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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Liverpool's any mathematically slim hopes of EPL ended at Reebok Stadium last nite, where 8 months ago, we lost our first points. But honestly, it ended during the bad spell we had in December 2001, nearing the Christmas, where the spirit of giving came over the lads and gave we did. That, culmulated with Arsenal's good run and apparent invincibility, was the main contributing factor to us not winning the League and we will be trophyless come the end of the season. (Okay, the two Cups dun really count, do they?).

As expected, last year's good run in the Cup competitions probably lifted our hopes very high. Talks of EPL and an unlikely Champions League rang among the neutrals, but surprisingly, not a lot among the serious Liverpool fan contingent believe that this will be our year. One main reason is the Cup competitions are an entirely proposition as the League or Champions League. After all, during Cup competitions, teams fell into the suckerpunch when they play us. They attacked while we replied on the counter to score. How many times have we seen that happen last season? When this season started, talks of Liverpool playing defensively and sitting back were all over the place and as much as it is good for Cup competitions, it is not good enough in the League. Our early set-backs involved an easy goal conceded by Westerveld, at the Reebok Stadium, and he was replaced by Dudek. Another defeat followed and we are soon being considered as pretenders to the crown. We still are, but we gave a push for it when it counts. But a series of good wins under our belts made us push and chase after Leeds, after Man U campaign struggled to kick off and we were soon ahead of the Mancs. When they visited us early on, we handed them another lesson of football. 4 in a row. We were doing fine. We have always done well against top sides but playing poorly against less than fanciful teams. We managed a weak 1-1 draw against Blackburn, in what must be termed the most "anti-football" game I have seen. All our good form came to an end against Fulham at home and the first sign of a sorely patched-up side, in real need of some spark, especially after GH was hospitalised, and the passion in the players playing for him was over, faced its real test. A 0-4 defeat by Chelsea followed and our defensive shell cannot hold up all the times, and we are sorely exposed without Hamann. We managed to go through one very poor month, culmulating with one victory at Villa Park and the real downer against Arsenal and Southampton. All these changed when we battled the Mancs at OT in Janurary. All the talk was of Man U's recovery and Liverpool's downward sprial. And what a game it was. The display was not fantastic, but the result was. And we are back on track. Finally, we are starting to win the games we are supposed to, as seen against Leeds and Ipswich away. 10 goals between them later, we drew against Everton and we were back to our usual ways. Defending well and scoring one goal or two. Scoring three against Newcastle was another strange occassion, but it happens when we play against strong sides. With Man U chasing us, and Leeds dropping away, all that remains was for Arsenal to drop some points. But fiercely they refused to give up top spot and we are now out of it, after our sixth defeat -- the limit for championship contenders, to Tottemham. The end is here.

What a season, together with the Champions League journey, to saviour. Our return to Europe began with the Sept 11 terrorist attack, with our players never seriously looking wanted to play and the game ended 1-1 with Boavista. But it was the game against Dortmund when chants of YNWA came back on a European night, covered in glory. 2-0 was the final score that night, and we qualified for round 2. And then we got ourselves up against the Italian champions Roma, Barcelona and Galatasaray. An opening home defeat against Barcelona was not an auspicious start though and we learnt the lesson of football through the hard way. It was a defeat fully deserved as Barcelona looked hungrier and we never felt comfortable with them. Then we drew the next four games, and remain unbeaten away in Europe. And so did the rest as draws and draws continue to be produced in somewhat tactical match-ups and teams not wanting to lose. When we hosted Roma, we needed 2-0 to go through. And with the Kop at full cry, we got that. It was a painful lesson for Roma to swallow and we played impressively, though with lots of guts. And for once, we are into the Quarter-Finals. Against Bayer Leverkusen, it was the easiest draw we could hope for, but we came unstuck at Bayer's Bay Arena. A Jari Litmanen goal with 12 minutes to go looks good to see us through on away goals, and Liverpool unexpectedly self-destruct in a game which we fail to be in control of. Finally, the European dream was over. For one season at least.

Overall, it has been another season of lessons to learn and matches to remember. Thank you for all the wonderful memories. We will be back next season.

