RAWK Scribes - Spyin' Kop - The summer of love. And beards.
Posted by Hinesy on July 30, 2007, 09:21:41 AM
It's 2 weeks til Villa away. That's 2 weeks. Where did the summer go? (Well, weatherwise, it was never really here). But the Close Season is nearly closed and whilst Rafa's razor hasn't been out, the wallet certainly has. There's the new stadium to look at, the new players to look at and Rafa's beard to look at...
Others will bring the facts to you in RAWK's guide to the long wet hazy days of June and July but here is the Opinion of the Scribes and
lntelligentsia of the RAWK World.
As ever, feel free to add in your own answers after!
Here are the latest details of the transfer dealings of the summer so far.IN
(taken from our site Transfer's Forum Update)
Andriy Voronin (Bayer Leverkusen) - Free.
SebastiŠn Leto (Lanķs) - £2,500,000.
Lucas Pezzini Leiva (Gremio) - £6,750,000.
Krisztian Nemeth (MTK Hungaria) - £750,000.
Andras Simon (MTK Hungaria) - £750,000.
Alexander Kacaniklic (Helsingborgs) undisclosed.
Gary Makay Steven (Ross County)- undisclosed.
Marvin Pourie (Borussia Dortmund) - undislosed.
Jay Spearing (Acadamy graduate.)
Ray Putterill (Acadamy graduate).
Martin Hansen (Acadamy graduate).
Nikolay Mihaylov (Levski Sofia) -undisclosed.
Mikel San Jose (Athletic Bilbao) £270,000.
Dani Pacheco (Barcelona) - undisclosed.
Mihail Aleksandrov (CSKA Sofia) - undisclosed.
Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid) -£ 20,300,000
Ryan Crowther (Stockport County) - undisclosed.
David Amoo (Millwall) - undisclosed.
Yossi Benayoun (West Ham Utd) - £4,500,000.
Ryan Babel (AFC Ajax) - £11,500,000.
with more to come including possibly Heinzey from that shower.OUT
Jerzy Dudek - Released.
Robbie Foweler - Released - gone to Cardiff.
Daniele Padelli - Released.
Boudewijn Zenden - Released.
Florent Sinama Pongolle - Sold to Recreativo Huelva for £2,700,000.
David Roberts - Released.
Danny O'Donnell - Sold to Crewe Alexander for £100,000.
Luis Garcia - Sold to Atletico Madrid - £2,700,000.
Djibril Cisse - Sold to Olympic Marseille for £5,400,000.
Craig Bellamy - Sold to West Ham Utd for £7,500,000.
Mark Gonzalez - Sold to Real Betis for £3,500,000.
Danny Guthrie - Contracted till 2009 - Loaned to Bolton FC for 07/08 season.
Godwin Antwi - Contracted till 2009 - Loaned to Hatlepool FC for 07/08 season.
Paul Anderson - Lonaed to Swansea FC for 07/08 season.
Adam Hammill - Loaned to Southampton FC for 07/08 season.
We're touring Hong Kong, Rafa's got a beard. Harry too. er that's it.
so here are the questions to our panel. Thanks to garstonite , Filler, Bryan O'Dowd and Raul for answering.1. IN/OUT/SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT - Who's been the best piece of business so far this summer coming into the club and the worst?BOD
Got to be Torres purely for making a statement, oh and the fact he is a very good player. It shows that we mean business, not settling for second best in the transfer market means not settling for second best(3rd) footballing wise.Garst
Thatís a question thatís difficult to answer. Somewhat boringly, Iím not going to answer outright, as Iíll undoubtedly be left with egg on my face in the future. The summer when we signed Kewell and Finnan can teach all of us a lesson. Torresí arrival was an astute piece of business from the Americans. Still our net spend hasnít left its usual limitations, but the media coverage that comes with a big name signing for a big fee, prove it was a judicious move by Tom and George.
As for the worst? Again, no names from me, although I would have preferred to see a higher-quality replacement for Luis Garcia than Yossi Benayoun.Raul
Interesting choice of words - "piece of business" or do you mean best player? On the piece of business front, from where we stand today, you may just have to say Voronin, based on the evidence thus far. I am going to be very interested to see how he plays and fits into the team and squad for the rest of the season.
