The LFC Testament

Hillsborough: Twenty-two years on.

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As the darkest hour in British sporting history unfolded before the eyes of the nation, the sun shone. It was the mid-April of 1989, when ninety-six human beings travelled amongst the thousands to Sheffield for a football match and, because of naive, misguided and impromptu decisions made by the authorities, tragically never returned home. And still the sun shone.

Today, I don’t attempt to impress you with my ability to structure a sentence, or entice you with my opinion of a footballer’s contract situation. Today, I ask you to do one thing; remember and celebrate the lives of the ninety-six.

John Alfred Anderson (62)
Colin Mark Ashcroft (19)
James Gary Aspinall (18)
Kester Roger Marcus Ball (16)
Gerard Bernard Patrick Baron (67)
Simon Bell (17)
Barry Sidney Bennett (26)
David John Benson (22)
David William Birtle (22)
Tony Bland (22)
Paul David Brady (21)
Andrew Mark Brookes (26)
Carl Brown (18)
David Steven Brown (25)
Henry Thomas Burke (47)
Peter Andrew Burkett (24)
Paul William Carlile (19)
Raymond Thomas Chapman (50)
Gary Christopher Church (19)
Joseph Clark (29)
Paul Clark (18)
Gary Collins (22)
Stephen Paul Copoc (20)
Tracey Elizabeth Cox (23)
James Philip Delaney (19)
Christopher Barry Devonside (18)
Christopher Edwards (29)
Vincent Michael Fitzsimmons (34)
Thomas Steven Fox (21)
Jon-Paul Gilhooley (10)
Barry Glover (27)
Ian Thomas Glover (20)
Derrick George Godwin (24)
Roy Harry Hamilton (34)
Philip Hammond (14)
Eric Hankin (33)
Gary Harrison (27)
Stephen Francis Harrison (31)
Peter Andrew Harrison (15)
David Hawley (39)
James Robert Hennessy (29)
Paul Anthony Hewitson (26)
Carl Darren Hewitt (17)
Nicholas Michael Hewitt (16)
Sarah Louise Hicks (19)
Victoria Jane Hicks (15)
Gordon Rodney Horn (20)
Arthur Horrocks (41)
Thomas Howard (39)
Thomas Anthony Howard (14)
Eric George Hughes (42)
Alan Johnston (29)
Christine Anne Jones (27)
Gary Philip Jones (18)
Richard Jones (25)
Nicholas Peter Joynes (27)
Anthony Peter Kelly (29)
Michael David Kelly (38)
Carl David Lewis (18)
David William Mather (19)
Brian Christopher Mathews (38)
Francis Joseph McAllister (27)
John McBrien (18)
Marion Hazel McCabe (21)
Joseph Daniel McCarthy (21)
Peter McDonnell (21)
Alan McGlone (28)
Keith McGrath (17)
Paul Brian Murray (14)
Lee Nicol (14)
Stephen Francis O’Neill (17)
Jonathon Owens (18)
William Roy Pemberton (23)
Carl William Rimmer (21)
David George Rimmer (38)
Graham John Roberts (24)
Steven Joseph Robinson (17)
Henry Charles Rogers (17)
Colin Andrew Hugh William Sefton (23)
Inger Shah (38)
Paula Ann Smith (26)
Adam Edward Spearritt (14)
Philip John Steele (15)
David Leonard Thomas (23)
Patrik John Thompson (35)
Peter Reuben Thompson (30)
Stuart Paul William Thompson (17)
Peter Francis Tootle (21)
Christopher James Traynor (26)
Martin Kevin Traynor (16)
Kevin Tyrrell (15)
Colin Wafer (19)
Ian David Whelan (19)
Martin Kenneth Wild (29)
Kevin Daniel Williams (15)
Graham John Wright (17)

Still, we fight for their justice. Still, we refuse to read a certain newspaper.



Written by The LFC Testament

April 14, 2011 at 23:48

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James is excited by the prospect of Luis Suarez.

