Archive for August, 2009

31
Aug
09

Chicago LFC Summer League Finals

Chicago LFC

Chicago LFC

this sunday was a big day for the Chicago LFC club football team.  after a long 10 week season with doubleaheaders and early morning kick offs the team found itself in second place in the league table.  but that wasn’t the end of it, this is america after all, we’ll need playoffs.  and with next week being labour day, we’ll need to play both the semis and the final on the same day…. brilliant!

the semi final kicked off at 11.15 with CLFC taking on some FC Hangover or something like that.  the match was almost as unoriginal as both of our names, with little to no action happening in regular time.  there were a few good saves from Aran Quinn, but neither sides front men really forced the issue and after two 30 minute halves it was straight on to penalties.  with the summer sun beating down on us, some guy with a penciled on beard stepped up to take the first penalty against our Quinny.  Aran managed to guess the right way and save the penalty despite jumping too far to his left.  0-0 with our very own fearless captain set to take his penalty.  Bryn stepped up calm and collected and slotted it home, though he later admitted he had been trying to go the other way (the way the keeper had gone)!  FC Hangover then scored and CLFC’s Liz Risoldi hit the post with her shot.  They scored again to bring things level, then Brittany followed up with a shot that snuck in right underneath the diving keeper.  Aran made another fantastic save, holding the ball, and Toby followed that up with another goal.  A save here would give CLFC the win, but Aran Quinn managed to mess it up as he normally does, and Greg Whalley’s effort was saved after that.  the 6th penalty takers stepped up for each team, with Aran Quinn yet again holding onto the ball with another brilliant diving effort.  Mellissa Gomez then stepped up, completely calm and took the perfect PK, putting it just to the right, into the roof of the net.  Brilliant effort, CLFC onto the finals!!!

Then due, to poor planning and even poorer punctuality, CLFC took a 5 minute smoke break and were back on the field against a well rested, yet slightly musty smelling Champagne Footballers, the first seeded team who had won 6-0 that morning.  within the first two minutes CLFC conceded a corner and a scramble in the box resulted in a goal for the Champagne Footballers.  it was a terrible start to what would prove to be a very frustrating cup final for CLFC.  despite their goal scoring domination in their semi final, CLFC managed to keep it 1-0 for a large portion of the game.  there were even a few chances from forwards Pat Garrity and Brittany Parenti.  The Champagne Footballers did show class though, passing it around.  It was like watching Brazil.  not even the current, slightly under performing brazil, i’m talking the proper brazil from the late ’90s.  the pass and move was almost nauseating, or at least seemed to be for most CLFC players.  a few poor tackles and shoulder barges were made by the Champagne Footballers (brazil-esque misques, made with grace and light feet) leading to CLFC’s Toby Emms and Greg Whalley squaring up to them, producing a flurry of cards and c-words.  eventually, a second goal was scored, once again the result of a poorly defended corner.  at that point the remaining time almost seemed like a formality.  CLFC did have a few chances though, with toby sending one just over the crossbar, Bryn having a long effort saved and Mark Killeen trying a chip with the same result.  but eventually losing two nil, being exhausted and fed up by these egotistical gits got the better of some of the players.  Kevin Achettu, normally the most calm and collected player on the pitch, came up with a few clever words for one for the attackers, then walked into him (in self defense as he was clearly walking in my direction, check CCTV, I swear).  This occurred right in front of the ref, who duly produced a yellow card for what shouldn’t have been more than a foul or a few words like ‘stop’, or ‘careful’, or ‘cut that out’.  Kevin then slapped the ref’s yellow card weilding hand away, which quite rightyl resulted in a sending off.  CLFC ended the game one (very handsome) man down, but managed to keep a bit of pride, in the  end only losing 2-0.

Overall, CLFC’s season was a very good one with the team continuously improving.  in the final we were pitted against a clearly superior team and managed to leave with a bit of pride, so nothing to be ashamed of.  the new season starts in a couple weeks time and we look forward to taking these improvements and building upon them.

way to go CLFC!!!!

27
Aug
09

Green Street Hooligans fan remake faces mixed reviews

After the rubbish movie, Green Street Hooligans, also known as Green Street, where Frodo plays an American “soccer” hooligan, it’s not surprising that the real life “fans” aka idiots, wanted a remake.

The scene was set, just like in the film, a cup tie so the two clubs, West Ham and Millwall, separated during the regular season because of league status, can meet, plan a big fight and make the whole world think that all Brits are hooligans once more – thanks a lot! I even shave my head so now I’m scaring people when I talk to them in my mockney/Northern accent over here in Chicago.

