Spyin' Kop: Liverpool v Blackburn (14th October 2006)

Posted by LFC on tour on October 12, 2006, 05:13:07 PM

Internationals are over now, at least until the 15th November anyway. It has been another frustrating international break for Rafa who has lost Kuyt to an ankle injury and Agger to a broken hand, as well as number 2 goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek to a sending off in the mini-derby. It has been an inconsistent start to the season, not helped by all the disruption. Despite that Anfield has once again kept its fortress status with three wins out of three and seven goals scored to just one conceded. Away from home we have gone back in time to the 04/05 season with abysmal performances away from home and only 1 point from 12 so far. This Saturday sees us entertain Blackburn at Anfield with a unfamiliar kick off time of 3pm, with Rovers finally hitting some form after a stuttering start to the season.

Spyin’ Kop
Blackburn Rovers, 14 October 2006, Anfield
Kick off: 15:00


History
Formed by a group of public school old boys in 1875, Blackburn's early history was littered with FA Cup triumphs. It wasn't until 1912 that the First Division title came to Ewood Park for the first time, and Rovers followed up this success with another championship win two years later. Former Blackburn and England favourite Bob Crompton was in charge for the famous FA Cup final victory over Huddersfield in 1928, and the club enjoyed top-flight football until 1936. Blackburn found themselves playing Third Division football in the 1970s before local-boy-made-good Jack Walker transformed the club's fortunes. Walker's financial backing and shrewd appointment of Kenny Dalglish as manager in 1991 resulted in Rovers gaining promotion and becoming founder members of the Premier League in 1992. The club achieved its highest league placing for 80 years in 1994 by finishing runners-up to Manchester United before going one better the following year to clinch the 1995 championship on a nail-biting final day.

Honours
Premiership: 1994-95
League Division 1: 1911-12, 1913-1914
Charity Shield: 1912
FA Cup: 1884,1885,1886,1890,1891,1928
League Cup: 2002

Club Records
Record attendance: 62,255 v Bolton Wanderers, FA Cup 6th round, 2nd March 1929.

Record League win: 9-0 v Middlesbrough, Ewood Park, Division 2, November 6th 1954

Record League Defeat: 0-8 v Arsenal, Division 1, February 25th 1933 and 0-8 v Lincoln City, Division 2, August 29th 1953

Most League appearances: Derek Fazackerley, 593 (+3 sub), 1970/71 to 1986/87

Most consecutive league appearances: Walter Crook, 208 (1934-46)

Most goals scored by a player in a season: Ted Harper, 43, Division 1, 1925/26

Blackburn Squad
1. Brad Friedel
2. Lucas Neill
3. Zurab Khizanishvili
4. Andy Todd
5. Kerimoglu Tugay
6. Ryan Nelsen
7. Brett Emerton
8. Robbie Savage
9. Shabani Nonda
10. Benedict McCarthy
11. David Bentley
12. Morten Gamst Pedersen
13. Peter Enckleman
14. Steven Reid
15. Aaron Mokoena
16. Stephen Henchoz
17. Francis Jeffers
18. Paul Gallagher
20. Andre Ooijer
21. Dominic Matteo
23. Jason Brown
24. James McEveley
26. Andy Taylor
27. Matt Derbyshire
29. Keith Treacy
30. Jason Roberts
31. Sergio Peter
32. Eddie Nolan
33. Michael Gray
34. Tony Kane
- Frank Fielding
- Tugay Kerimoglu

Current Form: LDLDWWW

Right then, time to get to the point I suppose. Today we have an array of posters from www.roverstalk.com and www.brfcs.co.uk answering the questions.

Losing Craig Bellamy must have been a blow to the strike force, how do you think his replacements have faired so far.

Peter Last season it was 9 games into the premiership season when Bellamy scored his first league goal for Rovers (his 5th appearance), McCarthy has scored 2 goals in his first 5 league appearances so it would appear his scoring record will potentially equal Bellamy’s.  Nonda has scored 1 goal so far this season in 2 appearances and when he plays Benni seems to step up to a new level, they work well together.  Roberts is currently injured and hasn’t scored yet, he seems to be a bit nervous in front of goal, I imagine once he scores one he will start firing them in – ala Crouch last season.