I was handed the privilege of speaking to James Herd, writer/radio host/student/you name it, ahead of Kenny Dalglish’s first European tie at Anfield as Liverpool manager. Here’s how it went:

With early exits in domestic competitions and consistently poor league form up until recently, have your expectations of Liverpool in the Europa League changed over the course of the season?
James: To an extent, yes. I must say; the European form was one of very few real positives during the Roy Hodgson era. We didn’t play fantastic football, but nobody can argue the results – in general – were very good. I think our recent Premier League form under Kenny has been excellent, and we are now in a very good position to secure a European spot for next season. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of work to do in the league, but for me – now is the time to take the Europa League very seriously. As much as I like the idea of the youngsters gaining valuable experience, Liverpool Football Club win trophies, and by playing our ‘first team’ from now on – I believe we can still win this competition. That’s not to undermine the competition, though, there are some very strong sides left, you only have to look down the road at Manchester City.

Me: Kenny Dalglish’s return to the managerial position at Anfield (on a temporary basis) has resulted in a drastic and positive change in fortunes for the club. If you were given the power to appoint him permanently, right now, would you?
James: I keep changing my mind on this subject. As I write, what I’d do is wait. Kenny has been fantastic so far, but for me, there’s no need to rush any decision. If they make the appointment now, and the team has a difficult time on the pitch for the rest of the season (unlikely, I know) then the owners would have put themselves in a very awkward position. I’d love Kenny to be our permanent manager, everybody would – but there’s no rush, he’s unlikely to be approached by another side, he’s not going to go anywhere, I think we should be patient.

Me: Despite being unable to secure an away goal in Prague, taking a goalless draw back to Anfield would suggest that Liverpool are in control of this Europa League tie. What sort of team are we expecting our manager to select in the return leg?
James: As I said above, I’d really like to see us take this competition seriously. That’s not to say we haven’t done so far, I think we’ve found a perfect balance in the squad, and team selection to date. I’d expect a very strong line up on Thursday; Reina, Carragher, Lucas, Meireles, Kuyt – all players who have, in my opinion, been excellent in the past few weeks. And if Gerrard is fully fit, I’d have him captaining the side too. Kenny first home European game as manager of Liverpool; add our captain into the equation and I think it could be a very special night at Anfield. No plastic flags required.

Me: Luis Suarez headed back to Amsterdam at the weekend, in order to say goodbye to the Ajax supporters. From the farewell alone, it is clear that our Uruguayan acquisition is adored by his former club. Are you excited by his arrival?
James: Absolutely, I’m yet to see a picture of Suarez where he’s not beaming from ear to ear. A goal against Stoke was clearly the perfect start, but you can ignore that, just look at his all round game – and still be excited. Here we have a guy that doesn’t seem your ‘typical’ footballer. Watching the footage of him saying goodbye at the weekend would have bought a tear to a glass eye. The man oozes class, both on and off the pitch. As a supporter, you try not to get too carried away, but if I’m honest, it’s very difficult not to when talking about Luis Suarez. Saying this, we must be patient; he’s just moved to a different country, he’s playing in a different league, with a different set of team mates. Suarez may well need the rest of the season to fully settle in, but with the stability that Kenny has bought to the club – he’s got that.

Lastly on Suarez, another exciting moment will be to see exactly how he and our record signing Andy Carroll line up. Whether it be part of a front three, or just the two of them working up top together. I think it is an exciting time to be a supporter of this club, and Suarez will be a big part of the future.

Me: Regardless of what happens between now and the end of the season, we’re guaranteed a summer of great importance, as our new owners experience their first close-season window. Where do you feel we need to improve on the pitch?
James: The squad Hodgson, and Dalglish inherited was always going to need work, that’s not to say it wasn’t a good squad, particularly when considering the financial restraints of the past 3/4 years. Losing Torres was a blow, but getting in Suarez and Carroll meant that overall, January was very successful for us. Work needs to be done, however. Xabi Alonso has never been replaced; we’re talking about somebody who played ‘Quaterback’, he was the fulcrum of all that was good about our attacking force. We’re lacking a fulcrum; Lucas is a holding midfield player, Gerrard is an attacking midfielder, and recently we’ve seen Meireles play a more advanced role. But, arguably, we need somebody who can play in the centre of midfield, and dictate the game. You’ve got the height of Carroll, the pace and skill of Suarez, add somebody to play defence splitting through balls to that and the prospect is frightening.