YNWA

paw;)
 

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It certainly has been a season of ups and downs but perhaps more importantly it has been a season where we have progressed yet again.

If last season was the year that we did in Europe rested our ghousts against the likes of Man U and Everton and sorted out the defence this was the year that we improved upon all of these.

We beat Man U three times this year and Eveton once (as well as the draw)... In Europe we played the best and apart from 2 games (Barca and Leverkushen) we held our own and were so close to being in the last 4...

And yet again we improved in the defence with Dudek coming in... the loss of Babell was massive and I do believe that this affected us more than some suspect.

But the new things that have encouraged me this year is the sustained form of Owen, the consistency of Dudek and the knowledge that our defence can keep out the best (unless they are German)...

Combined with this is the knack that we picked up to beat the lesser teams when playing badly and it would all be sorted but for the poor run we had...

I remember watching the Fulham game and being madder than ever... we should have won that game and I think that if we did we would be in pole position or the PL right now...

We did not... Owen almost did it by himself but it was not our day and things went downhill and I saw Liverpool at their worst. The Chelsea game was bad (the score line did flatter them though) but much worse than this was our game against So'ton.

That was the worst game I saw the pool play that year... we did not have a clue. Yes So'ton scored with an own goal and a penalty and did not deserve to win... it was more like that we deserved to lose...

But as swiftly as a slump descended we experienced the opposite after we beat Man U 1-0. Our defence suddenly became unbeatable again keeping clean sheet after clean sheet.

Heskey realised why it is good to score and Gerrard raised his game and produced some wicked passes and then it all seemed possible... surely there was no way that Arsenal would win all their games... oh bollocks they did.

I still think that Arsenal have won the PL rather than anyone losing it... I mean if we get 1 more point this year then we will have our highest ever PL point total.

Add to this the fact that our defence has conceded 27 goals in the league in 36 games... 4 of which were against Chelsea.

Next year we can build on this... we have the defence and what we need now is the attack.... the creativity to set Owen free and a partner who is worthy of him...

Come on GH... do the right thing
 

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Excellent posts by paw and our legend...

I am upbeat about next season...really really so..

Echoing what Saint Mike said..."We WILL win the title"

We r on the up!!

I am anxiously awaiting the signing of the two new players that GH is talking about - look at Dudek and Riise and u will see how good GH is at making these superb signings. Really hope to see some natural wing players at the club.

As much as I am looking forward to the new signings, I can't wait for Babbel to come back. When he was fit, he offered so much us with his superb defending and is very much a danger in set pieces. A hell of a player!!! Also, if you guys remember last season, you will know how good a player Barmby is. I hope he will be given another chance.

Ning(2) Yong (3) Bu(4) Du (2) Xing (2)
(You'll Never Walk Alone in Mandarin)
 

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I would just like to say one thing and that is that I think that Riise has been your player of the season...He is even better than Roberto Carlos you should be very happy that you have a player like him and he really seems to be very happy to be at your club as well...

According to me

Riise

Owen

Hyppia

Dudek

Gerrard

Hamann

Henzhoz

Hamann

Heskey
 

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I am looking forward to the next season too. This has been the most exciting season since Man U dominate the domestic game and of course, so many ups and downs spiced up the title chace too.

MO and PB and I think most of the fans, staff, players are optimistic that Liverpool will win the title next season and also the Champions League.

Look at our squad, Dudek, Babbel, Xavier, Henchoz, Hyypia, Carragher, Vignal, Riise, Gerrard, Hamann, Murphy, Smicer, Berger, Litmanen, Owen, Heskey, Anelka... Oh Man! Liverpool have a bright future! Some will go and better ones will come. We all should sing "We will win the title".... :D
 

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I'm optimistic about next season, but I think we need to make atleast 2 outstanding signings to challenge strongly next season.

"We will win the Premiership in a year or two..."? Well, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle will be stronger next season, so that's quite a bold statement. To win the league I think we need to sign a world class midfielder; whether that be a winger or a play-maker, and find a partner to get the best out of Michael Owen. I think we need to throw a bit more caution to the wind as well and attack teams a bit more. A cultured pacey centre-half would also be very welcome. Until then, I think we'll continue to be pretenders to the Premiership crown.

