Tag Archives: rickie lambert

Liverpool Campaign Has 6 Matches Left: 6 Talking Points

Liverpool did make it to Wembley but sadly without the trophy we all thought the squad could have given Steven Gerrard as an early birthday gift. The 2-1 defeat to Aston on April 19th puts the only objective left. Give everything left in the tank and push towards the top four. Liverpool has 6 matches left to go and are only 7 points behind Manchester City in the last Champions League qualification spot. A bright spot in Gerrard’s final campaign is still a mathematical possibility. “So you’re saying there’s a chance.”

Here are 6 talking points to keep in mind as we watch Liverpool play the final seven matches of the 2014-15 season:

6. The final six matches are West Brom, Hull City, QPR, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Hull City. If Liverpool shows the form they had against Manchester City in March, winning out is a possibility. Realistically speaking, Liverpool will need to dig real deep.

5. One of those away matches is at Stamford Bridge. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. Chelsea leads the rest of the league by double digits for a reason. The results in London will let everyone know how close or far Liverpool is from competing for silverware next season

4. Four of the final six matches are at home. Anfield has always been know for being a fortress. The Kop and energy has been known to lift the squad to another level. Winning out at home is essential to keeping any chance for the last Champions League spot for next season.

3. Brendan Rodgers has been at the helm of Liverpool Football club for three seasons. The argument for sticking behind the manager or seeking his replacement has begun. There are still matches to be played, but it is food for thought when you look at the trophy case. Not since Phil Taylor in 1956-59 has a manager gone three seasons.

2. Two points on Mario Balotelli. His equalizer in the 88th was not off sides. He was also flagged offsides more than any other player, even though he only played 45 minutes. “Why always me?”

1. We have to keep reiterating that this is the final season we will see Steven Gerrard on the pitch for Liverpool. Even though the dream scenario of a Wembley final was not meant to be, anything can happen for the final matches of the campaign. The dream is not over, there is still a job for Liverpool to do.

What do you think Liverpool’s chances are of overtaking Manchester City for the final Champions League spot? Let us know 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.

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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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

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
Anfield Shop Wordsmith

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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

 

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.

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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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

 

 

Liverpool vs Chelsea – Live Commentary

Hello Liverpool fans, Randy Villarba from The Anfield Shop here. This is my delayed attempt to live comment on the LFC vs Chelsea match. I was supposed to meet the rest of LFC SD down at Princess Pub in Little Italy, but unfortunately I lost the battle with the snooze button. I will be updating my comments through the 90… but due to the fact I hit the snooze button one too many times this morning… we’ll be starting at the minute 16… WOW it’s already 1-1.

An 8th minute goal by Emre Can and a 13th minute goal by Gary Cahill of Chelsea… oh man I shouldn’t have hit snooze.

20th minute: I thought that was a handball… but it wasn’t. My eyes haven’t focused yet. My coffee is still brewing.

27th minute: I feel Anfield should be singing more…. oh wait. There goes the Kop Choir.

29th minute: So far we are 6 to 5 on shots compared to Chelsea.

31st minute: LFC has double the possession by the minute, at 21 minutes to Chelsea’s 10. Come on lads… we knew we had it in you.

34th minute: Even though we have more minutes in possession… I feel like we’ve been watching LFC in defense more. We’re watching too much of the ball in our own half the last quarter hour, it seems.

35th minute: Miglonet would be my man of the match so far, if he hadn’t let Cahill’s shot in… just saying. He’s been a wall stopping Chelsea’s advances.

43rd minute: Sterling gets hit with a forearm shiver… yet receives the yellow card. Puzzling.

Half-time: It’s 1-1, all even. I am now reminded of why I strongly dislike goal-line technology.

Upon finally seeing the replay of Emre Can’s goal during the halftime replays… golasso!

LFC has 56% possession to CFC’s %46. So far it’s keeping me on the edge of my couch and too nervous to eat breakfast.

Second half started… in the 47th minute and Chelsea is pressing right out of the gate.

48th minute: Ivanovic had his hands all over Sterling. Glad the ref got the right color kit on that foul.

50th minute: LFC seems to be on their heels backpedaling a lot. Chelsea is bring the heat… but the back line is still holding firm.

51st minute: Sterling streaking down the wing, unable to find Balotelli.

56th minute: LFC is being out shot 13 to 7 by Chelsea. Liverpool’s defense is holding tight, but so far can only muster counter attacks instead of building a possession attack.

58th minute: The Kop Choir sings, “Steve Gerrard… Gerrard…”

61st minute: Ivanovic is on the ground, play continues. Long ball to Balotelli… OFFSIDES!

64th minute: Balotelli has a blatant shove right in front of the ref. Yellow card.

66th minute: Chelsea on the attack… this doesn’t look good. Shot, blocked… rebound… sigh. Diego Costa goal. Liverpool trails 1-2. Sigh… still plenty of time in the game, but that felt like a gut punch. Come on LFC!

69th minute: A double sub with Borini and Allen on for Coutinho and Can. Twenty minutes and change lads. Prove something!

74th minute: great lob by Allen, to Borini… Henderson with the shot… deflected. Come on! Pressure LFC!

75th minute: Chelsea chant echoes inside Anfield. Anger rising…

77th minute: LFC corner… wait for it… Gerrard send it in… nothing.

78th minute: Lambert is on for Balotelli. A great effort from Balotelli, but no final ball in the Premier League.

81st minute: Liverpool is having a good run of possession, really starting to make Chelsea work. However, that final ball to the equalizer is still nowhere to be found.

86th minute: Tackle from behind, Diego Costa… yellow card.

87th minute: Gerrard with a bouncing strike…. HANDBALL by Cahill…. but of course no whistle. That was a clear penalty!

89th minute: Diego Costa is still on the grass.

90th minute: Five minutes of extra time. The game isn’t over lads and ladies.

Full time: Miglonet’s last touch sums up how this game went. I am going back to bed.

Are you awake in North America watching this match? 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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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.

 

 

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

https://twitter.com/AnfieldShopBlog
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For Liverpool Fans. By Liverpool Fans.