Category Archives: Scouse dreams

Blunder or Masterstroke – Can This Italian Forward Do A Henderson At Liverpool?

Fabio Borini – The Transfer Deadline Day drama 

Left bemused by their 23 year old Italian striker’s decision to turn down the advances of other Premier League clubs after manager Brendan Rodgers informed Borini that he was unlikely to feature on Merseyside this season, Liverpool winded up their business in the window and Fabio Borini remained a Liverpool player despite all the odds. Is it a blunder or Masterstroke?

Liverpool-v-Gomel-Fabio-Borini-celeb_2809198

Defending himself via social media after negotiations with QPR broke down allegedly over the terms of his contract, Borini tweeted “Finally, the madness is finished, I protected the man and the player that I am today. I am very happy with myself to have taken such an important decision.”

What the former Roma striker meant exactly with the tweet is between Borini and himself, money was certainly not a factor in the 23 year old making the decision to stay at Liverpool after having turned down a more lucrative offer after QPR offered a significant pay rise to the Italian As things stand the transfer window has ended and Fabio Borini is still a Liverpool player.

‘I am ready to fight for my place’, Borini

Fabio Borini clearly is not short of any self-belief, and explained the reasoning behind his decision this transfer window and that the tough situation he finds himself in will offer inspiration, not despair.

Speaking to the press after a turbulent deadline day the Italian said, “I know that it is a real challenge now to find a space in the Liverpool side, because the competition here is so great, and there are many good players,” he said. “But for me, that should be a motivation, not a problem.

“I have committed to the club, and I want to earn a place in the side. It is my aim to return to the team and to score goals for Liverpool. I know it will not be easy, it will be very challenging. But I am motivated.

“Yes, I heard some criticism, but I made the decision and it is my job to prove I can be worth a place. That’s what I aim to do now.”

Currently fourth in the pecking order at Anfield behind the likes of fellow Italy international and big-name summer signing Mario Balotelli and England internationals Rickie Lambert and star man Daniel Sturridge, Rodgers accepted more than generous offers from the likes of Sunderland and QPR in an attempt not to stagnate his career and persuade him to leave. All to no avail.

Amid claims from the Black Cats and Rangers that his wage demands were unrealistic, the Italian remains defiant.

“I said when I was at Sunderland I wanted to score goals to prove I could return to Anfield.

“I want to score goals now for the club – I aim to improve on my record of last season. From this season, I still expect a lot of things.

“I know there is competition. Balotelli has shown he works well with Liverpool and he has started well. But you expect competition at a big club like Liverpool.”

What’s Next ?

While Daniel Sturridge’s unfortunate injury while away on England duty has come at perhaps the most congested couple of weeks of football Merseyside has seen in the last 5 years, Rodgers will be expected to be at the top of his game after having bought aplenty this summer. The services of Borini might also be called upon by the Northern Irishman. To be honest to the  year old Italian international, he is a fine footballer – very hard-working and passionate with an eye for a goal.  However, as of now behind the likes of Sturridge, Balotelli and Lambert, Borini might just be used as an impact sub more often than as a starter.

Football is a funny game though. You can never write off anyone ever. About a year and half ago, Liverpool fans across the world had written off a certain Jordan Henderson. Having turned down a move away from Anfield, Henderson knuckled down and worked his way into the team. Will Borini do a Henderson ? We’ll have to wait and watch.

UCL: Predictions And Predicted Lineups For Liverpool And Arsenal Matches Tonight

On one hand, Liverpool is back into the UEFA Champions League after five long years, while on the other hand, Arsenal made it, by the skin of their teeth, into the Champions League group stages for the 17th consecutive time. From last year to this year, Liverpool have replaced Manchester United in the Champions League group stages, as Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal have repeated their progress into the CL group stages.

Liverpool
Liverpool

Arsenal and Liverpool both play their first UCL group stage games today, and both Arsenal and Liverpool will want to win their respective games, so that they can show that they mean business, after the efforts both sides have made to reach here. Their first games pose varying levels of difficulty for both sides, as Liverpool face Ludo, and Arsenal face Dortmund. Both are potentially tricky fixtures, and the English sides would do well to concentrate, put their heads into the game and put up a good show.

Looking at the Liverpool game, most of their players are inexperienced at the Champions League level. Their players will look to use this game to build themselves up to face trickier opposition such as FC Basel and Real Madrid in the next few games. Raheem Sterling, Simon Mignolet and Jordan Henderson will look to prove themselves at the top level required to play at this magnitude. Liverpool’s icon in the UCL, Gerrard will have to lead from the front and spur the team on. Players like Balotelli and Markovic will have to use their past UCL experience to guide the rest of their team forward. Sturridge and Allen may be absent for the game, but the rest of the team can deliver in their absence and give Liverpool a flying winning start in their first game in the UCL in a long time. This looks like an easy fixture, and a Liverpool win is expected, but overconfidence could bring them down if they are not careful, as Ludo are more than capable of springing a few surprises if given an opportunity.

