Tag Archives: ECL

Top 10 Questions at Anfield For 2014

The middle of the English Premier League season is upon us with the year 2014 coming to the close. At the beginning of the season, Liverpool fan’s hopes were set higher; challenge for the title again, have a good showing in the Champions League and ultimately prove you are a better team without the former #7. That being said, the season is not over. Liverpool is still competing in Europe, albeit the Europa League. The targets for the league are still attainable, finish in the top four to re-secure a Champions League spot (and hopefully finish above Manchester United).

The Anfield Shop looks at the top 10 burning questions for Liverpool fans as 2014 comes to a close.

10. Will Emre Can be the big influence LFC needs to re-right the second half of the campaign as Rodgers predicts?

“Emre has a big future here,” LFC Manager Brendan Rodgers said of Emre Can in the Liverpool Echo.

“It was curtailed a bit in the summer when he was trying to get his fitness but had an ankle issue which meant he was in and out of training.”

“Emre has great athleticism and has presence on the pitch and is an outstanding footballer. He is young and still acclimatising to the game here.”

9. Will Liverpool win the Capitol One Cup this season?

“We want to win this competition,’ Brendan Rodgers said in The Guardian. ‘It is the first trophy (of the season) you can win, so it is a priority. If we can get the victory and get through, hopefully that will give us the impetus to go on. It’s going to be really tough but it is a challenge we are up for.”

8. Will Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard complete his career at Anfield or possibly abroad?

It would be hard to imagine Liverpool FC without Steven Gerrard at the helm. I am pretty sure we all felt that same way about Jamie Carragher. Gerrard turns 35 in May and speculation about the twilight of his career has begun. Will he retire at Anfield, or will he chase the spotlight abroad in New York City as some have speculated.

“I’m sure in time Steven will talk through the things he had to consider but for me there is no drama,” Brendan Rodgers told The Guardian.

“I can only think about the situation here and I hope there is a solution with the club and the representatives. It is not about the money, it is about the time of his career in terms of playing. He is a big talent.”

“We have spoken to Steven and his representative and he has been offered a contract here. hat is where it is at. For everything he has done here over 16 years he deserves the respect and time to consider that. It’s a big move in his life in terms of determining where his next contract will be.”

7. What are Liverpool’s chances of advancing past the final 32 in the Europa League?

The stakes have risen for winning the Europa league. For the first time ever, winning the Europa League gives winner a spot in next season’s Champions League. Chasing silverware is always a priority, but this gives Liverpool two different chances to make it back into Europe’s top competition. They will have to first get past Celtic, Everton & Tottenham.

 

6. Will Raheem Sterling hit the 15 goals that Brendan Rodgers expects of him? 

“If I look at Raheem, his outcome last year in terms of goals and assists was probably where it’s at – in and around 10 to 15 goals, and creating goals. That’s a very good return for him,” said Rodgers said of Raheem Sterling on the Liverpool website.

“He’s a natural winger and if he gets those figures on a regular basis – between 10 and 15 goals a season, and assisting goals – then I think that’s a very good number for him.”

“You have other players that are out-and-out No.9s; he has shown, and his career will show as he matures even more, that he’s got that ability.”

5. What are LFC going to do about Mario Balotelli?

Mario Balotelli has found himself on the bench as a substitute a lot lately, whether it be fitness or on the field results. Could he see his time at Anfield coming to a close with the transfer window a few days away? Rodgers was asked by The Guardian if he planned to release any players in the transfer window.

“It is not something I have even thought about, to be honest,” Brendan Rodgers said in The Guardian.

“We have had a lot of games this season and a lot of competitions and at this moment the key for me is trying to keep this squad together.”

4. Is Simon Mignolet going to remain between the sticks for the second half of the season?

With the injury to Brad Jones, Liverpool is currently left with no other choice for keeper than Simon Mignolet. Over the last few weeks, the approaching transfer window and increasing pressure on Mignolet has the Belgian keeper well aware that his sub par performances will not be tolerated the manager.