Joey_big_nose Very impressed. While we have no one player who matches Craig's out and out briliance (something that seems wasted by Rafa's tactics at the moment) each of the four strikers we have brought in (for a total less than the massively underpriced sale of Bellamy) offers something to the side. The pick of them is McCarthy who is an amazing manipulator of the ball, I am not sure i have ever seen anyone with so much control.
I thought we would really miss Bellamy but we are proving that we are not a one-man team, and the new strikers are filling the void between them.

Daren Better than we could have hoped, really. Despite looking like they still have some way to go before fully integrating they are scoring goals and generally looking dangerous. We're a completely different side to the one that was so dismal at Portsmouth. Though wouldn't Benni and Bellamy been a nice strike force. I even had a TLA for them, BAM! Bellamy And McCarthy

Calmc Between them they've done alright without being outstanding like Bellamy was. McCarthy's goal ratio is outstanding though, and that's all that matters really. Nonda's looked good, Roberts has looked good in patches, and he's a handful, and even Jeffers looked OK yesterday.

Last season I think its fair to say you shocked a lot of people with your performances and finishing position, what were the expectations coming into this season and have they changed?

Dan I think it'll be hard to match our success last season, particularly with the poor start we've had, but I think a top 10 finish is still well within our reach and hopefully a decent run in the domestic cups and in Europe will give the players a bit more confidence and get the goals flying in.

Peter After the first six games last season we were 18th in the table and we ended up in the UEFA Cup, this season we are 10th after six games so the potential to make another good season out of our start is still possible.  We had scored 3 goals in our first 6 games, this time we have scored 6, so in every aspect this season we have improved on last, our away form is also already better!  When we sold Bellamy I was expecting us to be an average mid table team, but with the improvement to the start of the season on last, I see no reason why we cannot challenge for Europe again.  The only thing acting against us is that other teams around us have spent more money and will also now be challenging for these places. 

savaggio We've obviously lost our best player from last season. Bellamy turned draws into wins and losses into draws. Although we've got rid of many hangers on (Amoruso, Gresko), or players who won't be able to take us further (Dickov) or others which we made an incredible amount of money on (Kuqi).
We've brought in a whole new strike force and although our midfield is as solid as ever, we've got some key positions missing, right wing and a creative midfielder in particular as Tugay can't go on forever.

Will Last season they shocked me, but looking back at it we played some good, hard football. Got some results we deserved, some we didnt. As for this season, it would be nice to get into the UEFA cup again, but I think that may be pushing it. Although I think we are rated amoungs a number of teams who could make it into Europe (Spurs, Everton, Boro, West Ham)

Who do you consider as your most important player(s)?

Dan There two best ones without a doubt are Brad Friedel and Ryan Nelsen. Friedel's one of the top goalkeepers in the league, and Nelsen never puts a foot wrong, he was a real bargain.

Peter Nonda and McCarthy both look hot prospects up front and fairly clinical in front of goal, they definitely need to be marked tightly as they will punish at the slightest chance.  Robbie Savage is having an excellent season, putting in some fantastic performances, he is controlling many midfields in the games he plays.  Brett Emerton looked to be on his way out this season and not many Blackburn fans would have complained, but he has been a top performer at right back this season and is now the firm first choice there.  Our best player so far has been David Bentley on the right wing, he looks a very different player this season, I am sure even Liverpool fans will be hoping he puts 3 more past Van De Saar!!

Theadore Nelson and the man between the sticks... having said that i probably spelt Nelsen's name wrong so i best hedge my bets. Seriously though the guy is the rock that our defence is built upon as the start of this season has shown.

Will Has to be Brad, he has always been outstanding, I would hate to think where we would be now without him.

Your worst player(s)?

Dan Well at the moment Andre Ooijer isn't looking too clever, although he's got a decent reputation and hopefully is just taking a while to settle into life in the Premiership.

Peter Lucas Neill has been surprisingly poor this season, one of our best performers last season and an excellent world cup but he now seems to think he is John Terry and the best defender in the world, which he is not… He has made silly mistakes at left back – which granted is out of position, but we still expect more of him.

savaggio In terms of the amount of money we are paying him and his appearences and quality it's Dominic Matteo. I'd also nominate Francis Jeffers, but seeing as he's on a pay as you play deal with many incentives, he'll be judged on performances.