Best player on potential would have to be Torres. He may turn out to be the best piece of business as well but anything in the 20 million quid range is a bit much for some of us old timers to swallow, prima facie, mutatis mutandis, nowhatttermean.
No clue who the worst might be. Based on what some of the Ajax fans have been saying, it would well be Babel but then again he could be the next Henry, Bergkamp and Dalglish rolled into one. Did I just blaspheme?BOD
Worst? Ask me in a couple of months I might say Torres! I guess people don't like Yossi too much but if Garcia wanted to leave he is a decent replacement. Babel was a bit out of leftfield, excuse the pun, compared to some of the 'bigger' names but he is still young so hopefully proves himself worthy of what should be remembered is one of our highest fees ever paid.Fill
The best I guess will be the one who takes us up that peg or three. Whether it's the free signing of Voronin, or the mega buck one in Torres.. time will tell. Voronin has impressed so far which is encouraging, and Torres has shown a few good things. Everyone tho will need time - the thing is, we haven't got much left have we?
Worst? It isn't an individual, but a decision for me, i.e a failure to address the flanks properly. Having Kewell showing a bit of good form will (fingers crossed) at least feel like that signing we needed but Babel at the mo is young, and signed as a player who can play a number of roles, and I think we needed two players who were dedicated to a position a little more. Pennant has been improving too but I think we needed to bring someone in to bolster the options over there.2. Never can say goodbye - Emotionally we'll all miss Robbie but who will you miss the most and why? Raul
Luis Garcia by a long shot. Though I did consider Bolo Zenden as well. Garcia represented the kind of game that man fans would love to see played at LFC, flair, skill and the chance to pull off something sublimely beautiful and forbidden and dirty at the same time - making it that much more exciting.BOD
Luis- creativity, frustration, a spark, a goal, a hero.......frustration again.Garst
No surprises: Luis Garcia. They say there is no sentiment allowed in football, but for him, itís difficult not to make an exception.Fill
I said my emotional goodbye's to Robbie some years back. Bringing him back was a decision based on sentiment and we don't really have the time for that sort of thing. (OK - maybe not sentiment, but it was a definate distraction). He'll always have that little bit of class infront of goal, but bringing a tired player on for 10 minutes against tiring defenders made little sense to me - and in this equation, there was a healthy dollop of irony seeing Flo go on loan afterwards when Rafa has worked exceptionally hard in attracting some of Europes better 15-20 year olds. (A policy which is something to celebrate). Having said that, nothing would have made me happier than seeing Robbie holding Big Ears aloft. A legend in our lifetime. But we have a better quartet now.. Torres for Bellamy.. Voronin for Fowler.
The player we'll miss the most is probably Garcia. Infuriating at times but a player who could eek out that little bit of impish magic. I lost count how many times I thought to myself.. 'would be good to have Luis on the bench' last season. 3. Rafa - a close shave during the close season or do you love the beard ?Garst
As I have been sporting Ďa Rafaí for a number of years now I am, of course, a huge fan.Fill
I would like to see the beard forming a point during the season with a twizzle in the tache area, tho I fear there may be a cull. Maybe he'll shave it off, then grow it again - rotating different designs.Raul
Not loving the beard is a crime of similar proportions as bringing a flag that says "Kathmandu Reds" to the match.BOD
Who doesn't love the beard? The Beard stays. Yes it deserves capitalisation.4. Who would you like to see still come in (no CM Wet Dreams please, we've spent our £20m on one boy) and who would you like to see go?Garst
It would have been nice to see a more recognised winger arrive. Somebody who could have had a positive impact on our toothless attack immediately, but alas, itís not to be. It seems having two hungry players for every position, rather than one certainty and a perturbed back-up, is Rafaís preference. And is one which is hard to argue with. Other than that, Iím happy with the squad. The talk of Heinze/Chiellini doesnít particularly concern me. Arbeloa and Riise are sufficient cover for the left-back slot until Aurelio returns from injury.Fill
No names really, tho Gamst Pederson or Royston Drenthe on the left I'd be happy to see. We won't tho - not now. But someone on the right would please me a lot. This Heinze thing has become very dull, but he would give us an excellent quartet of players who can play in central defense, whether he's going to offer much attack wise at left back is another question not much.BOD
Looks more and more like Heinze is the one to come in, aggressive, solid at the back, cover for two positions, pissesthem off, what's not to like? OK he is 29 and injury set him back but I wasn't overly impressed with Chiellini playing LB in the early rounds of the U-21 tournament although he did improve. Actually thought the same about Babel so who knows....Raul
No one. I am happy to give the current lads a good tilt at it, especially since I still have hopes for Kewell and am a fan of Gerrard on the right for the right kind of game. There is always January if things are beginning to go pear shaped.5. Book of condolences - what would you like to say to Robbie/Jerzy/Luis/Bellamy and anyone else leaving who's name ends in 'e' ?Fill
I'm not really good at this sort of thing. But I was over at my mothers this weekend going through my Dad's will - so lots of fun, and on her freezer is a newspaper clipping of Luis Garcia wheeling away after he scored against Chelsea in the European Cup semi '05 stuck on with blu-tak. For a brief moment I was transported back to a deliriously happy time.