We also need pace on the wing, again if you look at Andy Carroll, he’s fantastic in the air. Kuyt has a role, but no pace. Maxi has a lot of skill, but again, he’s not the quickest, and his crossing isn’t quite there. We need a winger who has that ability to beat the full back. Babel did it once or twice, but was never consistent enough. For me, you don’t have to look far to find the player we’re after – Ashley Young.

And then there’s the left back situation. I’m a big fan of Fabio Aurelio, but you simply can’t rely on his fitness. Johnson has done well there, but can you have a right-footed player as your permanent left back? I’m not so sure. Can Insua return and fulfill that role? I’m yet to be convinced. One thing I can categorically say, it won’t be Paul Konchesky.

Also in defence, I’d like to see another centre back. I think Skrtel has been very poor this season, Carragher hasn’t got too many years left, and despite his good form this season, I don’t believe Kyrgiakos is the man we should be looking at to win us trophies next season. Maybe Danny Wilson will get his chance there. Overall, we need at least one winger, a centre midfielder, a left back, and a centre back. Possibly too much to ask?

Me: And finally, your prediction for the match…
James: I’m confident; this will be a very special night at Anfield. Liverpool 3-0 Sparta Prague. Ngog, Kuyt and Gerrard with the goals.

Follow James on Twitter: @James_Herd
Read his blog on ‘The Kop’:

Written by The LFC Testament

February 22, 2011 at 17:57

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Liverpool dealt Shelvey blow.

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The talented midfielder looks set to be on the sidelines for the remainder of the 2010/11 campaign.

Jonjo Shelvey’s season appears to be over, after it was confirmed by Liverpool Football Club that the tendon problem in his knee will keep him out for up to twelve weeks.

The eighteen year old central midfielder, who has featured in nine Premier League matches this season, said “I’m a bit down at the moment but I’m just hoping now I can come back stronger. I am now going to take a twelve week rehabilitation and hopefully I’ll be back soon.”

Written by The LFC Testament

February 10, 2011 at 16:13

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A chat with a Red: Matt Kenny.

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The eighth most expensive signing in footballing history and his new guide.

Ahead of every Liverpool match, I get the views of a supporter on current affairs. Today was the turn of Matthew Kenny, a younger journalist learning the trade, like myself (he’s fond of the land of Catenaccio, too). Here’s his thoughts.

The way Fenway Sports Group’s first transfer window as Liverpool owners ended was compulsive viewing, eh?

It was certainly captivating from a Liverpool fan’s perspective, since we don’t usually do a lot of business in January, let alone on deadline day. The Torres situation looked set to threaten the rest of our season, but FSG reacted remarkably in signing both Suarez and Carroll to leave the supporters feeling optimistic. Spending £58m in January is a statement of intent, and proves that Liverpool can compete at the top table for transfers.

Fernando Torres’ time at the club has came to an end in a fashion that isn’t welcomed by anybody. How are you feeling about that?

It was a sad way for things to end, and certainly not the way I imagined Torres leaving the club. Supporters really connected with Fernando. We felt that he understood us and the Liverpool way after all his gushing comments about our history. It turns out that he hass wanted to leave since last summer, and his “desire to stay” was just a pack of lies. The fact that he has moved to Chelsea makes his exit even more disappointing, since they symbolise everything that Liverpool are not (classless and brash) and everything we thought Torres was not.

Leaving for City or Barca would have been understandable, and he could have left the club with his head held high with no hard feelings. But instead he chose to rub our supporters’ noses in it, and make comments about a “massive step up in his career”, when in reality we are not too far behind their ageing squad. Overall I’m massively disappointed.

Two forwards, Andy Carroll of Newcastle United and Luis Suarez of Ajax, were purchased. Can you see our manager changing the system because of this, though?

I don’t think Dalglish will make drastic changes once they’re both fit. Since his return as manager he has persisted with 4-4-1-1, which I believe would suit both Carroll and Suarez. The problem then is fitting both Gerrard and Meireles into a midfield four which could be difficult considering neither are holding players.

I think the best system would be a 4-3-3, as we could incorporate Lucas, Gerrard and Meireles into their favoured positions, with Carroll the central striker and Suarez playing as a wide forward (something he is very familiar with). 4-3-3 is a very adaptable formation and I believe that Suarez and Carroll will give us much more variety in attack than what Torres did.