Joey_big_nose Generally speaking he seems a very good player who lacks pace. We are now a very attacking side so this causes problems as we leave huge gaps behing our defence as Emerton and niell bomb forward. Rafa, if he has any sense, will stick Bellamy up against him on Saturday, he woul dkill him. Hopefully Benitez won't...

eddie In the entire squad it would probably be Matteo. Of the players who actually featur in the side then at the moment it would certainly be Ooijer (has some making up to do). MGP is certainly the most infuriating, it basically feels like we are all sitting around waiting for a wonder goal, the rest of the time he likes to hit the first man with his corners.

Do you have a particular memory of any previous meeting between our clubs? Say something that happened to you that day or a decision you disagreed with?

Dan Well you can't really talk about Rovers v Liverpool without mentioning broken legs, and what happened to Cisse was awful.

doz_magic_man On our last meeting, the boos were so loud due to certain refereeing decisions I had ringing ears after the match. I also thought Fowler's goal was offside, but I still haven't seen a TV replay. Oh and a few certain leg breaking tackles..

eddie I remember Andy Cole's great volley as well as Jansen's goal after his injury with fond memories. Nathan Blake scoring the winner in the FA Cup was also a great moment. The best game that I can remember between the two sides was the one towards the end of the 2001/2002 season that we lost 4-3. Didn't like the result, but really enjoyed the game.

Will We never ever seem to beat you. Ok i remember FA Cup at anfield which we won 1-0, but that's about it as far as victories are concerned. I remember Redknapp's freekick almost sending me into tears, collymore's 'wonder' goal at ewood, flower's subsequent look of amusement/horror, the abysmal 4-0 thrashing we got a few seasons back at anfield (the only time i turned off the tv in the middle of a rovers match), coley's 35 yarder, cisse's leg break, fowler's goal and jansen's wonder strike (i thought for sure that was the turning point for him, but alas, false hope. and how did that goal not end up as one of that season's top 10 goals i could never fathom)

philipl So many- we drew you regularly in the FA Cup in the '80s and you were lucky not to get knocked out more often than not, especially the infamous Marl Atkins own goal. First season back in the Premiership, Shearer's swivel and shot at Anfield followed by our 4-1 win back at Ewood. The Premiership winning game at Anfield but the game at Ewood that season was remarkable for John Barnes' bicycle goal. Then the infamous Collymore bobble over Flowers' shoulder at Ewood and Stan scoring a second with an extremely sweet 25 yarder swept past Flowers. That game was also remarkable for a 29 pass move by Rovers which ended with Shearer on the right wing putting a pinpoint cross for Wilcox to meet with an emphatic header to bring us back into the game- I am always surprised that one doesn't feature more often in Rovers' fans' lists of favourite goals. Then when we were Kidded into relegation, Nathan Blake's winner when we finally did beat you in the Cup.
Most recently, Liverpool v Rovers matches seemed to have been about broken legs (sorry for Wakefield's contribution) and disgustingly biased refereeing favouring Liverpool. 

Any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?

Peter Sergio Peter is a product of our youth team, he is a young left winger from Germany.  He has pace and the ability to cross and take set pieces.  I rate him more than Pedersen, if it wasn’t for his timely goals, Peter would be in the starting eleven. David Bentley is a more heard of youth player, for £500k he was an absolute bargain, he has been excellent this season, his pace has caused defences problems and he isn’t afraid to try something new.

Dan I suppose it would have to be Paul Gallagher and Sergio Peter. Gally is proving to everyone that he deserves a first team place, and Sergio has been excellent when he's been brought onto the left wing to replace Pedersen.

Theadore Sergio Peter is the brightest star at the moment but is unlikely to get a game. Paul Gallagher feels like yesterdays new already but has always had potential, could be that its time to show it.

savaggio Sergio Peter, Has come on for the last twenty minutes in some games, has a pin point cross and can beat a man. Far too soon to judge his talent though, as he's only played against tired defences. Another fantastic talent is another left winger, Keith Treacy.

