The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – The 25th Anniversary Of The Hillsborough Disaster

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough disaster, with the inquests on going I hope the families can finally get some peace and closure after one of the biggest cover ups in English history.It could have been any club on that sunny afternoon in April 1989. Football fans should stand together when remembering the 96 fans who lost their lives that day. Nobody should attend a football match and never return home.Justice for the 96. #YNWA #DBTSLike “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – SAS Look To Punish Baggies

After the disappointment of the January transfer window Liverpool will look to put their lack of purchases behind them on Sunday as they prepare to face West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. Liverpool’s last outing saw them emphatically beat Everton and so Brendan Rodgers will be looking for a repeat performance from his side.Injuries for the Reds mean they are still without Sakho, Enrique and Agger but they have some good news with the return of Joe Allen. West Brom are unable to call upon Nicolas Anelka who has received stitches in a knee injury. Sessegnon is also unavailable but the Baggies have a relatively strong side to choose from.The last time the two sides met was in October last year. The game at Anfield went extremely well for Liverpool who converted four goals via Luis Suarez who scored a hat trick and Daniel Sturridge. James Morrison scored the only goal for the Albion with a penalty on 66 minutes.Liverpool’s last league visit to The Hawthorns however was less than satisfactory. West Brom netted three goals with no response from the Reds who also had to deal with Daniel Agger being sent off.The Baggies are currently placed 17th in the table hovering above the relegation zone. They’ve only won one game in their last six and that came at home to Newcastle. Compared to last season the Midlands side seem to be struggling quite a lot, it will be interesting to see whether new manager Pepe Mel can turn things around.Liverpool are sitting in 4th having gained some ground on the teams above them after slip ups by Chelsea and Arsenal. The Reds will be hoping to pick up another three points on Sunday to further cement their place.Stat SandwichSteven Gerrard has scored in Liverpool’s last three league games.West Brom have only won one of their last 13 fixtures.Suarez and Sturridge have played 33 games combined and netted 36 goals between them.For me, this has to be a Liverpool win however I’m not sure it will be as easy as it looks on paper. I think West Brom have the potential to break a still unsteady Liverpool defence but I also feel Liverpool are too strong in attack and so I will opt for a 2-1 Liverpool win on Sunday.Enjoy the match folks wherever you are watching!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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LIVER BIRD – Liverpool Tame Tigers At Anfield

The Reds stepped out with revenge on their minds for the start of 2014 as they aimed to get the better of Hull and put the defeat at the start December behind them. With Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez on the score sheet Liverpool need not have worried about a repeat performance from Hull who looked a shadow of the side that turned out against Brendan Rodgers’ team a month ago.Liverpool’s first half consisted of calm and confident football which was a real positive considering the injuries and players out of position that the Reds have been contending with. It was Liverpool creating the lion’s share of the chances in the first half and as always it was the familiar faces of Suarez, Sterling, Coutinho and Henderson getting involved. Suarez also saw an early header disallowed as he was offside.The first goal for Liverpool came at 35 minutes after a corner. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Agger managed to get a header on and converted his effort putting the ball past the Hull keeper. Shortly after the goal the Reds saw themselves with another fantastic chance after a lay off to Jordan Henderson, his shot drifted wide though and he should of perhaps done better.It was important that Liverpool won this game after the disappointing Christmas period which should have ended so differently and so it was nice for the Reds to be ahead before the break.The second half began in a lively fashion for the Reds who had found an opportunity to cause more havoc early on when a free kick was awarded for a foul on Luis Suarez. Who else but the Uruguayan himself was going to take this one?There just aren’t enough words to describe Luis Suarez at the moment and so I find myself turning to his native Spanish language – “clase mundial”. His free kick was superb curling its way into the top left hand corner to surely secure Liverpool’s three points from the game.The second half for both sides but particularly Liverpool was a lot quieter and the Reds didn’t create as many clear cut chances. Hull on the other hand had gone one step further, failing to create a shot on target throughout the whole 90 minutes.A late solo chance from Coutinho saw him take on the Hull defence and weave his way through to the box, his resulting shot though left a lot to be desired and that signalled the end of the game for Liverpool.As many have mentioned it is worth noting the missed chances again because in some matches we would not have been let off there however I think for the time being we can focus on the positives, Liverpool collected the win in a game where they may once have struggled and things are still looking quite rosey for the Reds.I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received. Thank you to everybody that replied.Next up for Liverpool is Oldham in the FA Cup.Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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LIVER BIRD – Reds Face Magpies With Fitness Boost