Jerzy? Why Real? The weather?BOD
Robbie-Nothing needs to be said, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him back in some capacity in the future.Garst
Iím not half as sad to see Ďthisí Robbie go, as I was with the Ďlastí. The squad comes first and there is no doubt Voronin will offer the squad more than he did last season, with all due respect. He did score vital winners on the road to a successful domestic season in 05/06 and seemed to get our goal-shy frontline on their feet again, too. Raul
Robbie - Never expected to see you back. Thanks and score a hatful in Wales.BOD
Jerzy and Luis helped us to the greatest moment for this club in a long time and they'll always be remembered for it.Garst
For Jerzy, what can you say? Drew unfortunate criticism last season, but that wonít blight his career in the slightest. Heíll always be remembered for Istanbul. For those who donít rate him as a goalkeeper regardless, I refer to his first season at the club, when he was simply phenomenal. Manchester United fans like to sing how Forlan Ďmade the Scousers cryí, but they seem quick to forget Jerzy made amends and won MOTM in the Worthington Cup final later that season.
For Luis, again, will always be remembered for his massive contribution to our European Cup triumph, but hobbling along till the dieing minute in the Derby at Anfield is an even truer reflection of why heíll be sorely missed.Raul
Jerzy - You madman. Have fun in Spain. Thanks for Istanbul. Luis - Would have loved to see you here this season as well. Thanks for those crucial goals for trying to do something different.BOD
Bellamy- Thank fuck you didn't take up darts as a hobby or who knows how riise would be....Garst
As for Bellamy, the less said about him the betterÖ(cheers for Barca away, mind you.)Raul
Bellamy - Ta di da.BOD
Best of luck to all of them, and hope jerzy enjoys his sunny retirement!6. Do you like the Close season or hate it - are you as happy as your wallet or edgy as a fish in a barrel ?Fill
I don't have a wallet, but I can't stand the close season. It just seems to get worse. I'd be fine if there was some cricket on TV (or we played a decent rubber.. three tests against India?! Depressing) but I haven't even got that to fall back on. Add the shit weather and it's been just bloody miserable. BOD
1) My wallet is rarely happy. 2) Its fucking awful, look at the amount of Shite spouted on here ( yes the irony), never mind the boredom with no foot on, resorted to u-21 championships and work meant couldn't stay up for most copa America games. Never mind all the transfer speculation....Garst
Itís nice watching Liverpool play without any real pressure. Never mind the players, itís my heart needs a rest after watching eight months of the Reds. But, of course, by July, you just canít wait for it to start all over again.Raul
Great to start with but am going a bit stir crazy now, especially since I've been a bit out of touch with the friendlies while on holiday and more so because I have high(ish) hopes for the upcoming season. Can't stand the crap in the transfer forum and should know better than to check it as regularly as I seemed to do in the first half of July.7.Heinze 57 varieties - Should he come to us - on merit. If so then should he come to us because of the club he comes from and how would you feel if Riise was wanted by Ferguson - would we sell to them ?BOD
He give possibilities, for sure. [ED: Is Bryan actually Rafa ?