Ooijer your transfer deadline coup from PSV was highly rated by his Dutch fans, but he has got himself of to a nightmare start for Blackburn. Any first impressions on the fella?

Peter He has looked fairly solid at the back believe it or not, but it seems at times he is trying to make the name for himself in England and he does something a little silly which leads to a mistake.  Two penalties and an own goal in his first 5 games is not ideal, but at the end of the day, only one of those errors actually cost us, so in the grand scheme of things they are not massive errors.  I do have doubts that he will be a first team player when Ryan Nelsen is fit again though as he is by no means the leader or defender that Ryan is.

Dan I think he generally plays really well, but just has the odd slip up. I don't think it's helping when the full backs are both in relatively new positions and Lucas Neill next to him tends to try and move too far infield. When Nelsen comes back I think I'd drop Ooijer to the bench but he's certainly better than some of our other options at centre back.

Daren He really got thrown in at the deep end, didn't he? And that was an awful tackle on Heskey last weekend. On the whole, though, he's another player still integrating and has shown internationally, and in european competition that he has what it takes. I remain convinced that we've yet to see the best of him. I am a hopeless optimist though! On the other hand, Hughes backs him. Nuff said.

Do you have any favourite/best chant(s) and perhaps any that require an explanation?

Dan Ewoods quite a quiet place - a bit too quiet. The chant heard in the Blackburn End most often is probably 'Friedel! Friedel! Friedel' after the big American saves a certain goal.

Savaggio Get into em (repeat all match) 

Eddie Well if you can understad Get into 'em then you probably have us down.

Will We really cant be associated with having any chants that are worth mentioning. Instead I would like to say that Liverpool have some brilliant songs, the Fields on Anfield rd being one of them. I also like the Luis Garcia one, that is amusing.

phililpl We have a drummer so there are no good chants.

bob fleming "Getintothem". Which means "Get into them", which means get stuck in and make some tackles. Very popular amongst some it is also a favourite of the Blackburn End drummer, who most people on this web site want to see the back of (which we do every match day when he attempts to put the opposing keeper off when he takes a goal kick. Very embarrassing) but apparently the views of people on this web site aren't the views of most Rovers fans or something or other.

Where do you expect Blackburn and Liverpool to finish in the Premier League this season?

Dan I'd say maybe 8th for Blackburn if the season picks up, and around 3rd for Liverpool.

Theadore We will be champions (obviously) or failing that 8th, You could win the league, but if you do it will be a record low scoring title... i would guess 3rd behind moneybags and the old enemy

Savaggio If Liverpool find their solid defence of last season, they could easily get second place. Otherwise third is theirs to lose. If we have another fantastic home record then top 6 is possible. Otherwise top ten

Peter Liverpool will finish second, behind Chelsea, I don’t think their signings this season are in the same league as Chelsea’s.  I think Blackburn will finish 6th again, we have a better squad this season and in my opinion are capable of equalling our last seasons performance.

philipl Just out of curiosity I ran the BBC predictor up to Christmas setting any difficult to predict games as draws and putting easily predictable wins in. I wasn't surprised to find Rovers at 8th but I was surprised to find Liverpool  first with a two point lead in a very tight four horse race at the top with Villa and Everton just behind in 5th and 6th with Pompey 7th.
If you curb tinkerman, you could be Prem Champions.

Which Liverpool player will you fear the most?

Dan Bellamy, Crouch and Gerrard are all playing well, it'll be hard to keep those three quiet.

doz_magic_man Bellamy if he plays. He may have been poor for Liverpool so far, but no doubt he will reclaim his form against us. c*nt.

savaggio Bellamy's pace could easily cause our old defence many problems. Also, I'd like to mention Sissoko, the guy doesn't get any credit for what he does. If he shuts us out, we could try all day and never score.

rover the top Mark Halsey, he did a lot of damage to us last year.

lockers I think if Carragher is on song our attackers will have to work double hard to create anything. Gerrard needs no explanation, a world class midfielder. Kuyt/Bellamy/Crouch - all excellent strikers who each offer something different to liverpools attack

Bob Fleming Dirk Diggler, Gerrard, The Freak and Alonso, but only when he's in his own half.

