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Discussion Starter #1
Both treams are on form but I reackon we will shade it becos are are at home and have a stronger squad.

Eccentricities on the part of the manager excluded.

Stick this up pls. And unstick the Chelsea match thread.
 

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Villa are playing some smashing football and the chances are we'll have to be at our best if we're going to beat them. They've got thirteen points from their last fifteen and they're playing their best stuff in two years. This could work for us rather than against us as they'll come to Anfield and try to play some football rather than sit back and defend; this'll lead to us being able to find some spaces and hopefully exploit them.

Owen is back and should be in the starting team. It'll be interesting to see whether Cheyrou is given another chance in the first team after his peach against Chelsea. I'm guessing Heskey will retain his place upfront alongside Owen with Sinama on the bench but midfield is where there is the strongest competition, even though Gerrard is still out. With Hamann and Kewell almost certain starters, Diouf, Murphy, Cheyrou and Smicer are all vying for two places. I'd go with Murphy on the right and Kewell on the left with Cheyrou and Hamann palying in the centre, but that seems a bit harsh on Smicer who has on a decent vein of form.

Probably our new signing from Soton Paul Jones will start in goal. He's a very reliable keeper, the Wales No.1 and imo, one of the three best understudies in the league. Plus he's a Pool fan. :D Good move by Houllier to sign him, even if he doesn't stay for more than a month we need two trusty keepers all the time.

Angel is obviosuly their danger man, but Vassell has just returned to form with three goals in three games and he was a nightmare for our defence in the 0-0 draw at VP.
 

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Hahahaha

1-0 up thru Spud's bum!!!

YNWA
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We won! 1-0 :) :) :)

Villa never threaten.....much....heh.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Jones - 7
Unexpected choice in goal for me. Had only one real save. But judging his command of the penalty box, he took to the Liverpool goalpost like fish to water. Paul Jones...who would have thought of that 2 months ago. :)

Henchoz - 6.5 maybe a 7 if he is at centre back instead of RB
As a right back, he was slightly troubled by Samuel's pace but as an experiened defender, he never allow Samuel space to cross. Did nothing beyond the half way line apart from 2-3 runs. But he is not a right back anyway.

Hyypia - 8
Great match from the stand in captain again. He certainly proved his critics (and me) wrong in his last half a dozen of games with commanding performances.

Biscan - 6.5
Would have given him a 7 but for some sloppy mistakes. A defender have to keep his concentration 100 percent and not let players pass. scuff some clearences and head downwards bazarrely in defence.

Riise - 6.5
Surprise choice, started the match well, defending well against Delaney, Hendre and Vassell. But still poor at crossing and passing. Faded off the the final moments with some nervous mistakes.

Murphy - 5
Mr Anon yet again. Never really see him take control of the midfield with some poor control and passing. Gerrard will have an easy time walking back into the team when he is fit and ready.

Hamann - 6.5
One of his lesser display as at times he allowed Villa to control the midfield for some periods. But at times he did extremely well taking control of things in midfield, the usual Hamann style. Hot and cold game for him.

Diouf - 8
Piss poor for the past few matches, then suddenly came to life today with some party tricks and dangerous runs on Samuel who must be having a headache after the match.

Kewell - 5
Poor match from Kewell again. Was generally ineffective on either flank and had a couple of bad misses. Still finding his best form after injury

Heskey - 6.5
Started well, some neat passes, created the winning goal and showed strength and determination on Sorenson. Close to Mr Invisible in the 2nd half but did the customary defending.

Owen - 5.5
Still rusty as he gets back from injury. had an incredible miss from half a yard or rather he hit the cross bar when it is easier to score. Was 2nd best to passes and mistakes but at least he still shows his customery awareness by getting into position even if his application is still way way unpolished.

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Pongolle - N.A
Not enough time to rate him but he made some good runs. His inexperience showed however as more polished strikers would have ended up with a shot on goal at least. He had none.

Cheyrou - Did more in his few minutes on the field then all of his previous matches (bar the Chelsea match) combined. Won a couple of balls, set up Kewell for another miss.
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Tactics
Scrappy in attack and sometimes in midfield, but the quality of the players and organization in the defence showed. Special credit for Paul Jones for being a calming effect on the defence. Villa seldom get sniffs on goal despite some bazarre decisions by Biscan and Riise.

