Frightening Mesut Özil

“Mesut Ozil will be a frightening prospect once he has completely settled into the team”, said Parlour, who is joining the Arsenal away fans on the Barclays Buses this Saturday to say thank you for their support.

“I think his best is yet to come. It says something when the likes of Ronaldo at Real Madrid were sad to see him leave because of the number of goals he set up there. He’s still learning about English football but when we see the best of Ozil he will be absolutely frightening.”

Mesut_Ozil_Arsenal_2014_The_Gunner_HD_Desktop_Wallpaper_citiesandteams.blogspot.com

 

 

Let’s hope the Romford Pele’s words turn out to be true sooner, rather than later.

Dawn of a new era or just the same old story?

It’s been sometime since the optimism has flown through the Kop chants as it has this season. With exile for 4 years from Europe’s finest competition, the Reds look all set to return to the European stage with a bang, unless the footballing Gods have a devious plan! The last time Liverpool FC played in the UEFA Champions league – in 2009 – was also the season they came close to challenging for the title under Benitez, which sadly was the Spaniard’s penultimate season in charge. Back then, Liverpool FC boasted a hitman in Fernando Torres. And now, Luis Suarez along with Sturridge is pulling similar strings for the Merseyside outfit. The two have complimented each other so meticulously this season that, they’ve earned the plaudits of being the best strike force in the premier league, period. The duo boasts a combined 37 goals between them. Suarez being the protagonist, by all fairness, with 23 goals to his name after missing much of the start to the season with a lengthy ban! The lad is head and shoulders above the rest, with Aguero, his nearest competitor, trailing him by 8 goals. But the fact of the matter is that, even after possessing one of the most deadly strike force in all of the league, and boasting the second best goal difference in the league, bettered only by Man City, the Reds find themselves sitting 4th in the table; 8 points adrift the table toppers – Arsenal.

Who would’ve thought that a club which finished 7th last season would finish top of the league come Christmas and then be sitting quite comfortably in the 4th spot come January? But then again, that’s how open this premier league season has been in recent years, with this being the most open title race for some time. And this weekend could very well add fire to it. Liverpool host Arsenal at Anfield this week, knowing that a win would ascertain their top 4 credentials while a loss would mean that they are back in the midst of a fiery top 4 race.

But does Liverpool really look like a top 4 side? If Liverpool’s performances against the top sides is anything to go by then, they’ve faired really well, though at times they might not have earned the points to testify this claim. But it’s not how they’ve faired against the big teams, which is an issue, as much as how they’ve performed so abysmally against the lesser sides, is a cause for concern! A week ago, a certain Liverpool side thrashed Everton, another team vying for the top 4 spot, at Anfield, with an emphatic 4-0 score line. Fast forward to the following weekend, and you’ll find the same starting 11 draw a game at The Hawthorns against a lowly West Brom side. The performance was as contrasting as Ebony and Ivory! They were so shabby, lethargic and lost that one may argue whether they really are a top 4 contender. Resting on their laurels, perhaps?

They’ve quite mysteriously failed to add a new face in the January transfer window and with injuries aplenty, Liverpool look to be walking a tight rope. With an injury prone Sturridge, and lack of quality on the bench coupled with a lack of squad depth, an injury to Suarez or any of the other playmakers could really hamper their top 4 chances this season, let alone challenging the title. The returning [from injury] players will only aid their top 4 push, esp. Enrique, without whom the left back position, currently occupied by Cissokho, looks jaded.

Liverpool fans will be hoping that the lapses in concentration like the ones at The Hawthorns or that home draw to Aston Villa don’t come to haunt them come the end of the season. As of now; the optimism has ebbed a bit, but make no mistake, it’ll be flowing like a river if they manage to beat the current table toppers at the reinvigorated fortress that is Anfield. With both sides going for a pass and move football philosophy a.k.a the 21st century football unlike some others who prefer playing the 19th century one, one can hope to witness a mouth-watering clash; A beautiful game of football. So sit back and be entertained, in what could turn out to be a deciding week in the title race and a race for the top 4. With Everton hosting Spurs, in another of weekend’s fixture, it’s a chance for Man United to make some ground or risk losing a place in top 4 since 1990-91. The season is still far from done, though.

The problem with Liverpool is that, you just can’t write them off, but given their unpredictable performances so far this season, you might want to think twice before taking them seriously.

A loss at home against Wenger’s boys would mean that Liverpool fans are up for a long hard season, again.

~Guest Author, Gauresh Khanolkar.

50 ‘Gunned’ Down

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Liverpool’s Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz, fondly known as El Pistolero, got his latest Goal for the Red Half of Merseyside in a crucial encounter against Tottenham, scoring the equalizer for he club. This goal takes his tally up to 50 for Liverpool F.C. and he completes a half century of goals for the KOP in only his third season with them.

Here’s a picture dedicated to this spectacular feat packed with stats about every individual goal.

El Pistolero

Here’s to an amazing achievement and hoping that he crosses many more milestones for the Scouse (Unless it’s against The Arsenal 😛 )

Sir, congratulations.

Suarez Poster File

Of Gary & Ryan

The two United stalwarts had a discussion about Ryan Giggs, his age, his game, retirement and more. Here’s a copy of what transpired between the two.
Gary Neville: Do you have days at the age of 39 when you think: ‘This is fast’?

Ryan Giggs: If I’m playing on the left against Rafael…

Gary Neville [laughing]: You tuck in?

Ryan Giggs [laughing]: I just tuck in! Tom Cleverley and Carra (Michael Carrick) in the centre of midfield are saying: ‘What are you doing here?’ So I just tuck in next to them!

