Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Can Liverpool's Carling Cup success be the start of a winning era at Anfield?

On Sunday, Liverpool won their first win in six years with a win over Championship outfit Cardiff City. It was also their first trophy won at the new Wembley and the first since the return of Kenny Dalglish to Liverpool. Whilst Liverpool's performance was nervy and unconvincing and, in the end, required the lottery of a penalty shootout to decide the outcome of the final, one trophy can easily be the catalyst for more future success.

On the other hand, as Arsenal discovered last year, a cup final loss can also lead to a dramatic fall, as they were quickly knocked out of all other competitions following their loss to Birmingham City.

Regardless of how big the winning margin was, the most important thing was for Liverpool to start winning again and to give some of their new players that winning feeling. It also seems that neither Dalglish nor his players have any intention of stopping there. Liverpool are a big enough and ambitious enough club to be able to challenge for and win more trophies.

However, the Carling Cup isn't exactly as prestigious as a Premier League or Champions League success and is the lowest priority for most Premier League teams. Furthermore, despite significant recent investment in the playing squad, I don't believe that this Liverpool team is at all comparable to the side that used to dominate English football.

Could Liverpool go out and spend more money on players to improve further? Yes, but so could the other big teams around them in the Premier League, particularly Man City.

The most important thing for Liverpool is to get back into the Champions League. Considering the financial benefits of European football and the history of Liverpool, that is probably of far more importance. Even then an era of Liverpool dominance seems unlikely, but with Dalglish at the helm, Liverpool fans will believe more than ever.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Arsenal Sensation Gets National ‘Audition’

Arsenal’s wonderkid Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been selected for a Euro 2012 audition in a friendly against Holland at Wembley.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has been in sensational form for the Gunners in recent weeks, and opened his Premier League goal scoring account with a brace against Blackburn Rovers in the 7-1 victory on Saturday.

England national team manager Fabio Capello was in the stands to watch the 18-year old produce a breathtaking performance against Manchester United last month, and personally congratulated the former Southampton man after the match.

Capello has discussed the possibility of taking the young prospect to Poland and Ukraine for the European Championships with the senior squad in the summer, and they have decided to pick the Under-21 star for the upcoming friendly against Holland, and then make a final decision.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is ecstatic, but refuses to get carried away with the exciting chance to represent the national team. Speaking to the local media, he said, “Obviously it [England call-up] would be very nice, but I have just got to keep my feet on the ground and take it step by step.

“I am focusing on Arsenal at the moment, and am in the under-21 squad. All I can do is concentrate on what I am involved in.”

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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

I Am Happy As A Liverpool Player – Carroll

According to media reports, Liverpool misfit Andy Carroll was regretting his move from Newcastle United, but the England international has revealed that he has ‘no regrets’ of his switch to Anfield.

Andy Carroll made headlines last January on Transfer Deadline Day by switching to the red of Liverpool from the black and white of Magpies. He cost Liverpool £35million, making him the most expensive British footballer of all time.

Since his transfer, the 22-year old has been hampered by recurring injuries and he has been struggling for form with just six goals in 36 appearances, leaving him with only a place on the bench. Carroll’s dreadful form for The Reds has resulted in him being linked with a move back to Newcastle, or subject to a swap deal with Manchester City for Carlos Tevez.

Battling these difficult times, Carroll has come out and defended his decision of switching loyalties to The Reds. Asked whether he rued the decision last year, he said, “Not at all.

The club has been great with me and everyone outside the club has been fantastic and I am enjoying it down here.

Everyone has backed me and helped us along the way. I have signed a contract here and this is the team I am playing for.”

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