Like all Liverpool games it wasn't nice to watch but we deserved our win by having more clear cut chances on goal even if our goal was somewhat lucky.
 

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If there is one word to describe the game, it will be MESSY. The game is messy alright, but we were better on the day, on paper and on the pitch, so the three points gained were justified.

The victory was never in doubt the moment we scored, albeit fortunately off Delaney. Not once did I thought we were never going to win, not even in the final 10 minutes, when the pattern of play for Villa is getting the ball into the Liverpool box and Liverpool going for the counter-attack, often with success on the build-up but the final killer shots targets spectators in the Kop end. :D

Several aspects of the game stuck me...
1) Jones is very very steady. Somehow the confidence given by Jones is akin to that during the early days of Dudek, but even Dudek at times did not look as comfortable as Jones. Well, the Welsh veteran probably did not find it hard defending behind a quality backline and Villa is not exactly Arsenal, but he gave a assuring performance, something which has been sorely lacking for a large bit of 2 years by Liverpool.

2) Kewell left his boots at home. We had many chances to put the game beyond Villa, but sadly his shooting was wayward and horrendous. After a while, I could not even be excited and would rather see the ball in the net before being excited because he skied every single shot. His delivery from the right (much to the disappointment of Birdie :D) provided the goal, but he was rather ineffective there. Allowing him to parade his skills on the left proves a wise decision as he and Diouf tore down Villa on both flanks. Other than his shooting, I thought he did himself favours with a creditable performance after the Chelsea debacle.

3) Our passing were terrible. Our passes were astray, none more so than Murphy's but this is a team performance so I will not single him out only. Villa is no Arsenal, so these inaccurate passes are excusable but not on a day when Arsenal comes to town.

4) On brighter notes, Owen is back (and missed from 3 yards :D) and we look alright in defence.

MOTM: Diouf. Samuel did not feature much in Villa's attack was due to his being pinned back by Diouf.


Now we have 4th spot within sight and are now more firm in 5th, so as per normal, we need to build on that.

paw;)
 

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A tricky match, glad we took the three points. Did not get to see the game live (saw the highlights though) but from what I read I am pleased, especially with Jones, fitting in so quickly is very impressive. I would seriously consider making this a permanent move if I were GH, although we have two good keepers, Dudek is great but has been a bit too dodgy over the past 2 seasons for my liking, and Jones could be what we need to give Dudek/Kirkland a bit of competition.
 

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that's what was flashing through my mind, however we already have 3 keepers. it seems to be a good idea, but we have only seen him pick up the ball, as the back 4 took care of most balls. cheers to the defense today, they were exceptional.

diouf had me out of the chair several times, the last trick being a right footed side flick over samuel (?) and speeding away into the box, that was amazing. he was pure joy to watch, but his crosses were still terrible.

kewell had no shooting boots on, he missed several efforts, had some good movement and dribbling but no end product.

hamann was on target and had no real fault except in the last 10 mins, slipping and giving the ball away in our own half.

murphy was non-existant for parts of the game,

heskey is looking a bit better now.

owen smashed the ball into the bar after kewell squared it to him, had the ball picked off his feet after a diouf feed, and didn't look too sharp, still glad to have him back though.
back four were good with high balls, winning most headers, clearing well.

henchoz was good, most notably, winning the ball and having a surging run up the right flank. hyypia's been good with headers, cutting out passes, doing all the right things, the defense looks a lot more stable now, and i think that showed in the last 10 mins.
biscan did fine, cleared and made some good tackles too.

cheyrou came on and gave a good pass which kewell hit the side netting with, FSP came on and ran alot, going on the counterattack, but made a lagged pass that slowed down the counter attack, both only came on for several minutes, but cheyrou had a good run.

i think mindy was a bit sparse with his points but we did not play beautiful football today. i'm happy with the win. passing kept to the ground on the first half but the second half was just hoofing it around. hope newcastle loses tomorrow, we need more breathing room, plus with a game in hand we may have a slight edge if they lose. even though the mancs win, we aren't going to catch up to them anyways so just let them help us get to 4th. thats how i see it anyways.
 

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can't believe owen would hit the bar from such a close range.....it would be miss of the season :D we defended quite well, didn't gave villa much chances n' heskey is playing quite good
 

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The Reds said:
can't believe owen would hit the bar from such a close range.....it would be miss of the season :D we defended quite well, didn't gave villa much chances n' heskey is playing quite good
Just lucky it wasn't costly. I couldn't believe it when he missed the bar.
 