Gary Neville: There are some days when you have to manage yourself in those sessions…

Ryan Giggs: Yeah. You have to. Training sessions are full on. I’m playing left-wing probably against Antonio (Valencia) and Rafael. When are you going to get that in a Premier League game? The intensity of those two? So it just steps you up a notch. You know what I’m like, if someone takes the ball off me. It’s: ‘You can’t do that!’

Gary Neville [laughing]: The eyes go!

Ryan Giggs: Yeah, the eyes go! It just fuels you. Then you just get stuck into tackles and it steps you up. It’s that natural progression.

Gary Neville: I remember clearly when I knew I had to quit. That game at West Brom on New Year’s Day, 2011, when I felt I was a liability to the team at the age of 35. Where’s your West Brom moment? What’s going to make you stop?

Ryan Giggs: When I stop affecting games, really, when I stop contributing. I’ve got to be careful. You speak about your West Brom moment but I’ve had a few of them…

Gary Neville: Really?

Ryan Giggs: This year, against Cluj, against Tottenham at home. I came off at half-time against Tottenham. The team were awful but I was awful. Cluj at home this year, I was shocking. Once I get into a rhythm, and it’s usually around Christmas time, when it starts getting a bit colder and the games are coming and probably a lot of players are going backwards, I come into a peak then so that’s a massive plus for me. And the manager knows when to use me.

Gary Neville: At those points, when everything gets on top of you and you think: ‘This could be it.’ Do you have those moments?

Ryan Giggs: Yeah. But it doesn’t last for long. I was down after those two games.

Gary Neville: How do you get yourself up? Do you listen to the media, people saying: ‘Oh, he should retire now’?

Ryan Giggs: No. It doesn’t have any influence on me whatsoever. It used to, because you’re young.

Gary Neville: At what point did that change?

Ryan Giggs: Well, a watershed season for me in that respect was around 2002 when I was getting a bit of stick. Only for a few games, I think it was slightly exaggerated. But probably then, I was 28, 29. It affected you but I was sort of surprised how well I came through it. It was like: ‘Oh, it’s not that bad, is it? It doesn’t really matter.’

Gary Neville: So earlier in the season, you were having those doubts – not to the point that you did what I did and decided to quit – but what are you thinking?

Ryan Giggs: My thinking is: ‘What you going to do about it?’

Gary Neville: And what do you do?

Ryan Giggs: It’s just stupid things, like saying: ‘Right, I’m not going to have butter on my toast. I’m going to make sure I go to bed an hour earlier. I’m going to make sure I go home after every training session for a couple of weeks and rest my legs. I’m going to do extra running.’ There’s no alcohol, certainly. My weight doesn’t really fluctuate but I make sure I don’t eat late at night. It’s about making sure I’m right physically because mentally I’m okay.

Gary Neville: Did the 1,000th competitive game on Tuesday night mean anything?

Ryan Giggs: I don’t want to sound dismissive, that it didn’t matter [laughs] but, no, it didn’t. When I retire I’ll look back at it and I’m really proud of getting to 1,000 but it all built up to the Norwich game and I just wanted it over with. That doesn’t really matter to me, that stuff.

Gary Neville: You’ve done your coaching badges and are now doing your pro licence, so where do you see yourself in three years? Coaching?

Ryan Giggs: I think so. That’s why I’m doing the badges, to prepare myself as best I can. As a footballer, you don’t look too far ahead. So I’m going to have to change my mind-set when I finish. I’ll have to say to myself: ‘Where do you want to be in two or three years’ time?’ You have ideal scenarios, where you might be going on the coaching staff at United to learn how everything works at a football club and then take a manager’s job.

Gary Neville: Man United is obviously the dream job. I don’t want to pin that on you but can there be another job for Ryan Giggs other than managing this club?

Ryan Giggs: Yeah, I think there can. We’ve talked about it on the pro licence course, that ideally you want to get that bit of experience, two or three years on the pitch coaching, organising. That’s your apprenticeship. Now that might not happen. I might finish and get offered a decent manager’s job.

Gary Neville: Would you take it?

Ryan Giggs: Well, you don’t know until it’s offered and see what your alternatives are. Ideally, you would want your apprenticeship, like you do as a footballer before you get into the first team.

Gary Neville: Why do you think more players haven’t done what you do and played into their late 30s?

Ryan Giggs: I don’t know. I think there’s definitely a lot of things in my favour. If I was playing at another club, would I still be playing now? I honestly don’t know. There’s so much going for me in that I’ve got great facilities, it’s brilliant going into Carrington, training every day, I haven’t had to move house, I’ve got the same manager, I’m at Man United, you’ve got good players around you, I don’t play every week. There are so many things that go in my favour. I quickly got my head round not playing every week – and some players don’t. I knew it was for the greater good really because I knew it would benefit me playing every 10 days.

Gary Neville: You’ve achieved almost everything. In the next 30, 40 years what would achievement be for you? What would give you satisfaction, completion?

Ryan Giggs: I don’t think there is anything. There’s never been completion in my football career because I’ve always been striving for that next thing. You listen to people who have finished and nothing replaces playing, but I’m still excited about not having to put my body through what I’ve put it through. And not feeling the disappointment that I feel. I mean, I’ve got mates who are gutted (after Tuesday’s defeat by Real Madrid) but they don’t feel what I feel. They’re gutted, they’re mad Man United fans. But I’m gutted and it affects your life and it affects your mood for the next two or three days. I’m not going to miss that. I’m not going to miss putting my body through it, the sacrifices you make. My lad comes home every day and wants to play football and sometimes I’ve got to say: ‘No, I can’t. I’ve got to relax.’ I can’t wait for all that sort of stuff to end. But, professionally, I think it’s got to be something within football, something that’s going to satisfy you. But what that will be, I really don’t know.

ryan n gary