Kenny Dalglish’s name has donned the manager’s door at Melwood for almost a month now. How’s it going in your opinion?

I think he’s been brilliant in just about every aspect. The club was at an all-time low after Hodgson’s sacking, but Kenny’s arrival just gave everyone a lift. He’s united the fans which is crucial if we are to succeed.

On the pitch, he has gone back to the pass and move style which gave us so much success in the past, and we are already starting to see the rewards. The players seem to really enjoy the way they are playing and the new system allows Kenny to get the best out of the likes of Maxi and Meireles. I can only see us moving up the table under the King.

Stoke City travel to Anfield on Wednesday evening. What do you make of them?

I think they’re a very underrated side who pose a huge threat to us, so we must be very careful. Stoke are often labelled as a long ball side but they have a lot more to their game and possess two pacey wingers in Pennant and Ethrington, that wouldn’t look out of place in our current side. Obviously they have the huge paring of Kenwyne Jones and John Carew upfront, who will cause our centre backs a lot of problems, but they are by no means one-dimensional and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them.

If you were Dalglish, who would you be starting with, and how would you set up the selected in order to beat Pulis’ side?

I don’t think he should change his team or tactics too much. The only changes I’d make, would be Cole in for the departed Torres and Kyrgiakos in for Skrtel to help combat the aerial threat Stoke poses. Skrtel’s heading ability has long been a concern and the Potters will be looking to take advantage if he does start alongside Daniel Agger. Otherwise I’d start with the same set of players that beat Wolves and Fulham.

If Matt were the King.

Finally, how’s this match going to pan out? Score? Scorers?

It’ll be a tough test but ultimately we will be too much for Stoke. I see us winning 2-0, with Kuyt and Gerrard getting the goals.


I’d like to thank Matt for taking part in the pre-match interview.

If you’d like to hear more of his views, you can follow him on Twitter: @MattKenny_LFC

You should read his blog, too:

Written by The LFC Testament

February 1, 2011 at 18:09

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Lucas Leiva the subject of two bids, last night.

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A new deal for our flaxen-haired Platini?

Two teams (one of them being Villarreal) submitted bids/enquiries for Lucas Leiva yesterday evening, I have been told.

Liverpool declined both offers though, as the player is currently in talks with the club about a long term contract extension.

FSG know the score.

Written by The LFC Testament

February 1, 2011 at 17:05

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Fulham (H) Preview.

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Liverpool entertain Fulham at Anfield on Wednesday evening, in a league fixture that was initially scheduled for mid-December, but was postponed due to adverse weather conditions.

The last six league games (going backwards in time)…

Liverpool (11th in league): Win, Draw, Loss, Loss, Win, Loss.

Fulham (14th in league): Win, Draw, Win, Loss, Win, Loss.

Last five against Fulham at Anfield (league)…

2009-10: Liverpool  0 – 0  Fulham
2008-09: Liverpool  0 – 0  Fulham
2007-08: Liverpool  2 – 0  Fulham
2006-07: Liverpool  4 – 0  Fulham
2005-06: Liverpool  5 – 1  Fulham

Currently out…

Liverpool: Milan Jovanovic (illness) doubtful and Jamie Carragher (dislocated shoulder) out.

Fulham: Dickson Etuhu (hamstring), Matthew Briggs (ankle injury), Bobby Zamora (broken leg) and Phillipe Senderos (calf injury) all out.

If I was Kenny…

Opposition’s season thus far…

A change in system as opposed to personnel has meant that Mark Hughes’ first six months at Craven Cottage haven’t been up to the standards that we’ve come to expect over recent years.

Roy Hodgson’s departure from the club to Liverpool on the first day of the transfer window last summer certainly didn’t help their cause, as the West London outfit headed into the opening game of the season still reassessing their squad after a fantastic showing in the previous campaign.

Such awkward circumstances didn’t faze Hughes though, as his impact saw the Cottagers remain undefeated in the league until a controversial 2-1 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur in late September.

The situation gradually worsened from then on in though, as Fulham picked up just two wins in the rest of 2010, regardless of some strong performances.

Such form has now left Fulham attempting to climb out of what is an extremely packed bottom half of the table, but the outcome of their matches seem to be improving, with just one defeat this year, at White Hart Lane on January 1st.