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what are you talking about? don't put owen and the bahrani league in the same breath. no one can stoop down to the bahrani league, and don't flame me, you asked for it.
 

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ebraheej said:
OWEN SUCKS!!!!!!

A LOOSE MUPPET......SPEED BUT NO SKILL

WOULDNT EVEN MAKE IT EVEN IN OUR CRAPPY BAHRAINI LEAGUE

HENRY RULES!!!!!!
:rollani: Don't get me started :fero: (illi baito min gozaaz la yirmi al naas bil 7ajar)!

Anyway, 3 points in the bag.. messy is a good way to describe the game.. it was very physical and both teams were committed.. at times I enjoyed the midfield battles between Hamann and... well, Hamann and the Villa midfield.. Murphy needs to start producing more and giving in a bit more effort..

Loved how the crowd went when Jones got his first touch.. talk about a warm welcome! :)

Hyypia again is getting back to his best.. even with Biscan showing signs of inefficency with some unneeded mistakes.. and again, Henchoz at RB is not proving to be a master move at all.. He's defintely not adding to the offence.. and Diouf is working over time to help him out..

Diouf.. wonderful tricks.. memories of what he did to Desailly and Le Beouf in Korea return as he gave Samuel a head ache.. but his hot head attitude is proving to be an issue again.. got booked (again) and was still fired up after it.. I think our captain should try and contain him.. and keep him away from the ref to avoid any further bookings or worse..

Kewell defintely left his boots at home.. he was more like an NFL kicker than a winger or football player.. and he kept going on his own too much.. AND got booked (I believe out of frustration)..

Heskey impressed me a lot.. won lots of aerial battles.. kept battling for possessions and some of his first time flicks were simply delightful.. his surging run in the 2nd half reminded me of Heskey of 2000.. Whittingham was attached to his arm all through that run but Emile muscled his past him and 2 others.. when he found the ball moving to his left foot.. he opted for a through ball to Owen instead of a shot..

Owen's miss was terrible.. but he showed signs of his danger later on.. just needs to slowly get back in the groove.. Sinama's pace is alarming.. but as Mindy said, inexperience showed when deciding what to do with the ball..

Good 3 points.. if I'm not mistaken.. next it's Newcastle at Anfield in the cup.. Right?
 

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ebraheej said:
OWEN SUCKS!!!!!!

A LOOSE MUPPET......SPEED BUT NO SKILL

WOULDNT EVEN MAKE IT EVEN IN OUR CRAPPY BAHRAINI LEAGUE

HENRY RULES!!!!!!
Owen was terrible. He most definetely got the miss of the season. And the way he let the Villa keeper get the ball from him after Dioufs cross was pathetic. It was as if he wasn't trying hard enough. The only thing he was looking for was a thru ball so that he could go one on one with the keeper. Even when a high ball was coming towards him he wasn't even trying to trouble the defender. You could actually see him running past the defender hoping that the defender will miss it. But the commentators were doing a good job defending everything he does. It must be good to play in england when you are english and you are the media fav.

When Diouf made that wild tackle and got booked the commentator was critisizing him as if he was the one who missed a seater from within the goal line. Soon after that Kewell made a similar tackle and got booked. Wow! It was all of a sudden a good sign from Kewell because it was proving that he is trying too hard for the team. These commentators don't even try to pretend if you are not their fav.

Diouf had a great game. Owen was terrible but I understand because he is not fit. Murphy was the worst player on the pitch. He couldn't even complete one single pass.
 

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Owenization-NRG said:
that's what was flashing through my mind, however we already have 3 keepers. it seems to be a good idea, but we have only seen him pick up the ball, as the back 4 took care of most balls. cheers to the defense today, they were exceptional.
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Yeah fair point but Jones isn't a bad keeper after all he's Welsh's #1 Goalie, and much more experienced then young Luzi who if I am not wrong was a backup goalie even in France. Jones was the 2nd choice keeper in Southampton prior to his move so being a backup goalie in Liverpool won't make much of a difference. ;)

As for the 'debate' on Owen, ebraheej convinced me, and he's right. :D :rolleyes:
 

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next it's Newcastle at Anfield in the cup.. Right?
Nope, Spurs at White Hart Lane on the 17th, Newcastle after that.
 

