Tag Archives: luis suarez

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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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

 

Liverpool Striker Whoas Continue

After Rickie Lambert scored in the second minute against Crystal Palace, it only took Dwight Gayle a quarter of an hour to flip the celebrations to the home side at Selhurst Park. Joe Ledley and Mile Jedinak capped a Crystal Palace comeback in the 78th and 81st respectively. Liverpool’s continued struggle to shots on target with consistency has shot holes in their plans to ride any momentum carried over from last season’s second place finish.

It isn’t nice to point fingers, but as Liverpool sits in 12th place after twelve matches in the premier league campaign, let us look at where the squad is on their attacking options. Daniel Sturridge is not expected back until the new year. Mario Balotelli, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Lazar Markovic are not providing the return on investment that was expected of them as we approach the heart of the mid-season.

As the season approaches the transfer window, it will be interesting to see Brendan Rodgers stands behind his choices in this past off season, or if he is given the opportunity to add to an underachieving squad.

“I’m not arrogant to think I’ll be in a job through anything,” Rodgers said in a BBC Sport report. “You have to win games.”

“I’ve got a great communication line with the owners – we are honest and open with each other. But we have to get results and perform.

As the pressure continues to build for Rodgers, the media is stoking the fire. Jamie Carragher even left the gloves off when it came to his criticism of Liverpool’s current form on Sky Sports.

“This is more than just a poor start – there is something wrong,” said Carragher. “They are getting bullied out of games. At the end of last season we said they were mentally and physically weak, nothing has changed.”

“As a Liverpool fan, the worst thing that you can ever throw at your own team or think of them is (that they’re) being bullied and (are) weak and that’s what you’ve seen from them today. It’s not for the first time, it’s been going on all season.”

After finishing second last year, the wave we were riding has now settled. While losing Luis Suarez was bound to bring the level of LFC’s attack down, nobody saw this. What do you think Rodgers should do in the transfer window? 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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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

What LFC Learned Versus Southampton

One thing that Daniel Sturridge’s match winner against Southampton in the 79th at Anfield is that Liverpool needs another striker before the transfer window closes. You have to give it up to Sturridge, who has scored 36 goals in 50 appearances for his side. However, if it was not for the 88th minute brilliant save by Simon Miglonet with Morgan Schneiderlin’s shot on target, LFC fans would be worrying about this a lot more. Maybe everyone at Anfield was worried too. I may have been the television at 5:30AM in California, but it was the quietest I remember hearing the Kop. That was echoed by the Southampton fans chanting, “Is this a library… Is this a library… Is this a library…”

Liverpool fans need to have confidence that their squad is intimidating to not just the league, but Europe as well. If they can’t shake the nerves of Southampton, how do you think they will fare against Real Madrid, or if fate is in the cards… Barcelona. The addition of Rickie Lambert was a solid move to shore up the attack, but not a solution to losing the goal power of the guy who went to Barcelona. The extra competition and level of play expected from the squad with European Champions League football this season means adding ferocity to the attack, is priority number one before the window closes on September 1st.

Jordan Henderson’s curling through ball for Raheem Sterling’s goal was a thing of beauty. Sterling has mighty big shoes to fill if he is to fill the other shoe to Sutrridge’s SAS. So who would you like to see here at Anfield? Samuel Eto’o, Radamel Falcao, Marco Reus… but an interesting late transfer is on the horizon with Mario “Why always me?” Balotelli. One thing is for certain, Brendan Rodgers doesn’t want a repeat of missed chances in this transfer window. He has stated his intention on bringing in another striker. Only he and his tight circle knows who might arrive to help boost LFC’s campaign in not only the European Champions League, but get the monkey of Liverpool’s back and bring the title back to Anfield.

Liverpool fans, we at the Anfield Shop wants to know what you think? Which of these players are your hopeful signing before September? Are there any other strikers out there that you would rather see? Enage with us. Post your photos on social media, tag @anfieldshop and use the #AnfieldShop to engage with us online.

