August 2012 Archives
Now I make no apology for naming Raheen Sterling as the wonder kid, although Joe Allen also played extremely well and to be also deserves several accolades for his performance this afternoon.
Today of course was the start of Liverpool's campaign at Anfield and after the disastrous result at West Bromwich Albion last week, not only were changes needed to the personnel on the pitch but also the players attitude.
Brendan of course rang some changes last Thursday for our Europa Cup game against Hearts. Changes, that ensured that the style of play on the pitch was much more to his likely. It was a scrappy game but we won and one of the players that did well that evening was Raheem Sterling.
Today was the day that football supporters the world over had been waiting for. It was the day in mid-August that signalled the start of the 2012-2013 campaign for each and every one of them. A day when they fast forward to the following May and see their beloved team sitting at the top of the Premiership.
It doesn't happen that way of course, there will always be those teams that struggle at the beginning and those that hit the ground running. I would love to say that Liverpool are included in the section that hit the ground running but today proved that there is a lot of work yet to be done.
The day itself was a beautiful hot summer's day and everyone was in extremely high spirits after all we were only playing West Bromwich Albion and they were being seen as a team we could walk over. What I think everyone misjudged, myself included, was that they were now managed by ex-Liverpool assistant manager Steve Clarke. Now Steve of course, knew the majority of the Liverpool players, their individual habits and the way that they played, which must of course have counted in his favour.
The sun shone over Anfield this afternoon as Liverpool welcomed back one of its favourite sons. That son was of course Sami Hyppia, who having left three years ago, was back in his new role as Manager of Bayer Leverkuson. During his time at the club, Sami become a firm favourite with the Anfield faithful and many thousands of hearts were broken on the day he left. That particular day, the then manager Rafa Benitez decided to leave Sami on the bench for the majority of the game - why he did this, I guess is one of those questions that will be answered in the fullness of time. He did though come on during the last quarter of the game and the celebrations afterwards as the goodbyes were said are amongst those memories that will never fade.
Today was the day when, many of the supporters present on that day could once again say "Thanks Sami" and they did in the only way that they know how. Sami was greeted with a standing ovation at the beginning and end of the game along with his name being resonated regularly from the stands.
The game itself was classed as a friendly but Brendan had decided to field a very strong team which included the 17 year old Raheem Sterling. Now Raheem as we all know is one of the shining lights that have come out of the academy and has been desperate to cement his place in the first team. He did extremely well during the tour of the United States but today was given the opportunity to prove to Brendan that he is ready for the first team, and that any possible plans to send him out on loan are ill judged.
Last Thursday night is the night that young Fabio Borini will remember for the rest of his life. That was the night that not only did he make his Anfield debut but he also scored his first goal for the club.
It was also the night that marked the 700th appearance of Jamie Carragher for Liverpool Football Club and was marked by a presentation by Roy Evans. Roy of course was the man that introduced Jamie to first team football at the club and on behalf of all Liverpool supporters, please accept my thanks for doing so. Jamie has been a wonderful servant for the club and I am sure that will continue, until and beyond, when he finally hangs his boots.
But and as much as I hate to say it, the one thing that pleased those of us who can remember the Anfield goalposts of the past, was the return of the red nets - another of the old ways re-introduced into the club by Brendan. Would it stop the players hitting the post, was one of those questions that would be answered before the end of the 93 minutes.
Last night was the night that Liverpool supporters worldwide had been waiting for. The opening round of the Europa Cup against FC Gomel signalled that Liverpool football Club had begun its 2012-2013 campaign.
It also marked the 700th appearance of Liverpool stalwart Jamie Carragher and to mark this Stevie G handed over the team's captaincy for the evening. A captaincy that would see the team began their European campaign with a positive ending.
It was one of those typical Liverpool performances though - performances that we the supporters had got used to last season. The eleven players chosen to play were classed as a very strong team - Fabio Borini was making his first team debut and with players such as Stevie, Glen, Jordan, and Enrique on the pitch a lot of the clubs supporters believed it should have been a walk over.