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ChatKop: World Series Preview

  Welcome to our first post under our new name SportsKop. This is a segment called ChatKop, where our columnists break down a hot sports topic with a friendly back and forth conversation. In this edition of ChatKop, Aditya (AS) and Chengez (CK) take a look at the World Series

Dustin Pedroia and Carlos Beltran will Square off in the Fall Classic

AS: The Fall Classic is here and while neither of our teams are in it, it ceases to amaze and entertain fanatics like us on a yearly basis.

CK: Agreed man, this is going to be one hell of a series.  

AS: SportsKop is gonna go deep. How deep? As deep as Victorino’s grand slam against Jose Veras’ curveball. Speaking of which, that home run just made me shake my head. Why was he so obsessed with throwing breaking balls?


CK: Well to me, there was nothing wrong with throwing a breaking ball there; Victorino is batting right handed against a right handed pitcher. Veras was trying to exploit that and the idea was good, but he threw it right in his wheelhouse on an 0-2 count. If you have 3 pitches to play with, don’t you have to go outside the zone? You gotta make him chase!


AS: Yeah I guess he was still reminiscing about his days as an Astro. I think the Red Sox relied on the long ball quite a lot this series.

·        
CK: I don’t think thats about to change, especially at Fenway. That’s what the Red Sox are supposed to do: use the monster to their advantage, and i’m sure the Cardinals will as well. But even though the Sox rely on the long ball, part of the reason they get those pitches is because they take so many. They’re incredibly selective, and it’s a strategy that really works for them; they know the importance of getting on base, and even though you don’t see incredible batting averages, this team succeeds because they realize that’s not all that matters.

AS: I couldn’t agree more with that. I think their approach in game 1 was quite telling of that. But then, they decided to become a little bit more aggressive, but not just whacking and swinging at everything. They were successful at getting Detroit’s starters pitch counts high and then went on to attack their weak point: their bullpen. But man, the Red Sox pitching went toe to toe against Detroit’s main trio.


CK: Yeah, and you can same about the Cardinals pitching going up against the likes of Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke and succeeding.


AS: Speaking of the Cardinals, this is Beltran’s first World Series in his career, ever. Kind of strange considering how many postseason games he has played and the crazy numbers he puts up during the playoffs, no?


CK: Yeah, i think that’s just greater proof that the whole thing is to quote Billy Beane “a crapshoot”. If you’re in it, you can win it. Sure, there’s something to be said about home-field advantage and consistency of a team over the course of the year, not to mention there are ridiculously more talented than others, but if one team clicks over the course of october, they can win it all. Ironically, after laying all that out for you, the two teams that have arrived to the world series were the two best teams in the regular season. Go figure!


AS: Yeah, I was watching MLB network and they showed the regular season standings and Harold Reynolds was talking about how its something to celebrate and also that we are going to see the two best teams this season go head to head. Going back to Beltran for a second though, I really think he will be a bigger factor than Allen Craig in the World Series. What are your thoughts on that?

Can Beltran Prove to be lethal in the World Series?

CK: Despite my man crush on Craig, you’re probably right. Craig is going to be serving as DH during road games, but at home, his role is going to be reduced to pinch hitter most likely. Meanwhile, Beltran is going to be in the lineup everyday, getting more at-bats and using his cannon for an arm to impact the game defensively.

AS: I think the Cardinals will be a tougher test for Boston since they aren’t so one-dimensional like the Tigers. They have speedy players, guys who can get on base, guys with power, and a better bullpen to along with a solid pitching staff.


CK: Oh, no doubt. This series is going to be a test for both sides. The Red Sox had some trouble producing runs against the Tigers’ starting staff and the Cardinals’ staff has been just as solid during the postseason with superior relief pitching. And remember this about the Dodgers: Puig was no longer the red hot player ESPN had practically already declared a Hall of Famer when the playoffs began. He entered the postseason struggling. Combine that with a scorching Hanley Ramirez getting hurt and the Dodger lineup was nowhere near full strength. Meanwhile the Red Sox are at full strength: Ortiz, Pedroia, Victorino, Napoli, and Ellsbury are all healthy and ready to go. This lineup is much deeper than the lineups the Cardinals have seen so far.