“I don’t have to prove anything,” Mignolet said in The Telegraph. “The only thing I have to do is work hard in every game and do my best and then we will see what comes through. What more can I do? The only thing I can do is show on the pitch what I am capable of.”

3. Will Brendan Rodgers be given the transfer funds needed to fill the holes in his Liverpool squad or will he have to live or die by his previous transfer choices?

Brendan Rodgers spent £117m this summer in transfers. Only a few days away from the winter transfer window, it will be interesting to see if the powers that be in New England open up their wallets again for Rodgers, or if he will have to make do with his selection.

2. Will Liverpool finish in the top four of the table and make it back into the Champions League next season?

“Yes, absolutely,” Brendan Rodgers told The Daily Telegraph.

“It is always going to be a big challenge and of course we have to make up points, but we have shown that this is a club that can go on a run of games.”

“In the second half of last season, we went on a run of 11 wins and the most important thing is the confidence.

1. When will we have Daniel Sturridge back in the line up and will he bring the goals back to Liverpool FC?

Liverpool is arguably a more menacing opponent with Daniel Sturridge up top for the Reds. It takes the goal pressure off Sterling and would even allow Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini or Adam Lallana a little more freedom to find the net.

“Bring Sturridge back in January and we can get back to being that team,” Brendan Rodgers told The Telegraph.

“His rehab has been done in Los Angeles and he is now going to Boston and he will move on to a specialist facility there.”

“Hopefully in the early part of the New Year, he will be back. At some point in January, we will get him back.”

The Anfield Shop hopes you had a great 2014. Did you receive all the Liverpool gear you wanted for the holidays? Send us some photos of your gear via Social Media by tagging us at @AnfieldShop & @AnfieldShopBlog plus use the hashtag #AnfieldShop

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

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Anfield Capacity Expansion to Over 54000

 Anfield Expansion from VirtualPlanit on Vimeo.

Liverpool recently announced their plans to erect a 21,000 seat grand stand in an expansion of Anfield, raising its capacity to 54,000.

“Since Fenway Sports Group took ownership of the Club, we were committed to explore in depth all options for the future of Anfield Stadium,” said Chairman Tom Werner in the Liverpool Echo.

“We listened to fans, the community, partners, the Supporters’ Committee and key stakeholders involved in the Club,” Werner added.

“It was just over two years ago that we said our preference was to stay at Anfield and here we are today announcing that the expansion is going ahead. We have made more progress in the past two years than in the last decade.”

“Having experience of expanding Fenway Park and being through a similar and very successful project for the Red Sox, everyone at FSG is extremely proud and excited to be part of expanding Anfield Stadium.”

Watch LFC captain Steven Gerrard, manager Brendan Rodgers and chief executive officer Ian Ayre give their thoughts on the news of Anfield’s expansion on the video above.

What are your thoughts on the expansion of Anfield by the 2016-17 season? The Anfield Shop wants to know what you think via Social Media by tagging us at @AnfieldShop & @AnfieldShopBlog plus use the hashtag #AnfieldShop

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
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Liverpool FC Versus FC Basel: A Must Win

The December 9th Champions League clash between Liverpool FC and FC Basel is a solid barometer of whether or not LFC is capable of finding their form, and proving that they belong in Europe. Liverpool’s 2-2 draw away at Ludogorets last week was an improvement, but certainly disappointing, but LFC is still alive and master of their Champions League fate thanks to Christiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid downing FC Basel. (It is always weird to type the words “thanks to Christiano Ronaldo.” I’m pretty sure as a LFC fan, I’ll never get used to that).

As sub par as LFC has been in the group, coupled with Real Madrid’s dominance, the slugfest between the other three teams has Liverpool possibly advancing. If Liverpool wins the match at home next Tuesday versus FC Basel, they advance to the final 16.

Brendan Rodgers knows there is building pressure for him to deliver results. The Guardian was great to point out, while pundits have started talking about his possible sacking, seven months ago he was LMA Manager of the Year. Rodgers is giving everything he has to hold on to the helm at Liverpool.