I hope Houllier has some big signings in mind and is not just going to bring in some young raw talent. Building for the future is fine, but we need to start producing the goods now, and that means getting to the level that Arsenal have been for the last couple of years, i.e. challenging ManYoo when they were at their strongest. We need to distance ourselves from the likes of Leeds, Newcastle and Chelsea and become one of the "Big Three". That means signing players of the same calibre as ManYoo and Arsenal. The likes of Veron and the Pires' of this world...

All in all though, it's been a good season. Although our style of football hasn't been the prettiest, we have improved; becoming very solid and consistent (although probably not as much as we would have had our manager not been away and had some of our key players not been injured).

We now need to take that next step...
 

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Firstly there is no way in hell that Riise is in the same league as Roberto Carlos:)... I'm sorry but he has done well but not that well.

At this moment in time I am quietly optimistic but a hell of a lot depends on the people that we do bring in... as digger said they must be world class players now and not potential world class players...

Players like Robbie Keane, Cisse, Emerton, Van Bommell, Bruggink, Bridge and the likes are superb and would not cost the world... well Cisse might:)

But we must be more attacking and must NOT rest on out laurels... we have had a good season but we have to improve a hell of a lot if we want to win the title
 

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The players you talk about PTID:

Robbie Keane - he's a good player but he's not exactly set the world alight at Leeds.

Ciise - Not seen him play. Enlighten us...

Emerton - likewise.

Van Bommel - I remember that great goal he scored against England and a few other bits. He looks a talented midfielder, but what position does he play, and in which team?

Bruggink - heard his name, no nothing at all about this fella.

Wayne Bridge - although he looks very promising, he is still relatively young and may fall short still. Remember Gareth Barry? A very highly rated defender with calls for inclusion in the England senior side; can't get a game for Villa now-a-days. Still needs to develop a bit for me...
 

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i hope Galatasaray and Liverpool meet again next year and we can increase the friendship between the two clubs..

it was a good year for you guys for sure.. but still i hope you will improve it
 

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Cheers ....

Its just so nice that Roma didn't win serie A eh???
 

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What is the difference between us and the Gooners?
you guessed it, the attack.

Look at the team line up, here is how I would rate
Seaman 8
Dudek 9 (Form edged it)

Lauren 7 (attacks better)
Xavier 6 (Would have got a 7 if not for a few disappointing matches)

Cole 8 (Attacks better)
Carragher 8 (Defends better)

Adams 10
Hyypia 9

Campbell 9
Henchoz 10

(As usual)

Hamann 9
Viera 8 (A few alarming performances in Arsenal recent few matches depreciate the value)

Edu 7
Gerrard 8

Owen 9
Henry 9

Note - Arsenal played with no Adams and Keown in the middle of defence for part of the season

Up till now there is not much to seperate the players. In fact we shade Arsenal in terms of defence and midfield solidity BUT.........................
Then there next few players ratings will show why WE and ARSENAL are still a class apart
Riise 7
Smicer 6
Pires 10

Bergkamp 9
Heskey 5 (early season form) 7 (current form)

Murphy 7
Roosterhead 9

Berger 7 (Early season) 5 (Now)
Parlour 8

Other stats to note
Litmanen 9 (Till midseason) 7 (Frustration sets in)
Kanu 7

Wright - 7
Luzney - 7

Anelka - 7
Wiltord 8

What must be done.
Please get a WORLD CLASS PLAYMAKER
The most glaring difference between us and Arsenal is that we need to step up a class up in attack.

Duff, Van Der Meyde, Ibrahimovic, Cerriere, anyone remotely who can create

Please allow dribbles, pls instill attacking confidence in the players. A bit of risk won't kill. Look at Arsenal, they are not leaking goals.