Well, that’s another international break out of the way andEngland’s progress to Rio was of course sealed by none other than Steven Gerrard but our captain has more important things to worry about now as he looks to net his 100th league goal in Liverpool’s trip to Newcastle this weekend.I think we’ve really missed Glen, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone in my opinion!Image: telegraph.co.ukThe one advantage of the international break for Brendan Rodgers has been that enough time has passed for three of his injured players to make a possible return. Glen Johnson, Aly Cissokho and Joe Allen are all fit according to the boss and Lucas Leiva is also back from a ban. Still out for Liverpool though are Coutinho and Coates, Iago Aspas is also suspected to beunavailable after picking up a knock.For Newcastle they are without their captain Fabricio Coloccini who is out with a muscle problem. They are also missing Steven Taylor and Gutierrez, the latter of whom will miss the game due to a personal situation.The last time the two sides met was near the end of last season. The game at St James’ Park was a nightmare for the Magpies who failed to find the back of the net, had a man sent off and conceded six goals. On the score sheet that day was Daniel Agger, Fabio Borini and both Sturridge and Henderson who both scored a brace.The last meeting at Anfield between the two sides was on my 23rd birthday (boo hiss boo to getting older /// 4th November). Luis Suarez scored in that game and Newcastle, despite earning a point that day, once again had a man sent off. Newcastle have notched up wins against the Reds on their home turf in recent years though, winning in both 2010 and 2007.Form for Newcastle shows them recording three wins out of their last five league games. Their two losses came against Everton and Hull but the Geordies still managed to score twice on both occasions. Newcastle are currently placed 11th in the table.Liverpool on the other hand find themselves joint top with Arsenal and with the Gunnars facing Norwich at home this weekend, Liverpool need to ensure they also collect all three points. The Reds’ last five games also show them winning three fixtures and then recording a loss and a draw. Liverpool may have slipped up on a couple of occasions this season but they are still going strong and with the return of some key players Liverpool you would hope will be able to walk away from St James’ Park on Saturday victorious. Stat SandwichThe Reds have not lost in their last seven away games in the league.Newcastle’s last 12 goals in the league have all been scored by Frenchmen.Liverpool have still only scored once in the second half so far this season.As usual I sent out a tweet asking you all for your score predictions and here are a few of the tweets I received this week, thanks to all who replied!I don’t think I’m going to get chance to put a bet on tomorrow but if I could I’d be placing my quid on a 2-1 Liverpoolwin. I feel as though Newcastle will definitely find the back of the net but the Reds should be confident enough to score more than once and also hold on to a lead, I do feel Liverpool need to score first though.Enjoy the match folks!_______________________________________Like this post?Please support The Liver Bird,take two seconds to click below and tweet:http://clicktotweet.com/sPd7zYou will have then voted for the blog as BEST FEMALE, much appreciated!#YNWALike “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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LIVER BIRD – Pre-Season Starts Saturday!

The heat is on…Image: liverpoolfc.com Have you ever been so excited to play Preston?! … In all seriousness though it’s a very nice pre-season fixture for the Reds to be starting with as the match will commemorate a year that marks 100 years since the great man Bill Shankly’s birth. Shankly spent over a decade as a player at Preston and was loved in Lancashire and of course he is a Liverpool managerial legend. On Saturday Preston and Liverpool will kick off their pre-season with a match in honour of the very special man. The match on Saturday will kick off at 15:00 and it’s available to watch on LFC TV. I’m off to the seaside on Saturday and so I won’t be able to watch but I will be catching up when I return home as I love to get an idea of what the youngsters and new signings have to offer in pre-season. If you see anything special feel free to drop us a tweet! After Preston, Liverpool are taking quite a big leap and they head off to Indonesia then Australia followed by Thailand. The Reds will then go on to face Olympiakos for Steven Gerrard’s testimonial. Then they play Valerenga and finally Celtic before the season kicks off on August 17th. I haven’t fully decided yet on how I will be covering the pre-season on the blog but if you follow me on Twitter I’ll keep you posted. Last year I did a sort of quick round up after sections of matches and so I will probably follow that suit. In the meantime I hope you are all enjoying the summer! Here’s hoping to a positive pre-season and also some more signings to blog about!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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LIVER BIRD – Carra Hits Post In Final Game For Reds