]Already mentioned him above think he would be decent, and if we got enough money I'd sell them riise.....sorry kaizer. Plus if we get him your username fits in nicely, what a happy coincidence! [How Kind
I donít think heís worth all the effort myself. This Ďsagaí is boring me to tears. If Riise went to the Mancs, I wouldnít be best pleased either, for the record.Raul
No and No. I don't particularly want Heinze and am a Riise backer. We could do better than Riise but Hienze would not be the one to replace him. And just imagine Riise scoring a belter against us at Anfield! Fill
Riise go to Man Utd? Ridiculous suggestion, for oh so many reasons
. But he'd say no fundamentally. Heinze? Firstly it would give me no satisfaction whatsoever that we've 'got one of them'. Having one over Fergie etc, I really don't give a shit about all that jazz. Is he the player we need is the question I'm asking. We'd have an excellent centre-back quartet 'of that there is no doubt' but at left back - we have some solidity, but is solidity something we need over there? OK yes, Riise can be exposed defensively but we need to win games. We need more 2-1's than 0-0's. I guess we'll see..8. So now Rafa's got the option of playing 1-8-1, who is our best midfield, and what is your favoured line up. Bearing in mind we have different horses for different courses naturally, how would you like to see us line-up for most matches? -Garst
Generally, I think the most balanced midfield we have, looks something like:
Pennant Gerrard Mascherano Kewell
Iím open to change, particularly if Benayoun and Babel prove theyíre good enough.BOD
We've got the best midfield in the world....... Indeed it is different strokes for different folks, but against teams where we want width and to take the game to them something like:
Against top teams/away in europe might be more like: Gerrard-Masch-Alonso-Riise
I haven't even mentioned the idea of playing Gerrard behind one up front to fit both xabi and masch in yet leave width.......Fill
Blimey. I'm stumped. We have two games left before the season starts v Shanghai Shenhua & Feyenoord - both played in more similar climes to ours - at last. I'm hoping that we don't have wholesale changes at half time during these games. Definitely not the last one v Feyenoord. We have 20 core players. Find the 16 vs Shanghai Shenhua and take it reasonably seriously, and then find the 11 for Feyenoord and onto Aston Villa. Feyenoord should be taken very seriously. There will of course be the odd tweak for Villa but at least find some sort of bedrock. We're probably going to go with Torres & Kuyt, but I'd far rather see Voronin or Crouch with Torres (or Voronin & Crouch with Torres on the bench -with Torres coming on after 55-65 mins and not 88. If we need a goal).
For Villa, it'll be something like: Reina Finnan Carra Agger Riise Pennant SG, Alonso Kewell Torres Kuyt. bench: Carson Sami Mash Yossi Crouch.
but for fun.. how about:
Carra Agger Heinze
SG Lucas Mash Alonso Kewell
Bit widthless, but I want to say:
Gerrard Alonso Kewell
But I also want to see:
Pennant Gerrard Alonso (Masch) Kewell (Babel)
Actually, I want us to petition the Premier League to let us play 12 players so that we can have Gerrard, Mascherano and Alonso at CM with two wingers and two forwards. If we can't achieve that, Parry out.9. What about up front - who's a good choice - obviously Torres is going to get a lot of games, but who would you play alongside him - or a different pairing perhaps ?BOD
Who knows! Would expect it to be one of Kuyt/Crouch with one of Torres/Voronin but who am i to second guess Rafa. Kuyt seems to be the preferred option but you can't argue with Crouch's scoring record last year Garst
On the form of pre-season, Voronin alongside Voronin.Raul
Torres and Voronin, based on potential/reputation in the first case and form in the second. Might also like a 4-3-3 with Voronin, Torres and Babel as the front three.