A case study
Smicer - TOast in France, major part in Lens Championship winning season.
Pires - hacked and booed by marseille fans, inept the season before he moved to Arsenal

Smicer - Started off unfit and injured
Pires - same

Smicer - worked out and improve his fitness
Pires - Same

Smicer - Started last season with match winning performances (set up all of Liverpool first few goals playing in attack)
Pires - some match winners and assists, warming up to the potential he promised.

Smicer - all of a sudden, lumped to assistant left back and forced to mark Carr, then other wingers and full back, forced to mark Rooster in the FA Cup final. This season no better, defensive is the first piority. No dribble allowed.
Pires - encouraged to take on players, to dribble and to create attack. Gets better and better

Smicer - Confidence almost 0
Pires - before he gets injured - best playmaker in the EPL

Damnit, Houllier, defensive play is ok, but please attack better next season. Please allow dribble. If a playmaker or winger is not supposed to dribble, what is he supposed to do? we already destroyed Smicer, Berger and Jari. pls don't screw up with others. Look towards Valencia if U still want to be safe and cautious, they may defend in numbers but when they attack, the spread it sideways to their devestating wingers and Aimar was in brilliant form, proof that U don't need a big striker like Heskey or Carew to play upfront.

Who should start next season
Dudek, Babbel (When fit), Hyypia, Henchoz, Gerrard, Hamann, Owen

The others
Carragher - he will make a good cover for anyone across the defence or centre of Midfield. He will get matches, surely someone would be injured or suspended.

Vignal - Please start him more often, experience may count against him but you need him to play more to get them, the most natural full back we have since Jim Beglin

Xavier - reserve, sorry, he is basically a central defender.

Murphy - He needs to improve his ball control by 5 times. Yes, yes he is a hardworking player and have good deadball skills. But it is no point saying all these when the opposition have players like Giggs, Roosterhead, Becks and Pires. He needs to create chances from open play and his ball control is letting him down.

Riise - nice for 4-5 goals a season, but please cross decently!

Smicer - We can change our attitude and get the most out of his undouted talent, but at the moment, we can't by the way we are playing. We need a stronger and more balanced winger, but stronger wingers are generally abused by their manager and their creativity suffers. Smicer isn't a winger either. He will prolly move to another club and take the club by storm.

Berger - Potentially better then Rooster and Bowyer in getting goals from midfield, but lost all confidence since the injury and tasked by Houllier to be the Totti of Zidane of the team. Drifts everywhere without effect. Same like Smicer, either Houllier throw away his old blackboard or Berger may have to go. It sickening seeing him trying to defend. It will only make him look bad

Litmanen - The talk about his not able to last 90 mins is valid, but hey which playmaker can last 90 mins in Houllier system? Bergkamp and Aimar seldom play 90 mins and they are not doing so badly either. He seems fine playing 90 mins against the Hammers and in internationals. We do need geniuses even if they stroll around pitch. Look at Bergkamp against Bolton, strolled for 35 mins, then all of a sudden, he create killer passes to win the match. We have Gerrard, Riise and Hamann to carry him, I do not see a problem. Arsenal only have Viera and maybe Parlour to clear up the attackers excesses and they are not going too badly either. But he will move, his face tells it all.

Heskey - HE IS NOT A STRIKER. Even Litmanen have a higher goal to minutes ratio then Heskey. Either Heskey shows that he is 11 million pounds and perform consistantly or we needs better striker. I am sick of Bellemy, RVN and Bergkamp doing MUCH more then Heskey. My solution would to play Jari for 70 mins then play Heskey for the rest of the match to get the most out of the tired opposition defence, but we are unlikely to see that happening.

Anelka - I can't fit him in. He is too grumpy too tempremental and when the going to down, he does AWOL, nice to have around if the team is playing well. If he signs for Liverpool, please do not give any money to his no good brothers! If they want money, tell them to get a job.

Biscan - He is a DM or a centreback, I am not in favour of him starting. But he needs to be playing in those position NOT IN THE WINGS before the jury can come in.

Wright - Like Vignal, need more experience.

Mellor, Baros - We should try him a few times as sub, maybe League and FA Cups, who knows?