Lester seems to have Captured his 2008 Form

AS: Yeah, I agree with that, the Pirates were pretty feeble on paper and the Dodgers like you said weren’t anywhere near full strength. The Red Sox have actually faced some pretty good competition up to this point as well. The Rays and the Tigers had some great arms in their staff and they didn’t have trouble beating them at all.

CK: Yeah, you would think its because their offense is so strong but they’ve had some pitchers really step up. Jon lester returning to 2010 form, John Lackey?!??!?!?! coming out of nowhere, and Clay Buchholz we know is good. Their pitching has really been as big a reason as any that they’ve made it to this point.

AS: Yeah how in the WORLD did that happen? Jesus Lackey was posting ERAs above 7 before his Tommy John surgery and Lester has been lights out pretty much its really crazy! What’s really interesting though is that Wainwright and Wacha have never pitched in Fenway or against the Red Sox.

CK: That’s the fun part of the world series, you get showdowns between two teams who don’t know each other really well. And in the last 3 world series/postseason in general, there have been some truly unlikely heroes stepping up to lead their team to victory.


AS: Yeah who the hell thought Scutaro and Edgar Renteria of all people would help your favorite team win 2 World Series?

Can Freese Repeat his 2011 Heroics once more?

CK: Don’t forget your boy, David Freese in 2011! Maybe he’ll break out the magic bat this world series as well?

AS: Oh man, that was just amazing. That was so clutch. They were a strike away from losing in game 6!! Man, ok if I don’t stop now, I can go on for days about this.

CK: It was quite remarkable…Who steps up this year though? Give us a name from both teams


AS: I think for the Red Sox, Stephen Drew might be the guy. I know that’s like the most ridiculous name to pick, but he’s known to have random bursts of power.


CK: I’ve been really impressed with his defense so far. Hopefully he can translate that success to the plate.


AS: Yeah, he’s got an amazing glove. And if he does something like give them the lead late into a game, all of his batting woes will be forgotten and that $7 million salary would be justified.


CK: My Red Sox pick is going to be Xander Bogaerts. The rook is bound to show power at some point; what better time to unleash it than during the World Series?


AS: His at-bats proved to be extremely valuable during the ALCS and he’s going to be a great replacement for Drew next season.


CK: His plate discipline is already amazing, can’t wait to see what kind of hitter he becomes in 2-3 years.


AS: Yeah it’s kinda scary to think. Anyways, for the Cardinals, I really want to stay David Freese but I feel like Mat Adams might be their secret weapon who will step up big time He’s just waiting to smash a ball deep into the left field.


CK: Yeah, in Allen Craig’s absence, he really hasn’t provided anything, but he’s a home run waiting to happen. He’s sort of like a lower risk lower reward Adam Dunn, not as many home runs, but not as many strikeouts either. Maybe with Allen Craig back, he finally launches one into the seats?


AS: Yes, maybe the competition that makes him do better.

Craig’s addition might prove to be Key for the Cardinals

CK: Since we’re really lazy and we put this chat off till the last moment, I actually just caught a glimpse of the cardinals starting lineup tonight: Carpenter 2B, Beltran RF, Holliday LF, Craig DH, Molina C, Freese 3B, Adams 1B, Robinson CF, Kozma SS, Wainwright P. And since Jon Jay’s out, i’m gonna go with the one and only Shane Robinson. Hey, he’s already hit one home run in the NLCS. I have faith in him Hopefully he gets lucky again.

AS: Looking at that lineup, Matheny is a smart man. I still believe in the philosophy that the best hitter should always bat second, which is Beltran. And Craig’s average with men on base is ridiculous so putting him fourth is the right move.

CK: Yeah, we haven’t talked about the managers, but both are really good. Matheny has picked up right where La Russa left off. He managers his bullpen well and knows how to put a lineup together. My mom (yes, she noticed it before I did) also made me aware of the fact that even when his team is down or is on the wrong side of a horrific call, it never seems to phase him and I realize that’s absolutely true. That guy’s as cool as they come: very calm and collected.

AS: John Farrell, who worked with Francona, has pretty much brought his magic back to Boston. From first to last, regardless of how much you money, talent, and resources you have, it’s still a remarkable thing to turn that team around.