“I will fight for my life to be here for as long as I can,” Rodgers said to The Guardian.  “You never like seeing or hearing things like you are the bookies’ favourite to get the sack when six months ago I was manager of the year but that is modern football. All I can do is my best and I will continue to do my best.”

“While I do that I can relax knowing that whenever that time comes from the owners, whether it is in one month or 10 years, I will walk out of here knowing I have given my absolute all to give the club what it wants. I am happy with that.”

This weekend’s 1-0 victory over Stoke at home was certainly something to be thankful for. Glen Johnson’s header gave LFC the results it needed, but their place in the EPL table is still far below where they expected themselves to be at this point in the season. Liverpool has not even come close to the form they had last season. The Irish Independent had a backpage article entitled, “With no Luis Suarez, Liverpool Has Lost Their Bite.” Clever word play by the IE for sure, but our squad is still alive in the Champions League hunt. LFC is still within realistic reach of the top four by season’s end.

Keep in mind, LFC gets Daniel Sturridge back after the holiday break. Rickie Lambert is proving his case to be more involved with every start. Kolo Toure and Leiva Lucas helped LFC in the defensive department immensely. Even Simon Miglonet had a commanding clean sheet performance as a s strong presence between the sticks. This could be the turning point LFC fans were waiting for.

Do you think Liverpool has a shot of making the Champions League final 16? Do you think Brendan Rodgers can use this weekend’s positive result as the starting point to turn this season around? The Anfield Shop wants to know what you think via Social Media by tagging us at @AnfieldShop & @AnfieldShopBlog plus use the hashtag #AnfieldShop

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

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Again With The International Breaks

Liverpool had three familiar faces in the England national team lineup in a 3-1 victory over Slovenia this past weekend as Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling all started for Roy Hodgson’s squad on Saturday night. The victory kept England in the drivers seat and on top of Group E for Euro 2016.

The Liverpool lads had a solid showing, and found themselves involved in a couple of the goals. Henderson played the full 90 and found the net in the 57th with a header… unfortunately an own goal. Lallana almost hit the target, but fortunately for England his shot rebounded to the feet of Danny Welbeck who finished the attack with the goal. Both Lallana and Sterling were substituted later in the match. LFC’s Rickie Lambert was also on hand as a substitute for the match, but remained on the sidelines.

For team England, it was all smiles. However with Italy, it was another reminder of how the international breaks can hinder a club. Mario Balotelli left the Italy squad this past week and was sent back to Merseyside with a hamstring injury. Luckily this appeared to be a minor injury, as all reports have Balotelli returning to the lineup to possibly face Crystal Palace. Another good sign that things might finally be steering in the right direction is the fitness of Daniel Sturridge. Perhaps we can finally see what this partnership can do if both are fit for this weekend. Brendan Rodgers certainly wants to get those two on the same page, as a few pundits have put him on the hot seat. I stand behind Rodgers, but we can all agree if the results continue to elude LFC… the hot seat isn’t too far away.

The battle of club and country weighs heavy on a supporter. Where are you watching the match this weekend? Let us know at the Anfield Shop where you are via Social Media by tagging us at @AnfieldShop & @AnfieldShopBlog plus use the hashtag #AnfieldShop

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

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Songs of the Kop Choir: 10 Liverpool FC Chants

Liverpool FC fans… We’ve had a rough month… okay rough 2014-15 campaign. That result against Newcastle at St. James park did not make waking up at 5:45am PST that much fun. Win, tie or lose (…although I think we all agree we would prefer a win), LFC is in my my veins. No sleep on match day mornings has been part of my weekend mornings since I came back from studying in England.

Even with the rough run we’ve had in the league as well as the Champions League and the Premier League campaign, I still love hearing the Liverpool songs chanted by the supporters. Whether it’s at Anfield or on the road, the support echoing around the pitch always made me proud to be a Liverpool fan.

Even when you find yourself in a LFC pub, the chants echoing off the walls always makes me smile. Other than the iconic You’ll Never Walk Alone, here is a look at 10 of The Anfield Shop’s favorite supporter chants via Kopoholic and ShowMeTheFootball on youtube.com

“In Istanbul… We won it 5 times.”