Barmby - looks like he haS to go

The expected team next season
__________________Dudek
Babbel ___Hyypia___Henchoz____Carragher
Murphy___Hamann __Gerrard ___Riise
_______Owen___Heskey

More or less the same
Subs - Biscan, Baros, Emerton, Some purchase, Wright, Kirky
About
Emerton - Nice hardworking player to have. But if Championships are won on the brilliance of players, pls buy someone else

Daio - Do we need another central defensive midfielder?

Ciise - Not ready to come, but would be a useful SUB to Owen (if he don't mind)

Duff - PLEASE COME! and please insert a condition in your contract allowing you to dribble and do something brilliant. If you sell a "All your pass must be safe and obvious, all your crosses and long balls must reach Heskey (Nowhere to be seen on crosses)." pls reject the contract.

Team I would like to see next season.
____________________Dudek/Kirky
Babbel /Wright__Hyypia/Biscan _Henchoz/Carragher _Wayne Bridge/ Vignal

____Riise/Murphy__Hamann/Biscan_Gerrard/Berger

____Duff or Van Der Meyde or Van Der Vaart or Mido you get what I mean/Smicer

__________Litmanen/Heskey___Owen/ Mellor/ Baros

First names represents first choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another great post by Mindy. :)

paw;)
 

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There's only so much of these defensive a fan can take. I am also desperate to see our attacking midfielders given more space and freedom. Just look at what happened when we did it against Newcastle and Roma. I really hope we do see another couple of high class signings for the midfield/attack. I don't think the defence needs changing, but Xavier really isn't fast enough to start, especially when Babbel returns. This is the side I'd like to see next year:

Dudek

Babbel Henchoz Hyypia Riise

Barmby Gerrard Hamann Overmars/Duff

Litmanen/Anelka

Owen
 

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Ciise is a fantastic player and should be going to the world cup if Lemerre has any sense (I know that Anelka ain't)... Plays for Auxerre and has set the French league allight with over 20 goals and he is still 20.
Will be hard to get him as so many top European teams are after him but we should try now... as a result he may not be ready but neither was Anleka at Arsenal and look what he went on to do...

Emerton is a player that was included because of what other people have said really... seen him a few times and he is a neat player but I don't know if he would be that good on our right hand side...

Bruggink is my own personal choice and rarely gets mentioned anywhere which has led me to believe that he only does well for PSV when I am watching. He is basically a forward who likes it outside the box as much as he does inside it.
For me Kezman's great form is inlarge due to him yet Arnold seems to get forgotten.

Keane again is a player that I want to see... the man is so exciting and has packs of ability. Can do things that will change a game but needs to be in the side constantly to perform... this may be the problem.

Bridge for me is the must... we can not afford to play Carragher on the right anymore as we lose too much attackingwise....

this may sound strange but Carragher has frustrated me so much this season when he hoofs the ball upfield when there is a ball to play if he uses his left foot:(
Bridge would also compliment out left winger (whoever that should be) much more...

oh and if we are really optomistic we ould ask for our playmaker to be either Romagnolli or Riquleme;)... I seriously doubt it too
 

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Keane is no good, hes got pace and can take on players but he has no team-orientation AT ALL, he isolates himself from his team-mates and if you saw him in any leeds games (not highlights ;)) you'd see how much their fluidity broke down whenever he played.

Basically keane is not a thinking player. Pool could do much better....DUFF!!!

Emerton would be the fastest player at pool after owen, Hes a big strong guy thats really hard to stop when hes taking on players, hes not the classiest player but would be the best option on the right out of pools current crop. He has mixed it with the big boys in CL this season and handled with aplomb. Hes a reasonable buy.

Carriere, what can I say? If there was no zidane hes be frances playmaker, very gifted player......Of course riquelme would be the ultimate playmaker ;)

I agree with what someone said abt Anelka, hes good when the team is travelling, but hes a whinger and is the last player who'd lead us back when the chips are down.

Van Bommel is a DM and a damn fine one at that, odds are he'll end up with one of the big guns in Italy or spain. Has got game.