CK: He made them a team that wanted to com to work again The clubhouse chemistry is great after being so bad under Valentine. People actually wanna play together, just like they used to under Francona. But at the same time, he’s also kept them focused on the task at hand, like when he did that simulated game so they would be prepared despite their long stint between games. And I’m sorry for bringing it up so much, but the plate selection is excellent. They have a really great offensive philosophy and Farrell also knows how to manage a bullpen. He gets the most out of his players


AS: So tonight it’s Wainwright vs Lester, one hell of a pitching matchup Lester has faced the Cardinals only once in his career and was real good, but that was 2008 so I’m gonna ignore that.

Adam Wainwright

CK: As you should,  the teams are completely different now. This is as tough as it gets. I can’t see Wainwright blowing up, but despite how well Lester has thrown the ball, I can see him giving up a big blast, so I gotta give the edge to Cards in that regard tonight.

AS: Wainwright is truly as safe a bet as they come. Lester is scary still. i don’t trust him. I feel like he’s gonna give up a lot of hits tonight.


CK: Let’s look bigger picture though. It’ the the time our audience (of one person) has been waiting for: prediction time. By the way, that one person reading is probably Hirsch, who I’d like to welcome to the SportsKop family. He knows his stuff and he’s going to make a great addition to our team. Be on the lookout for a post from him about the NBA quite soon. Anyways, Red Sox or Cardinals and in how many games?


AS: Man, this is tough. People have constantly written off the NL teams since 2010 in the World Series but they’ve always won.


CK: Yep, the NL has indeed won 3 straight world series. And its been Giants Cardinals Giants … you can see a pattern building.


AS: Oh dear, DO NOT SAY THAT! I DONT WANT TO SEE THE GIANTS WIN AGAIN IN 2014. My brain is telling me Sox but my gut says the Cardinals will surprise people again and follow that stupid pattern. I say the Cardinals will win in 7 games with David Freese driving in the winning run.


CK: I’ll go Red Sox in 6. Napoli will get hotter than he already is, Ortiz will hit another late inning bomb and, with MUCH hesitation, I’ll say Lackey has another solid outing and that this team pulls it out. Their approach to the plate and their bullpen will make it work. Well, that’s our take. What do YOU think (only person who’s reading this)? Leave a comment with your prediction below, and keep an eye out for a new post from our newest columnist, as well as a site redesign (woohoo!) coming next week.


AS: So long! Will the Birds overcome the Beards? Clown ques
tion bro!

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A Long Awaited Liverpool Recap


I started this blog as an exclusive Liverpool blog, but I then started to venture into other sports. Then the blog died. But after this blog has come back to life again, and after adding two new members in, me and my colleagues have focused a lot on baseball partly because it was (and still is) in playoffs mode, but also because we had a lot of topics to discuss. Time to cover some soccer (or football as some might say).

I was really looking forward for the start of this season. I think it was quite clearly established that Liverpool was in rebuilding mode with a vision to forge a strong team to compete for honors down the road. A concept like that is quite common in the United States, where teams tank, have great draft picks and therefore get the privilege to draft the best prospects from colleges, high schools and sports academies. In Britain (or any other country besides USA), such a concept is not in place for a variety of reasons. First of all, there is no draft system. Secondly, if you tank, you actually get demoted to a lower league and then would have to fight with the teams in the league below to get promoted back up to the Premier league. So obviously Liverpool couldn’t afford to do any of that. But what Brendan Rodgers had in mind with the FSG sports group company was to purchase and develop young talented players who were undervalued or unappreciated in the market. And during last season and the offseason, they did just that. Rodgers brought in a variety of young players into the team while also spending his resources carefully and wisely and also went on to sell off the players that did not fit his vision for the future anymore. And he got a lot of stick for it last season since people were talking about how Liverpool were not doing so well and some went on to even say Rodgers should be sacked, which just irritates me to no end. The idea that just sacking managers will solve problems is really short-sighted and stupid in my opinion, but I digress. With all these new players in the team, I couldn’t wait to see how they would perform this season. And they did not fail to amaze me