There will never be another like him; Jamie Carragher…Image: guardian.co.uk Liverpool played their last game of the season on Sunday against QPR at Anfield. The game didn’t have any real purpose behind it though and so all of the focus was on the retiring Jamie Carragher. A guard of honour saw the number 23 out onto the pitch with The Kop creating a massive mosaic for the defender. Carragher ran towards the Kop with his son and daughter and thanked the Anfield faithful, it was an emotional moment and finally it seemed real that Carragher was in fact retiring. In terms of the game though it may not have meant anything, but Liverpool still wanted to finish their season on a high. 7th place isn’t an achievement really and finishing behind Everton just rubs more salt in the wound but here’s hoping Brendan buys well in the summer and we can push on next season finding some consistency on the way! Liverpool started the game in a confident manner whilst QPR lacked a spark. Philippe Coutinho was the star man for Liverpool though, weaving his way through problems and setting up his team mates. He’s been fantastic since we signed him and if anybody deserved to find the back of the net yesterday (aside from Carra) it was Coutinho. Coutinho actually had the ball in the back of the net earlier in the game but the referee ruled no goal and so Coutinho would have to wait a bit longer to give the Reds the lead. At 22 minutes he got his chance. After an assist from the 17 year old Jordan Ibe making his debut, Coutinho struck a powerful shot from outside the area and sent his effort low to the left of goal. It was a cracking goal really and just what Liverpool needed. QPR weren’t really troubled Pepe Reina too much, especially in the first half but it was Loic Remy who was taking the chances for his side. Some efforts early on went just shy of goal for QPR as they looked to find an equaliser before half time. In the Red corner, it was Jamie Carragher getting harassed to push forward for the Reds, almost every time he got the ball. It would have been such a story for Carragher to have scored on his debut 16 years ago and then score on his final day in a Red shirt. The dream nearly came true too after a stinging shot from long range smashed back out off the post, unbelievable! It would have been an absolutely brilliant goal, the Anfield faithful had their hearts in their mouths but it just wasn’t to be. It wasn’t a terribly exciting game but Liverpool were definitely the better of the two teams, Rob Green kept his side in with a chance after saving efforts from the likes of Enrique and Johnson but QPR just couldn’t find themselves a goal. Jamie Carragher the man of the moment was substituted at 85 minutes and to rapturous applause. Anfield began a rendition of “team of Carraghers” as the legend left the field for the last time. He was replaced by Coates. And so folks that is the end of the season and the end of an era. Liverpool finished in 7th place on 61 points. And Jamie Carragher finishes on 737 games, a feat only bettered by Ian Callaghan. What did you make of this season? Were you happy with it? Do you feel we’ve underachieved? Leave your thoughts below. As always on The Liver Bird at some point in the next week there will be a mini pocket sized round up of the season with some snippets of what was going on in the news at the time as well, once again, thank you all for stopping by on my little blog here and roll on 2013/2014!Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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LIVER BIRD – Carroll & Cole Won’t Make Anfield Return

Carroll can’t feature on Sunday…Image: guardian.co.uk West Ham are the visitors to Anfield on Sunday as they look to really cement their stay in the Premier League. After coming back from a goal down to beat Aston Villa last weekend Liverpool showed real fight and with the Anfield crowd behind them you would hope to see a home win and all 3 points collected. For Liverpool there are no new injury worries and although they won’t be available there was some positive news this week with Fabio Borini and Martin Kelly spotted back in training. West Ham are unable to use Andy Carroll due to the terms of his loan agreement and another ex red Joe Cole will be unable to play, he remains out with a hamstring injury. The Hammers are also without Mark Noble. The last time the two sides met was in December last year, in a game packed full of goals Liverpool were the eventual winners, the game ended 3-2. Joe Cole, Glen Johnson and Jonjo Shelvey were on the scoresheet for the Reds that day. The last time West Ham paid a visit to Anfield was in November 2010. Liverpool scored 3 goals without return in that game. In terms of their record at Anfield the Hammers have failed to notch up a win here in all competitions for 50 years. Stat Sandwich Liverpool have scored 15 goals in their last 5 Premier League games. Jussi Jaaskelainen has made more saves than any other keeper in the league this season. Philippe Coutinho has made 3 assists and scored twice in 369 minutes of Premier League football for Liverpool. I feel pretty confident going into this game Liverpool have only lost 1 out of their last 5 league games whilst the Hammers have lost 3 out of their last 5. One thing Liverpool have at the moment is a strong attack and so scoring goals on Sunday I don’t feel will be a problem. Also with West Ham missing Andy Carroll that could cause them problems as they haven’t been finding the back of the net very often lately. For this reason I’ll punt for a 2-0 Liverpool win, I might put a quid on that, depends how the Grand National goes today! Haha! Enjoy the match folks! Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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LIVER BIRD – Give Us A Vote?