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

It’s Liverpool’s Season To Believe

After Liverpool handled Borussia Dormund 4-0 in their final preseason match I am excited for the season. We are only days away from the EPL kickoff and the energy behind this season is palpable. Our captain Steven Gerrard will rally Liverpool onto the pitch with the same leadership we have all grown to love. He has lifted many trophies in his career. But we all know the one that escapes his personal C.V. The Premiership Title.

Pundits are starting to question how Liverpool can cope with the loss of top scorer to Barcelona. Brendan Rodgers was a busy man in the transfer window as he brought in a lot of new faces to help fortify his campaign this season. Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren in the Southampton raid. Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen, Lazar Markovic from Benfica and now Javier Manquillo on loan from Atletico Madrid. Divock Origi will continue to develop another year at Lille.

Of course with the incoming, some of our players are playing on other squads to get some playing time while others have have moved on. We all know where Suarez went. With Simon Miglonet in goal, Pepe Reina transfered to Germany with Bayern Munich. Connor Coady is now with Huddersfield Town. Luis Alberto is on loan in Malaga, while Iago Aspas is on loan to Sevilla.  Andre Wisdom and Brad Smith are loaned out to West Brom and Swindon Town respectively. Liverpool also released Michael Ngoo, Stephen Sama.

Liverpool’s core still remains the same. If you look at the team that challenged Manchester City to the title last year we still have Daniel Agger, Philippe Coutinho, Jose Enrique, Jon Flanagan, Jordan Henderson, Glen Johnson, Lucas Leiva, Martin Skrtel Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Kolo Toure.

Of course this brings us to Steven Gerrard. If there was a storybook ending to this man’s career, this is the season to do it. This is the season to believe. Liverpool can win the title this year. Liverpool was not able to do it for Jamie Carragher, but we must for Steven Gerrard. God is on our side… literally Robbie Fowler is with us again as a Liverpool FC Ambassador. The season is upon us. We go again. This time, we take the league.

I feel it this season. Do you, the Liverpool faithful… believe that this season we will win the league? We are back in the Champions League. Are you ready for that? What do you think our chances are this season? Where do you think we’ll finish. Which signing is the next piece in the foundation of Liverpool?  Anfield Shop wants to know what you think? Enage with us. Post your photos on social media, tag @anfieldshop and use the #AnfieldShop to engage with us online.

You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

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Getty Images

Lovren Joins Lallana & Lambert at Liverpool

Getty ImagesLiverpool continued their raid of Southampton by completing the signing of defender Dejan Lovren. This £20m signing makes him the most expensive transfer for a defender in Liverpool history.

“I played there last season in front of the crowd singing, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone'” said Lovren. “That is something very special for every player, every sportsman and every fan. I can’t wait to get started. I’m a player that will give 100 per cent and I want to show that to the supporters because they deserve to see players who give 100 per cent. I know it is going to be something special to play in front of the fans at Anfield and I can’t wait.”

Lovren is going to have a couple familiar faces in the Liverpool locker room to help with the transition, as he is the third signing following the fire sale at St. Mary’s Stadium after Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert signed earlier in the transfer window. The shoring up of LFC’s defense was made a top priority by Brendan Rodgers and throwing down the cash for Lovren supports that.

“We need to be better,” Brendan Rodgers he said in the Liverpool Echo. “The attacking side has nothing to do with the team conceding stupid goals… We conceded a lot of poor goals due to bad individual mistakes last season. That is something that Dejan’s leadership can certainly help us with.”

Rodgers is right, there are separate aspects to defense and attacking. Luis Suarez leaving had placed increased pressure on the attack of LFC to score goals. Lallana was supposed to be a puzzle piece to help fill the void when he signed over from Southampton for £25m, but his 6 week injury has most of the Liverpool faithful concerned. The 26-year-old attacking midfielder suffered a knee injury at Liverpool’s Harvard base in Boston on Thursday.