The combination of Sturridge and Suarez in the front is something that is thriving and if Suarez does stay with Liverpool, its going to be a partnership that will not cease to amaze. It reminds me of the days when Gerrard and Torres came together to create a deadly partnership during their Champions League Run (seems like such a long time ago). With Coutinho, the midfield finally has someone who has the knack to find a slot to drop the ball in or create an open space out of nowhere to feed the ball to a striker. With Henderson also nurturing and maturing, hes actually looking to be quite a promising lad for the future. Mignolet seems to also be quite a bargain to fill up the goalkeeping void left by Reina. Sakho is going to be one hell of a mouthwatering prospect to fill in Liverpool’s desperate need of a solid Center back to shuffle with Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel. And Brendan Rodgers isnt done just with that. He has Samel Yesil, Luis Alberto, Tiago Ilori, Jordan Ibe and Aspas all in the reserves developing to strengthen the squad even further and take them to the next level. Rodgers isnt short minded, he knows what his job is and I think with his job security being quite solid and the backing of Liverpool’s ownership and the fans, hes going to have enough time to develop his project into fruition.

As I speak, Liverpool is sitting in 3rd place, 2 points behind leaders Arsenal. And there are some clear improvements with the team. The defense is still suspect and I fear that Rodgers Achilles heel in his tactics is his defensive approach. Another thing that quite worries me is that Liverpool play really well with a lot of possession during the first half of every game and then cling on to a lead during the second half with immense pressure from the opposition. Its clearly a work in progress but it is paying quite some dividends already. With time, patience and a good team chemistry, I personally think this team can develop into someone who can challenge for titles or atleast be in the mix. But for now, lets keep our feet on the ground, enjoy seeing a new team nurture and watch Manchester United sit in 12th place.


New Year, Same Old Story

Justin Verlander in game 5 vs Oakland in the ALDS in 2012:

9 IP    11 K’s     4 Hits 0 ER  W

Justin Verlander in Game 5 vs Oakland in the ALDS in 2013:

8 IP   11 K’s     2 Hits  0 ER   W

How frustrating is it to see one dude who makes as much money as 1/3rd of the entire Oakland A’s franchise shut them down time and time again? To put more stats into play, Verlander has 30 Consecutive Shutout innings against Oakland in the Postseason. Yet this lad gets lit when he faces Pablo Sandoval. Yes, Verlander is AMAZING, and I admire him, but it is hard to not start hating someone who has literally shut the door for Oakland to advance to the ALCS 2 years in a row single-handedly. This is exactly why I dreaded a Game 5 to happen. The A’s could have shut shop and ended the series in Detroit in game 4. They didnt. And then they come back to o.co for Verlander to do the honors.

Last year, I didnt feel so gutted. Mainly because of the game 4 heroics by Crisp, Donaldson, Reddick and Smith but also because what Oakland did last year was simply shocking. Nobody expected them to win the division and make it to the playoffs when the season started. And therefore it was an amazing story that we as fans relished and enjoyed being part of. But this year, it was different. There were legitimate expectations for this team to perform during the playoffs. And they coundt get the job done. I dont want to take anything away from the team since they push above their weight in big ways every time they make it to the postseason. What they do as a franchise is remarkable with limited resources. But is it frustrating to see the same team with the same pitcher putting up an identical performance again.

I dont blame anybody for that series. Not one single person. Not Billy Beane, not Bob Melvin, nor any of the players. Because we can sit back and cherry-pick supposed mistakes that Melvin made during the games. But guess what, hindsight is 20-20. But I will blame the ownership for not letting this team build to compete with the big guys. Lets look at the 4 teams that have made it to the Championship series. The Dodgers, Tigers, Red Sox and Cardinals are in the top 10 list of baseball team payrolls. The A’s ownership should learn their lesson by now. You cant win shit in the postseason unless you spend some serious money. And no you dont have to go all cash crazy like the Dodgers. But emulating the Cardinals would be a perfect model. The Cardinals have an excellent farm system and they have enough money to keep their developed players in their franchise. The A’s have the former, but not the latter. If Wolff was willing to inject even $30 million more into the A’s payroll, they can sign up somebody like Verlander or keep someone with the team for years to come with those resources. Cabrera, Fielder and Verlander go on to make more salary than the entire A’s franchise combined. Yet, 2 of the 3 of them were key in eliminating the A’s. And therefore, we just have to face reality. Money buys you success during playoff time. No, spending money like idiots does not help at all. If the A’s do what the Phillies and Angels do, then we would be doomed. But spending it wisely to buy 1 SOLID hitter to bat 3rd in the lineup and 1 really good pitcher to lead that starting rotation will do the trick. But for that you need money. And when the ownership is as cheap as it is in Oakland, that wont happen anytime soon.