Predicted Liverpool lineup: Mignolet – Johnson, Lovren, Sakho, Enrique – Gerrard, Henderson – Lallana, Sterling, Coutinho – Balotelli

ramsey arsenal

Arsenal face Dortmund, in a repeat of last year’s matches, in which Arsenal outclassed Dortmund over both the home and away legs. This year, Dortmund look sharper and faster, and one can expect an attack of Immobile, Kuba, Reus (if fit) and a returning Kagawa will want to prove that they are more than capable of challenging for the title. Kagawa started off fantastically in his first game for Dortmund upon his return, with a goal and an assist, as he slotted back into the team, looking to forget his Manchester United nightmare. Arsenal will depend upon their experienced centre-backs: Mertesacker and Koscielny, to put an end to quick Dortmund counters. Mertesacker will have to be at the top of his game, or he will be exposed fit his lack of pace by blitzkrieg-like Dortmund attacks. Flamini will have to restrict Kagawa’s movement, while the onus will be on Sanchez, Welbeck and Podolski (of he plays) to score and give Arsenal a win.

Predicted Arsenal lineup: Viviano – Debuchy/Chambers, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal – Flamini – Sanchez, Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski – Welbeck

3 Liverpool Players Who Should Be Dropped After Their 3-1 Loss To Hull

Liverpool fell to a 3-1 defeat to Hull City at the weekend, and it’s caused uproar in Merseyside. Looking forward to their next outing, Wednesday night’s clash with Norwich, here are three players who I think should lose their places.

1) Raheem Sterling

The rapid winger failed to get into the game at all at Hull and was wasteful with what he did do. All three of his crosses went wayward, he failed with the majority of his take ons and his one shot was easily blocked.

Sterling strikes me as the sort of player who can really benefit your side when you’re in cruise mode. Hull was a struggle, and Sterling struggled to help Brendan Rodgers men out of that.

2) Victor Moses

In a similar case to Sterling, Moses failed to take the game by the scruff of the neck and take it to Hull. The wide men had such little involvement in the game that they were both hooked off in the second half for players who then made the Reds look much more effective going forward.

Moses did nothing to inspire during his 75 minutes of play and could see his place in the team fall from beneath him in the upcoming tie with Norwich.

3) Jon Flanagan

The young full-back took up the role left by Aly Cissokho after the Frenchman has had a tough sart to his Liverpool career, but the latter needs to come back in, for me. Flanagan was run all over the place by Hull and was consistently out of position.

 

Liverpool: Keep Suarez, Ditch Cissokho And Stick To 4-2-2-2 To Challenge For The Title

Liverpool are currently sitting in second in the Premier League table just four points behind Arsenal, and they’re playing some slick stuff, too. Brendan Rodgers has guided his team to seven wins and three draws so far this term and the Anfield fans are enjoying what they are seeing, so I thought that I would evaluate how they can continue their push for the title.

First up I would suggest they ditch left-back Aly Cissoko and bring Jose Enrique back into the side. The man on loan from Valencia has been dismal in his showings and has cost the Reds points with his half-hearted efforts in defence.

Secondly, I would say that Rodgers needs to stop tinkering with his tactics. Right now he’s switching between formations to accommodate for his injuries and it’s working because it keeps opponents guessing, but as the season goes on the players will need stability and a set game plan. For me, the 4-2-2-2 formation works best for them.

I would also say that thy need to hang onto Luis Suarez if they are to mount a serious challenge. The South American has already scored nine goals this season in only seven appearances, and if he ups sticks and moves club then that could have a real detrimental effect on the club.

How do you replace a man of that quality?

5 Things We Have Learned About Liverpool This Season

After 11 Premier League games and going into their local derby with Everton, here are five things we have learned about Liverpool this season.

1) Rodgers plan comes bearing fruit

When he came into the club he implemented a system where he would invite younger players into the first team and play sexy football. Although he struggled to begin with it it is now paying dividends, as you can see with the amount of youngsters involved in the action.

2) Suarez and Sturridge can play together

I don’t need to say much about this, as the stats do the talking for me. Suarez has played just six league games and scored eight goals, whereas Daniel Sturridge has scored the same total in 11 appearances.

3) Gerrard doesn’t need to attack to thrive

The skipper has made 27 key passes, scored twice and completed 87% of his passes in general this season, all while sitting in a deeper role.

He has also completed 53% of his passes, 64% of his take ons and 4/8 of his headers.

4) Skrtel is a monster

Another player who has impressed me is Martin Skrtel, who has played nine of Liverpool’s 11 games so far.

He has averaged 13 defensive actions per game, won 62% of his headers and 57% of his tackles, while also completing 92% of his passes.

5) Liverpool are contenders

Liverpool are currently sat just two points behind leaders Arsenal right now and have shown that they are real contenders. Whether or not they can keep up with the pace we will have to wait and see, but right now they are definitely in with a shout.

stats via Squawka

A Closer Look At How Martin Skrtel Is Thriving At Liverpool This Season

While Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel was supposedly on the brink of a move to Napoli in the summer, the big Slovakia international has been a true credit to his club this season. Few people fancied him as a Brendan Rodgers-type player due to his rough and ready approach to the game, but he has proved to be a giant at the back for the Reds in their bright start to the season.

Skrtel has appeared in nine league games for Liverpool so far, scoring once, and he has won 12/15 of his tackles. He has been hugely involved in the Reds run of success – averaging 13 defensive actions per game in the league – and he has been victorious in 24/38 of his headers.

Not only has he excels in his natural game, but he has also completed an impressive 92% of his passes – the highest tally at the club.

It’s hard to say whether he would have had the same sort of impact if he had joined former boss Rafa Benitez in Serie A, but what I can safely say is that he is thriving under Rodgers at Anfield.

The 28-year-old has seen Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez hog the headlines this season, but there are a lot of people who appreciate the form he is in right now.

stats via Squawka