Liverpool reported Lallana damaged the LCL, lateral collateral ligament. As we sit less than a month from the season, we are left wondering about if LFC will pony up the money for at least one more massive signing with the goal record we are longing for.

Liverpool 2014 Tour

Guinness International Cup Begins

Liverpool started the Guinness International Cup with a 1-0 victory over Olympiakos at Chicago’s Soldier Field. After a 0-1 loss to Roma at Fenway in Boston, starting this preseason cup with a win was vital. Next up Yankee Stadium in New York against league champions Manchester City is on the horizon and Charlotte, North Carolina against AC Milan after that. The low goal scoring matches has us anticipating the moment LFC starts placing the ball in the net, and with frequency. I cannot help but be crying for more goals after the lot down the road scored 7 against the Galaxy… albeit a MLS squad, it shows that LFC needs to get this machine into high gear. The match against City will be the true test of the pace that Liverpool will go into this EPL season.

How do you think Liverpool is doing so far on the 2014 US Tour? Did you go out to Boston or Chicago to support LFC? Are you headed to New York or Charlotte? We want to see you LFC faithful supporting our squad. Post your photos on social media, tag @anfieldshop and use the #AnfieldShop to engage with us online.

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You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

Liverpool FC, LFC, Boston

LFC US Tour, Third Kit & Suarez

Liverpool FC, LFC, BostonDoes anyone else have a football hangover with the conclusion of this World Cup? Don’t you know the best cure for a football hangover is… yup you guessed it, more football.

Oh When The Reds…Go Marching In…
Liverpool FC is coming to the states in less than two weeks to kick off their preseason International Champions Cup tour of the United States with a match at the iconic Fenway Park in Boston, MA on July 23rd. It will be a rematch against Roma, who had bested them at their debut in Boston a couple years back. From there, LFC will match up against Olympiacos at Chicago’s Soldier Field on the 27th. On July 30th, LFC will play league champions Manchester City at the house that Steinbrener built, Yankee Stadium, closing out their summer tour in Charlotte, NC at Bank of America Stadium against AC Milan on August 2nd.

LFC, Liverpool FC,  3rd kit, #demand

Warrior Releases LFC’s 3rd Kit
On July 7th, we finally caught a glimpse of the 3rd kit we would be wearing during our first Champions League campaign in a few years. Liverpool fan favorite and Champions League hero Luis Garcia had this to say about our 3rd kit.

“I love the way this shirt looks,” said Garcia. “The red collar on the black shirt gives it a very stylish look and as always, Warrior has incorporated the best material and details to keep players comfortable whilst playing.”

I love the new kits. Being an San Diego State University Alumni, I can easily see myself rocking the new kit at the Aztecs games… and if fate smiles upon me, when I make it to Anfield Road. What do you think of the new kits ladies and gentlemen? Let us know on social media, either via twitter or on Facebook.

Gerrard Bids Farewell to Luis Suarez on Instagram

With Luis Suarez headed to Barcelona, he has left all of us Liverpool FC faithful split on his departure. Our captain Steven Gerrard had these parting words to honor his former teammate on a post via Instagram

“On an emotional day for me would just like to say what a pleasure it has been playing with an amazing talent such as Luis. I would like to thank him for his outstanding contribution on the pitch during his time @liverpoolfc and to wish him and his family all the best on his new adventure in Spain. #lfclegend”

One thing to keep in mind, it was Suarez’s masterful season last year that helped LFC get over the hump and shake the Champions League monkey off our back. Many of us are wondering what could have been, had SAS remained intact. It was amazing to watch such masterful football from Suarez, I will miss the Kop singing the familiar Depeche Mode melodies when number 7 took over the game. At this moment, I stand by my captain thanking Luis for his service and now on to the next season. No player is bigger than the club. It’ll be interesting to see what the LFC brass has planned for that pretty penny we received for Suarez. So far we have Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Emre Can… and this just in… Lazar Markovic.

