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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Liverpool Have Not Earned My Faith

Alan Hansen ruined it for everyone. Before his infamous "you'll not win anything with kids" moment on the BBC in the mid-90s, football writers and pundits had the freedom to be as damning as they liked without the fear of a nasty comeuppance. But unfortunately for Hansen, if your kids are David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Nevilles, it turns out that you can win quite a lot and Manchester United fans have been laughing at him ever since.

It is the ghost of Hansen's past that has often prevented me from making such sweeping statements, but even that isn't enough to stop me from writing off his old side for the Premier League title. Liverpool are top of the table, playing their best football in recent years, have taken seven points from their 'big four' clashes and yet I still can't look at them and see a team of champions.

I am a great admirer of Rafa Benitez as a tactician. Watching Liverpool's backline in the flesh is like attending art classes with Leonardo Da Vinchi. They are so organised and so drilled, they move as one fluid force up and down the pitch, squeezing space and suffocating attacks before they even begin. But as good as they are at restricting teams, they aren't always as adept or indeed willing to go on the offensive themselves.

Sunday's clash with Arsenal was a case in point. With half an hour left to play, Cesc Fabregas was in the dressing room having his knee rebuilt and Emmanuel Adebayor was with him, kicking the club cat and wailing at the injustice of it all. That's an opportunity in anyone's book. Arsenal were there for the taking, but Benitez, and we know it was him because Sammy Lee told us that he was directing events down a phoneline, didn't seem interested. For him, a point at The Emirates wasn't worth risking. Despite the man advanatage, poor old Robbie Keane was left to fend for himself up front and the pickings weren't good. Liverpool's only chance after Adebayor's dismissal was a Daniel Agger powerdrive that flashed over the bar. It's good, sensible play for a team who want to qualify for Europe, but it's hardly the stuff of champions.

Liverpool have lost only once this season, and that was a farcial reverse at White Hart Lane, but it's not the defeats that are slowing them down. At the beginning of November, the Reds were preparing for a run of six very winnable games. I wrote at the time that if they secured 16 points then I'd take them seriously as title contenders. They picked up just 12. Not bad, but not good either.

There was a theory that Manchester United needed to lose a title before they knew what it took to win one. They needed to gain the experience of the run-in, to learn all the little things that could go wrong and to know that the points they battled for in December were every bit as important as the ones in May. They were pipped at the post in 1992 by Leeds United, but they laid waste to their rivals for years afterwards. Liverpool may need a dose of the same if they are to step up to the next level.

At the risk of lining myself up for Hansen-style humilation, I saw nothing at The Emirates to suggest that Liverpool know what it is to be champions just yet. You'll not win anything with caution.
 

Matt the Shrimp

aka Harry Potter
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
19,929
Location
Lewisham, London
Leonardo Da Vinchi

*rocks backwards and forwards in his chair, whimpering*

:thump: :dizzy:

Slip - since (as a writer about "Big Clubs") you may have to write about Italians more than most of us, it's worth remembering that when it comes to the letter "C" and the letters "CH", English and Italian are essentially the opposite(*)!

In Italian, "CH" is always hard:

Chianti
Chiara
Chiesa
Che (which is what Manuel would say in Italy)

"C" is soft when followed with "i" or "e" (whether single or double c)

Ciao
Da Vinci
Stracciatella
Nocciola
Ciampino
C'è
La Cicciolina

"C" is only hard when followed by "o" - so Madonna's name (Ciccone) is chi-Ko-neh in English phoenetics.

Yours, grammatically,

MtS

(*So, most confusingly, in Italy, the tasty green nuts you take out of shells - which we pronounce pis-tash-ee-oh, the Italians pronounce pis-tak-ee-oh!)
 
Last edited:

Pubey

Guest
*rocks backwards and forwards in his chair, whimpering*

:thump: :dizzy:

Slip - since (as a writer about "Big Clubs") you may have to write about Italians more than most of us, it's worth remembering that when it comes to the letter "C" and the letters "CH", English and Italian are essentially the opposite(*)!

In Italian, "CH" is always hard:

Chianti
Chiara
Chiesa
Che (which is what Manuel would say in Italy)

"C" is soft when followed with "i" or "e" (whether single or double c)

Ciao
Da Vinci
Stracciatella
Nocciola
Ciampino
C'è
La Cicciolina

"C" is only hard when followed by "o" - so Madonna's name (Ciccone) is chi-Ko-neh in English phoenetics.

Yours, grammatically,

MtS

(*So, most confusingly, in Italy, the tasty green nuts you take out of shells - which we pronounce pis-tash-ee-oh, the Italians pronounce pis-tak-ee-oh!)

brilliant!!!!!!
 

Matt the Shrimp

aka Harry Potter
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
19,929
Location
Lewisham, London
ps it's phonetics Matt

pps so it's Kay Wilson? :O)

1. Noted!

2. No. Spanish "CH" is the same as English "CH" (champiñones, Che). "C" is always hard when with a, o or u (cabrón, cojónes, culo) and always soft (and, for a Castellano, pronounced "th") with e and i (cero, cintura).

Yours, phonetically,

;)

Matt
 

Kris

Director⭐
Joined
Jun 30, 2004
Messages
3,537
Location
Stratford
Going back to Slipper's post, I agree with him entirely. Liverpool may be superbly well organised but, just like in Gerard Houllier's reign, they remain far too methodical. It's all very well beating the likes of Chelsea and Man Utd but already this season they've dropped points at home to Fulham, Stoke, West Ham and Hull, teams they should be sweeping aside comfortably if they are to be genuine Premiership contenders.

Benitez's tactics are perfect for Europe, playing a system designed to stifle the opposition and pick them off at the right times. However, in the Premiership, where lesser teams, particularly at Anfield, play them at their own game with nine or ten players behind the ball, Liverpool don't appear to be flexible or ruthless enough to go for the throat.

It's a shame because I'd love to see a team other than Man Utd or Chelsea win the Premiership but, until Liverpool stop carelessly dropping points, they will get left behind after Christmas.
 

BrettieAngell

THE ROCK GOD
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
19,642
Location
Southend
How good was Keane's goal the other day? Hopefully he'll start knocking a few in now and then Torres comes back, BAM!!
 

ShrimperChris

First XI
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
391
I thought van Persie's goal was better IMO. Not that Keane's wasn't good, I just think that RvP's goal involved a lot more skill.
 

BrettieAngell

THE ROCK GOD
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
19,642
Location
Southend
I thought van Persie's goal was better IMO. Not that Keane's wasn't good, I just think that RvP's goal involved a lot more skill.

Yeah you are probably right, RVP had more to do the technique needed to keep the ball down for keane's goal was top draw though! I just hope he can kick on from that.
 

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Vinchi?

I have no excuse. Shameful. I really have to slow down and start reading this **** back before filing.

*takes revolver, goes for walk in the woods*
 

BrettieAngell

THE ROCK GOD
Joined
Oct 26, 2003
Messages
19,642
Location
Southend
So slipper what do you reckon now? 3-0 and 5-1 in the last two games quite a few changes against the Toon aswell, Chelsea conceding a last minute goal things are looking quite good!
 
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