Horribly confused, in other werds.Fill
I'd play Crouch and or Voronin. I'd also be interested to see if a Torres partnership with Babel/Kewell with those two switching left and in behind would work. With my 3-5-2 idea above - swap Babel for Crouch. It could work, but I guess, I could shag Kate Moss.10. What's your biggest worry this year for our team - injury, not getting a good enough start, too much rotation, new players not fitting in ?BOD
The start. After our poor start last season I asked if possibly the world cup/pre-season was too hard on the players and they started the season a bit tired, lets hope doesnt happen this time around. Injuries to midfield should barely be noticed!Garst
Not getting a good enough start, which may or may not tie in with too much rotation. To me, rotation is an easy excuse for people. You need an element of consistency, but we are allowed that under Benitez, despite the mediaís spin on it. But, as I said, not getting a good enough start is the biggest concern. Iíd like to at least still be in with a chance at the end of February, rather than the end of September.Raul
The start is the obvious one and I'll go along with that. Tied in with that, if we don't have a decent start and if we have played the new players a lot in the first few games, that might have a negative effect on them (Babel and Torres in particular) and lead to a downward spiral for the team as a whole. I woulod like us to use the new players somewhat sparingly for the first 6-8 games.Fill
All of the above, but we need to beat Villa. Not a draw.. a win. Otherwise it's just simply not going to happen.11. Wenger has a canny eye for young talent and spends wisely. Til we want to sign the same player and Liverpool are throwing away money on untested youngsters. Do you think the media, even unwittingly, has a prejudice against us ?Garst
Perhaps, but it doesnít concern me and Iím sure it wonít concern Rafa. Thereís absolutely no guarantees with young players. If it takes 20 players to find just one who is capable of getting in with a chance of challenging for a first-team slot, then so be it. Wengerís business is his own of course, but in a time when their activities in the transfer market may be infrequent, he has the fall back of a great youth system. He deserves credit for such preparation.Fill
We flatter to deceive in the league. We get off to bad starts. We buy big and it's often not been happening whilst our rivals either play consistent, and sometimes scintillating football, or they're nicking three points at the death with regularity. Liverpool FC IS a media story. LFC is an expression of the highest echelons of English football. It's the club with you know how many trophies to its name. When it's not working it makes for acres of column inches. My advice is to read between the lines.
Our young players won 4-1 the other night, and it's far far too early to make any comment about that I guess but winning two FA Youth Cups on the trot is not something to be sniffed at. Rafa's policy of attracting in some of the best young players over Europe and beyond fills me with so much joy and hope it'd be impossible to say in words. On that front, I think we are doing our job properly. Looking after, and encouraging the young players is what it's all about. The good education part is up to LFC. Now if they could extend that type of faith further to the young fans...BOD
Wenger has a mystique for picking talent, and he has, but also some stinkers. Give our lot a couple of years lets see how they develop. Lucas is one I really look forward to seeing, if he can get a few games that is. [ED:Doesn't answer the question but fair answer to a different one !
EDIT: smartarse......I was trying to point out that wenger has got the reputation for youngsters whereas rafa doesn't so perhaps this is why it comes across this way rather than prejudiced.
Not sure if there is a prejudice against us or not - Arsenal just have a better record in the past 15 years than we do and some of that has been down to Wenger's selection of some cracking youngsters. So they will tend to get a bit of praise. Let us have a bit of success with one or two youngsters coming through and see how Rafa becomes the next messiah of the wunderkinder (is that a word?)
Having said that, ther are few things more exciting than a relatively untested youngster waiting on the touchline to come on for the first time in a big game. Winning the league apart, few things would make me happier than one or two of the youth and reserve players making it into the squad this season.12. Which team beyond Chelsea, Manchester Utd and Arsenal, do you think will have an impact this year?Garst
Iím intrigued by many clubsí transfer activities this season. Portsmouth and West Ham, in particular. But Iím backing Newcastle to have a good season. What Allardyce can achieve beyond this forthcoming season I donít know, but heís the sort of man that will demand an immediate response from his players and somebody capable of influencing the club in such a large fashion is what theyíve been crying out for.Fill
Everton Spurs and Newcastle. I know I'm Red, but was disappointed to hear of Vaughan's injury, aswell as Barton's for Newcastle. Just want to see all the teams come out blazing you know? Newcastle will be a story of course what with the little goal-hanger coming back, Fat Sam, and Barton - should be interesting. Spurs will just want to be above Arsenal come May as will Everton with us. Neither should be discounted. The latter giggled at, but not discounted. BOD