What are your thoughts on this year’s World Cup? What do you think of the new 3rd kits? Any thoughts on Luis Suarez, or better yet… how we should spend the money to shore up our starting 11? Let us know on social media wither via Facebook or Twitter.

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You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

Pepe Reina Liverpool FC LFC Keeper

Reina’s First World Cup Cap & Four LFC Players Advance

Pepe Reina Liverpool FC LFC Keeper Anfield Shop AnfieldShop
Pepe Reina’s First World Cup Cap
In Group B’s final round, our former keeper Pepe Reina received his first World Cup cap when Vincente del Bosque gave him the nod. Surprisingly this was the first time Reina had to man the posts during World Cup play, even though he had 32 international caps cruising into his 33rd. Reina posted a clean sheet with a 3-0 Spain victory over Australia in Curitiba, displaying why he has been old reliable not only for Napoli this past season, but over his tenure with Liverpool FC.

“It is the dream of any player to play in a World Cup,” said Reina on the Liverpool website.

“…I fulfilled a dream, which was to play in a World Cup. Despite the team being eliminated I have the personal satisfaction of having played and having done so with a win.”

Reina is still under contract to Liverpool until 2016, as he returns to Anfield after Napoli failed to throw down the money to keep him.

“I don’t know about my future. I want to be calm about it and there are people who are working on that. I have two years left on my Liverpool contract and the situation is the same as a month ago.

“I’ve not spoken to Rodgers and I don’t know what they think but I have a contract and in the end that is what counts. I have to join up with Liverpool and there’s nothing more I can do.”

Four LFC Players in the Knockout Round
The 2014 FIFA World Cup could still be lifted by a LFC player. Going into the knockout stages, Liverpool still has four players that can lift the World Cup Simon Mignolet of Belgium, Mamadou Sakho of France and of course Sebastian Coates and Luis Suarez of Uruguay.

Where Are You Watching the FIFA World Cup?
Monday through Friday, I’ve been watching the World Cup matches at the office… reacting a little too loud to my smartphone screen. More than the regular work day would warrant. Tomorrow I’ll be watching the US take on ‘Ze Germans’ and Ronaldo +10 play Ghana at the OC Tavern in San Clemente, CA. Let us know at The Anfield Shop on Social Media, where you’ve been watching the World Cup this year? Anfield Shop wants to know.

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You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

Steven Gerrard Liverpool LFC Liverpool FC Daniel Sturridge Rickie Lambert Instagram

Are You Following Gerrard on Instagram?

Steven Gerrard Liverpool LFC Liverpool FC Daniel Sturridge Rickie Lambert Instagram
Steven Gerrard Officially Joins Instagram

On June 3rd, Liverpool FC’s 122nd birthday, captain Steven Gerrard officially joined the social media sphere with his first post on Instagram. Pictured above in between recent Anfield signing Rickie Lambert and Daniel Sturridge, he released his first official post:

“Hello to everyone from Miami, my first official Instagram post. Nice to share it with fellow Reds @dstudge and Rickie Lambert, I’m delighted he’ll be with us next season. Also happy 122nd birthday to LFC!”

You can follow him at @stevengerrard on Instagram, all throughout Brazil. Following Gerrard on social media gives you a candid glimpse into the life, along side a close look at the preparation for World Cup in Brazil, along with great shots of his England and LFC teammates. England starts their World Cup campaign with a match versus Italy on June 14, with Uruguay (facing Sebastian Coates and Luis Suarez) and Costa Rica.

We are only days away from the start of the World Cup in Brazil. I love club football, but we can all agree that the World Cup bring a whole new energy to the pub. Let us know at The Anfield Shop on Social Media, who do you think will lift the World Cup this year?

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You’ll Never Walk Alone,

Randy Villarba
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.