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calcio100 said:
Owen was terrible. He most definetely got the miss of the season. And the way he let the Villa keeper get the ball from him after Dioufs cross was pathetic. It was as if he wasn't trying hard enough. The only thing he was looking for was a thru ball so that he could go one on one with the keeper. Even when a high ball was coming towards him he wasn't even trying to trouble the defender. You could actually see him running past the defender hoping that the defender will miss it. But the commentators were doing a good job defending everything he does. It must be good to play in england when you are english and you are the media fav.
Owen wasnt terrible he was getting into positions atleast.Just needs to get back his goalscoring touch after 3 months out.Owen almost got it off Sorenson and he's never challenged for high balls, he challenges when he's got a chance of actually heading it.And he anticipates mistakes and runs behind the defender.All part of his brilliant footballing brain.


calcio100 said:
When Diouf made that wild tackle and got booked the commentator was critisizing him as if he was the one who missed a seater from within the goal line. Soon after that Kewell made a similar tackle and got booked. Wow! It was all of a sudden a good sign from Kewell because it was proving that he is trying too hard for the team. These commentators don't even try to pretend if you are not their fav.
When Diouf made the tackle he was critisized, Owen's miss had nothing to do with it and you get harder critisicism when you fly into a stupid challenge, not when you miss a chance.Especially after tucking away hundreds of goals previously.
 

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My MOTM was Didi, The guys world class.Fills all the gaps in defence, breaks forward swiftly and when in trouble, he calms things down.Aswell as being a great ball winner, especially with tackles while on his feet and blocks.

Jones did well and commanded the box.

Henchoz showed his class again, get him in the middle ASAP.

Biscan made a stupid mistake but other than that was the same old Biscan, JUST doing the whats required of him.

Hyypia was good and hopefully he's back to his best.

Riise, Can anyone tell me he justified being included onfront of Traore, who was my MOTM and won acclaim against Chelsea.He was average and didnt offer anything whatsoever going forward which is meant to be his trademark(though i dont see it).Cant pass, cant cross and an awful first touch and general control.Meanwhile poor old Djimi who isnt my favourite player by all means is on the bench.

Diouf was ok in the first half and was Diouf WC 2002 in the second but ofcourse there was no final ball.Stupid booking again.

Kewell was trying hard and played a few good balls and crosses.But didnt have his shooting boots on at all.Atleast he was tracking back which was something rare sometimes in his Leeds days.

Hamann, Already mentioned Didi :star:

Murphy, Never liked him, never will.His very best isnt good enough for LFC.The old goal and set piece delivery saves him from being sent back to Crewe.Well not really im sure he'll be played no matter how crap he is.

Owen, Mentioned him in my last post.I actually think he was OK considering he's been out for months.Had chances and should of scored atleast twice.

Heskey was battling hard and the run he went on, he should of shot not played a bloody thru ball that was never on ! Improvement anyway.

Pongolle did OK and Cheyrou impressed me, He came on and got stuck in and was playing like he had adapted and was ready for the rigours of EPL football.Went on a great run and showed great strength and pace aswell as putting the ball on a plate for Kewell hit the side netting.

OK performance IMO.Not as crap as i thought it would be or other people think it was.Spurs away next, Newcastle at home in the Cup and then we have Everton at Anfield

:fero:
 

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fair assessment KOTK, agree with pretty much all of it.

i was hoping owen's miss wouldn't haunt us afterwards, it is a pain in the ass when you lose a game due to missed chances. anyways, i think he did alright, he gives us a bit of confidence because he's up there and we know he'll finish well half of the time. with diouf's through ball i thought we'd scored but it seemed like owen thought he'd scored too and didn't bother putting it in the net. if he'd put it in we probably wouldn't have had a scary last 10 minutes (not as scary as Chelsea though :D)

the performance by the team was fair, no real flowing football, some better passing, tricks from kewell and diouf, but not as bad as some of the others have been moaning about. the defense stood up and was counted, but i think we should try Traore again, doing well at StamBridge and being benched again doesn't help your confidence.

Raanan: how old is Jones? i haven't watched him for wales, and maybe he would be a good backup to get, since Dudek has shattered nerves, Kirkland is so easy to break, and Luzi is not ready.
 
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