Coco Crisp, Grant Balfour, Chris Young and Colon will likely be gone this offseason. It would be nice to have Coco around although Micheal Choice seems to be a promising prospect to fill in the CF void. Reddick needs to improve offensively to stay with the team despite that amazing glove and fielding of his. I dont think the team will be much different in 2014 other than a few changes. Addison Russell might be filling in the SS role anytime soon accompanying Jed Lowrie with Donaldson and Moss at the Corners. Vogt looks like someone who is gonna stay at the Major league level as a backstop. Cespedes will be entering his 3rd year of his 4-yr contract. Gray and Parker will spearhead the Starting rotation along with Griffin, Milone and possibly Anderson. And the bullpen looks to be more or less the same. Will the A’s make a push in the postseason come 2014? We shall see in a years time.

Go A’s!

They Might be fighting now, but don’t be surprised if they become teammates next year.

Precap: A’s/Tigers Head to Game 5

First of all, since my colleague Chengez joined this blog, I can actually see what was missing from this blog in the first place: quality. This blog has come back to life and therefore its time for me to step up to the plate. Which is what the A’s have to do in game 5 against Justin Verlander at the o.co coliseum. Hmm where have I heard that before?

Anyways, I think as a passionate A’s fan, its normal to be disgruntled after last nights performance (Game 4 that is). Its not so much that they lost at Comerica park where the Tigers were going to be potent no doubt, but more about the way they lost it. The  A’s got around Fister really quickly and Coco scored the first run of the game after hitting a triple in the 1st inning. They kept on getting men on base for the entire game but rarely capitalized (surprise, surprise). Straily did not even give up a hit through the first 4 innings and the only guy who got on base was Prince Fielder thanks to his “large surface area around the plate”. Then Lowrie hit a 2 run homer to make the A’s get a 3-0 lead. After that, everything turned for the worse. Straily gives up a 3 run jack to Peralta who just came back recently from a 50-game PED suspension. But that was not what ticked me off. The A’s were down 5-4 in the the top of the 8th inning. Moss and Cespedes get on second and third base with NO OUTS! NO OUTS! And then Scherzer goes on to intentionally walk Seth Smith. Lets get that in our head once again. The A’s, 1 run down, had the bases LOADED with ZERO OUTS! ZERO! And what do they do? Reddick and Vogt promptly strike out swinging and Callaspo coundt even have the chance to drive in a run with a sacrifice fly with 2 outs. The inning ends with no damage done. That entire inning just epitomized the problem with the Oakland A’s through the series. They get men on base. They threaten to score. But they never score unless its a Home Run. Its just a hit or miss. And its hard to hit Home Runs when you face Verlander and Scherzer. Its all great if you can get men on base but if you cant capitalize, you cant do shit.

To put that in perspective, lets look at game 1. Ok, well maybe not cause the only guy who was able to get on base was Crisp with 3 walks and Cespedes with a triple and a 2 run Monster blast. Scherzer just stifled the A’s. Lets look at game 2 then. There was 5 consecutive innings where the leadoff hitter for Oakland got on base. Out of those 5 innings, in 4 of them, the leadoff man got in scoring position with 0 outs. So obviously they got around Verlander then right? Nope. Verladner did not give up a single run. Not 1. Through 7 innings. Yes, Verlander is am AMAZING pitcher and I do not want to take away any credit from him because he pitched a HELL of a game. But the only reason the A’s actually had any hope of winning was thanks to Sonny Gray. If Griffin/Milone/Parker/Colon or Straily had pitched instead, I dont think the A’s wouldve had a chance to salvage a game at home. No chance. Sonny Gray was sublime and thanks to him, the game was 0-0 in the 9th inning. Then the bases were loaded with no outs, and thankfully, Vogt came through with a hit to win it for Oakland. But that game gave a preview to Oakland woes when it comes to driving in runs with men on base. In Game 3, the runs came in courtesy of Home Runs. (Reddick, Moss, Smith). And thats my point. The A’s can drive in runs if they can hit bombs. But if that cant hit the long ball, regardless of how many people are on base, they have a really hard time driving in runs. And when you face the likes of Verlander and Scherzer, the Home Run Ball is an afterthought if not impossible to even imagine.