Image: sportskeeda.com Afternoon folks! I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been shortlisted for the Sportskeeda Blogger Awards! I must admit I’ve never come across the site before but was very happy to receive the email this morning and I’ve since had chance to look around, it’s a very comprehensive sports website and it would be brilliant to receive an accolade from the folks over at Sportskeeda. As you all know I was over the moon last July after winning best female blog at the football blogging awards and I’d really appreciate your help in my quest to try and gain the blog another gong. I know my blog isn’t the most technical, that’s not what I’m here for and we all know that I’m no footballing genius but one thing I’m sure you will vouch for is my effort, since starting in September 2009 I have only missed one match preview and my blog has become a massive part of my life! The Liver Bird is the only Liverpool FC blog in the category and we can’t have somebody like Republik Of Mancunia winning it now can we?! Lol. TO VOTE simply follow this link, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “The Liver Bird” for “Best Club Fan Site” then cast your votes for the other categories (Fellow Liverpool blogger Feint Zebra is in the video category, drop him a vote please!) then simply enter your email and submit! Your votes are very much appreciated, I will keep you updated as things progress, voting ends 31st January! #YNWA Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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LIVER BIRD – Reds In Norwich Rout

Henderson was over the moon with his goal…Image: guardian.co.uk Liverpool put 4 past Norwich and accepted a gifted own goal to finish their 5-0 rout at Anfield on Saturday as the doubters of the Sturridge and Suarez partnership were hushed once again. In a game where Steven Gerrard found the back of the net and Jordan Henderson too it was a brilliant performance from the Reds who look to be finding their feet. Liverpool were without Pepe Reina and Martin Skrtel for this one and so Brad Jones was between the sticks with Jamie Carragher brought back into the defence. Norwich were thankful to be able to start their main man Grant Holt up front as they would need the extra fire power. Immediately for Liverpool it was clear that Sturridge and Suarez (despite the small amount of time they’ve been working together) had an awareness about them. Sturridge knew exactly where Suarez was and Suarez knew exactly where Sturridge was, to be playing that freely already and feeling confident in your partner is fantastic and it wasn’t long until Suarez was causing problems for the Norwich defence. Weaving in and out and closing in from tight angles as he always does, Suarez was causing havoc in the run up to Liverpool’s first goal. Eventually the ball found it’s way to Jordan Henderson, most who praise Henderson will still admit that he’s very much a confidence player and so to see him “have a pop” with the way the ball fell to him was fantastic. Hitting it first time it was a cracking finish that flew straight into the back of the net and gave Liverpool the lead. Henderson celebrated emphatically, you could see what it meant to him. Ten minutes later and that man Suarez was making sure everybody was talking about him again. On a break he took the ball all the way to the keeper and with typical flair, provided a classy finish to give Liverpool their second. Lucas set him up after Sturridge allowed the ball to run through his legs, knowing that the Uruguayan striker was free. Things were going almost too well for Liverpool, you have to take into account the opposition and the fact it was at Anfield of course but we were running like a smoothly oiled machine, even with big changes to our usual line up. Norwich were creating chances here and there and sprung Brad Jones into action very early on but the Reds had too much of a hold on the game now, it had the feel of a goal fest and it certainly turned into one. No substitutions were made from either side for the second half. Norwich needed a spark to be honest but Hughton wasn’t ready to change things yet. He’d perhaps left it too late though as Daniel Sturridge scored close to the hour mark. It’s 3 in 3 for the ex Chelsea man and once again he was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, it’s such a simple goal but as I’ve mentioned before, Downing plays that lovely cross in any other game pre – Sturridge and it’s simply not scored, because no one is bloody there in the box waiting! A tap in suits me just fine. It’s a late one but my New Year’s resolution is definitely to learn Sturridge’s celebratory dance… Hughton made a sub five minutes after this goal bringing on Hoolahan for Bennett who ended up having a less than favoured impact on the game. Norwich are in a bit of a rut at the moment after a good start to the season and they may have fancied their chances of getting something against us after their draw last time out at Anfield but it just wasn’t to be. Immediately after the substitution Steven Gerrard decided he’d quite like to get in on the action and with a goal that showed remnants of his glory days, his long range shot beat the keeper to the left bottom corner of the goal. Raheem Sterling and Fabio Borini were brought into play shortly after the Gerrard goal and it makes you realise that we do have some decent options at the moment, people who can add a different element to a game. Just to rub salt in the wounds for Norwich, Raheem Sterling created the problem that caused their man to turn the ball into the back of his own net at 75minutes. It was unfortunate for Ryan Bennett but some good work by Sterling meant his cross would have probably been met by Fabio Borini anyway even if Bennett didn’t get in the way. It was a brilliant performance from Liverpool, a real rout and to keep a clean sheet too is just fantastic. I’d never have guessed a 5-0 scoreline pre-match. It must be a hard one to take for Norwich who didn’t actually play all that bad but for a change Liverpool were not wasting their chances and made nearly every one count. If we can take that kind of attitude and performance to Arsenal next in the league then we may well be on to something but before that we have to face Oldham in the FA Cup.Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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LIVER BIRD – Agger Do