Fields of Anfield Road

Oh Liverpool We Love You

Steve Gerrard Chant

Brendan Rodgers

Daniel Sturridge Chant

Philippe Coutinho Chant

Mario Balotelli Chant

Liverpool Liverpool Liverpool

We’re Going To Win The League (Hopefully we can sing this one sooner than later… #MakeUsDream)

What are some of your favorite LFC supporter chants? Let us know at the Anfield Shop via Social Media by tagging us at @AnfieldShop & @AnfieldShopBlogplus use the hashtag #AnfieldShop

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

 

 

Liverpool Faces Real Challenge

The midweek Champions League 0-3 trouncing of Liverpool at Anfield by Real Madrid was certainly the litmus test letting us know exactly how the LFC squad measures up. The reigning champions of Europe marched right into Anfield and only needed 45 minutes to prove their point, underlined by three clinical goals. The applause that Christiano Ronaldo received for his masterful display when was substituted, was Anfield’s tip of the cap to the better side that day. It has been a rough month for Liverpool and our place in the Premier League table as well as in our ECL group shows the uphill battle LFC now has before them.

Real Madrid now sits on top while Liverpool sits in third place in Group B behind PFC Ludogorets Razgrad due to goal differential. All three teams under Madrid, including FC Basel 1893 only have 3 points through one round of Champions League play. All is not lost, as long as LFC gets results in their next go around with Group B, especially against Basel and Ludogorets. Social media went into a panic after the Real Madrid game. While a lot of the points raised from the posts and tweets were arguably valid, one thing Liverpool fans need to take into perspective is be grateful that we are finally included in the discussion about Champions League football. Things could be worse… we could be Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspurs on the outside looking in.

Speaking of Manchester United, we are currently sitting right on top of them on the EPL table. So all is not lost. It is a long season, with plenty of time to right the ship. While catching the juggernaut that Chelsea FC is this season seems like a reach, finishing in the top four at campaign’s end is still an attainable goal. Not only attainable, but a gauge of a successful season or not for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool. To not be in the Champions League football equation next season would not only be a major disappointment, but may weigh heavy into considering the future of Steven Gerrard with Liverpool.

Plus the panic that everyone is starting to have about the EPL campaign is a little premature. We are sitting above United and are currently out of the top 4 only by goal differential as we sit tied with West Ham on points. Granted Chelsea is 9 points clear, but let’s not split hairs here. As soon as Liverpool pushes to the top half of the top four, then we can start the discussion on what needs to happen to catch up with Jose Mourinho and the lads at Chelsea.

The eventual return of Daniel Sturridge will boost LFC’s goal scoring ability, and hopefully in turn finally open Mario Balotelli‘s Premier League goal scoring account. The transfer window is right around the corner, and Rodgers and company are well aware of the gaping holes in depth that Liverpool have. I’m optimistic. You should be too. “At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky.”

What, LFC worry? Are you worried about the state the squad at Liverpool? Let us know at the Anfield Shop via Social Media by tagging us at @AnfieldShop & @AnfieldShopBlogplus use the hashtag #AnfieldShop

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

 

 

Sing Loud LFC! Daniel Sturridge Returns! REVISED: Oh Wait… One More Month

(This article was written before the announcement that Daniel Sturridge will be out another month with a calf strain…. ughhh… I apologize getting excited about Sturridge’s return. I have revised the article with the new injury update. His injury was my fault for celebrating too soon… or Roy Hodgson’s… I don’t know, I’m not a doctor.)

Sing his name so it echoes off the rafters of the stadium, pub or living room you are catching this weekend’s match at, Daniel Sturridge rises again. The possible return of Liverpool striker Sturridge against Queen Park Rangers tomorrow is like rolling out the muscle car you have been working on for weeks to cherry out. LFC took the new Sturridge led team for a run around the practice track… it had to be towed back in the garage for a calf injury.

