Monthly Archives: April 2014

Keep Your Head Up LFC

"In Istanbul... we won it five times."

Keep Your Head Up LFC
by Randy Villarba

The barrage of “HA-HA’s” I received from my Chelsea and Manchester City friends was nauseating since Liverpool’s slip on Sunday versus Chelsea. It has taken me a few days to bring myself back to a chipper level. Do you know what did it?

Seeing the Champions League merchandise roll back into the Anfield Shop. Champions League football is coming back to Anfield.  We accomplished what we wanted to do this season. (I can’t wait to sing, “…in Istanbul, we won it five times,” at the pub midweek. Or better yet, hear it being sung by the Kop Choir for the first time next season).

Seeing every LFC fan pick each other’s head up with, “Well, if we score 10 goals in the next two games and Miglonet clean sheets…” or with “I find it strange to be cheering for Everton this weekend but…” On social media, all our supporters have still been mostly positive looking towards these final weeks of the BPL.

At the beginning of the season we were still rebuilding. My aspirations for this season was simple; sort out the Luis Suarez situation ASAP, get back into the Champions League and finish better than Manchester United. Fourth place or bust. Look at where we are now. Luis Suarez is happy at Liverpool. We are still alive for the BPL title at the end of the season. We are back in the Champions League next season. My Manchester United friend owes me dinner for our bet on who would finish higher on the table.

The focus now is to win Crystal Palace and Newcastle. Win those games combined with hitting the net an ungodly amount of times, “…we’re going to win the league.”

If Everton plays spoiler (which we all know they are VERY capable of), we are back in the driver’s seat for the title. I always pray for Liverpool to score goal after goal after goal. Now I find myself cheering for the lot across of the Merseyside. A weird end to the season, in’nit?

Keep your head up LFC. Go Everton. (Cough… cough). Sorry. It still feels funny saying that. We Go Again. Make Us Dream. Believe.

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

Liverpool Versus Chelsea at Anfield: The Big One

Liverpool Versus Chelsea at Anfield: The Big One
by Randy Villarba

“I am Randy Villarba of the Anfield Shop. And I see a whole army of my Red men, here in defiance of tyranny! You have come to support as Red men. And Red men you are! What will you do without football? Will you support Liverpool on Sunday? On early Sunday morning… you may feel like you may die. Don’t wake up early for the match and you will live, at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that for one chance, just one chance… to come back here as Red men and tell our enemies that, ‘They may take our lives, but they will never take… our PASSION!'”

Liverpool FC versus Chelsea FC. Battle of first and second, with Manchester City eagerly awaiting the result on the sideline. None of the top three can afford to drop points. Any slip up here gives City a chance back in the hunt on goad differential. We’ve been waiting two dozen years for a finish like this. Get in. Don your kits and LFC shirts. Put on your Liverpool hats. If you need LFC gear, The Anfield Shop has your back. Throw your scarf over your heads and sing. Sing like you are standing on the Kop. Sing like you have the support of Anfield at your back. Sing like you are “going to win the league.”

Pack those pubs ladies and gentlemen. Paint the town red. Any Chelsea fan sitting next to you should be feeling uneasy with the level of energy we LFC supporters bring to the table. The songs of the Kop choir should be echoing loud and proud from every pub to living room, all the way back home to Anfield come Sunday morning. It is match day. It is Sunday. It is God’s day (I’m pretty positive Robbie Fowler will be in attendance). The belief and concept that football is a religion was sprouted from matches just like this one.

From the tops of the mountains to the shores of the ocean, show the world what it means to support a big club. We are Champions League bound. We are on the final leg of the season, sitting on top of the BPL table. Jose Mourinho and Chelsea FC walk into Anfield knowing that the magical aura around Anfield has returned. We are loud. We are here. We are Liverpool FC… and THIS IS ANFIELD!

“Brendan… Rooodgers… Brendan… Rooodgers… Brendan Rodgers Liverpool We’re on our way to glory. Built the team like Shankly did and kids will have a story!”

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

Biggest Match in 24 Years?

Biggest Match in 24 Years?
by Randy Villarba

Five more games left in the season and in four days time either Liverpool or Manchester City will hold the keys to their own destiny. We all know what is at stake this Sunday. All the papers are salivating for Sunday’s match. Most pundits are calling this match against City the ‘Biggest Match in 24 Years.” As much as I would like to agree with that statement, that Champions League match in Istanbul seemed like a really big match too. However, all of us Liverpool supporters are aware that a win Sunday, will keep the driver’s wheel in our hands.