Lengthy injuries to some key players have meant that their freshly-appointed manager’s first season has been continually disrupted, but the situation has quite evidently improved since the turn of the year, and I’d expect to see them finishing in a comfortable 12th, come May.

A chat with a Red…

Ahead of each league match, I interview a Liverpool supporter, gathering their views on current affairs at the club. This time around, I was allowed the privilege of conversing with Keiran Harrison, an administrator on the only LFC forum I visit: Liverpool Football Zone.

Here’s what he had to say…

A week of pure, uninterrupted preparation left Kenny Dalglish and Steve Clarke reaping the benefits on Saturday afternoon, as Liverpool comfortably victored at Molyneux. How big a win was that?

In the grand scheme of things, potentially massive. We’ve had an awful lot of false dawns under Roy Hodgson this season. I recall the Aston Villa game, which was an extremely accomplished performance, three different scorers and a comprehensive 3-0 victory. The cliche’d “season starts here” tag was bandied about and (perhaps predictably) we went on to lose to Newcastle and then to Wolves.

Under Kenny and, lest we forget, Steve Clarke, it feels somewhat different. The performances since they have taken over have been extremely encouraging, even if the results often haven’t. However there was a certain confidence about the side fielded on Saturday that has been lacking for large parts this season. Liverpool, for as long as I have watched them, have always been a side that have typically started poorly and finished the season strong. Come May, I believe the Wolves result will perhaps be one of the most significant of the campaign.

Over the course of the season, results have left us pondering the word “safety” as opposed to “Europe”. Where do you see us finishing realistically?

Realistically, now there’s the question. Realistic expectations have always been something lost on this Liverpool team. We tend to raise expectations one season then dash them the next. I believe we have the right man in charge, with the right signings and a good run of form, I don’t see the top four as an unreachable target. It’s ambitious, but with three or four world class players in your team, why not swing for the fence?
This team really is as good as it wants to be. However, if by February 1st our most notable activity in this window has been the loan of the talented Nathan Eccleston to Charlton, then i expect we may have to settle for a top seven place.

On Wednesday night, we entertain Fulham in a rearranged league fixture. Given the performance at the weekend, have your confidence levels been raised ahead of this one?

Of course, a win does wonders for everyone’s confidence, especially in our case when it’s been a long time coming. I expect the team will be equally buoyant on the back of the Wolves game, and at home we have to be confident of picking up all three points.

There is sometimes a tendency with our fans to overplay the significance of a result. Though this season, wins have been few and far between, it’s just great to get three more points on the board, and get another win under our belts, particularly an away win at a tough place.

Fulham are no push overs though, and with the likes of Duff, Dempsey, Hangeland and the increasingly impressive Dembele, we will need to produce our best to get the win.

How do you feel Mark Hughes has faired in his first six months at Craven Cottage?

As is to be expected when you get a new manager, there is always a ‘bedding in’ period, and we’ve certainly seen this at Fulham. In spite of his association with our nearest and dearest rivals, I do feel he is a good manager, quite hard done by at City. It will take some time for him to implant his own system and methods there, but he will do good things with them.

The one thing a club like Fulham needs above anything else is security, and despite remaining just four points above the drop zone, I don’t feel they are in any danger of going down. He’s not had it easy so far, the long term injury to Bobby Zamora and the departure of Mark Schwarzer to the Asian Cup has hurt them more than first thought.

Fernando Torres is experiencing something of an unusual season, with performances seemingly below what we’d come to expect, and the goals somewhat drying up. What do you put this down to?

Confidence. Arguably the most important part of any strikers game. I don’t think he quite got over his torrid World Cup and like alot of the players, he never responded all that well to Roy Hodgson. It just seemed to snowball from there.
Anyone and everyone can see he is a fabulous player, and the goals will come. Kenny has shown great faith in Fernando already in his short tenure and we’ve seen greatly improved performances, individually and collectively in most of the squad. Goals breed confidence and the brace at the weekend will have done wonders for him. Watch out Fulham!

Who’s been your player of the season thus far, at Liverpool?