Players that we should offload, Berger, Barmby, Biscan, Heskey, Dont sign Anelka, and a toss up for Smicer, I agreed with everything Mindscape had to say abt him, but sometimes a player never recovers mentally after being destroyed emotionally the way he has with his lack of game. Really unfortunate b/c he is a big talent.


and finally for next year the most important thing we need is nothing money buys........its called


EXPRESSIVE FOOTBALL. we've build solidity with the defensive oriented footy we've played the past few seasons, now we must start to play pretty football
 

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MINDSCAPE said:


Team I would like to see next season.
____________________Dudek/Kirky
Babbel /Wright__Hyypia/Biscan _Henchoz/Carragher _Wayne Bridge/ Vignal

____Riise/Murphy__Hamann/Biscan_Gerrard/Berger

____Duff or Van Der Meyde or Van Der Vaart or Mido you get what I mean/Smicer

__________Litmanen/Heskey___Owen/ Mellor/ Baros

First names represents first choice.
Free-scoring Egypt striker Mido has pledged his future to Ajax, despite interest from Liverpool and Internazionale.

"At this early stage of my career, my talents and skills can only be boosted by staying with a team like Ajax," said the 20-year old.

Mido's performances this season inspired Ajax to their 28th Dutch title and the player has attracted interest from a host of top European teams - but he remains committed to Ajax, at least for the immediate future.

"Liverpool and Internazionale have both expressed interest in signing me in the last couple of months," he said.

"But it would be safe to say that I desperately need to gain experience if I am to make my mark in the Premiership or Serie A, and Ajax are offering me the chance to do just that."

Mido insisted he never doubted his ability in a turbulent season that saw him played out of position for long spells by coach Co Adriaanse, who was sacked in December.

"I always believed in my abilities and remained dedicated to the club," he said.

"And when Ronald Koeman took charge, I asked him if I could play in the centre-forward position, my natural position and the one I play for the national team.

"Mr Koeman showed strong opposition to the idea, saying that he had two centre-forwards already, the Greek Nikos Machlas and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden, for one striking position.

"The manager confirmed to me that if I wanted to play in the centre- forward position I would have to sit on the bench for a long spell. After just two matches, though, I got the chance to play 30 minutes against De Graafschap.

"I scored one and set up another to win the game, and the rest is history - I have continued playing for 11 games and Ajax have won the title," he added.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No more cut-and-paste from Carson?:confused:

paw;)
 

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MINDSCAPE said:


Free-scoring Egypt striker Mido has pledged his future to Ajax, despite interest from Liverpool and Internazionale.

"At this early stage of my career, my talents and skills can only be boosted by staying with a team like Ajax," said the 20-year old.

Mido's performances this season inspired Ajax to their 28th Dutch title and the player has attracted interest from a host of top European teams - but he remains committed to Ajax, at least for the immediate future.

"Liverpool and Internazionale have both expressed interest in signing me in the last couple of months," he said.

"But it would be safe to say that I desperately need to gain experience if I am to make my mark in the Premiership or Serie A, and Ajax are offering me the chance to do just that."

Mido insisted he never doubted his ability in a turbulent season that saw him played out of position for long spells by coach Co Adriaanse, who was sacked in December.

"I always believed in my abilities and remained dedicated to the club," he said.

"And when Ronald Koeman took charge, I asked him if I could play in the centre-forward position, my natural position and the one I play for the national team.

"Mr Koeman showed strong opposition to the idea, saying that he had two centre-forwards already, the Greek Nikos Machlas and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden, for one striking position.

"The manager confirmed to me that if I wanted to play in the centre- forward position I would have to sit on the bench for a long spell. After just two matches, though, I got the chance to play 30 minutes against De Graafschap.

"I scored one and set up another to win the game, and the rest is history - I have continued playing for 11 games and Ajax have won the title," he added.
Just a little correction, Mido turned 19 three months ago.. Not 20.

And he scored 10 goals in 11 games for Ajax.

But you never know, when he was at AA Ghent he said he will stay, then he promised Anderlecht officials that he will play for them, the next day he signed for Ajax after the Anderlecht coach made some unpleasant remarks.
 
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