At least in the film it was the FA Cup! The Carling Cup for Christ’s sake! Do you not want the World Cup coming to England? Were the Italians taking all the hooligan glory? Is it the economy? Are you oppressed by your Father? Obsessed with your Mother? Would you like to talk about it?

P.S. Please don’t hit me in the face… or groin. Or anywhere for that matter.

P.P.S. I know that the VAST majority of Millwall and West Ham supporter’s are good, honest, football loving people so this anger from me is purely directed at the small, ignorant, minority who brought the  game into disrepute that night. They DO NOT represent your clubs who I will always have massive respect for.

27
Aug
09

Everyone wants to know, ___, ___, ___.

Can you fill in the gap above?

Can Lucas? Can Mascherano? Can a fit Aquilani? Or do we need to move to a 4-4-2 and drop Gerrard back to central midfield with one of the defensive midfielders covering his movement forward? Play Torres and Babel or Yossi with Riera providing width. He would have been a better sub on Monday night than Voronin methinks. No disrespect to the Raven but we were already crowded down the middle.

I knew that whenever something went wrong this season the “experts” would say; “Liverpool miss Alonso” but did we really lose against Tottenham and Villa because Alonso wasn’t in the team?

According to supporter’s of other teams and these “experts” that I mentioned, Liverpool have always been a two man team – Gerrard and Torres. Before Benitez signed Torres we were a one man team – Gerrard. Now that they’re both fit and playing (unlike last season when we finished 2nd without them both for long periods) any loss is being blamed on the missing Alonso. Hindsight is 20-20 as they say, well done pundits.

No-one mentioned that we beat United 4-1 at Old Trafford without Alonso.  We coped admirably without him, and we will continue to do so although there is no disputing that he is a player of absolute class who will be missed, but to blame him for the losses? Absolutely not. You cannot blame the absence of one player in 2 very different games and losses.

Against Tottenham we looked slow, 2nd to every ball, but having said that Tottenham were not phenomenal and it took one hopeful hit and a great header to beat Pepe but we so nearly salvaged a point despite playing under par. Villa did not outplay us but they did play a great counter attacking system, kicked Torres out of the game and ultimately took their chances, something which we did not. We could have scored 4 or 5, more if we’d have got the two penalty decisions, against Kuyt and Torres, in the second half. I think we would have at least managed a draw if it wasn’t for Gerrard, who had a bit of a nightmare, giving away that penalty just as we’d got back into the game. Not that all blame should be lumped on him of course.

On a final note, refereeing decisions (or indecisions) had a huge impact on our two loses so far but this will happen to every team. I personally can’t keep my cool when I’m playing football and the ref makes a howler but I expect more from our professional players. We’re not a team of whinging Ronaldos. Reina shouldn’t have broken our concentration by reacting the way he did to the corner being given (not a corner from my view – comments?) and Torres needs to shut up and let his feet do the talking.

I love those feet!

It’s not over by a long shot, maybe it’s best to lose now when it’s still early in the season. Perhaps the massive expectation on the players this year will subside letting them relax a little more and play like we did at the end of last season, perhaps we’ll gel, perhaps Aquilani will be the solution to all of our problems or perhaps we’ll get Alonso back on a free… his passes are so delightful…

Adios la...

Adios la...

26
Aug
09

What’s up with the away kits?

First my grey away kit from last season started getting fuzzy on me.

Now the lettering is falling off my new away kit after just 3 wears.

Meanwhile my 4 year old home kit still looks brand new even though I play footie in it regularly.

Can Adidas please make an away kit that won’t fall apart?

And is anyone else having this problem? When I want to big up my team, I want to do it in style, not looking like I bought a cheap knock off…

26
Aug
09

The Return of the Kev

not sure why I called it a return, as this is the first blog I have ever written. and to be honest, i am not sure if the field i am typing into right now is an about me or a blog or whatever a quickpress is meant to be. here’s hoping.

anyway, i’ll be blogging about the supporter’s club, liverpool and our football team. pretty awesome, i know.

seeing as i am not sure what is going to happen to what i am writing and i am supposed to be working, i am going to go ahead and stop for now. but don’t fret, i’ll be back shortly.

-kev

25
Aug
09

Know your role!

I, like a lot of other fans, am wondering if this is a precursor of things to come this season.

Are we in for the dark ages of yesteryear when we were simply another club in the league or are we still contenders?

Did we miss our chance to claim glory last year and now must move aside for the new up-and-comers like Aston Villa, Tottenham and Burnley?

After losing just two games last season and still not managing to lift the glorious cup back at the Kop, you’d think we’d have the spirit of vengeance already, looking towards a season of inevitable glory since it was so cruelly snatched away from us last year.

Instead, we began marred by injuries, inconsistent play in the midfield, lack of communication so bad in the back that it got two of our key players injured…BY EACH OTHER!!!