The two who finished last season as my players of the season, have continued their excellent performances this year. Lucas and Pepe Reina. Lucas, a name that once went hand in hand with groans of frustration, has become Mr. Reliable in my opinion. Even in defeat this season he has been excellent. He reminds me of a young Didi Hamann.
As for Pepe, what is there to say? Proving week in week out why he is the best in the country, and in my eyes, the best in the world. I couldn’t choose between the two of them.

With an overhaul at the academy in 2009 (by former manager Rafael Benitez), we seem to be hearing nothing but positive things from those keeping an eye on our Under 18s side. How far are we from unearthing a trainee prodigy?

The work Rafa and co did with the academy deserves enormous praise because I think we are finally starting to scout, produce and cultivate genuine Premier League quality. Since Michael Owens emergence in the late 90s as the boy wonder, the academy struggled to produce the likes of Mellor, Wright and Warnock to name but a few. It was only when Rafa arrived that the emphasis was really placed on youth and the future. And now we have some very promising young players on the cusp of the senior squad. Most notably Suso who was given the first team treatment at the weekend, which must have been a fantastic experience for him.

We already have a number of quality youngsters mixing it in the reserves and even out on loan at the lower league clubs, hoping to make the grade, so the production line is very healthy. Of course there is a long way to go and it’s a big step up, but we are heading in the right direction.

And finally, unfortunately not related to our beloved team, who is going to win the Premier League this year and why?

Though it pains me to say it, I can’t see past the most obvious answer. Chelsea have problems galore behind closed doors and they have already conceded this title. Arsenal play outstanding football and possess a tremendous attack, but their defending leaves an awful lot to be desired. They also lack real leadership when Fabregas is out of the team. City have a title winning team on paper, but I’m yet to be convinced Mancini is the man to lead them to that title. They still look out of sorts, plagued by inconsistency and it may need another season for them to really show their potency.

United on the other hand have gone about their business very quietly. There is a lot to be said for stability in a team, and a settled squad who know each other inside and out is a dangerous thing. I prey I am wrong, but I expect them to run away with this title, but perish the thought they will go unbeaten.


I’d like to thank Keiran for taking time out to answer my questions. If you want to hear more of his view (and mine), join LFZ now:

You can follow Keiran on Twitter at:


And finally, the Testament’s tip…

Liverpool  2 – 0  Fulham, Torres first goal. Drawing at the interval.

Written by The LFC Testament

January 24, 2011 at 22:55

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Wolverhampton Wanderers 2010-11, in chalkboard form.

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Just three weeks ago, arguably the worst Liverpool performance in my lifetime simulated before my very eyes, as Mick McCarthy’s goal-leaking, bottom of the league outfit, quite simply orchestrated a league match at Anfield.

It was arguably the result that brought the immediate need for a change in manager to the forefront of our recently instated owners minds and, not long after the humiliation of picking up no points at home to previously winless travellers, we got what most had been pleading for, for a while.

Kenny Dalglish’s return as temporary manager has been a bit of a mixed bag, in all honesty. The football on show has been a cut above anything we’ve seen over the past eighteen months, but the first three results showed no change to what was becoming an unwelcome part of the fabric at Liverpool Football Club (though you could argue a lack of pure, lengthy preparation has played its part).

But yesterday, as our match of vengeance with Wolves came to its conclusion, it was as good a feeling as I’ve felt in a long time.

Sky and other influential media outlets keep telling us that our recent misfortunes boil down to a poor squad, and some I know are ridiculously in agreement. These people fail to understand that sixteen of the current first-team squad were present in South Africa. Yeah, that is correct, representing their respective countries in the biggest show on earth.

Saturday’s result suggests otherwise in regards to the squad, and more to what the level-headed amongst us have been saying all season:

The squad was in need of a stronger and much more ideologically fitting guide.

So anyway, I’ve decided to check up on how a performance at Molyneux compared and contrasted with a performance at Anfield to the same side (besides the obvious).

How we set up in the 1-0 defeat. 

How we set up in the 3-0 victory. 


And now, for the chalkboards…

Reina’s passing in both league matches.

Torres’ shooting in both league matches. 


Meireles’ passing in both league matches. 


Oh, and that third goal.

I’m not trying to prove a point, or provide a witty conclusion. Just read and make your own minds up.

Written by The LFC Testament

January 23, 2011 at 14:18

Posted in Uncategorized