Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dalglish's Red Army Fights Off Wolves For First Three Points!

As soon as the game at Molineux ended, Sammy Lee walked over to Kenny Dalglish, congratulated him and then whispered, "You're Back!". This win surely must kick start Liverpool's season. The Reds now look very comfortable as a team, attacking and defending as a unit. For that unifying factor, Kenny Dalglish deserve praise. The way he has managed to bring Fernando Torres back into form also deserves special mention. Nando's two goals today were perhaps his simplest but it is also deserving considering how hard he was working throughout the game.

Even more satisfying was seeing the Reds not giving up when Wolves were trying to bully them off the pitch. Instead there seemed to be a new resilience and determination in the team since Dalglish took over. Liverpool stood firm and refuse to be intimidated. Torres, Meireles and Maxi withstood the majority of the physical challenges that Wolves defenders and Henry dished out. Instead of complaining and moaning, Torres and Meireles went on to punish Wolves in the best possible way by scoring three superb goals.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Harry Redknapp's Joker in Steven Pienaar

With the ridiculously priced £3million accepted, Steven Pienaar's signature confirmed and enhanced Harry Redknapp's reputation as the premier wheeler dealer manager of the Barclays Premier League. Once again, Harry Redknapp effortlessly adds established stars to his Spurs squad. 'Arry just cannot resist a deal, can he?

Spurs is a club on the up and it is understandable that Pienaar would be excited to play for a side who can be a surprise Champions League winner. There is an inconsistency within Spurs and Pienaar will address that weakness. I believe Aaron Lennon's first team place could be in jeopardy with the arrival of the little South African.

City's Edin Dzeko Makes Impressive Debut Against Wolves

At £27 million, he is not the most expensive player in the Premier League. However for Manchester City, Edin Dzeko can only be seen as the possible final piece of the Citizen's objective to dominate the Barclays Premier League. And why not, Dzeko is the complete forward that City lacked. Physically suited for the Premiership, he is not just a target man but has the pace, creative intelligence and a poacher's instinct. Traits that only Carlos Tevez in the current City forward lineup can match.

His first match against Wolves turned out to be a very successful debut. He showed his ability when he picked up the ball near the halfway line, glided past one Wolves defender before laying on a perfect pass into the path of the phenomenal Yaya Toure to score.

The Unfulfilled Promise of Liverpool's Ryan Babel

Ryan Babel signed for Liverpool from Ajax and immediately made an explosive impact in his first season. His 10 goals in 49 appearances for the Reds earned him the adulation of the Liverpool fans. He was named the Liverpool Young Player of The Season in 2007-08.

He had a bit of everything as do all Dutch players. He could spot a pass, beat people on the dribble and score goals. Babel could play in a variety of forward positions, left, right or as a second striker. He showed the Kop what he was capable of in his first season and more was then expected of the young 20-year old in future seasons.

This is Babel at his flying best during his Ajax days.

Fans' high expectation of a player who was then 20, proved to be too much for a fragile personality like Babel's. Coupled with the strict disciplinarian style of Rafael Benitez, it needed a much tougher (mentally) Ryan Babel to succeed. In his years as Liverpool boss, Benitez is best known as a brilliant tactician and strategist but not as a man manager. Ryan Babel's Premier League future could have been best preserved at Manchester United or Arsenal.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Is Martin O'Neill Right For West Ham?

Martin O'Neill is still being touted as the man to replace the unlucky Avram Grant at the helm of West Ham United. The former Aston Villa manager is reported to be mulling over the possibility of being the Irons' new manager.

Avram Grant has always been unlucky in the English Premier League. He seems to be the unwanted child although he has worked wonders at the clubs that he previously managed. Apparently a Champions League final and an FA Cup final appearance are not measures of success. Just goes to show how much importance is put on Premier League survival in this day and age.

But is Martin O'Neill the right man for West Ham?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Liverpool FC Finally Look Like Liverpool Again!

Wow, even after a frustrating game against Manchester United and Berbatov proving that he is as opportunistic as strikers come, nothing brought me more pleasure than seeing Kenny Dalglish back in the dug-out once more. After some 20 years, it is a surreal experience even if it was on television.

Though Liverpool could do nothing but damage limitation after Gerrard's red card, at least I and all other Liverpool fans need not have to endure yet more media-friendly dribble from Roy Hodgson! For that, I am extremely thankful for Hodgson's departure.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In-Form Steven Gerrard Is Liverpool's Silver Lining

The noose around Roy Hodgson's neck was tightening last Saturday as soon as Bolton's Kevin Davies scored a simple goal just before halftime at Anfield. Luckily for him, Steven Gerrard would not let Liverpool suffer a third successive defeat.

The Liverpool captain turned in his best performance this season and literally pulled Liverpool across the winning line. Liverpool had looked very impotent before the forced introduction of Gerrard. During that time, Torres was having his now-customary torrid time in front of goal. It was horrible and excruciating to watch the Spaniard struggle with Hodgson's tactics. Most times, Torres' touch was heavy and there was a distinct reluctance to shoot.

All that hesitancy changed as soon as Steven Gerrard joined the fray.

Gareth Bale, Spurs' Mr. Consistency

Ever since the start of this 2010/2011 season, I have been in awe of Spurs' quicksilver winger, Gareth Bale. Gareth Bale has been the leading light for Tottenham Hotspurs this season. It has been breathtaking watching the young Welsh wizard in full flight up to this point in the season. Those who were enjoying the holiday matches (or what was left of it) would have seen Bale at his best.

Against Newcastle, he was superb and his solo goal gave Spurs a hard fought three points. Against Fulham, his quick thinking and awareness of the goal allowed him to deflect an otherwise poor Rafael Van der Vaart freekick past Mark Schwarzer.

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