PRE SEASON HOPES, FEARS AND TEARS

We’re getting closer and closer to the opening day of the Premier League now. We’ve already seen Liverpool in action and most of the new players have had their chance to show us what they can do. There’s been some injuries already – Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and Daniel Sturridge all got hurt in the friendlies we’ve been a part of so far. Nothing that will keep them out all season long – they’re likely to all be back by early September, although we’ll have three Premier League games in August so our team may be rather different to what Brendan Rodgers and the fans would have been expecting to start the season with in the first month of football.

I’m hoping this will give some players a chance to show what they can do, to the manager and to the fans.

With Sturridge out for a bit, Lambert will certainly get to show what he can do and it’s anyone’s guess as to who his partner will be (assuming Liverpool play 4-4-2). My first guess would be that Sterling will join him in the striker’s position, just like we saw in the 2014  World Cup for England (when Rooney was clueless about how to play football in midfield while Sterling and Sturridge were the two forwards) and more recently, when we played Manchester United in the Final of the Guinness tournament.

 

Lallana, Markovic and Sturridge were not in the starting 11 lineup of the Guinness tournament Final due to injury

Lallana, Markovic and Sturridge were not in the starting 11 lineup of the Guinness tournament Final due to injury

 

Aside from injuries and the problems they cause, Liverpool’s new squad is quite interesting and once everybody is back to full fitness, I hope to see months of all the current squad working together and winning games. WHO WILL GET THE GOALS? WHO will be “man of the match”? It’s going to be good finding out the answers to these questions. The transfer window is still open and until it closes at the end of August 31st (midnight, the start of September 1st) we may still yet see more players brought in to assist us in our new season. Sometimes in open transfer windows, I feel afraid that the club will sell one of our favorite players, but it doesn’t happen very often, to be honest. I think Luis Suarez’s transfer would have been the most recent disappointing news for Reds fans, but we’re doing our best to forget it and move on now.

It would be nice to have another striker (considering we’ll be having two strikers out until September with an injury). I’ve heard plenty of names thrown about as being linked to Liverpool – including European stars like Ezequiel Lavezzi of Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and Arturo Vidal of Juventus (Juve). Lavezzi did very well in France – he won the French Premier league twice (in two consecutive seasons also) with PSG. I think he could be an asset. Vidal may be good, but perhaps lacks the same high standard of success with Juve that Lavezzi has had at PSG. We do want “proven” players – not just someone who could “potentially” be a star at Liverpool.

Another possibility is the Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony who scored 16 times in the Premier League last season for Swansea. Again, that means he’s “proven” at club level and Liverpool could confidently throw him straight into the first team to play with no doubt that he would perform well. He’s done it before, he could do it again. I personally like Bony very much, he impressed me in the World Cup and I had cheered on his country with hopes of them going all the way to the World Cup Final. They almost made it to the last 16 but were ultimately knocked out by a last-minute penalty by Greece, which meant they could not qualify from their group. It was more bad luck than bad performance. I certainly wouldn’t blame Bony or the rest of his teammates for not getting to the knockout stages. Hey, England didn’t either and I don’t blame the Liverpool players for not getting there. All the Red fans knew what a terrible manager Roy Hodgson was after having suffered with this man at Liverpool already.

Will we see Bony in a Liverpool shirt? I hope so.

Will we see Bony in a Liverpool shirt? I hope so.

In addition to any new players we may buy (or loan), we also have some exciting new players coming out of Liverpool’s Academy, like Jordan Ibe and Kristoffer Peterson. I hope to see these players progress to the first team and claim a regular spot in our side for years to come. They would be welcome additions to any squad.

Jordan Ibe shows off his skills while playing for Liverpool's first team in a friendly

Jordan Ibe shows off his skills while playing for Liverpool’s first team in a friendly

The Guinness tournament I spoke of earlier went “reasonably well”… we certainly didn’t lose every single game or make a fool of ourselves. We went all the way to the top of our group and then on to the final, beating teams like Olympiakos and AC Milan along the way. Once we were in the final, we knew Manchester United would not be a “pushover” as they had recently replaced David Moyes with Louis van Gaal, who was the successful Dutch manager who took Holland all the way to World Cup semi finals in Brazil this year.

However, a foul inside the penalty area in the first half meant Steven Gerrard would get the chance to take and score a spot kick. We led 1-0 at half time thanks to Gerrard’s goal, but the second half was very different… Man United managed to score twice in two minutes (in the 55th minute Rooney scored and in the 57th minute Mata scored). We would be playing “catch up” for the rest of the second half, but never managed to get the equalizing second goal. Man United would win 3-1 eventually, grabbing another late on in the game as we had put most of our men in their half, leaving ourselves open to a counter attack with little to no defense in our own half. To lose to our rivals was not easy, it’s true. We wanted to win this, but it wasn’t to be. Sure, we cried. But now our tears are dried and we have moved on to what will be in the future of our club.

I still look forward to the coming games with hope and anticipation, despite our loss in this tournament. We’ll have Champions League football to enjoy again and some of the Liverpool players have already stated that they would like to be making a title challenge in the Premier League this season. There’s plenty to enjoy in the coming months for Liverpool fans. BRING IT ON!

You’ll Never Walk Alone, reds.

[written by] Stuart Drewery.

stu-1

I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.

I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.

I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.

 

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