We have a wonderful addition in Glenn Johnson, who has quieted this former skeptics mouth with his wonderous movement while on the ball. Arbeloa who???

On the flip side, the best player in the world, Steven Gerrard, still seems to have that court victory on his mind. This is the only reason I can speculate as to why he hasn’t been at the top of the game enabling the mediocrities that are Tottenham and Aston Villa to outshine us. Aston Villa doing so on our Holy Ground no less!

I have also been noticing a lot more movement from the players, Torres in defense, Insua and Johnson pushing up habitually, Carragher crossing balls into the box only 3 games in.

Sure these are good things, but not now! Not 3 games into the season. We need Rafa to consolidate the midfield and have the pundits shut the hell up about Alonso leaving us! We need a plan that doesn’t involve Lucas ambling up and down the field showing promise but actually delivering on nothing at all. We have Mascherano to badger the players, we have Gerrard to provide the passes. We have Kuyt and Benayoun to destroy morale with their penetrating runs on goal.

The others need to play their roles too before they get burned out. Our team isn’t as deep as Manchester United’s. 3 more injuries to the starting 11 and we may have a serious problem on our hands.

The lads need to know their roles and know their roles now. Otherwise, we can look forward to more of these disasters in the season.

This is just my opinion.

25
Aug
09

Lost In Translation

Two games… two games and we have already gone through the emotional roller coaster as Reds fans.  People who never noticed Alonso before now believe we are nothing without him, Rafa’s quit, Stoke will give the Red’s problems and now Liverpool will win the league.  Phew not sure about you but I think the summer break may need to be longer next year to calm the hysteria… oh wait there is a little tournament still to come next summer.

I am not here to speculate on what we are without Alonso, I already know, he was a vital cog who whilst not the creative source of Liverpool, he was the man who dictated our tempo and direction and yes I already and will forever miss him (more on him in another article).  I am not here to talk about Rafa’s rumours, what I learnt during the Real match last season is the press and bookies have their own agendas (ok I learnt this earlier it was just reinforced).  I am not here to categorically state who will and will not win the league, it’s way too early, that will become clearer in March or April.  No, I am here to talk about Liverpool and what has gotten lost in translation in the last few seasons.

One thing that came from having Alonso in the side was that several players got lazy; the man did a great deal on the field, which nobody noticed.  The highlight and the difference are all in the first two games.  Our style of play has to evolve and change, at Tottenham the midfield refused to take responsibility, nobody dropped deep to pick up balls from the center halves.  Balls were hoofed up, we lost possession and back came Spurs.  Nobody showed up to tackle players; we were bullied and beaten at our own game.  Regardless of what your formation, personal, tempo, etc one thing is important, if you want to be a passing team the ability to pick the ball up from the back, stretch a midfield, work together and being mobile are all important.  In the game against Stoke we saw a difference, the midfield dropped for the ball, were mobile, made tackles and stretched the field.  Stoke didn’t know what hit them and couldn’t cope with it.

What was the difference you may ask?  The answer will surprise some but not those who know me and I have alluded to the laziness in our midfield in this article already.  You might be thinking Lucas but no, I have seen what he could provide from his first game, it was just a matter of when it would come together.  The transformation of Mascherano to me has be quite shocking, friends of mine will attest that whilst I was a fan of his defensive side I felt that with Alonso in the team he basically just did that, he was awful on the ball (not as bad as some we have had but compared to a few on the team right now), a little suspect tactically (as a defensive midfielder you shouldn’t have to make sliding tackles if you are in the right position to begin with.  See Hamman) and going forward?  Shocking!  I know it has only been one game but the difference between the Mascherano of previous seasons and the new “Monster Masch” we saw against Stoke was mind-boggling.  He did things last night I have never seen him do, drop deep to pick up the ball,  moving with the ball and keeping play ticking along with Lucas, was more mobile with and without the ball, complimented Lucas and a threat offensively while without any shots but in being an outlet and making good use of the ball.

I have only seen this kind of performance once from Mascherano, I can understand why it wasn’t a regular thing, Alonso was very good at what he does and I suspect that a certain amount of laziness did creep in.  A more cynical side of me suspects that it may have been talk of a new deal which we all know he was angling for and I can understand why he wanted one with all the raises going to other players.  Whatever the reason he has stopped sulking and pulled his finger out.  He is showing us why Maradona has always been a fan and taken responsibility.  He has changed from a defensive midfielder to a holding midfielder; this is what we have always needed him to be.  He has grown and showed us that he can do this, that is the easy bit, doing it week in and out is the hard bit.  This is going to be a very interesting year for our “Monster”.




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