3-0

my heart rose from the bed this morning, hungry for success which was laid out blatantly on the table. my head, not one who relishes being left behind, made his mark with a loud explosion which turned heads in the household. sheepish he might look, he went on to glare at my heart.

“what say you, weakling?” he thundered. my heart, chewing the tuna nonchalantly, sniffed the air.

“you smell that? that’s the scent of victory! liverpool shall clobber the gunners 3-0.” and he continued munching his fruits.

“absolutely ghastly! you must be mad! look at the statistics and form book! arsenal are going to triumph 3-0! football is played with brains, not brawn!” my head roared.

“i beg to differ, my lord. football is played with hearts, not heads,” my heart ended with a sneer.

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Published in: on Sunday, October 28, 2007 at 6:46 pm  Comments (4)  
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the first seven games

The new English football season has just started, and my beloved Liverpool are due to play Aston Villa away later in the Barclays Premier League. With several expensive new signings on board, much is expected of Rafa and his charges to deliver immediately. I’m personally quite excited by the new-look team but am keeping my fingers crossed, as usual. The past few seasons had promised much at the beginning, but ended up in disappointing fashion. Once bitten twice shy, I’m not going to be fooled by all these pre-season hype.

My head says the new players will take time to gel, and maybe they will take a season or two to finally take the title that has eluded the club since 1990. My heart, of course, will hope that the drought will end come May 2008.

And it is my personal belief that Liverpool’s first seven games will define their league season this time round. That’s 21 points – the number of points they were behind the champions last season. They had always been slow starters the last couple of seasons and in each of those seasons they finished some points off the eventual champions. Jamie Carragher had said that they could not afford to start slowly last season, and the team ended up doing exactly that.

This season, if they want to improve, they will have to start strong. It is heartening to hear that Rafa has actually set a 60-goal target for his four strikers – Torres, Crouch, Kuyt and Voronin. At least we now know that he is thinking of playing attacking football this term.

I really wish that the players will live up to expectations and push Man Utd and Chelsea all the way to the end.

Players to look out for this season: Gerrard, Torres, Babel, Mascherano, Leiva

So, the first game? Liverpool 2 Aston Villa 0.

Published in: on Saturday, August 11, 2007 at 11:57 pm  Comments (5)  
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greece is the word

as if to give my little girl an early birthday present, my beloved Liverpool had just beaten Chelsea 4-1 on penalties in the Champions League semi-final. ahhh…memories of 2005 come flooding back now. will celebrate my girl’s 2nd birthday on 25th this month…and will probably celebrate Liverpool’s triumph in the final at athens. savoury, savoury!

Published in: on Wednesday, May 2, 2007 at 5:32 am  Comments (4)  
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possession vs clinical finishing

After all these years of watching and playing football, I have to admit that possession in football does not equate to winning matches. Clinical finishing has always been the key to winning matches. Any fool can tell you this too. So why is it that some footballing brains are not ticking? Footballers and coaches alike, some of them are guilty of this. Don’t strive to keep possession of the ball, but excel at clinical finishing. This is what I would tell my players if I’m a coach. Am I right? Possibly. Probably.

Let’s recall the match between Liverpool and Arsenal. Amount of possession Liverpool had was 62%. Arsenal only had 38%. The Reds had 16 shots, while the visitors had 5 only. Final score? Liverpool 1 Arsenal 3. The same story happened at Ewood Park last month when Liverpool lost 1-0 after dominating the game in terms of possession. Come on, Guys! You have to be clinical in your finishing! What matters most in football is scoring goals, isn’t it?

Liverpool, for all their credentials as traditional powerhouses, are seriously lacking in the department of scoring. There have been times when they were made to look good, like their 4-0 win at Wigan. But honestly speaking, they are simply not good enough at the moment. They have got several strikers, but none can score consistently. The same can be said of their midfielders. Gerrard has not been the scoring phenomenon of last season. Their defenders? Carragher just scored his first in 7 years! If they struggle for periods to score in a match, I cannot find one inspirational player who can pop out to score at will.

Maybe, they must seriously scout for one clinical striker. Maybe, give Kuyt some more time and he will be one. Maybe, someone from the youth setup could be the clinical one. Maybe, the training sessions should focus on scoring goals. Maybe, I can be their coach……Maybe……

I think I’ve said enough. As a Liverpool fan, I wish them all the best in……scoring goals.

It’s never the amount of possession that counts…count the goals, Folks!

Published in: on Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 6:19 pm  Comments (1)  
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25.05.2005

This is one date that I will definitely remember very well for the rest of my life.

In the wee hours that morning, Jennifer’s water bag broke. Time to rush to Thomson Medical Centre. We were excited, anxious yet calm about it. in the lift…on the way to our car… I drove her safely to our destination. She was escorted up while I went through the paper work.

In the delivery room, she went through waves after waves of contraction. I was by her side, feeling rather useless. All I could do was to comfort her. Seconds turned to minutes which turned to hours. To me it was a long wait. But I think to her it was eternity. Her pain was intense even with the mask over her.

Then the time had to come. Lawrence ambled in. In less than half an hour, the baby was delivered. Time was 7.38 a.m. My little Faith was there in front of me.

fresh from womb

By evening, all were taken care of. I was busy taking pictures of the baby. Jennifer looked weary, but she was relieved and happy. I told her I would come early next morning.

sleeping well

on my lap

eyes open

Back home, I turned in early, not because I was really tired. I wanted to have ample sleep before waking up at 3 to watch the Champions League final between my beloved Liverpool and Milan. I slept well, probably because of the joy of being a father.

In fact, I slept too well. When I woke up, the match had gone into half-time. When I saw the highlights of the first half, I could not believe my eyes. Liverpool 0 Milan 3! Lost, gone, dead and buried. I shut my eyes, hoping that I could continue my sweet dreams and forget the heart-breaking scoreline.

Rotten luck! I woke up suddenly to witness the first 5 minutes of the second half. Never mind, I should continue to watch the game for entertainment sake. And since I called myself a loyal Liverpool supporter, I must as well…

Then, the incredible happened (something which the whole world of football would know by now). My dearest Liverpool fought back and scored three goals by the 90th minute. The rest……hit the post……Riise missed……Dudek wobbled……Shevchenko missed……Gerrard lifted the cup!

gerrard felled

alonso scored

great save!

run…celebrate…

Liverpool, winners Champions League 2005

On the day when Faith was brought to Earth by her sensational parents, Milan was brought down to Earth by a sensational Liverpool FC.

How can I forget this day?

(Ps: one disappointment though: Bo Bice lost the American Idol final.)

Published in: on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at 10:48 pm  Comments (2)  
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