And now, The A’s will have to face Verlander again in a game 5 in Oakland. The positives? A massive crowd that will fuel the A’s no doubt and sewage problems that will piss of the Tigers players to no end. The negatives? Well, Verlander is Verlander especially in games like these. Last year, in a same exact scenario with a game 5 in his hand, he made the A’s look like a AAA team. And the A’s haven’t changed that much either. Also, the A’s have historically been pretty bad in Game 5’s. They haven’t won a single Game 5 in a division series under the Billy Beane era. So yes, thats daunting. But there is hope. If game 2 is any indication, it does prove that the A’s can hit around Verlander unlike the year before. So if they can actually capitalize when they get men on base, then there need be no fear. Secondly, Melvin isn’t sure whether to start Colon or Gray. I would love to see a Verlander vs Gray round II. And I hope Melvin agrees with me. Yeah, maybe the Tigers have figured our Gray a bit more, but I am going to go purely on the game 2 performance and take a high risk high reward gamble. Lets just hope that it is one that will pay off and punch a ticket to Boston for the ALCS come Saturday.

Lets hope Verlander’s reaction goes from this:

To This:


2013 MLB Playoffs: Things to Look Forward to

I get way too excited when it is playoff time in baseball. The sport really captures the element of how postseason games should be like. The little margin for error, the intensity of the crowd, the unlikely heroes that rise during that time, David Freese Game Fucking 6 in 2011, Ranteria in 20.. no fuck that that gave me nightmares. How the fuck was Cliff Lee owned by Ranteria? Anyways, playoff baseball is awesome. And my Oakland A’s are in it for a second year straight. And face those goddamn tigers yet again. But the postseason is FUN regardless. Here are some things im looking forward to (and hoping it happens) in this years postseason:

  1. Verlander losing Game 1: Yes this is extremely biased. But man he singlehandely owned the A’s in Game 5 last year in the ALDS. Verlander hasn’t been as good as he was last year, buy hes still Justin Verlander. Now with the 1st game at o.co, and with the A’s having some regular season success against him, if the A’s beat Verlander, it will be a huge boost in the series.
  2. Yasiel Puigs Shenanigans: If he goes on a tear during the postseason, we will not hear the end of his amazing ability for a loooonng time. Then people will start talking about how hes just as good if not better than Mike Trout, Machado and Harper just to piss me off. If hes “clutch”, im gonna have to turn off ESPN and MLB Network for the next 20 years. Im sick of Puig-mania
  3. The Pittsburgh Pirates: I just love whats going on at PNC park. When your teams rotation consists of Gerrit Cole, AJ Burnett, Francisco Liriano and Jeff Locke, you know something special is brewing when you win more than 90 games with those guys. Cole is a stud but How the fuck is Liriano doing so well? But that team is going to be fun to watch.
  4. McCutchen in the Postseason: It could only be for 1 game if they lose the wild card game, but its about time McCutchen got a taste of Postseason baseball for the stud he is. He stayed with the team despite knowing he could land a FAT contract somewhere else. Its gonna be fun to watch.
  5. Kershaw-Grienke 1-2 Punch: I dont think I need to describe much here
  6. Bartolo Colon vs Prince Fielder
  7. “Momentum”: We will hear this word to no end. A team wins game 1, holy shit they have momentum now. They lose game 2, oh well now the other team has momentum now. There is no such thing as “momentum”. Its just one team playing better than the other on that day/night.
  8. Joe Buck: No FUCK THAT
  9. Belittling the A’s: They can go on to beat the Tigers 19-0 in game 5 and yet the story would be how bad the Tigers were rather than how good Oakland is. Yeah they’re just a fluky team with shit reject players. Whatevs
  10. Chris Johnson cussing out a Dodgers pitcher: He will pick beef with one of em for sure. If its Grienke, lets just hope he doesn’t break another collarbone.
  11. The Yankees: Oh wait, they’re not there. Praise the lord.
  12. Erin Andrews

Heres to another epic year of great postseason baseball. Lets just hope its not as boring as the world series last year.