Exciting… in’nit? Especially when you hear quotes from our captain like this:

“If you say to me now, ‘Beat Man City and you will win the title’, I think the answer would be ‘Yes.’ But all it will give us is three more points and that is what we plan to do,” Steven Gerrard said. “There will be four huge games after that. I’m not convinced just yet — we’ve got a very hard game next week. I think the message is to stay calm.”

Liverpool have not lifted the league title in 24 years. It was 1990. Some of the younger supporters at the pub were not even alive back then. I want to take Gerrard’s words to heart, but how can you stay calm? We are five matches away from the end of the season, and we are not in a race for 4th. We are going for the title ladies and gentlemen. Strap in, hang tough, hold tight… this Sunday will set the tone for the remainder of the 2013-2014 EPL season. I have hope in my heart. I know you all do too. Is our golden sky and sweet silver song of a lark at the end of a 24 year storm? We will have a better forecast discussion after Sunday.

COME ON LIVERPOOL! BEAT CITEH!

YNWA!
Randy Villarba

Who is this is? My name is Randy Villarba, I am a writer and the local wordsmith for The Anfield Shop here in San Diego, CA. I wasn’t born a Scouser, I was baptized one later in life. From the west side of the USA, I follow our football club on the west side of the UK with passion. When I lived in England, I lived in the shadow of Highbury. We lived in North London and my home stay mom was from Liverpool. Her daughter was dating an Arsenal hooligan. The passion within that household ran the passion of football and Liverpool FC straight into my veins.

Follow The Anfield Shop Blog on Twitter: @AnfieldShopBlog

LFC Takes Over The Princess Pub

The CA Kop Choir Invades Little Italy

LFC Takes Over The Princess Pub

Walk on... walk on... with hope in your heart.

The CA Kop Choir Invades Little Italy
by Randy Villarba

“We’re going to win the league” chants echoed off the walls of The Princess Pub in Little Italy before, during and long after Liverpool’s thrashing of Tottenham on match day. Six matches to go, but there is certainly something magical around LFC supporters right now. LFC California (@LFC_CA) from the LA/OC area took a festive coach trip down the I-5 to visit San Diego. Everyone was singing like we were all on The Kop. Coutinho, Gerrard and Suarez chants, The Fields at Anfield Road and of course… You’ll Never Walk Alone. Little Italy knew that LFC took over the pub.

Some of us were having breakfast and coffee, most of us were having pints and shots. It could have been the caffeine, or it could have been the alcohol. More than likely it was the 4 to nil dismantling of Tottenham. Much like anywhere there was a Liverpool supporter on Sunday, the place shook like a California earthquake. The crowd erupted when the final whistle blew, both on the television as well as inside the pub. Well after the match had ended, the LFC supporters were chanting just as solid as when the bus first pulled up to the pub. Thank you Brian and everyone at LFC California for showing San Diego what it means to support a real club. If you are ever in the Los Angeles or Orange County areas, you have to watch a match with these hooligans. Find them on twitter at @LFC_CA

Rodgers’ post game interview was on the television. We all sang the Brendan Rodgers chant. They put the league table up on the television again, the pub cheered again. Top of the table ladies and gentlemen. The supporters at the Princess Pub in Little Italy were jumping up and down, arms pumping as they sang along to the songs we all sing in our hearts. The energy in the pub was palpable. Six games in hand, masters of our own fate. Win out and we lift the title. We can feel the energy emanating from the red side of the Merseyside all the way here in California. Can you? After Sunday’s match at The Princess Pub with LFC California, if the lads can hold the form they’re displaying right now, I can’t help but keep singing along to the melody of “we’re going to win the league…”

YNWA!
Randy Villarba

Who is this is?
My name is Randy Villarba, I am a writer and the local wordsmith for The Anfield Shop here in San Diego, CA. I wasn’t born a Scouser, I was baptized one later in life. From the west side of the USA, I follow our football club on the west side of the UK with passion. When I lived in England, I lived in the shadow of Highbury. We lived in North London and my home stay mom was from Liverpool. Her daughter was dating an Arsenal hooligan. The passion within that household ran the passion of football and Liverpool FC straight into my veins.

Follow The Anfield Shop Blog on Twitter:
@AnfieldShopBlog