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Newcastle v Liverpool – ‘Oui Can Work It Out’

7 years ago
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Today we welcome Liverpool FC to St James Park. The Reds have started the season well, are full of confidence and The Mag asks:

Liverpool – They had a Fab Four, now can they finish Top Four?

Who Manages Them:

When Brendan Rodgers walked into the Anfield Boot looking like Ringo Starr walking out of Primark and said “There’s gonna be a Revolution” well you know, he wasn’t just talking about LFC. The ‘Revolution’ instilled a pattern of play on Liverpool bringing good results, since February only Southampton have beaten Liverpool in the Premier League, but it has also left the Manager himself looking like he’s preparing for a career selling cutlery sets on QVC rather than trying to be a successful football manager.

Rodgers may have the team moving in the right direction but he doesn’t half chunter on. He recently droned on MOTD that forwards Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez were both “9 and a halfs” rather than number 9s, and waffled on about playing 3-5-2, 4-4-2, 3-4-1-2 or maybe even 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 to get the best out of both forwards. Maybe that over-confidence will be his downfall. Constant analysis of his forwards and changing formation to get the best out of them will just confuse everyone else, even Barca didn’t change their formation to get the best out of Messi, they just changed his position in that formation. Rodgers has a Liverpool team which is comfortable with its style of play and is getting the results to prove it. The more he changes that to show how clever he is, the more he’ll regret it. He should “Let It Be!”

Who Have They Signed:      

Mamadou “I Am The Walrus” Sakho’s PSG problems began a couple of years ago when Carlo Ancelotti arrived as boss and quickly replaced the Parisianas captain with Thiago Silva, then in the team with Alex. The Italian told Sakho he had to lose weight but blubber isn’t easy to lose by sitting on the bench, harder still when taking solace in the all you can eat buffet. Liverpool’s new £13million defender might be a quick, powerful, aggressive and strong centre half but unless Liverpool keep him under 20 stone he’ll just be Neil Ruddock. Perhaps that is the key to all of the Reds summer defensive signings, Kolo “son, you’ll have to carry that weight a long time” Toure also arrived on a free transfer from Manchester City.

Toure famously was suspended for six months by the World Anti-Doping Agency for failing a drug test by using banned slimming products to keep his weight down. Sakho and Toure are the main two reasons why Liverpool play a central defensive trio this season, without Skrtel or Aggerto keep them in check all the opposition would have to do is chuck a couple of dozen hot dogs down on the half way line and they’d have 90 minutes free run onto goal.

Who Have We Seen Before:

Jose Enrique was an inexperienced 60 game, 21 year old who couldn’t speak English when we bought him for£6 million from “Yellow Submarines”Villarreal. Jose initially struggled but he eventually emerged as one of our best players and he seemed to love being here, in December 2009 he said “I love the city, I love the club and I don’t care about signing for another team.” He did though, the sale of Andy Carroll in 2011 seemed to hit him hard, perhaps because Carroll had pledged a similar loyalty to the TOON shortly before jumping ship. Perhaps it was a language thing for them both, one Geordie, one Valenciano, both speaking the international language of footballer badge-kissing toss. His final outburst about a lack of ambition at the club, while being obviously true, was never going to win him a better contract and it wasn’t a shock when his “ugly” face which he was “always looking at in the mirror” (according to Joey Barton) appeared in a Liverpool shirt. That “ugly” face hasn’t worn a Spain shirt yet though, maybe he should ask Jack Wilshire if he can play for England.

How Will They Do:  

The bookies and the press thought Liverpool would be battling out for 5th with Spurs this season, largely because the Reds had three main problems last season: They only beat a top 6 side once in the league, they couldn’t defend set pieces and they very rarely won a game that they went behind in, especially one in which they dominated possession. Well so far this season the Reds have beaten Manyoo 1-0 so they may have overcome their fear of ‘better’ teams but the goal Palace scored in a 3-1 defeat at Anfield this month, a near post header from a free kick alongside Southampton’s Anfield winner last month, a header from a corner, suggests the Reds haven’t yet solved their set piece problems. That 0-1 home defeat against the Saints in which they dominated possession suggests that they are also not yet creatively complete, despite Suarez and Sturridge being the media’s new Charles and Di, but if they want to “Get Back to where they once belonged” it is how they play against the teams around them which will probably define their season.

Are We going To Win:    

If we look at Liverpool’s weaknesses we’ve probably got no chance of beating them, we’re hopeless at set pieces and incapable of stopping the opposition from scoring when they dominate possession so our only hope is to think BIG again. Pretend we’re The Beatles. The last time we finished in the top 6 we took 4 points off Liverpool that season and if we think, act and play like we are going to do it again then Liverpool might be in trouble. Sing the lads to victory, sing “The Ballad of Yoan and Sissoko”, sing “Cabaye Me Love”, sing “Debuchy In The Sky With Diamonds”, together “Oui Can Work It Out.”

New issue of our magazine including Ben Cooper’s column, on sale outside St.James’ Park before Liverpool match and in all Tyneside newsagents from tomorrow (Saturday), or order now online for only £3 (plus postage) for Worldwide delivery straight to your door – copies back from printers and posted Friday (today), hot off the presses, or why not start a subscription – prices from only £23.

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