“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that.” - Bill Shankly

Monday, 30 May 2011

Season Review: Liverpool 'Return of the King'

In the latest Season Review Garry Rendall takes a look back at Liverpool FC's turbulent season.

Summary of the season:
A season full of worry for any die hard Liverpool fan that started out with the club looking for new owners due to it's dire financial position. Luckily the club was bought by New England Sports Ventures in October to release it from the grip of comedy villains Tom Hicks and George Gillet. On the pitch it has been an up and down season with football patriarch Roy Hodgson at the helm at the start of the season even though interest in the management seat was high from current boss and club legend King Kenny. Having had a successful few seasons with Fulham, and having a CV as long as Peter Crouch, Hodgson seemed a good home grown choice in a league dominated by foreign managers. But on the terraces of Anfield the respected grandfather of the English game quickly became an asinine buffoon that started dropping points left, right and centre. He walked into the annuls of Liverpool Football Club history as the shortest serving manager the club has ever had and paved the way for the appointment of one of the greatest British footballers of all time. King Kenny turned the club around and showed a great business head when he sold El Nino to finance the signing of English footballs brightest striking prospect since Wayne Rooney in the form of Andy Carrol and Uruguayan wonderkid Luis Suarez. When taking into consideration and comparing the signings that Hodgson made (Joe Cole, Brad Jones, Paul Konchesky and Cristian Poulsen to name the lame ducks)  it boggles the mind how King Kenny wasn't first in line at the start of the season. I really mean no disrespect to Roy Hodgson I just believe the job was to big for him. 
King Kenny
High point:
The take over of the club was a huge step forward but I think that the contract given to Kenny Dalglish could be the best thing to happen to LFC for a long time.
Low point:
Three big results:
  • Wednesday, 22 September 2010, Carling Cup Liverpool 2-2 Northampton (penalties 2-4). Self Explanitory. 
  • Sunday, 3 October 2010, Barclays Premier League, Liverpool 1-2 Blackpool. Losing at Anfield to a lower team is never acceptable and Hodgson did it more than once. 
  • Sunday, 15 May 2011, Barclays Premier League Liverpool 0-2 Tottenham. Meant that we did not qualify for the Europa League. 

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Season Review: Blackpool 'A Spearmint Expiration'

Nick Roe
In the first of a new series Nick Roe takes a fan's look at the highs and lows of the last season.

Summary of the season: 
Remarkable, extraordinary, life-affirming. Ian “Ollie” Holloway’s tangerine army was classy in the championship, stormed the playoffs and then dazzled the premier league. The manager’s attacking instincts, eye for a good player and wonderful man motivational skills will be remembered even more fondly than his erratic media persona. Blackpool were mid-table at Christmas after some truly outstanding results against some big clubs. A poor fun of form in the second half of the season ended in a cruel relegation but they never stopped trying to entertain and they end the year with a significantly enlarged fan-base. 

High point:
Where to start? So many great performances over the course of the season but two that stand out are the 2-1 victories over Liverpool. The first was at Anfield, part of the scousers’ terrible start to the season and the second was against a resurgent reds under the management of King Kenny. Glorious. 

Low point:
In the aftermath of the defeat to Manchester United at home, after Blackpool had been in front and had a clear penalty denied them, the emphasis was on whether or not this would prove to be a turning point for united.

Friday, 6 May 2011

English Premier League - The Title Fight

After ten months of top flight football it all comes down to this. One match. Chelsea versus Manchester United. The two dominant heavyweights of English football meet in the ultimate title fight. John Wisdom takes a look ahead to Sunday’s decisive clash. 

John Wisdom
'On Sunday the 8th of May, Manchester United and Chelsea will meet in what is a potential title decider. Currently United are sitting three points ahead, however victory for Chelsea would see them go top of the table with only two games of the season left.

Chelsea’s ability to overhaul what was a 15 point deficit is testament to their battling qualities, and manager Carlo Ancelotti will be extremely pleased that they have managed to get themselves into a position from which they can win the league through their own actions.

The Blues have at times been lucky, particularly last week in their match against Tottenham, and have failed to regain the form that they showed in the opening few months of the Premier League when they threatened to run away with it.
However the run-in to the end of the season is not about how you play, but about getting the results. Since beating Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on the 1st of March, Chelsea have gained 22 points from a possible 24.