It pains me to write that as the title to this blog post. Rugby may be the less popular sport, with less money and tv coverage, yet we have a lot to learn from Rugby.

I am aware that this is not a new topic, plenty of football fans have used Rugby as an example on how to move our beloved sport forward. The reason why I bring this post up today is in light of some of this weeks news.

Firstly, we have young Harry Westlake (mascot at last weeks Six Nations game) belting out the national anthem, clearly he is bursting with pride and passion. The shivers which shot down my spine were phenomenal, thank-you for that Harry.
Unfortunately it raises another sore-point in football taboo; why can’t our English footballers sing as passionately as Harry or the rest of the England Rugby team?! Why make it appear that we are unhappy to be singing our National Anthem. Wake up boys. I sincerely hope you get the message this time and sing up when it comes to March Internationals…

Secondly, racism. Regardless of which team they support, those so called ‘fans’ on Tuesday night (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/31535021) should never get to see a game of football again. This type of behaviour is unacceptable in any situation. I don’t acknowledge you as fans or human beings for that matter. You are an utter disgrace to our country. There is no excuse for this; peer pressure, ‘in the moment’ or a bit of a laugh. No. There are never any incidents like this with Rugby fans, no stabbings, no riots and no racism.
FIFA need to get a grip on this problem, get harsh with fans and teams. Instead of giving them a ridiculously manageable fine, take points off them, closed door matches for the season. Whatever it takes to stamp this disease in football out.

Lastly, a quick one. Show the ref respect. Rugby players make it look so easy. It’s embarrassing. 

Let’s conclude…

Rugby is a fantastic sport, with excellent morals, passion and team spirit. I for one cannot defend footballers/football fans from their idiotic decisions. I love this sport, I hope I always will. Let’s just hope we can actually learn from other sports and cultures.

Why this season is better than last.

marioballo

I’ve not gone crazy, I don’t need to get checked in to the nearest psych ward, however, this season is better than last…kinda.

Obviously last season was emphatic, despite not winning the title we were arguably the best team in England last year. We played with flair, passion, confidence and also had one of the best players in the world on our team. I, among many others, loved last season. Beating teams by large margins was sweet, especially Arsenal. Yet, this brings me to my point, something which I have been stewing over since February 10th. I prefer nail-biting wins compared to comfortable ones.

Last season we beat Tottenham without breaking a sweat, even Flanno popped up with a goal. Awesome scenes; elation throughout. Yet…it was so comfortable that I wasn’t on the edge of my seat. I was smiling, laughing and not fully engrossed in the game. I wasn’t trying to direct the game from my seat, I didn’t care if Gerrard misplaced a pass or even Joe Allen played a ball across instead of forward.
Compare it to this season; where we looked decent throughout the game, comfortable on the ball and always a constant threat going forward. Although we were leaking goals, I sincerely felt that we were going to always win the game. Up pops big Mario who’s been missing since November!

Now, I may be in the minority and I accept that, but I think this most recent game will give me more memories and glee than last seasons. Taking all 3 points off a rival for 4th in the dying embers of the game is, in my very humble and expert opinion, 10 times better than stuffing them 5-0. Usually when a team wins by such a margin it’s the fact that the other team were so bad, instead of the winning team being outstanding (borrowing words from Brendan now).

The last 22 games have been more like last season, but I still feel these games are so intense, on a knife-edge, unpredictable. It just makes it much more exciting for a fan. Ideally we would win every game, we haven’t had the season we all had hoped for, however if you look at it at an entertainment view then I truly feel this year is better than last year. Semi-final of the Mickey Mouse cup, going strong in the FA cup, started to do well in the BPL and the Europa League starts for us on Thursday.

Despite the point of this post, last season was of course better. We played so much better, had better players and ultimately better luck (injuries). I just have really enjoyed our season lately, the passion is returning and so are the late goals!
I may be wrong, I may be crazy but give me a nail-biting 3-2 win against a rival for 4th instead of giving them a stuffing. On the other hand…I’d be fairly happy with 5-0 every game…

Why Champions League exit is good for us.

fuck-you-the-europa-leagues-good

First and foremost, I apologize for the lack of posts recently. I have been extremely busy and combine that with our dismal run, I felt to disheartened to grab the keyboard.

Secondly, obviously I wanted us to progress through the group stages, don’t think for a second that I didn’t. This post is just highlighting the benefits that we will get from getting knocked out. The negatives do outweigh the positives, however we must start making omelettes with these broken eggs.

The most important reason is the prize. Not the cup. The real prize – Champions League football. If you have been living in a hole recently then this may be news to you: The winners of the Europa League will qualify for the Champions League next year. With our erratic league form this could be our ticket to the most prestigious club tournament in the world. We are by no means out of the running for 4th place but that could change very quickly.
The likelihood of us progressing much further in this seasons Champions League campaign was bleak to say the least.