Eight!

What a game that was! Ok, I agree, it wasn’t the best performance by Liverpool considering how well they played against the “big teams” during the regular season. However, Cardiff, as I correctly predicted, were NO pushovers whatsoever. A pulsating final that kept me at the edge of my seat till the last penalty kick in the shootout. Whoever calls the Carling Cup tournament as a “Mickey Mouse Cup” are just retarded. Plain and simple. While Arsenal, Chelsea, United and Spurs fans are still waiting for silverware this season, lets recap the game where I saw Liverpool lift a trophy for the first time since I became a Liverpool fan.

Bullets:

  • Cardiff were excellent. They worked so hard throughout the game. Fantastic workmanship spirit and team chemistry. I give them all the plaudits for such a brave performance.
  • As expected, King Kenny put out all of his summer signings in the starting XI.
  • Henderson was awful. We all know how much he hates playing on the right side of the midfield. In my opinion, Maxi should’ve started on the right with Henderson on the bench. But we won, who cares right?
  • Suarez was decent, Carroll has to step up his game. I’m sorry, but I’m still not buying into our 35 Million pound striker just yet.
  • Gerrard was really out of form today. His passing was decent, and his shots were awful to see the least. Not a kind of clutch performance you would expect from Captain Fantastic.
  • When Kuyt came on, we all knew he would score, didnt we? Hes so clutch and works so hard its unbelievable. Also, with Bellamy, Downing, Suarez and Kuyt, Liverpool were so fast on counter attacks. It was great to see.
  • Cardiff’s both goals were the result of teamwork. Liverpool should definitely take a leaf out of Cardiff’s book and imply it into the team.
  • Adam’s Penalty apparently landed on the moon. But in all seriousness, what the hell was he thinking?

But at the end of the day, we won, and in two years, all we will be looking at is the Carling Cup trophy. A record eight time, Liverpool take the Carling Cup to Merseyside and come back from  Wembeley as champions!

P.S: I became a Liverpool fan after they won the FA Cup and the epic strike from Gerrard to take the game into Extra time made me instantly fall in love with Liverpool FC. Who knew I would’ve had to wait 6 years to witness glory? It clearly was a hard test to check my loyalty for the team.


Add Another One to the Trophy Cabinet!

Celebrations after the Penalty Shootout

A Fantastic Day for Liverpool and another trophy is heading into the already overflowing cabinet. The first piece of Silverware for Six Years and hopefully, the start of a dynasty for King Kenny’s Liverpool Team!


Bye Bye Red Devils! Look Who’s Back!

GET STUCK IN!!!!!!

If a win against Manchester City wasnt sweet enough, Liverpool knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup in the 4th round in a span of just 3 days to make my week even sweeter! And what a way to do it as well! I always hated seeing Liverpool play against United when the game is 0-0 or 1-1 because they always found a way to stab my heart, scoring in the dying minutes and seconds of the game. The likes of Scholes, Giggs, Solskjaer and Nistelrooy always pissed me off when Liverpool lost games that was looking like it was heading for a tie. And NOW FINALLY, we gave them a sucker punch in their same fashion and gave them a taste of their own medicine! What a way to finish up the week!

Bullets:

  • Enrique was excellent again, especially in the first 20 minutes, was instrumental in setting up the first goal as he paved the way for the corner. But hes one player I have no complains about.
  • King Kenny, PLAY DOWNING ON THE LEFT!!!!!
  • Henderson was bright at sparks of the game, didnt cause any harm at all.
  • Gerrard, well, is Steven Gerrard
  • The goal Manchester United Scored was beautiful. Gotta give credit to the team i hate the most for creating a chance out of nowhere. Reina couldn’t have done much to stop the shot.
  • Booing Evra was inevitable, but I really don’t get why everyone was scrutinizing him so much. He wasn’t the one responsible for handing Suarez an 8 match ban. He just lodged a complaint. If you really wanna blame somebody, blame the FA. I personally thought it was a harsh gesture.
  • Besides, his mistake gifted us the winning goal 🙂
  • The moment when Ferguson brought in Chicarito, I was feeling so nervous, as he manages to poach a goal out of nowhere. At that moment, I was just hoping for a FA Cup replay rather than a win.
  • I cannot believe how Dirk Kuyt is like the clutch player that Liverpool has, who works his ass off but doesn’t pose as a threat whatsoever and then suddenly out of nowhere, he pops up with something special.
  • And the crowd reacting at the Kuyt winner was spectacular.
The celebration is great, but whats up with the Setanta Sports hoodie? lol