Hopefully Sturridge’s eventual return is the final piece to the goal scoring engine that LFC needs to return back to their title challenging form. Liverpool fans feel like the title bus has been sitting parked in the garage since last season, and are ready to get back to the goal scoring confidence and attractive football we were all getting used to seeing from our boys.

In honor of this weekend’s return to action we’ve got a new promo code. Take $10 off any purchase of $50 or more. Use code ‘Take10’. Ends on Saturday October 18th.

“We’ll have to see where he is at tomorrow and go from there,” Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers said to reporters.

“He’s been out a long time, nearly six weeks.”

“Daniel has made us a real threat and when you take him out of the team the model of your game is different,” said Rodgers.

“But when he is playing he is one of the top European strikers. It’s important for him to be playing games.”

Sadly, Sturridge is not going to be back for some time. We were hoping that the return of our main hitman would free up Mario Balotelli, so he can break his Premier League duck. Balotelli has scored in the Champions League, but not in the EPL. It will be a rough go, as recent reports in the last hour now say Sturridge will be out for another month, after suffering a calf strain in his first session back since his thigh injury.

“If it was my choice, I would always go with two strikers. It’s the way I like to play,” Balotelli said in Sport Magazine.

“But I am working, and I can see already that the Liverpool fans really like me, although I know that maybe they are a little upset because I don’t score. I see they appreciate that I am working hard, though,which is nice for me.”

The roller coaster of the international break is over. Let’s leave the Roy Hodgson discussion for the next time our boys report to international duty. Tomorrow… against QPR… #WeGoAgain

What do you think of Balotelli’s chances of breaking his EPL duck? Let us know at the Anfield Shop via Social Media by tagging us at @AnfieldShop & @AnfieldShopBlogplus use the hashtag #AnfieldShop

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

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LFC’s International Break: The Good, Bad and Ugly

Liverpool is once again on an international break as the European Qualifiers are here. The Anfield Shop wants to keep you up to date with how our Reds are doing as they report for international duties.

The Good…
Rickie Lambert cheered his Liverpool teammates from the bench as Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling were all on the pitch for England’s 5-0 dismantling of San Marino. All three Reds had a strong showing on the field. Better yet, they survived injury free. Speaking of injuries, Daniel Sturridge was reported to be back at the training grounds at Melwood. Not a moment too soon, as Liverpool could really use his goals right about now.

The Bad…
Sturridge’s thigh injury under Hodgson’s watch last international break has us all on edge when our boys aren’t with Brendan Rodgers. Having to deal with Hodgson’s use of Liverpool keeps LFC fans on edge, especially as Hodgson lashed back out at Rodgers’ critiques of the use of his players earlier this week.

“I need to win games, just as he does,” said Hodgson. “I need my best players. He (Sterling) has played quite a lot but there must be six or seven who have played as many minutes. I do not expect managers to tell me whether players should be selected, no more than I would dream of telling them who to pick.”

The Ugly…
Is there no end to the injuries? As frequent as the injury bug has hit Liverpool, the international breaks always make me nervous for moments just like these. Dejan Lovren is down, adding to Liverpool’s already dwindled back line. Early reports were that Lovren had suffered an injury in training with Croatia for their upcoming European qualifiers.

Sky Sports was reporting that according to the Croatian Football Fedration, a statement on the CFF website read: “During training on Wednesday, Lovren felt pain in the abdominal wall… Igor Boric (a specialist) at St Catherine Hospital showed there was a tear and he will not be ready for performances in Sofia and Osijek.”

Take an injured roll call… Joe Allen, Emre Can, Jon Flanagan, Dejan Lovren, Mahmadou Sahko, Daniel Sturridge. Liverpool players seem to be dropping like flies. It is all about the next man up, as when you are competing against the best in Europe… there are no breaks. After the English Premier league matches return against Queens Park Rangers, Liverpool will have to face Real Madrid.

#WeGoAgain What do you think LFC’s chances are of getting out of their group? Let us know at the Anfield Shop via Social Media by tagging us at @AnfieldShop & @AnfieldShopBlogplus use the hashtag #AnfieldShop

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.