This feeds nicely into my next point. We will be playing more appropriate teams. We got undone against Basel, drew to Ludo-who and just got played with against Real. Teams like Zenit, Napoli, Villarreal and Fiorentina are all teams who we could beat. I can’t even imagine us playing against Bayren, Juventus, Barcelona or even Athletico Madrid. I genuinely feel we could win this tournament – especially with Sturridge back.

My last point is that we will probably see a few more youngsters thrown into the mix, as a sub or possibly a starting berth. I for one would love to see some more academy players break into the first team and show off their skills.

So, it is back to Channel 5 (if they still air games?!) and the Thursday/Sunday routine but let’s remember the good points about the Uefa Cup…I mean Europa League.:/

“Back to basics”

Brendan Rodgers

After another humiliating defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace, Rodgers came out with this; “We have to go back to basics…” Okay, great, that’s fine Rodgers, however, actually do it. First of all what are the basics? Well Rodgers did decide to point out the bleeding obvious after Sunday’s defeat by stating that we are under hitting passes. Surely he has not just realized this? If he hasn’t, then why have the players not taken it on board? Rodgers continued to explain that the team are conceding poor goals – again another obvious point. Finally, Rodgers ended with the fact that we are not playing as a team or with any aggression. So what is he going to do about it? What does ‘back to basics’ mean?

1) Drop the rubbish Players should be picked on performances not on their names. How on earth did Can not start on Sunday? Those players who are not playing with passion, aggression, under-hitting passes and are conceding poor goals need to be dropped. I don’t care whether they are legends or cost £20mill – I care about results. Lovern, Gerrard, Johnson and even possibly Coutinho (guilty of not playing appropriate passes) should all find themselves snugly sat on the bench on Wednesday night. End of.

2) Find a use for Gerrard He as been horrendous, there is no hiding behind it. I could reel off a bunch of stats from weeks previous but there is no point. He has been awful. Yet, he obviously still has talent and influence, we just need to manage it better, perhaps bring him on when (if…) we are 2-0 up – he’d be perfect in that scenario, he could slow the whole game down. Or even if we are chasing a goal, stick him up behind the striker for 10-15 minutes.

3) Get the ball back within 7 seconds It’s no secret that Rodgers likes his players to get the ball off the opponent within 7 seconds of losing it. We haven’t been doing it. We has lost our intensity. This particular tactic was so effective last season – teams were in two minds of keeping the ball or making a pass.

4) PLAY WITH TWO STRIKERS Rodgers. Just do it. 3 CAM’s are not working. I don’t think Coutinho and Sterling can play together to be honest.

5) Get some new staff Obviously King Carragher isn’t going to make a comeback and join the backroom staff. However, it is clear that we are in desperate need of someone with an idea of how to defend. My choice? Steve Clarke. Get on the phone Brendan.

So there we go. An idiots guide on how to go ‘back to the basics’ and possibly win a game🙂 Let’s hope Rodgers reads it! Please join my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/kopthought   –   only 11 likes so far compared to 900 Twitter followers so please like it and share it! Much appreciated🙂

Stay Positive!

sadliverpool

What a diabolical week.

We have now have had a full season of bad luck before the Xmas period! It’s atrocious, unfortunate and feels like we have been kicked in the gonads.
Injury after injury, poor refereeing performances, inept signings (I acknowledge this isn’t exactly ‘bad luck’) and even Goal Line Technology has beaten us down twice! The old adage of ‘It’s jut not our season’, is deservedly being bound around.
Consequently, we are all deflated about the Crystal Palace game, even before a ball has been kicked!

However, this is a key time for us. We must rally as one and keep strong. In my previous posts I have made known my support in Rodgers, we must keep that.
It’s difficult to get behind a team whose joint top goal scorers are Raheem and Own goals. The strikers are not firing and the media are eating it up!

Hopefully Rodgers has clued on and will start with two strikers on Sunday. I am aware that Balotelli is touch and go, yet whichever strikers are fit we MUST play with two strikers. If not, we are asking Palace to come and attack – we must be positive! Borini will see this as a fantastic opportunity to stake a claim for a starting berth for the upcoming weeks. Lambert will also fancy his chances. Borini’s running could be key to this game.

All eyes are on us this next upcoming week, the media are hungry, ready for us to fall flat on our face. We needn’t worry about who can play in 4, 5, 6 weeks time. Let’s mirror what we did last season and deal with each game as it comes. We are only 4 points off the top four, the race for fourth has hardly begun, yet it feels like we are discounting ourselves out of the running already! A goal or two for our strikers this weekend can change all that. I’d love to see a youth team player on the bench, Rossiter, Ibe, Smith or even Yesil! That could inject some life into us! It worked well with Raheem against City a few years ago.

Let’s go show the nation what we are made of. Week by week, game by game, goal by goal. Palace, you’re in for a fight.