So in one week, Liverpool singlehandedly knock out the two Manchester clubs out of 2 tournaments. The timing could not be better and the feeling cannot be any sweeter. Now the team faces a tough task to break into the top 4 of the premier league, but right now, I couldn’t care less about the premier league. The winning feeling against Manchester City and Manchester United United is too sweet to be overshadowed for now.

COME ON YOU REDS!


Liverpool is Going to Wembley!

        What a game it was yesterday! Liverpool clearly were the deserved winners after just completely tearing apart Manchester City for most of the first half, and then closing the business in the second half. The result: A trip to Wembley for the  first time since 1996 (Liverpool played cup finals between 1996 and 2006 in the Cardiff Millennium stadium due to construction at Wembley) and a chance to lift a trophy for the first time since 2006. The opponents in the final are Cardiff City and therefore, Liverpool would be overwhelmingly the favorites. But that just means more pressure and therefore, the team has to be focused and not get carried away just because they’re facing a minnow team.

 
        But back to talking about the game. Liverpool, if you didn’t know came into the second leg with a 1-0 lead in the first game. So even a tied game can get Liverpool through on aggregate. The back 4 were absolutely superb. Skretel was defending like a brick and Agger was superb in clearing out Man Citys pass up play at the final thirds of the pitch. Jose Enrique possibly had the best game this season with some sublime crosses and great linkup play with gerrard and adam up in the midfield.Bullets:
 
  • Bellamy IS a steal! WHAT A GAME HE HAD! He is truly an underrated player who was sold from club to club just ruining his career by not keeping him in 1 team and helping him stabilize and put up consistent performances. He clearly was spectacular and his goal to win the semifinals for Liverpool was superb.
  • I could watch King Kenny celebrate for Hours.
  • Charlie Adam was sloppy when it can to his defensive work. But thats what you should probably expect from Charlie Adam. He was sublime in giving some fantastic Delivery to Gerrard, Kuyt and Henderson upfield.
  • Although Agger should be blamed for the Dzeko Goal, he was practically unpenetrable for the whole game. Great defensive work by the entire back 4 in fact.
  • The atmosphere in the ground was fantastic to hear. Its been a long time since it has been such a case in Anfield during a night game. Hopefully there is a lot more to come.
  • Steven Gerrard is Steven Gerrard. What a player at the age of 31. Lets hope he still has a lot left in his tank.
Cant wait for the final and hopefully see Liverpool lift a cup for the first time since 2006. Lets Go! COME ON YOU REDS!!!!!!!!

Liverpool 1-3 West Ham

Just another loss, isnt it? Well, not really considering that even under Roy Hodgson, Liverpool managed to beat West Ham 3-0. Watching that game was just shocking and clearly illustrated how much depth Liverpool were lacking in the midfield. West Ham just ran wild with ample amount of possession and Scott Parker was again the orchestrator of the show. I was expecting an easy game and a 2-0 win for Liverpool, not to be. Luis Suarez did work his socks off and for me, him and Gerrard were the only 2 players who were good on the pitch today. However, the game was just shocking and it reminds me of Hodgsons reign a bit. Under Roy, Liverpool had a mini revival (where Chelsea were the culprits again), got the 1st away win and then lost to stoke 2-0 after a draw against, yup you guessed, Wigan 1-1, exactly the same thing going on with Dalglish right now. The game today made me and I am sure a lot of Liverpool fans, give up hopes of finishing in the top 4. As for West Ham, they deserve full credit as they played their socks off to get a deserved victory. I just hope Carrol Comes in soon for Liverpool and starts partnering up with Suarez.


With Man. United Next, I just want to see a win, since Liverpool really have nothing to lose or play for in the Premier League anymore.


Good luck to West Ham for their Survival bid. Cheers!