I used to hate him when he played for everyone else
Was a threat with his pace (we missed that last season), however,I would like to se him with a partner and allow Stevie to play just behind the 2 of them (2nd striker not his best position).
Crouch tries hard and his touch/control is good, except when it really matters close to goal. He also reminds me of Hesky. i.e. his brain is a fraction of a second to slow at the highest level and he seems to just miss (hard to explain).
Donât think Crouch would have scored in Bellamyâs position, he wouldnât have got there, stevie would have pushed him out the way or he would have skied it into the Kop.
Crouch can still do a job, but I now see Bellamy as number 1, would like to see him with Fowler
i think we look a far more dangerous team with bellamy and pennant. they have both had troubled pasts, but hopefully playing in a team with stars like gerrard and carragher, their antics will be reduced to mere mumble. the fact that bellamy is a longtime fan should help him grow up and put the team first.
they have both got something extra, and im really glad for us to have such a talented striker. i would rather have someone bolshy but talented (e.g. rooney, bellamy) rather than some vanilla character who doesn't produce the goods.
gonzales - hardly seen him so far, and his pre-season was rather mediocre. but i trust rafa's judgement, and if he says the guy can play then who are we to argue? and as for scoring within 3 minutes on your debut... not a bad little result.
if liverpool get off to a good start, we can do well. the team has only improved since last season, and we now have genuine competition for some places e.g. left wing. but rafa seems to want to include all his really good midfielders - alonso, sissoko, pennant and gerrard - and therefore finds himself forcing gerrard into a position behind bellamy.
bellamy will perform far better with another striker - crouch could do the job - and gerrard is far more generous thrusting forward from midfield.
i'm glad we've got competition in defence too. hyppia is amazing but his legs are getting old - there have been more mistakes from him and carragher in recent months than we were accustomed to, and i can't help but feel that the future is carragher and somebody younger. hyppia needs his minutes managed, and should be preserved so that he can play in all the big games.
don't know if we have what it takes to catch chelsea - we are gelling too slowly for my liking. we have a relatively benign opening few fixtures (could be worse) but we have a tendency to slip up in games we are expected to win easily. if we get off to a good start, i'm optimistic. if not, it will just be another season of almost-but-not-quite.
still won't stop me putting some money on liverpool to win the champs league, and the premiership. and bellamy to be top goalscorer at 16-1 is a bet that i would be foolish to pass up
oh come on - too many new players? ok, but he's adding quality (gonzales, bellamy, pennant) and getting rid of dross (traore, traore, traore!!!!!!!!!!!! oh and morientes etc)
yes, they have to get used to each other. but i think bellamy is going to slot right in, and rafa's main problem will be juggling the midfield talent to keep everybody happy. sissoko might see less games than he would before... and hamann knew the writing was on the wall and went where he would play.
we've now got genuine competition for every position (apart from maybe right back - i really don't rate kronkamp and rafa keeps playing him in right midfield too) and that is what makes great teams. not to mention cover if someone is injured - instead of it being a crisis, it becomes an opportunity for another player to get extended playing time.
some positions are positively overflowing - left wing we now have zenden back from injury, gonzales the new favourite and kewell coming off his best season in years. i predict more bitching about playing time
i think we should line up reina - riise hyppia carragher finnan - zenden alonso gerrard pennant - crouch bellamy. with carson, aurelio, gonzales, sissoko and fowler on the bench. i think fowler at this stage of his career is best brought on when everyone else is tired and slowing down.
but be prepared for zenden to get outplayed by gonzales (potentially); i think he will sometimes play gerrard on the right, to accommodate alonso and sissoko in the middle; and for hyppia to get some crap injury that takes weeks to heal now he's approximately 54... to be ably replaced by paletta (ahead of agger, who i thought made loads of mistakes when he played last year).
riise will have to fight for his spot against aurelio, whom i have never seen play - but he's a pretty capable mature brazilian who could give us something different. and watch for carson to get given the carling / fa cup strings of matches. and maybe the home game against reading
So far it seems the new players seem to be more positive than the established members.
Starting line up seemed mad but as it would have been anounced at the last moment must have fcuked up the great ones team talk?
With all the bitching and back stabbing going on at Chelski about whos playing and being sold must have helped.
Liverpool keeper kept them in it, cant believe he's 22/23 must have been a bloody hard paper round in spain to look that old?
Well it give others hope of making this season competative, man u tried cheque book side building many years age and it didnt work though not on chelski's level.
By the way I'm not into football I support Torquay United (yes before Helen Chamberlin was famous)
Didnt responed straight away, as straight after the final wistle, I drove back to UK. Anyway, Liverpool where definatly the better side on the day, although I was happy with Shevchenko. Cudicini was poor (Riises goal was a gift), and Reyes was very good. I cannot believe we are struggling on the left back side of things, so I hope the Cole deal is done soon. I thought Bridge was at fault for the second goal. But, only one team in the last nine years has one the premiership after lifting the charity shield (That will be us then), and its a long old season.
Ok I'm not going to say Liverpool were lucky.... but come on what a miss from Cudicini !! At the end of the day yes they were the better team but it looks like it was just down to conditioning, with a few games under our belt it would have been be a different result. Super Frank was absolutly fantastic, after all of the recent critisism the played a blinder, some off the balls he played through to the very dangerous looking Shevchenko were amasing.