It was brilliant to see Lucas back!…Image: thetimes.co.uk Liverpool notched up a 1-0 win over Southampton at Anfield on Saturday with defender Daniel Agger heading home in the first half for the Reds. It was an improved performance from Liverpool and whilst finishing still could have been better there were plenty more chances than there have been of late. Starting for Liverpool was Lucas Leiva, a real staple for the side in most people’s eyes he retained his old position in the centre of midfield allowing Steven Gerrard a lot more freedom. Up front for Liverpool was Suarez as always whilst Southampton had the rather dangerous Rickie Lambert leading their attack. Liverpool began the game with a real tempo and applied great pressure on the Southampton defence. Chances from Shelvey and Suarez were thick and fast and the supply from the likes of Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique on the flanks was plentiful. With Steven Gerrard entitled to move around a lot more too it was clear more direct balls were going through. Liverpool have played the passing game a lot this season but it’s refreshing for me to see a cut through ball straight into the box every now and then and Gerrard can certainly provide that. Liverpool saw two of their chances come back off the woodwork late in the second half as a Jonjo Shelvey shot smashed off the post it was followed by a Suarez free kick that crashed off the bar. Luckily for Liverpool the deflection fell to Glen Johnson who had plenty of red men left in the area to play the ball to. A nice cross in allowed Agger to finish with a lovely header leaving the Southampton defence dumbstruck. The Reds were ahead and deservedly so. For the second half Southampton must have made the most of their half time break as they appeared more confident now. Chances mainly via Gaston Ramirez gave Liverpool something to deal with but Pepe Reina pretty much had everything covered. Jordan Henderson was brought on just before the 70 minute mark for Liverpool replacing Joe Allen. Many fans were intrigued as to how the system would work with both Allen and Lucas in the midfield but I feel it went pretty well. Allen was forced into a more attacking role which is good because although Joe is effective in his role he does tend to pass sideways quite a lot and as mentioned before with a more direct approach Liverpool on the whole were looking more dangerous. At 80 minutes something happened that kopites have perhaps been expecting for a long while. Luis Suarez picked up his 5th yellow card of the league season meaning he would miss the next match. I dread to even think what we’re going to do against West Ham without him but at least this game against Southampton had more positives than usual. The Reds still troubled keeper Gazzaniga a few more times late on in the second half via Jose Enrique and Luis Suarez but they couldn’t double their lead. Lucas left the field of play for Jamie Carragher late on too but the score remained the same until the end of the 90 minutes. A win is a win and despite the fact the goal tally perhaps should have been higher I was happy with that performance. For me the passing was a lot more purposeful and it proved that you can retain stacks of possession but still attack consistently and vitally find a goal that gets you all three points, for me, it was a big improvement and part of that fell down to the reintroduction of Lucas and the knock on effect he has. Today the Reds drew Lincoln/Mansfield in the FA Cup which is a very nice draw for Brendan but next up is Udinese away.Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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