None should impact us. Spurs will be difficult to play but can't see them doing anything more than battling Arsenal for 4th. City could be interesting depending who else they buy, linked with a certain Italian leftback/centreback recently I see...Raul
Spurs will threaten to do well again and may just deliver on that threat this time around. Blackburn might, if they keep McCarthy.13. Getting excited yet for the new season ?BOD
Its hard when the Auxerre game bored you to tears, but then again you know its getting close when August is fast approaching and the new signings are making debuts.Garst
Sure. As ever. Iím more apprehensive than I usually am though, I must say. The high expectations are a worry.Fill
I just don't want it to be over come the end of September. I'm more nervous than excited. I've been reasonably disappointed with our transfers (so far). Out of all the strikers we could have either bought, cajoled, kidnapped or spunked billions of dollars on, Torres would have been my last choice. Last-ish anyway. But I like him as a man - he has character. That's important.Raul
Always do and always will. Given a goodish start and a couple of the new 'uns fitting in relatively fast, we have a lot to look forward to.14.The first images of our proposed new stadium have recently been released. What are your first impressions, and have your key concerns been addressed?'BOD
To incorrectly quote someone from gremlins 2 'very good, i like it!' Individual, huge single-tier home end, ability to increase capacity in the future. Granted it looks a bit weird at first but its a new place to call ours, and no side will enjoy playing into 18,000 faces staring down at them ( well apart from BHB who will be making sure everyone has the right clothing )Garst
It looks fantastic. A lot better than the old plan. So far, the best things the Americans have done, for me.Fill
I guess it's akin to sleeping with another woman for the first time after spending years with someone else who you love deeply. Her tits are fake and pert, and that night of dirty hot sex was great, and I was loving the banter, but I'm not so happy with her peering over her new copy of OK! to watch Big Brother or BBC Porn News 24 afterwards. So I'm already missing late night bed conversations revolving around how to get the best out of coriander or describing in detail how I'd imagine Dermot O' Murnahan taking her up against the wall for my own amusement.. or am I dishing too much personal stuff here? [No, not at all..
It looks good. And am glad the club are at least pretending to listen to the fans thru the RTK. It's vital. Whether they stay awake during discussions is another thing - but here's hoping.Raul
I did not like the aesthetics at all when the first few pictures came out. Some of the more recent ones leave me with a slightly better expression. It looks too much like a convention centre to me (A very nice convention centre, I must say) and does not appear have the "humanness" I would like to see at our ground. Will look a lot different filled with people of course but I just hope the passion will not be diluted by the steel and glass. The design does take your breath away though.15.With their feet now firmly under the table, how do you feel our new American owners have settled in, and do you feel comfortable with the direction they're taking the club? How do you feel about your club right now. Is all well in the state of Denmark or are there some grumblings ?Garst
Iím happy with them. For fear of being gunned down by their Gestapo, their propaganda campaign worked a treat last season. With every due respect, I hope to see as little of them as possible next season. Itís best they stay out of the limelight.Fill
Didn't want them here then, don't want them here now.
That's probably a position that'll take many years for me to budge from. Having said that, I was very pleased to see them take some sort of responsibility regarding the new stadium. That was good. But they are obviously utterly clueless about football, and therefore one has to presume that they are utterly clueless about England. Touring the Far East and promoting the LFC brand to foreign continents is one thing... getting the team properly prepared for Villa away and Chelsea at home is another. I know that this isn't a Gillet & Hicks idea.. but it's an idea they've bought into. We need to start thinking about winning league titles.. and then we can maybe.. maybe ponder the idea of whoring our arses across the world in ridiculous climates.Raul
So far, so good. All the right words to begin with but these have been backed up with the right actions. If it continues the way it has started, I have very high hopes for the club, both financially and trophy wise.BOD
Shiny happy people. We've spent pretty big, without being overindulgent, new stadium announcement set for Wednesday which promises to be a lot more pleasing to people, a couple of easy friendly wins, and the promise of a serious tilt of at the title, now where have I heard that before......Give it a month it'll be Rafa/Parry/Hicks/Gillett/Torres out.....
Well thanks guys, It think most of us agree that the midfield is a Rubik's Cube (or diamond, or Christmas Tree) of a puzzle, and that the striking positions are still a mystery The new stadium continues to create debate, as Filler says, some of us feel a little awkward about saluting the new whilst still living in the old, and of course the Cult of Rafa continues, obviously any mention of disliking the beard will result in a visit from the RTK or Rafa's Spanish Inquistion... Personally I think he looks ridiculous.
So fire in with your own thoughts if you like, and in the meantime enjoy !
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