Reds hammer Potters

August 19, 2009

The Arrival on the Bay, Salomon van Ruysdael
“Liverpool put the misery of their opening day defeat at Tottenham firmly behind them with a convincing 4-0 victory over Stoke at Anfield. Last season Tony Pulis’ men grabbed a 0-0 draw in this corresponding fixture, one of the results boss Rafael Benitez maintains cost Liverpool the title. This time around there was no mistake. Steven Gerrard created two of the goals and new boy Glen Johnson had an outstanding game surging down the right at will.” (ESPN)

Liverpool 4 – 0 Stoke
“Liverpool made amends for their opening day Premier League defeat at Tottenham with an emphatic victory against Stoke. Fernando Torres gave the Reds the early lead when he stroked in Steven Gerrard’s cross from 10 yards. Glen Johnson then scored his first goal for the club with an acrobatic finish just before the interval.” (BBC)

Liverpool 4-0 Stoke City (This is Anfield)

Reds 4-0 Stoke (Liverpool FC)

Lee Dixon’s tactical view

August 19, 2009

“Unless Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has something up his sleeve before the transfer window shuts, you have to say his side look a weaker proposition. The system that worked so well for them last season was nowhere to be seen in the 2-1 defeat against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. The link-up play between Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres that was key to them pushing Manchester United all the way was not there.” (BBC)

Rafael Benítez needs to up his game to avoid being portrayed as a sore loser
“There is an old, old story, possibly apocryphal, of the day Alan Ball made his debut as a co-commentator and the television station received a record number of complaints from viewers about a high-pitched squeaking noise coming out of their sets.” (Guardian)

A sobering summer for Serie A

August 19, 2009

“If Italian football supporters had any doubts that Serie A is now a Big Issue-selling relation to the English and Spanish top flights, they have been dispelled this summer. First Kaka moved to Real Madrid, kicking off Florentino Perez’s spending orgy and prompting AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi to vow to do something about football’s “mad prices” after having pocketed €68 million (£58m). The comments did little to make up for the loss of his side’s main creative force, but they did produce some chuckles from those who remember when Berlusconi used to be the one destabilising transfer markets by willy-nilly cash splashing.” (WSC)

Holy crap, has anyone else noticed what Manchester City is doing?

August 19, 2009

“Manchester City is like a black hole that has opened up in the fabric of the Premier League. Sucking mass, masses of expensive players and media attention, it leaves many fans unsure about how to approach the club’s awakening and limitless powers. Some laugh. Some wince. Most shake their heads, confused and afraid, especially those millions of fans of any of the now comparatively-less-rich Big Four, which constitute most of the Premier League fans here in America and elsewhere outside England. This is understandable. Manchester City’s profligate spending has driven up transfer prices, undermined other teams’ prized resources, and presented a serious threat to the Big Four’s establishment and their lock on Champions League places.” (Foot Smoke)

Arsenal driven by duo’s desire

August 19, 2009

Cornelis van Poelenburgh (1594-1667). Ruins in Rome
“For a team supposed to be scared of the ‘cauldron’ of Parkhead, Arsenal did well to hide their fear as they gave themselves a great chance of progressing to the group stages by netting two away goals against Celtic. Arsenal became the first English club to win a European tie at Celtic since Nottingham Forest in 1983 and it was the perfect result for Arsene Wenger, who kept the same side that dismantled Everton at the weekend.” (ESPN)

Celtic 0 – 2 Arsenal (ESPN)

Arsenal Have Celtic Jumping Through Hoops (A Cultured Left Foot)

Buy Championship Manager 2010 For Only £.01

August 19, 2009

“This transfer season has really brought out the armchair manager in all of us. From Two Yellows’ dad stressing over Harry Redknapp’s transfers to my own personal daily agony over the selling of Xabi Alonso, it often seems like fans have more insight into how their teams work than managers do.” (Avoiding the Drop)

Leonardo’s tactical revolution

August 19, 2009

“With the new Italian season almost upon us, Italian football journalists are already queuing up to sound the alarm bells for AC Milan, after mediocre displays in six consecutive friendly-defeats fuelled speculation that Leonardo’s new tactical regime (following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti to Chelsea) will ultimately lead to a horror season for the former Champions League winners.” (ESPN)