Posts Tagged ‘Team’

‘Do you know what I don’t understand?’ I said to the other half, in a serious monotone. ‘Quantum physics!’ she laughed; probably more out of pity than anything else. My jokes have never been the best.

It makes sense that I don’t understand quantum physics – hence why my joke was so funny. But what doesn’t make sense (and what I also can’t comprehend) is this feeling of optimism I get at every ‘new season’s eve’.

I even had it last year. Well! It was a little different last year. Maybe more along the lines of ‘it won’t be that bad’. Even the signing of Joe Cole made me wonder if we could push our way into the top four. Maybe he’d just gone stale at Chelsea and he’d be rejuvinated in red. Oh, how wrong was I? Poor misguided fool.

It’s not wrong though, is it? It’s perfectly normal to get questions running through your mind:

What if all the signings turn out to be first class, can we push for top four or maybe even better?

Will it make a big difference with us not playing in Europe, while others around us are?

Have Arsenal blown their chances of top four, with two of their best players on the way out of the door? (obviously not the best of poets either!)

Can Kenny Dalglish carry the team to silverware, given the form he got out of a weaker team at the end of last season?

Despite my current optimism my brow has become increasingly furrowed with each signing we’ve made. I’m not sure I understand the logic of paying such a premium for English players. The signing of Andy Carroll still makes my head spin. Not that he’s a bad player and not that he can’t become a great one. Just because the level of improvement we’ll need to see to warrant such an expensive investment is vast.

There is clearly a strategy in play. A plan has been formalised and is being followed with great rigour. Inexorably leading us to fielding the highest number of british players a Liverpool side has seen in a long time. After harping on so many times last season about the need for Fenway Sports Group to plan fully and think differently. I would be a hypocrite to start complaining now.

You can’t help but feel that we’re at a tipping point though. The last chance saloon? If the plan doesn’t work, worse – if it backfires completly, the top four could be a long lost forgotten dream. Our owners don’t appear to have the same financial clout as the clubs we’re competing against, they’ve even admitted as much. So if this doesn’t work – is there money for a plan B? Doubtful.

And yet, I feel optimistic. That optimism is bourne out of trust. Trust in Fenway Sports Group, Damien Commolli and in particular Kenny Dalglish. Three parties all pointing in the same direction, singing from the same hymn sheet with the same goal in mind. What would we have given for that at the start of last season?

No European football will undoutbtedly have a telling impact on how the season unfolds. How many times did we see strong European performances followed by lacklustre domestic showings a few days later. European games put an additional pressure on squads, which in the past has been quite telling. Let’s face it none of those teams in European action are going to want to face us a few days after a trip away.

As for the signings. Well I have to trust those who make such decisions. I’ve been puzzled by them, but I believe those, who know far more than me, believe in why they have made them. Even at a premium. None of them are bad signings, just expensive ones. But if we get greater team cohesion from the outset (and into the future) who’s to say what might actually happen next season.

Cards on the table time. The bit I’ll probably cringe at come the end of the season. But I am going to be brave and set it in cyberspace stone. I think we’ll finish top four, probably with a cup. That will be a platform to build from for the future.

With a dose of good luck, or maybe even just avoiding the dose of bad luck we’ve been known for, I think we could possibly achieve even more. There’s a plan – it’s different and seems to be getting followed meticulously. Put that together with our great club’s key figures all pointing in the same direction and the worlds greatest fans behind them – who knows. Maybe we’ll just skip straight past the platform step.

To Lie or Not to Lie

Posted: December 3, 2010 by mcdonaldtaf in Liverpool FC, Manager Talk
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What a difference a year makes. In the run up to last Christmas I was regularly blogging in support of our manager. Those who have been following me that long will recall my continuing support. This year, in the run up to Christmas, I do not have the desire (indeed find it impossible) to provide the same courtesy to Roy Hodgson.

Some will no doubt start talking about double standards, or how I should support the manager no matter what. To do so though would, I believe, be me trying to sell you a lie.

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There is a fine balancing act in not wanting to be a naysayer fan while trying to maintain a realistic point of view.  I’m all for waking up on Monday morning with 3 more points on the table, but immediately I wonder if this a brief fling with happiness. That in itself speaks volumes.

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Yesterday’s performance has been blown out of all proportion in some quarters. A game which saw effort applied and a goal scored against (as much as it pains me to say it) the current Premiership champions in their own back yard. The champions who are, unfortunately, very much in the hunt for this season’s title as well. While we have seen a mini surge over the past few games United have been dominant. Since their loss at Goodison they have won six on the trot and more recently thumped Fulham 3-0 and AC Milan 4-0. Just because we have had the better of them in recent seasons yesterday’s game was never a given. The game after an initial flurry became very tactical and ironically in the run up to Park scoring many United fans were calling for him to be taken off. While Park is basking in the glory of Ferguson’s platitudes today the truth is he did very little in yesterday’s game (other than scoring of course).

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Bring on the Robots

Posted: March 9, 2010 by mcdonaldtaf in Post Game, Team Talk
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Reading my latest T3 magazine (which is for us nerdy gadget guys) there is a section dedicated to robots and how close (or far) we are from achieving the ‘utopian planet living model’ (where robots do all the hard work). I couldn’t help but think how well it might work if robots replaced football players. Yes of course other clubs would still have more money to spend on their technicians, engineers and scientists, but at least there would be some consistency in results. Robots can repeat thousand of processes accurately and fluently so it would surely make sense that if you put together a team of robots, which according to the spec. sheets were better than the majority of other teams, we wouldn’t lose games like last night.

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I Was There

Posted: January 22, 2010 by mcdonaldtaf in Post Game
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In the film Bad Boys 2 after Will Smith’s partner, who has shot to injure (and not kill) throughout the film, shoots several people dead he yells at him “that’s how you shoot, from now on you shoot like that”. As I reflected on the mid-week game this morning that scene kept popping back into my head; and my thoughts weren’t aimed at Degen for not pulling the trigger when he should have either. The thoughts being reflected in my mind were aimed at the fans.

In October of last year, when the dramas of this season had only just begun to unfold, I wrote “During the next 12 months we [should] come together in unity behind our great football club. God knows after yesterday’s result we need it!”. Then in December, when things had significantly worsened,  I suggested “As we all know, times at Anfield are challenging and difficult at this moment. It is a time for strength of support to well up around the club. It is in these times of adversity that the ‘kop faithful’ has delivered time and time again.”

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Positivity

Posted: January 19, 2010 by Rob McDonald in Manager Talk, Site News, Team Talk
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As some of you will know I come from a business / management background. I have conceded in the past that my knowledge of the intricacies of the tactical side of the game and foreign players is not quite up there with the like of Paul Tomkins – nowhere near. I didn’t think that Paul would be up for guest posts so I decided to ask my brothers. Both of my brothers are football fanatics and follow the games, teams and players in all the major leagues – as well as both doing well in their english A-levels! It just seemed to fit. Without further ado, this is the first post from my youngest brother Rob…

I grew up in the 1990’s. This attatches various stigmas, for instance I am often derided by my Girlfriend (who is only three years older than me) about TV shows I had no experience of and music I don’t remember. I also happened to grow up in one of Liverpool Football Club’s leanest spells. I guess this means I’m always fully prepared for dissapointment. However, I – like almost every other LFC fan – thought this season would be the season we finally reclaimed our place at the top of the pile.

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