Peter Kuyt – he seems to have a keen eye for goal and can finish clinically, I think he is the sort of player you need against teams like us!

What do you think about the new Liverpool squad Rafa is shaping?

Peter Blackburn were known as the bully boys up till recently, I think Rafa is trying to take that title with some of his signings, Pennant and Bellamy, along with an attempt to sign Lucas Neill – we appear to be becoming a feeder club for Liverpool!!! Maybe he has a deal with someone – the prisons are overcrowded, so Liverpool will sign them. HM Anfield!  On a serious note though, he seems to be concentrating on pace and if there is one thing defenders fear it is pace so they will certainly be causing some fast paced entertaining football.  Last season both times we played Liverpool I was disappointed by them, they seemed to play for 1-0 victories and the two ties were two of the most tedious I witnessed all season, I expect with the new pace for it to be different this year!

Daren The squad looks strong, but this ridiculous shuffling has got to stop. Crouch is one of the form strikers in the country, and either Bellamy or Kuyt (but probably Bellamy) would work well with him. A settled striking line up is important. Your defence looks very vulnerable to high balls in from the flanks, but i cannot decide about Sissoko. I suspect you'd be better off with a straight winger and Gerrard in the centre of the field. I think that Benitez has to make his mind up and play a settled team for four or five games just to see what happens (assuming they don't all die of shock)

Theadore I have my doubts... Apart from in the centre of midfield where you have an embaressment of talent, there is little real quality in the side. You are missing a main striker (possibly bellamy or kyut could step up but we'll see) and look woeful at the back at times. Ourselves excluded you are one of the teams i would suffer winning the league, but i can't see it this time round.
The man should stick to a rough idea of a team sometimes.

Calmc tipped Liverpool for the title this year, but all seems to be going a bit Pete Tong. They look really ordinary this year.

Joey_big_nose Outstanding squad who are underperforming. Arguably player for player the finest group of attaking options who have ever graced Anfield since the glory days yet it somehow just isn't working. Defence looks shabby. We can realistically go to Anfield thinking we have a chance for three points with your present form

Doz_magic_man It's the best Liverpool squad since their heyday in the eighties in my opinion. I don't think he does the side any favours by chopping and changing all the time though.

What sort of line-up can we expect from you on Saturday?

philipl Same as against wigan except with Nonda starting. You might find Mokoena (The Axe) coming on early in the second half if you neutralise Tugay.

Peter We will probably play a 4-4-2:
Friedel
Emerton – Ooijer – Zurab – Neill
Bentley – Savage – Reid/Tugay – Pedersen
McCarthy - Nonda

Daren Nothing too different from last weekend, I suspect. It depends on how the physio's see Brad's condition, so you could be facing Brown. Not too much of a benefit to you, methinks! We've a real selection dilemma up front, so if all our strikers are available the only one you can be reasonably certain you'll be facing is Benni. You'll see Emerton and Bentley on the right (looking like one of the strongest right sides in the league at the moment), Neill and Gamst up the left. The midfield is likely to be Tugay and Savage, and judging by the games so far this season, Zurab and Ooijer in the centre of defence.

doz_magic_man Hughes is different to Benitez in that he doesn't rotate his squad much. I suspect he will try and keep the winning formula, however, I expect to see either Nonda or Roberts partnering McCarthy. If he has any sense he will drop Ooijer but we don't have any real alternatives at the minute.

Care to be brave and predict the score?

Peter 1-0 to Blackburn. We have to be confident don’t we!!!

Daren Er....I'll go with 3-1 to Rovers, Bellamy for you, Nonda, Benni and Bentley for us. Gerrard and Alonso will hit the woodwork a total of ten times between them Seriously though, while you're having your troubles away, Anfield is never a place to take lightly. As the great Bill Shankly said about the "This is Anfield" sign, "It's there to remind our players who they play for, and the opposition who they face". We'll still win, hopped up on bitter pills over the departure of Bellamy

Calmc Probably a Liverpool win being honest. We don't have a good record against youse, but it'll be tight either way. I'd like to think we could get 2 past Pepe Le Pew though. He's shit!

doz_magic_man 'd be happy with a draw, but Liverpool will be desperate for the win, which I expect they will get. 2-1.

© LFConTour 2006

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